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Publishing House, 3 Bridgebank Industrial Estate, Taylor Street, Horwich, Bolton BL6 7PD. Tel. 01204 478812 Fax. 01204 667345. Horwich, Westhoughton, Blackrod and Adlington Distribution Check A WESTHOUGHTON dad is beg- ging people to listen to NHS advice about coronavirus to pro- tect his family. Rob Gamble, 39, and his family are self-isolating for 12 weeks to protect five-year-old Sophie, who was diag- nosed with a rare form of cancer in August 2019. The brave youngster is going through chemotherapy for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, which lowers her immune system and makes her more susceptible to infection. Rob said: “People are not appre- ciating the seriousness of the situa- tion, not only for themselves but for other people who are in the higher risk groups. “I’m asking people to follow the government guidelines for self-distancing. “It is massively important for my family and for others too.” He made the plea after seeing posts on social media where people disregarded the advice issued by the NHS to protect vulnerable people in the community. Alongside his wife Lisa, 42, and 14-year-old stepson Jack, Rob has fin- ished the his first week in isolation. The process hasn’t been easy, and the family have relied on stream services and crafts to keep them- selves entertained. He added: “It is very scary. We are doing our bit to keep our daughter safe from this virus we just wish that other people would too. “It’s a scary enough time already with chemo without this too.” “Please think of others, people you may not know but could be massively affected by this virus.” According to the NHS, some peo- ple with cancer are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill if they are infected with COVID-19. Sophie falls into this higher risk ONE creative crafter is using her online presence to help people stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic. Sherrie Maycroft, 36, opened a studio inWesthoughtontown cen- tre in January to teach people to crochet. The mum-of-one has had to change the way she runs herbusi- ness, Get Hooked With Sherrie, to keep her customer’s safe from the virus, and is hoping to help people through social distancing. Sherrie said: “The craziness of the virus all started coming out last Monday and I thought ‘do I shut?’ because other businesses weren’t. “It was a really hard choice so I decided to take money out of the equation and focus on the people and theirhealthand I decided to cancel all my face-to-face classes. “Some of the women wanted to come to sessions but some of them are vulnerable or they have husbands who are vulnerably and it just wasn’t worth the risk.” Sherrie now offers a variety of free resources, with social meetings hosted online, a social group on WhatsApp, and online tutorials for people interested in learning to crochet. This isn’t the first kind display from her, as Sherrie hosted a drop-in- session in January for people to knit nests and blankets for animals affected by the Austral- ian wildfires. She’s also made nests for the Every Feather & Wild Life rescue inBolton, and hopes to help other local charities with her work. The new ideas will keep Sher- rie’s loyal followers connected with their new friends. She added: “It’s only been going a few months but I have a big community of people who come along and have made friends and I was worried about them being in isolation. “I had a bit of a wobble myself this weekend, everyone seems to be reacting very differently and a lot of people are quite frightened so I want to keep my space a pos- itive space as crochet is a bit of an escape and now I can just get back on and be positive. “We’ve all got to keep going and it’s not easy but if I can help just one or two people then it’s worth it.” In addition to her virtual meetings, Sherrie will be also be publishing tutorials for begin- ners to follow. She will then follow up these tutorials with a virtual call, allowing people to ask her any questions or have her help clari- fying where they’ve gone wrong. Sherrie’s mum is helping to educate her seven-year-old daughter so she can continue her work whilst schools are closed. The Westhoughton-based woman is still keen to promote as many charitable causes as possi- ble while people are encouraged to stay at home. She also has plans to create videos instructing people how to turn old t-shirts into yarn, or how to crochet without any hooks so those without materi- als, and are unable to venture out to buy them, can still take part in the fun. None of these services will be charged for, as Sherrie wants to use her time to help out the peo- ple in her community. To take part, visit the Get Hooked with Sherrie Face- book page. Her online tutorials can also be found on YouTube by search- ing Get Hooked with Sherrie. THE latest plans to revamp town cen- tres across the borough have been met with mixed reactions. Horwich councillors have ques- tioned whether the masterplan drawn up by architects BDP have stuck to the brief. Horwich North East councillor Marie Brady found some positives within the masterplan but called for more pedestrianisation in the town centre to allow markets to set up stalls and cafes to “spill on” to the street. Cllr Brady, who chairs the Horwich town centre steering group, said that residents have welcomed some of the proposals. She said: “Improvements to Old Station Park were welcomed, particularly the pedestrian and cycle route link to the Rivington Chase and beyond to Middlebrook and Blackrod.” The creative cluster pro- posal was well received. But Lee Lane was not addressed other than some improvement to shop frontages. The volume of traffic and speed along Lee Lane with its narrow footpaths either side was not addressed and needs input from traf- fic engineers to look at improving pedestrian safety. “With a £4m fund available, the regeneration plan must provide a town centre that will attract residents and visitors, not just to shop but to socialise and as a base to explore the wider areas and facilities of Horwich.” Dad makes plea to protect his daughter with cancer Being stuck inside knot a problem for crafters Rob and Sophie Gamble Sherrie Maycroft who runs Get Hooked has moved her crochet lessons online Mixed reaction to revamp plans CoronavirusSpecial: All youneed toknowP12-16 CoronavirusSpecial: All youneed toknowP12-16 group as she is undergoing treatment. Her type of cancer also increases her risk, as it affects white blood cells, the body’s defence against illness. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia leads to large numbers of these important cells being released before they’re ready, when they’re less effec- tive at fighting infection. In addition to following the guidelines, Rob has also asked for a hand restoring his garden so Sophie can play outside when the weather improves. The outdoor space was supposed to be a project for him last summer, but Sophie’s diagnosis threw his work schedule off track. Anyone able to help Rob with cre- ating a patio at the bottom of his gar- den can contact him on Twitter, @ Robdgamble.