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Society | The Guardian

  • ‘Pay what you can afford’: Newcastle bakery combats rising cost of living

    Big River Bakery is a social enterprise bringing communities together and making food as affordable as possible

    “They are absolutely food of the gods,” said Andy Haddon after a few minutes eulogising about the simplicity, slight chewiness and fabulous taste of the stottie, the round flat loaf that is as much a part of north-east England as football or t-shirts in winter.

    Haddon is speaking in front of the Big River Bakery, which he opened in 2019 on a housing estate in Shieldfield, a diverse, disadvantaged but also buzzy and communal part of Newcastle. It does what countless bakeries do: makes and sell loaves, sandwiches, croissants, pies, pasties, scones and cakes – and of course, stotties.

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  • Guardian and Observer charity appeal 2022: support those helping in cost of living crisis

    UK charities helping people in poverty and hardship - Locality and Citizens Advice – will share raised funds

    The theme of the Guardian and Observer charity appeal 2022 is the cost of living crisis. We are partnering with two charities at the heart of the voluntary response to rising poverty and hardship in some of the UK’s most deprived neighbourhoods. Their vital work delivers both immediate crisis support and hope for the future.

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  • Help us support local communities to tackle cost of living crisis

    This appeal is a crucial flag of solidarity with those who suffer injustice, and recognition of those transforming lives

    I have spent much of the last few months feeling furious, and I know many readers have too: a rage driven by the fact that in the sixth largest economy in the world, there are so many children going to school hungry, so many families sitting freezing in the cold.

    Right now, people in Britain are being forced to skip meals. They are too scared to switch on the heating. They can’t afford to buy baby formula. One school told us about children “pretending to eat out of an empty lunchbox” because they did not qualify for free school meals and didn’t want their friends to know there was no food at home. This is now an emergency facing millions of people, many of whom have never found themselves in this position before.

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  • Macron announces free condoms for 18- to 25-year-olds in France

    President hails ‘revolution for contraception’ as government seeks to curb STIs and unwanted pregnancies

    The French president has said condoms will be made available for free in pharmacies for 18- to 25-year-olds in an attempt to reduce unwanted pregnancies among young people.

    “It’s a small revolution for contraception,” Emmanuel Macron announced during a health debate with young people in Fontaine-le-Comte, a suburb of Poitiers in western France.

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  • Icy conditions likely to trigger cold weather payments in England and Wales

    Fuel poverty charity urges government to provide more support for ‘those at greatest peril’

    Freezing temperatures in Britain are expected to trigger cold weather payments for people on the lowest incomes as a fuel poverty charity said support must be increased for the most vulnerable.

    Eligible households in England and Wales, when the average temperature has been recorded as, or is forecast to be, 0C or below over seven consecutive days, will receive a government payment of £25.

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Community Care


Social Care Network | The Guardian

  • 'Don’t expect a survivor to tell you her experience of undergoing FGM'

    Specialist social workers explain how they support women and girls affected by the practice

    When social worker Sam Khalid [not her real name] first began working with women affected by female genital mutilation (FGM), she found there wasn’t much awareness of the brutal practice in the UK.

    She was in her first year at university, in 2011, on a placement with a Women’s Aid team. “The service I was placed in was just starting its FGM unit, and I learned about the practice and met and spoke to many survivors,” she says.

    This article was amended on 12 December 2018. An earlier version referenced statistics from a recent Guardian article which was taken down after the Guardian was notified of a fundamental error in the official data on which it was based.

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  • We want to attract the right people with the right values to social care | Caroline Dinenage

    New government recruitment campaign will raise the image and profile of the sector

    This year we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of our amazing NHS, but we must not forget that adult social care is also marking 70 years. The National Assistance Act 1948 that created many of the core elements of the modern social care system came into effect on the same day as the NHS act.

    In the NHS’s birthday month we have heard many stories of the dedicated nurses, doctors and support staff who have been saving and transforming lives across its seven decades. While these staff are rightly seen as the backbone of the NHS, hardworking care workers, nurses, social workers, managers and occupational therapists are, likewise, the foundation of the adult social care sector – and they have been on the same 70-year journey as colleagues in health. They are two sides of the same coin – inseparable and essential to each other.

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  • The UK project giving refugees another chance at childhood

    Young refugees face unspeakable trauma to get here. But a cross-charity initiative is helping them to rebuild their lives

    It is hard to be an adult when you feel like you haven’t had the chance to be a child.

    This simple statement has stayed with me over the last 12 months of working with young refugees and asylum seekers. Among them, a 17-year-old boy forced to sleep in a railway station for months; and another who witnessed the killing of his brother and father and escaped from his home country in fear of his life.

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  • UN: spend an extra £5tn by 2030 to tackle global 'care crisis'

    Report highlights risk of rising inequality against women worldwide

    The world economy faces a looming “care crisis” risking further division between men and women across the planet, according to a UN report calling for governments and companies worldwide to spend at least an extra $7tn (£5.3tn) on care by 2030.

    Making the case for spending on support for children, old people and the neediest in society to double by the end of the next decade, the UN’s International Labour Organisation (ILO) warned demographic changes alone mean the current path for care funding falls far short of requirements.

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  • Theresa May got it wrong with her cash boost for the NHS. Here's why

    Assessing what the health service needs is essential before giving it more money to meet demand

    Four key things were missing from Theresa May’s announcement of extra money for the NHS.

    There was no admission that there is an NHS crisis that needs tackling. Or that money is needed now for both the the health service and social care. Without this emergency cash injection, there will be insufficient time and resource to make the necessary preparations to avoid a repeat – or indeed worsening – of last year’s winter crisis in the NHS and social care with the trail of waits, delays, suffering and extra deaths that accompanied it.

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Opinion | The Guardian

  • The fading Tories are stealing ideas from Labour – a transition has already begun | Andy Beckett

    Blurred lines between one government and the next happen quite often, but that doesn’t mean Starmer’s fight is over

    The British political system likes to present itself as one where power shifts decisively from one party to another. The removal van arrives in Downing Street, and a very different government replaces the defeated one. These quick, dramatic switches are meant to be one of the good points of our system: the electorate’s wishes clearly enacted, in compensation for being kept at a distance from centralised Westminster the rest of the time.

    It’s in the interests of the two big parties sustained by this system to say they offer a stark choice. And sometimes that’s true: Jeremy Corbyn’s loose socialism against Theresa May’s stern Conservatism; Keir Starmer’s self-conscious competence against Boris Johnson’s showy chaos. Since 2015 the gap between Labour and the Tories – in style, ideology and policies – has often been larger than ever.

    Andy Beckett is a Guardian columnist

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  • For Ukrainians, poetry isn't a luxury, it's a necessity during war | Charlotte Higgins

    Poetry is fulfilling a very human need – to make sense of the senseless and tell their stories

    “There is so much poetry coming out of Ukraine now that I’m barely keeping up with it,” the Ukrainian translator and scholar Oksana Maksymchuk tells me. It is hardly the first thing that one would expect of a country at war. But poetry’s ability to, as she says, “crystallise a particular moment in time, or an emotion that is fleeting”, has led to an outpouring of poems – not so much emotion recollected in tranquillity, as the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings. Often these poems are posted by their authors on social media; the literary journal Chytomo has been gathering up and publishing examples, some by established poets, many by those new to the form, including soldiers. There is even a Ukrainian government website that encourages members of the public to upload their work. “Every poem, every line, every word is part of Ukrainian history,” the site says. “We know for sure that wars end, but poetry does not.” At the time of writing, more than 24,000 poems had been added to the site.

    It is true that when Russia’s full-scale invasion started on 24 February, literature was the last thing on people’s minds – “you could not protect your family from a rifle with your poems”, as the writer Oleksandr Mykhed put it. But as the conflict has continued, the power of writing to record, to testify and to witness has seemed more and more important. Many Ukrainians started to keep diaries, the “first responder”, perhaps, among literary genres, able to gather experience and emotion in its rawest form. But in surprising numbers, Ukrainians are also turning to poetry, while setting aside for the time being that time-greedy literary form, the novel. “It’s the condensation, the density of it, the way that you can arrange words so that they carry a lot,” explains Max Rosochinsky who, with Maksymchuk, is co-editor of an anthology of Ukrainian poems, Words for War, born from the conflict that began in 2014 with Russian annexations in the Donbas and Crimea.

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  • Britain is not a passive observer on the world stage. We want oligarchs and dictators to fear us | James Cleverly

    I will ensure this country uses its power and influence to advance its interests and values

    • James Cleverly is the foreign secretary

    You may not have heard of General Min Aung Hlaing, but this military dictator has robbed 55 million people of their freedom and blighted the future of his country.

    Last year, he seized power in Myanmar, overturning the result of a free election which a military-backed party had lost by a huge margin.

    James Cleverly is the Conservative MP for Braintree and the foreign secretary

    Do you have an opinion on the issues raised in this article? If you would like to submit a response of up to 300 words by email to be considered for publication in our letters section, please click here.

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  • Ben Jennings on the Meghan and Harry documentary – cartoon
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  • Rishi Sunak’s U-turn on windfarms reflects the Tories’ failure to protect rural England | Simon Jenkins

    As the Conservatives squabble over planning and housing targets, England’s countryside is being destroyed

    The English countryside is sick. It can feel as though a day never passes without its green and pleasant land falling victim to the threat of windfarms, coalmines, solar arrays and housing estates. Boris Johnson seemed to want a turbine in every field. Liz Truss wanted “investment zones” even in protected areas. Rishi Sunak called for 300,000 new houses a year – until he didn’t.

    This week the new environment secretary, Thérèse Coffey, could not enlighten a Commons committee on her policy for farms, given the shambles of Brexit. Meanwhile, the environment secretary, Michael Gove, found himself capitulating to onshore windfarms one minute and a coalmine in Whitehaven the next. As for Labour’s Keir Starmer, he savaged Sunak for abandoning housing targets the same week as he said he would stop telling local councils what to do.

    Simon Jenkins is a Guardian columnist

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Learning in the Modern Workplace

  • Online Workshop: Empowering self-development at work
    Next public workshop: 7 March – 8 April 2022 Continuous learning and development in the workplace is much more than continuous training. Whilst it is up to everyone to become a lifelong learner and keep up to date with what’s happening in their industry or profession to remain employable, it’s also up to L&D departments […]
  • Online Workshop: Social & Collaborative Learning At Work
    Next public workshop: 17 January – 18 February 2022 Social learning is not a new training trend; it’s the way we have always learned from one another. However, it is something that managers and individuals will need to value as an integral part of their daily work. In this workshop we will look at how […]
  • Online Workshop: Learning from the daily work
    Next public workshop: 25  October – 26 November 2021 Although L&D departments have traditionally focused on training people to do their jobs, research tells us that most of what employees learn at work happens as they do their job – it’s just that they are not aware of it or make the most of it.  So, […]
  • Top Tools for Learning 2021
    The Top Tools for Learning lists have now been published. 2021 was the YEAR OF DISRUPTION! There were a substantial number of new tools nominated this year so the main list has now been extended to 300 tools to accommodate them, and each of the 3 sub-lists has been increased to 150 tools. Although the top of […]
  • Online Workshop: Modern Training Practices
    Next public workshop: 6 September – 8 October 2021 Modern training is not just about digitising current training events but thinking differently about what is appropriate for today’s workforce. In this 5-week online workshop we will first look at how to address the issues with current training and then consider some of the modern training […]