Exeter News

Catherine celebrates transplant anniversary with 1000K cycle challenge 

A student from Exeter, who received a liver transplant as a baby, is embarking on a 1000K cycle challenge in a bid to raise funds for a charity which is very close to her heart. Twenty-two year old Catherine Boult was born with the rare liver disease, biliary atresia, and was given a life-saving transplant when she was just seven months old. “I feel very lucky. Although I have to take medication and attend regular appointments, I can lead a pretty normal life and I will be forever grateful to my donor’s family for enabling that to happen,” says Catherine. “Liver disease in children is rare and when I was diagnosed my parents were put in touch with Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF) who provided them with support and information about my condition and what it meant. “As I got older, CLDF have really helped me too. I have met some amazing people through the charity – other young people with liver disease with whom I have been able to share my story. There is a real sense of community which means information and advice is always readily available. And when I go for my twice-yearly check-ups at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, it’s great to catch up with their Young People’s Officer. CLDF also funds research into children’s liver disease which is really important to me.”   When keen cyclist Catherine celebrated the 22nd anniversary of her transplant in December, she decided to do something special in honour of her liver donor. “I thought that 1000 miles on a bike would be a crazy enough fundraising challenge,” she explains. “I’m starting on a static bike indoors but when the weather improves, I’ll be out in the countryside and along the coast. My initial plan was to complete the challenge this year but if I cycle every day, I think I can do it in six months. As well as raising much needed funds for CLDF and Exeter based Dream-A-Way, Catherine’s cycle challenge will give her some purpose during lockdown.  “I am currently shielding due to the transplant and immunosuppression but this is keeping me occupied and active,” she says. “I’m hoping to begin an MSc in Policy Research at Bristol University this September but in the meantime, I want to make the most of my good health and use this time to help other…

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More than half of people in Devon are worried about rising energy bills with working from home

More than half of people in Devon (58%) admit to being worried about rising energy bills this winter, particularly with many working from home as a result of the Covid pandemic, according to new research carried out by leading housebuilders Barratt and David Wilson Homes. Over a third of respondents (35.33%) admit to wearing lots of extra layers or feeling cold during the day in order not to put the heating on until later in the day, in a survey conducted across the South West this month. With government advising families getting together over Christmas to increase ventilation and open doors and windows more in order to reduce the risk of spreading the virus, Barratt and David Wilson Homes are sharing tips for increasing energy efficiency to help strike a balance over the festive season. Advice includes making the most of heating controls such as thermostats and timing devices in order to set the rooms you are using to a constant temperature, rather than heating up a space and allowing it to cool, then heating it again. Scheduling heating and hot water to go on and off when needed can also help reduce costs and unnecessary carbon emissions. Selecting particular rooms and areas of the home to heat, for example turning off radiators upstairs if you’re spending most of the day downstairs, can also significantly reduce energy use and bills. The leading housebuilder, which has pledged to build zero carbon standard house types by 2030, also suggests small steps such as not placing furniture directly in front of radiators, reducing drafts when windows and doors are shut and tucking curtains behind radiators so that heat isn’t escaping through the window can all make a dramatic difference. Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes are currently building new communities at Raleigh Holt, Barnstaple, Minerva, Exeter, Lucerne Fields, Ivybridge and across the South West. New homes are up to 65% more energy efficient than older homes of the same size and produce lower carbon dioxide emissions.  Barratt and David Wilson Homes’ energy saving features include installing the highest efficiency rated boilers available, increased insulation including in floors, walls and lofts to minimise heat loss and high-performance argon gas filled double-glazing. Nicki Reid, sales director at Barratt David Wilson Homes Exeter said: “We are proud to be building highly energy efficient homes across Devon and we are passionate about playing our part…