Mums march to support NHS

Hundreds gathered in Jarrow to support a group of North East as they march to Westminster to support and protect the NHS.

Live updates

'I'm determined to make her proud' says grandmother

Bethany and Julie
Julie Erskine with her granddaughter Bethany Credit: 'Fresh' - smoke free North East

56-year-old Julie Erskine, from Slatyford, has spoken of how her 10-year-old granddaughter helped her quit smoking by writing a poem:

I knew that she didn’t like me smoking, but it wasn’t until I read her school poem that I realised exactly how she felt. I got really upset. It’s not every day that one of your family members opens-up and tells you just how worried they are about your health.

Seeing how Bethany felt in black and white really hit home. I realised how my smoking was hurting those closest to me. I want to be around for my family and I told her there and then, that I loved her more than cigarettes and that I would do all I could to stop.

I’m determined, now more than ever, to stop smoking for my family’s sake. Bethany has a heart of gold and I’m determined to make her proud.

– Julie Erskine

Newcastle 10-year-old helps grandmother quit smoking

Bethany and Julie
Bethany with her poem and grandmother Julie Credit: 'Fresh' - smoke free North East

Bethany Carver, a 10-year-old from Blakelaw in Newcastle, has prompted her grandmother to give up smoking by writing a poem voicing her concerns for her health.

Bethany, a Year 5 pupil at Thomas Walling Primary Academy in Blakelaw, urged 56-year-old Julie to quit the habit because it made her "really sad and worried" to see her grandmother smoking.

All of the nasty things inside cigarettes make you ill and give you things like cancer. It made me really sad when my nana smoked and I felt scared about her dying early. I don’t want her to die and I worried about what her smoking was doing to her. I love my nana and writing my poem helped me to say how I felt about smoking.

– Bethany Carver


'Hope for everyone' as death rates from cancer fall

John Hardy fell ill with a stomach problem and days later his bowels exploded under the pressure of a 7cm tumour. But now, two years on he has had his first cancer clear.

He speaks of the progress in cancer treatment after it has been announced by Cancer Research UK that the number of people dying from the most lethal cancers in our region has fallen by nearly a quarter over the last 20 years.

See more: Death rates from cancer fall in the North East

Death rates from cancer fall in the North East

And the number of people dying from the most lethal cancers in our region has fallen by nearly a quarter over the last 20 years.

The charity Cancer Research UK says thousands fewer patients die from lung, bowel, breast and prostate cancers nowadays, compared to the 1990s.

Eleanor Barrie from Cancer Research UK has spoken about what are the biggest factors in cutting death rates from cancer:


Mums march on

A march in support of the NHS will make its way from Ferryhill to Darlington today. The People's March for the NHS is re-tracing the route of the famous Jarrow Crusade. It was organised by a group of mothers from Darlington. They will walk the 300 miles to London, through 23 towns and cities.

Organiser, Rehana Azam, says they hope others to join them along the way.

Load more updates