An appeal went viral when a funeral order of service for Amelia Roberts was found in an office desk.
Amelia Roberts' parents visit epilepsy fundraising research team

Amelia Roberts' parents visit epilepsy fundraising research team

Amelia Roberts' parents visit epilepsy fundraising research team

Amelia Roberts' parents visit epilepsy fundraising research team

Amelia Roberts' parents visit epilepsy fundraising research team

Amelia Roberts' parents visit epilepsy fundraising research team
Amelia Roberts' parents visit epilepsy fundraising research team
  • 2020-02-15 02:00:02 7 days ago
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Bereaved parents whose appeal in memory of their epileptic daughter soared after a stranger's tweet have seen the "amazing" research it will fund.

Amelia Roberts was 21 when she died as a result of a rare form of epilepsy in Hertfordshire in 2018.

Last month, an order of service for her funeral was found by Hari Miller, who and .

She joined Hamish and Debbie Roberts to tour the Epilepsy Society Research Centre in Buckinghamshire.

They met Prof Sanjay Sisodiya, director of genomics, to hear how the £128,000 raised so far is being turned into potentially life-changing work involving DNA.

The online appeal had raised £80,000 before Ms Millar tweeted about making the discovery in a desk drawer at work on 17 January,

Her tweet was shared 9,000 times.

Ms Roberts died when she had a seizure while having a bath at her home in Long Marston near Tring.

Before she died, she had her brain to medical research.

"Meeting Professor Sisodiya has been really useful in understanding the challenges and complexities involved in addressing epilepsy," said Debbie Roberts.

"Our hope is that by raising awareness and raising funds for research, other lives will be saved.

"If just one family does not have to go through what we have been through, then we will have achieved our goal."

Ms Miller, who admitted in her Twitter thread that she had "a little cry in the toilet" about Amelia, said Prof Sisodiya's passion to make a difference was "just phenomenal".

Prof Sisodiya said: "All the funds will finance a bioinformatician for two years to carry out incredibly important work interpreting data from DNA samples.

"This will really help us to better understand the causes of epilepsy and improve treatments."

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Amelia Roberts' parents visit epilepsy fundraising research team

Sheila Graber museum wall mural repainted almost 30 years on

Sheila Graber museum wall mural repainted almost 30 years on

An artist has recreated a street scene inside a museum, almost 30 years after she first produced it.

Sheila Graber is one of the UK's most celebrated animators, worked on the popular 1970s BBC children's series Paddington and her art has been shown in galleries world-wide.

Her 1991 mural of a local street was a fixture of South Shields Museum until it was covered by another in 2004.

The 79-year-old has now repainted it to coincide with a retrospective of her decades-long career, which opens at the museum in May.

She said it was "interesting" to return to the scene.

"You're bringing the past alive by redoing it, so you're not just looking back, but bringing the past into the present", she said.

Graber began her career teaching after attending art school in Sunderland, and then in 1970 turned to animation, becoming internationally-known for her work on the stop-motion animated series based on Michael Bond's Paddington Bear books.

She has won several major awards from the Royal Television Society, shown her work in the Tate and several other galleries, and has taught all over the world.

In 1998 she was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Sunderland for Outstanding services to Education and Art.

When she was first asked to redo the painting she said her first thought was "can I do it, climbing up on things?".

"But the lads here have been great with providing platforms," the artist said.

"In any case it's better than washing the dishes - anything to avoid real work."

In advance of the retrospective, the museum is keen to track down any of Graber's works in private or public ownership, with a view to borrowing or reproduce them for it.

Adam Bell, assistant keeper of history, said: "As a child Sheila was strongly influenced by her visits to South Shields Central Library on Ocean Road, now the museum and art gallery.

"And we'd also like to hear from people who could share any memories, information or anecdotes about South Shields Arts Club and/or the art school."

The exhibition, Sheila from Shields (and her cat), will run from 2 May to 10 October.

All images copyright as stated.

League of Gentlemen butchers closes after 100 years

League of Gentlemen butchers closes after 100 years

It has been a local shop for generations of local people, but a butchers based in the town used by a legendary TV comedy is closing.

J W Mettrick & Son has been a fixture in Hadfield - the town that doubled up as Royston Vasey in The League of Gentlemen - for more than 100 years.

It has won many awards for its pies, sausages and other "special stuff".

Owner John Mettrick said customers struggling to access the shop was one of the reasons for closing.

"It's been a very, very tough decision, one we've agonised over for at least a couple of years," he said.

"We're just finding the village is becoming more and more residential on the main street, and we don't have any controlled parking outside the shop, so basically people can park there and leave their cars there all day while they're going to Manchester on the train.

"Customers just can't get to us - the footfall's been coming down, and obviously overheads only go one way, and that's up."

Five generations of Mettricks have worked at the butchers, which is still situated on its original site.

Famous in its own right for its produce, the store gained further renown as the setting in the BBC comedy for notorious butcher Hillary Briss, whose addictive and highly immoral "special stuff" was a highly-prized delicacy.

Mr Mettrick said the show - which originally ran for three TV series and - did give the shop "some notoriety" but brought some positive attention to the village.

"We did have visitors from all over the place who would pose at the front of the shop and ask to have their noses Sellotaped up so they could appear as some of the characters," he said.

"I would prefer that shop to be known as the shop as part of a firm that won Britain's best butchers, rather than a one-off TV series."

Loyal customers will still be able to go to its sister store in neighbouring Glossop but Mr Mettrick said it would feel "very emotional" when the Hadfield branch closes on Saturday.

"I think one of the things that's really touched us is the comments from the customers who've shopped there for generations," he said.

"Some of them have moved away from Hadfield and live in other parts of the world, they've sent messages on social media.

"It's like the end of an era in Hadfield."