Comms for a non-profit. Takes for left media.
Bylines in Tribune Magazine, Novara, Jacobin and Red Pepper.
Op eds and PR work featured on BBC News, The Times, Sky News, The Guardian, The Mirror and The Independent.
Previously PSA, Red Cross and Manchester Evening News.
Email: [email protected]
A roundup of news from progressive publications... 1.Revealed: UK's most secretive think tanks took £14.3m from mystery donors-openDemocracy OpenDemocracy has a brilliant piece on how the UK's most secretive think tanks have raised more than £14m from mystery donors in the past two years.
David Cameron's Tories pushed charity and volunteering to plug the gaps left by their vicious austerity assault. With a resurgence of cuts, we might see the same rhetoric reheated - the problem is that no-one has anything left to give.
Jeff Bezos’ pledge to donate his vast fortune to charity is a reputation-laundering exercise – and a reminder that billionaires will never fix the problems that create them.
Welcome to this edition of Te Mahinga Ora. Reflecting on the past three months, I am struck by the tremendous victories our members have banded together to achieve.
In the second half of the twentieth century, the favoured slogan of global capital-' cuts, job losses, money for the bosses '-met a new threat. It came in the form of an alliance between the workers at the UK-based military contractor Lucas Aerospace and then firebrand Labour Minister for Industry Tony Benn.
My piece on algorithmic bosses in Tribune Magazine features in Left Foot Forward's round up of five must-read voices on the Left.
In the first half of the twentieth century, thinkers like John Maynard Keynes and Bertrand Russell predicted that the advance of technology would, by this point, have left us working something like fifteen- or twenty-hour weeks, liberated from the all-consuming demands of toil. As anyone will tell you, that future has not come to pass.
How was lockdown for you? All of us struggled with missing friends and family, but many of us also valued having some time to ourselves.
The UK housing market is a dustbin on fire. Rents outside of London are rising at their fastest rate since the financial crash, accelerating gentrification, displacing young people and adding more than £450 to an average annual rental bill.
Last week, on an overcast morning in Bristol, a group of bakers and hospitality workers congregated in a historic tranche of the Old City to protest their alleged treatment at the hands of their employer.
The US embargo against Cuba continues to have a devastating impact, but recent protests also highlight the need for urgent domestic reform, writes Jamie Medwell
Earlier this summer, after months of screeching U-turns, the government embraced the worst of its nature - ending the eviction ban and exposing hundreds of thousands of renters to the capricious whims of their private landlords.
Guaranteed shelter, afforded to hundreds of thousands of renters by the Covid-19 eviction ban, has now come to an end. In its wake comes a rising tide of eviction and homelessness.
Earlier this summer, after months of screeching U-turns, the government embraced the worst of its nature - ending the eviction ban and exposing hundreds of thousands of renters to the capricious whims of their private landlords. While the vaccine rollout has led to a blanket insistence that the UK is " over the worst of the pandemic," around 686,000 renters remain on furlough.
For many years, the political illiteracy of the centre has dictated that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". In the wake of his parliamentary hearing looking into the government's handling of the pandemic, it appears Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson's former right-hand man, is taking advantage of this.
Government must "design out" loneliness from people's lives by building housing, neighbourhoods and infrastructure with social connection in mind.
From mutual aid groups delivering food parcels to friends checking up on each other over Zoom, people across the country have been supporting each other like never before; forging connections and building community even when coronavirus made it almost impossible.
The danger from heatwaves is not being matched by the level of public concern, the British Red Cross has said, as it warns of a "dangerous perception gap in the UK when it comes to the public's awareness of the risk of heat".
A new report by the British Red Cross looks at how prepared the UK is for rising temperatures and how aware people are of the risks of heatwaves, which already claim many lives.
"I'm grinning and bearing it but that doesn't mean it's easy." Raggie El-Koumos has lived on his own in Cornwall for the last 17 years, after his wife, Linda, died from cancer. Being alone "is ok", he says, "but being lonely... it hurts, and Covid-19 is not helping that at all."
Standing amid the sweeping expanse of Piece Hall in Halifax, you could be forgiven for thinking you had been transported to a famous European capital. The Georgian cloth hall, packed with a wealth of buzzing artisan stores and charming boutiques, would be more at home in Paris, Rome or Venice than it is in its Yorkshire setting.
Millions of people face emotional and financial crisis if England returns to a tiered system of restrictions after lockdown, the British Red Cross has warned. The charity polled more than 2,000 people between October and December last year to look at the impact of the tiered system on their finances and mental wellbeing.
A Cotham man has built a tiny home which he will sell for £3 in a charity raffle. George Rose has spent the coronavirus pandemic building a house worth £20,000, inspired by American reality show Tiny House Nation.
THREE-QUARTERS of British people are concerned about frontline workers' mental health, research shows. A survey from the Red Cross revealed 75 per cent of adults were worried for people helping on the frontline, considering them to have a greater need for mental health support than the average person living through the pandemic.
The Queen has led the royal family in paying tribute to the British Red Cross ahead of the charity's 150th anniversary, describing the charity's work as "valued and greatly appreciated". Since 1870, the organisation has shown "just how powerful kindness can be" said the Prince of Wales, who added its efforts were "as essential today as it has ever been".
A cancer patient in distress is on the phone. She has been trying to get hold of her cancer drugs for the last two weeks, and now has only two days' supply left. Chris Beck, a veteran of overseas emergencies with 35 years' experience, quickly escalates the call to a Red Cross team who can help.
A snippet of a nationally broadcast TV advert for the British Red Cross. My story formed the basis for the project.
Mike Adamson, CEO of The British Red Cross, spoke of the lasting trauma flooding victims will suffer as he visited the village of Fishlake in Doncaster, which has been devastated by the floods. Mr Adamson said: "The situation in Fishlake has been really terrible and people's lives have been devastated by what has happened.
British Red Cross volunteer Anne Taylor, from Penzance, Cornwall, was awarded a special edition commemorative coin for her outstanding contributions to volunteering. The coin was awarded as the charity celebrates its 150th birthday on August 4, 2020.
The British Red Cross have launched an appeal for volunteers to staff its new emergency response service in and around Taunton. The team, which is based here, in the county town, work with the emergency services to provide practical help, emotional support and comfort to people who have been affected by a flood, fire or large scale emergency incident.
A PENSIONER has told how he "just felt like I wanted to die" lying in a hospital bed with coronavirus. Richard Loveless, 77, had just gone back from a trip to visit his step-daughter in Colorado. He managed to get the last flight out to return home as the COVID-19 crisis unfolded.
It was a peaceful day in Gloucester. Richard was working out in his home gym. His daughter Scarlett and her friend were hanging out in the living room. But when Richard became unresponsive and stopped breathing, Scarlett used the first aid skills her dad had taught her to save his life.
This year's Manchester Psych Festival was a breath of fresh air, which cut through the muggy heat of recent weeks. Friday saw a selection of kaleidoscopic sets lift the mood at some of the city's best-loved watering holes. But few acts who mounted the stage at Yes, Gorilla or the O2 Ritz could be deemed traditionally psychedelic.
A photographer has raised more than £3,000 for an animal sanctuary by photographing people's dogs. Phil Girdlestone began volunteering for Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary, in Barrow Gurney, in 2014 after setting up his own photography business. Phil was inspired by his mother who would volunteer to walk dogs from the sanctuary.
Volunteers have slammed 'ridiculous' North Somerset Council after it refused to provide them with litter picks on health and safety grounds. The rubbish collected by Emma Harris and Annette Goold. Picture: Emma Harris Emma Harris, Annette Goold and Donna Britton, from Weston, began organising litter picks last year after growing tired of the town's untidy streets.
North Somerset's mental health strategy has undergone a 'rigorous review' after reports revealed children living in care in the district were more likely to experience mental health difficulties than the rest of the UK. Data collected by Public Health England found 'cause for concern' regarding the mental health of children in North Somerset is 10 per cent higher than the rest of the country.
The 'devastated' family of a teenager who died in a car accident have paid tribute to their 'kind' and 'wonderful' son. Cameron McQuarrie, aged 19, from Wedmore, died on January 25 when his car left the road after hitting the edge of a grass verge, on the A371.
The families of 'low-risk' missing people in the district may no longer receive police assistance, Avon and Somerset Constabulary has just announced. The change in policy comes after the force reported 30 per cent of its resources are spent searching for missing people rather than solving crimes.
A television show will help an 'inspirational' family who are 'struggling to live a normal life', and helpers can get involved. DIY SOS: The Big Build is a BBC One television programme which transforms the homes of deserving people across the UK.
Support for a campaign to ban trail hunting in the Mendips has skyrocketed after accusations of antisocial behaviour and illegal hunting practices emerged. Villagers say trail hunters have been blocking badgers setts in an attempt to trap foxes.
Hospital admissions in North Somerset for patients suffering from drug overdoses have risen by almost 50 per cent in the last three years. Charities say an ageing cohort of opioid users, combined with the increased availability of drugs online, are responsible for the shocking rise.
The army was called to Weston this weekend when a family discovered what looked like an unexploded bomb on the beach. A father and son, who were walking on the beach near St Thomas' Head in Weston after Christmas, called the coastguard after discovering a suspicious metal object lodged between the rocks.
Officers have reported a sharp increase in antisocial behaviour in Weston town centre over the past year. Cuts to youth services have been blamed for a 26 per cent rise in incidents of antisocial behaviour in the town centre since November 2017.
Levels of rough sleeping in North Somerset have risen significantly since 2010, according to new figures, although the number of people on the streets is still relatively small. Savage cuts to welfare and mental health services have been blamed for a worsening national homelessness crisis, which has left people enduring freezing cold weather as the winter months wear on.
People may be entitled to a forgotten fortune of more than half a million pounds in unclaimed inheritance.
A Weston mother has been sentenced to seven years in prison after launching a brutal attack on her own baby. Elizabeth Wilkins, aged 24, was sentenced on December 6 at Plymouth Crown Court after the court heard how she shook her baby boy repeatedly before banging his head and breaking his skull.
Dozens of cyclists will travel from Weston to the Mendips dressed as Santa to raise money for a friend who was paralysed in a freak mountain biking accident. Stuart Beauchemin and Adam Jones organised the bike ride in aid of Ryan Tucker, a member of their cycling group, who fractured his neck and suffered a spinal cord injury while cycling in Wales last year.
Villagers have proposed building a futuristic magnet train through North Somerset to avoid the creation of a 'dormitory town the size of Wells'. Campaigners from the Churchill and Langford Residents' Action Group (CALRAG) have renewed their calls for a 'horrifying' plan to build 2,800 homes near Churchill and Langford, as part of the Joint Spatial Plan (JSP), to be scrapped in favour of developing greenbelt land in The Vale, between Long Ashton and Barrow Gurney.
Twice as many people living in Weston are in debt compared with the UK average, a new report reveals. A 'downward spiral' of unemployment and declining tourism has been blamed for the shocking statistic, which places Weston fifth on the list of the country's most indebted constituencies.
Commuters were given 'the gift of Christmas cheer' when a Kenn electrician covered his home with 7,500 Christmas lights in tribute to his late grandmother.
A total of 65 pubs have shut across North Somerset in the past 10 years, with 20 closures taking place in 2017. Last year saw The Old Barn in Wraxall close, while in recent times The Friendship Inn in Nailsea and The Bell Inn in Congresbury made way for housing.
A Worle mum described her 'terror' after two men tried to entice her 14-year-old daughter into a van. The teenager was walking home from school with three friends when the men, who were wearing hoodies over their faces, pulled up and shouted at the girls to 'get in the van'.
A Barrow Gurney animal sanctuary, faced with closure, is appealing for funds. Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary has warned its shutdown would be 'a disaster' - which could leave hundreds of animals without a home. The charity is seeking to raise £300,000 through a campaign designed to help it keep up with mounting costs.
Seven waste collection vehicles had their tires slashed at the Biffa Waste Services depot on Winterstoke Road, causing substantial delays to collections in Backwell, Portishead, Weston and Yatton. Five vehicles were identified as damaged when crews turned up to work at 6am on Monday.
Keiran Sage, aged 22, was diagnosed in September after he began experiencing shooting pains in his shoulder. Biopsies in his chest and neck revealed the cancer was spreading rapidly and he started chemotherapy in October. Keiran says he wanted to do something to raise awareness about the illness before the treatment made it too difficult.
Magazines & Campaigns
An advertising campaign for Northern Connect. Together with a team of graphic designers, I developed the concept and copylines for this campaign.
An advertising campaign for Pennon Group. Together with a team of graphic designers, I developed the concept, wrote the copy and the created the presentation for this campaign.
A children's book produced by Seven Trent Water. I sub-edited this publication together with another copywriter.
Education magazine for the West Yorkshire area, distributed by the Huddersfield Examiner. Together with an editorial designer, I planned, wrote, designed and sub-edited the publication.
Food and drink magazine for the West Yorkshire area, distributed by the Huddersfield Examiner. Together with an editorial designer, I planned, wrote, designed and sub-edited the publication.
Your essential guide to the best winter family entertainment in the north west...
Weddings magazine for the West Yorkshire area, published by the Huddersfield Examiner. Together an with editorial designer and another copywriter, I planned, wrote, designed and sub-edited the publication.
What's on magazine for Lincolnshire, distributed by the Grimsby Telegraph. Together with an editorial designer, I planned, wrote, designed and sub-edited the publication.
Christmas magazine for the West Yorkshire area, distributed by the Huddersfield Examiner. I wrote several articles for the magazine, as well as sub-editing the publication with a team of copywriters.
With a kaleidoscopic career spanning three decades and dozens of genres, it was almost impossible to know what to expect from Death Cab For Cutie's sold-out show at Bristol's O2 Academy on Wednesday night. Forming in Northern California in the late 1990s, Death Cab For Cutie have gone through various iterations on-route to their current incarnation as masterful purveyors of auto-tuned indie rock.
There's a certain dissonance between the cultivated public image of indie wunderkinds Pale Waves and the crisp, sun-drenched pop music they produce. At first glance, front-woman and guitarist Heather Baron-Gracie appears to be something of a throwback.
As with any UK tourist destination, a visit to the Georgian spa city of Bath comes with its own set of preconceptions. For my part, Bath has always conjured visions of austere architecture, dry history and dizzying wealth, very much the uptight little brother of its characterful neighbour, Bristol.
It's known for its history, but Jamie Medwell says spa city Bath is reinventing itself with some unusual microventures
Wasn't comedy so much simpler in the 1970s? As someone born 20 years later, it's kind of hard for me to say. I assume it was though. In my mind, the 70s were a time of light-hearted jokes about broken down washer dryers, irascible pub landlords and bitter - lovely, heavy bitter.
Destiny, history and identity converge in the gritstone uplands of the Peak District, as three black men meander through the mists of time in an attempt to reclaim their heritage. Written by Yorkshire-based rapper Testament, this studio production defies its minimal staging to provide a surprisingly expansive excavation of race and identity, which unearths a few nuggets of humour along the way.
In their eagerly anticipated homecoming show, Madchester veterans Happy Mondays supply a sugar rush of colourful language, pulsating beats and twirling maracas.
Neither a face-hugging failure or a chest-bursting success, Life is a kinetically paced but ultimately parasitic film that leeches off a host of better movies. Let's face it: when you make a claustrophobic sci-fi horror about a generously-tentacled squid monster with a predilection for chomping on astronauts, Alien comparisons are going to be made.
While some may see it as little more than a colonial Downton Abbey, Gurinder Chadha's retelling of the Indian Partition is smart, solid and weirdly prescient. Hugh Bonneville plays lovable toff Dickie Mountbatten, the last viceroy of India, appointed by King George V to oversee the peaceful transfer of power from Britain to India.
Fist Fight, which scores an F for effort, loses even more marks for the unpleasant, happy-slapping humour that underlies this ignorant dunce of a film. The laughs are infrequent and the yuck factor high, as Charlie Day and Ice Cube duke it out to see who can torch their career most effectively within the film's mercifully short runtime.
First time director Joshua Locy pens a heartfelt love letter to the margins in this tale of two blindly optimistic men piecing together a friendship out of rags and tatters. Ashley (Andre Royo), recently released from prison, returns to his old neighbourhood in Los Angeles seeking to rekindle his relationship with exasperated ex-girlfriend Linda.
If Hannah Montana and Michael Bay joined forces to direct a taut home invasion thriller - it might just be Within. Somewhere in between Disturbia and Miley Cyrus' Lol, Within sits there, innocently roasting marshmallows, telling ghost stories and staring at your bum.
What can you say about Shut In? It's a film so clichéd that its plot can be mapped with almost perfect accuracy onto its mercifully short running time. At 15 minutes in we've met Mary, a recently-widowed child psychologist, whose mental state deteriorates after she is forced to provide 24-hour care for her vegetative stepson Steven.
Imperial China is under threat from a horde of toothy CGI-beasties known as Tao Tei, vaguely reminiscent of late-generation Pokemon with a few too many eyes. Enter William, a dashing European mercenary, played listlessly by Matt Damon, whose presence in this abysmal fantasy flop is nearly as perplexing as the plot itself.
Violet Grace's dad backs auntie's campaign for anti-speeding measures on the road where she died
Manchester could soon have its very first vegan dog day care centre. There are plenty of places in the city for pooches to have fun while their owners are at work, but as yet, none cater specifically for veggie canines.
Violet-Grace Youens' dad shared this heart-breaking image of his daughter as he threw his support behind a campaign to slow down the road where she was tragically killed . The campaign was launched by Violet-Grace's aunt Lisa Leonard and has now been signed by more than 3,000 well-wishers in just three days.
Estate agents could be banned from putting up 'to let' signs outside houses across Manchester. Council chiefs say the signs - some of which are left up all-year-round - are an 'eyesore' and make neighbourhoods undesirable. And with most renters finding homes on the internet or by visiting letting agencies, bosses say they are no longer needed.
A women-led march will see thousands of campaigners take to the streets for an annual event which protests against sexual violence, street harassment and victim blaming. Campaigners are set to gather at Owen's Park in Fallowfield at 7pm on Wednesday 23 February, before marching up Oxford Road to University of Manchester Students' Union.
In 1995, Masamune Shirow's mind-bending anime fantasy Ghost in the Shell rocketed out of Japan, and was met with universal acclaim. The anime envisions a nightmarish dystopia, where the line between humanity and artificial intelligence has become totally blurred.
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events became a massive sensation amongst younger readers toward the back end of the 90s. The books combined dark comedy with Gothic illustrations and told the tale of three wealthy orphans who find themselves subjected to the sociopathic schemes of the infamous conman Count Olaf, whose sights are set on the children's inheritance.
The creation of Marvel's cinematic universe marked a landmark moment in cinema history and a massive undertaking for the studio itself. In the second and third phases of Marvel's cinematic universe, weaving together dozens of disparate storylines under one banner required an understandable amount of streamlining in terms of the style and tone of each individual film.
The jaw-dropping climax of Star Wars: The Force Awakens saw Han Solo meet a grisly end at the hands of his estranged son, the spoilt toddler of the resurgent dark side - Kylo Ren. The film made it clear that the inspiration behind Kylo's betrayal was his obsession with his grandfather, the inter-galactically-renowned super-Sith Darth Vader.
Bryden McKinnie returned home to find his parcel in the middle of the street 49-year-old had a delivery note - but the package was nowhere near his home Last year delivery driver 'hid' a 2ft parcel beneath Mr McKinnie's doormat A beekeeper said he was left stunned when his parcel of expensive equipment was 'successfully delivered' - but was left 40 metres away in the middle of the street.
In Hollywood, prequels, sequels, reboots and re-imaginings flit in and out of fashion as quickly as you can say 'low box-office returns.' The consensus among studio bosses of what will or will not work for an audience generally makes about as much sense as the plot of XXX: The Return of Xander Cage.
Marvel Studios are enjoying a golden age. It's all the more apparent when you compare their popcorn-friendly action films with the steadily mounting pileup of car-crash movies hurtling out of the DC camp. Marvel have found a winning formula, but in the last two phases of the MCU the studio has been increasingly obsessed with integrating their many disparate characters into one streamlined story.
Abdulwahab Tahhan, production manager of Iara Lee’s evocative documentary The Suffering Grasses, discusses peaceful protest, international apathy and the continued Syrian revolution.
Born in South London and educated at the University of Manchester, The Chemical Brothers cultivated a trailblazing sound during their hacienda heyday, where a rising tide of acid house collided with the city's alternative music scene, generating the first wave of big beat artists to emerge from the UK.
Anniversary tours aren't necessarily everyone's cup of tea. On paper, you wouldn't expect such a convention to quench the thirst of a band like Underworld, formed by electronic pioneers Karl Hyde and Rick Smith, who have flown in the face of normality for more than 30 years...
Jamie Medwell's first excursion with team TPi brought him to the city of Straubing in Lower Bavaria, home to audio manufacturers Electro-Voice, which - rumour had it - was planning a triumphant return to the market with the release of its new X-Line line array series.
Team TPi was out in force again at this year's Prolight + Sound show held in Frankfurt, Germany.
Following the release of their critically acclaimed 2014 album The Mindsweep, British post-hardcore troubadours Enter Shikari returned to UK stages this February, to deliver an eclectic mix of punk rock, dubstep and drum & bass, all tied together by the band's famously energetic show design.
Super Bowl XLIX saw the New England Patriots hang on for a narrow and dramatic win over the Seattle Seahawks, bringing the title back to the six state region for the first time since 2005.