Fifty and Fabulous

The thoughts, loves, rants, interests & inspirations for Gen X


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My Heart Is Breaking.

Hello Lovely Followers,

I’m sorry but today I just had to share this upsetting article that I found on TES while looking for resources for our next topic at school.

I can’t believe how widespread this issue is – teachers report an increasing number of children are coming to school hungry – but I know that in both the primary schools I’ve worked in, I’ve given food (fruit or toast) to pupils who haven’t had breakfast, I’ve even sorted out a lunch for a KS1 child (7yrs old) who came into school with an unwashed lunch-box that had mould growing in the compartments and a mouldy mini sausage roll in the bottom section!

Suffice to say, in every case, procedures are followed and incidents like this are always recorded.

Exclusive: ‘Mum didn’t have any food’ – the rise of pupil hunger

Schools increasingly stepping in to provide food for children and families

Boy sad hungry

They are heartbreaking but all too obvious tell tale signs – grey-faced children and pupils rummaging through the school bins for scraps of food.

Teachers are warning that more and more children are coming to school ill-equipped for learning because they are not getting enough to eat at home.

Celia Dignan, senior policy adviser at the NEU teaching union, told Tes: “Teachers are telling us that they are increasingly seeing children coming to school hungry because they haven’t been able to have a nutritious breakfast.

The trend is confirmed by the results of a snap Tes online poll of teachers this week in which 88 per cent of respondents said that they had noticed a rise in the number of pupils coming to their school hungry. More than 90 per cent said had provided food for undernourished pupils.

Benefit changes were the most commonly cited reason, closely followed by parental neglect.

Caroline Rodgers, headteacher of Brockley Primary School in Chesterfield, said: “Sometimes the kid will say, ‘I have tummy ache’.

“You ask what they had for their breakfast – sometimes they’ll say, ‘Mum didn’t have any food.’ Other times you just get that stare, and they don’t need to say it.

Nathan Atkinson, the former head of Richmond Hill Primary in inner-city Leeds, knew there was a problem at his school when he realised his pupils were scavenging food from the rubbish.

You’d find that when you put fruit out, there were children who were putting three or four pieces of fruit in their pocket,” he said. “Or somebody had discarded a half-eaten apple, and another child had taken it from the bin and was eating that apple – what was left of it.”

After introducing successful initiatives in his school, from buying a toaster for every classroom to hosting a café on two days a week for pupils’ families, he founded Fuel for School, a not-for-profit company that sends unwanted food to schools to sell through their own market stalls via voluntary donations from parents.

The scheme’s success led to Mr Atkinson being shortlisted for the 2017 Global Teacher Prize.

At Medina Primary in Portsmouth headteacher, Howard Payne, has seen a sharp increase in the number of children arriving for school at the start of the week looking visibly hungry.

It’s a very sensitive issue,” he said. “You have to look for clues, one of which is children will look withdrawn and grey in pallor. The school tries to help families as much as it can, and as subtly as possible. For some families, we put food into a plastic bag and the children take it home,” Mr Payne said.“We’ve sent a letter to their parents, saying ‘This is available, if you feel you don’t want to accept it, please let me know.’ All of them have accepted it.”

This is an edited article from the 20 April edition of Tes. Subscribers can read the full article here. To subscribe, click here. This week’s Tes magazine is available in all good newsagents. To download the digital edition, Android users can click here and iOS users can click here

Want to keep up with the latest education news and opinion? Follow Tes on Twitter and like Tes on Facebook

Source: Exclusive: ‘Mum didn’t have any food’ – the rise of pupil hunger | Tes News


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Genealogy Hunting In Wiltshire

Hello Everyone,

I love history, I know I haven’t posted anything to my blog about that recently (see my last post here) but those of you who follow me on Twitter will know I tweet quite a bit about it. 😉 This weekend I’ve been back on Ancestry UK working on my family tree – a project that has been ongoing for a number of years now which you can read about here.

I was browsing their blog posts when I came across the article below about the launch of the Wiltshire Wills Collection. The Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre is still a place I need to visit as I’ve traced a few of my family lines as far back as I can with Ancestry UK.

Have any of you created your family tree? I love working on mine and I am finding it very interesting. I think researching your ancestors helps bring history to life and gives it a more personal perspective.

 

 

 

Posted by Kristen Hyde on January 31, 2018

With the launch of the Wiltshire Wills collection, Claire Skinner from Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre explores the historical significance of wills.

The probate collection of the Diocese of Sarum alias Salisbury (more popularly known as the Wiltshire Wills collection) is a collection of over 500,000 images of wills and related records from the whole of Wiltshire and Berkshire, part of Dorset and the parish of Uffculme in Devon. There are around 118,000 wills of various lengths, plus related records mainly dating from the 1560s to 1858 which include inventories of goods, administration bonds, and bonds for tuition or guardianship of children.

Through Ancestry, the Wiltshire Wills collection is being made available online in its entirety for the first time, thus completing the work of the HLF-funded Wiltshire Wills project which began in the early 2000s.But how have wills changed over time, and what is the value of a will for a family historian? Understanding more about these documents can be helpful for your family history research.

What’s a will?

Under an Act of Parliament of 1529, the purpose of a will was for the testator (person making the will) to pay debts, provide for their spouse, arrange for care of children and make charitable bequests for the good of their souls. They usually have a standard format and structure, starting with ‘In the name of God Amen’ and going on to commit the testator’s soul to God and their body to be buried in a named location; they go on to list the various bequests the testator wishes to make; any debts they owe; and then they name their executor(s) and sign or make their mark. Last of all there may be a probate clause in Latin, written by the court which proved the will, often just a few months after the date the will was written.

It is important to remember that under the pre-1752 calendar, a document dated Jan-Mar would be dated the previous year, so a will dated 17 Jan 1713 is actually 1714 under the modern calendar. If someone died without making a will the court could administer their estate under what are called ‘letters of administration’ instead.

The Value of Wills for Family History

In the 16th and 17th centuries wills were increasingly used to provide for each member of the family left behind, making them particularly useful for family history.

A good will for demonstrating this is that of John Baker of Pitton in south Wiltshire, made in 1688, (P26/387), in which he bequeaths 20 shillings to his daughter Elizabeth Pilgrem, £4 each to his grandchildren John, Stephen, and Diana Seward, Anne Toomer, and William, John, Anne and Elizabeth Smart; 20 shillings to his son in law John Seward; and the residue of estate to his daughter Ann Seward, the wife of John Seward of Pitton. As you can see, three generations are mentioned in the same document, a real boon to family historians!  Wills also usefully include the occupation of the deceased – in this case a yeoman farmer – and may be accompanied by an inventory of their goods which can be very useful in showing the possessions of the deceased and their relative wealth.

Not all families were harmonious, of course – a mother who clearly had serious misgivings about what would become of her sons after her death was Margery Williams of Baydon. She added this codicil to her will in 1797: “Whereas it is the Misfortune of my sons Benjamin and Joseph to be very indiscreet and imprudent and as they have expended their Fortunes and I am extremely apprehensive any Other Property would be in like Manner Wasted and Yet unwilling that they should be left entirely Destitute…” she wills that her son Francis Williams should pay them 2 shillings a week for life!  (P5/1799/27) People weren’t just concerned about their human relatives. Mary Goddard of Swindon included an unusual bequest for the care of her pets after her death: in 1788 she left £2 11s to her servant Grace Buckland “to take care and protection of my Cats and Dog, which I desire she will do with tenderness.” (P3/G/748)

Wills were also used to give instructions for the funeral: the 1681 will of Mary Beake, P5/1681/7 states: “I doe order that there be forty shillings layed out in Cakes and bread and that there be a Kilderkin of beer at my burial.” (A kilderkin was 16-18 gallons).

Sometimes wills tell us a lot about the personality of the testator and their sense of humour, something which you often won’t get from other records, for example this instruction in the will of Nicholas Daniell of Sutton Benger, 1726, for the inscription on his tombstone speaks volumes:

“From Gout and Pox and Plague and Women free
From Law and Physick and Divinity
And Knaves and Foole of every Degree
From care, fear, pain and hard necessity am freed. In what a happy state am I.”
(P3/D/314)

An unhappy lovelife is also obvious in the will of Henry Hunt of Enford, 1773 (P1/H/1231) whose wife “with great Clamour, Violence & Outrage, endeavoured to hinder his making any will, declaring positively that he should make none.” Henry replied “Then this must be your will, not mine” and added “Thus it was she made her first Husband’s will”, meaning no will at all. Nevertheless Henry did succeed in making his will – he had no time to make a formal document but the testimony of his friends and a scribbled note made at his sickbed by one of them proved sufficient for the court.

Who could not make a will prior to 1858?

There were four main categories of people who could not legally make a will.
1) Children (boys under 14 and girls under 12)
2) People of unsound mind or lacking senses (only in the latter case if it meant they could not understand the will)
3) Those lacking full freedom – ie slaves, prisoners and married women without their husband’s consent (the latter before 1882)
4) Traitors, heretics and apostates (eg atheists)

Normally a will had to have certain elements to be legally valid: the date, the testator’s mark or signature (witnessed), and the nomination of an executor, but if no will in this format existed then other forms of will might be accepted by the courts. For example, Henry White’s lovely informal handwritten will of 1835 found on the reverse of an old letter was accepted:

Wills could be made on any material though normally they are on paper. Parchment wills are normally the probate copy made by the court, rather than the original.

Since making a will was possibly regarded as ‘tempting fate’ making a will was often left till the last moment when a testator was ill and facing death. If it was too late to make a written will a testator could give their wishes in the form of a verbal will, copied down – otherwise known as a nuncupative will. An interesting example of this is that of Nicholas Perry, senior, a carpenter of Salisbury St Edmund, who rode over to Combe Bissett where one of his sons lived, to tell him his will orally, because of ‘Contagion in Sarum’ in other words the well known outbreak of the Black Death in Salisbury in 1627. (P4/1627/4.)

Women and wills

Prior to the Married Women’s Property Act of 1882 a married woman could only make a will with her husband’s consent or if there was a pre-nuptial agreement which allowed her to do so. There were no restrictions on widows and spinsters making wills and therefore there are far more of these than wills of married women. These include the inventory of goods of Jane Forget, dated 1588 who had been a nun at Wilton Abbey – the will shows that even though the abbey had been dissolved for fifty years, Jane continued to live a devout life and gave away all her clothing to the poor in her will. (P5/1588/19) Women usually appear in their husband’s will as the executor of his estate, at least until the 18th century.

Probate/proving wills

During the Middle Ages the church gradually gained the right to prove or validate wills and grant administrations of the estates of the dead in all but a few places in England and Wales. The church took responsibility for validating wills and making sure the wishes of the deceased were adhered to through its courts. The church continued to hold authority until 1858, except for the Commonwealth period when the church courts were temporarily closed down in the 1640s and 50s – the wills for this period are at the National Archives in Kew.

When someone died their will had to be taken to the appropriate court – this could be quite complicated to determine. In some years a larger court might take responsibility for a smaller one and have the right to prove their wills. Within the Diocese of Salisbury there were 28 probate courts, including the bishop’s, the two archdeacon’s, and many peculiars. If goods or land to the value of £5 were held in areas covered by the jurisdiction of more than one court, the will would be proved in the higher court. Thus if it fell into two archdeaconries it would be proved at the bishop’s court; if it was in more than one diocese it would be proved at the appropriate archbishop’s court eg Prerogative Court of Canterbury or York. Therefore wills of rich or famous people are unlikely to be found in the Diocesan collection – the PCC was also seen to confer a certain prestige so people like Jane Austen, who didn’t own a lot of property but were of a gentry background, had their will proved there.

Once in court, the executor and witnesses swore that the will was definitely the testator’s last one, and the judge, if satisfied, would grant probate. Probate had to begin within four months of the death, and often would be much sooner. If the executor refused, or if the person died without making a will, the court would appoint administrators to sort out the estate. The court kept the original will and it is the originals which form the Wiltshire Wills collection. A second copy would also be entered into the court’s register, which is why you may find two wills for the same person – they should be identical except they will lack the original mark or signature of the testator.

The executor had to arrange the funeral of the deceased, and pay for those costs, and then make an inventory of the goods. The goods were valued at their ‘second-hand’ price and gave the executor an idea of the size of the estate available to administer – debts had to be paid before any legacies could be paid. For example William Trahare of Sherborne in Dorset, a retired soldier who had fought in the Napoleonic Wars, left his pension in 1802 to William Spooner, inn-keeper, “to discharge myself of my just debt due to him.” (P5/19Reg/4)

From 1858 the proving of wills became a civil responsibility and post-1858 wills have not been included in the Wiltshire Wills project.

Start exploring the Wiltshire Wills collection now on Ancestry.

Source: Where there’s a will, there’s a way – Ancestry UK Blog


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Sage Advice From Fellow Blogger – Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)

Good Evening Everyone,

As I sit here, browsing social media to help relieve the stresses of another working week, I came across the following post from fellow blogger, Shaz, that I need to share with you.

Shaz, like me is married with children (unlike me, her kids are already in their 20’s) and works in a primary school. She is an Inclusion Lead in KS2 and is passionate about early help. She’s got a wealth of experience and is a member of Bournemouth’s Early Help Operational Board working alongside others to instigate change and growth.

Shaz is also passionate about reading, being out in nature and creating with crochet and has been blogging for eight years. I always find something interesting to read on her site and I hope you enjoy reading this too.

I have added a link to her blog at the bottom of this post that will open in a new tab so that you can check out her site for yourself.

 

How Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) Improves Quality of Life

Mental and emotional health is something that touches all our lives. In the past I’ve received counselling but it wasn’t until my GP referred me for CBT that I understood more about my thoughts and the changes I could make. A family member is currently on this healing journey and previous therapy didn’t have the impact that his current CBT sessions are having. Last year at school I worked with our link trainee Educational Psychologist to create and deliver a CBT programme for KS2 children.

CBT is a valuable tool for all ages and my guest today, Leigh Adley of Set Your Mind Free, is highlighting how this can help the elderly.

Set Your Mind Free Leigh Adley CBT

If you’ve always wondered what CBT is or the process that the therapy takes you through, you will be much clearer after reading Leigh’s article.

How Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Improves Quality of Life

As we grow old, our bodies begin to weaken. This makes the elderly especially vulnerable to serious physical diseases and conditions including arthritis, diabetes, cancer, dementia and cardiovascular problems. Often, any prescribed medicines merely relieve the pain and don’t offer a cure. On top of that patients may also suffer from psychological disorders or depression. These factors combined can also make a person feel suspicious or even hostile to others.

Fortunately, there are effective holistic approaches that Long-term Care (LTC) facilities can use to help their elderly patients. One of them is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

What is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy?

It’s a type of psychotherapy that helps patients deal with their problems by tackling their mental, emotional and behavioural issues. CBT is effective because it allows patients to see how their negative thoughts affect their actions.

In CBT, patients will realise the event itself is not the cause of their emotions but how they interpret that event. Take, for example, a patient’s son or daughter who doesn’t call or visit for several days making them sad or depressed. Instead of harbouring negative thoughts, CBT can help them consider other reasons like their child probably has a busy schedule at the moment.

This treatment method helps elderly patients in dealing with two major issues:

Pain management

CBT can change a patient’s view about pain. The therapy can make them realise that less pain means improved quality of life. This method can also change how the patient’s brain responds to chronic pain. Doctors can also combine CBT with other remedies like medications or physical therapy.

However, some medical studies show that CBT, compared to medications or surgery, is more effective for controlling pain because it has fewer risks and side effects.  Furthermore, CBT helps patients to develop a positive problem-solving attitude and useful life skills in dealing with pain and other issues in their lives.

Battling depression

Depression affects all people including the elderly but their symptoms are different probably due to the various illnesses they may have and the effects of the medicines used in their treatment. When the elderly get depressed they face an increased risk of:

  • Cardiac diseases
  • Death from illness
  • Reduced ability to rehabilitate

Because depression has a serious effect on the elderly, LTC doctors and nurses need to address it immediately.

CBT deals with depression through talk therapy, which can work better than medication. For severe cases, however, a combination of CBT and drug treatment can also work effectively.

How does it work?

The patient can meet and talk with a therapist for at least 30 to 60 minutes with CBT sessions often held once a week or twice a month. In the initial meeting, the therapist will determine if the patient is comfortable with the session and if CBT is suitable.

Patients should also expect the therapist to delve into their past and background. Such information is needed by the therapist to understand the patient’s current situation. In every step of the session, however, the patient has full control throughout and can refuse to discuss anything they might feel uncomfortable talking about.

In CBT, the therapist will take the following steps to assist patients in learning about their negative behaviour and how to best correct it:

  • The patients will divide each problem into different sections. Also, they may need a diary to identify their emotions, thoughts or actions.
  • With the therapist’s help, the patients can examine their behaviour, thoughts and feelings (and how this affects them personally as well as others). Also, if it’s unrealistic or unhelpful, both therapist and patient can find out ways to change that negative behaviour.
  • The therapist will assign homework that can make patients ‘forget’ their bad behaviour and reinforce positive ones. These simple assignments give patients the chance to apply the changes to their daily lives.
  • If a task isn’t working the patient can discuss it with their therapist in the next session.
  • Another advantage of CBT is that it allows patients to continue applying what they learned even after the sessions.

What makes CBT different from other depression treatments?

CBT deploys a short-term approach that requires anywhere between 6 to 20 sessions. In contrast to traditional treatments, CBT also:

  • Focuses on changing present thoughts and behaviours.
  • Sets goals during every session, including long term ones.
  • Lets patients monitor their feelings and thoughts. Afterwards, the therapist helps them deal with them by teaching valuable coping and problem-solving skills.

As LTC professionals we should always strive to look for the best ways to deal with whatever mental, emotional and behavioural issues our residents face.  CBT is the right step towards achieving that goal.

Leigh Adley of Set Your Mind Free

Leigh Adley is a qualified clinical hypnotherapist/psychotherapist based in Milton Keynes.

Her site, Set Your Mind Free aims to help people get rid of their unwanted habits or addictions.

Emotional Health on Jera’s Jamboree.

Source: How Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) Improves Quality of Life – Jera’s Jamboree


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Sharing The Love – Book Stores Around The World

Hello Lovely Followers,

I know I don’t post many book reviews on this blog but reading is one of my hobbies (read all about it here). So when I came across this post from Kiersten on her blog – Once Upon A Spine – all about the wonderful oasis’ around the world that are book shops, I just had to share it.

Wanderlusting: Bookstores Around the World (Part 1)

It’s been a little while since I’ve done a wanderlust post. Don’t worry, it’s not because I’m losing my sense of adventure or desire to travel. I’ve actually been planning and researching for the upcoming trips I’ll be going on this year.

There are two things I look for first when considering a place to visit: the culinary scene and how many bookstores they have. As a proclaimed foodie and bibliophile, these are the things that speak most to me. They call me late in the evening and whisper in my ear whilst I’m asleep. “Come to me!” they say. And I listen.

Perhaps I will do a future series of posts about all the foodie destinations I plan to visit someday, but for now, since this is primarily a book blog, I’ll focus on the bookstores.

Eliot Bay Books (Seattle, Washington) – There isn’t much history to this one, but I’ve heard it’s the best bookstore in Seattle.

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Shakespeare and Company (Paris, France) – This one has been around since 1919. The apartment upstairs housed several famous authors over the years, like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. Boyfriend and I will definitely be visiting this one when we visit Paris in the Fall.

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Livraia Lello (Porto, Portugal) – One of the most stunning bookstores in the world, the neo-Gothic building was said to have been the source of inspiration for J.K. Rowling’s depiction of Hogwarts.

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The Last Bookstore (Los Angeles, California) – Lots of quirky character packed into this store, in addition to a quarter-million new and used titles. I can’t even imagine how many people go here every year just to take pictures under the tunnel of books.

Source: Wanderlusting: Bookstores Around the World (Part 1) – Once Upon a Spine

Have you visited any of these gorgeous shops? I haven’t – yet. 😉 Although I get most of my books from Amazon these days, I do visit my local Waterstones. I love the smell. Am I weird? 😉

I think I might add a board – “Amazing Book Shops” or something – to my Pinterest account. These will be added first, of course. I wonder which amazing book shops Kiersten will share with us next. I can’t wait.


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Recipe: Nando’s Style Chicken

Reading this recipe makes my mouth water. Yum.

I should confess, am a bit of a wuss when it comes to “spicy” but I have increased my chicken meals since joining Slimming World. I will have to hunt out JD Seasoning in my local supermarket and give this recipe a try.


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Browsing The Online Sales…

Hello My Dear Followers,

So Christmas is over, I hope you had a nice couple of days. As a qualified teaching assistant I’m a lucky so-and-so and don’t have to go back to work for ages yet. It’s a dangerous time, I’ve still got birthday money and now Christmas money burning a whole in my purse. Lol!


The question is: Do I spend my money on Hubby? I do love him. Should I buy him something gorgeous, so that he looks extra scrummy on my arm or something a bit more practical? 😉

Or should I get something for the kids? Child1 loves penguins, elephants and all things anime while Child2 is a panda-holic and Marvel fan.

Watch out Tom Hiddleston!


Although, can’t say I blame the girl! Lol!

Or should I treat myself? I love Neal’s Year Women’s Balance Essential Oil I put a few drops on my pillow to keep me calm.

I’m still saving some money to buy new clothes once I reach my target weight with Slimming World, although I’m taking a little break over the festive season while being careful not to go too mad!!






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OOAK? What?

Good morning everyone,

As that festive season is fast approaching, I’ve been browsing more shopping sites than usual recently and I kept coming across the word OOAK.

I was flummoxed!

Luckily, I found the post below on a very friendly blog that helped clear it up for me.

Here at the Round Top Antiques Market you may find just about anything; antiques, vintage items, re-purposed items, new reproduction pieces made to look vintage, hand crafted items. The list is endless. With miles of tents, buildings and open air venues and unlimited vendors all vying for your attention and your shopping funds it proves to confound and confuse most shoppers.

One of the signs I found most confusing is “OOAK.” I noticed it in several places but, I never heard of that as a descriptor for vintage and antique pieces. What could it mean?

OOAK?

How do you pronounce this word? Long O plus oak like the tree? Maybe a new strain of oak tree I’ve never heard of? But that wouldn’t explain the artistic items with which this word is usually associated.

Or possibly OO as in oolong tea plus ak with a short a? Sounding like some kind of tribal word or possibly an Eskimo word? Maybe describing a technique for making the artisan item?

After chatting with one of the artisans, I learned OOAK stands for “One Of A Kind.” Who knew? One of a Kind!

Interesting items lovingly crafted by an artisan with bits and pieces that when put together make a beautifully eclectic look….one of a kind.

Now when you see OOAK, think of all the time and effort it took to find the pieces to make that one of a kind piece and learn to love and appreciate them all the more. Then purchase the one that feed your soul and makes you smile. The artisan will appreciate you loving their work and you will have a One of a Kind piece to add to your collection.

For the next two weeks I’ll be blogging from Warrenton Texas at the Round Top Antiques Market. Follow me, learn about the quirky, strange and unusual items, people and things to see.

You can see the original post by clicking the link below.

https://wp.me/s7Mhni-ooak


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Some Facts From The Woodland Trust

Hello Lovely Followers,

I was browsing the internet and wondered how many British charities were founded during the year I was born? As some of you may know, I have been known to support a cause or two and I found this interesting post so I thought I’d share it with you all.

Our ancient woodland are very important to me and so I’ve signed petitions and donated money in the past to The Woodland Trust; they want to see a UK rich in native woods and trees, for both people and wildlife and are a voice for the environment who seek to effect policy change through their research and campaigns.

I’ve kept all the original links and have posted the link to the post itself at the bottom.

 

 

11 must-know facts about woods and forests in the UK

Woods are a vital part of the ecosystems that give us the essentials of life. Woods and forests really are amazing places, not only are they beautiful but they provide us with many benefits. Without them the world would be a very different place. Here are 11 key facts about woods and forests in the UK.

The Woodland Trust is the largest woodland conservation charity in the UK. It has over 500,000 supporters. It wants to see a UK rich in native woods and trees for people and wildlife.

The Trust has three key aims:

  • i) protect ancient woodland which is rare, unique and irreplaceable,
  • ii) restoration of damaged ancient woodland, bringing precious pieces of our natural history back to life,
  • iii) plant native trees and woods with the aim of creating resilient landscapes for people and wildlife.

Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,000 sites in its care covering over 22,500 hectares. Access to its woods is free.

1. Woods and forests are cities for our wildlife

(WTML / John Bridges)
(WTML / John Bridges)

Our woods and trees are home to more wildlife than any other landscape. The UK’s woodland has some of our richest habitats providing homes for thousands of species including many of our mammals, birds, reptiles and invertebrates. Woods, and more specifically the trees within them, provide shelter, food and safe places to hide and breed.

Discover wildlife activities you can do with family.

2. Trees in forests communicate with each other through a fungal network or ‘wood wide web’

Fungi have fine threads that spread underground called mycelium. Trees use mycelium like an underground internet to link with other trees and plants. They use these networks to communicate, such as to warn each other of danger. They also use them to share nutrients, older trees will pass nutrients to their offspring that are growing nearby. These partnerships are called ‘mycorrhiza’.

3. Not all rainforests are tropical, we actually have rainforests in the UK

(WTML / Phil Formby) The Celtic Rainforest at Lennyrch in Wales
(WTML / Phil Formby) The Celtic Rainforest at Lennyrch in Wales

The UK is home to a few small pockets of rainforest. They are temperate deciduous forests with a constantly moist environment that encourages growth of mosses and ferns.

4. Woods in the UK are structured with four layers: canopy, understory, herb layer and ground layer

The canopy is made up of the leaves and branches of the tallest trees. The understory or shrub layer is the vegetation below the canopy from smaller trees or shrubs, such as hawthorn, that grow in low light. The herb (or field) layer comes next, plants that grow here depend on how open the canopy is and often need gaps of light to grow. The ground layer is the forest floor filled with mosses, fungi, leaf litter and decaying wood.

5. Galloway Forest in Scotland is the UK’s largest forest at 297 square miles

The next largest is England’s Kielder Forest in Northumberland which is 235 square miles.

6. Around 13% of the UK is covered in woods and forests

(WTML / David Rodway)
(WTML / David Rodway)

The UK is the second least wooded country in Europe after Ireland. In comparison Europe’s average tree cover is 44%. Not enough trees are being planted in the UK meaning we could soon be in a period of deforestation. This is why the Woodland Trust works to create new woodland and connect existing woods by planting native trees.

Find out more about our tree planting.

7. Just 2% of the UK’s land mass is covered in ancient woodland

(WTML / Jane Corey)
(WTML / Jane Corey)

Ancient woodland is defined as areas that have been continuously wooded since 1600 in England and Wales, and 1750 in Scotland. It’s not the trees but the soils that give them this name. The soils have been preserved from human interference for centuries. This has resulted in the development of complex ecosystems that make ancient woods unique and irreplaceable. The Trust is working hard to protect these habitats before they all disappear.

Find out how you can help.

8. The UK’s woods are home to almost half of all bluebells in the world

(WTML / Lesley Newcombe)
(WTML / Lesley Newcombe)

The UK is famous for its stunning bluebell carpets that bloom in our ancient woods from April to May. They are a slow spreading bulb flower with each bulb potentially living for years. New flowers bloom from the existing bulbs every year. But they face many threats from trampling, habitat loss, competition and hybridisation with Spanish bluebells, and from people picking them or digging up the bulbs (this is illegal).

Join the Big Bluebell Watch.

9. The Woodland Trust owns over 1,100 woods across the UK which are all free to visit

We believe everyone should be able to access woods near them for free.  We also buy woods to safeguard and restore them, where we can. We take on sites with existing or ancient woodland or create new woods by planting. Some of our popular sites have both, such as Heartwood Forest in Hertfordshire.

Find a wood to visit near you.

Charter for Trees, Woods and People
Charter for Trees, Woods and People

10. Last year, on the 800th anniversary of the Charter of the Forests, a new contemporary Charter for Trees, Woods and People was launched for the UK

Over 70 organisations, local groups and thousands of people worked together to create a Tree Charter that will guide policy and practice in the UK. It is made up of 10 principles that illustrate how we should use, value, protect and celebrate woods and trees. Over 130,000 people have shown their support by signing the Charter.

Find out more about the Tree Charter.

11. Spending time in woods and forests, or even just around trees, is proven to boost our health and wellbeing

(WTML / Judith Parry)
(WTML / Judith Parry)

Lots of research provides evidence that woods benefit our health. Studies have shown that patients with views of trees out their windows heal faster and with fewer complications. Children with ADHD show fewer symptoms when they have access to nature. Being near trees helps our concentration by reducing mental fatigue. One study discovered that a forest stroll had beneficial effects on blood pressure, heart rate and the immune system.

Discover woods and forests for yourself

We hope you enjoyed learning some interesting facts about woods and forests in the UK. Why not go and discover the wonder of woods and forests first-hand with your family or friends? We offer lots of activities to get you started as part of our family membership.

Source: 11 must-know facts about woods and forests – Woodland Trust


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A Bit About Save the Children UK

Hello Lovely Followers,

I was browsing the internet recently and wondered how many British charities were founded during the year I was born? As some of you may know, I have been known to support a cause or two and I found this post; it’s a history/activism sort of thing and I found it interesting so I thought I’d share it with you all.

While studying for my teaching assistant qualification, I did a fair bit of research into child protection and in the past I’ve signed petitions and donated money to Save The Children; their history dates back to the start of the 1900s when two sisters had a vision to protect children’s rights and they’re still going strong, defending the rights of children, investigating, exposing and confronting abuses as well as championing solutions.

I’ve kept all the original links and have posted the link to the post itself at the bottom.

 

 

Our history – Where we started, to where we are today

At the beginning of the 20th century, two sisters had a vision to achieve and protect the rights of children. Almost 100 years later, that vision continues to guide all our work. Read the story of what happened in between…

Beginnings: Arrested in London

Save the Children's founder, Eglantyne Jebb.

Save the Children’s founder, Eglantyne Jebb.

After the First World War war ended, Britain kept up a blockade that left children in cities like Berlin and Vienna starving. Malnutrition was common and rickets were rife.

Dr Hector Munro, who witnessed the effects of the famine, reported that “children’s bones were like rubber. Tuberculosis was terribly rife. Clothing was utterly lacking. In the hospitals there was nothing but paper bandages.”

Save the Children’s founder, Eglantyne Jebb, and her sister Dorothy Buxton were part of the Fight the Famine movement, spreading information about what was happening in Europe.

In 1919, Jebb was arrested for distributing leaflets in Trafalgar Square. They bore shocking images of children affected by famine in Europe, and the headline: ‘Our Blockade has caused this – millions of children are starving to death’. When Jebb was tried for her protest and found guilty, the prosecuting counsel was so impressed with her that he offered to pay the £5 fine himself.

Soon, the sisters decided that campaigning alone would not be enough – direct action was needed. In May 1919, the Save the Children Fund was set up at a packed public meeting in London’s Royal Albert Hall.

This was just the start – over the next decades Save the Children would grow to become a global organisation saving thousands of children’s lives each year.

Read our former CEO’s blog about Eglantyne Jebb.

Early years: fighting the famine

Russian children fed by Save the Children during the 1921 famine.

Russian children fed by Save the Children during the 1921 famine.

In 1921, one refugee child described how he had carried his youngest brother among thousands of sick, tired and hungry people. He said, “One day I saw that he was not moving or crying for bread any more. I showed him to my mother and she saw that he was dead. We were glad that he was dead because we had nothing to feed him on.

Save the Children soon raised considerable funds for these children in desperate need. Single donations ranged from two shillings to £10,000. It gave the money to organisations working to feed and educate children in Germany, Austria, France, Belgium, Hungary, the Balkans and for Armenian refugees in Turkey.

Later, famine in Russia saw children struggling in dire conditions.

To raise money for these children, Jebb and her colleagues used page-length advertisements in national newspapers and footage of famine and disaster work in operation. Films showing the conditions children were facing, screened in cinemas up and down the country, were unlike anything else seen at the time.

With the funds raised, Jebb and her colleagues filled a ship with 600 tons of aid bound for Russia. From winter 1921 through much of 1922, daily meals provided by Save the Children helped keep 300,000 children and more than 350,000 adults alive – for just a shilling per person per week.

Save the Children had not been set up as a permanent organisation, but it soon became one after it was called on to deal with emergency after emergency.

As Buxton moved to focus on political campaigning, the charismatic Eglantyne Jebb, as honorary secretary, became a force to be reckoned with. Persuasive and committed, Jebb quickly established Save the Children as a highly effective relief agency, able to provide food, clothing and money quickly and inexpensively.

 1920s: children’s rights

In the 1920s, we started working here at home, in Britain.

In the 1920s, we started working here at home, in Britain.

Armed with ideas ahead of her time, Eglantyne Jebb wanted to make the rights and welfare of children something that everyone took responsibility for.

She said: “I believe we should claim certain rights for the children and labour for their universal recognition, so that everybody – not merely the small number of people who are in a position to contribute to relief funds, but everybody who in any way comes into contact with children, that is to say the vast majority of mankind – may be in a position to help forward the movement.”

Jebb’s ‘Declaration of the Rights of the Child’ was adopted by The League of Nations, a forerunner to the UN, and it inspired today’s UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

After 1923, with fewer emergencies to deal with, Save the Children focused on research and children’s rights projects.

In the UK, we opened a recuperative school at Fairfield House in Kent for children from inner-city areas, and helped young miners’ families in poverty-striken parts of Wales and Cornwall. In Hungary, we supported a school based on the principle of cooperation and children having a say in the running of the school.

Eglantyne Jebb died in 1928, leaving behind a powerful vision of ending the cycle of poverty that blighted so many children’s lives.

She said: “If we accept our premise, that the Save the Children Fund must work for its own extinction, it must seek to abolish, for good and for all, the poverty which makes children suffer and stunts the race of which they are the parents.

“It must not be content to save children from the hardships of life – it must abolish these hardships; nor think it suffices to save them from immediate menace – it must place in their hands the means of saving themselves and so of saving the world.”

1930s: A growing organisation

The 1930s saw us expand our work beyond Europe for the first time.

The 1930s saw us expand our work beyond Europe for the first time.

Eglantyne Jebb’s ambition had been to extend the work of Save the Children outside Europe. In the decade after her death, we went on to establish the Child Protection Committee, which lobbied for the rights of children in Africa and Asia throughout the decade.

We established a nursery school in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1936, and we set up nursery schools in several areas in Britain, including the first nursery school in Wales.

Our 1933, research report, ‘Unemployment and the Child: An Enquiry’, showed that mass unemployment affects children’s nutrition. We campaigned for children’s right to adequate nutrition until the Education Act of 1944 provided school meals and milk throughout the UK.

We also worked with refugees from the Spanish Civil War. And we were part of the Inter Aid committee which organised the rescue mission of predominantly Jewish children from continental Europe to Britain just before the outbreak of the Second World War.

1940s: Another War

Our experience working with children in conflict started in the UK during the World War II.

Our experience working with children in conflict started in the UK during the World War II.

During the Second World War we were forced to withdraw from projects in occupied Europe.

In the UK, we set up residential nurseries for young children who had been evacuated from the cities and day nurseries for children whose parents were working in wartime industries.

In large cities, we created playcentres in air-raid shelters, as well as junior clubs for older children who often played unsupervised on bombsites. We also launched Hopscotch – the first playgroup in Britain, that would be the start of a major area of work for many years.

Save the Children started planning for post-war overseas work in 1942, publishing the report ‘Children in Bondage’. It painted a picture of widespread violations of children’s rights and consequent suffering. In India, we supported a child welfare centre in Kolkata, and we set up health centre in Ibadan, Nigeria.

But the majority of Save the Children’s work outside the UK concerned planning for the needs of children in Europe after the war. By the autumn of 1946, we were working with children, displaced people, refugees and concentration camp survivors in devastated areas of France, Yugoslavia, Poland and Greece.

1950s: Work in Asia

A Save the Children worker with children and mothers in the aftermath of the Korean War.

A Save the Children worker with children and mothers in the aftermath of the Korean War.

The Korean War began in 1950. It left many children destitute and living unaccompanied on the streets. Malnutrition and associated diseases were rife. In 1952, the first Save the Children workers arrived. They stayed for more than 20 years.

In 1959, Save the Children and Oxfam produced the film A Far Cry, which showed how far Korean children still were from achieving basic housing, food, education and healthcare. The BBC showed the film on Easter Sunday that year.

Throughout the 1950s there were still many displaced families in Europe. Save the Children continued working in Germany, Austria, Italy and Greece. It sent extra teams to Austria in 1956 to help Hungarian refugees fleeing after the failed revolution.

Outside Europe, in what was to become Malaysia, the Serendah project gave orphaned boys an education, training and a safe place to live. By the end of the 1950s, most of the organisation’s money was going towards work in Asia.

Save the Children is non-political and non-sectarian, and has a philosophy of international co-operation. However, international politics do affect the organisation.

The Cold War between the West and the Soviet Union compelled us to withdraw from some areas in post-war Eastern Europe, such as Poland, Yugoslavia and Hungary. And we were forced to leave some areas in the Middle East following the Suez crisis in 1956.

1960S: THE DEVELOPMENT DECADE

The 1960s saw a new emphasis on development in newly independent nations in Asia and Africa.

The 1960s saw a new emphasis on development in newly independent nations in Asia and Africa.

The 1960s were hailed as the ‘development decade’, as Western governments and the public were prepared to give money and resources for development projects.

By this time, Save the Children had full medical and welfare teams in 17 countries and its work extended to 26 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and the West Indies.

In Korea, Morocco, Nigeria and the West Indies, our Freedom from Hunger projects, which aimed to prevent the causes of famine and food shortages, were beginning to show results.

We were able to get more funding for long-term development projects and emergency responses. We worked with refugees from the Chinese invasion of Tibet, children in Vietnam and children on both sides of the civil war in Nigeria.

In Malaysia and Somalia, we handed projects over to local management, and we started new work in other areas, such as the Mwanamugimu project at Mulago Hospital, Uganda, which taught mothers about nutrition.

We also started the first hospital play group in the UK at the Brook Hospital, London, in 1963. The same year saw the death of Save the Children’s co-founder, Dorothy Buxton.

1970s: Around the world and at home

A Save the Children worker vaccinates a child against polio.

A Save the Children worker vaccinates a child against polio.

 HRH the Princess Royal, Princess Anne, became President of Save the Children in 1970 – the first major charity with which she had been closely associated.

In 1972, Save the Children organisations in several countries, including Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the USA, formed the International Save the Children Alliance.

Throughout the 1970s we ran development programmes and emergency responses in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nicaragua, Honduras and the Sahel region of Africa.

During the civil unrest in Northern Ireland, we worked for young people from both Nationalist and Unionist areas. Our Coates Street play centre brought together children from the two communities, as described in Save the Children Northern Ireland’s 1971 annual report:

“These children, drawn from both sides of the Peace Line, play together most successfully with no sign of animosity. The mothers too are meeting in a friendly relaxed way, which is helping to foster a better relationship in this district of rioting.”

In the UK, we began working on projects with Gypsy and Traveller children, and helped provide for unaccompanied children arriving from Vietnam.

In 1979, we launched the Stop Polio Campaign as part of an attempt to eradicate polio worldwide.

 1980s: Protecting people’s dignity

A camp for displaced people during the 1984 Ethiopia famine.

A camp for displaced people during the 1984 Ethiopia famine.

Disasters dominated the 1980s, with the most high-profile emergency being the 1984 famine in Ethiopia.

TV coverage of this and other disasters caught public attention. Donations to Save the Children increased and we were able to work more widely around the around the world.

In Mali, thirteen-year-old Athi said: “During the bad years when people suffered from hunger, Save the Children came.”

We also initiated new programmes designed to protect the dignity of children and their families. To combat the prejudice and misconception around the spread of HIV and AIDS, we set up education, prevention and treatment projects.

We carried out pioneering projects with prisoners’ children, and worked towards alternatives to custody for young offenders. And in education, we focused on giving all children equal opportunity.

1990s: Responding to conflict

After the 1994 Rwandan genocide, we used Polaroid photos of returning child refugees to help trace their families.

After the 1994 Rwandan genocide, we used Polaroid photos of returning child refugees to help trace their families.

During the 1990s, we continued to work with children affected by war in Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Sierra Leone, Angola and the Balkans.

We campaigned for the rights of child soldiers and for the protection of children forced from their homes by war. We also encouraged young people to speak out about their experiences and fight for positive change.

Fourteen-year-old Fernando, in Mozambique, told us, “The bandits killed my father. They killed my mother. And my brother. They took me to their base camp. Yes, I was with the bandits. I had a gun.”

Following the Rwandan genocide in 1994, large numbers of returning child refugees had become separated from their families. We helped set up a family tracing and reunification programme to help unaccompanied children find their parents, or other relatives who could care for them.

2000s: A new ambition

Justice (centre) 11, has come to get her Yellow Fever vaccination.

Justice (centre) 11, has come to get her Yellow Fever vaccination.

The new millennium saw a new ambition to tackle global problems. The Millennium Development Goals decreed that by 2015 child mortality should be cut by two-thirds, extreme poverty and hunger halved, and that all children would be able to go to school.

Save the Children became an important part of the global effort to achieve these aims, and our progress in many areas has been impressive. Between 1990 and 2011, the number of children dying before the age of five fell from nearly 12 million to less than seven 7 million.

Between 2006 and 2009, our Rewrite the Future campaign helped 1.4 million more children into school in countries affected by conflict. And we launched a global campaign to save children from preventable illnesses, laying the foundations for our No Child Born to Die campaign the following decade.

As humanitarian crises continued to have a devastating impact on children, we massively increased our capacity to respond to emergencies.

Our five-year response to the 2004 Asian tsunami was one of the largest in Save the Children’s history, benefiting around one million people. During the conflict in Dafur, Sudan, we reached children in intensely hostile environments. And in the aftermath of the 2005 Pakistan earthquake we found our way through to children whose communities had been completely cut off.

2010s: No Child Born to Die

Sierra Leonean national staff take their PPE training, Western Area, Sierra Leone

In response to the Ebola crisis, we ran one of Sierra Leone’s most important specialist treatment centres.

This decade we’ve continued to expand our reach and impact. In 2016 we reached 22.1 million children through our work on the ground – more than double the number of children in 2010.

We’ve responded to a series of devastating disasters – from brutal conflict in Syria, to devastating food crises in East and West Africa, and the worst ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus.

Faced with the growing number of emergencies around the world, we’ve expanded our humanitarian staff and resources, including joining forces with frontline health charity Merlin in 2013. We’ve also set up the Humanitarian Leadership Academy to help train the next generation of humanitarians, primarily in countries affected by crisis.

Alongside the growth in our emergency response, we’ve developed a portfolio of ambitious, long-term ‘signature programmes’ – from Rwanda to Bangladesh to Indonesia – to support millions of children. These programmes involve partnerships with local communities, governments and global companies.

In 2011 we launched our five-year No Child Born to Die campaign, to engage broad public support for our cause. Through raising awareness and calling for world leaders to take action to stop children dying, this ground-breaking campaign has helped bring about breakthroughs – in vaccination, nutrition and newborn health – to save millions of children’s lives.

In 2017, we started to look at creating transformative change in the key areas of protecting children in conflict, battling pneunmonia – the world’s biggest child killer – and early years education around the world.

By focusing on these issues, as well as our continuing work in emergencies, we plan to play a full part in helping the world meet the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Signed by 169 national leaders in 2015, the SDGs aim to end preventable child deaths and provide health care and quality education for all children by 2030.

These are challenging goals in uncertain times but as we approach our centenary in 2019, our past shines a light on our commitment to transforming the future for children.

The Save the Children archive is deposited at the Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections at the University of Birmingham. For visitors’ information and to view the archive catalogue click here.

 

Source: Our History | Save the Children UK


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A Bit About Greenpeace

Hello Lovely Followers,

I was browsing the internet recently and wondered how many British charities were founded during the year I was born? As some of you may know, I have been known to support a cause or two and I found this post; it’s a history/activism sort of thing and I found it interesting so I thought I’d share it with you all.

I’ve signed petitions and donated money in the past to Greenpeace; they defend the natural world and promote peace by investigating, exposing and confronting environmental abuse, as well as championing solutions.

I’ve kept all the original links and have posted the link to the post itself at the bottom.

 

Greenpeace – Our History

In 1971, motivated by their vision of a green and peaceful world, a small team of activists set sail from Vancouver, Canada, in an old fishing boat. These activists, the founders of Greenpeace, believed a few individuals could make a difference.

Crew of the Phyllis Cormack on the first Greenpeace voyage (Vancouver to Amchitka) in 1971. © Greenpeace / Robert Keziere.

Their mission was to ‘bear witness’ to US nuclear testing at Amchitka, a tiny island off the West Coast of Alaska, which is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone regions. Amchitka was the last refuge for 3000 endangered sea otters, and home to bald eagles, peregrine falcons and other wildlife.

Even though their old boat, the Phyllis Cormack, was intercepted before it got to Amchitka, the journey sparked a flurry of public interest. The US still detonated the bomb, but the voice of reason had been heard. Nuclear testing on Amchitka ended that same year, and the island was later declared a bird sanctuary.

We’ve compiled a history of Greenpeace through the decades, so you can follow the journey from there to here:

Greenpeace in the 1970s
Greenpeace in the 1980s
Greenpeace in the 1990s
Greenpeace in the 2000s
Greenpeace in the 2010s

Our vision

Our vision is to transform the world by fundamentally changing the way people think about it. We want governments, industry and each and every person to stop viewing the Earth as an inexhaustible resource and start treating it as something precious that needs our protection and careful management. We all need a planet that is ecologically healthy and able to nurture life in all its diversity. Read more about our vision »

How we make change happen

Greenpeace stands for positive change through action. This action takes many forms – from investigating and exposing environmental abuse and lobbying governments and decision makers to championing environmentally responsible and socially just solutions and taking nonviolent direct action. Throughout, we always hold true to our core values of independence, internationalism and personal responsibility. Read more »

Our impact

Our first campaign – to stop nuclear testing – eventually led to The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Since then, with the support of 2.8 million people worldwide, we’ve won hundreds of successes in our campaigns for a greener and more peaceful world. Read more about our impact »

Get active

We are only able to achieve any of this because of the generous help of our supporters who lobby governments and companies, donate money to support our campaigns, campaign locally on their high streets, fundraise for us and put their freedom on the line to protect the planet. Find out how you can get active with us »

Questions

If you have any questions about the organisation, how to get involved or anything else, these questions should help. Read more »

Source: Greenpeace History | 1970s to the present day