Thursday, 24 February 2022

DAVID WALKER CURRICULUM VIATE - NOT NORMALLY PRESENTED IN BLOGGER FORMAT. THE PURPOSE OF PLACING MY CV ON HERE IS FOR IT TO BE SEEN BY A WIDER AUDIENCE, IN RELATION TO A COMMENT RAISED BY A RECRUITMENT AGENCY RECENTLY. HOWEVER, FEEL FREE TO GET IN TOUCH IF YOU ARE ABLE TO OFFER ANY EMPLOYMENT AS I AM CURRENTLY LOOKING FOR NEW OPPORTUNITIES. 
THANK YOU. 


David Walker 07843 134810

davidwalkerfj@gmail.com

Personal Statement

Professional, well organised individual with the ability to manage own workload effectively. Key skills include upselling, customer service, communication, analysis, problem solving and media relations. I have an eye for detail and repeatedly helped companies maximise their profits by analysing their strategies and implementing key areas for improvement.

Work experience summary

I’ve worked for 38 years within the Theatre, Film and TV industry within both an office environment and on set. My skills include freight management, logistics, co-ordination, customer advisory, marketing and other general admin tasks as required by the client. Additionally, I’m a qualified journalist and have written articles for several UK national publications. As the Pandemic has reduced the ability for theatres to run at full capacity, I’m now looking for alternate employment that can utilise my skillset and extended experience.

Selection of previous employment establishments

·        AJS Theatre Supplies, Ringwood, Hampshire – Hire Manager 1990 - 2005

·        Stagecraft, Salisbury, Wiltshire – Sales and Hire department admin 2005 - 2008

·        Stage Electrics, Southwark, London – Sales and Hire department admin 2009 - 2015

·        Neg Earth Lights, Heathrow, London – Acting Hire Manager, 1 year contract. 2015 – 2016

·   From 2016 to present day, I’ve been primarily involved in a freelance capacity at different establishments which include 4 radio station newsrooms as well as at Pinewood and Shepperton Studios. This was also the case prior to taking up a full-time position in 1990.

Qualifications

·        GCSE’s Grades A – C.

·        HNC Microelectronics.

·        Radio Communications – Parts 1 & 2.

·        First Aid at Work – including the use of a Defibrillator.

·        HND British College of Journalism.

Personal Interests

I have a keen interest in endurance car rallies and was the main organiser for the first ever Paris to Peking rally using cars costing less than £100. This required the use of several skills including working with foreign Embassy’s, negotiation, finance control and media relations. In my spare time I enjoy aerial photography by drone, historical research and am currently studying to be a pilot.

Location

I’m based near the south coast in Dorset.

Thursday, 4 June 2020

Angels Come in Different Guises


Name

Reverend Becky Roberts. 

Occupation

Vicar of Harnham Parish Churches.

Is this your own enterprise?

No.

How many years have you been doing this job?

I qualified to be a priest in 2002 and have worked in Chelmsford, Winchester and Salisbury Diocese. In 2013 I moved to Harnham and have been here since. A Diocese is the regional area in which churches are grouped into.

How did it all start?

That's a long story! I knew from the age of 17 that I had a nagging feeling I was meant to be a priest. Partly because I enjoyed helping people, listening to their concerns and taking up causes for social justice. And partly because when I prayed this is what kept coming to me. I knew it would be a difficult job and it was not legal for women to be priests at that time, so I avoided it until I was in my late 20's. Before undertaking the priesthood, I began my career by training to be a school teacher and first taught in London and abroad. On my return I met with the appointed persons who discern if you would make a good priest, and got accepted through the selection process. When I heard I had been selected it was daunting but I celebrated by going night clubbing in Leicester Square!

What does the job involve?

The job has many aspects from the management of trustees and budgets to governance in schools. From leading worship in churches to supporting those who have been bereaved or who are getting married. No two days are ever the same and my diary is always full. One day I could be at assemblies with over 300 children, that usually involve acting and singing. And another, I'm providing quiet pastoral support, by visiting people who have lived on their own or in care and need a listening ear. 

There is a job description described in the Service of Ordination, which is both legal and worship, which includes: "Serving the community in love, helping the poor and sick and lonely, listening and speaking out for the oppressed and powerless. So - ‘that the love of God may be made visible’ - ".

Additionally, I help people to grow in their faith and enjoy helping people learn. I pray daily for the members of the church, the wider community and the world. Some people I come across feel lost, or that life is unfair. I try and help them get back on the right track, and enable others to go out and show them the love of God. One of the hard parts of the job is sometimes you never know what happens to the people you've tried to help. It’s a big task and love that each day is different. 

All Saints Church.

St George's Church

What qualifications do you need?

The official line is - To be in good standing in the community. However, once selected, you will need to have a diploma or degree in theology, (how to talk about God and interpret the scriptures in the light of when they were written, and apply them in today’s context). I studied applied theology that included both Black and Feminist Theology. As well as Pastoral Care and did a dissertation on how overseas experiences of different cultures, can aid social justice in home nations. I've also recently completed an MA on leadership and the church.

What’s the best part of the job?

It's got to be the people. I love meeting different people from all walks of life and enabling others. I also enjoy seeing them grow in their understanding and experience of God.  

What’s the worst part of the job?

I think this varies according to your personality, but for me I find the worst parts are administration. Getting the balance between rules and appropriate care. In difficult times my role sometimes represents what people are angry about, and like many other leaders, I can get the brunt of it.

What advice would you give to someone who was looking to do this as a career?

Start by belonging to a worshipping community and explore with the leadership of that community a way forward. Get experience in life. Pray!  


Additional resources.

Click here for Harnham Parish Community.

Click here for Church of England Common Worship Ordination Services.

Click here for Church of Scotland Ordination Booklet.


About the interviewer:
David Walker spent over thirty years working as a technician with the Theatre, Film and TV industry before deciding to change career and move into journalism. He studied with the BCJ and received his Diploma in 2016. Now he works freelance covering online, print and radio broadcast. His specialist areas are Motorsport, Travel, The Arts and the Mars One Project, although he is never afraid to try anything new and relishes a challenge wherever possible.

To contact David please email davidwalkerfj@gmail.com

Click here for David’s LinkedIn profile.

Click here if you want to take part in this blog.



Tuesday, 26 May 2020

The online predators who tried to make me a target.

I’d like to say I’m able to see the good in people. But in recent times I’ve discovered new depths that a predator will turn to. Back in February I lost my wife to cancer, and since her passing I’ve now twice become a target on social media, from scumbags posing as young women who want to, “get to know me more”.

The first was obvious and I could smell a rat within five minutes. “She” had only two photos on her Facebook profile. The images showing a curvaceous young girl probably in her twenties wearing skimpy clothes that barely touched the edges. She said she was a hairdresser from Texas who claimed to have lost both parents at the age of four. And the only thing that would make her happy was “a real man to make her feel like a queen”.

Now I may be vulnerable right now, but I’m not stupid; so, decided to play along and waste their time. For the next hour we chatted, and I fed her a pack of lies saying I was 98 years old, live in a straw house on Bodmin moor and take my annual holiday in Azerbaijan. But no matter what I threw her way, she still came back professing my profile photos made her have special feelings towards me. It was a complete crock of s**t!

However, this was a children’s playground compared to my next stalker. Here, with just a single photo on their LinkedIn profile they amassed over 500 connections. This one was more subtle than the last and the conversation was slower. They initiated the dialogue stating they were bored due to lockdown and just fancied a chat. I’m far from looking for a new partner but I am lonely, especially in this wretched lockdown. So a chat with a connection on a professional business platform was a welcome relief. Over the next few days, we would each leave the occasional message as they tried to gain my trust. But when I started to ask more about them, I began to get suspicious with their answers, and it wasn’t long before the same pattern started to emerge.

The person in question went by the name of Malissa, and said they were a 33-year-old travelling nurse from Canada. However, a quick search of their profile photo revealed two interesting things. “Malissa’s” LinkedIn photo is identical to a Facebook profile under the name of Alia dating back to 2016. Further research however reveals the actual person in the profile photo is 36-year-old American born Playboy model, Sara Jean Underwood.

I’ve notified both LinkedIn and Facebook that this photograph is being used on these popular platforms so hopefully they will take appropriate action. As for “Malissa”, I told her I was going to write this article and asked why she had made a fake profile. Within minutes, it was amusing to see her side of the conversation had disappeared, and the profile was instantly deleted. In the meantime, for anyone else who thinks they can take advantage of someone who is recently widowed, my advice to you, is don’t waste your time with me!

I’m now having to readjust back into the single life once more and deal with my loss. My wife was the most wonderful person you could ever meet. She was kind, funny, warm hearted and generous. Now I have a massive hole in my heart that will never properly heal. She may not physically be with me, but I will still always love her, until the end of time.

To see more about how cancer in the family really affects your life, click on the link below to follow my wife’s journey as she dealt with dealing with this wretched disease.

Friday, 24 April 2020

I'm completely heartbroken and feeling crushed...


Am I depressed, or am I just sad?

Coronavirus, the Pandemic that’s gripped the world and brought it to a standstill. Every country across the planet is now affected by the crisis one way or another. Millions of people are facing hardship in ways that we’ve never experienced before. From senior politicians to rock stars, this virus takes no mercy and is coming to a neighbourhood near you.

In February this year, I lost my wife. She was my rock, my soulmate and my Angel. After two years of fighting cancer, she lost her life at the age of just 45 and was cruelly taken away from me and her family. We had barely even started to work our way through the grieving process when Coronavirus started to hit the world and social isolation became the new buzzwords.

For me, I’m now having to adjust to life once more as a single person. I’m only a couple of years older but right now I feel I’m in my nineties. As the virus spread from China to Europe and then the States, we watched in vain as country after country started to go into lockdown. In the UK, we’re now five weeks in and like most of others, the unemployment rate skyrocketed. All my clients have dropped by the wayside and I'm unable to claim any benefits. My outgoings have increased but my income has dried up, and my closest friends are an hour's drive away. On social media I see people getting restless – fights are breaking out and the masses are desperately trying to find new and different ways to keep themselves occupied.

Day one of lockdown saw me mowing the lawn, clearing the garage and even hoovering the car. By day three the oven had been cleaned and cobwebs dusted from off the ceiling. They say that you need to keep busy and stay in a routine, but I wonder how many of us are doing that? As the days go by, I'll admit, it's getting more difficult to think of what to do. 

Life in my house is now so very different. There is no background noise that my wife loved. No TV, no radio, no chatter. Just silence. I can’t sleep, I’m eating less and am getting thinner. This blog is a personal cry for help because I don't know where to turn, and yet, I’m physically unable to communicate with the outside world in the same way as before. Noise is a distraction – and an unwelcome one at that. But the isolation and sheer loneliness are turning in on me. It’s a kind of a viscous circle and the sad thing is that I know I’m not on my own.

I’m currently trying to do my best in socially isolating from others whenever I go out to get fresh air or exercise. I’ve not been shopping in seven weeks and reckon I can last one week more before I must go out and get supplies. So, the question now is, am I just deeply sad brought on by a series of unfortunate circumstances. Or am I heading towards depression? My wife and I boarded the cancer rollercoaster in October 2018 and since then I’ve not got off. Being in isolation is hard at the best of times but being recently widowed and then thrown into isolation is even worse. 

I love my wife so much and miss her enormously. I'm not sure how much longer I can carry on. 

davidwalkerfj@gmail.com

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Cancer is Hell. Documenting Laura's Journey.



This, is Laura Walker. In November 2018 Laura was diagnosed with stage 2 bladder cancer and an operation would be required to remove the full bladder. On New Year's Eve, she underwent an 8 hour operation to have her bladder removed along with a full hysterectomy, 56 lymph nodes and a section of her lower colon. The surgeons then re-fashioned her colon to make a new bladder for her called a "Neo Bladder". The pictures below start from New Year's Day 2019. 


 24 Hours after the operation and Laura is sedated in the High Dependency Unit of University Hospital Southampton.

 Receiving her second blood transfusion. The first was during surgery.

 3 days after surgery and she takes her coffee for a walk!

 Hospital food. At this stage Laura has a daily restriction of just 750ml over a 24 hour period.

 She went into hospital with just the one blue bag, but came home with a total of seven bags containing all of her medical equipment that she will need for the upcoming weeks. 

 9 days after the operation, she breaks free from hospital!

 Just six weeks later and the first of her Chemotherapy treatments start. 

A cannula is used for the drugs to enter the body. Depending on which part of the cycle, treatment can last up to five hours at a time. 

Gemcitabine and Cisplatin Chemotherapy drugs. 

Shortly after Easter and Laura is admitted to hospital with sepsis.

 Although the china tea cups and cake provided by the hospital volunteers do try and help make you feel at home!

Meanwhile, this is David's view at various times of the day and night.

 These machines regulate the flow of the drugs into the body and have a really annoying beep which never seems to stop. 

Laura's daily intake of drugs. 

Instead of using a cannula, Laura now has to receive all treatment through a picc line in her arm which is inserted into a major vein for several months. However, due to various issues, a total of three picc lines were used throughout Laura's treatment.


The chemotherapy drugs are now starting to show on her skin and hair, along with some weight loss. 

 But she still has her sense of humour.

 One of many trips to to A&E in the middle of the night. This one was due to severe dehydration.

 A typical menu.

 By May the effects are really starting to show. 

After a large spike in body temperature, we are in A&E again. This picture was taken around 5am.

 Laura in an isolation ward as she is neutropenic. By the time this picture was taken, she had already spent nearly four weeks in isolation on three separate occasions and received 2 more blood transfusions.

 Another trip to A&E. This time at 3am.

 June, and Laura stays in bed all day to save up enough energy to watch the Kaiser Chiefs at an open air concert that night. It was worth it!

 Early July. The weight loss is now very significant with over 23kg gone in just 5 months. Chemo treatment has been stopped early after 5 complete sessions as it was deemed to be doing more harm than good at this stage. 

Mid July and SUCCESS!!! After her first scan, Laura is given the "all clear" and can now say she has beaten Cancer! Happy doesn't even come close...


3 months on and Laura has permission from the hospital to act as an ambassador, giving people an insight and to tell her story. She now helps others around the world to make their own informed choices and a better understanding of what to expect. Here she can be seen here talking to someone from Canada who had some questions regarding upcoming surgery. At the end of just an hour on the phone, they felt happier and more relaxed, ready to face the enemy that is cancer.

Unfortunately, the story doesn't end there. In late October 2019 we had a significant blow, as more cancer cells were detected in her liver. Despite further treatment, in December 2019 she was diagnosed as terminally ill and the effects on her body took its toll. On 1st February 2020, Laura gave her last breath in the hospice at Salisbury surrounded by her husband and family at her bedside. Our lives have been torn apart by this wretched disease. 

She was my life, my rock, my soulmate. And someone who will always remain deep in my heart. I don't know what the future is going to hold for me, but I do know that from now on, life will be very different. Prior to her death, Laura asked for people to make a donation on her "Just Giving" site. The details of which can be seen below. 

Our heartfelt thanks go to all the staff at University Hospital Southampton and also to Salisbury district hospital. During that time we estimate that Laura has been treated by over 400 medical professionals from District nurses through to Porters, A&E staff, X-Ray teams, Ward staff, Laboratory technicians, Surgeons, Consultants and more. 

But equally, we'd like to thank the unsung heroes. These are the people who by making a completely selfless act saved the life of Laura. It took seven people donating their blood to help keep her alive. The NHS require over 135,000 units each year, so if you can spare just 15 minutes out of your day then please give blood and help save someone else's life today.


General statistics:

  • Laura was treated by over 400 medical staff.
  • The 24 hour oncology emergency number was called 12 times resulting in 10 emergency trips to hospital.
  • All visits to A&E were after 10.30pm and usually lasted a minimum of four hours at a time.
  • The longest wait was 18 hours due to a massive bed shortage in Salisbury hospital who had an outbreak of Norovirus.
  • Around 55 additional trips to hospital were made for routine appointments and treatment. This isn't including all visitations by David while Laura was in hospital for prolonged stays.
  • Approximately £400 was spent in car parking fees.
  • Over 2000 miles were driven to and from hospital for appointments and visitations. This equated to six tanks of fuel at a cost of just under £400
  • Seven people gave blood to save one person's life. 
  • Although no actual figure is disclosed, it's estimated that the cost of the chemotherapy drugs run into the thousands of pounds per treatment. 
  • Three picc lines were used during treatment

If you were affected by this story and would like to make a donation at your nearest blood bank, then we'd love to hear from you. So far we are aware that all of the blood which was given to Laura has now been replaced by the generosity of family and friends who we think are awesome. And if you know someone who would benefit from this blog then feel free to share it with them. Just copy the link in the browser and paste it on your social media or any groups that you belong to. 

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Recently, Laura started her own "Just Giving" page to help raise funds to go into research into Bladder Cancer. Her ultimate total goal that she really wants to achieve is £170,000 as this equates to 17 treatments of immunotherapy over a two year period, which is what is usually required to help just one single person on this treatment. You can make a donation to her site by clicking here.


Or copy and paste the full link into your browser here 

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The more that Laura could help others, the more it gave her the strength to carry on each day. She was a truly incredible woman who I loved dearly with all my heart and more. We never know what's coming round the corner, so hug your nearest and dearest, tell them you love them and NEVER waste a second to enjoy your life together.

Leave a message in the comments section below and share this blog with all of your friends.

Quick links:

Macmillan Cancer Support https://www.macmillan.org.uk/

University Hospital Southampton http://www.uhs.nhs.uk/home.aspx

Salisbury District Hospital http://www.salisbury.nhs.uk/Pages/home.aspx

Blood donation info https://www.blood.co.uk/

Bladder Cancer Support Group http://actionbladdercanceruk.org/find-a-support-group/

Cancer Research UK https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/



Thursday, 5 September 2019

Where in the world would we be without drones?


For a long time, my wife had been saying I should go out and get a new hobby. So, when I received a toy drone for Father’s Day a couple of years ago, I thought now would be a good opportunity to give it a go – if only to keep the peace.

It was a Denver DCH600. Capable of a range of up to 80m and had something I thought akin to “sport mode”. I felt I was going to be Britain’s next number one drone pilot and went to the nearest field to try out my new toy. But as I soon found out, these super lightweight flying machines are trickier than I thought and within minutes it was stuck up a tree.

Over the next few weeks I must have got in more scrapes than I did as a young child. If I didn’t crash it on the ground it was stuck in a branch. And if that didn’t happen, I was wading knee deep in water. With just one battery that lasted only ten minutes I bought two more. As time passed my flying improved and I became more proficient, but I also came across my fair share of resistance from the public.

Denver DCH600 Drone. Photo credit David Walker

It seems the biggest concern people feel is their privacy may be invaded as they could be spied upon by these versatile flying machines. Modern drones – or to call them by their proper name Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s) can travel large distances and nearly all have camera’s attached. But most of those that are fitted work best for aerial photography covering a large expanse of land. So, unless you are within 10 metres of someone and looking at them straight on, then to pick out an individual’s features can be incredibly difficult.

At present there are no official regulations for hobbyists when it comes to flying UAV’s over UK airspace, although there are certain areas which are off limits. There is however something that’s known as the drone code that commercial users and hobbyists alike abide by. These are a series of common-sense type rules which are designed to be beneficial for operators, the general public and everyone’s safety. Of course however you do have some operators who use their units in a reckless way, which gives true users a bad name and is frowned upon greatly. To combat this, the Government are aiming to put into place some form of official regulation that everyone will need to abide by. However, this has been a very long time coming and they are still not sure what they are going to do, or when they will do it. To gain some clarity, I tried contacting the Department for Transport multiple times but as yet, I’m still waiting to hear back from them.

Credit Surrey Search and Rescue

Seamus Kearns is Head of Operations for Surrey Search and Rescue who do a lot of work alongside the Fire and Police services. Kearns states “out of the 123 call outs they received in 2018, around 25% required the use of UAV’s”. Adding, “from a search and rescue point of view, drones work best because you can look for missing people far quicker over weirs, cliff edges, rivers, lakes and fields of crops. Whereas it is more difficult on a horizontal plane looking across an area”.

Credit BBC

However, a recent BBC TV Horizon program was perceived by many operators as negatively biased and scaremongering. Terminology used such as “weaponised drones”, “deadly killing machines” and “terrorist drone attacks” portrayed the sport in a poor light giving hobbyists and commercial operators a bad name, which makes the activity more difficult for them to enjoy; mainly due to the negative perception currently held by much of the population.

In response to this, a BBC spokesperson said, "In the wake of the crisis at Gatwick Airport last year - and the strong public interest in this - we believe our Horizon investigation into the technology behind drones, and whether the related UK safety measures are adequate, was justified, fair and impartial. From the outset, and repeatedly during the film, the positive uses of drones and the efforts the industry has taken to make them safe was referred to. The film does not claim that drone technology is unsafe, but rather that it can be used maliciously when in the wrong hands. Indeed, as drone users ourselves, the BBC is well aware of the positive benefits of them when used appropriately.”


Photograph of a woman standing in open ground taken at 25m high. This is just half the minimum height required a drone can be near a single person under the drone code. Photo credit David Walker.


Anyone who wants to take up flying on a more serious basis to make money can enrol on a course to obtain a Permission for Commercial Operation licence (PfCO). The usual cost for this is around £1500 and normally takes three days, which includes both theory and practical activities. You can get cheaper online versions on a distance learning basis which take longer as you do this in your own time, which start at around £900. 


Andrea Verenini from Portsmouth is one such student who set up his own aerial photographic company after obtaining a PfCO. For him, drone flying started off as a hobby four years ago which he loves doing. However, he feels quite frustrated at times because despite paying a lot of money in the outlay he states, “if you have a client who wants a photo taken of their house from above, then you need to get the permission of everybody in the surrounding area”. Adding “people are watching more and more of TV aerial footage which produces some great results, but no-one wants you to fly your drone. You can enjoy the beauty of nature and landscapes but it’s as if they don’t want you having fun”.

To make his point, Andrea compares this to driving. He states, “you spend money on lessons, the driving test, buy a car, then tax, insurance and MOT it. But to go anywhere you must then ask the permission of every householder to drive down a street”.

Most hobbyists often express frustration as to the limitations which are imposed upon them, as not only are there the official no fly zones, but this can extend to the countryside in general. On one occasion, I was asked to pay £25 to cross over a meadow where I wanted to take some aerial photography. Given this money was to help the upkeep of the land I was happy to donate £10 as I would only be there less than 30 minutes. But instead, I was given a flat refusal. Sadly, this is not uncommon because where true hobbyists try to be accommodating as possible, many feel angst when phone calls and emails get ignored when permission is sought to cross land or view an area.

Like it or not, drones are here to stay. True hobbyists and commercial users are always happy to show you what they can see on their screens and in some cases will even allow you to have a go under close supervision. Drone technology has taken major advancements in recent times and is put to good use daily, but it’s a sad fact there is a small percentage of operators who give the rest a bad name. However, whether its fighting crime, helping to fight fires, making great TV or just for fun, the use of drones has certainly enriched our lives for the better.


An image taken at 50m above ground. This is the minimum requirement a drone can be to a single person under the drone code. Here, the operator can just be seen on the grass near the red car. Photo credit David Walker. 


Monday, 24 December 2018

I'm tired...





I'm tired of when you shout at me.

I'm tired of your frustration.

I'm tired of the arguments.

I'm tired of all your tears.

I'm tired of being screamed at.

I'm tired of fearing what to say.

I'm tired of your anger.

I'm tired of seeing things fly across the room.

I'm tired of all the nightmares.

I'm tired of living in fear.

I'm tired of all the hospital appointments.

I'm tired of watching your pain.

I'm tired of the uncertainty.

I'm tired of the sickness in my stomach.

I'm tired of not knowing if the surgery will work.

I'm tired of seeing doctors.

I'm tired of this wretched illness.

and yet...

I'll still be there for you, when you need me. Through thick and thin, I will never give up on you.

Even though...

I'm tired.




#Cancer.