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Archive for March, 2016

NEWDAYThis thought provoking piece was in New Day over the Easter Weekend. New Day, the new newspaper from the people who bring us the Mirror and People, has found a niche in telling inspiring, absorbing stories in a non-judgemental way. What I adore about Shannon is that she turned her life around, her way. Coming from a home devoid of hugs and love, she decided to create the family environment she so lacked and longed for.

Now 23, six children later, Shannon is a wonderful mum. Sometimes when we’re chatting on the phone she talks to her children in the background and she’s so gentle and kind, I love hearing her interact with them. People might be quick to judge a 23 year old mum of six, but read Shannon’s story. It’ll change the way you see the world.

If you would like to share a story about your family, please get in touch today. Thank you.

Jamie was an absolute joy to work with. Not only because I adored listening to her dulcet American accent while we talked, but because she’d learned so much from her experience of nearly divorcing her husband and was so insightful and graceful. Reflecting on our relationships is never easy but Jamie styled it out with aplomb and we very much hope sharing her story helps other couples facing a tough time in their marriage, to communicate and persevere.

If you’d like to share a story about marriage, relationships and communication, please do get in touch today.

It is without doubt the proudest achievement of my career, to continue to write so many wonderful stories about and for the Down’s syndrome community. Last year I wrote a blog looking back on all the stories I’d published, to mark World Down’s Syndrome Day. So here I am again as the collection continues to grow!

I am honoured that so many people in the Down’s syndrome community put their trust in me. Telling stories with person-first language, ensuring sensitivity and tact are employed throughout the journey and helping to spread a powerful message, I am humbled to be a small part of a lovely army. The message is more important than ever – this year saw the NHS introduce a new antenatal Down’s syndrome test. Would a world that eradicates disabilities and thus, that which makes some of us a little bit different, really be a better place?

Click here to see more of the stories I worked on this year… Read more

Well here’s a story to make you smile! To mark World Down’s Syndrome Day on March 21st, I collaborated with Take a Break magazine to bring the smiles of a group of very happy children (who happen to have Down’s syndrome) to the world. We wanted to show that Down’s syndrome isn’t the doom and gloom the diagnosis might have you believe. Down’s syndrome can bring sunshine into the lives of everyone lucky enough to know someone born with the condition. Smiles all round!

We have worked hard for many years, to keep bringing positive, person-first stories about Down’s syndrome to the national and international media. If you’d like to share your experience, please get in touch today.

BRATTjay1Well it’s a very exciting time in the world of journalism. For years rumours have swirled that no one reads print journalism anymore and indeed we’ve seen some of our favourite titles disappear. Remember Zest? More? She? Great magazines, gone to magazine heaven in the sky. Then there was the News of the World – bad times.

But now? Now there’s the New Day – a brand new newspaper from the team who bring us the Mirror and the People. It’s a gorgeous newspaper, the stories are laid out in a clean, crisp way. Reading it feels all exciting. I’m honoured to see one of my stories in today’s issue, one of the very first issues of the paper. (It’s been on sale for about a fortnight now)

There’s also a new fitness magazine out called Fit and Well. How apt – perhaps the world of print journalism is indeed fit and well. I do hope so – I love to write and don’t ever want to stop!

In this week’s Reveal, to coincide with International Woman’s Day, I had the honour of writing about five beautiful women who are determined not to hide from the world. Acid attacks are prolific in India, where they are used as a means of revenge for reasons that would bewilder different cultures. Turning down a marriage proposal, disputes over land, not providing a son. It’s a tragedy, but one that shows little sign of being resolved. The Indian government claims to offer £3500 to acid attack survivors – only five are known to have received this. In reality, medical assistance, surgery and treatment costs nearly £50,000.

Many women are so horrified by their scars they spend years refusing to leave the house. But times are changing. Stop Acid Attacks is a charity determined to give survivors their lives back, and give those lives meaning. We covered the story of five survivors launching a cafe, Sheroes Hangout, their smiles beaming from happy faces. The world is full of bad people doing terrible things, but stories like this remind us that the world is full of beauty and wonder too.

To support the cafe, please visit stopacidattacks.org

WITTkathrynTAB.jpeg (Large)Well here’s a story that’ll make you smile! The infectious grin of a certain little lady named Florence. This beautiful baby is the daughter of Kathryn, a young mum who was not phased by Florence’s Down’s syndrome diagnosis. One day Kathryn took a super-cute photo of Florence and put it on Facebook to share with friends and family. One like… two likes… suddenly, 100,000 likes from all over the world! Florence was on a mission to show the world Down’s Syndrome was nothing to worry about. It was such a pleasure working with Kathryn and bringing that beautiful smile to a few more people.

Regular readers will know that we write lots of wonderful stories for the Down’s syndrome community, here at Phoenix. If you’d like to share a story, please get in touch today.

Men don’t get much of a look in when it comes to ‘real life stories’. We tend to focus almost entirely on women, so it was refreshing to work on this report for Reveal magazine. Nathan (main photo) opened up about how he started taking diet pills and steroids in a bid to boost his size because he felt pressure to look a certain way. It’s easy to forget men feel pressure to look good too! And perhaps not as easy for men to open up about it, so huge thank you to Nathan for doing so.

If you’d like to share your experiences of taking diet pills or steroids, we’d love to hear from you. Thank you!