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Page last updated at 10:30 GMT, Friday, 16 January 2009

Life after Woolies

Jon Sopel
Jon Sopel
The Politics Show

Hello again, and Happy New Year, if it's not already too late to issue such good wishes.

Woolworths store closing
Closing up on an institution...

Woolie future

It's certainly not looking like a particularly happy new year for the thousands of workers losing their jobs in what seems to be a daily deluge of redundancy announcements.

And none has loomed larger in the public mind than the 26,000 jobs lost with the closure of Woolworths.

So if you are unlucky enough to be an ex-Woolies worker, or indeed anyone made unemployed, what help can you expect from the government?

Will you get help to find another job, to retrain, to pay your mortgage?

What happens to any savings you might have?

To try to answer these and other questions, the Politics Show is going to be following some former Woolies employees for a year to record their experiences.

Join me on Sunday to hear the first instalment of "Life After Woolies", when we'll meet Margaret, Stephen and Matthew - three generations of one family who've all lost their jobs.

And if you used to work for Woolworths and would be interested in taking part, we'd like to hear from you. You can contact us by e-mail in the form below....

Petra, put the kettle on

Karen Matthews
What mark has Karen Matthews left on her community?

The case of Karen Matthews, who organised the disappearance of her 9-year-old daughter Shannon, disturbed everyone, but some saw broader lessons about our society.

David Cameron, the Conservative leader, condemned the Dewsbury estate, where the Matthews lived, as a place "where decency fights a losing battle against degradation and despair".

But the residents beg to differ, and Petra Jamieson, a neighbour of Karen Matthews, has asked Mr Cameron to join her for a cup of tea.

The Conservative leader plans to accept.

But Max Cotton, never one to respect social niceties, has got there first.

He'll meet Petra and her neighbours, and see for himself if this particular corner of Britain is "broken".

Farewell to all that

President Bush and an American serviceman
President Bush had his moments...

On Tuesday 20 January 2009, Barack Obama becomes the 44th President of the United States.

But how will we remember the 43rd?

I'll talk live to the outgoing American Ambassador, and we'll have a reminder of George W Bush's finest moments.

That's all on the Politics Show at 12 noon on Sunday. We're back, and this time it's 2009.

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