Poor communities are being taken for a ride by our transport system

Over the past 20 years, the richest 10% have had their transport subsidised 4 times more than the poorest 10%. And yet it’s the poorest who rely on public transport most. The Campaign for Better Transport yesterday reported that Councils throughout the United Kingdom are being left with little option but to slash funding for local buses, and in some cases, to withdraw subsidy altogether. These decisions spell disaster for many communities,  and are contributing to an explosion in levels of transport poverty – something which has repercussions for wider inequality across the UK.

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Spotlight – Procrastination: Putting things off and how not to do it

Putting things off is something we all do from time to time and is not necessarily, in itself, a problem. However, it can become a problem if we get into the habit of procrastinating regularly as a way to avoid what we don’t want to face, or if we don’t realise that we are consistently letting some things fall to the bottom of the priority pile. In this guide we explore the problems that procrastination can cause and offer suggestions for doing something about it in order to help make our work and home lives more organised and productive.

Procrastination: Putting things off and how not to do it by Sue Thompson available for just £1.99

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Neil Thompson’s Lesson for Living – Don’t Procrastinate

Why put off until tomorrow what you can put off to the day after?, as the old joke goes. But the price we pay for procrastination is no laughing matter. We have known for a long time that one of the key elements that contributes to stress is not having a sense of control. The more out of control we feel, the more stressed we are likely to get, and that can then have all sorts of detrimental effects. A common reason for procrastinating in the first place is anxiety – for example, putting things off that we don’t feel comfortable or confident about doing (the things we do feel comfortable and confident about are likely to be the things we do first) …

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Social work in 40 objects – Request from Professor Mark Doel

I’m looking to create a book that tells social work’s story – in 40 objects. Is it possible to represent social work through a collection of objects and what would these be? For this project I’m looking to choose forty objects that, taken together as a collection, give us a vision of social work – facets of its past, present and possible future … My aim is to tell social work’s story in 40 of these objects (though I will make sure that all the objects and their proposers are included in the book). In addition, a photo of each proposer with a brief pen picture will remind us that, as interesting and illuminating as the objects are, social work is actually about people. I hope the personal stories that connect each individual to their object will add a different dimension. Please spread the word and ask others to get involved, either naming an object or commenting on them, or both. And how about a nomination from a whole student class?

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Motivational interviewing: “Now I listen more before jumping in with a possible solution”

You are the first person to really listen and not criticise me”

This is a comment a social worker halfway through a motivational interviewing programme received from a young person in Merton. Motivational interviewing (MI) is a structured approach to direct work that can help individuals to want to change behaviour. It is shaped by an understanding of what triggers change and is designed to be a non-confrontational way of helping someone to recognise and do something about their present or potential behaviour concerns.

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House of Lords votes to keep income-related child poverty measures

The House of Lords has voted to keep targets aimed at reducing child poverty, forcing the government to reconsider its plan to abolish them. The bishop of Durham, supported by Labour and the Liberal Democrats, led the effort to retain the targets, which measure material poverty, and were set to be scrapped under the welfare reform and work bill. Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, announced the proposals in July, prompting dismay among child poverty charities. He said the government would scrap its measurement of child poverty and the aim to eradicate it by 2020, while replacing it with a new duty to report levels of educational attainment, worklessness and addiction.

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Older people talk about love lost and found

“You can never get over it if you truly love someone,” says Kathleen, 86. “I am old fashioned and I think you can only truly love one person in your life.” With Valentine’s Day around the corner, Kathleen is one of 14 Londoners aged between 75 and 95 who have revealed when they fell in love and the difference it made to their lives. The group is featured in Love Lived, a collaborative exhibition combining video and photographs capturing their stories and thoughts about love. The project, currently on display at Broadgate Tower in central London, was created after photographer Holly Wren was inspired “to show that experiences of love are universal and transcend the boundaries of age”.

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E-learning courses for only £1 each! Hurry – offer ends soon!

The following courses by Neil Thompson are now available for just £1 each, but you will have to be quick. The offer closes on Friday 5th February. Once enrolled you will have lifetime access to the course materials. To purchase a place on any of the courses, you will need to click the relevant special link:

Time and Workload Management


Dealing with Stress


Managing Stress (for managers)


Emotional Competence: Developing Emotional Intelligence and Resilience


Handling Aggression



Positive Mental Health by Carolyn Barber


Customer Care: Getting it Right by Bernard Moss


Safer Sex and Relationships by Mark Kendrick


Sign up now and don’t miss out on this incredible offer! Ends Friday,

Neil Thompson’s Lessons for Living – Count your blessings

Consumerist messages are all around us: buy, spend, consume. Underpinning these is the powerful message that success in life is defined by your spending power. But it’s more than that; there is a strong message too that we should be constantly striving for more: spending more, which means earning more, constantly wanting more. We should never be satisfied with what we have got, because that will mean we will desire less and therefore spend less. This sort of materialism is problematic at a number of levels. In particular, it has the unfortunate effect of making it less likely that people will count their blessings and appreciate what they already have ….