This month’s We Can Do It nominations revealed

Emsworth Arts Trail
Emsworth Arts Trail
Jay Shepherd outside Portsmouth Crown Court

Hayling Island attempted murder trial: Accused asked police “do you really think I stab people?”

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Best Street

ART lovers are in for a treat with two weekends of artists showing off their creations.

The Emsworth Arts Trail falls on April 23 and 24 and the following May Bank Holiday weekend.

More than 160 artists will exhibit at this year’s event.

Designed as a walking trail, nearly all of the artists are within a mile of the town centre at 64 different venues.

‘Emsworth is such a hotbed of artistic talent,’ said Carol Price, chairwoman of The Emsworth Arts Trail.

‘We continue to welcome new artists and makers to join the trail.

‘This year we have 16 new artists and eight new venues, making it the biggest trail yet.’

New artists this year include Charles Dedman, a young furniture maker and recent graduate of Chichester University.

Personal Achievement

A HARD-hitting message about the impact of knife crime came as more than 100 people took part in a charity event in memory of a mum who was murdered.

Men and women worked up a sweat and gritted their teeth to take part in a three-hour marathon of body combat at the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth.

Leading the gruelling fitness regime was Bianca Brathwaite, a body combat instructor from Waterlooville whose auntie, Alison Morrison, was brutally killed.

Mrs Morrison, who was originally from Bedhampton, was stabbed 40 times in a London street by her crazed neighbour Trevor Gibbon.

Bianca, 25, has used fitness to help deal with the grief and wanted to raise money to fight knife crime.

Around £2,000 is expected to be raised to The Ben Kinsella Trust.

Bianca, of Meadway, said: ‘Even if we can prevent some of it, then that will be a good start. There’s been an absolutely amazing turnout.’

Spirit of Youth

WHEN kind-hearted schoolboy Ronnie Hazlie saw a documentary on television about food banks and people using them, he knew he had to help.

The eight-year-old boy from Gosport set out on a mission to collect tins of food to help stock up the banks.

He collected 92 tins for the harvest festival last year but this year he wanted to smash his record.

With the help of his mum, Katy-Jane, he set up a Facebook event and collected more than 1,000 tins.

Katy-Jane, 37, from Albert Street, said: ‘Ronnie saw a documentary about food banks and he couldn’t believe that people don’t have food.

‘Since then he has been nagging me and everyone he knows to donate tins.’

Best Art/Community Project

SHINE charity shop in Portchester was the scene of a fundraising event, as college students teamed up to create a personalised window display.

The group from the Fareham College business studies course updated the shop.

They also organised a prize draw to raise awareness for people living with the effects of spina bifida and hydrocephalus.

Shine is a support organisation actively engaging with nearly 75,000 individuals and this year they will be celebrating their 50th year.

Charlotte Moore, a business student, said: ‘We’re dressing the window in Valentine’s Day theme, while raising money for Shine.

‘It’s just helping out and giving back to the community.’

Best School

STUDENTS will learn first aid and how to do CPR on babies in a new initiative.

Gosport-based firm Mum Aid, First Aid is working with Portsmouth City Council to give pupils in the city the chance to learn the vital and potentially life-saving techniques.

The first school to sign up was Portsmouth Academy For Girls, in Fratton.

Principal Natalie Sheppard said: ‘It is about extending the students’ skill sets and giving them skills for life.’

Leader of the council Donna Jones added: ‘The skills they learn is something they will take with the rest of their lives.

‘It is really great and it is good that Richard from Mum Aid, First Aid is giving something back.’

Care of the Environment

WICOR Primary School is leading the way to help protect the environment.

A new World Wide Fund for Nature survey shows that 85 per cent of parents would change their family diet to help protect the planet.

Unfortunately, only 13 per cent of parents are currently taking steps to improve their environmental impact.

In the south west, however, an impressive 73 per cent of families have tried growing their own food at home or on a family allotment - with 38 per cent of children saying they have grown fruit and vegetables at school.

Wicor School in Fareham is taking the lead as a generation of grandparents come into the school to share their cooking and growing skills with children, who in turn are beginning to educate their parents.

It’s a great way to bring the wider community into the school and improve growing and cooking with vegetables.

Best Volunteer

A DEDICATED couple from Gosport have raised more than £7,000 in a year of fundraising for KIDS family centre in Fareham.

Les Heyhoe, 59, and his wife Lyn live in Vincent Road and spent all of 2015 organising and holding events for the charity in venues across the area.

On February 3, they invited KIDS charity fundraiser Kitty McMonagle to attend the weekly pre-quiz evening at the Five Alls pub to receive a cheque for the final amount.

Lyn organised a guess-the-amount, charging a £1 donation which raised £30 towards their next cause. The total amount raised came to an impressive £7,186.

The Forton Road pub was selected for the presentation because of the support shown by landlady Paula Hutchinson in hosting the majority of fundraising activities.

An incredible sum of £3,803.89 was raised in the Five Alls from recent events.

Best Garden/Public Space

PUPILS from Hayling College, the mayor of Havant and police officers were among those who came out in force to celebrate a £25,000 donation from The Southern Co-operative towards the rejuvenation of Mengham Park.

The money was raised for Play Parks for Hayling.

The money contributed to the £80,000 raised by Play Parks for Hayling to renovate the island’s Mengham Park.

Pete Raynor, the retail business manager for The Southern Co-operative’s Hayling Island store said: ‘Our colleagues and customers have been passionate about helping to raise this money for Mengham Park.

‘It is absolutely fantastic to see all the hard work pay off and for the children in our community to benefit from the new and improved play park.’

Mengham Park now features a wheelchair accessible roundabout, a bucket swing, multiple climbing frames and more.

Best Business

LEE-on-the-Solent mobility retailer Solent Mobility is celebrating its eighth year with a tea party in aid of a charity in Titchfield.

Solent Mobility, on the High Street, held Big Tea Cosy event last month. All the proceeds will be donated to The Wessex Haven Breast Cancer Support Centre.

The Big Tea Cosy fundraising campaign for the charity takes place across the area this week, where people are encouraged to host their own tea party to raise much-needed funds for the charity.

Staff at Solent Mobility served tea and cakes, and sold raffle tickets for a hamper plus ‘guess the number of sweets in the jar’.

Debbie Watts, director at Solent Mobility, said: ‘When I heard about the Big Tea Cosy idea at a recent networking event I attended, I thought it would be a great way for us to celebrate our birthday plus raise funds for a worthy cause.

‘We were delighted too that the mayor and his wife would be able to join us.’

​Service with a Smile

A BRITISH Red Cross volunteer from Hayling Island has been given a special award for her incredible achievement of 60 years of service.

Iris Long received a long service badge and certificate at the annual lunch held by the volunteer group based on Hayling Island.

Iris, who is 94, first joined the Red Cross in 1951 in the Epsom and Ewell area and undertook such duties as nursing, loaning mobility equipment and fundraising.

In 1956 she became the Commandant of the centre and was also welfare officer for Banstead.

When Iris retired she and her husband John, who was also a volunteer, moved to Hayling Island and joined the very active Red Cross group based in a portacabin.

Operations Director Colin Brown said: ‘The Hayling Centre owes a great deal to Iris. Without her commitment, energy and foresight the thriving centre would not be where it is today.

‘We are extremely grateful to both Iris and her late husband, John.’