Volunteers gave 7% less of their time to help their communities in the UK

Volunteers gave 7% less of their time to help their communities, at a loss to the UK of more than £1 billion, between 2012 and 2015, the latest figures from the ONS show.

In fact, there has been a general decline in the time that the UK’s unsung heroes and heroines spend volunteering since 2005, according to ONS analysis.

Despite the value of the voluntary sector to the UK, there has been a 15.4% decline in the total number of frequent hours1 volunteered, between 2005 and 2015 – a drop from 2.28 billion hours to 1.93 billion, figures from the Community Life Survey (CLS) show.

Latest figures from 2014 show volunteering represented 2% of the total value of unpaid work, and was worth £23 billion.2

Total frequent hours of formal volunteering, billion hours, 2005 to 2014

Overall, there was a decline in the amount of time put into volunteering. Between 2000 and 2015 it dropped from an average (mean) of 14.5 minutes per volunteer, per day to 13.7 minutes.

This equates to a drop from a weekly average of one hour and 42 minutes to one hour and 36 minutes per volunteer.

Young people and volunteering

The statistics suggest that those in the youngest age group of 16 to 24 have increased the time they devote to volunteering while those in the 25 to 34 age category have decreased their volunteering time.

In 2015 average time and participation in volunteering was higher for those aged between 16 and 24 (17 minutes per day and 51% participation) and was a noticeable rise as compared to those in the same age group in 2000 (nine minutes per day and 40 % participation).

It could be that, as younger people try and secure employment, they undertake voluntary work in order to enhance their CVs, but as they embed themselves in their careers, at an older age, their focus turns to building their careers.

Also, younger people have more free time, with participation rates for students rising the most – by 12 percentage points between 2000 and 2015 – from 46% to 58%.

 

Parents warned over big bow headbands

A mum is warning parents of the dangers of big bow headbands after her young baby suffocated.

The 14-week-old baby is reported to have died after the bow slipped over her nose while she lay in her carry cot.

Leanne Willson posted about the incident on Facebook and said she was sharing the warning on behalf of her friend.  In her post, which has now been shared more than 80,000 times, she says:

“All new mums please be aware.  Putting this warning out for all mums who have wee babies and use the big bow headbands on them.

“My friend has sadly just lost her 14 week old daughter whilst she thought she was sleeping in her carry cot after a long walk.  When she came to check on her she had the bow headband down over her wee nose and mouth and wasn’t moving.. she had passed away.

“Post mortem revealed death due to suffocation asphyxiation. She wanted me to share for other new mums the danger some of these baby fashion accessories can have.”

Leanne, from Glasgow, said her friend was ‘utterly devastated’ by the tragedy which happened after she left her baby Holly sleeping for ‘only 30 minutes whilst she showered and changed and forgot to remove her headband’.

Almost 8,000 people have commented on Leanne’s post.

Anna Johnson said: “Thank you for sharing and making other mums aware. These should be banned along with silly beaded dummy clips. As cute as they are, heath hazard. All thoughts and prayers are sent for Holly and her mum. RIP Angel xxxx”

Sheila Merrill, RoSPA’s public health adviser, warned parents to be cautious:

“Children can easily swallow, inhale or choke on items left in their reach as they naturally grasp anything and put it in their mouths. Once in their mouth they find it difficult to remove the item.

“Parents can prevent the risk of choking and suffocation by ensuring that small objects or items are kept out of reach of children under the age of three.”

For more advice visit RoSPA’s website.

The baby’s death follows recent controversy over the large JoJo bows which have become a craze among young girls.  The huge, brightly-coloured hair clips have become a must-have fashion accessory thanks to JoJo Siwa, a 13-year-old YouTube star and dancer in the US reality show Dance Moms.

125 years ago today, Liverpool FC was formed

On March 15, 1892, John Houlding famously broke from the board of Everton to form a new club – Liverpool.

Club historian and museum curator Stephen Done explains:

“It’s perhaps not widely known that Liverpool FC’s founding father and first president, John Houlding, was originally president of Everton but, after a huge fall out over a number of issues including rent, he was removed from his position.

“This left Houlding and his colleagues with a fine football ground but no team and no name! The evening of March 15 at Houlding’s home, Stanley House, a new club was proposed and given the name Liverpool Football Club.

“And so began the plans to recruit new players and to formally enter the Football League. By June 3, Liverpool Football Club was official.”

The club will mark its official 125th birthday on June 3, 2017 – the day the club was officially recognised by the Board of Trade in 1892.

This year, 125th birthday celebrations will be kicked off with the release of a special anniversary LFC crest, which will be revealed on next season’s kit in April.

Of course, the best way to honour the 125th year as a club would be to return to silverware-winning ways.

Children’s & youth work links

Links from the world of children’s and youth ministry:

We Only Sing 25 Songs a Year at Youth Group: Josh Griffin blogs the list of songs that he used in 2016 within his youth ministry.

How I communicate with youth ministry volunteers: William Cumby shares six ways that he communicates with his volunteers.

6 Strategies To Help Young People Discover And Love Your Church: Ed Stetzer interviews Kara Powell about the Growing Young book and to share a little more about the research behind it.

Mental Health and Well-Being for Young People: More than 850,000 young people in the UK have been diagnosed with a mental health condition, and many more have wellbeing issues.  The Church of England Going for Growth website has an excellent list of links to sites and resources which will help raise and address these issues.

X-Plan: Giving your kids a way out: A great blog to deal with the situations that many young people find themselves in, aren’t comfortable in, but don’t know how to find a way out of.

Klopp is the third quickest Liverpool FC manager to hit the 100-point-milestone

Jürgen Klopp today reflected on reaching the 100-point milestone with Liverpool last weekend and insisted: ‘We’re really ready for the all the challenges still to come.’

The boss achieved his league century with the 3-1 win over Arsenal on Saturday, doing so in just 57 matches at the helm.

Klopp is the third quickest manager to hit the 100 mark in top-flight matches in the Reds history, with only Kenny Dalglish (48) and David Ashworth (56) doing it in fewer.

And asked what he’s learned over the course of wracking up those points, Klopp said in his pre-Burnley press conference:

“I understand the language better, that’s the main improvement for me!

“I’ve learned a lot about the league, I’ve learned a lot about the club and I’ve learned a lot about my players.

“Yes, we have improved and we are able to play good football. We have struggled in a few moments, you know about the reasons – a few injuries, too many, that’s how it is and it’s not let us develop as much as would have been possible I would think. But everything is on a good way.

“The atmosphere within the club is fantastic and we are really close together, really ready for all of what is coming up, in this season, the next season and the season after that. That is all good.

“100 points sounds a lot, but a minute ago we spoke about the matches where we didn’t get the points, so obviously it could have been even quicker and that would have been nice! It is like it is and it’s all in a good way.

“We are still all full of power, full of joy for the job and challenge.”

Brilliant new This Girl Can advert to celebrate active women

I love the This Girl Can campaign.  It is a celebration of active women who are doing their thing no matter how well they do it, how they look or even how red their face gets.  Developed by Sport England, to help women overcome the fear of judgement that is stopping too many women and girls from joining in.

Even by their standards though the new advert is awesome:

The ad uses extracts from Maya Angelou’s Phenomenal Women poem alongside real women taking part in sport.

Leaked Arsenal kit for 2017-2018 season

Arsenal fans are likely to already be dreaming of the 2017/18 season after seeing their hopes for this campaign dashed before the end of February, with back-to-back Premier League defeats against Watford and Chelsea accompanied by a drubbing against Bayern Munich in the Champions League- ending any chance of success in either competition/

Big changes could occur behind the scenes this summer as question marks remain regarding the future of long-serving manager Arsene Wenger, whilst the Gunners also face the risk of losing Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil- both of whom enter the final 12 months of their contracts this summer.

Arsenal’s changes could also occur on the field too, specifically regarding the playing kits, as leaked images circulated on social media this week that suggest a major kit change will occur for the 2017/18 season.

The Gunners home strip remains largely unchanged, excluding a smart-looking trim to the collar, but the choice of turquoise for the away jersey will certainly raise some eyebrows- as it’s a far-cry from the usual blue or yellow colours for Arsenal’s travelling strip.

There’s also the small matter of the black and pink combo of the third kit shown in the image, with it not being clear as to whether that jersey would be the alternate option for the Gunners or the goalkeeping shirt.

Either way, the changes are unlikely to go down well with a large majority of supporters.

Pledge to pray

Archbishop Justin Welby:

The most important thing I’ve ever done is become a follower of Jesus. I want everyone to hear his voice calling to them. That’s why I’m praying for people to know his life-transforming love. Will you join me and Christians around the world and #Pledge2Pray as part of Thy Kingdom Come 2017?

Sign up now and encourage your church, friends and family to get involved: https://www.thykingdomcome.global/

 

Prince William has a stark warning about the stigma surrounding mental health

Prince William has spoken out about his desire to “normalise” the “great taboo” of mental health in a powerful speech.

He said that until recently, people with anxiety were considered to be “weak,” and those who were struggling to cope were deemed to be “failing.”:

“Successful, strong people don’t suffer like that, do they.  But of course – we all do. It’s just that few of us speak about it”

He said that his interest in mental health began with his work as an Air Ambulance pilot.

“It was suicide, a subject that is so often hidden. The suicide rate among young men in this country is an appalling stain on our society.  Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 40 in this country. Not cancer, not knife crime, not road deaths – suicide.”

The prince said if any one of the aforementioned issues caused so many deaths, there would be a “national outcry.”

“But there has only ever been silence. And this has to stop. This silence is killing good people,” the prince said.

The prince said that in his work as in Search and Rescue and as an Air Ambulance pilot, he has been encouraged — along with his colleagues — to admit when they feel “overwhelmed or unable to cope”.

“This should be the norm,” he said.

Young Carer’s Day: the stress of juggling multiple responsibilities

A group of young carers have made a hard-hitting film showing how stressful it can be juggling responsibilities both at home and in school.

The film, which was made by Fixers, the charity which gives young people a voice, is being launched today on Young Carer’s Day.

You can watch it here:

Jade Dyer, 17, has been the primary carer for her mum for the past four years and takes the lead role in the film.  It shows her being reprimanded by a teacher for failing to get an essay in on time as she struggles to look after her mum who has Grave’s disease – an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks the body.

Jade, from Bourne End, Bucks, says:

‘Her illness means her moods can be very up and down – when she’s down I need to be there to console her and give her support.  She might not be able to get out of bed if she’s feeling like that, so I’ll need to do household tasks like cooking dinner.  If she doesn’t take her medication or is particularly unwell she becomes quite immobile, so if she collapses I need to be there to help her up.’

There were times when the teenager struggled to cope with school.  She says:

‘My secondary school attendance was very low, and the teachers didn’t realise what I was going through so there was a huge lack of understanding.  My grades were affected and teachers could be quite harsh about it.’

Jade, who is now studying for her A-levels at Henley College, plans to show the film at teacher training events.  She says:

‘We hope the film will show teachers just how much we have to do – we have a lot more on our plates than the average student and getting some leniency when it comes to things like essay deadlines could really help us.

‘Anyone can be in a caring role and it’s important that teachers are patient and understanding so they can help them. There are a lot of intelligent people who could miss out otherwise.  Focus on what that child’s needs are and help them in any way you can.’

 

Liverpool FC: Philippe Coutinho signs new 5-year deal

Brilliant news this morning from Liverpool FC – just days after opening fresh contract negotiation talks with Philippe Coutinho the talented 24-year old Brazilian has put pen to paper.

Coutinho’s new deal will keep him at the club until the summer of 2022, and will reportedly make him the highest-paid player at the club, bringing in around £150,000 per week. It’s nearly twice as much as he was making on his previous contract, one which he extended just last February.  From the club’s perspective, the news is even better, as the new contract does not include a release clause.

Coutinho explained:

“I am very happy to sign a new contract here.  It is a club that I am very grateful to and this shows my happiness here. I will work much harder to repay the belief shown in me.

“I signed this new contract to stay here for a few more years because it’s a great honour for me. It gives me great happiness because I was welcomed here with open arms by everyone at the club and the supporters right from my first day. I am very thankful to this football club for everything.”

Securing Coutinho’s services until 2022 is a major boost for Jurgen Klopp and a ringing endorsement of the direction the club is heading in with the German at the helm.  He has blossomed into arguably the club’s biggest asset and the new deal reflects both his importance and influence.