Have your say on Ashurst Hospital vision

Ashurst Hospital in the New Forest needs a new lease of life and there is an exciting opportunity to redevelop facilities on the site to make it modern, welcoming and fit for purpose, now and in the future.

Working with our local healthcare partners, West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group has started to build a vision. We want to create a child and family friendly Health Centre which focuses on providing a range of services for our children, young people and families living in the New Forest and Totton and Waterside areas.

The New Forest Birth Centre, CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) and Hearing Screening are already based at Ashurst Hospital and there is room to turn our vision into a reality so we want to explore this opportunity further.

There are, of course, some restrictions on what can be provided in a local community health facility but your thoughts and ideas will help us to build a vision for the future and identify what health services and facilities for children, young people and families are important to you.

Please help us by answering this short survey: 6Ashurst Hospital Survey

Justin Bieber to Manchester: ‘God Is Good in the Midst of the Darkness’

This weekend, pop stars including Justin Bieber joined Ariana Grande for the One Love Manchester benefit concert, an event that honored the victims of a recent terror act at one of her shows and raised money for organizations helping them.

After playing an acoustic version of the song “Cold Water,” Bieber told the 50,000 in attendance to hold on to faith and hope even in the aftermath of tragedy and violence:

I’m not going to let go of hope. I’m not going to let go of love. I’m not going to let go of God. Put your hand up if you’re not going to let go. God is good in the midst of the darkness. God is good in the midst of the evil. God is in the midst, no matter what’s happening in the world, God is in the midst and he loves you and he’s here for you.

Every school should have a therapist

Lord Layard also wants government to assess how much value schools add to pupils’ happiness.
Every school should have an on-site therapist, according to one of the country’s leading economists and wellbeing experts.
Lord Layard, director of the wellbeing programme at the London School of Economics’ Centre for Economic Performance, has also called for all schools to employ a senior teacher in charge of mental health.

He wants child and adolescent mental health services (Camhs) to provide therapeutic services in schools. “Extra money for child mental health should be devoted to building a school-based wing of Camhs,” he said.

Lord Layard said this should include trained therapists in schools. “I would use the word ‘therapist’, rather than ‘counsellor’,” he said.

He suggested that the government should assess how much value schools add to pupils’ happiness. “If the only thing measured is exams, we will never get anything else given equal importance to that,” he told a conference on wellbeing and mental health in education, organised by the International Positive Education Network.

“Happiness and wellbeing should be something that the school uses, to see how well it’s doing. How well does a school do in changing the happiness of its children?

“Eventually…every school will have a senior teacher in charge of mental health.”

Speaking at the same conference on Friday, Mario Piacentini, of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), spoke about the organisation’s new ranking of developed countries by pupils’ levels of happiness.

“The number-one driver of dissatisfaction is anxiety,” Dr Piacentini said. “More than one in two students in the OECD worries excessively about the difficulty of exams. They get very tense, even if they perceive they’re well-prepared for the exam.”

But, he added, teachers are able to allay this anxiety to some degree.

“Whenever students feel support from their teachers – if the teacher adapts the lesson for the class’s skills and knowledge – there is a reduction in anxiety.

“But, if there are problems of communication with teachers, the level of anxiety jumps up.”

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.

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.

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/

 

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.’

 

Study finds Sex & Relationships Education doesn’t reduce STIs and teen pregnancy

Young Couple Relaxing Near River Enjoying Sunny Day

The following is excerpted from an online article posted on LifeSiteNews:

A new peer-reviewed study of multiple “sexual and reproductive health” educational programs in several countries finds no evidence of improved health outcomes in any program studied.

According to the authors of the study, “School-based interventions for preventing HIV, sexually transmitted infections, and pregnancy in adolescents,” published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, “There is little evidence that educational curriculum-based programs alone are effective in improving sexual and reproductive health outcomes for adolescents.”

The study’s authors reviewed eight studies that examined sex-education programs in schools in Africa, Latin America and Europe with a total of 55,157 participants, and performed randomized controlled trials on their data. They found the programs had no measurable impact on the rate of sexually-transmitted diseases among participants or rates of pregnancy.

“In these trials, the educational programs evaluated had no demonstrable effect on the prevalence of HIV or other STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections),” the authors write, noting that in addition to HIV infection they also looked at results regarding herpes and syphilis. “There was also no apparent effect on the number of young women who were pregnant at the end of the trial,” they add.

The authors note that many studies of adolescent sex-education programs measure the programs’ effectiveness by examining their “effects on knowledge or self-reported behavior” rather than “biological outcomes” such as the rates of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases among program participants. In examining biological outcomes, the authors could find no benefit from such programs.

The findings of the study are consonant with other studies of “comprehensive” sex-education programs that show them to be ineffective or even counterproductive, particularly in comparison with abstinence-only programs.

£18,000 Grants For Charities To Redevelop Their Website

 

The Transform Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of the 2017 funding round of its Charity Website Grant Programme, which will be providing £18,000 grants to charities to fund the redevelopment of their website.  If you are a charity interested in receiving funding to redevelop your website then click here to be taken to the Transform Foundation website for more information on the grant programme and how you can apply.

The Transform Foundation is a charity that provides grants and other resources to the charity sector to fund innovative digital projects.  The Charity Website Grant Programme forms part of their wider efforts to support the charity sector in effectively making the transition from traditional forms of fundraising and service delivery towards more digitally focused models.

The 2017 funding round follows the successful pilot funding round in 2016 which funded the development of websites that have already gone on to raise hundreds of thousands pounds online for the successful applicants.

The grant is principally aimed at charities with annual incomes between £500k and £30m, although smaller charities with ambitious plans for digital can also apply.  Larger charities will also be considered for specific project or fundraising sites.

Any type of non-profit organisation may apply, with successful applicants in the past including causes as diverse as community development, disability, education, theatre, mental health, hospices, national heritage, volunteering, family, children & youth, addiction, homelessness, international aid, and arts.

To apply for the grant or find out more details on it, visit the Transform Foundation website at: www.transformfoundation.org.uk

 

Children’s and Young People writing

Key findings about children and young people writing in 2015 from the Literacy Trust, based on a survey of 32,569 children and young people aged 8 to 18, include:

  • Fewer children and young people enjoyed writing in 2015 compared with the previous year, with enjoyment levels dropping from 49.3% in 2014 to 44.8% in 2015.
  • Fewer children and young people wrote something daily outside class in 2015 than in 2014, with daily writing levels decreasing from 27.2% in 2014 to 20.7% in 2015. Daily writing levels also continue to be in stark contrast to daily reading levels, which have increased dramatically over the past couple of years.
  • When asked whether they ever write something that they don’t share with anyone else, nearly half (46.8%) of children and young people said they did.
  • Technology-based formats, such as text messages (68.6%), messages on social networking sites (44.3%) and instant messages (46.2%) continue to dominate the writing that children and young people engaged in outside class in 2015. Notes (3%), letters (25.8%) and lyrics (24.6%) are the most frequently written non-technology formats. With the exception of poems, most formats of writing have again decreased in 2015.
  • Attitudes towards writing have remained unchanged in 2015.

Read the full findings here.

It leaves me reflecting on how we encourage journaling with teenagers in the church.

It’s encouraging to see that 46.8% of children and young people write things that they don’t share with anyone else, but with daily writing outside the classroom dropping substantially from 27.2% in 2014 to 20.7% in 2015 I think we need to look at how we recommend technology-based formats of journaling.

Children’s & youth work links

Links from around the world of children’s and youth work:

What happened when 9 teens gave up their mobile phones for a week: anyone who has worked with teenagers for more than 5 minutes know how connected to their mobiles they are.  So what happens if they were separated from their mobile lifelines for a full week?

The Smart Talk is a website that helps parents and kids come up with a set of mobile phone rules together, and creates a handy agreement you can print out.  This tool is more than a simple checklist; it’s meant to start conversations between parents and their child.

What I Teach My Students About Alcohol: Austin McCann shares what he taught his young people about drinking alcohol from the Bible.

Teens Tell All: Your Guide To Teen Slang, From Bae To Woke: As part of TODAY’s “Teens Tell All” series, they asked teenagers to enlighten adults about all those mysterious terms they throw out when they talk or message.

Jesus was a Youth Minister: Jesus’ disciples were mainly young men.  This makes Peter the perfect, Biblical example of what it looks like to mentor a teenager!