Hampshire girl, 10, praised for care home pen pal letter movement

Power of the pen: Isla Elworthy with her first care home letter

THE lockdown movement which has seen hundreds of children become pen pals with care home residents through the power of letter writing can be traced to a 10-year-old schoolgirl who dreamed up the initiative.

Isla Elworthy, from Hampshire, has been credited with sparking the success of projects such as My Dear New Friend, which encourages people to offer friendships with the elderly and has received backing from the Duchess of Cornwall.

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Rocky the orphaned Rhino in safe hands with famed Zimbabwe family

Anne Whittall out on a regular walk with Rocky


Sleeping on an electric blanket with makeshift overhanging branches to make it feel secure, a days old baby rhino has been reared at home by a septuagenarian from Zimbabwe after it was spotted and saved from a mud hole with one nostril protruding from it.

Attempts to reunite the nine-day old baby calf with its mother took place last month in Zimbabwe’s Save Valley, one of the largest private game reserves in Africa.

But after a large scale operation to help the critically endangered species in its natural habitat, Anne Whittall, a 78-year-old well known for rearing local wildlife, has now taken in the rhino.

Its story of survival has seen the rhino named ‘Rocky’ after the heavyweight boxer.

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Autobiography deal inked with squash world champion

During February, I spent several days in Lancashire with Laura Massaro, Britain’s former world No 1 and world squash champion.

Having signed a book deal with Laura to tell her story, with a working title of ‘All In’ and publication date tba, lockdown was well timed with the live sporting landscape obliterated to finish the manuscript. Laura has a fine women in sport tale to tell of her rise to the top and her off court pursuits to be the best on it.

The book will be my fourth on squash.

Best films on journalism

Herewith a list on the best films and books I’ve seen and read on the subject.

Spotlight (2015)
How Boston Globe’s investigation team exposed the Boston Catholic Church sex abuse scandal. It’s uncomplicated feel is a marvel and the fact there is no lead actor as such, is one of countless reasons why this film works. The scene at the end as both editor and reporter enter a room full of ringing phones is simply hair-raising. Spellbinding.

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