As I look back at this year, I reflect on some of the stories I have had the pleasure in researching, interviewing, and reporting on for the BBC.
Alcoholics in Lockdown
I wanted to highlight those who have struggled with their drinking problem and how the pandemic has accelerated this, how it effects themselves and other individuals in their lives. I put a piece together for the Mid-Morning programme on BBC Essex, speaking to alcoholics and loved ones of alcoholics, as well as an Essex based recovery charity. From there, I put a piece together for the front page of BBC News England.
Online scams on Festivals
I put together an exclusive for BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra and Asian Network’s Newsbeat on the scammers that were targeting online festivals throughout the summer months. I interviewed Boomtown Festival, DJ Chris Tofu, and recipients of the scam, broadcasting the report for their Bank Holiday festival special.
Test and Trace
I put together an exclusive for the breakfast show on the test and trace system once it was first initially launched. My case study, an Essex based NHS worker who had covid, was appalled at the lack of test and trace system within the places he visited in Essex.
I put together another exclusive for BBC Essex, just a handful of the unfortunate people who have been excluded from any help from the government during this time. Each heart-breaking story told by the individual on air, highlighted the plight and desperation of these individuals and what they have been through.
I interviewed and put together a piece on those who are visually impaired in Essex and how coming out of a November lockdown was even more challenging than before, due to stricter rules and regulations inside the world of retail.
Covid 19 Inquiry
I put together an item for BBC Essex on families who had lost loved ones due to coronavirus. They came on air and highlighted the traumatic experience of losing their loved ones and calling for the government to hold a public inquiry into their deaths.
Drugs and Drive
I researched and found in Essex Police data that already by the start of December, there had been more arrests made in the year of 2020, then the entire year of 2019, and the data hadn’t even been collected from the month of December yet. I organised an interview with Essex Police and the strong powerful story of an individual who had been in her ex-boyfriends car whilst he was under the influence. She chillingly shared her story how that disastrous night, had consequences for the rest of her life.
Struggling to pay bills
For the Mid-Morning programme on BBC Essex I put together an item of how the pandemic is impacting everyone, especially those who are struggling financially. My case study, “Eliza” is a freelance doctor who had coronavirus and because of her unstable position at work, when she suffered from the aftereffects of COVID-19, more commonly known as “Long Covid”, she lost out on wages when she was too ill to work, struggling to pay her own bills.
Care home Story
I put together a heart-warming story of the gorgeous Nina Ambrose, who became a volunteer at her Dad’s care home so she could see him on a regular basis. The joyful story that we all need in these times. I passed it onto BBC Look East and it was then picked up by BBC News Online, Sky News, ITV Meriden, the Daily Mail and BBC Breakfast.
I organised a recording from Chesney Hawkes in LA to one of his biggest fans in Essex. She was walking around her driveway, 74 miles in total, to mirror the same distance of Isle of Wight whilst her husband shielded, listening to his music. He offered her a ticket to his live online concert and she was delighted by his kindness. The story got picked up by the Romford Recorder shortly afterwards.
Trump Vs Biden
I researched and sourced American’s in Essex who felt passionately about the presidential campaign. One individual was purposefully flying to America to cast her vote as she was in a “swing state”. BBC Essex spoke to in her taxi en route to the airport.
Forget Gangs of New York, what about London Beef with Pie Makers? After a new pie shop is due to open in Chelmsford, I put a piece together for BBC Essex on the rivalry between the oldest pie makers in London and how each shop sticks to their postcode.
BLM in the Stix
After reading a Guardian article about BLM in the Stix, I reached out to the organisation and had a chat with the founder Gurpreet. I then passed on her details to the evening show producer to highlight what this group is doing to target racism in the rural areas of Essex. She was then featured on BBC Radio 1xtra, BBC Look East and BBC Online.