THE HOMELESS: A small request to help the less fortunate this winter

London – VIJAY SHAH

According to homelessness and housing issues charity Shelter, there are 320,000 people classified as homeless in the UK, with the number rising by a thousand a month (according to the Guardian newspaper). This has intensified with a combination of factors causing more people finding themselves without a roof over their heads. These factors include rising rents, lack of suitable housing, and a weakened economy owing to the aftermath of the 2008 credit crunch, and now Brexit.

For the homeless forced to live on the streets and in parks, life is unbearable. Many experience mental/physical health and addiction problems, are marginalised by the better-off and face discrimination and outright abuse even. There have been incidences of thugs setting fire to homeless men and urinating on them as they slept.

In Britain, winter is in full swing, with temperatures dropping below freezing now on most nights. People who can go home and warm up with the central heating are understandably frustrated about the cold and chills, but spare a thought for those who only have a tatty and dirty sleeping bag being all that separates them from the harsh icy elements.

StreetLink is a nationwide charity which encourages people to look out for those who are dwelling on the streets and have nowhere else to go. The charity helps connect rough sleepers to services that can help get them off the streets, including emergency shelters and other accommodation. As the harsh British winter continues its relentless grip, readers are being urged to keep an eye for the ignored. If you see someone who is sleeping rough, you can call StreetLink directly on their freephone number 0300 500 0914 and tell the operator where and when you saw the person. The charity will send out a street outreach team to check up on the rough sleeper, and potentially, you could be the one that means that person will not die early and instead see their life turn around for the better. You can also send your notification in via the StreetLink app or their website: streetlink.org.uk

 

SOURCES/IMAGE CREDIT:

Steve Thorogood/Facebook.

“Welcome to StreetLink” – StreetLink https://www.streetlink.org.uk/StreetLink_HomePage

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MOVEMBER: UK charity launches annual moustache-growing drive to fight cancer

Ilford – VIJAY SHAH

British charity The Movember Foundation has launched its yearly Movember campaign to highlight its war on prostate cancer, which claims the lives of 11,000 men a year in the UK and will affect one in eight British males, according to figures by Prostate Cancer UK.

Every November, men are encouraged to grow moustaches in any style they choose to help raise money to help fight cancer, as well as partake in other fundraising activities. The Movember campaign has broadened its scope in recent years from prostate  cancer to increasing awareness in men’s general health, mental illness, testicular cancer and suicide prevention.

 

The Movember Foundation is also encouraging participants to commit to walking, running or jogging sixty kilometres in November 2018, with each kilometre representing one of the sixty men who take their lives every hour in the UK. The charity is also supporting Mo-ments, fundraising occasions that men and women can organise and host.

The charity aims to use the funds from Movember to support men recovering from cancers of the reproductive system, formulate new mental health approaches to prevent the high rate of suicides nationally among young men and healthcare campaigns for males to live longer and healthier lives.

Supporters of the campaign, informally known as Mo Bros and Mo Sistas, have become a distinctive presence in offices across the country, with the charity’s moustache logo now being highly recognised. This year’s November is being partnered with leading men’s products sellers Gillette and L’Oreal Men Expert alongside gym chain The Gym. The Movember campaign is also being supported by Prostate Cancer UK, the country’s leading research NGO into this dangerous form of the illness.

Movember is a worldwide movement, also taking place in the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Spain. In 2014, 700,000 Mo Bros and Mo Sistas took part.

SOURCES:

Movember Foundation UK, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/MovemberUK/

“Movember United Kingdom – Home” – Movember Europe https://uk.movember.com/?utm_medium=social_paidl&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=Global_Signup_2018&fbclid=IwAR2l0Y2smzUKwV_g4M0VlC45a16b5zc6BU2N571fJEiQO7wqeudOT6o42Xg

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:Movember (8140182094).jpg” – Eva Rinaldi and Movember via Wikimedia Commons (31 October 2012) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Movember_(8140182094).jpg

B’TSELEM: Israeli politician calls for Gaza human rights group to be shut down

Jerusalem – VIJAY SHAH via the Jerusalem Post

An Israeli politician has called on the country’s most senior government lawyer to dismantle a human rights organisation in the country after its leader spoke up on the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, the Jerusalem Post reports.

Nava Boker, a member of the Knesset (Israeli parliament) allied with the secular centre-right Likud party, issued a request to the Attorney General, Aluf Avichai Mandelblit, to order the closing down of human rights group B’Tselem after its director-general, Hagai El-Ad, spoke on the Palestinian crisis in front of the United Nations Security Council this past Thursday.

 

Boker also appealed to the Israeli Corporations Authority, which regulates businesses and non-profits in the country, to close down the charity run by El-Ad. The minister claimed that B’Tselem is anti-national and anti-democratic. After El-Ad made his speech, he was called a ‘wretched collaborator’ by the Israeli ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, the Post reported.

El-Ad responded to the mudslinging from the ambassador by stating: “I am not a traitor, nor am I a hero,”

“The heroes are the Palestinians who endure this occupation with courage and perseverance; who wake up in the middle of the night to find soldiers barging into their homes; who know that if a loved one is killed, impunity is all but guaranteed to the perpetrators; who stay on their land knowing that it is only a matter of time before the bulldozers arrive.”

The charity’s head also responded to the demands for his organisation’s shuttering by Boker. He said: “We would be happy to close B’Tselem and our initiative after the end of the occupation, not a minute earlier,”

“Until then, we invite members of Knesset and the general public to join us in the struggle to end it.”

B’Tselem, also known by its official English name of the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, was founded in 1989 to document violations of international law and human rights in the Palestinian Territories as well as foster the development of a human rights culture within Israel.

SOURCES:

HEM Businesses, HEM News Agency, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/hem-businesses

Aaron Huber, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/kycisrael

“LIKUD MK CALLS ON ATTORNEY GENERAL TO DISMANTLE B’TSELEM” – KYC Israel, KYC Israel Research Services Ltd https://www.kycisrael.com/likud-mk-calls-on-attorney-general-to-dismantle-btselem/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

“LIKUD MK CALLS ON ATTORNEY GENERAL TO DISMANTLE B’TSELEM” – The Jerusalem Post/Jpost Inc. (21 October 2018) https://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Likud-MK-calls-on-attorney-general-to-dismantle-BTselem-569884

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Hagai El-Ad, Samer Badawi, and Leila Hilal” – New America, Flickr (17 September 2014) https://www.flickr.com/photos/newamerica/15267818722

THE REAL-LIFE SIDESHOW BOB?: Fundraising clown criminalised by UK council

 

Manchester – VIJAY SHAH via SWNS digital

A man dressed as a clown who was fundraising for victims of terrorism found himself accosted by council workers who confiscated his donations bucket, SWNS news agency reported this Friday.

Pensioner Tommy Armstrong, from Greenock in Inverclyde, Scotland, had visited the city of Manchester in England to collect spare change for victims of the recent suicide bombing there, when employees of the Manchester city council approached him while he was about to collect donations for a special charity 10-kilometre fun run he was due to take part in. The council staff demanded to see Tommy’s fundraising permit, which he did not have. They then allegedly emptied his bucket and confiscated the donations. Armstrong was said to have been left ‘close to tears’ by the incident. At that time, he was dressed in full clown costume and face make-up.

 

 

Armstrong has raised nearly £200,000 for charity in a fundraising career spanning thirty years and has frequented the streets of Manchester for the past decade. He was renowned in his native city for his habit of dressing in complete clown regalia to entertain shoppers and tourists and gather money for charity. He had even appeared on a daytime TV show ‘This Morning’ with the ITV terrestrial station last year. He told SWNS: My race didn’t start until 3pm, so I went to St Ann’s Square first to see the flowers that have been left there in tribute to the victims.

‘I was wearing my clown’s gear and pushing my usual pram with the bucket on it.’

‘I didn’t ask anyone for money at that stage, but many people had put notes and coins into the bucket.’

‘Two officials came up to me and asked if I had a permit to raise money for the fund.’

‘I told them I had been raising money at Manchester and other big races around the country like the London Marathon for years, and I had never heard anything about a permit.’

‘They took my bucket and counted all the money on a wall. People were walking past wondering what was going on.’

‘It was really embarrassing and made me feel like they thought I was trying to collect money for myself. They were very rude and treated me like a criminal.”

The donations confiscated by Manchester council was believed to be in the region of £44. Tommy Armstrong also told SWNS that he felt the council’s rough treatment of him was unwarranted and that they should offer an apology. He added: They gave me a piece of paper with their names and a phone number for Manchester Council, asked for my name and address and said they would send a receipt, but I still haven’t received a thing.

‘These guys hounded me. I was really angry about it and close to tears. They even took my sign away from me.’

‘I travelled down there at my own expense on an overnight bus to try and help, but their attitude seemed to be that I was dressed as a clown so they would treat me like a clown. I think I should get an apology.”

Manchester City Council said that they had required fundraisers collecting money for victims of the Ariana Grande concert attack to carry officially issued permits after a number of fraudulent fundraising drives were reported to them in the days after the atrocity, in which local man Salman Abedi detonated an improvised shrapnel bomb at the Manchester Arena, killing himself and 22 concertgoers, many of whom were parents and children.

A spokesperson for the council told SWNS: “Difficult though it is to countenance, some unscrupulous individuals do exploit the name of charitable funds for their own personal gain.

‘To protect the public from these bogus collectors, people wishing to collect cash donations at public events need to apply for and carry an official permit.’

‘Members of our team spoke with Mr Armstrong to explain that because he did not have a permit, the money he had collected from the public would be taken and deposited with the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund on his behalf.’

‘There is no suggestion that Mr Armstrong’s motives were anything other than good, and we hope that he will understand that the permit process exists with the important aim of protecting the public from rogue collectors.’

‘The money he raised will help to support those who have been injured or bereaved by the attack.”

SOURCE:

“Charity Clown Treated Like a “Criminal” By Council Workers” – SWNS digital/72Point (9 June 2017) http://www.swnsdigital.com/2017/06/charity-clown-treated-like-a-criminal-by-council-workers/

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Hobo the Clown” – Shawn Tron (12 November 2011) https://www.flickr.com/photos/shawntron/6346752662/

‘FAKE TWO PENCE’ – Rare error coin earns charity £1350 at auction

gb

Malmesbury, UNITED KINGDOM
VIJAY SHAH via TheLADbible and Daily Mail

Poppy Appeal collectors in the English city of Malmesbury in Wiltshire county found themselves a small windfall after a ‘fake’ coin that was deposited in one of their charity collection boxes turned out to be a rare minting error that sold for £1,350 at a recent auction.

Volunteers working for the British Royal Legion were sifting through the takings from a street collection appeal for ex-service personnel when they stumbled across a 2-pence coin that was silver-coloured, instead of the usual copper. Convinced it was a badly-done fake or a joke, the Legion charity workers sent it to a bank to be destroyed.

(c) SWNS via TheLADbible

The Royal Mint, which is responsible for minting the United Kingdom’s coinage, however confirmed that far from being a criminal mastermind’s idea of a bad joke, the silver 2-pence piece was in fact an unusual minting error, caused by a blank for a 10-pence piece, usually now made of nickel-clad steel, being mistakenly struck with a die intended for 2-pence coins, so in essence, this coin was a 10-pence in the ‘clothes’ of a 2-pence. The coin, due to its circumstantial appearance in circulation and the fact that the Royal Mint rarely make such money mistakes, meant it was a highly-prized talk of the town among numismatists.

Local Legion branch chairman Richard Tilney said of the coin’s sale “The Legion has a corporate partner who sells old medals and coins, and they are going to take it off our hands for a handsome price.

The Poppy Appeal is very dear to our hearts and it would be fantastic to get the money to the right place”

The rare item was sold at auction and purchased by coin collectors’ company The Westminster Collection for £1,350, of which the Royal British Legion received £1349.98 profit on a donation of only £0.02.

According to UK newspaper Daily Mail, a similar misstrike issued in 1988 was sold in 2014 for more than £1,350 and coinage error market experts say that similar errors can sell for up to £2,000 to niche coin collectors.

SOURCES:
The LAD Bible, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/LADbible/?fref=nf
“Rare Two Pence Coin Thought To Be A Fake Sells For £1350” – George Pavlou, TheLADbible (17 June 2016) http://www.theladbible.com/articles/rare-two-pence-coin-thought-to-be-a-fake-sells-for-ps1350-170616
“The silver tuppence that’s worth a fortune: Coin dropped into a charity tin turns out to be incredibly rare 2p piece made by a ‘minting error’ (but now it can fetch £2,000)” – Euan McLelland, MailOnline News/Daily Mail/Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group/Associated Newspapers Ltd (26 May 2016) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3610452/Poppy-collectors-thought-silver-2p-coin-dropped-tin-fake-turned-incredibly-rare-collector-s-item-worth-2-000.html
IMAGE CREDIT:
“Rare Two Pence Coin Thought To Be A Fake Sells For £1350” – George Pavlou, TheLADbible (17 June 2016) http://www.theladbible.com/articles/rare-two-pence-coin-thought-to-be-a-fake-sells-for-ps1350-170616

MANOR PARK: Newham school in pole position to recieve Tesco ‘garden grant’

gb

London, UNITED KINGDOM
VIJAY SHAH via Newham Recorder

A primary school in Manor Park, east London is set to receive £12,000 towards developing gardens for their pupils as part of a charity drive by a local newspaper and the supermarket chain Tesco, the Newham Recorder reported yesterday.

Kensington Primary School, which caters to pupils aged between 3 and 11 years, was a finalist in a competition run between Tesco and the Newham Recorder as part of Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme, which has a pot of £30,000 from sales of carrier bags which will be split into three grants of £8,000, £10,000 or £12,000. Members of the public will get to decide which school or organisation will benefit from the scheme. Shoppers will be able to vote for who gets which grant at their local Tesco supermarket from the 27th February to the 6th March 2016.

English: Tesco Express local store in Trowbrid...
English: Tesco Express local store in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, UK (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Staff at the primary school plan to overhaul the outdoor spaces in order to ‘provide a vibrant and educational outdoor environment’, the Newham Recorder commented. Kensington Primary’s business manager, Shazidur Rahman, spoke with the Recorder as to why his school needed the grant.

“Something we’ve found is that a lot of the kids don’t have a local park to go to,” Rahman said.

“We want to put lots of different flowers and plants in and teach the children about them.”

Kensington Primary has already identified a number of suitable places on its premises to redevelop in order to bring the outdoors to its pupils’ doorstep and give them valuable educational and recreational opportunities which are otherwise in short supply locally.

Rahman further commented “It depends when we get the money, but we hope to start work this spring,”

“We think the school holidays might be a good time to get people in and work on the garden.”

Other than overhauling the school’s open spaces, the primary also plans to purchase large planters for the playground, special signs to indicate different types of plants, learning trails and specially commissioned wall art, all of which are intended to improve the school environment and appearance, as well as help their young pupils learn about their natural world and surroundings.

“It’s fantastic that we’re one of the shortlisted organisations,” said Rahman.

“The more money we can get, the more we can develop the school.”

The Tesco Bags of Help scheme is run all across England and Wales and involves community groups bidding for shares of £30,000 grants allocated to 390 regions identified by the supermarket nationally as one of the UK’s largest grocery outlets. The grants come from the sale of 5-pence carrier bags by Tesco stores, which the retailer has been legally obliged to charge for since October 2015.

SOURCES:
“Manor Park school to receive grant for garden project” – Sophie Morton, Newham Recorder/London24 news network/Archant Community Media Ltd (20 February 2016) http://www.newhamrecorder.co.uk/news/manor_park_school_to_receive_grant_for_garden_project_1_4426398
“Kensington Primary School – Newham”, Kensington Primary School http://www.kensington.newham.sch.uk/
IMAGE CREDIT:
“File:TescoExpress.jpg” – Rodhullandemu, Wikimedia Commons (9 May 2009) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:TescoExpress.jpg

INFORMA: Brand new volunteering opportunities for 2015

Employees of the London offices of multinational conferences and events organisation Informa are being given a chance to get away from their office desks and meetings for a day and help volunteer with local charities here in London to help those in greater need.

All Informa employees are offered an extra day off a year to use towards volunteering with a charitable organisation of their choice, and the company has partnered with several charities to offer volunteering experiences on a first-come first-served basis to any employee interested in taking part.

Opportunity Number One is with the charity Providence Row, which provides warm and sustaining meals to homeless and vulnerable Londoners forced to spend their days on the streets. They tackle the root causes of homelessness to help people break the tough cycle of homelessness and access the services that will take them off the streets. Informa volunteers working with Providence Row will be assisting senior chef Marco at the charity’s Dellow Centre in Mile End to provide lunches to their clients. Lunchtime is one of the busiest times for Marco and his team of cooks and volunteers could serve as many as forty people needing a warm meal and a place to rest for a while. In addition, volunteers will be working alongside the chefs of the future. Marco also oversees several catering trainees working with Providence Row to develop their skills in the kitchen as well as people management.

When: Friday 3rd July

Times: 11:00 – 15:00

Where: The Dellow Centre, 82 Wentworth Street, E1 7SA

Number of places: 6

Opportunity Two is with Malmesbury Primary School, also in Mile End. Volunteers who opt to work with the school will be helping plant flowers and shrubs in a new garden that Malmesbury is putting together to improve the play experiences of its pupils. At the moment, Malmesbury Primary School has only a few parents able to pitch in with their green fingers and spare time to renovate the garden. Volunteers at the school will not only be rewarded with making a difference to children, but there is also the added incentive of free tea and cakes after a long day’s pruning and planting.

When: June 29th

Times: 9:30 – 15:00

Where: Malmesbury Primary School, Coborn Street, E3 2AB

Number of places: 10

(c) Informa plc.
(c) Informa plc.

The final opportunity is with Trinity Hospice in Balham, in south London. The hospice, which provides services for those nearing the end of their lives, needs volunteers to assist them with stock and supplies in their office and warehouse, and this opportunity is ideal for anyone with experience or a desire to see what it is like to work in a retail or stocktaking environment. The hospice’s stock is high-value and collectable and much of it is donated by London designers and organisations and is brand new and given in bulk.

The large volume of donated items means Trinity Hospice is constantly on the go with its stock handling, and volunteers choosing this opportunity will have a very busy, active and hands-on experience. Possible tasks include researching and scanning books for sale on the e-retailer Amazon; organising and obtaining information and best prices for buyers interested in the company’s stock of fine antiques; listing pre-loved garments on Ebay; dressing mannequins; using special ‘turbo lister’ software to handle bulk sales; photographing items going on sale online, stocktaking; and helping keep the warehouse tidy and safe.

When: 16th July

Times: 10:00 – 16:00

Where: Balham

Number of places: 10

The opportunities are only available to London-based employees of Informa plc and are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis with limited vacancies available per location.

Informa, a company specialising in conferences, seminars, training/further education and corporate events for a variety of sectors, has a company-wide corporate responsibility strategy aimed at producing a ‘win-win situation for (their) communities, environment, business objectives and employees. This includes diverse matters as employee training and improvement, helping local communities, ethical business practices and environmental awareness.

DISCLAIMER: The writer is an employee of the company mentioned in the above article.

HEM 3rd anniversary banner pizap.com14293560242241

SOURCES:
“Volunteering Opportunities: New in!” – Jill Symes, Informa – Maple House (12 June 2015) corporate email.
“Corporate Responsibility” – Informa/Informa PLC http://informa.com/Corporate-responsibility/#
IMAGE CREDITS:
Getty Images via Zemanta.
Informa plc.

ASEF: Journalism event on crisis reporting in November

The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) is launching a special event for journalists this November to explore and share best practice on reporting global crises. The 10th ASEF Journalists’ Colloquium on Crisis Reporting is being held in Luxembourg over three days from the 4-6 November 2014, according to a source with ASEF’s branch in Singapore.

The colloquium is being organised in conjunction with the 12th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (ASEM FMM12), an important regional political meeting being held at the same time also in Luxembourg. A specially selected number of 25 practicing journalists from Asia and Europe to come together to discuss and learn different approaches, skills and tools used in crisis reporting from Asian and European perspectives.

(c) ASEF via Journalism.co.uk/Mousetrap Media.

From public health crises such as the E. Coli out breakout of 2011 in Germany, to environmental disasters such as the devastating 2013 cyclone Haiyan that struck the Philippines and this weekend’s earthquake in Nepal and India, the attendees will learn and build upon their understanding of the many issues these crises pose for Asian and European media. The recent terror attacks in places like France, and the ongoing war in Iraq and Syria also pose many challenges for reporters.

This colloquium will enable journalists to share their perspectives and best practices regarding international and regional challenges during crisis reporting from the different regional perspectives, as well as definitively understanding the role of the European and Asian media in reporting and witnessing such profound events. Journalists from ASEM countries (members of the Asia-Europe Meeting) can qualify to answer the call for applications. A list of participating ASEM nations can be found at http://www.aseminfoboard.org/members

Participating media professionals will see their recommendations and the event’s highlights published as the ASEF Media Handbook, which will be a ready reference for Asian and European journalists as well as for research and civil society organisations working in the field.

Founded in 1997, ASEF fosters understanding and dialogue between European and Asian countries through intellectual, cultural and people-to-people exchanges. This is with the goal to help encourage the growth of common development and stability, as well as contributing to world peace and prosperity. The Foundation particularly focusses on matters of concern such as war and famine in addition, and offers a range of collaborative events including seminars, workshops, conferences, lecture tours and exhibitions. In the past seventeen years, ASEF has seeded over 650 projects involving 17,000 direct participants over the two continents.

Interested journalists from ASEM countries can apply to take part at the colloquium. Application information can be found here: http://bit.ly/ASEFJC10

Travel (by economy class only) to and from Luxembourg and nearby hotel accommodation will be provided by the organisers for participants selected to attend this unique event. All applications should be submitted online by Tuesday, 12 May 2015, at the link above.

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HEM NEPAL EARTHQUAKE APPEAL

Nepal Quake Emergency Appeal pizap_opt

As many of you are well aware, Nepal was struck yesterday by the worst earthquake to be witnessed in its recent history. More than 1,200 people have lost their lives, mainly in Nepal, but also in India and Bangladesh. Much of the tourism infrastructure in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu has been obliterated, and thousands more are injured and without homes, food, and blankets for the harsh cold nights there.

The Half-Eaten Mind has joined forces with the international development charity Oxfam to support them in their Emergency Appeal. The top of the sidebar has a special link to Oxfam Great Britain’s giving page, where you can make donations securely via credit and debit card or PayPal. I am not aware if givers from outside the U.K. can donate via this link, but if you cannot, then please support any charities helping Nepal in your country.

Please donate what you can. Every little helps.

Thanks for reading.

Vijay Shah,

Editor and Blogger – the Half-Eaten Mind.

HEM 3rd anniversary banner pizap.com14293560242241

SOURCES:
“Call for Journalists: 10th ASEF Journalists’ Colloquium on Crisis Reporting” – Debasmita Dasgupta, Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) via Journalism.co.uk/Mousetrap Media Ltd (24 April 2015) https://www.journalism.co.uk/press-releases/call-for-journalists-10th-asef-journalists-colloquium-on-crisis-reporting/s66/a564889/
“Project Updates” – Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) http://asef.org/projects/themes/sustainable-development/3412-10th-asef-journalists-colloquium#3511-call-for-applications-10th-asef-journalists-colloquium
“Upcoming Events 10th ASEF Journalists’ Colloquium 4-7 November 2015 (tbc)” – Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) http://asef.org/projects/themes/sustainable-development/3412-10th-asef-journalists-colloquium
“The History” – Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) http://www.asef.org/about/history
“What We Do” – Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) http://www.asef.org/about/what-we-do
IMAGE CREDIT:
“Call for Journalists: 10th ASEF Journalists’ Colloquium on Crisis Reporting” – Debasmita Dasgupta, Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) via Journalism.co.uk/Mousetrap Media Ltd (24 April 2015) https://www.journalism.co.uk/press-releases/call-for-journalists-10th-asef-journalists-colloquium-on-crisis-reporting/s66/a564889/

NEWHAM GUIDE DOGS: Residents offered chance to train up puppies

The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association in the east London borough of Newham is offering local residents a unique opportunity to bring some puppy love into their lives by helping train the next generation of guide dogs (seeing-eye dogs), the Newham Mag reports.

The charity, which helps procure and train up dogs to assist blind and partially-sighted people in their day-to-day lives, is currently appealing for Newham residents to help give a temporary home to guide dog puppies. This volunteering role, known as Puppy Walking, also involves training and socialising of the young dogs, so as to prepare them for new careers living in owners’ homes. They can also learn to be comfortable around people and carrying out activities like crossing the road. Puppy Walking enables the puppy to be socially well behaved, affectionate and responsive to their future owner’s needs.

Would-be Puppy Walkers are needed to provide full-time care and education to a puppy from the ages of seven weeks to between twelve and fourteen months, when they will be returned to the Guide Dogs Association for advanced training to graduate as fully fledged guide dogs.

English: Golden Retriever Puppy
English: Golden Retriever Puppy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One resident from West Ham, Jackie Palmer, who already is an experienced Puppy Walking volunteer, told the magazine: “I have enjoyed every minute with my guide dog puppy. He is a joy to have and the kids love him. I have met so many people since becoming a Puppy Walker and I have seen and heard first-hand the benefits a trained guide has in the life of a visually impaired person”. Ms Palmer is looking after a black Golden Retriever puppy named Wolf.

Looking after a future guide dog requires a lot of time, commitment and love from volunteers and their families, but will result in a very special animal indeed, according to the Guide Dogs Association website. The charity advises volunteers to care for the puppy in much the same way as they would care for a young child, giving the puppy lots of love, affection and attention. Volunteers will need to be at least 18 years of age, due to the responsibility required. They must be able to commit the time needed to look after a puppy, with very young trainee guide dogs needing up to three hours of full-time care a day. Volunteers must also have suitable space in their homes including provision for a special hard-surfaced or gravelled toilet area, and be willing to take the puppy outside around busy places on a regular basis.

If you live in the United Kingdom, and you have what it takes to be a Puppy Walker, you can call the Guide Dogs hotline on 0845 371 7771. Alternatively email the charity at volunteer @ guidedogs.org.uk, visit the Puppy Walking information pages online at www.guidedogs.org.uk/puppywalking or visit the links listed under ‘Sources’ below this article.

SOURCES:
“Help train guide dogs” – The Newham Mag <Issue 313>, Newham Council (10 April 2015)
“Puppy walkers” – Guide Dogs, The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association http://www.guidedogs.org.uk/supportus/volunteering/what-can-i-do/puppy-walkers/#.VSpY3_nF8rU
“Essential criteria for puppy walking” – Guide Dogs, The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association http://www.guidedogs.org.uk/supportus/volunteering/what-can-i-do/puppy-walkers/essential-criteria-for-puppy-walking#.VSpag_nF8rU
IMAGE CREDIT:
“File:Golden Retriever puppy 2010.jpg” – Mtlchung, Wikimedia Commons (5 February 2010) http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Golden_Retriever_puppy_2010.jpg

 

RAGS TO RICHES: Beckton schoolchildren raise money for Tuberous Sclerosis Association

Children at a school in Beckton, in the London borough of Newham, have done themselves proud and made a noble contribution toward charitable causes after organising a clothes collection on behalf of the Tuberous Sclerosis Association, the Newham Mag has reported.

Pupils from the Ellen Wilkinson Primary School and Children’s Centre, off Tollgate Road in the south of the borough, got together with parents and teachers to collect old and unwanted clothes for the charity. Eleven children from the ‘We Day‘ citizenship group at the school took on the responsibility of going around classes and encouraging fellow students to rummage through their wardrobes and cellars for clothes they no longer wanted.

(c) G. Vojtko/U.S. Navy/Wikimedia Commons – file photo

Charity Clothes Aid, who were also involved in the garments drive, then pooled all the clothes gathered from Ellen Wilkinson pupils and parents together and were able to net an impressive £285, which will be donated to the Tuberous Sclerosis Association, which was launched in 1977 to support sufferers of this genetic condition and their families. The TSA was chosen by the students to be the beneficiary of their clothes collection donations.

Lara, one pupil at the school said to the Newham Mag: “I have now learned what helping charities means and I would like to help others in future”. Her classmate Alexandra added: “I would really love to do this again because helping others makes you feel better”

Tuberous sclerosis is a rare genetic condition that causes benign tumours to develop in the body, especially in the brain, heart, eyes, kidneys and lungs. Although not fatal in itself, tuberous sclerosis can cause complications such as epilepsy, learning disabilities, kidney disease and heart problems, and there is currently no cure.

If you are residing in London, UK. and wish to set up your own clothes collections for charity, please call the Clothes Aid helpline on 020 7288 8545 or visit www.clothesaid.co.uk

SOURCES:
“Rags to riches” – The Newham Mag <Issue 313>, Newham Council (10 April 2015)
“About The Tuberous Sclerosis Association” – Tuberous Sclerosis Association http://www.tuberous-sclerosis.org/about-us.html
“Tuberous sclerosis” – NHS Choices/National Health Service http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Tuberous-sclerosis/Pages/Introduction.aspx
IMAGE CREDITS:
cc Search, Creative Commons http://search.creativecommons.org/
“File:US Navy 111123-N-HW977-185 Sailors weigh Thanksgiving food drive donations before delivery to the Corona-Norco Settlement House.jpg” – Greg Vojtko & United States Navy, Wikimedia Commons (23 November 2011) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_Navy_111123-N-HW977-185_Sailors_weigh_Thanksgiving_food_drive_donations_before_delivery_to_the_Corona-Norco_Settlement_House.jpg