General News

DCSF:  Schools Secretary, Ed Balls, has announced a further £500k funding to help fund a new centre which will provide early intervention & support for children & young people who stammer.  The funding is supporting the ARSC (Association for Research into Stammering in Childhood) Appeal for a new centre of excellence in West Yorkshire to complement the existing centre in London .  It brings the total contribution to the appeal, from the Department for Children, Schools and Families, to £1m.

The Prince of Wales, Patron of the ARSC Appeal, hosted a reception last week at Clarence House, where Michael Palin gave his backing to support the charity's ambitions to raise a further £2m to expand services at the centre in London and help set up the new centre in West Yorkshire .
Press release ~ ARSC (Association for Research into Stammering in Childhood) Appeal ~ Michael Palin Centre ~ Stammering Information Programme video ~ Bercow Review ~ Teachernet, Stammering ~ British Stammering Association ~ I CAN ~ Royal College of S & L Therapists ~ Afasic ~ Speech and language therapy : Directgov ~ DCSF:  Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) Action ~ British Stammering Association ~ I CAN

CLG:  Celebrities from across the music, showbiz & sporting worlds are backing the Government’s Fire Kills campaign with a ‘Push It Pledge’, to urge people to test their smoke alarm every week.  85% of people own a smoke alarm, but worryingly less than a third test them every week.  This is despite the fact that you are more than twice as likely to die in an accidental house fire if you don’t have a working smoke alarm.

Just 2 to 3 breaths of toxic smoke can render you unconscious, your lungs fill up and you can’t breathe, just like drowning.  It’s imperative that a smoke alarm is not only installed in your home, but that it actually works.

Installing a smoke alarm only takes a few minutes - just follow the manufacturer's instructions that come with it.  The best place is on the ceiling, near or in the middle of the room or hall.  The alarm should be at least 30cm (12inches) away from a wall or light.

Press release ~ Pledge to check your smoke alarm

DH:  A new team of specially trained coaches are being deployed to help children become more active - setting them on the path to a healthier future.  The new Active Lifestyle Coaches are people who the children know well, but are specially trained and come from a range of backgrounds.  They may be teaching assistants or parents and will help motivate the children to do at least one extra hour of physical activity per week.

In addition to school PE, the programme offers children the opportunity to take part in fun alternative activities such as break dancing, cheerleading, martial fitness, yoga or free running.  It is expected that 20,000 children from the ages of 4 - 5 and 10 - 11 will take part in the programme, which will see an active lifestyle coach working in 1,100 schools. 

The Government has also published - ‘Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives: Two Years On’ - a new report highlighting the impact of the cross-government obesity strategy on individuals & communities.
Press release ~ Active Lifestyle Project - Phase 1 Fact Sheet (R/KS1) ~ Healthy Child Programme ~ Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives: A Cross-Government Strategy for England (scroll down for report: Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives: Two Years On) ~ Walk Once a Week (WoW)

DH:  Frank discussions about the importance of being tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as chlamydia, are an important indicator of a lasting relationship, according to a surprising new survey out last week.

A Populus poll of over 1,000 young adults found that 70% rank discussing STI tests together as the most important sign that a new relationship will last.  This has overtaken more traditional milestones such as meeting the parents (66%) or friends (40%).
Press release ~ Chlamydia: Worth Talking About campaign (scroll down)

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