I broke this tragic story about a Gloucestershire man who died after choking on picked eggs. The piece was picked up by the nationals, as seen in a few examples here.
Journalism, copywriting, SEO and social media
The incredible tale of a family’s ordeal at Longleat Safari Park had already hit headlines across the globe. It was a great news story - the kind you couldn’t make up. After overheating, the family’s car caught fire - in the middle of the lion enclosure!
After checking where the car’s inhabitants came from, they turned out to be from my patch. To get a new angle on the story, I focused on how it had been to experience worldwide media attention and got a nice line about watching someone else’s footage of the lions on YouTube.
Some recent deaths I have covered - both tragically victims of Gloucestershire’s roads. The first is a tribute piece which I compiled with the help of the family and the second was through covering an inquest into the death of a young hairdresser.
Easily the hardest but most important story I have worked on so far. A Dursley care home worker was charged with raping vulnerable women in a Gloucestershire care home. It would later emerge in a police briefing that Colin Stokes had been arrested following similar allegations back in 2007 - but wasn’t charged and remained working in the same home.
A legal minefield due to the anonymity granted to sexual offence victims, this body of work was of great importance to the victims’ families and for justice to be served. Interviewing family members ahead of the trial about the moment they found out their daughters had been abused was a great responsibility.
Colin Stokes got a 20 year sentence and a serious case review has been ordered, looking into the previous arrest.
Renishaw hosted a royal visit to present the firm’s 16th Queen’s Award in the company’s 40th year. Prince Edward toured the Wotton-under-Edge site and met young apprentices.
A stretch of road near Wotton-under-Edge is fast becoming a real accident blackspot. Campaigners have called on Gloucestershire County Council to lower the speed limit, but as yet, no progress has been made on introducing traffic calming measures.
I’ve got some new freelance SEO and social media projects at a Bristol marketing agency. As well as plenty of blog writing for a diverse portfolio of clients, I’m also contributing to the Creation Media blog.
As austerity continues to bite, it is startling to discover the levels of food poverty in otherwise apparently affluent areas. I can’t shout about the fantastic work of food banks enough, who are quietly and patiently providing for those in real need while preserving a modicum of dignity. I’m particularly proud of this piece celebrating the Dursley ‘big society’ in action.
The death of a local footballer and father has shocked the Wotton community over the past weeks. It has been touching hearing the tributes pour in, and I hope my coverage has done him justice.
Fly-tipping is a major problem in and around Slimbridge and Cambridge, especially down rural farming lanes.
In this case, once the rubbish is off public pathways, it is no longer the council’s responsibility, so the landowner has to deal with tonnes of mixed waste - not quite what he wanted for Christmas!