Sickle cell: Call The Midwife shines spotlight on disease

Mr Aidoo is diagnosed with sickle cell on Call The Midwife

Viewers and people with sickle cell disease have praised TV show Call The Midwife for its storyline portraying the condition.

In Sunday’s episode, which is set in 1964, characters Dr Turner and Nurse Trixie Franklin discover that a mysterious disease affecting a young Ghanaian family was a genetic blood disorder.

But it didn’t take long for viewers on social media to spot the symptoms and diagnose the condition as sickle cell.

Many took to social media to praise the period drama for its portrayal of the disease.  More

Corrie star in ‘historic’ female BAME Shakespeare play

Shobna Gulati

Former Coronation Street star Shobna Gulati is part of the “first ever company of women of colour” performing Shakespeare on a major UK stage.

The Globe Theatre in London described their staging of Richard II as “historic”.

Stage, TV and film star Adjoa Andoh is playing the lead role of king while Gulati will play the Duke of York.

The play will explore a post-Empire and pre-Brexit Britain and will reflect on identity and ownership.  More

Albert Johanneson: Plaque for first black FA Cup finalist

Albert Johanneson

A plaque to honour the first black player to feature in an FA Cup final is to be unveiled at Leeds United’s ground.

Albert Johanneson played 200 times for Leeds from 1961 to 1969 and appeared in the 1965 Wembley final.

The plaque will be unveiled at Elland Road ahead of Friday evening’s game.

Angus Kinnear, the club’s chief executive, said he “was a trailblazer and paved the way for other black players to make their mark”.

South African winger Johanneson scored 67 goals for Leeds and helped the team win promotion to the then First Division in 1964.  More

New childcare course aimed at men launched in Highlands

Child playing with toys

A Scottish university is trying to encourage more men to consider jobs in childcare.

Only 4% of those working in early years and childcare are male, according to the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI).

It is piloting a 12-week course for men, with the classes run in evenings to better suit those already working in jobs during the day.

Those who complete the course have the chance to gain an HNC in childcare.  More

Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month – January 2019

World Braille Day takes place on 4 January and with that in mind we have chosen Jill Barkley as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the month.

At 19 years old, Jill suddenly lost her sight from diabetic rhetinopathy. While adjusting to the huge change, Jill’s mum encouraged her to give hospital radio a go and she found her new passion. Jill studied sound engineering and came top of her class of eighty boys before taking a media degree at university and became a qualified journalist. Around 12 years ago Jill joined RNIB Connect Radio (originally Insight Radio) in Scotland, Europe’s first station for blind and partially sighted people.

Every week day Jill presents her show The Morning Mix on RNIB Connect. It’s a mix of great tunes, disability issues and listener call-ins, with her own unique mix of empathy, positivity and fun. She has also worked with BBC Radio Scotland hosting the Music Match and this year she took over a late night slot, presenting The Jill Barkley Show. Some of those listeners now tune in to RNIB Connect, too. As well as being a fantastic role model for what visually impaired people can achieve, Jill has been very open and frank about the challenges, including the breakdown she had a few years after losing her sight.

She’s an ambassador for RNIB and Guide Dogs UK, regularly speaks for both charities at events, and featured in a documentary about guide dogs on ITV. Jill’s a regular at festivals, where she reviews performances and interviews acts. She’s usually right at the front of the crowd at the shows, and has interviewed huge international stars including Dolly Parton, Guy Garvey from Elbow and Florence Welch from Florence + The Machine.

She also throws herself in to a huge range of things, from fire-breathing to conducting an orchestra, to flying a light aircraft!

To find out more about World Braille Day see here

To find out more about Jill see here