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Oxford University tests scheme to improve mental health

The study involves the University of Oxford Credit: ITV

A major new study involving the University of Oxford will test whether a scheme called 'mindfulness training' will improves children's mental health. Nearly 6,000 school pupils will take part. Mindfulness - described by the NHS as paying more attention to the present moment and to your thoughts, feelings and the world around you - has become a popular and effective technique in preventing depression and promoting mental health in adults.

Award-winning play comes to the region

The Award-winning National Theatre production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime, is in Oxford this week. Based on Oxford-based Mark Haddon's best-selling book, it tells the story of an autistic boy from Swindon who travels to London, hoping to solve the mystery over the death of a neighbour's dog. The production has been getting rave reviews, especially for it's stunning technical lighting effects, and is at the New Theatre Oxford until Saturday. Andy Bevan reports.

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Funding secured for Turner's Oxford

Turner's famous depiction of Oxford High Street Credit: Ashmolean Museum

The Ashmolean Museum says it has raised enough money to acquire Turner's famous vision of Oxford High Street.

The museum says it has 'received an extraordinary response' following the launch in June of a public appeal - sending over £60,000 to help reach the fundraising target of £860,000 in just four weeks.

The painting, which has been on loan to the Museum from a private collection since 1997, has been offered to the nation in lieu of inheritance tax. The High Street, Oxford would settle £3.5 million of inheritance tax – which is more than the tax liable on the estate.

In addition to the £60,000, the Ashmolean received a grant of £550,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, £220,000 from the Art Fund, and a further £30,000 from the Friends and Patrons of the Ashmolean.

Dr Alexander Sturgis, Director of the Ashmolean, says: ‘The Museum has been overwhelmed by public support. With well over 800 people contributing to the appeal, it is clear that the local community, as well as visitors to the Museum from across the world, feel that this picture, the greatest painting of the city ever made, must remain on show in a public museum in Oxford.'

Milestone for Oxford's new Westgate shopping centre

Artists impression Credit: Oxford city council

Work on Oxford's new £440-million shopping centre has reached a milestone. Construction work has started on the new department store - part of the new Westgate shopping centre.

Today the Westgate Oxford Alliance, John Lewis and local city and county councillors will gather to mark the official launch of development's construction phase.

The 800,000 sq ft development will have a 142,000 sq ft flagship John Lewis as its anchor department store as well as shops, restaurants, cafés and cinema, set in a mix of covered streets, arcades, lanes and squares.

Oxford City Council granted permission for the new development in November 2014. Work on site began earlier this year and is due for completion in time for Christmas 2017.

Artists impression Credit: Oxford City Council

Former BMW worker jailed for defrauding company of £6 million

He turned to crime to fund a lavish lifestyle. Tonight, though, he is behind bars. Accountant Johannes Franken siphoned off almost six million pounds from his employers - BMW Mini at Cowley, in Oxfordshire. He used it to buy luxury cars and a diving school in Mauritius. Divya Kohli reports on how an employee took his car maker bosses for a ride.

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Woman found clinging to a life ring rescued from River Thames

A woman found clinging desperately onto a life ring in the River Thames has been rescued.

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service say the woman was 'cold and disorientated' when they found her.

They were called to help the woman yesterday morning, who had fallen in near Thames Street in Oxford shortly before.

An ambulance took her to John Radcliffe Hospital for checks, while boats and helicopters continued to search for a man who was also thought to be missing. He was later found safe and well.

The woman was very cold and disorientated when we found her. The life ring had offered her some support until a full rescue could take place.

– Gary Dawson, Watch Manager

Child sexual exploitation raids result in eight arrests

Eight men are being questioned over allegations of child exploitation in Oxford. They were arrested in a series of dawn raids across the city.

More than a hundred officers from Thames Valley Police searched houses at 6 o'clock this morning. The alleged offences are said to have taken place between 1999 and 2007.

The specific addresses have not been disclosed, but police say patrols will continue in Oxford this evening. Kate Bunkall reports.

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