Newswire – MHFWe all need friends & family - According to a new report released last week by the Mental Health Foundation (MHF), relationships that are vital to health & well-being are under threat by modern life, which can isolate people from one another and lead to loneliness. 

UK-wide research carried out for The Lonely Society? shows that 11% of people often feel lonely and 48% think that people are getting lonelier in general (48%).

The report says the way in which people now live is impacting on their ability to connect with others. More people live alone: the percentage of households occupied by one person doubled from 6% in 1972 to 12% in 2008.  The divorce rate has almost doubled in the past 50 years and the number of lone parent households is rising.  People are living longer, but many older people are doing so alone.  Because of people pursuing careers & education opportunities, many now live further away from their families and the communities they grew up in.

Old-style communities are in decline and the closure of local amenities such as post offices and working men's clubs have had an impact on people for whom they were a focal point, particularly those living on the margins of society and vulnerable to loneliness, such as the elderly, people out of work or those living with a disability.

In addition, a recent report from the NSPCC found that children are reporting more experiences of loneliness than in previous years, and middle age is a time when people can find themselves isolated as a result of retirement, children leaving the family home, divorce & bereavement, according to the MHF.
Press release ~ The Lonely Society? report ~ MHF: What is loneliness? ~ Children talking to ChildLine about loneliness ~ Samaritans ~ The relationship between Alzheimer’s disease and loneliness ~ AgeUK Friendship centres ~ Living arrangements, health and wellbeing: a European perspective ~ English Longitudinal Study of Ageing on England ~ CRC: State of the countryside update: Children and educational services ~ Coalition for Rural Children and Young People

Newswire – EC:  One news item that was missing from the headlines - Last week, on the occasion of International Missing Children's Day, European Commission Vice-Presidents Viviane Reding, responsible for EU Justice, Fundamental Rights & Citizenship, and Neelie Kroes, responsible for the Digital Agenda, urged EU Member States to step up their efforts to introduce child alert systems and to make the missing children's hotline 116 000 operational as soon as possible.

With the adoption of new EU telecoms rules in November 2009, EU Member States are obliged to make every effort to ensure that the 116 000 hotline is activated by 25 May 2011.  The Commission also supports the creation of cross-border child alert systems that help in the search of abducted children by enabling the public to provide the relevant authorities with real-time information.
Press release ~ Missing Children Europe ~ Missing Persons Taskforce Report ~ UK Missing Kids ~ Help Find my child ~ CEOP ~ NPIA: Missing Person's Bureau ~ Child Rescue Alert service ~ look4them.org.uk ~ Directgov: Missing people - help and support ~ FCO: Missing Persons ~ Young Runaways Action Plan ~ Young runaways: Indicator ~ Free runaway helpline ~ Statutory guidance on children who run away and go missing from home or care ~ Homelessness and running away ~ ScotGov: Report of the Working Group on Young Runaways and Children Abused through Prostitution ~ Connexions Direct ~ BBC – Hard Christmas ~ SPRU: Runaways and children on the edge of care research projects ~ SCIE Social Care Online: runaways ~ Beyond refuge: supporting young runaways ~ Parents & Abducted Children Together

OFTGovernment goes ‘shark fishing’ - As part of the 'Stop Loan Sharks' campaign, the Office of Fair Trading and the Trading Standards Illegal Money Lending Teams have released a new video urging people to report loan sharks and will be distributing around 200,000 leaflets & posters throughout England, Scotland and Wales.

There are an estimated 165,000 households in the UK using illegal money lenders, with half of these in the most deprived areas of the country.  Particular loan shark hotspots include Scotland, the North of England and the West Midlands.

Anyone lending money should have a consumer credit licence from the OFT. Licensed lenders have to comply with legal obligations in dealing with customers, including the use of proper paperwork and fair collection methods.  Unlicensed loan sharks will often offer cash loans without paperwork, they may take benefit or bank cards as security and threaten, or use, violence to get money.

Nationally, the Stop Loan Sharks project has so far helped more than 11,500 people, written off more than £31m of illegal debt, secured more than 60 years in prison sentences (including an indefinite sentence for public protection) and seized £1m.  Loan sharks can be reported to the Trading Standards Illegal Money Lending Team by calling 0300 555 2222, or sending an email to reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk.
Press release ~ 'Stop Loan Sharks' campaign film ~ Stop Loan Sharks website ~ Face to Face debt advice project ~ Financial Inclusion Fund ~ Welcome to Money Advice Trust ~ CAB ‘Debt’ publications ~ CAB: Credit and debt fact sheets ~ Wales Illegal money lending Unit (WIMLU) ~ BIS: Over Indebtedness ~ Evaluation of the Financial Inclusion Fund - Face-to-Face Debt Advice Project - Final report for stage one of the evaluation ~ Dealing with loan sharks : Directgov ~ Moneymadeclear ~ Consumer Financial Education Body

Newswire - UKSALies, Dammed Lies, Statistics and Crime Statistics - The UK Statistics Authority last week published its review about overcoming barriers to trust in crime statistics for England & Wales. Most commentators would agree that measuring crime is inherently difficult.

There continues to be public criticism of the statistics and mistrust of the way they are used & quoted.  As far as the Statistics Authority can tell, this exceeds the level of criticism & mistrust in most other countries.  Research and previous reviews have suggested that this mistrust is exacerbated by the nature of the ways in which the statistics are reported.
Press release ~ Overcoming Barriers to Trust in Crime Statistics: England and Wales ~ Code of Practice ~ Centre for Crime and Justice Studies ~ Home Office: Statistics on the Internet ~ HO: Crime and Victims ~ Panorama: Re-offending rates under-reported ~ Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (SCJS) 2008-09: First Findings ~ Police-recorded crime statistics ~ Crime victimisation rate ~ Public perception of general crime rate in local area ~ British Crime Survey 2008/09 ~ Power of Information Taskforce ~ Crime mapping ~ 'BOBI' helps Police with Inquiries (scroll down) ~ Ten years of criminal justice under Labour: An independent audit (2.3Mb) ~ Home Office Counting Rules ~ CrimeMapper ~ Directgov: Crime statistics

ScotGov:  Loss Leader leading to Growing Loss of Health - International health experts at the World Health Organization have called on countries to introduce minimum pricing for alcohol, as part of their global strategy to reduce alcohol related harm. 

The strategy, which was formally adopted at the World Health Assembly in Geneva last week, concludes that
'increasing the price of alcoholic beverages is one of the most effective interventions to reduce harmful use of alcohol'.

The total cost of alcohol misuse to Scotland is estimated to be £3.56bn per year.  This equates to £900 per year for every adult living in Scotland.  Alcohol is now around 70% more affordable than it was in 1980 and consumption has increased by around 20% over the same period.
Press release ~ Sixty-third World Health Assembly ~ ScotGov: Minimum pricing ~ Alcohol (Scotland) BillAlcohol attributable mortality and morbidity ~ Commons Health Committee Report on AlcoholSheffield University research on minimum pricingAlcohol attributable mortality and morbidity ~ ScotGov - alcohol ~ Alcohol – Minimum Pricing ~ Alcohol now costs less than water - Times Online

BISLess Testosterone in the Boardroom please - The Government has welcomed new measures to encourage accountability, diversity & improved performance in Britain’s boardrooms, as the Financial Reporting Council launched a revised Corporate Governance Code

The new measures include a recommendation that all directors of FTSE 350 companies be put up for re-election every year and promote the benefits of diversity in new appointments to the board.

The UK Corporate Governance Code sets out standards of governance for listed companies. Companies are required either to follow the Code or explain how else they are acting to promote good governance. The new edition of the Code will apply to financial years beginning on or after 29 June 2010.
Press release ~ FRC: UK Corporate Governance code ~ Government Equalities Office ~ Representation of women and men in business and government – public attitudes & perceptions ~ How Women Have Changed Norway's Boardrooms ~ Cranfield’s annual Female FTSE 100 Report – press release & report ~ FTSE100 Cross-Company Mentoring Scheme ~ United Kingdom Resource Centre (UKRC) ~ PROWESS ~ Prowess National Policy Centre ~ Enterprise Strategy ~ International Centre for Women Leaders at Cranfield School of Management ~ Critical Mass on Corporate Boards: Why Three or More Women Enhance Governance ~ Women on Board ~ Women in the boardroom - The risks of being at the top
Forthcoming event invitationNHS Infrastructure Maturity Model - is your IT environment as healthy as it can be? - The NHS Technology Office and Kaseya invite all NHS IM&T Managers, Directors and other stakeholders to attend this free event in London on Wednesday 23 June 2010. You will learn more about the NHS Infrastructure Maturity Model (NIMM) and how you will be able to diagnose the causes of inefficient systems management and apply an effective cure with Kaseya IT Automation.

Benefits of NIMM:

  • Intuitive and easy to use IT management tool, developed in “plain English” by the NHS for the NHS  
  • Calibrated to be realistic given NHS challenges and goals
  • Technology & vendor independent, focus is on capabilities, standards and NHS IT Infrastructure needs
  • Knowledge driven self assessment approach to capability benchmarking & planning
  • Introduces terminology & KPIs to improve clarity and consistency in describing maturity
  • Designed to help NHS Trusts become smart(er) buyers of Infrastructure solutions
  • Comprehensive - considers both the technology and management aspects of IT Infrastructure
  • NHS “owns” the model and will evolve it to reflect needs and changes in policy

Click Here for further information about the above free event and to register to receive your free invitation.

For information on forthcoming public sector events please click HERE to visit the WGPlus Events Calendar
NHS Technology Office Free Event.....Register and find out more..... image.
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