A cut too far – I have my boy because of IVF on the NHS
ESSEX is within in touching distance of being the worst region in the country for access to IVF on the NHS.
Three Essex CCGs have already removed all provision of NHS IVF (Basildon and Brentwood, North East Essex, and mid-Essex.) West Essex is set to do the same.
And Southend? Well the CCG is looking to stop all NHS provision here too.
Currently eligible couples are offered two partial NHS-funded IVF cycles. About 50 people unable to have children any other way are helped here yearly – costing the NHS about £200,000.
IVF is silly expensive to have privately. Do you have a spare £8,000 (minimum) to blow on a single cycle with no guaranteed baby at the end? I don’t.
But it’s not a done deal yet. Southend CCG is consulting until October 26. And it’s so important you make sure your voice is heard. Continue reading
Star of Storage Hunters: Sean Kelly
SEAN Kelly is not a man easily missed.
The ever-smiling, ever-shouting auctioneer off hit TV show Storage Hunters isn’t acting when he’s on our screens – he really is that larger than life.
We caught up ahead of his night of stand-up and charity auction at the Palace Theatre next week.
So just what are we going to get from this big, bald American’s show I ask?
“The biggest challenge we’ve been having, is trying to communicate is that me, Green Mile and T-Money, have been stand-up comedians for 19 years and that we started off in comedy at the comedy store in California,” he explains.
“People don’t realise Storage Hunters came much later. I got in the auction business about seven years after I started doing stand-up, and when I learnt how to make money at the storage auctions that’s when I taught T-Money how to come and make money. Continue reading
Step away from the books… your baby just needs you
I’m a total bookworm. In my pre-Sonny Jim days, a week’s holiday would see me easily plough through about a dozen books. One of my thumbs actually bends back a bit further than it should, having spent so much of my formative years propping open hardbacks.
And yet when I was pregnant I did not read any parenting books. And when Sonny Jim arrived I didn’t crack open any guides to motherhood.
I’m not even sure why. I don’t know whether they just intimidated me a bit. Or if there was perhaps a bit of arrogance – me being determined to do it my way. Of course, there was always Dr Google, and a million different articles online which I often dipped into, but to be honest, I tended to seek out things that supported my own way of thinking – rather than looking for other people to tell what to do. Continue reading
EVERYONE hates journalists right? We’re right up there with politicians and car dealers.
Except…when something like this happens.
Emma Cox is one of my dearest friends. She’s godmother to my Sonny Jim.
And when she went to visit her baby boy Alfie’s grave at the weekend, only to discover it had been dug up and another baby buried there, my job (nowadays done from home and squeezed in around Sonny Jim) suddenly did all the things I hoped it would when, age 17, I decided being a journalist would be pretty cool.
It meant I could get (some) answers, when no one was getting back to her and her husband. It meant I could help her to make sure no one else would ever find themselves in the same god awful situation. It meant her voice was louder and reaching more people than it otherwise would. Continue reading
In print: How this feature first appeared
LONG before Thurrock became known for Lakeside, East Tilbury was already somewhat famous for Bata shoe factory.
Founded in 1932 (it closed in 2005) its company town set-up was unique in Britain, offering its thousands of workers housing, schools, entertainment – and even its own newspaper.
And it was this Bata way of life that provided the inspiration for Linford born and bred Sue Wilsher’s debut novel, When My Ship Comes In, now out in paperback. Continue reading
Interview: My chat with Kierston in the Echo
What is your earliest memory?
I remember when I was about five years old, making my younger brother dress up as a horse, using my dad’s belt and he would say gidiup gidiup. We would laugh and run around our house in Leigh for hours.
Where is your favourite place in Essex, and why?
I love taking walks on the beach in Leigh. I also love Rollacity when I am in the mood to roller skate!
Are you often in the mood to roller skate then?!
Always! When I’m down here that’s what I do. I’ve properly roller skated from when I was a kid. When I was 14, I used to roller skate everywhere – all down the seafront – and every time I’m back down here I do! It’s great here. You’ve got this roller skating rink right on your doorstep in Rochford. And now you’ve got the trampolining open next door, so it’s perfect.I go and see my dad and then I go roller skating and then trampolining! Continue reading
Those reporters seem to be getting younger all the time…
Me and the husband first met in the newsroom. The year was 2003. He was a chief reporter at the Echo newspaper and I was a first year uni student there on work experience.
It was another three years until we started dating. By then I had graduated and was a reporter at News of the World and he was steadily working his way up the rungs in Essex.
Years passed. We married. And eventually we ended up both working in the Echo newsroom again.