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Society | The Guardian

  • Nurses across UK to vote in first ever RCN strike ballot over pay

    Major disruption to NHS over winter feared if ballot of 300,000 staff over 5% pay increase results in industrial action

    Hundreds of thousands of nurses across the UK are to be balloted about going on strike in a move that risks disrupting the NHS this winter.

    For the first time in its 106-year history the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is balloting 300,000 of its members about strike action and recommending that they vote in favour.

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  • Black and minority ethnic people in UK twice as likely to be in ‘deep poverty’

    Analysis finds minority ethnic people make up 15% of population but account for 26% of those in deep poverty

    Black and minority ethnic people in the UK are more than twice as likely as white people to experience “deep poverty” – extreme levels of hardship meaning they struggle to afford everyday basics such as food and energy, analysis has found.

    It says they are more exposed to the cost of living crisis than white people as a result of ethnic minority incomes having slumped faster and further in recent years, leaving them more at risk of fuel poverty, food insecurity and destitution.

    Despite making up 15% of the UK population, minority ethnic people account for 26% of those in deep poverty. They were 2.2 times more likely to be in deep poverty than white people. Bangladeshi people were more than three times more likely.

    There was a racial inequalities dimension to social security cuts over the past decade, with black and minority ethnic families losing £806 a year on average, compared with £454 a year less for white families.

    While government measures to limit the impact of soaring gas and electricity are likely to reduce fuel poverty rates among white people by 53%, they will fall by only 35% for black and minority ethnic communities.

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  • Report into Croydon council collapse reveals leadership ‘dysfunction’

    Leaked copy of report on lead-up to 2020 bankruptcy recommends that findings be raised with Met police

    The scale of corporate dysfunction at Croydon council prior to its collapse into bankruptcy two years ago was serious enough to warrant police investigation into potential misconduct in public office, according to an official report that has been kept under wraps for more than 18 months.

    A leaked copy of the report reveals grave concerns about the behaviour of top councillors and officials at the then Labour-controlled authority, which became effectively insolvent in November 2020 after council spending, including on a string of risky commercial property investments, spun out of control.

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  • Covid bereavement in UK has affected prospects of tens of thousands – report

    Commission finds lack of formal support has had serious impact on health, education and economic outcomes

    Covid-19 has left tens of thousands of bereaved people in the UK facing serious consequences for their health, education and economic prospects because they missed out on formal support, a nationwide study of bereavement in the pandemic has found.

    The virus left about 750,000 more people bereaved than would usually have been the case and 40% of those who wanted formal help did not get it, according to the UK Commission on Bereavement. It examined the impact of the period of missed funerals, lockdowns that prevented families grieving together and remote schooling that may have left bereaved children without help from teachers.

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  • Weatherwatch: climate crisis causing tropical viruses to spread

    Infections such as dengue fever on rise in Europe as virus-transmitting mosquitoes expand habitats

    This summer, dengue fever got a foothold in France. Traditionally this viral infection, which is spread by mosquitoes, has been confined to tropical regions including parts of Asia, the Americas and the Caribbean, but as climate warms, dengue-spreading mosquitoes are making themselves comfortable in France.

    In 2010, France recorded its first locally transmitted cases of dengue – transmitted by French mosquitoes and caught by someone who hadn’t travelled to an at-risk country. Since then there have been about 12 cases of locally transmitted dengue each year, but this summer that jumped to nearly 40 cases. Meanwhile, more than 570 cases of West Nile virus – another tropical mosquito-transmitted virus – have been recorded in Europe this year, with most in Veneto, northern Italy.

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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

  • Here’s a plan for green King Charles: sell the family silver and use the cash to save the planet | John Vidal

    He’s spent his life sniping from the sidelines. Now he has the power to make radical environmental reforms to the monarchy

    So King Charles won’t be going to COP 23, by order of Liz Truss; an inauspicious start for a monarch with pretensions to remain an influencer and be known as the first “green” king.

    But he should take heart: Truss may not be long for No10, and Charles may look at recent events and conclude that no-one listens to her anyway. If so, there are plenty of opportunities now for him to turn the archaic House of Windsor into an institution fit for an age of climate breakdown, poverty and deep inequalities.

    John Vidal is a former Guardian environment editor

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  • There is now a way for the UK to rebuild its bridges with the EU – Labour should take the lead | Lorenzo Marsili

    A new community created as a counter to Russian aggression could help to bring EU countries closer to the rest of Europe

    Imagine it’s 2030. You can freely reside in and seek employment across the UK, the EU, Ukraine, Turkey, the western Balkans and a handful of other flourishing democracies. You cross open borders on integrated high-speed rail connections, powered by jointly financed green hydrogen infrastructure and integrated energy grids.

    You feel secure as these countries ensure equitable supplies of life-saving vaccines and maintain a joint fast-response taskforce for climate disasters.

    Lorenzo Marsili is a philosopher, activist and founder of European Alternatives and Fondazione Studio Rizoma. He is the author of Planetary Politics: a Manifesto

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  • People of colour have been shut out of the climate debate. Social justice is the key to the green agenda | Julian Agyeman

    Environmental issues in low-income areas have long been ignored by activists who fail to grasp the importance of equity

    “Equity is not an issue for us. We’re here to save the world.”

    From 1986 to 1990, I worked in an inner London borough as an environmental policy adviser. I worked on raising awareness of local environmental issues, paying special attention to those affecting the borough’s lower-income residents. There were very few jobs such as this in local government, and I was the only Black person employed in one.

    Julian Agyeman is a professor of urban and environmental policy and planning at Tufts University, and editor-in-chief of Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability

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  • Spare a thought for your civil servants, trying to cope with Truss’s malignant cult | The civil servant

    Our system has worked for over 100 years. But what to do when ministers fetishise ideology over objectivity and honesty?

    If you’re finding the past couple of weeks bewildering, can you imagine what it’s like having – in the words of the celebrated civil service Twitter hero of 2020 – to actually work with these truth-twisters?

    Pity, in particular, the tormented ring-wraiths of His Majesty’s Treasury. They will continue to be shackled to their gilded laptops until they come up with a narrative that a rattled prime minister and her brutalised chancellor can use to resolve their trilemma. In other words, to dream up an explanation of their plans that can somehow placate the ravening hyenas of the parliamentary Conservative party, the billionaire non-dom owners of the Daily Mail and the gatekeepers of the global financial markets.

    The author works for the UK civil service

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  • Henny Beaumont on Jacob Rees-Mogg’s enthusiasm for fracking – cartoon
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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 […]