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Social media helps Bradford nurse to boost donations for Staying Put – a charity helping those affected by domestic violence

IT was a simple appeal which attracted a significant response.

The power of Social Media in supporting and uniting people has already been demonstrated but the response to her own post still took Joanne Jones by surprise.

Working with families in her role as a community nursery nurse in her home city of Bradford, the 33-year-old was aware of the plight of those who had experienced domestic violence.

Being conscious of the parents who have to up-root their children swiftly to escape to a better life and often not having such simple basic necessities as a toothbrush to hand brought home the reality of the situation to Joanne.

Determined to help, her initial reaction was to help the Bradford-based charity she was already familiar with through her work.

Since it was launched 15 years ago Staying Put has supported more than 50,000 people to change their lives and it is thanks to people such as Joanne, and its many more supporters, that it continues to help many more.

“A lot of our clients have used the service at some point,” says Joanne, referring to the families she sees through her role as a community nursery nurse.

“There was one particular case, we had a lady who had to flee very quickly and left with nothing.”

Through this Joanne learned more about the emergency packs Staying Put provide which include toiletries and goodies to help people feel comfortable and supported during their time of need.

“I thought ‘there is something I can do about this’ – I decided to crack on with it,” she says.

The mother-of-two, from Queensbury, discussed it with some of the mums at the Mum and Baby group she is involved with.

“Everybody thought it was a good idea,” says Joanne.

So she decided to put out a small appeal through social media to garner support – and was overwhelmed by the response.

Conscious the city was already well-supported with food banks, Joanne turned her attentions to the practical help she knew could benefit families greatly.

Shortly afterwards Joanne began collecting donations – some were delivered to her home where she now has boxes of supplies including simple things we often take for granted such as toothbrushes; shampoo and sanitary wear.

She has since ordered some canvas shopping bags which she intends filling with the supplies and taking to the charity to distribute to those in need.

Alongside running the appeal, Joanne also decided to boost funds for the charity to help buy some additional essential items to put in the bags.

She enjoys running but working full-time and looking after her daughters, Eliza, who is two and a half and sixyear-old Gracie, doesn’t give her much time.

Nevertheless, Joanne decided to participate in the recent Bradford 10K run to help swell the funds for Staying Put – and it turned out to be a real family affair with her daughter, Gracie, and husband Neil also taking part!

Joanne says her daughter, Gracie, loves running. “She is a little whippet,” she says.

So far Jo has raised more than £300, topping her target and supporting more domestic abuse survivors in the process.

Says Jo: “I have been overwhelmed by the support I have had in making up the overnight emergency packs, not only by the people that have donated via the JustGiving page, but also by the donations of products and the interest in the idea behind the packs.

“Staying Put is vital to the safety and wellbeing of many people. Could you imagine having to leave everything you have known as well as being petrified for your safety or even your life, potentially doing this with children in tow? This to me is an unbearable thought but all too real for some people.

“Now imagine all this and then having nothing with you for the night or even a few days – no way of having a shower or a wash. Our emergency packs will hopefully bridge that little gap and may help someone for the evening and the next few days ahead.”

They say charity begins at home and every year Jo has also run coffee mornings in her own home to raise funds to support homeless charities.

“I think of it being an easy thing to do. If I can do a little bit if it helps somebody else that has to be a good thing.”

Yasmin Khan, director of Staying Put, said: “We’re very grateful to Jo and all the people who have supported her. This is a brilliant idea and will help many survivors of domestic violence who often leave with nothing. It’s lovely that Jo has been so inspired by our work that she wants to give something back to the charity.”

To donate money to Jo’s fundraising campaign, go to https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/j-jones

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Theresa May’s policy board chief George Freeman stands down

George FreemanImage copyright PA

Theresa May’s policy chief is standing down to concentrate on boosting the Conservative Party’s campaigning strength and appeal to younger voters.

George Freeman said the party needed to change after its “ill-conceived” general election campaign.

He warned the PM during the campaign that they risked becoming “a narrow party of nostalgia, hard Brexit, public sector austerity and lazy privilege”.

Labour said his resignation “speaks volumes” about the state of the Tories.

Mr Freeman was originally made chairman of Mrs May’s policy board when she became prime minister in July 2016.

The board was a small group of advisers set up to encourage “fresh thinking” in key policy areas, such as affordable housing. It has not met since the general election.

‘Urgent threat’

Writing on the ConservativeHome website, the Mid Norfolk MP said he would now be focusing on his role as chairman of the Conservative Policy Forum, which was set up in 2011 to give ordinary members more of a say.

In his article, Mr Freeman said he wanted to address falling membership and the “urgent” threat of “a rejuvenated Labour Party” by instigating a “bold programme of Conservative Party renewal”.

This would mean a new party chairman and team at party headquarters to “oversee the intellectual, organisational and cultural renaissance of a conservatism fit to shape and lead us through the 21st Century”.

“Given the deepening disconnection between the Conservative Party, the new generation of aspirational voters under 45 and the new intellectual battle of ideas reshaping our political landscape, this is now urgent,” he added.

He said the party had not yet “framed a coherent economic programme to tackle the underlying economic causes of the injustices which so many voted against in the election” but warned against becoming “Corbyn-lite”, which would only risk “tempting voters to vote for the real thing”.

Labour’s shadow cabinet office minister Jon Trickett said: “For a man who once said that the ‘raison d’etre’ of his role in No 10 was to face the challenge of renewal in office, his resignation speaks volumes on the current state of the Tories in government.”

“He has caught the essence of the Conservative Party in a two-word phrase: lazy privilege.”

CAR REVIEW: Audi Q2

THE Q2 has brought big car features and the usual dose of Audi style to the small crossover market.

Its sharply squared LED headlights and nicely sculpted bonnet give the Q2 a vivid look that ranks among the best in class.

It’s also good to drive, roomy and offers a range of personalisation options, although it’s important to keep those tempting options in check to stop the price spiralling out of control.

Within the German giant’s ever-expanding range of crossovers, the Q2 sits below the Q3, the new Q5 and the much larger seven-seat Q7.

Behind the wheel, the Q2 is a sure-footed, sprightly and smooth performer.

The 2.0-litre TDI engine is more than sufficient for a relatively small family car, developing 148bhp and 250lb ft of torque, with the vehicle performing the sprint from 0-62mph in 8.1 seconds with a potential top speed of 131mph.

What’s more, that pace seems to be delivered effortlessly with the minimum of fuss and noise.

Meanwhile, the permanent Quattro all-wheel drive system gives the car a superbly grippy feel in the corners and was especially useful on the greasy, leaf-covered roads experienced in Yorkshire in recent weeks.

The transmission is Audi’s impressive seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch gearbox, which shifts in a seamless manner.

All in all, it makes for a relaxed, composed and confidence-inspiring driving experience, with the car being equally at home in either urban or rural environments.

In town, the short wheelbase and compact chassis mean you can easily swing the Q2 into tight parking spaces, while, out on the open road, the brisk acceleration and extra traction from four-wheel drive come into their own.

When cornering, there’s an element of predictable and safe understeer, while body roll is well contained.

With progressive steering as standard, the car adapts to the driving situation, with the steering getting quicker the more you turn the wheel. That means fewer turns of the wheel are needed when manoeuvring, but the car still feels stable at motorway speeds.

Inside, the Q2 interior is roomy enough for four adults to travel comfortably, with plenty of seating adjustment for those in the front.

The boot is also a decent size albeit a little shallow, but quite sufficient for everyday situations such as a big shop.

The quality of materials used in the cabin is generally good, being smart and subtle rather than brash and over-the-top.

This test car came with added options that brought a strong sense of sportiness – namely the stylish flat-bottomed leather-trimmed steering wheel with gear shift paddles along with the matt brushed aluminium interior inlays, costing an extra £150 each.

A more expensive, yet very pleasant option came in the form of the black and silver front sports seats with stylish stitching and Milano leather, adding a further £1,300 to the price.

For another £1,595, you can have the ‘technology pack’ including the superb Audi Virtual Cockpit, which can be viewed through two different modes – the Classic mode and Infotainment mode – presenting the driver with four key areas of information: driving information, media and on-demand information, communication and navigation.

It’s a tremendous piece of kit which brings further ease to motoring, but it also illustrates one of the key questions presented by the Q2 – when do you stop spending money on options that make a good car even better?

All in all, there’s no question that the Q2 is distinctive and versatile.

There may be nothing new about pint-sized SUVs, with the likes of the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur being well established in this market. But the Q2, which combines a premium badge with bold, Coupé-like design and allroad high ground-clearance, is bound to appeal to plenty of buyers.

Audi Q2 quattro S tronic

PRICE: £27,675 (£34,990 as tested with options)

ENGINE: 2.0-litre TDI

EMISSIONS: 125g/km

FUEL: 58.9mpg combined

PERFORMANCE: 0-62mph in 8.1 seconds and top speed of 131mph

WARRANTY: 3 years or 60,000 miles

RNLI close St Helier lifeboat station over crew concern

RNLI St Helier lifeboat
Image caption The all-weather lifeboat from the St Helier station has been taken to the UK

The RNLI has shut the St Helier lifeboat station after a breakdown in the relationship between the charity and crew.

It follows the sacking and subsequent reinstatement of the Jersey station’s coxswain Andy Hibbs earlier this year after all the crew walked out.

It means there will not be an all weather lifeboat crew in Jersey until a replacement can be trained.

The RNLI said St Catherine’s lifeboat station would remain open.

The crew had previously asked the charity if they can run an independent lifeboat service on their own.

Leesa Harwood, the RNLI’s director of community lifesaving and fundraising, said after the crew made it clear they wanted to go alone the confidence was gone.

More on this and other stories from BBC Local Live

She said: “I no longer have confidence that the station can be run without constant challenges and without constant threat of crew resignation.”

Image caption Coxswain Andy Hibbs was sacked in April before being reinstated two months later

Ms Harwood said: “We will be doing everything we can to restore an RNLI all-weather lifeboat service to the island as quickly as possible.

“Our immediate focus will be on restoring an inshore lifeboat service in St Helier.”

The Tamar class lifeboat from the St Helier station is being transferred to Poole where it will be given a full service and remain until a decision is made about its future.

Ms Harwood said: “I would like to thank the St Helier Crew for their service to the RNLI and recognise their time and commitment over the years. It has been very much appreciated.”

Image caption Leesa Harwood from the RNLI met with the St Helier crew

Timeline

6 April 2017: RNLI St Helier coxswain Andy Hibbs is sacked at a meeting with RNLI bosses – the rest of the 26-strong crew resign en masse.

7 April: The RNLI releases a statement saying it asked a volunteer to “stand down with immediate effect” due to “breaches of the RNLI’s volunteer code of conduct“, and declared the station off service. Mr Hibbs says he will officially appeal against the RNLI the decision.

9 April: Hundreds of people gather in protest at the St Helier lifeboat station over the sacking.

20 April: The RNLI acknowledges Andy Hibbs’ challenge against the charity’s decision says it will carry out an internal review.

28 April: A political pressure group urges people not to donate to the RNLI in support of the St Helier crew.

18 May: RNLI officials hear Andy Hibbs’ appeal.

28 July: RNLI formally apologises to Mr Hibbs and invites him to return as coxswain “on condition that he signs and adheres to the charity’s Volunteer Code of Conduct”.

3 October: David Howell resigns from the crew citing multiple issues including the “outrageous” way a complaint against lifeboat manager Glen Mallen was handled by the charity.

5 October: A joint statement is released after a meeting between the crew and RNLI bosses stating they had discussed options for “the way forward” for the station.

13 November: The St Helier crew voted unanimously to go independent of the RNLI

Gaia Pope case: Murder suspect still being questioned

Gaia PopeImage copyright PA
Image caption Gaia Pope was last seen in Swanage on 7 November

Police are continuing to question a 49-year-old man on suspicion of murder following the disappearance of teenager Gaia Pope.

Paul Elsey, confirmed as the suspect to the BBC by his father, is from Swanage, Dorset.

Murder detectives are focussing their forensic investigations on homes, cars and an area near a coastal path where women’s clothing was found.

Mr Elsey is the third person to be held in the inquiry.

He is believed to be known to 19-year-old Gaia, who went missing from Swanage on 7 November.

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Media captionMissing Gaia Pope search: “She’s worth every bit of it”

Mr Elsey lives at the same property as his mother Rosemary Dinch, 71, who, along with her 19-year-old grandson, Nathan Elsey, was arrested on suspicion of murder on Monday.

The pair were released on Tuesday while inquiries continue.

A black jacket Gaia was wearing in CCTV images taken at St Michael’s Garage, Swanage, on the last day she was seen was recovered from an address in Manor Gardens.

Forensic investigations are continuing at two properties in Manor Gardens.

Police have also seized three vehicles.

Det Supt Paul Kessell said it was not clear who the clothes found on land near the Dorset coastal path belonged to, but they were “similar” to those Gaia was wearing.

Gaia, who is from Langton Matravers, has severe epilepsy, and is thought to have gone missing without her medication.

Image copyright Andrew Matthews/PA
Image caption Forensic officers are working in the area where items of clothing were found

The search for Gaia

7 November: Gaia is driven by a family member from Langton Matravers to Swanage. At 14:55, she is seen on CCTV inside St Michael’s Garage buying ice cream and at 16:00 her last confirmed sighting is at an address in Manor Gardens on Morrison Road

8 November: Gaia’s family make a personal plea through the police for her to get in contact. Ch Insp Steve White, of Dorset Police, says the force is “becoming increasingly concerned”

9 November: Dorset Police renews its appeal to find the 19-year-old. Searches have been carried out in the Swanage area, with support from the coastguard and police helicopter. Gaia’s family release a statement saying they are “frantic with worry”

10 November: CCTV footage is released of Gaia on Morrison Road at 15:39 on 7 November.

13 November: Search warrants issued at two addresses in Swanage. Rosemary Dinch and Nathan Elsey are arrested on suspicion of murder and later released under investigation

14 November: Searches continue with the coastguard and volunteers from Dorset Search and Rescue and Wessex 4×4

15 November: CCTV images of Gaia at St Michael’s Garage are released. Searches continue to concentrate inland, supported by neighbouring police forces

16 November: Paul Elsey is arrested on suspicion of murder. Women’s clothing is discovered in a field near Swanage and a police cordon is set up


Image copyright PA
Image caption Officers are searching Swanage for any signs of missing Gaia

Police name man hit by car in Queens Road, Bradford as Marco Sevilla

POLICE have confirmed the identity of a pedestrian who died after being hit by a car in Bradford at the weekend.

Marco Sevilla, 38, died in hospital on Wednesday after Saturday night’s collision in Queens Road, near enterprise Rent-A-Car.

Officers are continuing to appeal for witnesses or anyone who witnessed the movements of either the Vauxhall Vectra involved or Mr Sevilla.

Mr Sevilla suffered head and chest injuries in the incident that occurred at 10.20pm on November 11.

The incident sparked a huge emergency services response with Yorkshire Ambulance Service sending an ambulance, doctor, rapid response vehicle and three hazardous area response teams, as well as police vehicles.

He was taken to Leeds General Infirmary in a critical condition.

It is understood Mr Sevilla was from Venezuela.

Council issues written warning after minicab firm appears to boast about driver’s illegal manoeuvre

A MINICAB firm has been given a formal warning after appearing to laugh off concerns about an illegal manoeuvre performed by one of its drivers.

A picture posted on Facebook over the summer showed a Wrose Village Taxis cab travelling on the wrong side of what is thought to be Valley Road, Bradford, in an attempt to jump a queue of traffic and included the message: “Totally down wrong side of road, completely blocking oncoming traffic…all to save 30 seconds.”

But the photograph was then shared by Wrose Village Taxis on its Facebook page with the boast: “Wrose Taxis…Driving In Bradford Town!!!! We Will Get You There On Time!!!!! Whatever It Takes….Lmfao.”

A further comment posted by Wrose Village Taxis and signed off ‘Aaron’ had said: “Ok. I believe that is Valley Road and Queens Road junction at traffic time.

“All the cars are wanting to go left on to Queens Road which is at a red light. The cars on Queens Road are parked up waiting for the same red light. The taxi wants to take a right on to Queens Road.

“Anybody who actually drives that road does this on a daily basis…myself included.

“It’s called peak time driving. I’m not defending or criticising the driver. But if you were in that taxi, 10 mins late for your kids at school etc, you would have a different perspective on life… #rantover.”

The post prompted an investigation by Bradford Council’s hackney carriage and private hire licensing service and now the authority has revealed that both the operator and the driver were given formal warnings.

A spokesman for Bradford Council said: “Following a thorough investigation we have concluded that both the driver and operator have not conducted themselves in line with the requirements of those holding a taxi licence.

“As this was a first offence both parties were issued with formal warnings which are proportionate to the offence and held on file.”

At the time, a representative for the firm had said the driver had been given a warning by the company and the issue had been dealt with, but also said it was not clear if the driver was actually working at the time.

This week, a spokesman for Wrose Village Taxis, based in Kings Road, Bradford, said the driver in question no longer worked for the company.

He said the company had also changed the way it handled its activity on social media sites like Facebook.

“Now, only management manage our social media,” he said.

But the spokesman also said the company had appealed the written warning and had “never heard anything” in response to its appeal.

Sainsbury’s throws its weight behind Telegraph & Argus Toys and Tins Appeal

ANOTHER local supermarket has stepped in with a donation to the Telegraph & Argus Toys & Tins Appeal to help us bring some Christmas cheer to the district’s most vulnerable women and children.

Sainsbury’s has answered our appeal and donated toys and food from its stores in The Broadway and Frizinghall for our charity partner, Bradford Women’s Aid.

The charity will distribute the donations among women and children in their charge who are escaping from violence at home and have few belongings.

Deborah Clark, community affairs manager at Sainsbury’s, said: “Our colleagues are really passionate about supporting local communities throughout the year, not least in the run-up to Christmas.

“We hope our donation to the Toys and Tins Appeal will help everyone at Bradford Women’s Aid enjoy the festive season.”

The T&A first launched its appeal last year and it was a resounding success.

Nigel Burton, editor of the Telegraph & Argus, said: “Bradford Women’s Aid is a fantastic and worthy charity helping women and children fleeing domestic violence and, thanks to the generosity of our readers and local businesses, was able to ensure that all children in its charge received a gift last Christmas.”

Last week Tesco helped us launch this year’s appeal with donations of food and toys.

The company has also offered to collect items on our behalf in its Canal Road store.

We are hoping other businesses will come on board and donate items so we can be sure to spread some festive cheer to those who would benefit.

Sally Deane, director of Bradford Women’s Aid, said: “This appeal at Christmas time will mean a lot to the women and children we support.

“It will mean that families with very little or nothing will have toys and food over the Christmas period which will bring some happiness and comfort to what would be otherwise a very bleak time.”

Bradford Women’s Aid is a charity that was set up over 30 years ago by local women who wanted to help and support women and children whose lives have been affected by domestic abuse.

The organisation provides refuge, resettlement, outreach and children’s services and last year directly supported 850 women and children many of whom became homeless as a result of domestic abuse.

Once again the T&A is collecting donations of unwrapped toys for boys and girls of all ages along with tins of food and non-perishable goods which have a long shelf life.

They can be left at our reception in Hall Ings, Bradford, between 9.30am and 3pm Monday to Friday.

The last day for donations is Friday, December 15, to allow time for BWA to collect and wrap the items in time for Christmas.

Matthew Chapman jailed for ‘violent and horrific’ murder

Matthew ChapmanImage copyright Wiltshire Police
Image caption Matthew Chapman, 23, of Wood Lane, admitted killing Russell Nixon at a previous hearing at Bristol Crown Court

A man who beat a father-of-two to death with a baseball bat and a brick has been jailed for 18 years.

Russell Nixon, 38, was found with significant head injuries on London Road, Chippenham in May, following reports of a disturbance.

Matthew Chapman, 23, of Wood Lane, admitted killing Mr Nixon at a previous hearing at Bristol Crown Court.

Det Insp Jim Taylor, from Wiltshire Police, said the attack on Mr Nixon had been “violent and horrific”.

Mr Taylor said Chapman was “a thug” who “preyed on the weak”.

“It was evident from the injuries sustained that this was a violent and horrific attack which occurred in the early hours of the morning,” he said.

“There’s no place in society for someone like him and he deserves to be in prison.”

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Russell Nixon was killed after a disturbance in London Road on the 10 May 2017

Mr Nixon’s mother Anne paid tribute to her son, saying “he never had an easy life and things were difficult for him… I hope Russell has now found his peace”.

When Mr Nixon died, an appeal was made to find a home for his marble collection, which numbered 50,000.

Rose Paduraru: ‘Urgent’ appeal to find missing baby

High Court
Image caption The children disappeared from their home after proceedings to take them into care

An eight-month-old baby is thought to have gone missing with her two older siblings.

Rose Paduraru vanished with seven-year-old sister Oliwia Ilksa and her 12-year-old brother Krzysztof Ilksa.

The children vanished after a court ruled they should be taken into council care. Their parents were arrested after the disappearance.

A High Court judge said it was “vitally important” the trio be found as soon as possible.

Mr Justice Keehan said on Tuesday he was “very seriously concerned” for the children’s welfare and was particularly worried about Rose.

He urged anyone who had information about the youngsters’ whereabouts to call police immediately.

All three youngsters were living with their mother in Hillingdon – and social services staff at the local council had responsibility for their welfare, he said.

Mr Justice Keehan issued the appeal after hearing from lawyers representing Hillingdon Council and Rose’s parents.

Lawyers said Rose’s mother was Polish and her father Romanian.

They said the couple were separated and Mr Paduraru lived in Greenford, west London.