This is a guest blog post from the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust.
At the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, we were absolutely thrilled to be awarded £200,000 from players of the People’s Postcode Lottery last year. With the money, we pledged to start our very first Get On Track programme in Scotland, a really crucial step.
Get On Track works with 16 to 25-year-olds who are not in employment, education or training and is led by world class athletes, who mentor the young people in order to improve their confidence, and skills to make them more employable. The programme, which will be run in Edinburgh by Commonwealth gold medalist judoka Sarah Clark, will be starting in the coming months.
Nationally, we’re really proud that we’ve made an impact on more than 170,000 young people across the UK, with the support of our fantastic team of athletes.
We recently got back in touch with 24-year-old James, who went on our Get On Track programme in Plymouth last year. James had been unemployed for over four years, and told us how he had lost all hope of ever finding a job. After going on our programme and being mentored by Paralympic swimmer David Hill, things started to change. His newfound confidence spurred him on to start volunteering, and at one point he was doing 50 hours a week of voluntary work. He then secured four different part time jobs. But it was his mentor who inspired him to keep trying, until he finally secured a full time job at a highways company, with career prospects. James was so excited and called David Hill, his athlete mentor, straightaway when he found out. “I feel like a new person,” he said.
James’ story is one of many, but with around a million young people in the UK still our of work, training and employment, our work goes on. And it’s partners like the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery that enable us to keep making real and lasting change to the young people we work with.
This is a guest post from PDSA by Amy Henson, PDSA Community and Education Veterinary Nurse. To date, players like you have raised £625,000 for this fantastic organisation.
Just like people, pets need the right diet and enough exercise to stay fit and healthy. But as many of us know, it’s easier said than done!
Every year, we produce our PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report to find out how healthy and happy the nation’s pets really are. Our latest Report shows that many people are still feeding their pets food that isn’t good for them. Over 5.5 million pets get treats as part of their daily diet including crisps, cake, cheese, leftovers of human food, chips and takeaways.
We all know it’s not easy to ignore those big eyes, longing for a share of your dinner. But being overweight can cause a whole host of health problems, including heart, liver and joint problems, breathing difficulties and diabetes. So why risk it? Pets put on weight simply by eating more food than they need and not getting enough exercise. Luckily, in most cases, the answer is simple, too: it just takes time, and a bit of effort, to get them back in shape.
If you’re worried about your pet’s weight, take a trip to the vets: they’ll be happy to advise you about any diet clinics that could help. They’ll also show you how to keep an eye on your pet’s shape. It sounds simple, but as we see our pets every day, it’s easy to miss those excess inches creeping on over time. There’s a real misconception about what a healthy shape is and increasingly a ‘tubby’ pet is viewed as normal.
For more information, check out our pet health pages and help your pets live life to the full.
This is a guest blog post by Claire Wilkinson, Senior Campaigns and Communications Manager of Theirworld. Theirworld is dedicated to projects that give vulnerable children a brighter future. A World At School is one of Theirworld’s flagship projects.
Right now, there are 58 million children around the world denied the same opportunity as other children to reach his or her full potential through education. The barriers preventing children from going to school are many, with young children forced into child labour, early marriage, conflict and discrimination.
It is a proven fact that education is the key to reducing poverty, eliminating gender inequality, preventing needless deaths and illness by diseases such as Ebola and to fostering peace to ensure no children are targets of needless wars. Every child around the world deserves the same chances in life as each other and should be given access to their fundamental right to an education.
In 2000, world leaders came together to set out the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of goals to achieve by 2015 to galvanise efforts to meet the needs of the world’s poorest, one of which was to give every girl and boy the right to a basic education. But progress to achieve this goal of education for all has stalled, and there is now a unique window of opportunity between now and the end of 2015 to demand change. But change can’t happen without pressure.
And it’s already growing. The #UpForSchool petition has been launched by Theirworld, aiming to be the biggest in history and bringing the voices of millions around the world together to create a movement of people demanding action. The petition will be delivered to world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in September, 2015 by UN Special Envoy for Education, Gordon Brown.
This petition is already 5 million strong and building daily, with young people leading the way supported by teachers, business leaders, faith leaders, influential individuals and NGOs.
In Kenya at the start of December, the Kibera School for Girls helped mobilise 8,500 signatures from across the biggest urban township in Nairobi. With the support of the People’s Postcode Lottery, the school celebrated this overwhelming achievement, nearly 1,000 people came together including school children, teachers and parents and marched together standing up for the rights of children all over the world.
Towards the end of December, Special Envoy for Education, Gordon Brown joined 900 young people at a youth event in Kinshasa for the DRC launch of Up For School. More than 15,000 Congolese youth already signed the petition in just one week with plans to collect 1 million signatures in total.
Just last week the Girls Stand #UpForSchool petition was launched with a focus on the 31 million girls out of school with rallies in Uganda and other African countries supported by the People’s Postcode lottery, to raise awareness of the issues that lock girls out of the chance to learn. Famous faces such as Gordon and Sarah Brown, Shakira, Kelly Osbourne, Michelle Dockery, Pixie Lott and many more posted their school pictures online to stand beside those girls who will never have chance to have their school picture taken and continue to do so.
Next we are asking schools and teachers to mobilise and be at the forefront of this global movement, making #UpForSchool the largest petition in history. A teachers’ toolkit is now available, including ways for schools and students to get involved. Visit the A World At School website for more info and to sign the petition: www.aworldatschool.org
Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have raised £525,000 for Theirworld to date.