22/12/2011 Midlands Today


22/12/2011

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Welcome to Midlands today. The headlines: The biggest rise in

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homelessness in the country, we are live at a shelter preparing for

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Christmas. It can happen to anybody. Police said they are treating the

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death of a man in Worcester as murder.

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I was going to see if I could get up there and save him but it was so

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intense. French prosecutors investigate that

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the themed party attended by MP Aidan Burley.

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The mum had a heart attack when she was pregnant, baby Ryan was less

:00:39.:00:49.
:00:49.:00:51.

than three pounds at birth, but now the family is together.

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Good evening. Tonight, the growing problem of

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homelessness in the region, as numbers reach a record level.

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Two years ago, the number of homeless people was 7,100. Last

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year it had gone up to 8440. That rise is the largest anywhere in

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England. Surprisingly, -- not surprisingly, Christmas is the

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busiest time for shelters. Why are so many people living in this

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situation? Beds, like its and food. Just some

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of the supplies being delivered to help the homeless at St George's

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community centre in Newtown in Birmingham. Last year, the shelter

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are catered for 170 people on Christmas Day. 115 slap Dover. The

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indications are it could be even busier this year. Speaking to sit

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kitchens and organisations in Birmingham, they have been seeing

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an increase of 35-40%. We anticipate that we have an impact

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on us. We have never hit capacity here but we do not want to turn

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anyone away. Homelessness can come unexpectedly. Carol Brown was a

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successful publican but when her marriage broke up she found herself

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with nowhere to live. Now she works for the charity that helped turn

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her life around. If you had said to me for years ago but I would be in

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a homeless hostel, I would have laughed at you. It can happen to

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anybody, it is so easy. This manager in Birmingham says the

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tough economic climate means the building has doubled in size,

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catering for 95 residents. We have people coming with us stories about

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how they had a job 12 months ago and they don't have a job any more

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and they have lost their job, they have lost their home, and they are

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homeless and they just want somewhere to stay. The story has

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changed. Back at St George's, 200 of -- volunteers have signed up to

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help cope with the inspected increase. -- expected increase.

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is a lovely feeling seen them all tucked up in bed. It is not nice to

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come into somewhere and put your head on the floor. Not only will

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the people who come here get food and shelter, they will also have

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access to professional services might drop it is, massage, and The

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Samaritans. -- like a charade that is. They expect to have served

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around 3,000 meals by the time may close next Friday.

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Really worrying figures, how are they coping?

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They are coping very well at the moment. They have laid on a party

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for 100 people this afternoon. A Christmas dinner has been cooked by

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the executives and they are serving it. I am joined by the manager.

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This is a good example of what can be done to help homeless people,

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isn't it? On a day like this, when the Executive have come together to

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cook for less privileged people in our community, we have said about

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100 people. It is the time of the year to give back to people in the

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community. How does this Christmas compared to last? This Christmas is

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different in a sense that we have got more people presenting as

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homeless and that is why charities like this are trying to provide for

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this community. At the same time, it is an opportunity for the

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community in the West Midlands to come together. It is hard to

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predict, but any predictions for how the homelessness problem may go

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next year? If the economy remains the way it is, more people will

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become homeless. That is why we want to provide for the less

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privileged in our society. That is why -- when you're doing this

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afternoon. Everybody seems to be enjoying themselves. We just wish

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everybody here a very happy Christmas.

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Well done to the volunteers to give up their time.

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Coming up later... How pictures of Coventry in times

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gone by are helping patients with dementia.

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Police in bet -- investigating the death of a man in Worcester said

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they are treating it as murder. Andrew Heath was found dead inside

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his property in the early hours of last Wednesday morning. Today, his

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neighbours and friends appealed for help to find his killer.

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Tributes outside the flat were Andrew Heath had lived for the past

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nine years. The severity of the fire that killed him, there for all

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to see. His neighbours and close friends, Sue and Clive Dayus, were

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often -- I have woken in the early hours of last Wednesday morning by

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banging from the flat above. wanted to go up and save him but

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the fire was at the doorway. I ran around to the front and I was

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shaking. -- I was shouting, Andrew, to see if I could get a response.

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Within minutes, flames shot out of the window. I knew that was it.

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were aware that somebody was inside. We deployed for firefighters with

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breathing apparatus to fight the fire and to go and try and rescue

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the person. Sadly we were unable to do so. Police arrested two men over

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the fire. One was released after questioning. Another, in his

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thirties, has been released on police bail. The fire was started

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in the porch of number two. Police are trying to work out whether

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Andrew Heath was already dead at that point, or whether he was

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killed by the fire. They are also desperate to find out what would

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motivate somebody to kill him. would ask anybody their new Andrew

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Heath to contact us so we can piece together the details of his life to

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establish what happened. The fire was particularly ferocious and

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clearly had been in a block of flats. It was one that put other

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people's lives in danger. Sue and Clive Dayus's flat was so badly

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damaged they said they have lost nearly everything they own and will

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never live there again. We want to catch whoever did this. It is not

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only his family they have taken him from, they to come from us as well.

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Police are asking anyone with information to contact them

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immediately. French prosecutors have launched an

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investigation into the Nazi themed stag party attended by the MP for

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Cannock Chase, Aidan Burley. But Conservative MP was sacked from his

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job as a government adviser after he was pictured sitting next to the

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groom, who was wearing an SS uniform. It did it transpired he

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may have paid for the hire of the outfit himself. -- it later

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transpired. What are the French opera TI's serene today? What they

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have announced is a preliminary inquiry. This is the first step. It

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is a result of a complaint lodged by a group, SOS Racism, which has

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followed this story, and felt that in its year, a breach of French law

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might have been committed. It went public with this complaint and

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pressurise the local prosecutor, who then opened this preliminary

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inquiry. The preliminary inquiry isn't -- into what happened, not

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into individuals. It is simply to work out what happened and if there

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was a case against anyone involved. At that point it would turn into

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something more formal. People would be named and then I -- a judicial

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investigation would be launched. What laws could be broken?

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group involved thinks two might have been broken. One is incitement

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to racial hatred and the other is apologising for her, otherwise

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supporting and making arguments for, war-crimes. From my conversations

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with the representative of a so West Racism, he thinks the second

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is more likely to stick. That is apologetic for war crimes. Wearing

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eight Nazi military uniform is, for him, possible to interpret as

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championing the Nazi movement and therefore apologising for war

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crimes. That is his opinion. Two men have been sentenced to a

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total of 53 years in jail for murder. Richard Smith and Michael

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Sexton were found guilty of murder yesterday. Sixten will serve a

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minimum of 25 years and Smith, MM run -- minimum of 28 years. This

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man died after being stabbed in the head with a screwdriver.

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Part of a brand-new housing estate in Gloucestershire have at -- has

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been bulldozed after a victory of residence in a planning battle.

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Building began after planning permission was given five years ago.

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At a tribunal, local people claimed part of the land was protected by

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an old covenant. The housing company has been forced to tear

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down the homes. Families who have members of the

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armed forces overseas are being offered support over the Christmas

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period. One of the busiest airfield in the UK is in Shropshire and bar

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have people deployed all over the world this Christmas. It has a long

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established welfare programme. We have met some of the families

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facing separation this Christmas. I need you to look after mum while

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I am away... Josh reads a letter written by his father just after he

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left for Afghanistan. The family will be spending Christmas

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thousands of miles apart. All my love. I will so, so, so Miss You,

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dad. Josh and his mum will be in Shropshire on Christmas Day. His

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dad has been in Camp Bastion since late summer. There is a good

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community to have art. There are good neighbours and good friends

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who are willing to help out. Hynes family will also spend

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Christmas apart. Here at the Christmas party, Corporal Tony

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Hynes crams in as many cuddles as he can with his son, Jacob, who is

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only five months old. Tony has now flown out to the Afghan capital,

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Kabul. To be away for his first Christmas, I am gutted. I have been

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away before it. To be a way for his first Christmas is the worst thing

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I can think of. Most people take it for granted that they will spend

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Christmas with the people they love. Four military families it is common

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to spend the festive season thousands of miles apart. The

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welfare programme at RAF Shawbury is well established. Families are

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given all the support they need when loved ones are posted overseas.

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We do not want people to feel that once their partners are way that

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they are on their own. We always have a point of contact for them,

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we check how they are doing, as well as other avenues. Josh and his

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mum and the other families have no there is a vital job to be done,

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even at this Christmas -- even at Christmas. The community here at

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RAF Shawbury make sure that no one is left out at this special time of

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As we live longer, the number suffering from dementia is

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increasing. Providing the right care in hospital is difficult. A

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recent report criticised hospitals for not doing enough. But one is

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improving the lives of those facing what can be such a disorientating

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illness. Dementia, the condition affects

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more than three-quarters of a million people across the UK.

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Hospitals are struggling to keep pace but making a more attractive

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environment for confused patients can be beneficial. That is what is

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happening in Coventry. One area is this forget-me-not lounge designed

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to calm patients who suffer confusion. Like 92-year-old Rose.

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could put my feet up and have a cup of coffee and relax. Much of the

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project includes these montages which show old pictures of Coventry

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and they are known to evoke soothing and pleasant memories.

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Rose has not been diagnosed with dementia but those who are often

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get less than satisfactory care. 32% of NHS staff interviewed for a

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report felt they had enough training. The hospital has made

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great strides, there has been a dimension group at the hospital. We

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have done things like improving communication skills with activity

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packs and the project is a great example of improving the

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environment. To me, it makes a huge difference, a difference providing

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quality care for older people and making sure they are looked after

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properly in hospital. It is a bit of all right. As well as the

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memories and lounge, staff are taking other steps to help dementia

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patients, simple things like spending more time with them and

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engaging in conversation about the past can go a long way.

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You are watching Midlands Today. Still to come: the family

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celebrating their first Christmas together after a deeply traumatic

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year. And we could all do with a bit of

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festive cheer this weekend with a seasonal setting. But Jack Frost's

:15:46.:15:56.
:15:56.:16:02.

out of town. So what is it going to I think it'll be quite mild. One of

:16:02.:16:05.

our top universities is leading the way in some of the biggest

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scientific discoveries ever made. Our science correspondent David

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Gregory reports now on how the discovery of yet another new

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particle at the European organisation for nuclear research,

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CERN on the French Swiss border, This is the Director of CERN,

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preparing to reveal to the world's media their news on the Higg's

:16:25.:16:29.

Boson and where did he come just a few days later? To the University

:16:29.:16:31.

of Birmingham to receive an honorary degree cementing the

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strong relationship between Birmingham and CERN. I think when I

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came in from the airport, I saw a sign, University of Birmingham,

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research with global impact. I think you do research with global

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impact. There are four experiments and the

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University of Birmingham is involved in the most of any

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university in the country, three out of four. But back to the Higgs

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boson, have they discovered it or not? What you can say is if there

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is one we are seeing the right sort of thing at the moment. But it is

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not at the level where you can say it is definitive. You could talk to

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me in six months' time and I might be going, that disappeared and it

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is different or does it exist. As for the experiment itself, well

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it's now offline. It is a complicated machine and needs

:17:41.:17:46.

maintenance. Experiments themselves have to have maintenance, there was

:17:46.:17:50.

shut down over winter. Next year, it will run even better than this

:17:50.:17:52.

year. And now the university has joined

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up to a third experiment. Right after all the hard work of

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designing and building has finished and just as the data gathering

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starts. That's the fun bit for a physicist. Yes, we feel bad about

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joining but it is fantastic to join. We can contribute a lot. It is the

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most complex, expensive and groundbreaking experiment ever

:18:16.:18:19.

attempted. And Birmingham and the Midlands are at the heart of three

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quarters of it. Very impressive and proud. Dan's

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here with the story of the most important goal of the season so far.

:18:30.:18:33.

The Aston Villa midfielder Marc Albrighton says it's a great honour

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that one of his goals has given Acorns Hospice a �20,000 windfall.

:18:38.:18:43.

Albrighton scored the 20,000th goal of the Premier League last night.

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And although Villa lost 2-1 it proved very precious.

:18:47.:18:50.

He didn't know it at the time but Marc Albrighton was about to score

:18:50.:19:00.
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the goal of a lifetime. That is a mistake and there is Albrighton.

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was celebrating drawing Aston Villa level against Arsenal. It was only

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afterwards the significance of his goal became clear. It was the

:19:07.:19:12.

20,000th since the Premier League was launched in 1992. The league

:19:12.:19:14.

sponsors Barclays offered �20,000 to the player who scored it and

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it's gone straight to Villa's charity partner Acorns Hospice.

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is a great honour and it is a great cause. We see the great work they

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do their and the kids are great. There was a smile on her face all

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the time. I am pleased it is going towards a good cause. �20,000 is a

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day's care across the trust. You can imagine to be given an infusion

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of that magnitude without any warning at all is wonderful.

:19:50.:19:52.

night's low point came three minutes from time when Yossi

:19:52.:19:56.

Benayoun scored to give Arsenal a 2-1 victory. But Villa could still

:19:56.:19:58.

celebrate an improved performance alongside the charity pay-out.

:19:58.:20:01.

Charity was in short supply from league leaders Manchester City

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though. They beat Stoke 3-nil and the result was never really in

:20:04.:20:08.

doubt. In contrast Albion's game at Newcastle was unpredictable and

:20:08.:20:10.

exciting from the moment Peter Odemwingie gave the baggies an

:20:10.:20:17.

early lead. Demba Ba equalised for Newcastle with a fine free-kick.

:20:17.:20:22.

But Gareth McCauley put Albion back in front before the break. Ba again

:20:22.:20:26.

equalised and Newcastle went in search of the winner. Albion had

:20:26.:20:29.

other ideas and a scintillating move was ended with Paul Scharner's

:20:29.:20:36.

athletic volley. Albion's last win at Newcastle was way back in 1977.

:20:36.:20:41.

This five goal thriller was almost worth the wait. And talking of

:20:41.:20:44.

waiting, Wolves fans will now have to wait 24 hours longer to see

:20:44.:20:47.

their side play at Arsenal over Christmas?

:20:47.:20:51.

Yes, they were due to play at the Emirates Stadium at 3pm on Boxing

:20:51.:20:56.

Day. But the match has now been put back 24 hours due to a drivers

:20:56.:20:59.

strike on the London Underground. This is what Wolves fans have made

:20:59.:21:03.

of it today. It is all fun. The fans have to get

:21:03.:21:08.

down there, travel to the ground and stuff. It is tough. It is the

:21:08.:21:14.

right thing. It is annoying because you like to watch it on Boxing Day

:21:15.:21:19.

because no one is a work. There's nothing to be done about it. It is

:21:19.:21:25.

about tradition and a football on Boxing Day is a big tradition.

:21:25.:21:28.

Other matches are taking place that day why have Arsenal called this

:21:28.:21:31.

one off. Well, in a statement they cited a duty of care to supporters

:21:31.:21:35.

and in their defence the vast majority of fans use the tube to

:21:35.:21:42.

get to Arsenal because there just isn't any parking around there. But

:21:43.:21:46.

the traditions of Boxing Day isn't set in stone these days. For

:21:46.:21:49.

example TV dictates that Birmingham City play West Ham in a 5.30 kick-

:21:49.:21:59.

off. Stoke host Villa in a 7.45pm kick-off. But we don't have to wait

:21:59.:22:02.

much longer to find out who's this year's BBC Sports Personality and

:22:02.:22:03.

we could have some Midlands winners tonight.

:22:04.:22:06.

Yes the programme starts at 8pm on BBC1 tonight. Cyclist Mark

:22:06.:22:09.

Cavendish is favourite to win the main award but we could have

:22:09.:22:14.

winners in the young sports personality award. Paralympic

:22:14.:22:16.

swimmer Eleanor Simmonds from Walsall and golfer Lauren Taylor

:22:16.:22:19.

from Rugby are down to the final three from what's been described as

:22:19.:22:22.

the "strongest ever field". And don't forget Bill Longmore, from

:22:22.:22:26.

Hanwood in Shropshire. He's a contender for the Unsung hero award

:22:26.:22:32.

after winning the Midlands version earlier this month. Let's hope we

:22:32.:22:35.

have good news tomorrow. A couple will be celebrating Christmas at

:22:35.:22:39.

home as a family a day they thought they'd never see as both mum and

:22:39.:22:42.

baby were seriously ill in hospital after his premature birth. It meant

:22:42.:22:44.

long trips to hospitals in Birmingham and Leicester for dad

:22:44.:22:47.

Daniel Tookey, who was also helping to look after their daughter at

:22:47.:22:53.

home in Shropshire. Joanne Writtle has been to meet them.

:22:53.:22:56.

Baby Ryan Tookey finally home in Oswestry, after he was delivered 10

:22:56.:23:04.

weeks early back in May, weighing just 2lb and 9oz. Mum Tina had a

:23:04.:23:08.

heart attack when she was just seven weeks pregnant. But all then

:23:08.:23:12.

appeared to well. Until she suffered pre-eclampsia and a liver

:23:12.:23:22.
:23:22.:23:22.

and blood clotting disorder when she was 30 weeks pregnant: I had

:23:22.:23:26.

him via emergency Caesarean section and as I have that, both of my

:23:26.:23:32.

lungs collapsed. All I can remember is saying goodbye to my husband at

:23:32.:23:37.

the theatre door to have emergency Caesarean section and next thing I

:23:37.:23:39.

woke up in a different hospital. Tina had been transferred to

:23:40.:23:43.

Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, where she had to be kept alive by a

:23:43.:23:46.

machine doing the work of her heart and lungs. She was home a few weeks

:23:47.:23:49.

later, but Ryan then had to go to Birmingham Children's Hospital for

:23:50.:23:53.

an operation to remove part of his bowel due to a condition which had

:23:53.:23:56.

caused it to die. Dad Daniel and big sister Kelly meanwhile, were at

:23:56.:24:05.

home in Oswestry. I was told within a two week period

:24:05.:24:11.

I could lose both of them. But I put that to the back of my mind and

:24:11.:24:15.

kept thinking to myself they will be home soon. It will all get

:24:15.:24:19.

better. I had to keep thinking that. Tina also has Polycystic Ovaries

:24:19.:24:23.

Syndrome, and it had taken five years to conceive Ryan. As for the

:24:23.:24:33.
:24:33.:24:34.

future. Hopefully we will all be fine. I am confident I will be OK.

:24:34.:24:39.

Ryan seems to be doing well. Providing he keeps growing and is

:24:39.:24:44.

bowels keep growing with him, it will get better. How special

:24:44.:24:50.

Christmas be? It will be amazing after the last 12 months, two years,

:24:50.:24:54.

it will be a most amazing Christmas ever. Finally, as if they hadn't

:24:54.:24:57.

all been through enough, big sister Kelly here slipped in the shower

:24:57.:25:01.

and broke her toe the day before Ryan came home from hospital two

:25:01.:25:11.
:25:11.:25:13.

My goodness, they have been through it. What a lovely Christmas they

:25:13.:25:23.

will have. Happy Christmas. Here's Something along the lines of today

:25:23.:25:28.

would be nice for Christmas Day. It will be mild, some sunshine but I

:25:28.:25:33.

do not think we will be able to pull that out of the back. Not

:25:33.:25:37.

snide but cloudy conditions, it will be damping places, mild and

:25:37.:25:43.

windy. Nothing Chris and see about Christmas. Christmas Eve is looking

:25:43.:25:53.
:25:53.:25:53.

OK. Tonight, cloud piling in from the West, it will be mild. It will

:25:53.:25:57.

state knows the drive but rain it ageing in towards dawn.

:25:57.:26:02.

Temperatures only eight or nine Celsius. Very mild. It will be a

:26:02.:26:09.

mild start tomorrow, a dull day and we see this rate band moving

:26:09.:26:15.

eastwards. Some will be fairly heavy, particularly in the east and

:26:15.:26:21.

the North. Flakes of snow on at Staffordshire Malverns. It is still

:26:21.:26:29.

quite mild. The air is coming in from the north-west. 10 and 11 in

:26:29.:26:35.

the day, the rain it plays East Wood's In the Night and skies will

:26:35.:26:40.

play quickly. Temperatures plummeting down to 2 or three

:26:40.:26:47.

Celsius. There will be a touch of frost on the cards. That is how we

:26:47.:26:52.

start Christmas Eve, it is looking quite nice on Christmas Eve, dry

:26:52.:27:02.
:27:02.:27:03.

and sunny. Temperatures up to around six Celsius. Then, south-

:27:03.:27:07.

westerly and temperatures in double figures. Cloudy and dampen places

:27:07.:27:11.

and windy. A Christmas Day barbecue. A look at

:27:11.:27:13.

tonight's main headlines: Multiple explosions rip through Baghdad -

:27:13.:27:16.

the worst violence Iraq has seen for months. And here homelessness

:27:16.:27:19.

hits a record high - it's growing at a faster rate in this region

:27:19.:27:29.

than anywhere in the country. That's all from us this evening. On

:27:29.:27:31.

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