Counsellor Bridges Gap for Clients Waiting Months for NHS Therapy

WITHIN days of returning to full-time counselling, Paul Bridge was shocked when clients said they had been told to expect a wait of up to eight months for NHS therapy. Paul, 52, has been a counsellor for 18 years and in August opened his own firm Therapeutic Counselling Services in Winter House, Bacup.

He said: “I had one client come to see me who had been told the waiting list to see an NHS therapist was six months, another was told seven months while another went to see the doctor in January and only got an appointment in August. These are just a few of the people with high anxiety and depression who have sought me out, but how many more are also out there struggling to cope with problems on their own waiting for help? This is a huge problem especially as suicide rates are so high.”

Male suicide, often called the silent killer, is the single biggest cause of death in the UK for men under the age of 45 – a total of 84 suicides every week. September 10 was Suicide Awareness Day. Every two hours someone dies after committing suicide in the UK. With his business partner, Paul developed a profiling tool which is used by different agencies to assess clients’ needs. However because many authorities used European funding to purchase it, the Brexit decision resulted in a downturn in sales.

Paul, from Bacup, said: “I have four children to support and a Masters degree in counselling, so I decided to set up my own business close to home. I am so glad that I did because I really enjoy what I do and get a lot out of it. I am an integrative therapist and my Masters degree at Manchester University was all about using different forms of therapy. I am experienced in many different kinds of therapy and create a bespoke treatment for every individual client, because one size doesn’t fit all.”

As well as offering private counselling sessions, Paul is also looking to work in local businesses on employee assisted programmes and has offered his services to local GPs as an associate counsellor. Paul also has experience of helping drug users, probationers and offenders, and would be interested in working in schools.

To contact Paul email paul.tcs@yahoo.com or call 07720841002.

Paul was also delighted that his business was recently nominated for a 2018 Rossendale Business Award.

Story by Catherine Smyth Media

Ruth Helps Tutor Legal Apprentices Through College Link

SOLICITOR Ruth Winter is now helping to deliver legal apprenticeship courses for Accrington and Rossendale College. The Bacup-based solicitor, whose practice Winter Solicitors is on Lee Street, has always offered apprenticeships and work experience opportunities since she opened in January 2014. She remembers how difficult it was to get experience when she was studying and so is delighted to be able to offer students an insight into working in the legal profession.

Ruth said: “I am helping to deliver Level 2 and 3 Legal Administration courses with AccRoss College. Previously the only course offered by local colleges was Business Administration where as this is much more specific and relevant for apprentices who want to pursue a legal career. I am working with apprentices from different legal practices and hold workshops to deliver different aspects of the course.”

Level 2 is equivalent to a GCSE and Level 3 to an A level.

Ruth said: “I am encouraging more Solicitors to enrol their legal apprentices on to this course and it can be offered to an apprentice at anytime post-16. By enrolling staff on this course, it gives the them more knowledge of legal work and not just of office management. The course is also flexible and students can select different modules that they wish to study, everything from wills to family law.”

Laura Crosland, 18, from Burnley, is Ruth’s current apprentice. After completing her AS levels at Burnley College and getting A grades in maths, sociology and law, she decided A levels were not for her and applied for an apprenticeship. She said: “I decided I wanted to do something more productive and this allowed me to work and learn rather than just be in college. I have learnt a lot. Long term I would like to go into an administrative job either in the legal profession or in human resources.”

To find out more about the legal work experience contact Ruth on 01706 878141 or check out the course details on http://www.accross.ac.uk/course/legal-administration-ila/

Story by Catherine Smyth Media

M3 Project Charity Fun Run

A PROJECT working with homeless young people and teenage families is planning a 5K fun run in September to raise awareness and funds. Run Out Homelessness is the title of the event to be held at Marl Pits in Rawtenstall on September 12 at 7pm.

M3 Project is based in Rossendale and works throughout East Lancashire with homeless 16 to 21 year olds. Project Manager Alan Dorrington said: “We are appealing for all people, runners, non-runners, families and individuals to take part at a cost of £5 per entrant. Our event is being supported by Rossendale Harriers who are providing marshals and have allowed use of their club house and Rossendale Triathlon Club who have provided a route.”

M3 Project Homelessness Prevention Worker Beth Rushton, volunteer Nick Schofield, Project Manager Alan Dorrington and Charity Development Worker Lynn Haworth

All participants will be asked to complete three laps of a circuit, which starts and finishes on the running track. The idea for the fun run came from support worker Dawn Rowe and retired police officer Nick Schofield, who works with M3 as a volunteer. In charge of organisation is Charity Development Worker Lynn Haworth.

Alan said: “The way M3 Project works has changed over the last few years and we have become a charity. Our grant from the Lloyds Foundation is coming to an end and I have several funding bids that we are working on. We are still waiting to find out what our future provision will be from Lancashire County Council. We now fundraise on a more regular and organised basis and this will be a major event for us as well as helping to raise awareness of the work M3 does.”

Alan is no stranger to running being a member of Clayton Harriers. In December 2016 he completed a gruelling 31-day 256-mile running challenge for the charity, which raised more than £6,000.

Besides the fun run, M3 is also looking to attract stalls to Marl Pits and have music at the event.

To book your place contact M3 on 01706 216600 or email lynnhaworth@rossendalem3.org

Story by Catherine Smyth

Children’s Only Salon is a Cut Above

A NEW hair salon has opened in Rossendale just for children. Antony and Patricia on Bank Street opened Bosun’s Barbers on the upper deck 18 months ago and the nautical-themed barbers attracted a lot of dads with their sons.

As a result three further rooms have been converted to create dedicated children’s hair salon Noah’s Ark. Animal-themed rooms incorporate a brightly coloured salon with special animal print chairs and an interactive playroom complete with large screen TVs, Xbox and tablets.

The Lifeboat room is a separate one-chair salon specially designed for children on the autistic spectrum, adults living with dementia and anyone who would prefer to have their haircut in private rather than in a public salon.

Director Tony Winder said: “Since we opened Bosun’s Barbers we noticed an increase in dads and lads coming into the salons and the idea of having a special salon just for children evolved. We had available space and began working on creating Noah’s Ark about three months ago. It is a completely chemical-free environment. “I carried out a lot of research on the web looking at children’s salons all over the world, in Australia, America and South Africa.  All were on different themes and very successful, but I felt that there was still something missing. That is what inspired me to create the Lifeboat room.”

Tony used the book by Charlotte Olson ‘Suzie Goes to the Hairdresser’ to see a salon from a child’s perspective and also researched difficulties autistic children have in getting their haircut.

Tony said: “The Lifeboat room is a sanctuary for adults and children who may find a normal salon a difficult place to be in. To ensure the experience is calming and less daunting, soothing images will projected onto a TV and there is special sensory equipment. All of the specialist animal-themed furniture has been sourced through an online auction site and a huge animal mural came from Sweden. Salon staff will be trained in autism and dementia awareness. For children who do not want to be in a chair, there is also a boat they can sit in while their hair is cut. We know that when children are having their first haircut it is a special experience for their parents and the child and so we will be giving them a certificate, a photograph of them with the stylist and a lock of the child’s hair as a keepsake. A special treasure hunt is also going to keep the children entertained as they look around the salon finding the animals.”

Tony first set sail on his voyage of barbering in 1962 when he got an apprenticeship at Les Howarth’s Barber’s in Haslingden and in 1967 he literally set sail as a barber on cruise ships, hence the nautical theme. He added: “We are a true family business, we have a ladies’ salon, a barbers and a children’s salon all under one roof, so all customers can be catered for in one location.”

Dansworks Joins Maltese Twin School for Annual Show

DANCERS from Bacup enjoyed a trip of a lifetime to Malta to join their twin school at its annual show. Dansworks Dance Academy of Performing Arts, in Pioneer Buildings, has been twinned with Dance College Studios since 2014. Every two years the two schools have an exchange visit to dance in each other’s shows. Thirteen dancers from Malta visited in March and 10 Bacup dancers aged 11 to 16 have just returned from six days in the country when they got to explore the Maltese way of life and danced anywhere and everywhere they could.

Phoebe Urmston, 14, said: “It was awesome. It was very hot and it was nice dancing with other people from another country.”

At the annual show the Bacup dancers performed two routines – ‘Riverside’ which is a lyrical contemporary routine and ‘Dream Girls’ which is jazzy. They also had a street dance routine when both the Maltese and British dancers were on the stage.

Emily Biel, 16, said: “I liked visiting the capital city Valletta as we got to see the cannons that we had heard so many times. We also went to the ancient capital of Mdina and into the catacombs.”

Carmel Sweeney, 15, said: “I liked getting to meet new people abroad and I liked staying with people that I know and creating new friendships.”

For one of the Bacup dancers there was a surprise when her grandfather and aunt turned up specially to see her perform in the show. Gracie Caine, 13, who had a solo in the routine, said: “My family knew about it, Dansworks knew about it, but I didn’t know. We were in the backstage courtyard when suddenly they came round the corner. It was very confusing for me because I had not expected to see them.”

After the show, Gracie’s aunt Zoe Caine told the group she was lost for words because Gracie had been so amazing.

Business Development Manager Dale Connearn said: “It was the best trip we have had and it was made better because we stayed in apartments rather than in a hotel and the atmosphere was incredible.”

Principal Karen Roe said: “All the girls were hilarious and there was such a good bond between them. They all enjoyed it, had fun and they also worked really hard in the show and were amazing. They really pulled it out of the bag and at the end of their performance there were whoops from the audience.”

The two schools will meet up again in 2020 and already dancers are eager to book their places.

To find out more about Dansworks contact 01706 559671.

Story by Catherine Smyth

Wonderful Things

THANKS to generous donations and grants, scores of children have been able to enjoy free places at a holiday club offering wonderful experiences. Innovative project Wonderful Things, which started at St Mary’s CE School, Rawtenstall, branched out to cover different locations last year.

To ensure the success of the expansion – which saw hundreds of primary school age children enjoying new experiences aided by Youth Volunteers from high schools, sponsorship opportunities were created. Project Manager Kate Crane, from Rawtenstall, said: “We were fortunate to be awarded Local Member Grants from County Councillors David Foxcroft and Peter Steen which have enabled us to offer four places a day to children who would not have been able to access Wonderful Things. In Chatburn we also received a Local Member Grant which enabled us to offer four free places up to Easter. During May half term, thanks to a donation from Hanson Cement Ribblesdale, we are able to continue offering the free places. In the past, we have had businesses sponsoring ice creams for a week for all of the children who attended during the summer and some facilitators ran their activities at a reduced cost. We are very grateful for all offers of help and as it only costs £17 a day to sponsor a place for a child, we hope there will be more businesses that might want to give something back.”

The days are all themed from Lego to forest, sport to science, aliens to superheroes, news to dance. County Councillor Foxcroft said: “I think what Wonderful Things is doing is fantastic. I went along to see the project and there was a little girl who was able to attend because of the Local Member Grant. Had that money not been there she would have been staying with her grandmother who is fighting cancer and she would have had to stop inside and look after her and watch TV. What was important was that she was able to experience what children should without any cares, worries or fears, just like any other child. That for me sums up what this project does.”

This summer sessions will be held at Newchurch St Nicholas CE Primary School, The Boo in Waterfoot, at Chatburn CE School in the Ribble Valley and in Stockport. To check out and book activity days visit www.wonderfulthings.org.uk or the organisation’s Facebook page. To offer sponsorship or support email kate@wonderfulthings.org.uk

Story by Catherine Smyth

Ale Trail Proves Big Hit

REAL ale lovers snapped up the chance to join a bus-led Hop and Grain Ale Trail, which toured Rossendale, Todmorden and Burnley. The initiative, which was a first for Lancashire, saw more than 350 people buying tickets for £12, which entitled them to hop on and off a succession of buses that toured a circular route from noon to 11pm. One of the departure points was Northern Whisper, next to Rawtenstall Market on Newchurch Road.

Events manager Michael Ormerod said: “I was approached by Hop and Grain Events Ltd and asked whether we were interested in taking part in as they have held these in different parts of the country. At Northern Whisper we sold 84 tickets with people hopping on the buses are different times of the day.
“We are delighted to have played a part in bringing 350 to Rossendale to see what a beautiful area the Valley is. Recently we welcomed people from Morecambe, Leeds and eight people from Bolton. This trail has been so successful we will also be holding another organised by the same company in September.”

Every person on the trail was given a pink wristband so they could hop on the buses and celebrating his 40th birthday was James Wright of Newchurch.
James and his wife Rebecca, along with his brother Chris and his wife Charlie from Somerset, hopped on the bus at Northern Whisper. He said: “It is my 40th birthday on Wednesday and we decided to start the celebrations early.
What appealed about this was we are not restricted to train times and we will get to see some new places that we have never been to before.”

Rebecca said: “I like the idea of being able to get on and off at different locations and stay as long as we want and then be able to get on a bus to take us back to our departure point.”

Friends Marcus and Suzanne Edwards, from North Wales, and Dave and Jenny Toner, from Runcorn, founded Hop and Grain Events Ltd a year ago.
Marcus said: “We don’t include chains as we want to promote locally based pubs. Real ale is a massive market and we see this as a way of boosting trade in the industry. It is about having a fun experience and we encourage people to drink responsibly.”

As well as Northern Whisper the trail went to The Crown in Bacup, the Golden Lion and the Hare and Hounds in Todmorden, The Kettledrum Inn, Cliviger, The Talbot in Burnley and The White Bull and The Masons’ Arms in Crawshawbooth.

Story by Catherine Smyth

Themed Events Organised by Dementia Friendly Rossendale

A SERIES of special reminiscence events to mark Dementia Awareness Week will also embrace the Royal Wedding and the FA Cup Final. Dementia Friendly Rossendale had already planned to host an event at Kay Street Baptist Church, Rawtenstall, on Saturday May 19 from 10am to noon when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their plan to marry on the same day.
As the FA Cup is also on May 19, organisers Paula Bond and Sue Hemsley, co-vice-chair of Dementia Friendly Rossendale, decided to combine both celebrations into a theme.

Paula said: “The event is open for everyone, carers and those living with dementia and their families. We are asking people to bring along an item that relates to their wedding or a sporting occasion that will spark a memory. We have a local artist Andrew Holland who is coming along for free to make card prints which will be an outline on a wedding or a sporting theme. Our visitors will get the chance to pick one and decorate it if they wish with confetti or glitter. We also have a poet Tony Curry giving his time for free who will get basic background information on the person and then make a personalised poem which will be put inside the card. Everyone who comes along will then have a very personal keepsake to take away with them along with a wedding favour or a chocolate football.”

Sue will decorate a wedding cake with fresh flowers, wedding dresses will be on display along with a bouquet and corsages as well as sporting equipment and football scarves. Whitworth Museum has provided a box of Royal memorabilia to prompt conversation. Wedding and sporting music will be played while the activities take place and Sixth Form students from Alder Grange School will be assisting.

For the third year there will also three steam special trains on the East Lancashire Railway when more than 250 passengers both care homes residents and individuals who live along the length of the line will enjoy a subsidised trip.

Sue said: “They will be travelling from Bury through to Rawtenstall and back again and be served with a lunch for just £3.50. We have been fundraising all year and have also been given generous donations to help with all of the events. The trains on May 16 and 17 are already full but there are some places available on Friday May 18 when the Mayors of Bury and Rossendale will also be attending.”

Paula added: “It is all about raising awareness and about bringing back memories. People living with dementia have long-term memories and events like this can help to bring those memories back.”
On October 13 Dementia Friendly Rossendale will also be holding a concert involving local bands and groups at St Mary’s Church, Rawtenstall

Story by Catherine Smyth

Global Plans for Down to Earth Brand

A DOWN to earth food business is hoping to turn its ‘Nowt Poncy’ name into a global brand. When Managing Director Jools Abel drives his distinctive liveried van around he gets people stopping him all the time to comment on the name.
Jools and his wife and Operations Director Karen, from Water in Rossendale, set up The Nowt Poncy Food Company in July 2016 and in the first year of trading it was shortlisted for three business awards including the Valley at Work organised Rossendale Business Awards.

They have just returned from The Farm Shop & Deli Show at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre where their range of sauces with its distinctive brand and labelling went down a storm with the visitors. The brand has been trademarked in 11 different business sectors from hotels to accommodation, books to insurance, as the couple can see a global future for the ‘Nowt Poncy’ title.

Jools is a time-served mechanical engineer spent 25 years in the photographic equipment repair industry, but he has always had a passion for cooking. Karen was a headteacher and met Jools when they both attended Manchester Polytechnic in 1987. That was the time when nouvelle cuisine was at its height and the couple found themselves searching for restaurants that still served ‘real food’.

The Birmingham exhibition was over three days, had 30,000 attendees and featured 1,500 exhibitors.

Jools said: “I also got asked to showcase our sauces to a range of six industry experts in a Dragons’ Pantry. The sauces are all based on authentic recipes so the tomato and basil tastes like it was made in Italy, our Creole is true to its New Orleans origin and our curry is to a North India recipe. Our range tastes like you made it yourself, is low in sugar, salt, saturated fats, has no active preservatives and is low in calories. I wanted to use the minimum of ingredients to achieve the best flavour and not use anything poncy; just great produce and a little time and love.”

Four out of the five sauces are suitable for vegans and vegetarians, coeliacs and people with a gluten intolerance. Nowt Poncy sauces are available in Simply Veg in Rawtenstall and Riley’s Butchers in Crawshawbooth, at Benedicts of Whalley, Bowland Food Hall, Clitheroe, and at Castle Howard in North Yorkshire; the products are also sold online. The sauces were devised in Jools and Karen’s kitchen in Water and are now manufactured in a commercial kitchen in Blackburn.

Nowt Poncy will be exhibiting in the Taste Lancashire marquee at The National Festival of Making in Blackburn on May 12 and 13.
For more information log on to www.nowtponcy.co.uk

 

Story by Catherine Smyth

The 2018 Rossendale Food & Drink Guide Is Here!

A guide to the best food and drink places in Rossendale has been launched. Valley at Work, a not-for-profit organisation that connects local businesses has produced 1,000 copies of the guide, which are being distributed across Rossendale.

Chair of Valley at Work Rob Carder said: “The idea of celebrating the amazing range of food and drink in Rossendale was first mooted in one of our meetings more than two years ago. We looked at a number of different ways to do this, including hosting a food and drink festival. We visited many similar events, but often found that stands at the fairs were taken often by people who were not local. The local providers were too busy doing what they do best – running their shops, restaurants and cafes. So the idea of having a guide was agreed so we would be encouraging people to shop local and it fitted in with the ethos of Valley at Work – to connect local businesses.”

In order to qualify for the guide the providers had to meet strict guidelines starting was food hygiene ratings, which had to be at least Grade 4. For the 2018 guide, the providers needed to have recent ratings of at least a four out of five rating on Trip Advisor or Facebook and grant permission to be included in the guide.

Rob said: “The first guide has 53 different businesses ranging from market stalls to pubs, shops to butchers. They are listed according to areas with a brief description of the town or village where they are based. Members of Valley at Work are distributing the guide to the businesses featured and every business in the guide has been given a distinctive sticker for the window to display to customers. Production costs have been supported by Rossendale Borough Council and several Rossendale Business Award sponsors.”

Valley at Work hopes the guide will become an annual publication and will lead to a much larger celebration of the food and drink community.

Rob added: “A fortnight of co-ordinated events involving the local food and drink businesses is something that we are considering. This would be a more sustainable way of celebrating what Rossendale has to offer than a one-day festival and in the long term it would make a greater impact on the local community by encouraging people to try out local providers.”

Story by Catherine Smyth