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£250,000 grant to help children with rare blood disorder

Haemophilia Centre to study research about children with the condition

The Kent and Canterbury Hospital has received a £250,000 grant for research into a rare inherited blood disease.

The Haemophilia Centre at the hospital treats more than 500 people from across Kent. It is hoped that the study which begins in April will help improve life for children with the condition. The money has come from the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR).

The study will be the first ever randomised clinical trial of its type for physiotherapy intervention in children with haemophilia. The work will look at establishing links between exercise, weak muscles and joint damage caused by bleeding in children with the condition.

"We are pleased that the importance of this study has been recognised. We believe it will provide us with valuable knowledge about this condition which will benefit haemophilia patients in the future. We are also delighted that the NIHR recognised that our centre has the expertise to carry this piece of work forward."

– David Stephensen, Physiotherapist, East Kent Hospitals' Trust

Parents and carers can look out for signs of abuse

Parents and carers can learn how to look out for signs of exploitation Credit: Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

Protecting Berkshire's children and young people from child sexual exploitation will be the focus of an awareness day.

For today's annual national CSE Awareness Day, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead is running a pop-up shop in Maidenhead's Nicholsons Centre.

Parents and carers can learn tips about protecting their children from online exploitation and find out about CSE awareness training.


Kids make film to fight Oxfordshire Children's Centres cuts

Clip from animation by two children fighting cuts

A family in Oxfordshire desperate to save children's services from closure, has come up with a novel way of getting their message across.

Lucy Marshall, aged 11, and her 8-year-old brother Oliver, have made their own animated film.

Their children's local authority is trying to save around £290 million pounds from its budget. In this time of austerity, some services are going to have to be cut or reduced over the next few years, and children's services are facing an uncertain future.

Creative family - Orlando's mother makes kid's tv show

Two schoolgirls voicing characters for the new series

The mother of Hollywood actor Orlando Bloom has picked two school children from Canterbury to take lead roles in a production of her own.

Sonia Copeland Bloom - who wrote a series of children's books about mini-beasts - is producing an animated pilot to pitch to broadcasters and film studios. Sarah Saunders reports.


Flu vaccine for children aged 5 to 7

Nasal spray offered to young school children

Children aged between 5 and 7 are being offered a flu vaccination in the form of a nasal spray. 2 to 4 years olds are already offered the vaccine but now a national campaign in schools has begun for pupils in years one and two.

Parents at schools in Surrey, West Sussex and Kent are already being asked to sign their children up for the spray.

Click here for more information on the children's flu campaign

Parents encouraged to read books with their children

If you have young children, do you read books together? A charity is warning that some parents don't feel confident enough. Book Trust is urging parents to read with their children as often as possible, and not to give up once they've started school.

The charity says it makes a huge difference to a child's development. This term, more than 100,000 children here in the South will be given a reading pack, to encourage more families to read together. Lauren Hall reports.

Ex-British Airways pilot jailed for child sex offences

Bartle Frere, ex-BA pilot, jailed for child sex offences Credit: Dorset Police

A former British Airways pilot has been jailed for 12 and a half years for a string of child sex offences. Bartle Frere, 51, of Shipton Gorge, was handed the prison term at Bournemouth Crown Court after being convicted of 16 sex offences.

These included eight charges of sexually assaulting a boy from West Dorset between April 2000 and January 2003; four counts of making indecent images of boys in India in 2009; arranging or facilitating the abuse of teenage boys in India between 2009 and 2013; and one charge of attempting to record a person doing a private act in 2012.

Frere was previously found guilty of six charges of possessing indecent images of children and two charges of arranging or facilitating the abuse of boys in India, following a trial in September 2014.

The court heard that Frere was employed as a pilot by British Airways and regularly travelled to India and in particular the city of Chennai.

Concerns were raised that he was arranging for young boys to visit his hotel room.

On 9 November 2013 a search warrant was executed at Frere’s home and a number of computers and DVDs were seized.

The court heard that officers examined a huge volume of computer data and identified that Frere had been communicating via email with several boys in India. In the emails Frere arranged to meet the boys to engage in sexual acts.

New app to help parents and children interact

An NHS health visitor in Kent has developed a new app to encourage parents to interact with their children.

Traditional toys and playing games are on the decline with more and more parents leaving their children to either watch television or play with iPads - which is claimed, impacts their development.

ITV Meridian spoke to Health Visitor Julia Haynes.

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