Number of children in poverty increased by 250,000


The number of children living in poverty soared by 250,000 in just one year under the Conservative-led Government, new figures have shown.

HM Revenue and Customs figures obtained by the Daily Mirror show the number of children living in low-income families rose from 2.5m to 2.75m between 2013 and 2014.

This meant that during the last Coalition Government the proportion of children living in families which have fallen below the poverty line reached one in five.

The HMRC report defined children in low-income households as those from families in receipt of out-of-work benefits or those in receipt of tax credits with an income of less than 60 per cent of the national average.

It said the figures were down to rise in lower incomes failing to keep pace with the rise in higher pay and insisted the data did not reflect a real terms fall.

But campaigners accused the Government of failing to protect vulnerable children.

Woman wins year of free pizza, donates it to youth homeless centre


Hannah Spooner, a 19-year-old Detroit resident, was delighted to discover she and her boyfriend had won a year of free pizza after entering a raffle at Little Caesar’s.

But instead of keeping the pies for themselves, they donated them to Covenant House, a nonprofit that offers shelter, classes and three square meals a day to homeless, runaway and at-risk youth.

Spooner told a local FOX affiliate that she always knew she’d donate the pizza if she won — even when her boyfriend asked her whether she’d keep just a couple of pizzas for herself.

She said:

“I just know there are other people out there who have nothing.  And I don’t think I should be eating a year’s worth of free pizza when there are people who go hungry at night.”

Syrian children use bomb crater as makeshift swimming pool

Life under siege: Children in Aleppo use bomb crater as swimming pool

More than 2 million people in Aleppo have no access to clean water as the conflict in the Syrian city continues to escalate, according to UNICEF. But that hasn’t stopped some children from playing around in a murky pool that has formed in a crater left behind by a missile strike.


Children accidentally added to the menu of wedding dinner

The moment when are “kid’s menu” becomes “children on the menu” rather than “a menu for children”.

A fancy wedding accidentally made that less-than-fancy mistake on RSVP invitations they sent out. In a photo uploaded to Reddit’s r/funny, the RSVP card asks you, sir or madam, for your name, whether you’ll be attending, and whether you’d like to eat beef, pork or young children (12 and under) for the entrée.

Just check off your favorite dish, and let them know about any dietary restrictions. They’re free range, completely organic and just a bit whiny.


Refugees’ lifejackets have been turned into a ‘graveyard’ outside parliament


More than 2,500 lifejackets that were actually worn by migrants who crossed from Turkey into Europe were placed in front of the U.K.’s Parliament today to raise further awareness about the global migrant and refugee crisis. The project was created by various charity and humanitarian groups to correspond with a meeting of world leaders at the U.N. to discuss the ongoing crisis.

This year alone so far, at least 3,212 refugees and migrants have died attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea.  Deaths are occurring more frequently this year than in 2015, according to the most recent figures reported by the International Organization for Migration.


The installation — which was supported by refugee charities — intends to remind leaders of “the need for solidarity with refugees” and to encourage “international responsibility sharing”.


Celebrities recite poem about refugee crisis in powerful video


Celebrities are taking a public stance to support the #WithRefugees campaign.

Today, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) released a video featuring several actors including Cate Blanchett, Keira Knightley, Kit Harington and Jesse Eisenberg, performing a powerful spoken word poem entitled, “What They Took With Them.”

Faith leaders call for revised refugee policy



More than 200 leaders of faith communities have signed an open letter to the Prime Minister, Theresa May calling for urgent changes to the government’s refugee policy, particularly to allow families to be reunited.

The signatories are headed by Rowan Williams, the former archbishop of Canterbury, who will give a speech on Monday in front of an audience of faith leaders and refugees to reiterate the letter’s demands.

Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, the former lord justice of appeal, has added her name to the letter, which is also signed by leaders and representatives of the Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist communities.

The interfaith letter follows similar initiatives by 350 judges and lawyers, who wrote to the then prime minister, David Cameron, last October; 120 senior economists in January; and 27 humanitarian and refugee organisations, also in January.

Suicide in England and Wales

10 September 2016 is World Suicide Prevention Day.  It serves as a call to action to individuals and organisations to prevent suicide.

The World Health Organisation estimates that over 800,000 people die by suicide in the world each year, that’s 1 person every 40 seconds.

There were 5,199 suicides registered in England and Wales in 2015.  Read the full overview of the latest suicide registration statistics.

Little girl’s adoption hearing has a Disney twist!

5-year-old Danielle Koning was already in for a pretty incredible day when she arrived at her final adoption hearing. Thanks to a thoughtful surprise, it became really magical.

To celebrate the girls’ adoption, foster care staff members at Samaritas in Grand Rapids, Michigan, dressed as Disney princesses for the final proceedings.

The judge even dressed as Snow White.
Danielle’s case manager, Kristina Grey, is the brains behind the whole operation. According to MLive, she first asked a coworker to dress as Cinderella (Danielle’s favorite Disney princess), then decided an all-princess affair was in order.
“I’m just blown away at the amount of support and how much all my co-workers jumped on board,” she said.

Danielle is now at home with her adoptive parents, Jim and Sarah Koning.

You can watch full video of Danielle’s big day below:

CCTV shows hero rescuing fallen man from London Underground tracks


A man has been rescued after collapsing on the London Underground and falling onto live train tracks.

The 47-year-old who fell is pictured below wearing a yellow hard hat and fluorescent jacket. He fell onto the tracks after becoming ill and stumbling, according to a statement released by British Transport Police.

The incident took place around 5 p.m. London time on Tuesday at the busy Tottenham Court Road tube station.

The CCTV images below show what happened when a fellow commuter came to his rescue.

The man can be seen in the yellow jacket, standing close to the platform’s edge.
Fellow commuters look on in shock as the man collapses onto the tracks.
Fellow commuters look on in shock as the man collapses onto the tracks.
The man in the blue t-shirt leans forward and reaches out to the fallen man.
The man in the blue t-shirt leans forward and reaches out to the fallen man.
As other commuters gather round, he helps pull the fallen man back to safety.
As other commuters gather round, he helps pull the fallen man back to safety.

British Transport Police confirmed that the man will make a full recovery and praised the stranger who came to his rescue.

“Whilst the approaching train was immediately put on a red signal, the quick thinking of him and other passengers on the platform avoided what could have been a tragedy,”

Superintendent Chris Horton said in a statement.

“On behalf of everyone at British Transport Police, I’d like to commend this man for his brave actions; his quick thinking most likely saved the man’s life.”

Man accidentally tips more than £1 million on dinner

Everybody makes mistakes, but not every mistake costs its victim masses of money.

In Scotland, a restaurant diner was shocked to realize that he’d accidentally tipped more than £1 million on a £100 meal. Oops.

The Evening Express reports that the massive transaction happened at an Indian restaurant in Inverurie, Scotland. After the diner finished his meal, he approached owner Abdul Wahid to settle his bill.

Pictured is the receipt for the meal at Rajpoot Indian Restaurant in Inverurie where a customer was accidently billed over a million pounds for their meal. Picture by DARRELL BENNS     Pictured on 21/07/2016
Pictured is the receipt for the meal at Rajpoot Indian Restaurant in Inverurie where a customer was accidently billed over a million pounds for their meal.

As Wahid tells the Express, when the diner input the tip amount in the restaurant’s credit card reader, the transaction didn’t go through. After phoning the diner’s bank and obtaining a confirmation code, the transaction was successful.

It wasn’t until the diner handed the card reader back to Wahid that the owner realized his customer’s £1,006,082.04 mistake.

All was not lost, however. After calling the bank to note his mistake, the customer got his money back and paid a more sensible amount.

Why the Church is helping children understand how to handle money


The Church of England have blogged on the importance of helping children to understand how to handle money, here’s a few snippets:

A couple of years ago many parishes in the Church of England decided to take some practical steps towards creating a fairer financial system where everyone in the community flourishes. We did this because we believe there’s no division between ‘spiritual’ and ‘non-spiritual’ parts of life. The good news of Jesus Christ is for the whole human being. He wants to see every human being flourish.


Working in partnership with Young Enterprise and local credit unions, the scheme encourages children to save small, regular amounts of money. This is combined with teaching resources to help children understand the values that underpin this kind of approach to money. It’s not just teachers; parents, carers and the whole community are encouraged to get involved with children’s financial education.

When I prayed with the children during their assembly yesterday, I prayed especially for those whose households have serious money problems. Where there are such difficulties, it may lead to a whole range of other problems tightening their grip on a family: substance abuse, domestic violence and marital breakdown, among others.

So the way that money is dealt with is about human flourishing at its deepest level – and it is absolutely right that the church is helping to try and break this cycle before it affects another generation. Meanwhile, on a practical level it makes perfect sense for the Church of England, which is involved in the education of a million children around the country, to be using our particular platform to make this contribution.

Go check out the full blog here.