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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 211

Date:- 24  July 2005

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GRADUATION SUCCESS AGAINST ALL ODDS

A Merseyside woman who graduated from Edge Hill College of Higher Education with a degree in English, despite being diagnosed with a terminal illness during her final year of study. June Cave, 42, from Netherton who battled against the odds to complete the BA (Hons) in English, enjoyed a family celebration at a degree award ceremony last week at Lancaster University, which accredits Edge Hill degrees.

The mother of Richard, 14, Katherine, 8 and Vicky, 6 has now recovered but did not expect to receive her cap and gown. Speaking at the degree awards ceremony June commented:- "It feels great to be here. I did not think that I would make it. I am so grateful to the staff at Edge Hill and my family and friends for all the support they have given me throughout my time as an undergraduate, especially Dr Gill Davies, Head of English, Dr Margaret Forsyth, James Coleman in the Information Systems Department and the team in academic registry.”

In 2002 whilst working as a volunteer at her daughter’s school St Thomas’s in Lydiate, June decided to return to education. She took up Edge Hill's Fastrack course, the 6-week intensive programme to prepare mature students for higher education and then went on to study the English degree. It was in the 3rd year of study that she became ill. Following surgery in January this year June had to take 12 weeks off to recover. Since then she has managed to complete her course work.

"English was always my strong point. I found the Fastrack course really helped me to prepare for the degree. I've had a lot of support from my family, especially my husband Stuart who also passed Fastrack and is currently studying for a degree in Information Systems at Edge Hill. With the co-operation of the Information Systems Department Stuart was able to support me through my operation and my recovery."
said June.

June, who is currently employed by Mouchel Parkman at Alder Hey Children's Hospital is surprisingly self-effacing about her achievement. "There are a lot of other people with more severe health problems than myself. At the moment I feel great. I just wish I'd felt this good this time last year. If it was not for the support and understanding at Edge Hill I would not have been able to achieve what I have."

SCHOOL CHILDREN OFFERED REAL CASH TO INVEST

SIXTH  form students in Liverpool are being invited to invest real cash in the stock market, with the school keeping the proceeds! It is part of a national competition being run by retail stockbroker The Share Centre, called Shares4Schools, which aims to encourage Yr.12 (Lower 6th) students to learn about the real world of business.

The national investment competition moves into its 3rd year and will run from October 2005 to June 2006, the winner of the last competition has just been announced as Arbroath High School in Arbroath. They finished with an overall total of £1,937.93 all of which they are allowed to keep! The team members were invited to a special winner’s day in London July 6.

Starting with an investment fund of £1,500, school teams compete in a national league to achieve the highest fund value over the period of the competition. The competitors are also competing for their regional titles too. Schools are encouraged to work with local businesses to gain sponsorship to fund their investment; equally though, some PTAs choose to provide funds seeing both the educational and fund-raising potential.  Registrations are now invited via the website (www.shares4schools.org) and close for applications in September. Schools who apply by Friday 22 July will also be considered for one of 30 sponsorships, each worth £750, from The Share Centre, leaving them to raise matching funds. 

Archie McInally, Head of Business Studies, Arbroath High School commented:- "This competition has been a great learning opportunity and we are delighted to have won. There are few enough experiences in school, which keep pupils totally interested over a long period of time. It has been a real roller-coaster ride, but we wouldn’t miss the opportunity to take part again next year”

Over the period of the competition teams use a range of resources, such as support from The Share Centre’s Advice Team, newspapers, specialist publications and the Internet, coupled with their instincts, to choose shares they believe will give them the greatest growth. Investment decisions will be made by the team and carried out by 2 nominated teachers (or other appropriate adults).

The members of the winning team will receive the Shares4Schools trophy and, will take part in a special winner's tour of the City of London.

There is also the regional titles up for grabs as well as a series of monthly competitions where participating schools have the chance to pick-up extra prizes, regardless of how their investments are performing. The competitions provide a focus for understanding financial markets, as well as encouraging debate over the likely impact of current events on the markets by including a short-term forecast of market levels.

Gavin Oldham, Chief Executive of The Share Centre commented:- "Following the success of the first two years of competition, we are delighted to be able to offer even more schools the opportunity to bring economics and business to life, giving Year 12 students the chance to learn about investment in a real world environment."

READING GROUP SHORT LISTED FOR PENGUIN / ORANGE READING GROUP PRIZE

CROSBY Reading Group in Liverpool is 1 of 6 reading groups to have been short listed for the Penguin / Orange Reading Group Prize in association with Ottakar’s. Now in its 4th year, the aim of the prize is to find the best reading groups that illustrate individuality, reflect diversity of reading choices and demonstrate the pleasure of shared reading.

This independent reading group of 12 women began as an offshoot of the National Housewives Register and have been meeting for 30 years. Discussions during the meetings are wide-ranging and often go far beyond the covers of the book, which allows for the sharing of life plans and aspirations.

Wendy Fairbank, a member of the Crosby Reading Group, commented:- “Crosby Reading Group has been running for thirty years and meeting every month without fail during that time. Reading is our delight and being short listed for a prize for doing what we like best is the icing on the cake. The upsurge of reading groups all over the country is testament to the good writing there is about at present.”

Entries from Walsall, Cheshire, Liverpool, Surrey, The Hebrides and Sheffield are all among the finalists. Entrants were asked where they meet, what they read, how they choose their members and what their reading group means to them. Entrants were also asked to write up to 500 words about what makes their reading group special.

Professor Jenny Hartley, Roehampton University, Author of The Reading Groups Book and one of the judges commented:- “This year’s shortlist overturns the popular preconception that reading groups are a relatively recent phenomenon dominated by women. Two of the groups on this list have been meeting for 30 years or more and the shortlist is remarkable for its diversity. From inner city to inner Hebrides – and inside prison too – this year’s shortlist is a great showcase for what reading groups do best: outward looking, socially inclusive, the small scale with the wide focus.”

The winning group will be announced in August and first prize will be a trip to the prestigious Edinburgh Book Festival, attending a celebrity panel event and meeting a Penguin author. 2nd prize is £200 worth of Penguin books for the reading group.

Pippa Dunn, Director of Brand Marketing at Orange, commented:- “Reading groups form an important part of our grass roots literature activity and wider Orange Prize for Fiction initiatives and they exist all over the UK – at libraries, in the home and even at pubs. They’re a great way for people to share their like-minded passion for books amongst friends and neighbours in local communities. The quality and diversity of entries for this year’s Penguin/Orange Reading Group Prize, including the Crosby Reading Group has been fantastic. Well done to all its members.”

Joanna Prior, Marketing and Publicity Director of Penguin, commented:- "Penguin is committed to meeting the growing interest in reading communally through our dedicated web site, our Readers Days and this prize, which was conceived in 2002. This year we have received an increase in entries of 80% which is terrific.”

The short listed reading groups are:-

• Black Reading Group (Walsall). This mixed sex group with an age span of 9 to 70, is the first reading group in the country to have been published collectively as a group. The group focuses on black history and black authors

• Congleton NWR Book Group (Cheshire). This all female group are members of the National Women’s Register and have been meeting for the past 31 years. In total the group have read more than 300 books

• The Crosby Reading Group (Liverpool). This all female group began as an off-shoot of the National Housewives Register and have been meeting for 30 years

• High Down Prison Group (Surrey). The views of this all male prisoner reading group are expressed by one group member as “a breath of fresh air; a monthly release when close to despair”

• The Isle of Islay Book Group (Hebrides). This all female reading group in a small rural island write a regular book review column for their local newspaper and read contemporary Scottish literature

• Red Deer Readers (Sheffield). This mixed sex group has been meeting for 8 years and has produced its own website for other reading groups to utilize

All 6 entries are available on the Penguin Readers group website (www.penguin.co.uk/readers under Penguin / Orange Reading Group Prize) and on the Orange website (www.orangeprize.co.uk).

Atkinson art Gallery Print of the Month Talk

THE talk will be on Friday 29 July at 12:30pm where Jo Jones will be giving a talk about the painting called "Mother Goose" by Paula Rego.

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