How an academic was stunned to silence by new data on The North in Numbers...

...and turning dreams into reality on Brummie Mummies

“Data! Data! Data!” exclaimed Sherlock Holmes in Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘The Adventure of the Copper Beeches’, “I cannot make bricks without clay!”

Data in its many forms is integral to understanding the world we live in, and to predict what might happen in the future.

The North in Numbers investigates the data across the region, exploring a diverse range of topics, including homelessness, knife crime, football, council cuts, the state of our pubs, and many more.

In the latest episode, Annie Gouk speaks to those involved in the Sensemaker project, including academics who were left stunned about the results.

Like The North in Numbers, the Brummie Mummies podcast also looks at human stories, hearing from those about the ups and downs of parenthood.

Zoe Chamberlain hears from an inspirational mother who turned her life around, from having her house repossessed to creating her own six-figure business.


The North in Numbers: making sense of Sensemaker

In each series, The North in Numbers team dedicates an episode to looking behind the scenes of data.

In the latest episode, host Annie Gouk, deputy editor of data and multimedia at Reach, makes sense of data journalist project, Sensemaker.

The project - a collaboration between the Manchester Evening News and the University of Central Lancashire - creates data sensors for journalism and community engagement.

One of those data sensors detects pollution, and it was deployed in schools and businesses across South Manchester.

John Mills, associate professor at UCLan and one of the academics working on the project, told Annie that the team were stunned to silence by the results.

He said on the podcast:

“It was one of those moments where you see the visualisation of data and it just blows any doubt out of your mind.

“When we had that data come in, we had a stunned silence, because it left you in no doubt.

“That was one memory from the project that will stay with me, because it was basically demonstrating that there was real tangible impact, and you couldn’t argue with that.”

You can hear more from John Mills, as well as Louise Taylor, who was the assistant headteacher at Cringle Brook school at the time, about the Sensemaker project on the latest episode of The North in Numbers.

The North in Numbers on Apple Podcasts


Brummie Mummies: turning dreams into reality

It was quite the turnaround for Birmingham mother Emily Wright.

Alongside the stresses of parenthood, Emily was forced back to work when her baby Antonia was just three-weeks-old after falling behind on a credit card payment. 

Unfortunately, the financial pressures continued, and she was evicted from her home and lost all of her hair due to stress-induced alopecia.

However, Emily showed great strength, resilience and courage by persevering and never giving up on her dreams.

She turned those dreams into reality, and in the space of two years, she went from losing her home to creating a six-figure turnover for her new online business.

In the latest episode of Brummie Mummies, you will hear Emily tell host Zoe Chamberlain about her inspirational story.

She discusses the pressures of motherhood, why running an online business is a real lifesaver for single parents, and why she wants to show her daughters that a woman’s worth is a lot more than just her hair.

Emily said:

"If someone had told me this would be my life now a year ago, I wouldn’t have believed them. There’s such a lot of things that have happened. It’s amazing what you can turn into reality when you set your mind to it.

"I really believe in a positive mindset, you have to keep strong and positive. You cannot crumble, I’ve got my girls so I don’t have that option."

You can listen to the full conversation with Emily on the Brummie Mummies podcast.

Brummie Mummies on Apple Podcasts


You hear some incredible stories on our podcasts, and they can really motivate you to strive for better.

And you can find those inspirational tales wherever you listen to your podcasts, including Apple and Spotify.

In the meantime, stay safe, stay positive, stay informed, and stay tuned.

- Dan McLaughlin

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