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'Match4Zara' bone marrow donor campaign leads to transplant operation for teenager after match found

Zara and her family raised awareness of her search for a donor via social media

A teenage blood cancer patient from Winchester who launched a social media campaign to find a bone marrow donor to help save her life has had her transplant operation.

Zara Al Shaikh is half-Arabic and half-English and her mixed ethnicity means she has a very rare tissue type. She urgently needed a blood stem cell donor to treat her leukaemia. Following months of campaigning to raise awareness, a donor match was found in April.

Zara had her operation yesterday and a message on the 'Saving Zara's Life - Match4Zara' Facebook page said that she was sitting up and smiling after a successful transplant operation. Her family also took the chance to thank everyone who spread the message about her search.

Facebook page with Zara's message thanking supporters Credit: Match4Zara Facebook page

Zara's supporters had been working with charities such as Delete Blood Cancer UK to raise awareness. Her family are asking for people to continue signing donor registers so other families can benefit from the support which they have received.

Other donor registers include NHS Blood and Transplant and the Anthony Nolan organisation.


Police granted extra time to question men arrested over armed jewellery raid

A large amount of jewellery was stolen in the raid on the Justice jewellers

Hampshire Police have been granted extra time to continue questioning three men who were arrested in connection with an armed robbery on a jewellery store in Winchester yesterday.

The raid on Justice jewellers on Parchment Street took place just after 9am on Friday 15th April. Several roads were closed off while police carried out their investigation.

Two 21-year-old men from Hertfordshire and a man from London aged 28 were detained on Friday. The three men remain in custody and are being questioned on suspicion of robbery.

Dog owners rush to get pets microchipped before new law comes into force

Credit: Winchester City Council

More than 100 dogs have been microchipped at a special event in Winchester ahead of a new law coming into force tomorrow.

To help with the new change in legislation, the Animal Welfare Team at Winchester City Council held a free event to have dogs chipped.

Winchester City Council’s Animal Welfare Officer May Carrington said: “We were really pleased with such a great turnout. We successfully microchipped 104 dogs which in turn makes our job easier! If a dog goes astray then we’re able, with a microchip, to trace the owners. Collars and tags can become lost or removed, but microchipping is a permanent way of identifying your pet.”

The new law is part of the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 and makes it compulsory for all dogs over the age of eight weeks to be fitted with microchips, registered to an approved database and for the details on the chip to be kept up to date. The microchip is the size of a grain of rice and will be officially registered with an approved microchip database, which holds information about the dog and its owners contact details. Owners who fail to have their dog microchipped and registered could be issued with a notice giving 21 days to get the dog chipped. If this isn't complied with, a £500 fine could follow.

Julie shares her experience to help others with mental health problems

She wants everyone to know that mental illness doesn't have to be a life sentence.

Julie Roberts is anxious to let everyone know how she, personally, has recovered.

Julie, who lives in Winchester has been taking part in a pioneering scheme aimed at helping survivors, and improving psychiatric care for other patients.

She's been talking to Rachel Hepworth.


Winchester Silver Hill contract scrapped

The plans for Silver Hill included redeveloping the Kings Walk area Credit: ITV Meridian

A contract to redevelop a key area of Winchester city centre has been scrapped.

The 150 million pound Silver Hill development included new homes, a new bus station, restaurants and shops. Planning consent had been granted in 2009, but the project has been plagued by a series of legal wrangles.

Planning permission for the Silver Hill development was granted in 2009 Credit: ITV Meridian

But last night, councillors voted - 46 to one - to end their contract with the developer, TH Real Estate.

Now the city council is planning its own development over the next three to five years, with an immediate facelift for parts of the run-down site.

ITV Meridian spoke to Cllr Stephen Godfrey, Cllr Martin Tod, and Cllr Kim Gottlieb.

City redevelopment at risk after delays

The £165 million Silver Hill scheme Credit: Silver Hill

There will be a crunch meeting tonight on the future of the £165m controversial Silver Hill scheme in Winchester.

A plan to build a new bus station, shops and around two hundred homes hangs in the balance.

The council could terminate the contract as the developers have failed to deliver on promises and timescale.

Taking a tumble on the slushy ice...

Slipping and sliding on Winchester ice rink Credit: Linda Holtby

Linda Holtby sent us this picture of a tumble at the WInchester ice rink. The unseasonal mild weather means that the ice can be covered with a layer of water. However, WInchester Cathedral says that the rink is safe for skaters to use. The rink is open until 3 January.

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