nene local | helen dawson


Category: News from our Area

Willingness to Take Part in COVID-19 Vaccine Trials Across Region

Thousands of people across the East Midlands are putting themselves forward to take part in COVID-19 vaccine research trials driven by a desire to generate faster results and to help others in their community, according to new research revealed today.

Council and police hold joint patrols to support pandemic restrictions

A survey carried out in the region reveals that more than two in three (69%) people would consider putting themselves forward to take part in research to find a vaccine to slow the spread of the virus.


Amongst those who said that they would consider taking part in vaccine research, the most powerful motivations included supporting research to deliver faster answers (85%) and helping others in my community (59%). Three quarters of all respondents (76%) identified support to help with transport and childcare as something that would encourage them to volunteer to take part in research.


The findings, released by the Centre for Black and Minority Ethnic Health in Leicester, and the NIHR Clinical Research Network East Midlands, come from a survey conducted to understand more about attitudes towards vaccine research and how they differ across different communities.


Research studies are testing the effectiveness of a range of candidate vaccines to determine their safety and efficacy before those that are successful are rolled out to the general public. An essential part of trials is ensuring that they work effectively for people from different communities. The data and responses from this survey are being analysed to inform the creation of content to inform and encourage members of the public to take part in COVID-19 vaccine trials.


The findings show that attitudes towards research participation change over age. Six in ten (62%) of respondents aged 18-44 said that they would consider taking part in COVID-19 vaccine research, rising to three-quarters (77%) of people aged 45+. In addition, the survey found that people from White communities were more likely (76%) to say that they would consider participating in research to find a vaccine than those from Asian (53%) and Black (38%) communities.


Professor Kamlesh Khunti, Director of the NIHR ARC East Midlands and Professor of Primary Care Diabetes and Vascular Medicine at the University of Leicester, said:


“We are proud to be delivering vital vaccine research in the East Midlands and we are incredibly grateful to everyone who has signed up to support this important work. It is essential that vaccines work effectively for people from all backgrounds, and the results of this survey are helping us to better understand the different motivations and barriers that can affect participation in research. We will be using the findings to encourage all research sites within our region and beyond to ensure that research is as inclusive as possible.”


The survey results also indicate that people with previous experience of either receiving a vaccine or taking part in research are inclined to do so again. The proportion of people who said that they would consider taking part in COVID-19 vaccine research rose to 74% amongst those who received a flu vaccine last year, and 78% amongst those who have previously been involved in clinical trials.


Professor Khunti added:


“It is extremely pleasing to see that people who have a history of either taking part in research or receiving a flu vaccine are more likely to consider joining the research effort to find a vaccine for COVID-19. This is testament to the positive experience of research that the overwhelming majority of participants have, and shows that people who receive vaccines are clear about the benefits of doing so and the impact that a vaccine for this virus could have.


“The news on vaccines in recent weeks has been incredibly uplifting, but there is more work to do. We need people to continue signing up to support COVID-19 vaccine research so that we can test a range of different vaccines and ensure that we find vaccines that can protect as many people as possible. I would encourage everyone across the East Midlands to step forward and be part of this enormous research effort.”


So far, over 28,000 people across the East Midlands have signed up to support COVID-19 vaccine research through the NHS COVID-19 Vaccine Research Registry, with over 350,000 registrations from across the UK. The registry enables researchers to quickly contact people who have expressed their interest in taking part in vaccine trials to ensure that studies can be delivered quickly and effectively.


Research teams across the East Midlands have been involved in the delivery of three COVID-19 vaccine trials. To find out more about research and to sign up to support vaccine research, visit

New Local Charity – Ailsa’s Aim

We are delighted to introduce our new charity, Ailsa’s Aim.  Founding trustees, Sara and Niven Whatley, say;

“The object of Ailsa’s Aim is to relieve the needs of persons in England and Wales who suffer from cancer or gestational diabetes or have experienced premature and problematic childbirth and their families and carers; in particular, but not exclusively, by the provision of support, items and services and signposting to other relevant and appropriate services.”

What we actually do is to create, source and deliver some of life’s little personal comforts to those in need, ailment and distress, and to offer ‘a ray of sunshine’ into people’s lives. For this reason, our slogan is “Putting You First.”

Our campaigns have so far included: giving comfort and cosmetic care bags to parents of children in Special Care; providing Christmas presents and treats to children on Children’s Wards in hospitals; sending Fathers’ Day gifts to Dads in SCBU; providing care bags to NHS and Key Workers during the Covid-19 Pandemic; providing and filling snack stands to hospitals; installing Baby Changing facilities in Cancer wards; running auctions and events for donations to research into cancer treatments.

In 2018, having struggled for 6 years to conceived, we were finally successful with IVF treatment, however the pregnancy was traumatic and at the premature birth of our daughter, we discovered that Sara had 3 very advanced and rare forms of cancer and would need intense chemotherapy and that Ailsa would also need Special Care.

Nevertheless, thanks to Sara’s and Ailsa’s strength and determination and the skill, care and expertise of the NHS, Ailsa has grown into a healthy and happy toddler and Sara has recovered incredibly well and is in full remission.

We began running Ailsa’s Aim as a charitable cause to repay those who have helped us and to support and offer care packs to others who are going through or helping with medical issues similar to those we ourselves have faced.

Through Ailsa’s Aim we raise funds and awareness and to provide care packs to people from all aspects of our journey, as well as to the carers and staff who work tirelessly to make sure that we can enjoy the time we have together.

We have already completed a series of successful campaigns professionals in Kettering General, Northampton General, Charing Cross, Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, CARE community services, Ovacome and the Imperial Health Charity.

We are now in a position to seek donations, volunteer assistance and new liaisons with support organisations, both local and national, so that we can continue to build on the early work we have done.

We are run entirely on donations and our own personal efforts and input, so any support which people can afford us will always be gratefully accepted.

There are several ways to donate to or support our cause, depending on your preferences.

Please contact Sara on 07919536833, on Facebook @ailsasaim, or via email to enquire.


Let’s Get-Nourished Together

It’s well documented that getting all our vitamins and minerals and being in tip-top condition helps with our immunity and who wouldn’t want a great immune system at the moment!get nourished

I was approached by Nourished to take a look at their bespoke vitamin stacks.  To begin your Nourished journey you need to go online to and take their quiz.

get nourished

By answering a few questions on your age, gender, lifestyle and diet choices the team asses your needs and make a vitamin stack just for you.  They use technology that would be at home in a Star Trek replicator – producing your products with the aid of a digital printer.  They are vegan and eco-friendly.  At Nourished they hold over eight patents across their 3D printing techniques and ingredient encapsulation methods, the pioneers have developed all these entirely inhouse in the facility in Birmingham.

get nourished

After my little quiz, I placed my order.  For full disclosure I was given a code to get my pack for free to try out.  Every step of the way I had an email; your Nourished stacks have been printed, your nourished stacks are on their way, you’ve unlocked Nourish rewards – each email is informative and not intrusive, although you can opt out of course.

My Nourished stacks for the month turned up very quickly and looked lovely and inviting.  They would make an interesting gift for someone too.  The website claims ‘delicious’ I’d say pleasant to eat rather than delicious to be honest.get nourished

In my stack I have;

  • Selenium
  • A probiotic
  • Ginger Extract
  • Cordyceps
  • Beta Glucan
  • Maca Powder
  • White Kidney Bean Extract

And they all depended on my answers in the online quiz of course.  You get a leaflet letting you know what each one will accomplish for you.

I’ve only just started the stacks so can’t comment yet on whether I feel any different on them.

For more information go to

get nourished





£400 Fine for Littering Out of Car Window

Drop your litter and face the consequences. That’s the stark message from East Northamptonshire Council (ENC) who recently prosecuted a driver for just such an offence.


Back in January, an ENC environmental services officer witnessed the driver throw an empty cigarette packet out of his car window on Kettering Road, Thrapston. The driver was identified as Ryan Potticary and was offered a fixed penalty notice of £150 (reduced to £100 if paid within 10 days). Despite reminders being sent, Mr Potticary failed to pay the fine and was then referred to court where he was offered the opportunity to enter a plea by post. Again, he failed to reply so the case went to Northampton Magistrates Court in August. Mr Potticary did not attend but was found guilty and received a £402 fine. (£220 fine plus a £32 victim surcharge and £150 costs).


Steven North, Leader of ENC, said: “All littering is an offence no matter what it is and we all need to take responsibility by using a bin or taking our rubbish home. And that’s not just to avoid a fine but to protect where we live, work, play and drive.


“I hope that this case serves as a warning that we will hold those who litter to account and we will pursue through the courts, if necessary. Avoid that hefty fine and do the right thing – bin it.”

don't be a litter bug