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Judith’s Middlesbrough #ProjectThree

I met Judith a few weeks ago in  The Fork in the Road restaurant over dinner ,to dicuss whatMiddlesbrough meant to her ,Green space within our Town about her involvement  in the local group GreenStuff Middlesbough . Here I met someonewho was passionate about her town and could see the importance and many benefits to why a town like Middlesbrough needs as much Green as possible. After meeting Judith and hearing her  story on what  Middlesbrough and green space means to her I felt I met someone who cared deeply about her area and was one of the people in our town which makes it such a good to live, Here is Judith’s Story. 

My Meeting with Judith In the Fork in the Road few weeks ago

What does Middlesbrough mean to you? 

I was born in Ormesby when it was a small village and the occasional bustrip into ‘the town’ was an exciting event.  I was fascinated by Wright’s Tower House and the way your shopping change came down a shute.   My first full time job was in the civil service in Middlesbrough. I could always see the famous Transporter bridge from Ormesby Bank – along with many otherbuildings.  I think Middlesbrough is a great town because it offers everything – shops, cinema, theatre and it is so easy to get to our spectacular coast and countryside.  After living in landlocked Birmingham for a few years I had a new appreciation of just how lucky we are. 

#GreenMiddlesbrough

Why is green space important for the town?

Greenspace is invaluable to any town but to Middlesbrough more than most.  Itis a well researched and documented fact that just being in green space isvital to physical and mental well being.  It is calming and uplifting, itgets us away from the everyday stresses of life which helps improve our menta lhealth and sense of well being. It provides an opportunity for exercise – atwhatever pace you choose – while listening to birdsong and observing all the wonders of the flora and fauna we find in our green spaces.  It provides us with the delight of  foraging during the late summer and autumn. Winter brings the chance to sledge down the slopes, have a snowball fight and relax with hot toast smothered with hedgerow jam and a good slurp of homemadesloe gin.  What’s not to love about our green spaces?

I think our beautiful green spaces are so very important for our children. It is much healthier, more stimulating and simultaneously educational for children to run and play freely in green space.   Children learn to communicate and cooperate effectively in games with their peers in green space and the lack of man made structures helps them be inventive in the games they create.  Who does not have memories of the delights of beck jumping games,building secret dens, tracking games and climbing trees.  The long meadow grasses can become the sound of waves while marooned on an island in the middleof an ocean.  The possibilities are endless if we let children be free ina green space.

Why is greenstuff important to you?

Greenstuff is not just important to me but important for current and future generations.  Greenstuff came about when Martyn Walker mobilised people to fight to save our precious Acklam meadows and woodland.  We cannot let itbe concreted over and have the most important asset Middlesbrough has to offer lost forever. The meadows and Foxes Wood are ancient and irreplaceable. They can never be recovered in their current form once they have been built on.

Middlesbrough has among the worst data for poor health, drug abuse and suicide in thecountry.  In fact it has the highest suicide rate in the country.  Given that we know green space is important for mental health we, as atown, need to be encouraging more people to avail themselves of this free,green, health service.  I know there is a doctor’s surgery which organisesguided walks through the Acklam meadows for patients suffering from depression.  Walking, jogging, running is also good for combating heartdisease and on the meadows you are in fresh air rather than breathing in the fumes from roads.  Heart disease is also implicated in vascular dementia and exercising in a green space, where you can meet friends and neighbours and pass the time of day, is a good antidote to developing dementia.

Greenstuff is important to me for all these reasons but also for the sheer pleasure ofseeing so many varieties of gloriously coloured dragon and damselflies, anamazing array of butterflies and moths, so many delightful wildflowers, the chance of glimpsing deer in the woodland or drinking from the pond and so many other forms of life.  My highlights this year were the sounds of the sparrowhawks nesting on Mandale and the beautiful marsh or chids nestling in the swaying meadow grasses, but I love the call of the resident tawny owls and the swooping bats and house martins.  There is so much to fall in love with in our greenstuff places.

If your readers haven’t already joined Greenstuff, Stand With me or Our Greenways I would urge them to do so and be part of voice raised to preserveour green spaces.

What do you think are the best points of the town?

Well,you won’t be surprised to hear, that for me, the best features of our town arethe Acklam meadows and woods, the Ormesby beck valley, Nature’s world and the natural green spaces around Nunthorpe.  However, I also love Fork in theRoad as I think it was an amazing vision of  Andy Preston’s to help trainup people who might otherwise not find employment.  I love the new initiatives such as Baker Street, which adds a new, fresh vibe to the town.  I think we need some boutique shops and some more interesting barsto run alongside those areas to attract more people into the town.  New in town entertainment would also enliven the town and make it more attractive tot he young.

What future do you see for Greenspace in Middlesbrough?

Unless the council changes it’s plan to run a major road through the richly biodiverse habitat which is Mandale meadow, I think the future for green space in Middlesbrough is bleak.  The proposed road could be a circular route through the new estate, with a separate entry and exit point or the councilcould build an, admittedly more expensive route, via the farm road whichalready exists and negotiate with Stockton Borough Council for the road to exit onto the A1130 on the Stockton side of the A19 Mandale interchange.

We also need to keep Nature’s World with it’s amazing orchard and many splendidfeatures – and Middlesbrough’s only Botanical Garden.

Article By Chloe Tempestoso 

#ProjectTwo.Saks.Middlesbrough Eve.Appeal Story

It was great to go along to the Saks Middlesbrough charity event raising money for Eve Appeal.  Kerry, Saks Manageress is an inspiration and Steve the owner of Middlesbrough and David Lloyds Saks Salons was a great host.  It highlighted to me just how generous the people of Middlesbrough and surrounding areas are when it comes to looking after the health and well-being of our residents.  Did you know every day in the UK 58 women are diagnosed with a gynecological cancer and 21 will die. The Eve Appeal are determined to change thisfor the future of women.  This is the only charity that is on a mission toraise awareness and funds to protect women from the 5 gynecological cancers:womb, ovarian, cervical, vulval and vaginal.  It is a topic that a lot ofpeople would prefer not to discuss or find it embarrassing, the Eve charity working in partnership with Saks Salons is getting the message across to clients by providing information at all the salons and helping raise awareness of these cancers in a relaxed atmosphere,all the staff are passionate about the charity and will discuss the charity andshare leaflets with all the clients to get the message across.  All salons raise funds for this charity and this year it was Middlesbrough’s turn to put on a show.  Saks nationally are looking to raise £250,000 by the end of 2020.  On the evening £1,600 was raised by Saks Salon, Albert Road, Middlesbrough. 

More information on the charity can be found on the link below or pop into the salon for a leaflet.

https://eveappeal.org.uk/

Andys Middlesbrough and the Story behind The Fork in the Road. #ProjectOne

  I popped into the charity restaurant The Fork In The Road on 05/11/18 to meet its founder and driver Andy Preston.  Andy’s a local business person who like myself is hugely passionate and proud of  the town we both  called our home:Middlesbrough .

 I wanted to find out the reason why he decided to open the restaurant ,what positive impact the restaurant has had on the town and people of Middlesbrough and where he sees the restaurant going in the future. Also I wanted to know what Middlesbrough means to him, where he sees our town going in the future, what he believes needs to be done to make the town a better place.  This is my interview with Andy Preston – Andy’s Middlesbrough. Project One –  

What does Middlesbrough mean to you- 

To me Middlesbrough means family,friends and history.  It also means building and places I love.  I feel a very strong emotional attachment to Middlesbrough and it’s something I’m proud of.  Sometimes I am critical of  the town and like many people I can have a love hate relationship with Middlesbrough. Middlesbrough is a truly great place and I think it can do so much better – it can really improve.  There’s so much to our town and so much that needs to be done also to make Middlesbrough a better place. 

When I was younger Newcastle was twice the sizeof Middlesbrough and it had three times as many shops, bars and restaurants .The best way to understand what has happened to Middlesbrough over the past 30 to 40 years is to see that Newcastle is still twice the size of Middlesbroughbut now has ten times as many shops, bars and  restaurants as Midddlesbrough.  So Middlesbrough has been hugely overshadowed by the progress of Newcastle and so many other places.  Ss a town need to workout how this has happened – we’ll have to be honest about where we are as a town in 2018 and come up with a genuinely clever strategy to improve and catch up with Newcastle and other places that have progressed so much. And we do need to be positive – It’s really good to be positive – and we need to be honest about what can be done.

Middlesbrough needs a plan for the next five to ten years and that must include measurable targets . In my life I haven’t succeeded at everything I have done , but I have had some real successes.  When I have succeeded its because  I’d  set clear goal  with a timeline in mind .

 Fork in the road- for me starting this restaurant and venture was a way of doing something positive for the town I’m from – bringing a derelict building back to life and helping to change the lives of some people in negative situations. I think the restaurant stands out maybe as a bit of a beacon, maybe to inspire others and touch people lives .Lots of people  have come and eaten here and become impressed with the positive energy behind the placed and that makes me proud.   If you read our reviews on trip adviser so many people from outside the area when visiting Middlesbrough have come and eaten here, people have said they think every city should have one of these . 

What made you setup Fork in the Road- Wanting to make a little difference ,we supported  people with their lives and to grow and achieve more with their life. 

This is Andy Preston interview on what Middlesbrough means to him, and the story behind the restaurant The Fork in the Road. My meeting with Andy and discussing what Middlesbrough means to him and discussing Fork in the Road . I feel the Fork in the Road is one of many positive things currently going on in our town, the opening of the restaurant and concept behind it, will help Middlesbrough grow as a town, Hopefully inspire other local people to open a  business within Middlesbrough . I believe Andy’s passion for Middlesbrough and wanting the town to grow and do well ,and his passion for the restaurant the The Fork in the Road  a non profit restaurant that he has opened to help disadvantaged people to turn their life round through giving them employment,helping them grow . Shows somebody who wants to give something back to the town they are from, and cares a lot about Middlesbrough and people of the town.  I deem that Andy’s work and passion and his loyalty to Middlesbrough makes him one the people that really makes Middlesbrough are great place to live.

Article and photos by Chloe Tempestoso-Camera-Canon 430 IS