EVERY DAY the Oxford Mail receives calls from community groups, individuals and charitable causes that want help in raising the profile of something which is important to them.
This could be anything from a charity event, sharing personal or community achievements or simply a personal dispute in which organisations should be held to account.
It is incredibly humbling to know that many of our readers still hold local journalism close to their hearts and will turn to their newspapers for help and coverage.
There have been so many memorable front pages on the Oxford Mail in recent years. One that stands out captured the hearts of many readers but also went some way to helping right a wrong when D-Day veteran Fred Pope received the wrong Legion d’Honneur medal in the post.
The 93-year-old, 92 at the time, and his family appealed to the Oxford Mail for help when a medal mix-up left Mr Pope still waiting to receive France’s highest honour 70 years on from when he landed on Gold Beach, June 6, 1944.
The pair also hoped, after waiting so long, to get the medal in time for their 70th wedding anniversary that same month.
At the time Mr Pope said: “I sent it back to Whitehall. To think I nearly had the medal in my hands.
“I sent it back because Mr Paintin might be waiting for his medal too."
If the Oxford Mail can help right a wrong and in Mr Pope’s case get him his incredibly-deserved Legion d’Honneur medal, it will.
So the newspaper did all it could in raising the issue in the local media and through this it went on to be picked up by a number of national newspapers also helping to raise the profile.
The Oxford Mail did all it could to get in touch with the Ministry of Justice as well as the French embassy to track down Mr Pope’s medal.
Eventually the newspaper managed to secure a promise that the medal was winging its way to the proud D-Day veteran.
His daughter Hilary Telford who originally got in touch with the paper said: “We were just absolutely delighted when dad got his medal and with the part the newspaper played in expediting dad’s medal - especially at now 93 years old it was great to finally get the medal.
“I don’t think we would have got it as soon as we did if it wasn’t for the paper helping, I think we might have even still been waiting now.
“We were just thrilled that the publicity managed to help and with your calls to the embassy all helped.”
Mr and Mrs Pope’s story is a prime example of why we do what we do. As a local voice for local people this is the reason Local Newspaper Week looks to celebrate those stories and their impact.
Other notable recent stories in which the Oxford Mail has helped get results have also included helping aid the return of a stolen electric bike to cancer sufferer Jeffrey Walton.
Another included publishing an appeal from a heart broken daughter who had lost an earring made from her dad’s ashes, which through publicity was soon returned.
Reader Nina Cosgrove gave special thanks to the Oxford Mail for it’s part played in helping raise more than £20,000 for vital treatment to help stop her being paralysed by multiple sclerosis.
Also offering up their thanks was rock band Steamroller who had £10,000 worth of equipment stolen but later returned when found ditched by a reader of the Oxford Mail.