How our We Need to Talk podcast has worldwide listeners and MP support

The Hunts Post We Need to Talk podcast has tackled grief, health scandals and mental wellbeing. 

The Hunts Post We Need to Talk podcast has tackled grief, health scandals and mental wellbeing. - Credit: Archant

Over the last six months our We Need to Talk podcast has tackled some hard-hitting topics and gained support from MPs. 

Hunts Post editor Debbie Davies and reporters Clare Butler and Alexandra Collett kickstarted their campaign for support for bereaved people in October 2020. 

It led to a podcast on grief and a raw insight into how those struggling after losing a loved one manage to carry on with life. 

Our first front page to launch the We Need to Talk podcast.

Our first front page to launch the We Need to Talk podcast. - Credit: Archant

The first episode was about 40 minutes long and discussed the debilitating pain and distress felt when dealing with grief. 

MORE: ‘Every so often there’s a chink of light and you get to breathe in the oxygen again’

It offered support, advice and hope for anyone out there who was in a similar situation. 

National bereavement support charity Sue Ryder welcomed our podcast and said it would take “nothing short of a cultural revolution” to address society’s reluctance to deal with dying, death and bereavement. 

Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly and North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara also supported the podcast launch - saying it was important to look at the provision out there for grief. 

Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly and North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara are supporting our We Need To Talk campaign.

Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly and North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara are supporting our We Need To Talk campaign. - Credit: Archant

The response we had from people across the UK was staggering – many said they could relate to our interviewees and felt comforted by that. Figures of listeners even went as far as New Zealand! 

The campaign for better support for bereaved people is something we will continue to work on. 

Our next podcast episode focused on the contaminated blood scandal of the 1970s and 80s. 

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During the 1970s and 80s thousands of NHS patients were infected with life-changing, chronic diseases, including HIV and Hepatitis, after receiving donated blood and blood plasma products from the NHS. 

St Neots man Tony Farrugia, agreed to be interviewed for the series and told the story of his father, two uncles and a cousin who were all infected. 

Tony Farrugian has amassed a hugh amount of paperwork relating to his father's death over the last 10 years.

Tony Farrugia has amassed a hugh amount of paperwork relating to his father's death over the last 10 years. - Credit: ARCHANT

Tony says his father’s death ripped the family apart - he and his twin brother ended up in separate care homes. 

By sharing stories such as Tony’s we were able to bring this unspoken topic into the spotlight and give an insight into an ongoing scandal and the devastating impact that families have to live with. 

At the start of this year, we launched our third feature to support and advise people struggling with their mental health and wellbeing. 

There are lots of services available for people in the area and anyone experiencing anxiety, depression and stress is urged to seek help. 

We interviewed Dr Emma Tiffin, clinical lead for adult mental health from Cambridgeshire CCG, who wanted to tackle the stigma and struggles surrounding it.

CCG

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)'s Dr Emma Tiffin, clinical lead for adult mental health. - Credit: CCG

Post-pandemic life may not be as we remember, but that doesn’t mean a bleak future, as Dr Tiffin insists that “positivity is key” and realising the past year has been a learning-curb for everyone. 

“We will continue to get the message out there that we are here to support people through this. We are here for you,” she said. 

ITV Anglia journalist Katie Ridley also spoke openly about the problems she has faced, the support she has received and her own podcast that she launched to help other people suffering. 

Katie Ridley, a Journalist from St Neots. 

Katie Ridley, a Journalist from St Neots. - Credit: Katie Ridley

Katie said: “If you're struggling with your mental health and are finding it hard to express how you are feeling, try writing it in a text message to somebody.   

“That way you can pinpoint what you want to say, as it is so important to keep up communication with friends and family.” 

Hunts Post team Clare, Debbie and Alex launched the campaign in October 2020

Hunts Post team Clare, Debbie and Alex launched the podcast in October 2020. - Credit: Archant

You can listen to all our podcast episodes so far on our host Audioboom at: www.podfollow.com/need-to-talk 

If you have an iPhone you can use the Apple podcasts app, which should already be downloaded on your phone, so search your apps for ‘podcasts’. 

Or use the digital music service Spotify by searching under ‘archant podcasts’ or listen on the TuneIn/ Deezer app. 

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