Sharing news and features with a positive purpose, supporting the development of communities, enterprises, and individuals.

Produced by documentary photographer and freelance writer Jerome Whittingham, @photomoments.

All Episodes

Poet Jennifer Spice invites children and others to take a walk and to talk about nature. She's been engaging with children from Crescent Primary School, Stoke-on-Trent, in a series of workshops to "feel a bit of nature, pick up a stone, connect with nature, read some poetry in nature, do some breathing in nature." In this podcast episode Jennifer tells how the children respond to new experiences of the natural world, and how they've been inspired to write poetry together. She also shares several of her poems. "Nature, thinking, then writing prose, journaling and poetry, have been my mainstay to self-help therapy, to get well, maintain well, and grow well," said Jennifer. Jenn is a wave of infectious energy. She delights in the shape of clouds, the buzzing of insects, the vibrancy of Nature's palette. She aims to live in each moment, to enjoy each moment, mindfully and fully. Her writing helps her to record the moments that a camera would miss. Jennifer was talking to North Staffs News editor Jerome Whittingham @photomoments.  

Oct 25

13 min 5 sec

June and Annette are challenging company. They challenge us to think positively about Burslem. We met in the Market Place Cafe, just opposite the former Burslem town hall. For about an hour they spoke passionately about their home town - the 'mother town' of the potteries - its history, its characters, its architecture, its future. "Annette calls me mother," said June. The friend that introduced me to June and Annette calls them both 'the mothers of the mother town'. They speak of Burslem with both love and affection. "We have an excellent community," said June. "It always comes together for anything. It's a beautiful old town." June and Annette are leading members of 'Our Burslem', a community action group which promotes Burslem, putting on events in the town, and co-ordinating a large and vocal social media presence, on facebook in particular. Their mission is not political, or rather not 'party political'. Actually, the group demonstrates a 'pure' democracy, being a movement of diverse people uniting in action and voice to affect change in their community. "It's not about politics," said Annette. "It's about doing the right thing." Maybe that is politics? The Our Burslem group's aim is to tell others that the town is something worth shouting about. Annette said: "I think we need to reinvent ourselves as a town, as a destination town... In Stoke-on-Trent people need to be proud of where they come from, it makes a difference... I want people to realise there's beauty in this town, it just needs some love, care, thought, and innovation - that goes back to Wedgwood... What are we going to do with it, to make it the place to be? "Would you know this is the place where Wedgwood was born? Is that not the easiest solution to get tourism into the city?" Annette, on behalf of the Our Burslem group, has recently nominated three of the town's buildings to be considered for the Victorian Society's 'Top Ten Most Endangered Buildings' list, in the hope of attracting regeneration and renovation funding. In our on-street podcast interview she talks about the three buildings she's nominated: The Wedgwood Institute; the indoor market; and The Central - all on Queen Street. "There's no harm in trying to make it - Burslem - better again," concludes Annette. We'd be fools to disagree. Jerome Whittingham, editor

Oct 19

16 min 21 sec

Read Easy North Staffs is a new project which is helping adults across North Staffordshire to learn to read. Sue Bell, the charity's Publicity Co-ordinator, describes how the project works, and what a difference it's making. "Come forward, we've got all these lovely reading coaches waiting for you, to help you," says Sue. "You won't be judged. It's one-to-one, and it's free. There's no pressure. You can come to us feeling confident that you'll be welcomed." There are currently 10 trained volunteer reading coaches, meeting their readers at various locations across Newcastle-under-Lyme and Stoke-on-Trent, including libraries. For as little as two half-hour sessions each week, adults are improving their reading and benefiting from their learning. Here's how you can contact Read Easy North Staffs: Nikki, Co-ordinator, telephone 07391 962565 Email: Website: Twitter: @ReadEasyStoke Sue Bell was talking to North Staffs News editor Jerome Whittingham

Oct 11

14 min 29 sec