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main hospitals to find out how they're managing.
Also in the programme tonight - anger after financial support
A couple who gave up their jobs to look after four extra children
say they'll now struggle as financial help from
One final look back and then into sea -
the seals which have been nursed back to health in Cornwall.
Up for the cup. I live ahead of argyle's big match ahead of
Liverpool. Over the last 24 hours the pressure
on some hospitals in the South West has reached peak levels
with all experiencing huge demand. The number of people coming
through the doors is not necessarily the biggest problem
but in the winter many patients need And once they're in,
they may not be able to leave quickly if they have nowhere
to recover in the community. Our reporters have been at some
of our main hospitals this evening. Eleanor Parkinson is
at The Royal Cornwall which is still at the highest state
of alert. Yes, here at Royal Cornwall Hospital
they have around 100 patients They are ready to their next stage
of treatment but instead they are stuck here occupying
much needed beds. This of course has a huge impact
elsewhere in the hospital in particular on the emergency
department. All sorts of things are being
done to try and relieve Ambulance crews are trying to treat
many people as possible on location in their own homes and GPs
are making extra visits to care But the Trust says this
state of alert is likely Other hospitals which have also been
under immense strain in recent days include Yeovil,
where managers urged people with And last night Derriford was also
on the highest level of alert. Johnny Rutherford has
the latest from Plymouth. Yes, Derriford Hospital
was on what used to be called Black Tonight there is good
news the hospital has They say it's thanks to the extra
effort put in by staff here and by outside services
in the community. However, that doesnt mean
their difficulties are over yet. As the weekend approaches they have
been working to free up some of their 900 plus beds
and additional Doctors and nurses The advice here if you need to visit
a loved one in hospital and you are not feeling 100% -
Help reduce the spread of bugs There's a similar picture
at North Devon District Hospital where they're meeting twice a day
to try to manage Dorset County Hospital told us
tonight that it is 96% full but at the moment it's on a lower
level of alert. They say health and social services
are working together well to move Urgent action is being taken
at Torbay Hospital, meanwhile 50 extra beds have been opened
at the Royal Devon and Exeter where all planned operations
have been postponed. One of the consultants
there explained how they're coping. It has been very busy. We have been
experiencing very great levels of demand and enormous lovers of
patients have been coming through the doors, that we have been
managing to see patients as quickly as possible and hopefully giving
excellent care. I think there is no secret that demand is rising
year-on-year. More patients are coming along. We have an ageing
population, particularly in this area and more patients need extra
care in the winter time. So I think winter pressure has worsened
NHS England says tried-and-tested plans are in place and people
are being reminded they can play their part by getting advice
from pharmacies or the NHS 111 number if they're condition
A couple from Cornwall who were advised to give
up their jobs when they took on four children who needed a home say
they're angry their financial support is now being cut.
Daniel and Giselle Stoddern are Special Guardians
who look after children, usually extended family
members, as an alternative to fostering or adoption.
Cornwall Council insists the cuts are necessary because the bill
for its Special Guardian scheme is rapidly increasing.
This family already have three youngsters of their own and became
the court appointed guardians of four others. Money was not their
motivation. The special Guardian is usually take on family members, but
they did need financial help. They told us that our children will not
be affected and that is why we would get the payments, so that we could
still live the life that we have before without the extra children,
and now that is not the case. Cornwall Council says that a number
of its special guardians and because of costs rising, it decided money
could be paid for three years, but then the amount has to be reduced by
10% each year. We were told when we first went to court that we would
get special guardianship payments. They asked us to give up our
full-time employment to look after seven children, so to go back after
five years and say we are going to stop your payments reduced the
payments, it does make me quite angry. 64-year-old great-grandmother
Janice Wilkins, a special Guardian, says that Cornwall Council at first
confirmed her outside the top rate. And then three weeks later, another
letter stating that there would be a 10% drop. I just find it amazing. I
don't see how you can get away... When we took on three years ago,
saying this is going to happen, and now suddenly it all changes.
Presumably, there is no chance she will give the children of if it
becomes a naturally unmanageable? It is going to be very, very hard,
whatever decision we make. I can't see us giving up the children but at
the same time, we cannot afford to go back to work at the moment with
the children as they are. Formal council says it pays above the
national average and the 10% savings will be used to fund new special
guardians. -- Cornwall Council. Both families say they will appeal the
decision to reduce their financial support.
Controversial plans to build a solar farm on a Site
of Special Scientific Interest in West Dorset have been
Dorset Wildlife Trust campaigned against the scheme and says
in a groundbreaking piece of co-operation British
Solar Renewables have worked with them to find
Our Environment Correspondent Adrian Campbell reports.
This is the land in West Dorset where British solar renewables had
But Rampisham Down is also a very special and rarer area for wildlife.
It may not look very exciting, but this land
managed with livestock to help maintain the rare habitat
which survived over years because it was home a large number
of radio masts and the site was sealed off to the public.
Dr Simon Cripps from the Dorset Wildlife trust has heled lead
a concerted campaign to persuade the developers to change their minds
Planning approval was originally granted for the site
but he and others have fought hard to achieve a change of heart
which seems to have satisfied environmentalists
It does not look like the Serengeti but it is a fabulous site. There are
very few areas of lowland grassland like it in the country. Because it
was protected for so many decades, right back to the Cold War, and
because of that protection, we have this unusual and important
assemblage of plants and animals that now really needs to be
protected. This is the site nearby where the solar form will be built,
on land well away from the site of special scientific interest. The
agreement means the future of bawdy wild flowers and grassland, which
environmentalists were worried about, is now secure.
A unique collection of stories about war-time watches
is being published to mark the centenary of the Great War.
A woman from Devon has created the largest database
Well, now she hopes to print a book to honour those who fought
But, as Andrea Ormsby reports, she's on the search for more stories.
Time - a passion for horologist Cathy McAnespie.
Another passion is honouring our war heroes.
Now she's combined the two by creating the largest archive
There is one that really sticks in my mind, which is about Lieutenant
Colonel Klein, who was from Cornwall. He was killed on the 1st
of December, 1915, and his watch stopped at the exact time he died,
which was 7:55pm. All of his possessions were put into a sack and
given to his widow, who could not bear to look at them. His
grandchildren found them in the attic and once they opened them, the
watch still had the mud from the battlefield still interested. --
encrusted. Her website has hundreds of stories,
and Cathy wants to create a book to be published during the centenary
of the Great War. We are all governed by time, really.
It is one of the things we want to poetry in the book, about how time
for Tommy going over the top, does he want time to stop still and not
go over the top, or does he want time to go quickly and get it over
with? It is that significance of time.
To create her special First World War book,
examples from the South West and hopes people will get in touch
through her website - timeforremembrance.com.
Six grey seal pups have been released back into the wild
after spending several months being nursed back to health
by staff at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary at Gweek.
All were rescued after being found abandoned on Cornish beaches -
dangerously underweight and in several cases injured.
Our reporter Tamsin Melville was at Gwithian to see them set free.
It might not be an ideal day for a trip to the beach.
But for Honey Badger, Platypus, Grizzly Bear, Panther,
Tiger and Giraffe, the time is just right to get back into the open sea.
They were just tiny pups, malnourished and injured
when they were rescued around the Cornish coast in the autumn.
Now fighting fit - and fat enough to be set free.
All the hard work when they first come in and they are poorly and sick
and then building them up and getting them strong enough and wise
enough and already for the wild is just the best thing. It is the best
feeling in the world. Giraffe's a bit reluctant
at first, but he gets there, watched by the family
who found him tangled in seaweed - and who called
the Cornish Seal Sanctuary. They decided he was underweight and
then they'd rescued him and then we went to the Seal century a couple of
weeks ago to see how he was getting on. And then we had a phone card
yesterday to say that he had put on enough weight to be let back into
the sea again. And that is why we come to the released today.
Once they've hit the waves there's no looking back -
for either the seals or their keepers.
We can they prepare them so much. They had to do the final bit. I am
more than confident that they will figure it out and they will find
fish and they will settle into the wild.
Up to 60 seals are rescued and then released here
at Gwithian every year, and it's always a crowdpuller.
All the sport is next - we'll be live at Home Park as Argyle
get ready for their big trip to Anfield.
Also still ahead: Learning to read at 86 years old -
we meet Ursula who's proof that it's never too late.
I am in the mid Devon town that likes to mark the end of Christmas
with a couple of colourful characters.
Let's go to the sport now and the main story this evening
is Plymouth Argyle's 3rd round FA Cup tie with Liverpool on Sunday,
where of course they're hoping for a giant killing.
The players leave for Anfield tomorrow at noon, with most fans
Andy Birkett is at Home Park for us this evening.
Hi there. As stadiums go, this one is pretty impressive. It will only
get better, once they developed that newsstand.
Here at Home Park you can pack 16k fans in.
On Sunday, it's going to be a lot different at Anfield -
a stadium more than three times the size of this one,
more than 50,000 fans are expected for their 3rd round FA Cup tie
with Liverpool and most of them will be hoping Argyle lose.
Then you add the millions of TV viewers all around the world -
Pressure the team feel they are ready to handle.
If all our players are at peak form...
This squad does have belief, and a manager with one thing
I think that there is that possibility.
But you have got to go there with that belief and attitude.
Graham Kerry, who is also a Liverpool fan, is argyle's star
man and not fazed by performing on the
Obviously, you will see that, but when the game starts your
But unless we are competitive, unless we give it a
good go, you're not really going to enjoy it.
These games are really for the fans and the club has sold
Some will be heading up tomorrow, but many others will be travelling
up in the early hours of Sunday morning.
But for five lucky supporters they received their tickets
from striker Paul Arnold Garita who had hidden vouchers around
Plymouth tweeting clues for them to find them.
Actually, I walk that way every day to and fro from work because
I live near by, so I recognised it instantly.
Five minutes later, there it is, still on my normal
He made it before me and got the ticket.
I gather you to have both got tickets already.
Where going to give it away to a friend that
obviously can't get one, so they got the opportunity to go to Anfield
It is good for the club, for the team, for the
Because it is important everyone can come and it is good
I was just looking at all the different people and
seeing whether they were heading in the same direction
they were going and if I could run past them, if I needed to.
Matt was the first to collect the ticket from
the BBC, hoping to give it to a friend of his.
There was a guy that came about 30 seconds after the
anti-looked pretty disappointed to not get a ticket, so if he is out
Yeah, I would like to say thank you to Matt.
Hopefully, I will see you up in Liverpool.
was holding it for the other one, so I said I may as well try and get
Just some good competition in my family, trying to get a ticket.
Tickets for the big match and a chance to say thank you.
Now, Arnie, if you can give the Liverpool
defender is the same runaround on Sunday,
there will be thousands of
Well, this is the FA Cup after all...
It's just a replica, but there's no doubt that Liverpool
is the place to be this weekend if you're a Pilgrim.
Whatever happens on Sunday, the club will be more than half
And who knows, we might have a replay or even a fourth
Thanks, Andy. I was going to say, last person you switch the lights
off. But I think that is you, Andy. That will be me, Justin. Lucky he
doesn't have to pay the electricity bill.
Now to the story of an 86-year-old who is proof that you're
When Ursula Sheperd left school in the 1930's she was unable to read
because she was too shy to ask for help.
But now she's decided to put that right.
We spoke to Ursula and her teacher Fiona Prideaux and asked
She's really keen, really enthusiastic.
She comes to me once a week and then she practices at home.
So what has prompted you to want to do this, Ursula?
Well, I wanted to learn to read so I could learn other
people to read when I finish reading.
And why did you wait until you are in your 80s?
What made you wait that long to learn to read?
Well, I was very, very nervous, you know, when I was young, you see.
And Fiona, how do you set about with Ursula and the
process of learning to read at this age?
Because I know you deal with people of various ages, but I think
Ursula is the oldest pupil you have had.
How have you set about making sure she is able to read?
Well, we start by learning the sounds of the
individual letters, so we build up from that and then we learn three
and four letter words, really simple ones like cat, mat, sat.
So it is learning to blend the sounds
together in order to read a whole word and then when she is really
good at that we are going to move on to learning sounds that have two
And then learning the words associated with those sounds.
And so it is a very structured programme
and we just build slowly and move on when she is confident.
What would you like to get to, with Fiona's
Well, I would like to go to a library place and get sort of a
And I think, Fiona, you have a lesson
prepared for Ursula, just to show us the progress
You are going to read just a sentence.
Well, we wish you well with it and thank you very much
I think she will prove to be an inspiration. Absolutely. She told me
she is very fast and netting. -- fast at knitting.
Time to take your decorations down or risk bad luck, or is it ?
There's some disagreement as to whether 12th night falls
The difference in opinion is said to be down to the fact
that in centuries past, Christmas was deemed to start
at sunset on Dec 24 and so the 12th night following it was Jan 5.
Nowadays, people count from Dec 25 itself and so assume
If you want a fuller explanation there's one on our Facebook page.
in Bradninch in Devon and John Henderson is there.
Yes, I am here. You are looking at the Bradninch Miller's Morris men,
in all their finery, really going for it. We have a musical
accompaniment. We also have some lanterns. Any ideas about the theme?
Willy Wonka. The theme is Roald Dahl because it is 100 years since his
birth. Let's have a look at this. What is that one? Who will enlighten
me? It is a golden ticket. It took roughly ten hours to make. And what
does it entitle you to? Sweets for the rest of your life? Let's find
the mayor in amongst this wrong. Liz Taylor, good evening. Looking very
nice. What is this all about? This is a great community event in
Bradninch where we celebrate the end of the last year and the bringing in
of the New Year. How long has it been going? It is quite a recent
event. Probably the start of the century. And the point is that
people bring their Christmas trees. Is that right? Indeed. Everybody
brings their trees and we have a big bonfire and burn them all up. You
had a very important job to do. You go and do that. Let's have a chat
with Mike. How has it gone tonight? It was excellent. Really good. Great
fun. So tell me how it works. It starts at both ends of the town, led
by the two giants, we get our peer, had a bit of a dance, and then we go
down the football fields where we have the bonfire. Right. The mayor
is in position, if I could just dash across you here. I think he is ready
to do the honours. All, he may make... Thank you very much for
coming this evening. I would like to lend my thanks to the organisers.
All the best. As with tradition, I will now signal the end of the last
year by throwing the tree over the balcony and welcoming in 2017. Happy
New Year to everyone in Bradninch. CHEERING
Fantastic. There you go. Carefully missing me. I am told that there are
more entertainment in the pub nearby, including some dancing. I am
of their now for a glass of lemonade, a packet of crisps, and a
front-page seat. OK, John. Thank you very much. Crikey, that was close,
that tree. It is time for the weather.
Hello. Good evening. I will speak about December in a minute, but
first, the week ahead. It is quiet and cold and also misty. We have had
some questions about the fact that it has been quite dry for the last
six or seven weeks and when you look at the figures, they show the
picture quite well. The rainfall for December was only 42% of what we
normally expect to see. The seventh driest December on record and the
records go back to 1910. How does that affect the reservoir levels?
They are down quite a bit. They are 65% full. Last year, they were 92%
full. So quite a big difference. We have had some relatively dry
weather. Through the Ottoman into the start of the new year. That has
changed today. We have had some patchy drizzle and that sticks with
as overnight and I. Slowly moving out of the way. Once that process is
underway, we are left with an area of high pressure, but all of that
cloud trapped underneath it, so not much promise of a great deal of
sunshine this weekend. It is high pressure but it is a cloudy high.
Lots of cloud and mist and low cloud and fog and hail fog and little
change as we move into Sunday as well. The rain that has been coming
in today has been patchy and light, but it is gradually moving through
this evening and through the night to come. It has introduced a lot of
low cloud. The fog will become more extensive and lower through the
night and into the day tomorrow. So it will be a mild night. The drizzle
will fade away. We will be left with an awful lot of cloud and overnight
temperatures much higher than they have been. 7-10 is obvious. A
drizzly start to the day tomorrow. -- Celsius. Temperatures back up
into double figures tomorrow. We have not seen those for a while.
10-11th of years. Similar for the Isles of Scilly. Here are the times
of high water. Most of the beaches are likely to be choppy. The wind
coming in from the west. Finally, the winds are westerly for the
coastal forecast. Have a nice weekend. Back to you. Thank you very
much, David. Good luck to Plymouth Argyll. We will have the reaction on
Monday. We leave you with some of those 12 night celebrations in
Bradninch. Good night. Goodbye. Panorama investigates
the deadly terrorist attack and should British tourists
have been warned about the risks?