Lyn Alderson

Copywriter, Journalist, Blogger

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Breakthrough treatment at Salt Cave Dudley brings hope to chest patients

A patient with the serious chest condition, COPD, says her life has also been turned around by the Salt Cave in Dudley.


Frances Clews was virtually housebound- she was so breathless she was forced to spend her life in an armchair.

Sixty- eight years-old Frances couldn’t even walk 100 yards, and was often unable to talk. She couldn’t shower herself or do any household tasks at all and had to rely on her husband Colin to do all of the housework.

But after a few treatments at the Salt Cave, Frances was able to stop using a reliever inhaler because she could breathe more easily. And soon she found she could have longer conversations without becoming breathless.

Salt Cave, Dudley

A new lease of life: Frances Clews (left), pictured with Salt Cave manager, Zoe Ness

Now Frances has improved so much she is able to go out with friends on day trips and walk for an hour without using a walking stick. She can do housework and has even joined a gym!

“I can go out on day trips to Bridgnorth with my friends and I can even do some housework now which has taken a lot of pressure off Colin”, she said.

“I’m also going to the Action Heart gym at Russells Hall Hospital, which would have been totally impossible before I started having salt therapy”.

Fantastic feedback

Zoe Ness, who runs the Salt Cave Dudley with her partner David Hetherington, said: “We are extremely happy with the number of people the Salt Cave has helped since we opened in May 2016. We’ve had such fantastic feedback and success stories from our clients. We hope to continue helping them and many more in the future. ”

Numerous studies carried out in Europe suggest that halotherapy is an effective drug-free treatment for asthma, chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), sinusitis and many other respiratory and skin conditions, as well as the hereditary disorder cystic fibrosis.

Anyone who would like to try the therapy free of charge can contact the Salt Cave on 01384 686777. The clinic is located at Unit 26, The Waterfront East, Brierley Hill, West Midlands, DY5 1XJ.


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Share the love with Project Linus

A quarter of a million children are admitted to UK hospitals every year- that’s a lot of sick and frightened youngsters wondering what’s going to happen next as they face medical tests and procedures.

One UK charity has a special way of showing love to children in hospital- it sends them a big “hug” in the shape of a hand-made quilt.

carter-quilts.jpegThe quilts are sent out as “security blankets” for needy youngsters, including those who are nearing the end of their lives in hospitals or hospices, and those hiding in women’s refuges away from domestic violence.

Project Linus UK is now sending out an SOS for more volunteers to help make these Linus quilts.

Could you share the love?

Perhaps you would like to combine your needlework skills with love and compassion to create something unique for sick and hurting children?

The aim is to give each child in need a bright and colourful security blanket to hold on to during times of stress. Children and even adults find soft fabrics very comforting- that’s why the quilts are also donated to emergency vehicles, to comfort accident and trauma victims.

Project Linus UK describe their quilts as “a hug you can keep” – and they need help to produce and distribute these ‘hugs’ in every British city and region.

Earlier this month they handed out 18 quilts to youngsters from inner city Birmingham who were visiting Shropshire on an adventure holiday organised by the Church of England’s Pontesbury deanery.

Last year they handed out a staggering 27,000 quilts to UK children of all ages, from the smallest babies to the tallest teenagers- and it was still not enough to meet the need.

How to help

If you would like to join the Project Linus UK network of love, it’s easy to get involved.

You can find quilt patterns (including easy ones!) on the website where you can also contact your nearest group co-ordinator.

Project Linus is named after the Peanuts comic strip character Linus, a little boy who liked to carry a security blanket.

Project Linus came from the USA to the UK in 2000, and grew quickly through groups associated with the Quilters Guild of the British Isles, and through the Internet. So far it has donated 239,000 quilts.

President of Project Linus UK, Mrs Lyn Antill of Church Stretton, Shropshire, said: “Caring for children is a natural instinct that we all have, and it is very rewarding to use sewing skills to bring joy to a young child or teenager”.

For more information about Project Linus UK visit or email Lyn Antill at

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Jane spins a yarn for Coco Alpacas

Jane Potts with her alpacas

Jane Potts with her alpacas

A Shropshire woman has launched a blog about life with her herd of alpacas and the beautiful products she creates from their wool.

Jane Potts from Leebotwood used to be a farm secretary but fell in love with alpacas Phoebe and Eliza at the Royal Show in Warwickshire back in 2007. She now has a herd of 17 animals.

Coco Alpacas offers a range of hand-knitted and hand woven scarves, shawls, hats, snoods, mittens and throws and sells alpaca yarn for knitting. Continue reading

Shropshire Hills Art Week- get inspired at the Art Cafe!

Local artists will be showcasing their work at the Art Café in the Secret Hills Discovery Centre, Craven Arms, during the first ever Shropshire Hills Art Week.

Elizabeth Moss, whose work will be at the Art Café in the Discovery Centre, Craven Arms, as part of Shropshire Hills Art Week

Elizabeth Moss, whose work will be at the Art Café in the Discovery Centre, Craven Arms, as part of Shropshire Hills Art Week

They will be among 40 artists taking part in the nine day long art extravaganza, which runs from 31 May until June 8.

The Art Cafe will be open to visitors from 10 am until 5pm each day (except for Monday June 2) and admission is free. All of the work on display will be available to buy.

Participating artists include painters, sculptors, printmakers, textile artists, photographers and illustrators.

The Secret Hills Art Café Group has been meeting at the Discovery Centre in Craven Arms since 2004. The group is involved in collaborative arts activities and also aims to bring art to a wider audience. It is one of a number of groups taking part in SHAW, and other individual artists are showing work in their own studios.

Lesley McKnight, Art Café Co-ordinator, said: “the Art Café artists are delighted to be part of the first SHAW art trail.

“We see it as an important showcase for the wealth of creative talent in this part of Shropshire, which has tended to be overlooked”.

SHAW Director, Jules McRobbie, said that she hoped that Shropshire Hills Art Week’s focus on landscape and wildlife would encourage visitors to really look at their surroundings as they go around the venues and talk to artists.

“This is a glorious area, with many unique landscapes providing a constant inspiration to the artists who live and work here. The many different media used, and the variety and breadth of artwork you will see during the week, reflects this.”

One of the artists taking part, Onibury-based painter Elizabeth Moss, said: “Having recently moved here from Aberdeenshire where I exhibited with the North East Open Studios for several years, I am now delighted to be involved with the Shropshire Hills Art Week which I hope will be the first of many Open Studio events in the area”.

Other studios and venues are participating in the nine day event, including Ludlow artist Susie Church (open studio by appointment), and joint exhibitions at Footprints and Hearts in Ludlow and Aardvark Books in Brampton Bryan.

For more information on all of the artists taking part, and the art trail, visit where you can download an arts trail leaflet.

Nicola Haigh's owl embroidery for Shropshire Hills Art Week

Stunning owl embroidery by Nicola Haigh for Shropshire Hills Art Week



This press release was published in the South Shropshire Journal on May 30, 2014.

Aberdyfi artists cook up a feast

 Press release for Sarah Nickless, Aberdyfi artist.

Landscape artist Sarah Nickless with one of her paintings

Landscape artist Sarah Nickless with one of her paintings as she prepares for her next exhibition in Aberdyfi

Local artists are cooking up a feast for the eyes and showcasing their work in a large kitchen in Aberdyfi.

The exhibition has two aims- to display the work of local part-time artists, and to celebrate the beautiful landscape of Aberdyfi and the surrounding area. The show will feature an interesting array of styles and materials, and admission is free of charge.

Landscape painters will exhibit alongside textile artists, and there will be a display of paintings, cards, T-shirts, jewellery and furniture.

The five day long event will feature the work of seven artists from diverse backgrounds and will be staged from 6pm on Thursday, April 17. The show will then run from 10am- 4pm from Friday 18 until Monday 21 (inclusive) at 4 Hafan Dyfi, off Copperhill Street.

Different styles

“Every artist is very different in style, material choice, and age”, said organiser Sarah Nickless, an Aberdyfi-based landscape artist.

“I will be exhibiting oil and acrylic paintings, and observational sketches based on the landscape around Aberdyfi, and my mum Angie Nickless will showcase her abstract paintings which are based on home life.

“Joel Taylor has just joined the Aberdyfi community and he will be displaying graphic illustrations with a folk art theme. Gill Bailey is very well established and creates seaside-inspired jewellery, while Ian Hughes is an illustrator and portrait artist.

“We also have a Polish surf artist joining us, Jakub Batycki, who is based in Aberystwyth”,  said Sarah.

“This event will demonstrate that we are a very arty community and we hope lots of people will come and see our work, and enjoy a lovely day out in Aberdyfi.”

This press release was published in the Cambrian News on March 28th, 2014.