This company is creating custom-made bespoke dolls for children with hearing difficulties and cleft lips to empower and encourage inclusiveness.
Bright Ears UK is an independent Etsy shop based in Lidlington that specialises in creating a bespoke range of dolls with Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implant Retainers and cleft lips, as well as a selection of other gifts to empower children.
According to Action on Hearing Loss and the NHS, there are around 50,000 children across the country who currently experience hearing difficulties, and a cleft lip is believed to affect one in 700 babies born in the UK.
This is why the work done by Bright Ears UK is so important to creating an inclusive society.
In a post sharing pictures of recent bespoke dolls to Facebook, which has quite-rightly amassed hundreds of interactions, shares and positive comments from members of the public, Clare from Bright Ears UK said: “Here are some of my recent custom orders”.
“Firstly, we have these amazing cleft lip dolls. Two have been made to be bespoke to the little ones they are going to and the other one is going to a childminder to help her talk to her children about inclusiveness in a positive way.”
“It is incredibly empowering for a child to have a doll that looks just like them.”
“I’ve seen this first hand from when I gave my daughter her first hearing aid doll back in 2017. The joy on her face was priceless and even now when she sees me making HA dolls, she gets all excited”.
“Each of these cleft dolls have been lovingly handmade by myself and have no rough edges or gaps for tiny fingers to get caught in, as the mouth area has been carefully remoulded.”
“They can be made bespoke to your little one, so they truly have a mini me.”
“They can also be made with Hearing Aids/ Cochlear Implants, Mic-Key/ PEG feeding tubes, Stomas and NG tubes.”
“If you have a little Princess fan, then they may like these new Hearing Aid Princess dolls [that are] available with hearing aids in your choice of colours [and] the following Princesses are available – Cinderella, Aurora, Tiana, Jasmine, Rapunzel, Snow White, Belle and Ariel.”
One supportive Facebook user commented: “Oh my I LOVE these beautiful dolls. Clare, you never fail to amaze me! You are incredible”.
“I wish I had these when I was younger.” wrote another Facebook user.
Another wrote: “Love that they make dolls inclusive for all”.
“These dolls are wonderful. I’ve just placed an order and can’t wait to see my daughters face when it arrives.” said another.
Bright Ears UK also has thousands of positive reviews left by satisfied customers over the years, is rated as a ‘Top Shop for Gifts’ and is saved as a ‘favourite’ independent maker by over 200 Etsy members, so not only are they doing important work, they’re doing it to an extremely high standard that is well-valued too.
You can find out more about Bright Ears UK on Etsy and Facebook.
Eurovision 2023 grand final to be screened live in cinemas across the UK
The grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest is to be screened live in cinemas across the UK for the first time ever.
With fans from across the globe set to descend on Liverpool in a couple of months time as the UK hosts the 2023 edition of the world’s biggest song competition on behalf of last year’s winners Ukraine, those who weren’t lucky enough to secure tickets will instead by able to head to their nearest cinema to experience the action on the big screen.
Distributor CinemaLive has announced it will be broadcasting the Eurovision grand final show live in cinemas nationwide for the first time ever.
It means that Eurovision fans up and down the country who missed out on grabbing tickets to the final – which sold out in under 40 minutes after going on sale earlier this month – will be able to come together to celebrate what is set to be the “biggest, brightest, boldest music party of the year”.
500 cinemas across the UK, including several here in Greater Manchester, will be screening the grand final on Saturday 13 May.
Vue, Odeon, Cineworld, and Everyman are just some of the cinema chains taking part.
Vue Manchester Printworks, Odeon Great Northern, and Everyman Manchester are the Manchester city centre venues lined-up to screen the event – with cinemas in the The Lowry Outlet Mall, Trafford Centre, Didsbury, Heaton Moor, Ashton-under-Lyne, Bolton, and more also set to welcome Eurovision fans through their doors.
Event organisers say the screenings will encourage singalongs and fancy dress.
“We’re delighted to be working with the BBC to bring Eurovision’s grand final live into cinemas across the UK for the first time ever,” said John Travers from CinemaLive.
“We want audiences to enjoy themselves, so get your fancy dress on, and come together to enjoy this historic occasion on the big screen.”
With an illustrious entertainment career spanning over four decades, O’Grady may have been most well-known and loved by British audiences as a comedian, presenter, broadcaster, actor, writer, and the former drag queen Lily Savage – but he was also one of the nation’s most-famous dog lovers and animal rights advocates.
O’Grady was a longtime supporter and Ambassador of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, and helped raise the profile of the shelter to millions around the world through the hugely-popular ITV series Paul O’Grady: For The Love of Dogs.
Battersea says there’s “no doubting” that O’Grady’s influence has helped thousands of rescue animals find new homes over the years.
Over several series of the show, O’Grady would make an effort to spend quality time with these animals and show-off all of their quirks and loveable qualities, which went a long way to proving that rescue animals “really are the best pets”.
Paying an emotional tribute to O’Grady following his passing today, Peter Laurie – Chief Executive of Battersea – said: “To many, Paul O’Grady was the immensely popular TV and radio presenter and comedian who lit up their screens with his razor-sharp humour and perpetual generosity and warmth [but] Battersea will forever remember Paul as a devoted animal lover with the biggest heart, who fell head over heels in love with every dog he met at our centres.
“Paul will always be associated with Battersea and we are truly saddened to have lost such a true friend and huge part of our charity.
“Paul had an extremely hands on approach as a Battersea Ambassador and has been fundamental in helping our charity to communicate important campaign messages.
“He was a champion for the underdog and would do anything to ensure all animals live a healthy and happy life.
“He will be dearly missed.”
Since the news of O’Grady’s passing was announced, touching tributes have been pouring in in their hundreds from right across the world of entertainment and on social media.
Countless famous names have shared supportive messages and memories.
Emotional tributes to O’Grady have been flooding in all morning, both from those who knew and had worked with him in the past, and from those who admired his work and all that he achieved and had stood for throughout his respected career.