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In Healthcare/ People

The calm after the storm…

The Royal Hampshire County Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit has just a handful of coronavirus patients. The majority of the 42 beds brought in to cope with the predicted demand lie empty. The working day, it appears, has begun a slow return to ‘normal’ – whatever that is now.

“We’re waiting to see what will happen next,” says consultant anaesthetist, Dr Geoff Watson. “There is concern that we’ll suddenly have a new influx of coronavirus patients. We’ve seen fewer than usual seriously ill patients with other conditions over the lockdown partly because of the lack of exposure and a more sedentary lifestyle. Those cases will inevitably go back to the numbers we usually deal with and there are signs of this already happening.”

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In Healthcare/ Local News/ People

Caring for the carers

It’s volunteer honorary chaplain Danny Paine-Winnett’s first day at The Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester. He’s been in the building for fewer than two hours and is leading a minute’s silence to remember NHS workers who have lost their lives to Covid – in the pouring rain. “God certainly tests us sometimes,” he says with a smile, looking at the weather.

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In People

Happy to be home: Alastair Stewart talks all things local

Local newsman Alastair Stewart admits for the first time in a very long time, he has some time on his hands.

The former television anchor-man retired from ITV News in January this year, following a ‘misjudgment’ on social media. Until his retirement, he was the longest-serving male newsreader on British television, having worked in both local and national news for over 40 years.

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In Art & Culture/ People

The artist on the High Street

You’ve probably seen our Spring issue cover artist Don Lavelle painting life on High Street, in the grounds of Winchester Cathedral or in a tucked-away corner of the city. That’s because he spends six days a week in Winchester, working in all weathers, and has done for many years, always finding something new to capture on canvas.

“Before I retired I was a chemist,” he says, “and that scientific part of me lends itself well to making sure the paintings are spot-on architecturally and that everything is in proportion. But it’s always the people in them that bring them to life. I regularly ask someone interesting-looking to pose for me for a few minutes so I can add them in.”

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In People

High Street hero

Meet Kev. He’s been selling The Big Issue in Hampshire for nearly five years, and rain or shine he has a song, a joke or a friendly word for the people who pass by his regular pitch on High Street, just outside The Body Shop.

Taken into care as a youngster, Kev spent years living homeless on the streets of London before heading south. “I was the guy you see in a doorway,” he says. “I used to hitch just to have somewhere to go. It didn’t really matter where the lorry drivers were heading. I’d go round the motorways and come back to where I started.” Continue Reading →