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News Harrison’s run to help families

A MAIDSTONE boy is making huge strides this month to help comfort other families following the death of his baby sister. Seven-year-old Harrison King

will be running a Miles in Memory challenge to raise money for Aching Arms – a charity that pro- vides comfort bears to newly be- reaved families. Harrison, who lives in Downswood, near Maidstone, with hismumHazel, dadMartin and lit- tle brother Jacob, hopes to run 25.8km during October in memory of his sister Sienna, who was still- born onAugust 25, 2014. The Madginford Primary school

pupil said: “I have wanted to do something in memory of Sienna for a while but didn’t know what, until I heard about this challenge.” Mum Hazel said: “I had gone

into the maternity unit with re- duced movements after a problem- free pregnancy, and that’s where I was told there was no heartbeat. “Afterwe lost Sienna,we needed something thatwas in her memory, something to hold and give us comfort, and we were given an Aching Arms bear. “Our teddy is named after an

Jail for aack

on pensioner A ROBBER who assaulted a frail pensioner in her Penenden Heath home and stole £6,000 in cash has been jailed. Richard Henry (49), of Chingley

Close, Bromley, targeted the woman, who is in her 90s, at her home in Penenden Heath in Febru- ary.

He denied the offence, and a

charge of driving while disqualified, but was found guilty of both at Maidstone Crown Court. He was sentenced to four years in prison with another four on licence. The court heard that Henry knocked on the victim’s door and barged past her to search the prop- erty. At one point, the victim was pushed to the floor after asking him to leave. Henrywent on to take a handbag

and £6,000 from the home before pushing the victim to the ground again.Hethen drove off in a hire ve- hicle, despite a driving ban. While officers were taking details

from the victim, a report was re- ceived which stated her passport had been found in Southend Road, Beckenham, near Bromley. Officerswere able to track Henry’s

movements to the Bromley area using cameras and tracking software on the hire van and hewas arrested. Aswell as his sentence, Henrywas banned from driving for five years.

8 Maidstone November 2016 How you can help

To sponsor Harrison visit ing1

The Miles in Memory fund-rais-

ing challenge offers people a chance to run, walk, jog, swim or cycle as many miles as they can during October.

and Facebook to send dedicated bears.

Aching Arms was founded in Harrison King plans to run over 25km in memory of his sister Sienna

angel baby boy, called Elijah, and we now know that Sienna’s bear is comforting another family.” There are now 55 hospitals across

the UK offering Aching Arms bears, with DarentValley and Med- way Maritime also interested in taking part. Last year, the charity gave awaymore than 1,000 bears to grieving families.

AchingArms raises awareness of

the impact of pregnancy and baby loss and bring some comfort to be- reaved parents and their families after the loss of a baby. It supplies Aching Arms bears to hospitals for midwives to give to newly-bereaved mothers and fa- thers. The charity also makes con- tact via the website, email, Twitter

2010 and became a registered char- ity inAugust 2013. A spokesman said: “The aim

when we first started was to get 10 bears into one hospital and see how itwent from there. “What happened was that 24 mothers sent bears dedicated in memory of their much-loved ba- bies, and now we have more than 40 hospitals working with us, with more coming on board all the time, and we have given out more than 1,000 bears.”

New kitchen opens at community cafe

MAIDSTONE’S Oasis Café has opened the shutters on a new £30,000 kitchen. The community cafe – run by the

Vine Church in Northumberland Road – helps families and people in need in Shepway North. The kitchen has been

reburbished, thanks to a £1,000 contribution from county councillor Brian Clark’s community budget. The Oasis team includes a paid part-time cafemanager, 18 volunteers, and three part-time community workers who provide other services. At the opening, which was well attended by locals, Cllr Clark said: “I

Cllr Brian Clark with JoyWood from Oasis Cafe in the refurbished kitchen

am proud to contribute funds from my devolved budget towards this tremendous cafe, which is effectively the only community meeting point in the area. The

team here should be congratulated for its hard work and deserves to be rewarded with such enthusiastic participation from local residents at today’s opening.”

Online anger over subway flooding

KENT County Council (KCC) has defended its maintenance of Maid- stone’s underpasses after criticism of flooding recently. Residents took to the local views

forum Streetlife to vent their con- cerns after the subway at Matalan and Lidl was impassable due to rain in September. One said: “What a nightmare it is

for pedestrians in Maidstone. You cannot cross to the other side of the river from the main road as it is blocked due to roadworks, the un- derpass is flooded. How arewe ex- pected to get over the road?

“It is the worst place for pedes-

trians I have ever known. The lights keep you waiting for ages and you have to take your chance to get across to the other side of the river. I despair.” A KCC spokesman said: “We are

aware of the flooding in the Maid- stone subways and undertake reg- ular servicing and maintenance of the pumps and drainage system to keep this to a minimum. “When surface water flooding occurs, our priorities are keeping road users safe and protecting homes.

“There is an alternative route for pedestrians although we do recog- nise that this is longer and more in- convenient.” Two of the three subways are

being closed as part of the ongoing Maidstone Bridges scheme. The Medway Street subway will remain open and will have a flood door added on the river side. The Broadway subway, on the opposite side of the river, will have work done to improve its appear- ance and drainage. Changes are expected to be done early in the new year.

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