OLD COLWYN famous fancy dress returns for the 8th year!

A month today the local pubs of Old Colwyn with be flooded with a variety of wacky outfits that marks the 8th year anniversary. But what can we expect this year?

The annual fancy dress started when self-employed joiner, Ian Jones, organised a works Christmas doo for those who didn’t have one due to working for themselves.

Ever since the event started it has grown and grown so much that it became an online sensation in 2014 when Jones became Del Boy for a day.

Ian Jones explained, “Due to the success I decided to do something good and raise money for a charity I hold very close to my heart.

My youngest boy was born premature and spent the first eleven weeks of his life in the SCBU in Glan Clwyd Hospital.”

Cuddles and Support the special care baby unit is a charity that Ian and his family will always appreciate.

Despite the unforeseen effort every year Ian Jones is set out for big things again this year and is expecting around 50 lads to attend and even more onlookers.

“I’m looking forward to all the lads getting together in our local pubs for a good laugh. It’s a good job all the landlords are great with us!” explained Ian.

Although his outfit is simple this year he says it’s very ‘effective’.

Image captured by Gareth Young.

However, the only clue Mr Jones is giving away is that it’s a double act that EVERYBODY will know but that’s all we’re getting!

Another person that is keeping his outfit top secret is Gary Rowlands who starred as Michael Jackson last year.

Being self-employed himself Gary has been participating in the event for six years. His best effort was the year he created The Predator outfit himself. But will he beat it this year?

Image captured by Gareth Young.

He said: “I’ve only had the idea planned the last couple of weeks because we flipped it to confuse the enemy!

I’ve hand-picked to create the perfect team. You’ve got to be good to roll with me!”

The self-employed joiner also highlighted, “I just want to add if you get the wooden spoon this year you’re not allowed to live within 10 miles of Old Colwyn for 12 months.

If your commitment isn’t up to scratch the Vic Club will spit you out like the filth you are.”

It seems like there is going to be some competition on everybody’s hands!

All jokes aside, Ian and Gary have faith that the fancy dress is an amazing event that provides self-employed tradesman a works doo. And whilst raising money for a charity it also brings the community together.

The event will start at The Victoria Club in Old Colwyn on the 16th December at 2pm.

Gareth Young, a photographer of Old Colwyn has been the photographer for the event for several years and will be capturing the adventures throughout the day to create a calendar.

You can pre-order calendars with Gareth himself or with organiser Ian Jones for £10. All donations go to the charity Cuddles.

More will follow on my website during the day’s events so keep your eyes peeled.

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Having a sibling with autism…

If you want to know something about sport, he will tell you the name of the person that plays for what team. He’ll even tell you the date they joined if you have a tendency to know.

If you ask him about a holiday, he will tell you it was to Portugal 2011, and on the Thursday we went to watch Barcelona play and they won 3-0. The last time he ate prawns was on a Friday 4 years ago, but he didn’t like the texture. He is one of a kind with the most wonderful abilities.

He is caring. He is funny. He is him.

His ways are not like mine and not like many, his unique ways often get seen as ‘weird’.

My brother has autism.

Acceptance wasn’t easy. The typical words of certain teachers saying he’s not as well behaved as you or he doesn’t take after you, the look on my friends / boyfriends face when they first heard the funny noises he would make.

To compensate for the disability, I decided I needed to be the best at everything. For as long as I remember, I dreamt about going to university and making my parents above and beyond proud. I wanted to be that clever child that people didn’t expect. To me, I could be the only ‘proof’ that my parents were good parents so that other people didn’t judge. Let me tell you I could not have been more wrong…

To be that person dealing with a disability on a day-to-day basis means every day is something different. One day it’s chaotic the next it’s rewarding. You grow up before your time. I remember a friend saying to me you’ve grown up far too quick, but I always had that motherly instinct. I felt like in school I needed to be there for him. Why has he had no dinner? Why is he walking around on his own? Sometimes I love him and sometimes I hate him and that’s ok. You have to change a lot – maybe put your phone on silent or change the time you shower so it doesn’t interrupt his routine. However, the life experiences you gain turn you into a caring and independent adult who knows the true value of family.

I have always been a confident person; I could talk the legs off a donkey (literally). So, trying to understand and accept that my brother didn’t want to hang out with friends or go out anywhere was difficult. At times, I often felt confused how somebody could be so scared to talk to other people (I mean I loved it). I didn’t understand why he didn’t want a phone – I couldn’t part with mine. I wondered and still do wonder on his bad days if he does hate his big sister, but then an hour later he wants a movie night with me. I didn’t understand why he looked so normal but he didn’t act what is judged as ‘the norm’.

What I don’t question is will he be ok? Because I know he will be. He has faced challenges that I myself and you will probably never face. He is a blessing that has made me more aware of all the differences around us. Because of him I am a more patient, kind and helpful lady.

Judging a person does not define who they are, it defines who you are; accepting that each individual is different and some a little bit more different makes you a better person. At no time is anyone above you. Disabilities unravels feelings and emotions, you never know where the tunnel ends, but you walk with your family and travel the distance. My parents are the most inspiring, caring and loving people and with their determination and persistence, Kyle and I have grown up as strong young adults with respect, love and loyalty.

To him, you are you. Don’t you ever change. The crazy outbursts you have has made us stronger. You have defined caring and family for me. By your side I will always stay.

To any siblings, you are brave and your mum and dad love you just as much, but your sibling needs that extra bit of attention. Keep being bold and brave. You do get your rewards; they are your reward.

 

If anybody would like a chat about having some in your life that has a disability, please contact me so we can share our stories and tips.

Does anybody have any positive memories or tips on being a sibling to someone with autism?

xxx

 

 

 

The earlier the diagnosis the better the outcome!

JUST OVER A WEEK TO GO!!!

Everything is prepped and the raffle prizes are confirmed! Early next week I’ll do a post all about the prizes and whats happening on the night so keep your eyes peeled…

We are still £35.00 away from the charity wax target so please sponsor.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/TomStarfishRoberts

However, I want to give everybody a little insight on one of the reasons why I am raising money for autism (apart from it being close to my heart). Continue reading

Autistic Society brings Christmas to autism- December 2016

A charity in Manchester that focuses only on autism planned a range of activities to suit the needs of those on the autism spectrum. Charity organiser Paul Nugent told me all about the events and the planning that goes into it. I produced this piece for our University newspaper because it was topical and recent. It also told a story about autism.

You can read my piece by clicking this link: 
http://quaysnews.net/index.php/2016/12/16/autistic-society-greater-manchester-area/

Do you have any tips of making things more fun for those on the autism spectrum?

Figures identify the main cause of loneliness is becoming a ‘young mum’

The British Red Cross and Co-op released figures that identify the main cause of loneliness is becoming a new mum at a young age. I interviewed a mother who recently had a baby and feels isolated. I wrote a feature describing her feelings from what she told. I produced this is an online piece for a news day during university. It was news but I also wanted to make people aware that there is support and encourage them not to suffer in silence.

You can read my piece by clicking this link:

You can also watch my TV package on it below:

OLD COLWYN big reveal is out with the famous fancy dress return

The world famous fancy dress!
The world famous fancy dress!

The queen might not be there this year but the band Queen certainly are along with Kevin and Perry and FBI.

A variety of characters had the Old Colwyn traffic at a stand-still while crowds applauded and cheered at the effort that had been made.

A favourite this year seemed to be Kevin and Perry.

Watch as they make the big entrance.

 

Organiser Ian Jones and last year’s Tyson Fury Rob Seiga didn’t fail to impress once again.

Rob Seiga last year's Tyson Fury
Rob Seiga last year’s Tyson Fury
Organiser Ian Jones last years Queen
Organiser Ian Jones last years Queen

 

This year the boys had their own fairy godmother at the scene Daniel Rawlinson made his big appearance on the roof of a car.

Ian Jones, a self-employed joiner expected a turn out of 80 people in fancy dress and he seemed very pleased with everyone’s finished outfits.

All money raised at the event will go towards Ysbyty Glan Clwyd Charity Cuddles, a charity that remains close to Mr Ian Jones heart.

‘My last baby boy was born early at 30 weeks and without the SCBU he wouldn’t be here.’

Members of the crowd were astonished by some of the outfits making comments such as:

‘This is the best year yet.’

img_8047

The effort of everyone at the Vic Club did not go as unseen.

The age range was varied just like the wacky outfits that caught everyone’s eyes.

Award Winning Feature 2016

award

Headline:

Here we go again. We lose our fifth baby. The baby whose heart was thumping away just eight

weeks before.’

Stand first:

Linda Thomas has had five miscarriages, and after being told there was a high possibility she could

never have children. She began to give up but two months later she fell pregnant for the sixth time…

By Jasmine Rigby

Story:

Linda’s dream was always to be a mum. When people asked her what her dream was she would

openly admit it. So, of course when the cheap pregnancy test from Morrisons came back positive

Linda was over the moon. Despite wanting to tell the world, Linda and her husband Mike agreed to

wait until after the three month scan.

“I felt like my insides were being punched as if a boxer was training on a punch bag to win his fight.’”

Explains Linda.

Unfortunately the couple didn’t make the scan they were patiently waiting for.

It was a Sunday night and Linda had decided to stay at her mother Debbie’s for the evening.

“The night was just what I needed, spending some quality time with my mother.”

That was until the caretaker was in agonizing pain at 3am screaming for her mother’s help. Debbie

was unfamiliar with miscarriages as there was no family history and each of her pregnancies had

gone well. It wasn’t until the paramedic arrived that they discovered it was a miscarriage.

It was a painful time for the couple. In the end they convinced themselves that they had probably

just been unlucky and that was when Linda conceived again.

It wasn’t long before another miscarriage occurred.

‘’I just remember screaming why me? Why do I deserve this?’’

And those were the kind of questions the 32-year- old asked herself every single day.

Pregnancy charity Tommy’s says one in every four women will miscarry a baby; a quarter of all your

female friends. And the chance of losing a baby increases with every miscarriage.

This, of course, is a terrifying statistic for women, especially Linda, who had now experienced her

third miscarriage.

“I thought it was going to be third time lucky,” admits car mechanic Mike. But unfortunately it was

third time unlucky for the couple.

The guilt started to sink in for Linda. She would constantly pin the blame on herself trying to think of

things she had done wrong such as the last time she had a glass of wine or lit a cigarette. Nothing,

added up. Both her and Mike had been so careful, adapting to a new healthy lifestyle, in order to

pursue Linda’s dream of motherhood.

After miscarrying for a fourth time, the couple were referred to a clinic as both undertook several

tests. Nothing was found on the tests which left both confused to why Linda continued to miscarry.

“I even thought to myself it must be a type of sex I can’t carry. Maybe I can’t have boys and they’ve

all been boys,” assumed Linda.

The topic of miscarriage remains taboo despite thousands of women suffering each year. Staying

silent didn’t help Linda. She began to push everyone close to her away. Every day she blamed herself

and told Mike to re-marry someone who could give him the child he so desperately wanted.

The couple decided enough was enough and that they just couldn’t put themselves through the pain

anymore. That was when they decided to get a puppy to substitute for the feeling of having a child.

Over time things began to get better as the pair adapted to life without a baby. Linda began to build

her confidence back up and started to see her friends again.

“I watched as she dolled herself up, painting her lipstick on so finely, taking pride in herself again. I

felt a sigh of relief,” explained Mike.

It was the first time in a long time Linda had made an effort to look nice.

Surrounded by her friends, Linda felt like herself again. It was the first time she had laughed since

the four tragedies.

“I felt like the girls were really gluing me back together. As I built my strength back up.”

That was until the taxi ride home.

Her best friend of 15 years, Claire, announced that she was pregnant. For most best friends this a

moment of celebration but for Linda it was quite the opposite.

“My heart sank, I hated her, I was bitter and jealous. I didn’t ever want to meet her baby.”

Linda sobbed that night screaming at her husband. Mike felt helpless and didn’t know what more he

could do. Linda wanted to try again, only this time Mike was reluctant to. He just couldn’t bare the

thought of losing another baby.

Linda went on to try and chase her dream once again. And yes, she conceived as she had the

previous four times.

This time, however, was different. They not only made it to the first scan but they couldn’t believe

their luck when they made it to their 12 week scan. They were now past the safe mark. For the first

time the couple reached the announcement stage.

Eight weeks later they discussed baby names as they got ready for the 20 week scan. They were both

convinced it was a little boy. They had taken the day off work to go shopping so Mike could buy a

Man City kit for the newest addition to the family. However the sex of the baby was never

confirmed.

It was time for the scan. A scan the couple will never forget.

“The doctor didn’t need to say anything. I knew from the expression on his face that I had lost yet

another baby. Why could I not be a mum?”

That Christmas was the worst yet for the family. Linda spent the majority of the festive period in

hospital heartbroken.

Although they’d had another four babies taken away from them, the fifth time was different. They’d

created a name for this baby, they’d started to collect things and they were almost certain that this

time around was safe.

“Every night without fail I would kiss the bump goodnight and sing it a lullaby. I thought it was finally

my time to be a dad.”

Whilst it had always been Mike being that remained strong, a wedge in the marriage occurred as

both hit rock bottom.

“I was selfish, I’d been strong for so long and all I could think about was going out with the lads. I had

left to grieve for our child on her own.”

It wasn’t until Mike came home from a night out and found Linda unconscious after taking an

overdose that he realised he needed to do something to help his emotionally unstable wife.

“We had stopped speaking to each other. We didn’t make love to each other anymore because

every time we did it felt like we were already fighting a lost cause,” admitted the couple.

Together they signed up for the miscarriage association which provided them support throughout

the difficult time in their life. Being part of the association allowed the couple to support others

whilst supporting each other. A stand out event for them was when they lit a candle in

remembrance of each baby.

“Hearing that other people had gone through similar situations made me realise I wasn’t the only

one; I regret now doing such silly things. Attempting suicide has made me a stronger person and I

now support people with advice.”

More tests were carried out and Linda was told there was a high possibility that she would never be

able to have children. Although a shock for the couple, they accepted they weren’t meant to be

parents.

Imagine the couples surprise when Linda fell pregnant after being on the contraceptive pill. After the

trauma from miscarriage number 5 Linda was far from excited to be expecting number 6.

“I felt like it was going to ruin me. We’d only just built our marriage back up and I had just met

Claire’s baby and re-built the friendship. I was going to be destroyed as a person once again.”

The whole process of the pregnancy was nerve-racking for both. Linda didn’t enjoy the pregnancy,

the whole time she was preparing herself for the news she had become accustom to.

Three weeks prior to the due date, Linda woke up at 5:30am in in a puddle of “gunky water.”

It was a long and scary process of eight hours in the labour ward, even scarier knowing that it was

before the due date. They remained brave throughout and wondered the whole time what sex there

baby was going to be.

At 1:42am their baby girl was born weighing a tiny 5lb110z. They waited for the cry but it was silent.

Their hearts sank. They were desperate for the child they had waited so patiently for.

“And that was when I heard my baby cry.” Linda said. “It was the most magical feeling in the world, I,

a women who couldn’t have babies was now officially a mother.

“Shannon Rose is five now and often asks if she can have a baby brother or sister but we are happy

just as we are. We are lucky enough to have our miracle.”

Finally the family was complete. The story on the road to motherhood was turbulent but her

persistence and unwillingness to give up meant her dream became reality.

FEATURE: Annual Lights of Love services returns to Manchester

still-born

 

Still Birth remains a taboo subject yet 1 in 200 births end in a stillbirth.

SANDS ‘lights of love’ is a service that runs through the UK every year for those to remember loved one.

Heidi Goldsack attends the services in memory of her belated son Nathan.

The piece is informative and emotive.

Read the feature for information about the service and Heidi’s story of her still birth.