Fire crews no longer answer automatic alarms
FIRE crews in Barnsley will no longer respond to automatic alarms in commercial businesses – after bosses revealed 97 per cent of related call-outs have been false alarms.
South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue automatically sends an engine to premises the moment an alarm is triggered but will only attend if it’s a confirmed blaze from January 6.
It will not apply to ‘sleeping risk’ premises like universities, hotels, hospitals, heritage sites or high-rise flats, with fire engines still being automatically deployed to alarms at those premises.
Crews have responded to 3,457 automatic alarms in the last three years across South Yorkshire, with just three per cent of those being recorded as a fire.
Area manager Andy Strelczenie said: “False alarms make up a massive proportion of the incidents firefighters are mobilised to.
“Crews wasted more than 1,000 hours investigating the cause of those false alarms, time which could have been better spent training, working in the community or being available to attend other, genuine incidents.
“While we will always attend incidents when our services are definitely required, our frequent attendance at false alarms disrupts training and increases road risk to firefighters rushing on blue lights to incidents which later turn out to be false alarms.
“It’s long been the responsibility of businesses to ensure their alarm systems are regularly checked and maintained properly and it’s important they do this before the change we’ve outlined comes into force.”
Cash in with new vouchers
CHRISTMAS shoppers could be in with the chance of winning shopping vouchers when they donate a bag of clothes to Barnsley Hospice.
New Look on Cheapside, Barnsley has partnered with the Barnsley Hospice charity shop on Eldon Street to offer a 20 per cent discount voucher for shoppers who donate a full bag of unwanted clothing to the Eldon Street shop.
It’s all part of New Look’s national partnership with Hospice UK to encourage people to donate their pre-loved clothes so they don’t end up in landfill.
Stephen Hatfield, retail manager at Barnsley Hospice, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with New Look on this fantastic initiative to inspire shoppers and encourage footfall at our Eldon Street shop. We are always on the look-out for
quality items, and all we ask is that you please make sure that the pieces you’d like to donate can be resold and loved again.”
Nigel Oddy, chief executive officer at New Look, said: “As a company, we really care about being kind to our people and to our planet, therefore we want to make it easy for our customers to recycle their unwanted clothes whilst helping to reduce the amount of clothing waste that ends up in landfill.
“New Look is very excited about this partnership with Hospice UK to encourage our customers to donate their once loved clothes to their local hospice shop.”
The promotion will run until January 13, excluding Christmas week when the charity shop will be closed from December 25-January 2.
£1m to help protect homes from flooding
A TOTAL of £1m will be invested to help protect Barnsley from future flooding as a direct response to last month’s widespread incidents which affected more than 150 homes.
The cash, which will repair damaged infrastructure such as sewer works and gullies ruptured by surging waters on November 7 when more than a month’s rain fell in a 24-hour period, will receive investment as soon as the spring.
WAB can reveal the £1m pot will be halved between the repair work and a plan to increase gullies’ cleaning rates as a result of councillors’ complaints about leaves and debris clogging up the drainage system.
This, it was announced at an overview and scrutiny meeting held at Barnsley Town Hall on Tuesday, affected surface water run-off and didn’t act as it should, subsequently choking roads with water.
However, Bulling Dike in Low Valley and the Dearne and Dove all overflowed, leading to calls for more dredging work to be carried out.
Cabinet spokesman Coun Chris Lamb said: “Due to the prudent financial position the council is in, £1m will be spent in the spring on Barnsley’s infrastructure.
“That includes both repair work and a higher frequency of cleaning for gullies, which I hope provides comfort to people.”
Other areas in line for work, apart from Darton, have been identified as Lundwood, Darfield, Bolton-upon-Dearne, Low Valley and Aldham Bridge.
Couns Gill Carr and Trevor Smith urged the council to work alongside the Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water to rid waterways such as the Dearne and Dove of its debris to free up the flow.
Coun Smith added: “Some areas have not been dredged for several years and it’s full of debris. Station Road at Low Valley is a particular blackspot for it but it’s frustrating for both residents and councillors as it just hasn’t been done.”
Wayne Atkins, principal engineer for drainage at the council, told the meeting that the local authority has already met with both agencies in order to act on the concerns.
“A full survey will be carried out at that location,” he added. “In the coming financial year, there is a substantial sum – on top of our existing budget – to deal with this.”
However, bosses warned that more flooding is a distinct possibility due to climate change and they admitted it was not possible to completely eradicate the threat.
Matt Gladstone, executive director for place, said: “There will be a significant debrief into the recent floods and lessons will be learned from it, just as they were in 2007.
“When you think back to recent months, there hasn’t been many weeks which haven’t been given a flood warning.
“Natural flood management, including more tree-planting which can help to hold back water, is something high on both Yorkshire Water and the Environment Agency’s agendas and we’re looking at key sites where this can happen.
“We have to keep an eye on rainfall and the likelihood of flooding, while doing all we can to put measures in place to stop it, as this issue won’t go away.”
PC wins award for policing work
A POLICE constable from Barnsley who had ‘no hesitation in risking his own life to save others’ has been awarded a trophy for his 27 years of policing.
PC Nigel Finlay won the Crawford Roebuck award, which is a trophy in remembrance of PC Roebuck, who lost his life in a motorcycle accident in 1995.
PC Roebuck’s family donated the trophy and annually present it to the officer who is deemed to have made the greatest contribution to the district of Barnsley, in the eyes of their colleagues.
PC Nigel Finlay was nominated for the award by his colleagues for his dedication and commitment.
The officer has been injured while on duty on several occasions, including a serious car crash and a dog attack, but according to his colleagues, he has ‘bounced back with commendable enthusiasm’ being ‘fit and eager’ to serve another day.
PC Finlay, served with the Metropolitan Police for nine years before transferring to South Yorkshire Police in 2001, joining the response officers at Barnsley.
Superintendent Scott Green said: “You have served as a dedicated ambassador for front line policing for all of your service and undoubtedly inspired and influenced colleagues and changed lives of countless members of the community along the way.
“Your colleagues and supervisors hold you in the highest regards.”
Now in his final year of service, PC Finlay is part of the Town Centre Neighbourhood Team, where he draws upon his resilience and experience to tackle issues around drug use, homelessness and antisocial behaviour.
“We are not quite ready to say goodbye to PC Finlay just yet but thank him for his continued efforts to making Barnsley a better and safer place to live and work,” added Superintendent Green.
Barber Tony is at cutting edge of fight against knife crime
A BARNSLEY barber has made his shop a safe haven for people to deposit knives and receive advice on knife crime.
Tony Batty has run his shop on Racecommon Road for 33 years, and so naturally has seen his fair share of blades, but he’s now making the shop a point for those with unwanted knives to drop them off anonymously.
Tony has signed up to the Barbers Against Blades ‘Fade the Blade’ campaign, which sees barbers become drop-off points as well as ad-hoc information services for people concerned about knife crime.
Tony’s shop now displays Barbers Against Blades branding, with customers able to make dedicated appointments where as well as a haircut, they can get confidential advice.
The knives are then handed over to police, or visiting PCSOs, to be destroyed.
“It makes those people who come in feel safer,” said Tony, 53, who has already had four knives dropped off at the shop.
“The number of knife attacks you hear about recently is unbelievable, so I want to do all I can to help.
“People can get in touch with me, and I’ll listen to them and talk to them about it. I don’t ask names, it’s all anonymous.
“The more people we can reach and spread the word, the better. It’s not just a short-term thing.”
The thinking behind the campaign, says its founder David White, is that barber shops are traditionally a safe and welcoming environment where barbers can get to know their clients personally.
“It’s gained momentum, and barbers such as Tony are doing a tremendous job,” he said.
“We want to make people like him ambassadors and get them to suggest ideas, and we can give them the funding.”
Daughter sings care home’s praises after dad’s video goes viral
A CARE home’s heartwarming video of a staff singing Christmas carols with one of their residents has gone viral.
Saxondale Nursing Home, in Clarke Street, Barnsley, shared the video of resident Michael Benyo, 82, with several members of staff singing around the home’s Christmas tree, holding hands and smiling.
Since it was posted on their page just a week ago, the nursing home’s video has had 20,000 shares and 17,000 likes, with many people praising the ‘fantastic group of staff’ and saying that watching the video made them ‘tear up’.
And one of the most praising comments came from Michael’s daughter, Gillian Latham, who said Saxondale has helped to ‘change her dad’s life’.
Gillian shared the video with the Chronicle and said she wanted to show how ‘well cared for’ her dad, who has dementia, is.
“He only went there in May and his life has been completely transformed,” said Gillian, 54, of Honeywell.
“He was in a care home before and he was miserable, but since he came to Saxondale he has become his old self again.
“Every single time we come and see him he is smiling his head off and we haven’t seen him like that for years.”
Gillian said the reason she believes her dad has changed is because of the interaction and the care the staff at Saxondale give her dad.
“I think they are just amazing and the type of care they give is also amazing,” she said. “I work as a nurse myself and they are exceptional.
“When my dad first went into the home, he was so bad that we didn’t thank he was going to last a few weeks, but he improved so much. It sounds weird to say it but it’s almost like he doesn’t have dementia anymore, it’s
“It really is all down to the care home he’s in now. Our family has 100 per cent faith in the staff there.”
Care home manager at Saxondale, Lynsey Walker, took the video of Michael and the staff, as she believes that ‘capturing the good moments is very important’.
“Honestly, we can’t believe how well the video has done,” said Lynsey. “On the day I took the video I could hear singing and thought ‘wow’ and I suddenly thought of my dad as I lost him a while ago.
“Then I heard Michael singing and I thought that it would be great to get it on camera. Having a sing makes a big impact on residents and Michael really enjoys it.
“He wasn’t well at all when he came here and we could tell he was unhappy and his family was stressed and worried. After he settled in he has definitely improved.
“We care about our residents and I’m so glad Gillian and her family are happy and that they’ve seen a massive – and positive – change in him.”
CCTV images released following burglary
SOUTH Yorkshire Police officers investigating a burglary in Barnsley earlier this year have released CCTV stills of three men they believe could hold vital information.
It is reported that on Tuesday, July 30, between the hours of 4pm and 6pm, three men gained entry into a house on West Street in Hoyland.
A number of items were stolen, including electronics and clothing.
One of the suspects is believed to have used two wheelie bins to remove the stolen goods from the property.
After extensive enquiries, police are asking for the public’s help to identify the men in the images.
Officers are keen to speak to them, as they believe they may hold information in connection to the incident.
Anyone who recognises them is asked to call 101 quoting incident number 946 of 30 July 2019.
Tempers flare at park
ANGRY scenes at a park fenced off without warning this week saw skirmishes between campaigners and site security with foul-mouthed abuse, an allegation of assault and claims a protester was hit by an HGV.
Campaigners against plans to create a new traffic gyratory within Penny Pie Park at Pogmoor were told to ‘f**k off and get a life’ by security staff brought in after the entire park – including public footpaths – were fenced off unannounced on Tuesday.
One campaigner claims he was hit by the HGV, while a security worker from the firm Vistech was allegedly assaulted by a protester.
Concern was also raised by campaigners including a local councillor that children exiting the town’s biggest secondary school – Horizon Community College – have been put in ‘severe danger’ of being hit by passing vehicles by Barnsley Council’s decision to close the park.
The park had previously been used by hundreds of pupils as a thoroughfare and an overspill from the pavement, and the fencing now forces all pupils back onto the pavement.
Students at the 2,000-capacity school used the park as usual on Tuesday morning, but were blocked from doing so by fencing which had been erected around the site’s perimeter by the end of the school day.
The park will remain closed off for up to 18 months while the new road is contructed, causing needless danger to children according to campaigners.
Coun Peter Fielding, who represents the Dodworth ward, said: “I have two grandchildren at the school and there’s a lot of worried people.
“You can’t expect children, hundreds at a time, to walk inches away from passing HGVs and vehicles. It’s a recipe for disaster and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
“Why was no safe route created across the park? Why is the children’s play area fenced off when no work is going on in that area? Why has a public right of way from Grosvenor Walk been closed without any notice?
“The council simply must reopen part of the park in order to provide a safe walking route for the hundreds of children who need to get to Pogmoor.
“This episode has done untold damage to the council’s reputation in the local community and perhaps they will now consider consulting with the community and affected parties to redesign the way this project will be managed.”
One campaigner, Tom Heyes, is the Green Party’s candidate for Barnsley Central and video footage showed him being reversed into by the HGV on Wednesday, although no injuries were sustained.
Peter Giles, from Save Penny Pie Park, added: “It’s a shocking situation and there’s so much anger with not only the council but the security company, too, whose staff have told us to ‘f**k off and get a life’.
“We have every right to be on the pavement, on the roadside boundary of the fencing, so to be subjected to what we went through on Wednesday was unacceptable.”
Horizon’s executive principal, Nick Bowen, told the Chronicle that its pupils were released from school at ‘phased intervals’ to avoid a rush of children exiting the site.
“The park’s been closed and there’s a pavement for children to walk on if they need to get to Pogmoor,” he said.
A council spokesperson confirmed that a campaigner had lodged a report with the police about being struck by the HGV.
“We can confirm that this didn’t involve a Barnsley Council-owned vehicle,” they added.
“We will investigate the matter and liaise with Vistech.
“The area is temporarily inaccessible to the public for the duration of the works to ensure the safety of the public, including children and young people, while the construction work takes place.
“This will also help us to carry out the works quickly and to minimise inconvenience to the public.”
Donate something to a fury friend this Christmas...
IT’S BACK! Animal Crackers is returning for the fourth consecutive year and we need your help to make this year’s the best yet!
Not sure what Animal Crackers is? Here’s what we’re doing...
We want to collect food, toys and accessories for the animals that need them the most - and we’ll be splitting the donations between local animal charities who work tirelessly to provide care to our furry friends.
Our chosen charities this year are as follows:
- Barnsley and District Animal Welfare
- Barnsley RSPCA
- Royston Animal Welfare
- Barnsley Animal Rescue Charity
- RADAR Dog Rescue
- Willow Dog Rescue
We’ve teamed up with local businesses to act as drop-off points, where you can leave your donations for our furry friends.
All you have to do is take your donation into the drop off point and we’ll do the rest.
The drop-off points are as follows:
- Barnsley Chronicle Front Counter, 47 Church Street, S70 2AS
- Mapplewell and Staincross Village Hall, Darton Lane, S75 6AL
- Walkers Newsagents, High Street, Hoyland, S36 6BZ
- Andy’s News, Barnsley Road, Goldthorpe, S74 9AB
- Cookes Pet Supplies, Wakefield Road, Barnsley, S72 8JN
- Co-op, Barnsley Rd, Cudworth, Barnsley S72 8JJ
- Budgens, Pogmoor Road, S75 2EE
- Budgens, Barnsley Road, Dodworth, S75 3JR
We are after the following:
- New Blankets
- New Throws
- New Beds
(Please note charities cannot accepts Duvets)
We’ve been running the campaign for the last three years and we’ve donated thousands of pounds worth of goodies. We want to beat what we collected last year and do even more this year.
Let’s show Barnsley’s animals how much we care!
We will be collecting donations until Friday December 20
E-fit released following bogus official incident
DETECTIVES in Barnsley have released an e-fit of a man they want to identify, after two similar bogus official incidents occurred in the Darfield area of the town on Monday (December 2).
Between 1pm and 2pm, a man reportedly claiming to be from the water board, visited two homes on Edderthorpe Lane. Saying that he was carrying out emergency works, he then gained access to the properties by requesting to run the taps to check the water wasn’t discoloured.
While the first man was talking to residents in the kitchen, a second man is said to have entered the property and searched a downstairs bedroom. In one home, a quantity of cash was stolen.
Officers have been working with the victims to produce an e-fit of the bogus official.
He is said to be in his 30s, between 5ft 11 and 6ft tall and of a stocky build. He has short, mousy brown hair and was wearing a high-vis jacket. The residents said he spoke with a local accent.
Anyone who thinks they may know who the man is or anyone who has any information regarding the incident, is asked to call 101 quoting crime reference number 14/182382/19.
Jail for man who preyed on blind
A MAN has been jailed after stealing more than £14,000 from vulnerable victims including a blind and deaf man.
Simon Legge, 38, of St Paul’s Parade, Ardsley, stole money from five victims between September 2015 and January 2018.
The finance worker worked for Penderels Trust and managed the finances of individuals and adults who had issues which meant they could not have sole control over financial plans.
Legge siphoned the cash by illegally using payment cards and bank accounts. He used these to withdraw large amounts of cash and he set up illegally used bank accounts to transfer cash for himself from clients’ accounts.
Sheffield Crown Court was told how he had taken £14,290 in total. He pleaded guilty to five counts of theft by employee and was jailed for 14 months.
Thieves targeting defibrillators
THIEVES who reportedly stole two public defibrillators have ‘achieved nothing’ other than putting people’s lives at risk, say those responsible for putting them in place.
Two community defibrillators devices crucial to improving chances of recovery for those suffering cardiac arrest sited at the town hall and Harris and Co accountants, on Huddersfield Road, have been reported stolen in what is suspected to have been a targeted series of thefts.
Nichola Hawden, of Harris and Co, started the campaign for the defibrillator outside her workplace after her father, Steve Croft, collapsed before a Barnsley match last year and had to be resuscitated on the pitch at Oakwell.
Nichola said: “I’m absolutely gutted. From personal circumstances, I know how important early access to a defibrillator is. It saved my dad’s life.”
She said the defibrillators are registered with a serial number that is traceable, and don’t work unless used correctly in the right circumstances.
“One thing we want to get across is that they’re useless to anyone that doesn’t need them,” she said.
“They only shock if they detect the right heart rhythm.
“They’re achieving nothing by stealing them.”
The firm funded the campaign alongside the Central Area Team, and it was installed in September.
Steve, from Royston, collapsed last September before Barnsley hosted Burton Albion, and was assisted by staff from both clubs before the Air Ambulance landed on the Oakwell pitch.
A volunteer at the time, he has since campaigned for more publicly accessible defibrillators.
“It’s not as if the equipment is worth anything to anybody, there’s no resale value and you can’t use them,” he said.
“If anybody needs it, they might’ve lost that chance to be given a second chance by some mindless person.
“I know how much work Nichola and her colleagues have put in. They don’t have to do it. It’s unfortunate this is how a small minority repay them.”
The thefts follow a similar disappearance in August of a defibrillator outside Tony’s Barber Shop, on Racecommon Road.
On that occasion, the equipment was returned to its cabinet the following month.
If you have any information about either theft contact police on 101, reference 14/182364/19 (town hall) or 14/182338/19 (Harris and Co).
Alarm as shelters damaged are damaged for the fourth time
TWO bus shelters have had to have their windows replaced for the fourth time after youths kicked the glass and shattered them.
The bus shelters on Pontefract Road and Brierley Road, Shafton, have been targeted by youths who have been seen by residents running and bouncing off the glass.
One resident contacted Parish Councillor Les Holt who had witnessed the behaviour and said that an elderly woman who was at the bus stop had been left petrified at their behaviour.
Les said: “This is the fourth time this year that the bus shelters have been damaged and it costs money to have the glass replaced. It’s expensive.
“Elderly people waiting for a bus have been left to get wet because they are not protected from the rain and they are scared because the youths don’t care.
“The resident who spoke to me said that he had tried to tell one youth off and speak to his parents to get him to pay for the damage, and he was met with the response ‘my dad will pay for it’. There is just no respect and it’s not on.
“Thankfully, the glass has been replaced but it’s a worry that there will be a repeat and it’s something we can’t afford to keep replacing.”
The matter was raised at the Shafton Parish Council meeting on Monday and a further complaint was made that in addition to the bus shelters, youths had been seen kicking the waste bins which have been bolted to the ground and they are on the verge of lifting, which parish councillors said would lead to rubbish being thrown on the floor.
One resident said: “The kids have no respect and parents or teachers can’t do anything to stop their behaviour.”
Chairman of Shafton Parish Council, Dave North, said that he had tried to contact Outwood Academy Shafton so the students could be told about the consequences of their behaviour but the school said it was ‘not their problem’ once students had left the premises.
A spokesperson for Outwood Academy Shafton said: “We are sorry and saddened to hear that this has happened. At Outwood we believe in working with and for the communities we serve, therefore we always try and ensure students are fully aware of their commitment to being respectful when out in the community.
“We take complaints from members of the community seriously and therefore we will be scheduling respect for the community in which we live into our assemblies and LIFE lessons.”
Questions over calls to police 101 service continue
FRESH statistics show almost seven in ten people dealing the police non-emergency number in South Yorkshire get their call answered within two minutes, as controversy over performance of the force’s telephone lines continues.
The figure rises to 83 per cent when the deadline is extended to three minutes, though the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings has insisted the objective is to improve on those results.
Questions continue over the way the Atlas Court call centre performs, with Rotherham Coun Stuart Sansome, vice chairman of the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel, the body which holds Dr Billings to account, arguing that callers who end their calls in frustration after waiting for an answer are not counted in those figures.
It has also emerged the ‘clock’ only starts after callers have heard taped messages, adding more than a minute for those holding the receiver.
Coun Sansome argued that while he could not challenge the accuracy of figures produced by South Yorkshire Police, the feedback he and council colleagues got from the public painted a different picture.
He said he had ‘no wish to challenge the legitimacy’ of the figures provided at a meeting of the panel, but added: “I feel they are false figures.”
That is because they do not include abandoned calls and he suggested a ‘call back’ system, used at busy times to allow callers to leave details for a return call later, should be extended to a 24 hour option.
“The only way to get trust and confidence back is to have a system which works without abandoning calls,” he said.
According to police, call abandonment rates are down by ten per cent recently.
Dr Billings told the meeting on an average day South Yorkshire Police take 2,383 telephone calls, with 759 on the 999 system, where the average wait for an answer is 13 seconds.
The average wait for the rest is eight minutes, but the bulk of calls are answered much more promptly.
Performance has been helped by the installation of a new £12m computerised call handling system, but Dr Billings conceded the real issue was demand from callers, with the force now trying to weed out unnecessary calls, by allowing contact through other electronic means and trying to educate the public around unsuitable calls to police, such as those who ring to query why take-away food has not been delivered.
“That doesn’t mean it is wholly satisfactory but it may be a lot better than some people think,” said Dr Billings.
More features are expected to be added to the 101 system in the New Year, allowing callers who know who they need to speak to the option of bypassing call handlers.
An internal review of the way Atlas Court operates is also in progress and should put forwards recommendations to improve efficiency.
Coun Sansome called for the Police and Crime Panel to be involved in the scrutiny of those proposals.
Colin Beeks, Head of Communications for South Yorkshire Police, said: “We can assure the public that if you call the police in a genuine emergency, your call will always be answered and prioritised. The average wait time for 999 calls is currently 13 seconds we are here for you around the clock, 365 days a year.
“Those who call us in a non-emergency will regrettably face a longer wait as we must direct our resources where they are needed most urgently.
“A review of Atlas Court, where 999 and 101 calls are handled, is currently underway. The findings will be considered, options for change will be put forward and then preferred options will be developed into a full business case in due course thereafter.
“In the meantime, we are trialling a number of different measures to optimise our resources and manage demand,” he said.
- Provided by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
The LimbBo Foundation now has a global reach
A COUPLE who design artificial limbs for children say that their charity keeps on growing, with items they make going to kids across the globe.
Adam and Katie Dengel, of Shepherd Way, Royston, started learning about artificial limbs after their son Tommy, now five, was born missing his right forearm due to amniotic band syndrome - a rare condition in which stray bands of tissue wrap around the limbs in the womb and cut off blood flow.
The pair set up the LimbBO Foundation UK in 2018, using the high-tech process known as 3D printing to make specially-adapted limbs and items for children with missing limbs.
These items include adapted bikes, adapted drumsticks and more. The 3D limbs are customised for each child and different themes are added like Wonder Woman, Buzz Light Year, Paw Patrol, The Hulk, Captain America and more.
The LimbBO Foundation collaborates with the company Team Unlimbited, a charity which created a basic design of a fully functioning assistive device which can be downloaded for free by anyone with a 3D printer.
Each piece is made using a 3D printer in Adam’s garage-turned-workshop and as the charity is now officially registered, Adam, 30, said it is going from strength to strength.
One of the main things Adam says he is proud of, is that he and Katie are now sending specially-adapted limbs to families all over the world.
“We have sent out more than 80 bike adaptations, six custom adaptations and more than 40 customised Team Unlimbited arms/hands across the world this year and we have also provided 14 limb-different children with brand new fully adapted bikes at a cost of between £150-£250 each but at zero cost to the families. These were all delivered free of charge by our sponsor Bapp for Bolts.
“We have sent them to Mexico, Miami, Holland, Germany and even South Africa,” said Adam.
“The demand is growing and it’s so amazing as parents send across pictures of their children with their new limb or adapted bike. We’ve gone from working in our bedroom to coverting part of our house to a printing room. I love what we do and it’s great when we receive a photo from parents, we put them all in the printing room so you can see them when you look up from working. It really does make you smile. I’m so proud of where the charity is now. This started as a conversation on the sofa when we were watching telly, so to see where it is now is just amazing.”
As well as creating items, there’s an annual summer event the LimboBO Foundation holds, which aims to bring families and children with missing limbs together to chat, have fun and play together. This year’s event was held at Cannon Hall and saw around 35 kids attend.
“It was really great,” said Adam. “The farm supports us and we have a space which we have to ourselves. It was important for us to get the kids together and it makes a real difference to them too.
“Some of the kids have anxiety so it’s important for them to meet someone else with a limb difference so they don’t feel as different. It’s also good for the siblings as they can meet other siblings of children who have a limb or limbs missing.”
Adam and Katie recently travelled to Florida to the Never Say Never Foundation limb difference pirate camp, where they presented six 3D arms to six American children.
The charity’s next event is a Christmas party, where more than 100 people will attend to celebrate and enjoy the festive season.
Council set stall out to help the homeless
A STALL which takes donations for the homeless has arrived in Barnsley Market for the second year running.
Help Us Help Them is a stall run by staff from the Barnsley Council Housing and Welfare team which aims to gather donations for homeless people for distribution throughout the year.
The stall was held for the first time in the market last year and after its success, the team decided to run the stall again, and for longer this year.
“Last year we held the stall for three days,” said housing options team leader, Rachael Todd. “We had such a great response last year that we decided to run the stall for longer to help get as many donations as possible.
“Any money donations will be given to Barnsley Churches Drop-in Project (BCDP) because they are in danger of closing so they are in need of all the donations they can get.”
As well as accepting clothing and food donations, the stall provides advice and information for people dealing with homelessness and those wanting to help.
“We will be here to answer any questions and provide advice to anyone that needs it,” added Rachael. “With Christmas coming up and the cold weather drawing in, we want to make sure as many homeless people get as much help as possible.”
The stall will be situated at stall 20 in the ground floor of the indoor market. Any donations can be made to the stall or dropped off at The Civic on Eldon Street.
The team will be accepting donations for
- Cereal/ cereal bars
- Pot Noodles
- Bottled water
- Baby wipes
- Deodorant and body spray
- Sanitary products
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Hats, scarves and gloves
- Thermal clothing
- Sleeping bags (new)
For a full list of items that can be donated visit the Barnsley Homeless Alliance website.
Resus team presented with gong
SMILES were brought to the Resus Unit at Barnsley Hospital when the team were presented with their Proud of Barnsley Award.
John Goodfellow helped to raise funds for the hospital after his wife – well-known bingo caller Dorothy Goodfellow – collapsed and died from a heart attack.
Dorothy was just 56 and her death left everyone who knew her devastated. After she died, John, 60, praised the unit for helping him and his family spend time with Dorothy before she died, and more than £4,000 was raised in the her memory, with staff at Dorothy’s work, Buzz Bingo, holding a collection. Money was also raised through donations at her funeral.
The Resus Unit was nominated for a Proud of Barnsley Award for the Hospital Hero, made it through to the final and won the award, but no one from the unit could make the ceremony due to them being so busy, so John and a few of his family members attended.
John collected the award on their behalf.
John gave his praise to the unit. “They do a wonderful job and gave us those few precious moments with Dorothy which would never have had without them,” he said.
“I can’t thank them enough.”
When presenting the award to staff at the hospital, the moment was captured by Channel 5 as the production team are currently filming for the third series of Casualty 24/7, set to air next year.
'Speculation' could finish family firm
A DAIRY farm owner whose products have been recalled due to a potential link to an E.coli outbreak has condemned Barnsley Council for risking the future of his five-generation business.
The local authority, along with Public Health England, have ordered the recall of the Oxspring-based Darwin’s Dairy products including all forms of its milk and cream.
Environmental health officers visited the dairy, at Whitefield Farm, Halifax Road, after Public Health England became aware of an increase in E.coli cases in South Yorkshire.
A total of 18 ‘confirmed or probable’ cases have been identified in people with links to Barnsley, Doncaster or Sheffield this month, while a statement issued by the council this week states nine of those are known to have consumed Darwin’s Dairy products before becoming unwell.
However, the statement said ‘it is important to be aware that the dairy has not been confirmed as the source of the outbreak at this stage’.
Owner Ben Darwin told the Chronicle the statement was unfairly issued and it had the potential to wipe out the long-running firm’s order book.
“Regarding the statement put out by Barnsley Council on a product recall, we would like to clarify that there is no confirmed link or evidence with the health issues highlighted in the council’s statement,” he said.
“It’s pure speculation and I am deeply upset and frustrated that such a statement can be released without sufficient evidence. We strive to supply our loyal customers with a quality local product that is regularly tested to the highest standards required.
“We’re totally in the dark about it now – one of our milk samples passed a laboratory test on Monday but the council’s taken away five other samples, but we’re still suspended from producing anything.
“We’re a small, family-run business and I can’t believe how the council can get away with issuing something that could seriously damage our business. Their statement even says that they cannot confirm that we’re the source for the outbreak.”
E.coli can cause a serious infection in those with weakened immune systems or vulnerable groups, including babies, the elderly or pregnant women.
Symptoms include stomach cramps and diarrhoea that may be bloody, usually lasting up to a week, however some infections can be severe and may be life-threatening.
“Those affected are recovering at home and in hospital,” the statement, issued on behalf of Julia Burrows, director of public health at Barnsley Council and disease control consultant Dr Nachi Arunachalam, said.
“Barnsley Council and Public Health England are informing residents across South Yorkshire of a recall of dairy products from Darwin’s Dairy.
“As a precautionary measure, we have advised Darwin’s Dairy to recall all of its milk including whole, semi-skimmed and skimmed and cream products currently in circulation.
“This became necessary after a potential processing problem was identified with the pasteurisation process that could have affected some milk and cream products that could still be stored in people’s fridges.
“The dairy is co-operating fully with our advice. If you have bought these products, do not eat or drink them but dispose of them.
“As with all instances of diarrhoea and vomiting, it is important that people keep hydrated and stay away from work or school for as long as symptoms persist. If you do notice blood in your stool, contact your GP immediately.”
- Recalled products can be identified by logos stating ‘A Darwin’, ‘Darwin’s Dairy’ or ’NP and DJ Darwin Ltd’. An oval mark bearing ‘UK YB006 EC’ can also be checked.
Housing plan needs ‘cancelling’
PLANS to build a housing estate in a ‘toxic air zone’ adjacent to the M1 motorway have taken a step closer - after Barnsley Council issued legal notices to carry out the demolition of two four-bedroom properties to enable access to the site.
The notices, issued to residents on South Road, Dodworth, stated an initial intention of the demolition taking place as soon as next week, but Coun Peter Fielding told the Chronicle he has secured a delay to avoid adjacent residents being subject to disturbance over Christmas.
Persimmon Homes, the developer behind the 146-home planning application, outlined its bid for the land in April last year but concerns over its first choice access route - via a cul-de-sac on Bark Meadows - have delayed a decision.
A field earmarked for recreation - which borders the planned housing site - is now viewed as the preferred option as an alternative route in, but it would result in the boarded-up council houses being demolished.
Coun Fielding said: “I am calling on the council to cancel these plans altogether before it is too late in order to retain these two valuable council houses as well as keeping the park, sports pitch and children’s play area for this community instead of building on it, which is its declared intention.
“In 2018 Persimmon Homes submitted a planning application for homes on land adjacent to the M1 between Keresforth Road and junction 37 but due to difficulties in providing suitable access to the site, the application was never determined. Persimmon appear not to be interested in using this access and from what I understand may be losing interest in the site altogether.”
Plans show there will be 23 two-bedroom, 89 three-bedroom and 34 four-bedroom homes if the application is approved, with five per cent of the 146 being classed as ‘affordable housing’.
A Section 106 allocation - money put aside by developers for loss of amenity - includes £764,506 towards education provision and £222,093 for recreation, while an acoustic barrier will separate the site from the M1.
Coun Fielding added: “Residents are now only just realising that the council’s determined to build on this park, which is the only one that serves this large housing estate. It is clear that no effective consultation has taken place about the loss of yet another park, just half a mile from Penny Pie Park which is due to be turned into a road junction.
“There is no justification for any council to build on its parks in the way this local authority is planning to do, and it is shameful that they are so determined to build on this park that they could not wait for planning permission.
“They are scarce four-bedroom council houses which have been empty now for almost a year, a year in which two families in need of a decent home could have lived in them.
“When the council quite rightly puts pressure on private landlords for having empty properties, this is not a good example.”
According to the council, there are more than 8,200 people waiting to be housed.
Coun Tim Cheetham, cabinet spokesperson, said: “The land between South Road and the motorway sliproad is allocated for housing.
“The Persimmon Homes application submitted last year, which proposes to access part of the housing allocation from Bark Meadows, has not progressed because of concerns regarding the access. Alternative accesses are therefore being considered and one option includes taking access from South Road.
“On this basis, Berneslai Homes have relocated tenants from a pair of semi-detached dwellings.
“Should the council decide to take forward a residential scheme on the land we own, we will expect public consultation to be undertaken before a planning application is submitted so that the local community has an opportunity to have their say at an early stage in the process.”
Popular park fenced off by council
A PARK which will lose some of its land to make way for a new one-way road system has been fenced off by Barnsley Council.
Penny Pie Park, bordered by Dodworth Road and Pogmoor Road, has been the scene of regular protests from campaigners opposing the council’s scheme.
Despite a vigil being held there as recently as Thursday last week, workers have arrived at the site in preparation for the works needed to create the road - meaning it’s now out of bounds for users and will remain so for ‘more than a year’.
David Shepherd, service director for regeneration and culture at the council, said: “For some time the council has explored options to ease existing congestion and improve air quality along Dodworth Road.
“Plans for the scheme were approved at a planning board meeting in December last year and will deliver a long-term solution that will provide enough capacity for the current volume of traffic as well as accommodating the future business and housing growth aspirations of Barnsley.
“We anticipate that the scheme works will take more than a year to deliver as we need to factor in the timing of the landscaping and tree planting to make sure that this takes place during the planting season to maximise survival rates.
“We thank residents for their cooperation and patience while we deliver the scheme and we will try and keep inconvenience to a minimum.”
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