Face2Face Coventry Launch

I WOULD LIKE TO THANK ALL THE PEOPLE AT SCOPE FOR THEIR SUPPORT IN MAKING SURE THIS FEATURE IS ACCURATE AND FOR PROVIDING ME WITH INFORMATION TO HIGHLIGHT THIS GREAT CAUSE. I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO THANK LOUISE FOR ALLOWING ME TO INCLUDE HER STORY WITHIN THIS FEATURE. I FULLY UNDERSTAND THAT THIS WAS A DIFFICULT STORY TO TELL AND I APPRECIATE HER GENEROSITY AND WILLINGNESS ALLOWING ME TO INCLUDE IT HERE.

THIS IS BY NO MEANS THE END. IF YOU HAVE INFORMATION, CONTENT RELEVANT TO THIS EVENT WHICH YOU FEEL COULD BE INCLUDED HERE, LET ME KNOW VIA THE CONTRIBUTE TO COVENTRY CULTURE LINKS IN THE SIDEBAR OR BY EMAIL @ MATTHEWDUFFY11@ICLOUD.COM.

On Thursday 8th January 2015, I was invited to The Ricoh Arena for the launch of a new befriending service from the charity Scope. Face2Face is a service which provides parents of disabled children a chance to meet parents in the same position and through this, gain “the emotional strengths and practical skills to manage their family suituation”. There are currently 25 schemes running across the UK.

Face2Face services are available all over the country, from Preston, to Northampton, to Brighten & Hove, to Merthyr Tydfil. The event to which I was invited was to launch the Face2Face service in Coventry.

The event was attended by Coventry’s Lord Mayor Hazel Noonan, whom praised the work of the charity as well as the volunteer sector as a whole saying “”During my time as Lord Mayor, it never stops to amaze me when I go to organisations the amount of people who do things as volunteers. They do it because they want to help somebody, they want to help somebody less fortunate than themselves. They’re not doing it for any praise or financial gain, they’re doing it because they know what they do will make a difference to somebody’s lives”

The event brought together befriends to share their stories, one of such and with great thanks, CoventryCulture is able to share with you today. This is Louise’s story;

During our befriending training we were asked to share our own personal stories. I think I speak for all of the befrienders when I say this proved to be more emotional and difficult than any of us thought. 

So today as I stand here it is to share a fellow befrienders story. 

This is Louise’s story. 

I fell pregnant with Daniel in 2003 after being told by doctors that it probably wouldn’t happen. 

I had a few kidney problems during my pregnancy but finally Daniel was born and weighed 7.5lbs. He was healthy and beautiful and I and my husband Steve were instantly in love with him. 

We loved being parents and enjoyed watching him grow and meet all his expected milestones. He was as bright as a button and walked for his 1st birthday. 

I’m May 2006 things were changing for us as a family, Steve had a new job in Manchester and it was a great opportunity for us as a family. So we sold our house in Coventry and bought a lovely semi-detached property in Manchester. 

I fell pregnant with our 2nd child in September and we were overjoyed. But due to developing health problems with my thyroid the pregnancy became high risk. I was placed under a consultant and found myself in and out of hospital. 

 

Daniel had started nursery at this time and was doing well the teachers were really pleased with him. 

But one evening whilst putting him to bed, reading him a bedtime story I noticed that Daniels mouth had started twitching and he was dribbling. Neither I nor Steve could get him to respond to us and we had ever seen anything like it before. 

It only went on for a few moments and then stopped as quickly as it had started. 

He settled down to sleep and he was fine in the morning but something about the incident bothered me immensely and I took him to our G.P. No one talked about what it might be he was referred to see a paediatrician. 

We attended this appointment very unsure about what we would be told. We were asked numerous questions but then we were sent away being told not to worry he seemed fine and he wouldn’t need to be seen again. 

 

I continued with my pregnancy, but doctors were now recommending surgery to remove my thyroid when I reached the 6months stage. 

But at 23weeks I became incredibly poorly and admitted to hospital. The doctors said that due to my illness Daniel wasn’t allowed to stay on the ward and we as a family decided that Daniel should go to stay with his grandparents in Coventry for 2 weeks. 

 

My parents drove him back to me in time to celebrate my birthday and I vowed right there and then that I would never let home go away again. 

 

My illness had become worse and my operation had to be cancelled as the risk to myself and the baby had become too high. 

 

Ciaran was born prematurely and was born by emergency C-section and he weighed 4lb 11oz and was quickly taken into special care. I don’t remember much after the birth as I was taken to intensive care and had 4 operations that weekend. 

 

I finally got home at the beginning of June. 1 week before Ciaran. 

Life started settling down and Daniel started school in the September. 

He struggled to like his teacher and he was bullied. 

The teacher approached me during the 1st halt term and was told that Daniel was untraceable and would never cope in school. 

 

In May 2008 Daniel had a major seizure and we took him to the local hospital, we were surrounded by doctors. Daniel was injected with medication and this was the first time epilepsy was mentioned he was transferred by ambulance to the children’s hospital. Daniel was still fitting 6 hours later he was admitted overnight and I stayed with him. He didn’t sleep all night long. 
Daniel was sent home once things had calmed down. And we were sent an appointment foran EEG to confirm whether he had epilepsy. 

It was difficult to explain to family and friends and everyone reacted differently. I don’t feel that we were supported by the medical staff and we were left to research this for ourselves. 

The EEG was done but we had a 6 week wait for the results which eventually confirmed he had Focal epilepsy. Daniels seizures continued and were hard to control. His school gave no support and his education problems continued. 

 

In 2009 Steve got a job in Birmingham and in December we moved to a property back in Coventry close to both of our families. 

Daniel started Parkgate primary school in January he was now in year 1 and had a brilliant teacher who soon put additional help in place for Daniel. He was the diagnosed with dyspraxia and over flexible joints which explained his difficulties with reading, writing and accessing all areas if the curriculum. 

The school were supportive and did everything they could for Daniel and most importantly Daniel was happy. 

He had a good consultant and we were learning to come to terms with all the different diagnosis. 

 

Daniel struggled in spite of all the extra help that was being given. 

He was now in year 3 and evidence was being gathered to start applying for a statement. 

The gap with his peers widened and Daniel was becoming more distressed about this, he was struggling to maintain friendships. 

Then as he went into year 4 he was sent to see an educations psychologist it was then that I learned she believed Daniel to be autistic. We were shocked and yet again left to find out about what this was and more importantly what this meant for Daniel. 

It was through my own research that I realised that Daniel was definitely autistic and it was going to be a long and ongoing process. 

 

I have recently received the proposed statement for Daniel and I don’t mind admitting I am finding this process difficult. 

Steve and I are looking at secondary schools for Daniel as he is in year 6 

Daniel struggles with school but is happy there. 

He is a kind, gentle boy who is well liked. He is helpful to everyone and never ceases to amaze me. 

He sees the world in a beautiful and special way. 

He and Ciaran are very close and they accept each other’s differences. I am incredibly proud of both of my boys and believe anything is possibly for both of them.

View the 2 videos which, due to technical problems, were unable to played at the launch;

For more info on Face2Face support in Coventry or if you want to find out more about becoming a befriender, click on the graphic below;

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Lights Out In Coventry

“The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime”

These words were spoken by the then Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey, on the eve of World War One, although this is still debated.

Tonight, lights went out all over Coventry, replaced by candles, each commemorating the serviceman and women whom died.

Make no mistake, for our lives and our freedoms, we have the fallen to thank. They who sacrificed their own lives so that we could live.

We will remember them

Lest we forget.

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Image used with permission of Sharon McClean

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Image used with permission of Ian Smith

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Image used with permission of Sian Pall Williamson

Image used with permission of Kerry Dunn

We Will Remember Them 

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Image used with permission of Steve Kennedy

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R.I.P and god bless you, to those who died in the war, you’ll never be forgotten

Image used with permission of Maureen Clifton

Image used with permission of Maureen Clifton

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For those who served and those who died, I light my candle. RESPECT

 

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Image used with permission of Shirley Harvey

 I would like to thank the members of the A Coventry Kid Am I Facebook group for allowing me use of their pictures for this feature. Click on the graphic below to visit the Facebook group .

Further information on A Coventry Kid Am I can be found in a previous post at https://coventryculture.wordpress.com/2014/02/09/a-coventry-kid-am-i/

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Sky Blues March

This post is no longer updated

Click on images to view at source.

UPDATE: 14/07/2014. The Coventry Telegraph is today reporting that Sky Blues officials are “ready to talk” about an interim return to the Ricoh Arena, but will not drop it’s legal appeal against Coventry City Council. For further information, click on the link in the tweet below;

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Used with permission of Nicky Dawn Muir *

Used with permission of shawry1970

 

“Let’s all sing together,
Play up Sky Blues,
While we sing together,
We will never lose.
Tottenham or Chelsea,
United or anyone,
They shan’t defeat us,
We’ll fight till the game is won.”

This is the Sky Blues Song. Written by Jimmy Hill and John Camkin. This post tells the story of Saturday 12th July 2014 and Coventry City FC Supporters From Gosford Green to Broadgate, they made their way down the road, built for the event of which its team is often remembered, the 1987 FA Cup Final.

Whilst the teams supporters were in Coventry, it’s team are not (yet). This is their story;

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Image used with permission of Craig Wyatt

https://twitter.com/JoeyCoombes/status/487976040619601920

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Images used with permission of Tom Sundance Keaveney

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Image used with permission of Wayne Kirby‎

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Image used with permission of Shaun Pastieman Payne

 (View Facebook post)

 Videos used with permission of Wayne Smith

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Image used with permission of Shaun Pastieman Payne

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Used with permission of Kenny Ward

Media Coverage (Click on the banners to view)

 

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Further links

Coventry City Fans Forum (Facebook)

 

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The Coventry City Supporters Group (Facebook)

 

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Coventry Cathedral- Stabilising The Past

Suspended in faith...

Image used with permission of Coffee Bean

Isn’t it a great? But what’s the story behind it?

Imposing and awe-inspiring, the Coventry Cathedral elicits many emotions at once – wonder, amazement, admiration and humility… even a casual passerby cannot fail to register its majesty… with my watercolour artwork, I intended to abstractify the vision of the Coventry Cathedral as one would recall it in their dreams – fluid, floating, suspended – but still wanting to retain the magnificence of this structure… I am unsure of how much justice I have done to this resplendent creation, but, purely from an emotional satisfaction perspective, it stands by far to be one of the most fulfilling works I have completed. – Roasted Coffee Bean

At 7.32am on Wednesday 26th March 2014, BBC Coventry and Warwickshire tweeted the following;

The works, funded by the World Monument Fund (WMF) and ChurchCare, continue the preservation of Coventry’s Old Cathedral, which was bombed on the night of November 14th, 1940. The Cathedral has provided a step by step guide, detailing funds and targets on it’s website, which you can view at; http://www.coventrycathedral.org.uk/about-us/ruins-challenge-fund-appeal.php

In 2010, repairs on the Apse within the Old Cathedral was funded by English Heritage, WREN, National Churches Trust and the Cathedral Development Trust (page 8),as well as £40,000 by The Headley Trust “towards the stabilisation” from it’s Cathedrals Programme (page 10). In 2012, Waste Recycling Environment Limited (WREN) provided £77,383 from it’s Landfill Communities Fund and finance company American Express provided around £100,000, as well as £80,000 from the Cathedral Fabric Repair Fund, a partnership between the Wolfson Foundation, The Pilgrim Trust and the Cathedrals Fabric Commission For England (CFCE) (page 11), with a further £20,000 provided in 2013, for repairs to drainage.

The Old Cathedral is currently on the English Heritage’ Heritage At Risk Register (page 74) as well as the World Monuments Fund (WMF) project list.

Further information on the cathedral, including the work of Crick-Smith Conservation to conserve the Old Cathedral’s medieval glass, can be accessed below, courtesy of World Monument’s Momentum magazine;

http://www.wmf.org/sites/default/files/wmf_publication

/WMFB%20newsletter%20Spring%202012.pdf (Spring 2012)

http://www.wmf.org/sites/default/files/wmf_publication

/WMFB%20newsletter%20Autumn%202012.pdf (Autumn 2012)

http://www.wmf.org/sites/default/files/wmf_publication

/Monumentum-Spring-2014.pdf (Page 8, 2nd to last panel on right side of page)

For further historical information on both the old and new cathedrals, visit Rob Orland’s Cathedrals section on his website, Historic Coventry;

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FINALLY, SOME OF MY OWN PICTURES TAKEN AT COVENTRY CATHEDRAL; 

For the full Flickr Photo set, click here

Coventry Culture (Cathedral, Coventry University & Holy Trinity)

Coventry Cathedral

Coventry & War

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Used with permission of The Coventry Society

UPDATE: 21/07/2014- The Coventry Telegraph has a whole section of their site dedicated to World War I. To visit click HERE

Update (8.03.2014)-There have been a few updates to The Coventry Society website. Since the below feature was published, the Baginton Church memorial has been added their site. Additionally, The Coventry Society is now collaborating with The Herbert and Coventry University, the latter of which will be employing four history students to research memorials.

Thanks to The Coventry Society for this information.

When one thinks of War and Coventry, one looks to November 14th 1940. But this wasn’t the only war to afflict Coventry. The 1914-18 war, known as “The Great War”, was one such other. Like the first, men lost their lives serving their country, families were torn apart, in both a physical and mental sense. In modern times, the BBC comedy series Blackadder (most specifically Blackadder Goes Forth), is used to show life during that torrid time. But this isn’t reality. This isn’t what war was like. There was no laughter, there was no audience. This was real life, men sent to war, whether they wanted to or not. There was no laugher, there was no audience.

2014 is the centenary of the First World War, 100 years. 2014 is the year where the sacrifices, the loss are laid bare once more, this year all the more prominent.

On the 21st September 2013, I conducted an interview with Julie and Chris O’ Connell of local theatre company Theatre Absolute, as regards to it’s 100 Project, a project which sought (and indeed seeks) to tell the story of the Great War through theatre. A few weeks later (18th October 2013), I visited the 100 Project for myself, my first time visiting such an event. You can read my review, along with donated materials from Theatre Absolute as well as really great overview video from Mindriot Productions below.

To hear the interview, click the first graphic, to see the review by Coventry Culture, click the second graphic.

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Last night, purely by chance, I came across this great (as in great feature) set up by The Coventry Society, a civic society which I have come to be informed about on a regular basis, which seeks to detail the many War Memorials in Coventry.

If I am entirely honest, I’ve never stopped to think such before, but as with everything on this blog, I’m finding new things to showcase and promote everyday and I continue to be amazed as the gems that Coventry uncovers.

Anyway, back onto topic.

The Coventry Society’s War Memorial list is not finished, not complete and they would really like your help in uncovering other memorials. If you have any information, contact The Coventry Society via the web form on their site or via info@coventrysociety.org.uk

But enough words from me….head on over to the site via the graphic below…

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But there’s more….with permission from and thanks to the Imperial War Museum, below is a link to their official 1914.org site, the official website to mark the centenary of the First World War. Also be sure to visit the official First World War records at The National Archives via the corresponding link;

 

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BUT DON’T CLICK AWAY YET!!!

Below, with permission from and thanks to The Coventry Society, are some images from their Flickr photo set. To view the below images, including the image at the beginning of this feature AT SOURCE, just click on them individually and you’re set!

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Thank you once again to The Coventry Society for use of their images and the Imperial War Museum: WW1 Centenary for the linkage to it’s site

Sounding Off, Catching Up

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Images & links used with kind permission of Coventry Music Museum & Dolly Rocker

Now, before you skip my long-winded introduction and look at the real content, I first want to say something up front to you.

These past few weeks have seen a drop in content from the Coventry Music Museum, most specifically Sounding Off. The last was the Clive Skelhon talk, which was quite a while ago. Hence the title of this post, I might as well be honest 🙂 Today, I hope to make up for this by bringing you a catch-up (or a bumper edition, sounds much better 🙂 ) from Sounding Off, bringing together all content from Sounding Off, whilst also sourcing directly back, starting from where I left off, put simply, oldest first. Anyway, that’s enough of me (for now), Sounding Off awaits….

Oh, and as per usual, click on the images to view them directly via Facebook

Aditionally, you can click the graphic below to go directly to the Coventry Music Museum page on Facebook.

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Walls, Wounds & Social Media

Click the Storify graphic to view a story feed of the exhibition from Dash Arts, of whom alongside The Herbert, commissioned the exhibition. I have also included a link to Dash Arts directly, both which can be accessed below;

I wish to thank DASH Arts for allowing me to embed the link within the feature

🙂

In this feature, the aim is to bring together social media to showcase Walls With Wounds, an exhibition by Dale V Marshall, currently taking place at The Herbert, Coventry.

Rather than use official Herbert tweets, the aim is to tell the story from the perspective of social and people

If you have visited the exhibition, or have content you feel could be of use, let me know via the usual means, email, via the contribute to Coventry culture links or @coventryculture

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