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The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 November as World Television Day. More info: http://www.un.org/en/events/televisionday/

November 21, 2012 is the 40th annual World Hello Day.  Anyone can participate in World Hello Day simply by greeting ten people.  This demonstrates the importance of personal communication for preserving peace.

World Hello Day was begun in response to the conflict between Egypt and Israel in the Fall of 1973.  Since then, World Hello Day has been observed by people in 180 countries.

People around the world use the occasion of World Hello Day as an opportunity to express their concern for world peace.  Beginning with a simple greeting on World Hello Day, their activities send a message to leaders, encouraging them to use communication rather than force to settle conflicts.

 

Koutzoulan (Most Terrible Wolf day)
When: November 21st every year.
Where: Bulgaria.

This is the day of the most terrible lame wolf, who ate people. On this day you must not comb your hair, wear a new shirt or wash your clothes. Don’t sew, don’t knit and do not cut bread with a knife.

Universal Children’s Day was established by the United Nations in 1954 to encourage understanding between children and promote children’s welfare around the world. It is held on 20 November, the same day the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959 and signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.

© UNICEF UK Education

These Rights are simplified in a beautiful book produced by Unicef called “For Every Child”.

This beautifully illustrated 40 page paperback book, with a foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, features a drawing by a well-known children’s illustrator.

You can buy copies direct from Unicef.

Click to download a PDF version of For Every Child.

BeatBullying’s mission is to make bullying unacceptable – for everyone, everywhere. For Anti-Bullying Week 2012, everyone is being asked what they are doing to make this happen. There are ideas for what you can do – as a school or a class, as a group or just as an individual – and your Ultimate Mission, should you choose to accept it, is to share the great work you’re doing.Happy Birthday BeatBullying
This Anti-Bullying Week We’re Making Bullying Unacceptable!
Resources

Wristbands

They’re back again! This year, Beat Bullying have teamed up with a cool new partner to make their famous blue bands. With the statement of “making bullying unacceptable” inscribed across each wristband, they’re available to order now – with a 10% discount online!

Liz dropping out of a plane

School Resources

From lesson plans and activity packs to assembly presentations and competitions, take on one of missions to make bullying unacceptable.

Liz dropping out of a plane

Solo Missions

Wonder what you can do by yourself to make a difference?  Look no further…

BeatBullying is the UK’s leading bullying prevention charity.

Find out more…

 

More people have a mobile phone than a toilet?

As amazing as it sounds, it’s true. Help spread the word and donate your voice for Toilet Day 2012. Over 2.5 billion people don’t have a toilet. It’s dangerous, pollutes water sources, spreads disease, and causes thousands of deaths each day. It’s not a cultural issue, it’s an infrastructure one. Together we can change this.

Objectives of International Men’s Day include a focus on men’s and boy’s health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting positive male role models. It is an occasion for men to celebrate their achievements and contributions, in particular their contributions to community, family, marriage, and child care while highlighting the discrimination against them.

The theme in 2012   | Positive Male Role Models

imd-web-poster-kidwheel-v2a

International Men’s Day is celebrated in over 60 countries of the world. Too many to list. Join us on November 19 in celebrating the contribution men and boys make to those around them, to their family and friends, their work place and the community, the nations and the world.

Anyone is welcome to quote material from the IMD website , as well as free and open use of the logo and access to new posters in the Resource Section.

 

Road traffic crashes kill nearly 1.3 million people every year and injure or disable as many as 50 million more. They are the leading cause of death among young people aged 15–29 years.

In October 2005, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution which calls for governments to mark the third Sunday in November each year as World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.

Road Safety in East Lothian

There is one full time Road Safety Officer in East Lothian.

The Road Safety Officer’s efforts are statistically led and the key areas of concern are

Link Young Drivers
 Link Passengers
 Link Pedestrians

DriversYoung Drivers

In East Lothian the casualty age group most prominent in terms of injuries is the 16 – 25 year age group.

As a result of these statistics and to try to prevent further casualties, an educational event called 2mro’s Driver takes place annually. Further school presentations to support this event are available on request by the schools.   Road Safety resources “Your Call” and “Crash Magnets” are also available in secondary schools for use by teaching staff as part of the Curriculum for Excellence.  They are designed to develop safe attitudes towards driving and general road use and can be used for pupils from S1 – S6.  Road Safety Officers also offer safer driving presentations to college and university students.

Road Safety Officers also promote safe driving to newly qualified young drivers through their Young Driver Challenge event.

They will also promote safer driving to the general public through national and local campaigns.  They also offer support and advice to companies on the management of occupational road risk.

For further information on driver safety, please click on the following links:

Speed

Link www.road-safety.org.uk/driving/speeding/ www.lbsafetycameras.co.uk/

Drink / Drug Driving

Link www.road-safety.org.uk/driving/drink-driving-and-drug-driving/

Mobile Phones

Link http://think.direct.gov.uk/mobile-phones.html

Seatbelts

Link /www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAndTransport/Roadsafetyadvice/DG_4022064

Advanced Driving

Link www.roadar.org/
Link www.iam.org.uk/

PassengersPassengers

Statistics have identified that there is a problem with passenger safety whilst driving in cars, specifically young passengers travelling with young drivers.  Incidents occur due to non-compliance with seatbelt usage, peer pressure and risk taking.
Road Safety Officers address this issue through the initiatives and events mentioned above for young drivers.  Awareness is also raised through supporting local and national campaigns.

Statistics have also identified that there is a problem with all passenger safety whilst travelling in cars or buses, due to lack of seatbelt wearing or when passengers alight from buses.

Road Safety Officers address these issues through supporting local campaigns, P7 transition inputs and organising and running local in-car safety clinics.

For more information on passenger safety, please click on the following links:

Child Car Seats 

Link www.protectchild.co.uk/inc

PedestrianPedestrians

Statistics show that both child and adult pedestrians feature in road accidents.

Road Safety Officers offer educational advice and support to staff, parents and pupils throughout the child’s school life.  Specific inputs with child pedestrians are offered at key stages such as:

  • Traffic Trails aimed at P3 pupils.
  • Junior Road Safety Officers (JRSOs) – they cascade Road Safety information to the pupils, parents and staff in the school through notice boards, competitions and assemblies.  JRSOs are normally P6 or P7 pupils.
  • Transition inputs aimed at P7 pupils.

As adult pedestrians are more difficult to reach, Road Safety Officers will identify opportunities to target this group through publicity campaigns, educational inputs and cascading of information from JRSOs and school pupils home to parents and grandparents.  Road Safety Officers also offer inputs and advice at parents information evenings in schools and nurseries.

For more information on pedestrian safety, click on the following links:

Road Safety Scotland

Link www.road-safety.org.uk

Department for Transport

Link www.think.direct.gov.uk

Secretary-General’s Message for 2012

Building tolerance and understanding is fundamental for the twenty-first century.  In an increasingly globalized world – in which societies are growing more diverse – tolerance is central to living together. 

Yet tolerance is being tested.  In the face of economic and social pressures, some seek to exploit fears and highlight differences to stoke hatred of minorities, immigrants and the disadvantaged.  To counter the rise of ignorance, extremism and hate-based political appeals, the moderate majority must speak up for shared values and against all forms of discrimination.

Our goal must be more than peaceful coexistence.  True tolerance requires the free flow of ideas, quality education for all, respect for human rights, and the sharing of cultures for mutual understanding. As we advance these values, let us draw strength and guidance from the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity.

Tolerance is both a condition of peace and an engine for creativity and innovation. In our evermore interconnected world, promoting tolerance is the way to build the  harmony we need to address pressing challenges and secure a better future. 

Ban Ki-moon

How Can Intolerance Be Countered?

  1. Fighting intolerance requires law:
    Each Government is responsible for enforcing human rights laws, for banning and punishing hate crimes and discrimination against minorities, whether these are committed by State officials, private organizations or individuals. The State must also ensure equal access to courts, human rights commissioners or ombudsmen, so that people do not take justice into their own hands and resort to violence to settle their disputes.
  2. Fighting intolerance requires education:
    Laws are necessary but not sufficient for countering intolerance in individual attitudes. Intolerance is very often rooted in ignorance and fear: fear of the unknown, of the other, other cultures, nations, religions. Intolerance is also closely linked to an exaggerated sense of self-worth and pride, whether personal, national or religious. These notions are taught and learned at an early age. Therefore, greater emphasis needs to be placed on educating more and better. Greater efforts need to be made to teach children about tolerance and human rights, about other ways of life. Children should be encouraged at home and in school to be open-minded and curious.

    Education is a life-long experience and does not begin or end in school. Endeavours to build tolerance through education will not succeed unless they reach all age groups, and take place everywhere: at home, in schools, in the workplace, in law-enforcement and legal training, and not least in entertainment and on the information highways.

  3. Fighting intolerance requires access to information:
    Intolerance is most dangerous when it is exploited to fulfil the political and territorial ambitions of an individual or groups of individuals. Hatemongers often begin by identifying the public’s tolerance threshold. They then develop fallacious arguments, lie with statistics and manipulate public opinion with misinformation and prejudice. The most efficient way to limit the influence of hatemongers is to develop policies that generate and promote press freedom and press pluralism, in order to allow the public to differentiate between facts and opinions.
  4. Fighting intolerance requires individual awareness:
    Intolerance in a society is the sum-total of the intolerance of its individual members. Bigotry, stereotyping, stigmatizing, insults and racial jokes are examples of individual expressions of intolerance to which some people are subjected daily. Intolerance breeds intolerance. It leaves its victims in pursuit of revenge. In order to fight intolerance individuals should become aware of the link between their behavior and the vicious cycle of mistrust and violence in society. Each one of us should begin by asking: am I a tolerant person? Do I stereotype people? Do I reject those who are different from me? Do I blame my problems on ‘them’?
  5. Fighting intolerance requires local solutions:
    Many people know that tomorrow’s problems will be increasingly global but few realize that solutions to global problems are mainly local, even individual. When confronted with an escalation of intolerance around us, we must not wait for governments and institutions to act alone. We are all part of the solution. We should not feel powerless for we actually posses an enormous capacity to wield power. Nonviolent action is a way of using that power-the power of people. The tools of nonviolent action-putting a group together to confront a problem, to organize a grassroots network, to demonstrate solidarity with victims of intolerance, to discredit hateful propaganda-are available to all those who want to put an end to intolerance, violence and hatred.

David Hume, 1711 – 1776. Edinburgh-born philosopher

“In celebrating World Philosophy Day, UNESCO reaffirms the power of philosophy to change the world, because it can help us to change ourselves – by giving weight to our indignation before injustice, lucidity to ask the right questions, and conviction to defend human dignity.”

Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO
Message on World Philosophy Day
15 November 2012

Theme for 2012: “Future Generations”

World Philosophy Day was introduced in 2002 by UNESCO to honour philosophical reflection in the entire world by opening up free and accessible spaces. Its objective is to encourage the peoples of the world to share their philosophical heritage and to open their minds to new ideas, as well as to inspire a public debate between intellectuals and civil society on the challenges confronting our society.

UNESCO leads World Philosophy Day – but does not own it. It belongs to everyone, everywhere, who cares about philosophy.On this Day of collective exercise in free, reasoned and informed thinking on the major challenges of our time, all of UNESCO’s partners are encouraged to organize various types of activities – philosophical dialogues, debates, conferences, workshops, cultural events and presentations around the general theme of the Day, with the participation of philosophers and scientists from all branches of natural and social sciences, educators, teachers, students, press journalists and other mass media representatives, and the general public.

Mandela Day was inaugurated in 2009 on Nelson Mandela’s birthday – 18 July.

The overarching objective of Mandela Day is to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better, and in doing so build a global movement for good.Ultimately it seeks to empower communities everywhere.

Take Action; Inspire Change; Make Every Day a Mandela Day.”

The Mandela Day campaign message is simple: Mr Mandela gave 67 years of his life fighting for the rights of humanity. Could you give 67 minutes to begin changing the world into a better place, one small step at a time, just as Mr Mandela did?

 

You can test your knowledge of freedom, justice and democracy by taking a quiz here.

 

Mandela Day was inaugurated in 2009 on Nelson Mandela’s birthday – 18 July.

The overarching objective of Mandela Day is to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better, and in doing so build a global movement for good.Ultimately it seeks to empower communities everywhere.

Take Action; Inspire Change; Make Every Day a Mandela Day.”

The Mandela Day campaign message is simple: Mr Mandela gave 67 years of his life fighting for the rights of humanity. Could you give 67 minutes to begin changing the world into a better place, one small step at a time, just as Mr Mandela did?

 

You can test your knowledge of freedom, justice and democracy by taking a quiz here.

 

“On this World Population Day, I call for urgent, concerted action by Member States to bridge the gap between demand and supply for reproductive health care. We must mainstream reproductive health and rights into all development and poverty reduction plans. Investing in universal access to reproductive health is a crucial investment in healthy societies and a more sustainable future.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Message for World Population Day
11 July 2012

7 billion posterThe world’s population reached 7 billion on 31 October 2011. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

As the world population edged to 7 billion people in 2011 (up from 2.5 billion in 1950), it has had profound implications for development. A world of 7 billion is both a challenge and an opportunity with implications on sustainability, urbanization, access to health services and youth empowerment.

 

This year’s World Population Day, 11 July 2012, focuses on the theme of “Universal Access to Reproductive Health Services.

Reproductive health problems remain the leading cause of ill health and death for women of childbearing age worldwide. Some 222 million women who would like to avoid or delay pregnancy lack access to effective family planning. Nearly 800 women die every day in the process of giving life. About 1.8 billion young people are entering their reproductive years, often without the knowledge, skills and services they need to protect themselves. On the World Population Day, many activities and campaigns will call attention to the essential part that reproductive health plays in creating a just and equitable world.

National Childhood Obesity Week aims to raise awareness of the dangers of being above a healthy weight during childhood.

Worried about your child’s weight? Want to help them lead a healthy, happy, active life? Then Get Going!

 

Get Going is a family healthy lifestyle programme being delivered in partnership between NHS Lothian, East Lothian Council and Enjoyleisure.

It offers support to help children aged 5-18, who are overweight, and their parents or carers. The emphasis is on fun and feeling good. It’s about getting active as a family and working together to make small lifestyle changes. Children get the opportunity to make friends and take part in fun,active games. As parents you’ll have the chance to share ideas with support and guidance from a Child Healthy Lifestyle coach.
The sessions are FREE and take place in Enjoy or community venues once a week over eight weeks.  Each week a different topic is covered, from introducing a healthier eating plan, to discussions around physical activity and thinking about the amount of time spent watching television or playing on the computer. After the eight weeks, you’ll get ongoing support from our team. There’s also a follow-up six months after you finish to see how you’re doing and to help you stay on track for a more healthy life.

To find out when the next courses are available in your area or for more information please contact your local Get Going coordinator Caroline Kaye:

T: 01620 828760

E: ckaye@eastlothian.gov.uk

Check out: http://www.nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk/getgoing

Scottish Book Trust will be running the first Book Week Scotland, a national celebration of books and reading, from 26th November to 2nd December 2012.

They will work with a wide range of partner organisations, including libraries, schools, museums and workplaces, to deliver a packed programme of free projects and events, bringing Scots of all ages and from all walks of life together to celebrate the pleasures of books and reading.

As part of the celebrations, Scottish Book Trust will be publishing a special book of writing celebrating Scotland‘s favourite places. Written by members of the public and well known authors, thousands of copies of My Favourite Place will be distributed free throughout Scotland during Book Week Scotland. There is still time to submit your entry for possible inclusion in the book.

Sign up for Book Week Scotland updates

Join Book Week Scotland’s mailing list

 

My Favourite Place

 

 

Submit your entry to the My Favourite Place writing project

 

 

Refugee Week is all about having fun, broadening horizons and breaking down barriers. Every June the week long UK-wide festival of arts, cultural and educational events celebrates contributions refugees have made to the UK, and promotes understanding about why people seek sanctuary.

No one wants to become a refugee. No one should have to endure this humiliating and arduous ordeal. Yet, millions do. Even one refugee forced to flee, one refugee forced to return to danger is one too many.” Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

Each year Refugee Week grows and increases in profile, making its mark on the UK’s cultural calendar. This year’s theme Spirit captures:

  • Spirit of survival and the individual – the determination needed to flee persecution and rebuild your life
  • Community spirit – the connections between refugees and local communities
  • Scotland’s spirit – the cultural diversity of Scotland today

The Refugee Week Programme (3.7Mb, PDF) details many events, most of them in Glasgow, some in Edinburgh.

East Lothian Learning Partnership have produced  New Arrival? Your A-Z Guide to East Lothian

A few facts about refugees (who are often confused with economic migrants):

  • People seeking asylum make up just one per cent of the total population of Glasgow, Scotland’s largest and most diverse city.
  • Most of the people who arrive in Scotland seeking sanctuary are from Somalia, China, Eritrea, Iraq, Iran and Zimbabwe.  They have come here fleeing war, torture or persecution.
  • Most of the world’s refugees are given sanctuary in the world’s poorest countries.  The UK hosts only two per cent of some 10 million refugees worldwide.
  • An asylum seeker is someone who has made an application for asylum, or sanctuary, and hopes to be recognised as a refugee.  Everyone in the world has the right to claim asylum in another country if needed.
  • A refugee is someone whose application for asylum has been successful and who has been recognised as having a well-founded fear of persecution in their home country, as described by the United Nations Refugee Convention.
  • Persecution happens when someone is imprisoned, threatened or made a target because of their religion, race, beliefs or belonging to a certain group.
  • While they are waiting to hear if they can stay, people seeking asylum aren’t allowed to work and depend on small amounts of state support.
  • Most people seeking asylum do want to work, and many are professionally trained with lots of skills to offer.
  • Almost one third of refugees have contributed to society by doing voluntary work since arriving in the UK.

Child Safety Week is the flagship community education campaign run by the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT). Through Child Safety Week, CAPT raises awareness of the accidents that seriously injure or kill children and how to prevent them.

Accidents are the second biggest killer of UK children. Thousands more children are left with injuries that take years to heal. The long-term psychological impact on children, and their families and friends, can last a lifetime, as can the scars.

Yet the steps that keep children safe from serious accidents are the small steps taken every single day by so many parents, grandparents and carers as well as by children and young people themselves. Be it putting their hot drink safely out of reach, teaching children how to cross the road safely, strapping their child into their car seat each time or fitting, and regularly checking, smoke alarms.

That’s why the theme for Child Safety Week 2012 is “Small steps to safety”.

Child Safety in East Lothian

The Carefree Kids project in Tranent aims to:

  • promote child and family health and home safety.
  • reduce the risk of home accidents by offering practical assistance, advice and support; and
  • provide information and advice on relevant health issues.

Who they help:

  • Families on low income living within East Lothian who have a child under the age of 5 or with special needs.

How they help:

  • By lending much needed safety equipment thus reducing the risks of home accidents.
  • They also have an information library that is available to both referring agents and families.

Referrals for the service must be made through an approved agent – Health Visitor, Social Worker, etc.

Families are visited in their own home to ensure that the equipment loaned is suitable for the stage of their child’s development. A wide range of equipment is available.

The Carefree Kids Advice and Information Centre is open daily and allows families to drop in on an informal basis. There is a wide range of leaflets and publications on home and child safety issues.

They also sell, at reduced cost, smaller safety items – socket covers, cupboard catches, etc.

This Centre is based at 70 High Street, Tranent, EH33 1HH.  Telephone 01875 619605.

There is also a toy library open to all families living within East Lothian.  It is stocked with a wide range of educational and stimulating toys for children from birth to 5 years.Carefree Kids also offer First Aid for Children courses, depending on securing additional funding. Parents completing this course will obtain a certificate valid for 3 years along with a First Aid manual.

They can attend Baby Clinics with a display and information on child and home safety issues.

For further information contact Paula Edmond,Project Manager,1 Civic Square,Tranent,East Lothian,EH33 1LH.
Tel. (01875) 616618  Fax. (01875) 614505  E-mail: Paula Edmond

Free resources

Ideas bookletCAPT have loads of free, downloadable resources to help you run all your activities and events for Child Safety Week 2012.

The downloadable ideas booklet has everything you need to run successful Child Safety Week activities and events including six steps to planning your activities, success stories to inspire you and competitions and quizzes.

Download the ideas booklet

Download either the interactive online PDF or download the printable version below.

Interactive ideas booklet


Ideas booklet

Printable ideas booklet

Ideas booklet

More resources

To download the quizzes and competitions separately, visit the pages below.

  • Quizzes: download wordsearches and child safety quizzes.
  • Competitions: download quizzes for children with some great prizes to be won.
  • Poster: download the A3 Child Safety Week poster

Recycle Week reminds us all of the need to be recycle more.

We have only been using plastic bottles for 65 years, yet a staggering 15 million of plastic bottles are used daily – and less than half of them get recycled.

East Lothian Recycling box collection

Currently over 95% of households in East Lothian have access to the fortnightly recycling box collection. Each household covered by the collection is provided with at least two recycling boxes:

 Green box  Blue box
 glass bottles and jars  paper (unwanted mail)
 food and drink cans  cardboard
 plastic bottles, pots, tubs, trays, tops & straws  envelopes (including windowed envelopes)
 empty aerosol cans & clean aluminium foil  telephone directories and Yellow Pages
 magazines, brochures and leaflets
 wrapping paper

Recycling box covers are also provided and these should be secured to the boxes by feeding the ties through the holes in the handle of box.

Collection day

You can check your collection dates online and download your recycling calendar by typing in your postcode and selecting your address.

Please present your boxes, with covers, on the kerbside by 7am on the day of collection:

  • use the covers to make sure the contents are secure
  • stack the blue box on top of the green box

Extra and replacement boxes and covers

Extra boxes are available to households that have too much material to fit into the boxes provided, but firstly please squash cans and plastics if you need more room.

Extra or replacement box covers are also available at Local Area Offices or by contacting Waste Services.

Missed collections

If you put the wrong items in your recycling box then the collection crew will leave them in your box after they have emptied it. If they are not able to separate the wrong items from the correct ones then they will leave the entire box unemptied. They should also leave you a yellow note to explain what they have left and why.

If you have presented your recycling boxes at the kerbside by 7am on the correct collection day and they have not been emptied, please contact Verdant, who carry out the collection on East Lothian’s behalf, on 0845 270 2880.

Assisted collections

If you would like to request an assisted collection, please contact Verdant, who carry out the collection on East Lothian’s behalf, on 0845 270 2880.

Collections from flats

If you live in a flat and are able to store a set of recycling boxes, without storing them in a communal hallway or stairwell, then you can take part in the recycling box collection. We are currently piloting the use of communal recycling banks for blocks of flats.

Properties not covered by the collection

If the recycling box collection does not cover your property, then the rural recycling bin collection will.

Collections on public holidays

Recycling collections are carried out as normal on most public holidays, with the exception of Christmas day, Boxing day, 1st & 2nd January.  Please make every effort to present your boxes at your usual collection point by 7am on public holidays, as collections may take place earlier than normal.  Collection arrangements for over the festive period will be advertised on this web site and in the local press during December.

Recycling centres locations and opening hours

The sites are located at:

Kinwegar Recycling Centre
A199 Haddington Road (near Wallyford Toll)
Wallyford
EH21 8JU
Dunbar Community Recycling Centre
Spott Road Industrial Estate
Dunbar
EH42 1RD
North Berwick Recycling Centre
Heugh Brae
North Berwick
EH39 5PS
Macmerry Recycling Centre
Macmerry Industrial Estate
Macmerry
EH33 1RD

Both Kinwegar and Dunbar Recycling Centres have a raised area so you can deposit material into the skips without climbing stairs. Please follow the one way systems at each site.

The sites operate seven days a week and are open as follows:

  • Summer (1st April to 30th September) 8.30am to 6.30pm
  • Winter (1st October to 31st March) 8.30am to 4.15pm

What can I take to a Recycling Centre?

 green garden waste  textiles and shoes  flourescent tubes
 cardboard  vegetable oil  household batteries
 scrap metal  engine oil  television and computer monitors
 rubble  gas cylinders  small electrical appliances
 solid timber  car batteries  fridge-freezers
 paper, light cardboard, envelopes and Yellow Pages  liquid food and drink cartons (Tetra-paks)  plastic bottles
 green, clear and brown glass  books  CD’s, DVD’s, video and audio tapes
 steel and aluminium cans and clean foil

The Centres also have facilities to deposit excess household waste, but this has to be separated into two different skips:

  • carpets, mattresses and sofas go in one skip, which is currently sent to landfill
  • the other skip is for mixed household waste, which is sent to be sorted; so anything that can be usefully recycled is removed before the rest is sent to landfill

Vans and trailers

If you intend to take waste to a Recycling Centre using a van or a trailer please take proof of address with you, for example a Council Tax bill, to show the attendant that you live in the area.  In addition, if you are using a hire van, please take the hire paperwork with you to show to the attendant.  We ask for these items to make sure that only waste produced in East Lothian is deposited at the Centres and that waste from a business is identified and dealt with accordingly.

Business users

Business users must present their SEPA Waste Carriers registration (where applicable) on arrival and complete a waste transfer note in order to deposit waste at a Recycling Centre.  Kinwegar and Dunbar Recycling Centres accept waste from businesses through a separate entrance, which is equipped with a weighbridge so business waste can be accurately weighed and charged for.

Other ways of recycling!

Freecycle

The Freecycle East Lothian group is open to all who want to “recycle” that special something rather than throw it away. Whether it’s a chair, a fax machine, piano or an old door, feel free to post it. Or maybe you’re looking to acquire something yourself? Nonprofit groups are also welcome to participate too. One main rule: everything posted must be free. This group is part of The Freecycle Network, a not-for-profit organization and a movement of people interested in keeping good stuff out of landfills.

Scrapstores

Borders Scrap Store deals in a fantastic range of unwanted materials that would otherwise go to landfill: buttons, cardboard, carpet squares, paint, wallpaper, wool and much more. Anything that can be used in arts, crafts and play will be considered, whether from local industries, businesses, households or individuals.

Perhaps you’re a company wanting to get rid of old wallpaper samples, or a dressmaker wanting to dispose of surplus fabrics. Either way, Borders Scrap Store would be delighted to hear from you. Donations can be collected although smaller items are usually left at the Selkirk and Musselburgh shops.

Member organisations pay an annual fee and can buy materials at its stores in Selkirk and Musselburgh, or from a van delivery service that operates in East Lothian, the Scottish Borders and other parts of Southern Scotland.

Charity Shops

Scotland’s charity shops are an essential part of our communities.

  • They play a vital role in waste prevention
  • raise millions of pounds for good causes each year
  • provide a huge range of volunteering opportunities.

You can download the Edinburgh Charity Shop and Reuse Map here or see a list of East Lothian charity shops here.

Rag Bag Scheme

The ‘Rag Bag’ recycling scheme has been developed to provide regular fundraising for schools, clubs, nurseries and various organisations UK Wide.

The scheme increases awareness about textile recycling and by increasing recycling rates we can help the environment by ensuring less material goes to landfill.

The scheme is completely FREE, and your school, club or organisation will be paid for every kg recycled.

Even more information!

Changeworks exists to improve quality of life and to protect the environment.  They are behind the excellent publication “Too Good To Waste” – available online here and Edinburgh Charity Shop and Reuse Map.

 

(via Learning through Landscapes)

Water is an intriguing and magical substance and a brilliant resource for learning, especially outdoors. Children are drawn to it and love playing with it! Water offers an incredibly wide range of experiences that motivate, fascinate, excite and satisfy young explorers. By giving children direct experiences of harvesting, using and conserving water, you can build in them a sense of care, respect and understanding of this precious resource.

We hope that you’ll enjoy making use of the ideas below and we’d love you to show us what you get up to! You can send news of your own activity, preferably with pictures, to nsgw@ltl.org.uk or even upload your own pictures to the National School Grounds Week Facebook page.

Resources for Early Years

Waste not, want not – conserving water
We can’t take water for granted. Looking at ways of conserving water will encourage children to understand the value of water.

picIt’s elemental – water in the environment
Water is vital for life. Use these activities to explore the properties of water, and at the same time support their understanding of their world.

Splash happy – having fun with water
Water offers lots of opportunity for creative fun. Use these activities to get children problem solving and developing physically through music and dance.

Resources for Schools

Waste not, want not – conserving water
Looking at ways of conserving water will not only help your school grounds become more self sufficient, but also support curriculum subjects such as science and design and technology.

It’s elemental – water in the environment
Your grounds can offer children lots of opportunities for exploring the value of water, whether it’s watching how plants thrive or perish, or constructing a river and exploring how the flow impacts on river banks and vegetation.

Feel the force – water as an energy source
picUse these activities to encourage children to understand the value of water as a power source – for good and bad – and at the same time support curriculum subjects such as history, science, geography and maths.

Splash happy – getting creative with water
Use these activities to get creative, encourage children to understand the value of water – and at the same time support curriculum subjects such as science, maths, music and dance.

If you’ve enjoyed using these resources why not have a look at other support resources and lesson ideas for teaching outdoors by searching for ‘FREE’ in the resources library.

If you’re after something specific for your summer term curriculum, search through our library – or email enquiries@ltl.org.uk to see how we can help.

If you are looking for childcare in East Lothian, take a look at the Scottish Childcare website (part of the Scottish Families website, which is funded by the Scottish Government)

The International Level Crossing Awareness Day is a joint commitment continuing from the success of the first European Level Crossing Awareness Day held on 25th June 2009 in 28 countries raising public awareness on the dangers of misbehaviour at level crossings.

Level crossing accidents account for only 1.2% of road deaths but 29% of all rail fatalities based on European statistics. Road and rail organisations from participating countries acknowledged their shared responsibility to deal with this issue by organising safety events to develop public awareness and safe behaviour at and around level crossings

Trackoff

Banner ImageTrackoff is Britain’s rail industry initiative to help educate children and teenagers about safe conduct on the railway.

Millions of young people live close to a railway line or use the railway to travel to school, to visit friends or to go on holiday.

Some are drawn to play on the railway; some feel like messing about.

All need to understand the dangers and consequences of playing on or misbehaving on the railway.

Latest Teaching Resource (free download)

Other Teacher Packs (free download)

Free Teaching Resources (free downloads)

Download classroom activities, assembly ideas, lesson plans and other teaching resources. The resources have been validated by a panel of teachers and education consultants for National and Scottish Curriculum. Read more…

Trackoff Shop

A selection of resources, such as leaflets and booklets, is available for purchasing at the Trackoff Shop. Read more…

Where Are the Dangers?

Learn about the risks and consequences of playing on the railway. Read more…

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One billion people, one seventh of the world’s population live in extreme hunger and poverty and exist on less than 80 pence a day.

Of the 25,000 people who die every day in hunger and poverty, 10 percent die as a result of famine or from the high profile emergency crises that we are sadly all too familiar with.

World Hunger Day 28 May, 2012 | Text LOVE28 £3 to 70070However, particularly whilst the focus of the world is on high profile crises, it is vital that we recognise that, even today, the 90 percent majority of deaths from hunger and poverty related illness are happening in other parts of the world, not as a result of famine, earthquake or flood, but because of the chronic persistent hunger that exists in the developing world, in particular, Africa, South Asia and Latin America.

Chronic, persistent hunger is not due merely to lack of food. It occurs when people lack opportunity to earn enough income, to be educated and gain skills, to meet basic health needs and have a voice in the decisions that affect their community.

World Hunger Day is about raising awareness of this situation. It is also about celebrating the achievements of millions of people who are already ending their own hunger and meeting their basic needs.

World Hunger Day seeks to inspire people in both the developed and developing worlds to show their solidarity and support to enable many more to end their own hunger and poverty and make the journey to self-reliance.

Additionally, we hope that World Hunger Day, will encourage even more organisations to work in partnership with each other and with the women, men and children in the developing world who seek to bring about a sustainable end to their own hunger and poverty.

The Hunger Project is delivering ground breaking results in full support of the Millennium Development Goals, mobilising rural communities at the grassroots level.

International Day for Biological Diversity 2012
Marine Biodiversity is the theme for this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB). Designation of IDB 2012 on the theme of marine ecosystems provides Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and everyone interested in marine life, the opportunity to raise awareness of the issue and increase practical action.
 

How Much Life Is in the Sea?

From 2000 to 2010, an unprecedented worldwide collaboration by scientists around the world set out to try and determine how much life is in the sea. Dubbed the ‘Census of Marine Life’, the effort involved 2,700 scientists from over 80 nations, who participated in 540 expeditions around the world. They studied surface seawater and probed the deepest, darkest depths of the ocean, sailed tropical seas and explored ice-strewn oceans in the Arctic and Antarctic. By the time the Census ended, it had added 1,200 species to the known roster of life in the sea; scientists are still working their way through another 5,000 specimens to determine whether they are also newly-discovered species. The estimate of the number of known marine species – the species that have been identified and the ones that have been documented but await classification – has increased as a direct result of the Census efforts, and is now around 250,000. (This total does not include some microbial life forms such as marine viruses.) In its final report, the Census team suggested it could be at least a million. Some think the figure could be twice as high.

Marine and Coastal Biodiversity
Along the Coast
The Continental Shelf
The Open Ocean
The Deep
Great Migrations
The Human Impact
Causes of Decline
A Warmer Ocean
A More Acidic Ocean
The Problem of Over-Fishing
Why We Should Care
Blue Carbon
The Value of Marine Reserves
CBD and the Jakarta Mandate

 

East Lothian’s Biodiversity

East Lothian Council Biodiversity Officer – can give presentations to schools or classes on biodiversity or related topics. The Biodiversity Officer will also help to develop school grounds, particularly through the Grounds for Awareness award. This award is launched annually in September and can offer up to £1000 for a wildlife, gardening or landscaping project within school grounds.  Tel: 01620 827242

East Lothian Countryside Ranger Service – can visit schools or help with longer term studies such as rivers or rock pooling. They can also work closely with related initiatives such as the John Muir Award and Forest Schools.   ranger at eastlothian.gov.uk.
www.www.edubuzz.org/blogs/rangerservice
East Lothian Outdoor Learning Service – often working closely with the Ranger Service. They can provide environmental education, linking this with adventurous activities such as canoeing, gorge walking or coasteering.  0131 653 5217
www.www.edubuzz.org/outdoorlearning

East Lothian Council have produced a teachers guide about wildlife and the natural world. The 16 page download includes classroom projects,useful websites, pictures and ideas. The Guide suggests good locations close to schools and how to prepare for a visit.  Download your Biodiversity Education Guide here

Ten simple things YOU can do to celebrate:

  1. Visit an art exhibit or a museum dedicated to other cultures.
  2. Invite a family or people in the neighborhood from another culture or religion to share a meal with you and exchange views on life.
  3. Rent a movie or read a book from another country or religion than your own.
  4. Invite people from a different culture to share your customs.
  5. Read about the great thinkers of other cultures than yours (e.g. Confucius, Socrates, Avicenna, Ibn Khaldun, Aristotle, Ganesh, Rumi).
  6. Go next week-end to visit a place of worship different than yours and participate in the celebration.
  7. Play the “stereotypes game.” Stick a post-it on your forehead with the name of a country. Ask people to tell you stereotypes associated with people from that country. You win if you find out where you are from.
  8. Learn about traditional celebrations from other cultures; learn more about Hanukkah or Ramadan or about amazing celebrations of New Year’s Eve in Spain or Qingming festival in China.
  9. Spread your own culture around the world through our Facebook page and learn about other cultures.
  10. Explore music of a different culture.

There are thousands of things that you can do, are you taking part in it?

Now is the time to consider noise problems in your neighbourhood – and what you can do during Noise Action Week to engage your community in reducing noise. We have information and advice on how to raise awareness of noise problems, and how to reduce them. Anyone can take part. Housing providers, local authority noise teams, mediation services, schools, youth groups – and individuals – can work to  engage their communities in raising awareness of the impact excessive noise can have on neighbourhoods and individuals, and measures we can all take to reduce noise.

In East Lothian, residents can make use of a mediation service to sort out neighbour problems.  East Lothan Community Mediation Service can be contacted at the Brunton Hall, Ladywell Way, Musselburgh, on 0131 653 5295 or at info@eastlothian.sacro.org.uk.

See below or a wide range of support materials to download for free.

May 17 was chosen because the date is the anniversary of the World Health Organization’s May 1990 decision to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders. This victory of the lesbian-gay-bisexual and transgender (LGBT) cause was a historic step towards considering freedom of sexual orientation and gender identity as a fundamental basic human right.

The objective is to provoke action. Actions can take place in a number of different forms: a debate in the classroom, an exhibition in a cafe, a demonstration in the street, a radio program, a screening in a neighbourhood home, a round table organized by a political party, a short story competition sponsored by a newspaper, an awareness campaign led by an association, etc. These initiatives can be backed by LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans) associations, by human rights organizations, but also by women and men of any background and interest. In fact, today many people who are not specifically interested in questions of homosexuality are worried about the problem of homophobia.

Find out more: www.dayagainsthomophobia.org

Teach the ’IDAHO Lesson’ – Make your school safer and improve learning achievement for all !

Schools can be violent places.

Although there are many examples of schools which have over the past few year consistently been working to create conducive and safe learning environments, research from many countries still reveals the general high levels of abuse, harassment and verbal or physical violence experienced by young people in schools.

The stigma, discrimination and bullying they suffer goes against their right to education.

Studies have widely documented that bullying in school has a huge impact on learning achievement and dropout rates. It is a major obstacle to the right to education. The psychological damages, including low self-esteem, bear permanent marks on people’s lives and can lead to self-harming conducts, including suicide.

Research in the USA has shown that students who are bullied at school are more than twice as likely to report a suicide attempt than students who are not bullied.

And these unsafe environments are bad for all students

Beyond the terrible impact bullying has on the children and students who are perceived as different, it creates generally unsafe, discriminatory, stigmatizing and violent school climates. These climates have proven to have very negative effects on the learning outcomes of ALL students, not only the bullied ones. It is therefore in the interest of all to reverse the situation and allow education systems to construct societies, which are inclusive of diversity and respectful of the individual.

Kids who are different from the majority gender norm suffer most from violence in schools.

Violence in schools reflects wider social problems such as racism, discrimination of people with physical and mental disability , etc…. However, according to the United Nations World Report on Violence against Children (2006), most bullying is actually sexual or gender-based and targets those perceived as not conforming to prevailing sexual and gender norms.

Young girls who are not ‘feminine’ enough and young boys who are not ‘masculine’ enough are specifically exposed to mockery, abuse, exclusion and violence.

It goes not only against the individuals, but it undermines gender equality objectives altogether.

As this violence is bred by stereotyped gender roles (conforming to what is said to be ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’), to let it happen unchallenged threatens the whole construction of a more gender equal society.

Homo/transphobia is an entry point to tackle sex/gender-based violence

Homophobia and transphobia are forms of the hatred expressed towards people because they are, or are believed to be, homosexual or transgender. Homophobia and Transphobia are forms of gender-based violence because they are based on the assumption that all people should conform to the majority representation of what are ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ behaviors.

This form of violence does not affect only children and students with different sexual orientation or gender expression. Surveys have shown that 80% of people who were exposed to homo/transphobic bullying define themselves as heterosexual.

For teachers, fighting sex/gender-based violence is therefore an essential strategy to improve learning achievements for all and should be taken very seriously

Teachers worldwide are taking action

Teachers know they about the importance of a sustainable safe and inspiring learning environment. They act everyday to provide it to their students and have often developed innovative approaches to tackling sexuality-related bullying in general, and homophobia/transphobia in particular, in the classes. Nevertheless, teachers also often experience unease in raising this specific issue. This is why this present initiative has been developed. It focuses on making use of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia as a good opportunity for action and to provide teachers with ideas, inspiration and material for action.

The fact that the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia is recognized by many governments and international institutions, and is marked by UNESCO, provides a good argument for teachers to take action.

An international initiative around the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia : the Global ‘IDAHO Lesson’

The ’IDAHO Lesson’ is an international initiative by where teachers and educational staff in all contexts are invited to use the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia to organize some specific activity in their class on this subject.

While it is important to fight bullying, the initiative also suggests that homo/transphobia bullying is encouraged, if not altogether motivated, by homo/transphobic educational contents. The initiative therefore also encourages a critical examination of the curriculum.

The annexes below provide many resources for teachers, according to grades and subjects and indicate organizations, which they can turn to for advice and support.

The ’IDAHO Lesson’ creates an opportunity to tackle the issue of sex/gender based violence using the specific angle of homo/transphobia. Take Action ! – Read the full Teacher Brief in the ’Document’ section above and access many resources for action, facts and figures, and more information on the issue

Download the full teacher brief

PDF - 1.8 Mb
IDAHO lesson Teacher Brief

Adult Learners’ Week is the UK’s largest annual festival of learning; inspiring thousands of people each year to discover how learning can change their lives.

Through thousands of events and award ceremonies, Adult Learners’ Week celebrates all kinds of learners and promotes the benefits of every type of learning.

You can find out about the range of events and classes available across East Lothian in this ELC Newsletter (opens as pdf).

 

A 2011 Dying Matters Awareness Week event in Sefton

The theme of the week is ‘Small Actions, Big Difference’. By being more open about dying and taking small actions such as writing a will, signing up to become an organ donor or looking out for those who have been recently bereaved, we can all help make a big difference to ensuring people can live well and die well.

5 small actions you can take immediately to help make Awareness Week a big success:
    1. Tell us and others about your event by adding it to our Events Calendar.
    2. Spread the word within your organisation about Dying Matters Awareness Week 2012 and its ‘Small Actions, Big Difference’ theme.
    3. Show your support on your organisation’s website or in your emails by downloading our Awareness Week banner or button.
    4.  If you or your organisation aren’t already, become a Dying Matters Coalition member * sign up for our e-newsletter * follow us on Facebook and Twitter (if you’re tweeting about Awareness Week, please use the hashtag #DyingMatters) * join in the conversation in the Dying Matters Community Area.
    5. After Awareness Week, share what you did with us – email info@dyingmatters.org.uk

Information for Schools

Information for schools

Children see the world very differently to adults; their imaginations are still unprejudiced. Why not tap into this through education?

To die will be an awfully big adventure.’ - J.M. BARRIE, Peter Pan

Dying Matters, together with the National Council for Palliative Care, believes all secondary school pupils in England should be taught about issues relating to death and dying as part of the national curriculum.

Someone in the UK dies every minute, but many schools remain unsure how to best support pupils who are affected.

Three 17 year-olds from London’s East End, who have all won university places to study medicine, launched the lesson plan at the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday the Lesson Plan at Parliament today, Wednesday 16 March.

Resources

We have produced a number of resources to help teachers incorporate death, dying and bereavement into lessons. Access these using the links below.

A Dying Matters 2011 hospice event

UN Family Photo

The Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) supports the worldwide observance of the International Day of Families (15 May) by preparing background information on the family for use by Governments, the UN system, including the regional commissions, and UN Information Centres and NGOs. An annual message of the Secretary-General is prepared for wide distribution.

The theme for 2012 is “Ensuring Work-Family Balance”

Trends impacting work-family balance

Over the past decades several demographic and socio-economic trends led to major changes in work and family life. Demographic trends towards smaller households, growing women’s labour participation as well as rapid urbanization and greater mobility in search of better job opportunities, have resulted in weakening of traditional extended family networks offering care support for younger and vulnerable family members.

As extended kin are less available to care for the young, employed parents find it more difficult to manage working environment with caring for children and fulfilling other family responsibilities. In particular, being active in an increasingly competitive labour market to provide economically and having enough time to care for the young and vulnerable members of families is a main challenge for contemporary parents.

Globally, 52 per cent of women are in the labour market with over half mothers across the OECD countries in labour force before their child reaches 3 years of age. In addition to care for young children, families face multiple obligations, such as caring for older relatives, family members with disabilities or young people who tend to leave their families later in life. Consequently, employed parents often experience escalating family responsibilities to several generations at the same time.

Work responsibilities have increased as well. Although regular working hours in developed countries seem to plateau or decline, they remain high in developing countries, especially in Asia. Moreover, according to European data, non-standard ‘atypical working hours’, such as work on weekends or at night, as well as bringing work home, are becoming more common as well, making it more difficult to balance work and care responsibilities.

There is a growing body of research linking long working hours with higher absenteeism due to illness and lower productivity. Excessive working hours reduce the time parents spend with their children and have a negative impact on family interactions.
In light of these trends, supporting formal policies as well as practical strategies promoting reconciliation of work and care responsibilities for families, especially those with young children, is becoming an important family policy goal.

Family oriented policies and programmes for work- family balance

Family focused policies and programmes promoting work-family balance vary across the regions. They may range from parental leave provisions and flexible working arrangements to child benefits and access to quality and affordable childcare.

Parental leaves

Maternity and paternity leaves upon the birth of a child and parental leave to care for a young child are offered in the majority of developed countries as well as many developing middle income countries. In the majority of developing countries, however, few provide comprehensive benefits in accordance with the ILO standards. The uptake of parental leaves, especially paternity leaves can also be hindered by work-place cultures and societal expectations.

Maternity leave provisions have been associated with reduction in infant mortality and morbidity and higher rates of breastfeeding. Paternal leave taking often results in fathers’ practical and emotional investment in infant care and has been linked to higher level of father involvement in family responsibilities later on.

Gender equality & the role of men in families

Gender equity goals are directly linked to ensuring work-family balance. Out of choice and necessity, women enter the paid labour force in growing numbers, where they are often discriminated in access to employment and benefits. At the same time, both women and girls still continue to bear most responsibilities for the household. In all regions, women spend at least twice as much time as men on unpaid domestic work. In some countries, women spend up to ten times as much time as men on caring for children. When unpaid work is taken into account, women’s total work hours are longer than men’s in all regions. Continued limited participation of men in care work is often considered a major obstacle to gender equality and women’s empowerment.
This trend, however, is slowly changing and men’s roles as fathers and caregivers in families, going beyond income provision, are gradually being recognized more in many parts in the world. Engaging men and boys in gender equality efforts and encouraging them to take up a bigger share of household and care responsibilities is a policy priority in many countries. Such strategies have a positive impact on gender equality; contribute to fairer distribution of family responsibilities between both parents and help achieve work-life balance for all family members.

Flexible working arrangements
Over the past decade, there have been growing efforts to create ‘family friendly’ work places by offering flexible working opportunities, such as: flexi-time schedules; working from home; part-time work; or working time adjusted to school timetable, without loss of pay. In the majority of developed countries informal arrangements exist and in some developing countries informal codes of good practice have been introduced but a legal right to request flexible working arrangements is generally rare.

Flexible working arrangements are more common in larger organizations with lower level of competition and recognized trade unions. They are also more frequent in the public sector jobs, work places where strong equal opportunities exist and where more employers are involved in decision making.

Flexible working opportunities result in better health outcomes for parents and children. At a company level, they have also been associated with employee productivity, organizational commitment, retention, moral, job satisfaction and reductions in absenteeism.

Quality childcare

With the growth of women’s professional aspirations and the need to obtain gainful employment to provide economically for their families, formal child care provisions have been adopted in most countries. Investments in early childhood education and quality child care are seen as a form of support for parents with young children to help them remain engaged in paid work. However, although primarily driven by the concern about female labour supply, the policies also aim at promoting fertility, gender equality and child well-being.
Childcare provision and subsidies for private childcare arrangements are considered an important part of work-family balance strategies in developed countries. The importance of early childhood care and education has also been emphasized at the international forum, e.g. by UNICEF and ILO in the context of work-family balance and decent work.

In the majority of developing countries, affordable quality child care facilities with professional staff, proper equipment and sanitary conditions are rare. Often, re-occurrence of accidents and mistreatment of children discourages parents from using ill-equipped childcare facilities. According to comparative fieldwork, poor families are often forced to leave their preschool children at home alone or in the care of older siblings, making them more prone to injuries and accidents as well. At the same time, there are numerous examples of innovative workplace solutions in developing countries, many funded from mixed partnerships between employer organizations, workers, and local government bodies able to provide child care options for working parents.

As far as the impact of child care arrangements on children’s well-being is concerned, some research indicates that stable parental care for infants is of outmost importance, and recommends that optimally young children should not be left in poor quality non-parental care arrangements. More consensus has been found on benefits of early childhood education, especially for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Overall, a wide range of childcare arrangements should be advocated. Support for mothers who opt to stay at home with their children beyond the maternity leave period has often been recommended in the context of unpaid work. In some countries grandparent child care benefit has been introduced to assist families with the costs of child care.

A way forward

Work-family balance lies at the core of the ability of the family to provide economically and emotionally for its members. A variety of strategies to help families cope with work and family responsibilities is being used around the world. In the majority of developing countries, however, reconciliation of work and family life policies competes with a large number of development priorities. Moreover, access to work-family balance support systems is chiefly in the formal and regulated labour markets while many workers in the informal sector face not only family-unfriendly but also dangerous work environments. Global employment protection is then needed to secure better working conditions, especially for poor working families.

Family-friendly strategies facilitating work-family balance have a key role in supporting parents to raise the next generation of children and ensure harmonious family relations. Work-family balance policies also demonstrate Governments commitment to the well-being of families and employers’ social responsibility and contribute to successful labour relations, employee health and well-being, gender equality and child welfare.

It is important to share knowledge about good practices in work-family balance being implemented and advocated for by Governments, private sector, civil society and academic institutions. Promoting professional support and advice and efforts to create a more family-friendly culture in the workplace are equally important. Wide-ranging consultation and partnerships between employers, trade unions and employees to promote better understanding of the importance of work-family reconciliation is strongly encouraged to improve the well-being of families worldwide.

International Dawn Chorus Day is the worldwide celebration of Nature’s daily Miracle.

In East Lothian, IDCD is being celebrated with a Dawn Chorus Walk, organised by the Scottish Ornithologists Club (see below for details)

The SOC

Dawn Chorus Walk

Event Information

Date 6-May-2012
Start Time 6.00am
Location The SOC, Waterston House
Aberlady
East Lothian
Admission £2 SOC Members, £4 non-members
Breakfast Includes refreshments after the event back at Waterston House.
Suitable for children Yes
Contact Jane Cleaver
Email jane.cleaver@the-soc.org.uk
Telephone 01875 871 330
Additional Information Includes refreshments after the event back at Waterston House.

From 21st-27th May 2012 Arrhythmia Alliance will be holding its annual Heart Rhythm Week which gives anyone the opportunity to raise awareness and promote better understanding of heart rhythm disorders.

For Heart Rhythm Week 2012, Arrhythmia Alliance and its members will be promoting the importance of patient empowerment. Those taking part in the week will be encouraged to organise awareness activities that help people with symptoms of a heart rhythm disorder access the appropriate information and support from a healthcare professional. Find out how you can get involved

Now in its fourth year, Green Office Week is an award-winning initiative designed to address green issues in the workplace and encourage office workers to spring into action and adopt practical ways to help the environment.

The aim of the week is to encourage workers to make environmental changes. Whether it’s to introduce a new policy, start recycling, reduce your carbon footprint or buy eco products, there will be a small change you can make.

Green Office Week (GOW) is an action-packed week full of fun and simple ideas to make your office greener. See what’s happening each day and then find ways you can fit these environmental ideas into your own work place. You can make a real difference to the environment by making a few small, practical changes. But don’t stop there! Become a true green champion by taking our daily themes and making them work for you every week of the year.

For the first time ever you can take part in the Green League to measure your environmental impact.

Monday

Focus on Energy

Encourage measures to reduce energy consumption in your company.

 

Tuesday

Focus on Transport

Encourage measures to reduce your company’s environmental impact through travel.

Wednesday

Focus on Waste

Encourage the 3Rs: reduce/reuse/recycle and benefit from the cost-reductions.

 

Thursday

Focus on Purchasing

Encourage a review of purchasing habits and switching to eco-friendly office products.

Friday

Focus on Innovation

Encourage further discussion, action, and thinking about the environment well beyond Green Office Week! What ideas do you have?

National Vegetarian Week (NVW) is the UK’s annual awareness-raising campaign promoting inspirational vegetarian food and the benefits of a meat-free lifestyle.

Why take part in NVW?

Taking part in NVW is fun, easy and will open your eyes to a world of delicious food and healthy eating. If you’re planning something as an organisation or community group it might help get more people to join you, buy your products or attend your events. It’s also a chance to try something new with your colleagues, show your students that you can cater for all diets or show vegetarians that your restaurant has some tasty choices for them.

Anyone can get involved with the Week: businesses, schools, colleges, universities, community groups, libraries, hospitals, families and individuals are just a few adding what they’re doing to our What’s Happening page each year. When the Week has finished we’ll be looking at the What’s Happening page to choose the winners of the Local Hero awards – so you might even win a prize and really make your mark on the veggie map!

Action packs

Inspirational ideas for businesses

ideas for community groups

Ideas for schools


Adult Learners’ Week is the UK’s largest annual festival of learning; inspiring thousands of people each year to discover how learning can change their lives.

Through thousands of events and award ceremonies, Adult Learners’ Week celebrates all kinds of learners and promotes the benefits of every type of learning.

Adult Learners’ Week:

  • gives you the opportunity to explore the many different kinds of learning; whether you want to get a better job, try something you’ve always wanted to, be able to help your children at school or discover something new about the world around you.
  • recognises the achievements of outstanding individuals and inspiring learning projects through national and regional awards.
  • offers your organisation the chance to showcase the learning opportunities that you provide; for 2012 you can even link your activities to our themes.
  • attracts widespread media coverage, highlighting the stories of people who have transformed their lives and proving that adult learning really does matter.
  • is backed by thousands of supporters each year, helping us all raise the awareness of the benefits of learning.

View videos of inspirational learners here.

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Foster Care Fortnight is an annual campaign to raise the profile of fostering. It is the UK’s biggest fostering recruitment campaign and last year over 35 million people heard about the need for more foster carers.

This year’s campaign is supported by singer Gareth Gates who grew up as part of a foster family.

Over 1500 foster carers are needed in Scotland – Could You Foster?

An annual event of optimistic seed sowing on May Day since 2007.

Plant sunflower seeds anywhere around your neighbourhood they might have a chance of flourishing with a little tender loving care from you and your friends:

- Neglected flower beds
- Weedy tree pits
- Roadside verges
- Municipal shrubberies
- A neglectful neighbours garden
And where ever your imagination leads you.

You’re looking for places where they won’t get weeded away or accidentally trampled. You may need to water them in dry periods, but ideally the ground will be not to sandy and dry and the season will be kind to us and our plants with regular bursts of rain.

You can do it solo or organise a local sowing session near you. Sow your sunflowers any time of the day but this year it’s a Tuesday, so if you’re at work head out at the traditional guerrilla planting evening hours when you’re most likely to bump into other locals and win them round to joining in too – the suggestion is from 6pm.

All you need are sunflower seeds and something to dig the ground a bit so you can sow it a couple of centimetres underground. If you can plant it with a handful of fresh compost and water it the chances of success are improved.

Dystonia is the term used to describe uncontrollable muscle spasms caused by incorrect signals from the brain. The muscle spasms force the body into unusual and sustained movements and postures. This can affect many different areas of the body.

Around 1 in every 200 people either has dystonia themselves or has a close family member affected so it is likely you know someone affected. Click here to learn more.

Do you know who it is? It is possible they don’t either!

As it is estimated that 30-50% of people with dystonia are not diagnosed. Doctors often don’t recognise the symptoms and many people are being told they have a psychological problem.

Possible signs that someone has dystonia include:

Neck dystonia: The neck is twisting sideways or being pulled backwards or forwards involuntarily

Eye dystonia: Uncontrollable blinking or the eyelids forcing themselves shut

Hand dystonia: The hand makes strange, unintentional movements when writing or playing an instrument

Generalised dystonia: Abnormal, twisted postures of the hands or arms

Remember the person

Dementia Awareness Week will take place in England, Northern Ireland and Wales from 20-26 May 2012.

Remember the person is Alzheimer’s Society‘s annual flagship awareness-raising campaign. It’s a big opportunity to raise awareness and understanding of dementia and to get people to ‘remember the person’ behind the dementia.


More info: http://www.deafcouncil.org.uk/daw/index.htm

Action for Brain Injury Week 2012, 14-20 MayBrain injury doesn’t just affect individuals; it can transform the lives of entire families. Emotional and behavioural changes in the individual can affect relationships and the dynamic of the family. There may also be physical demands on the carer, while a loss of income can add additional stress to the family.

Caring for someone with a brain injury can require a great deal of patience and sacrifice. This year’s Action for Brain Injury Week will highlight the issues surrounding caring for someone with a brain injury while providing practical support to those who need help.

Headway carers’ workshop

A new workshop designed to help carers of people with brain injury better cope with the practical, financial and emotional challenges they face will be launched by Headway, with the first three courses taking place during ABI Week (14-20 May 2012).

Click here to read more and book your free place >>

Carers’ survey

Kasia and Martin BurkeWe have recently conducted a survey-based study to examine the burden of caring for someone with a brain injury and the quality of life that carers experience. The survey is now closed and we are analysing the results, which will be released here during Action for Brain Injury Week 2012.

Hats for Headway Day

As always, the highlight of Action for Brain Injury Week will be Hats for Headway Day, which this year will take place on Friday 18 May 2012.

Put the date in your diary and look out for information on how your company, organisation, school or college can get involved!

Campaign posters

Headway has launched a range of posters to support the Action for Brain Injury Week 2012 campaign.

The posters highlight the fact that brain injury can affect the entire family, and that Headway is here to help those caring for people with brain injury. Brain injury can bring unique challenges to the family members of those affected. The hidden aspects of brain injury can often make it difficult for friends, wider family and even social or healthcare professionals to fully understand the pressures on those performing these vital caring roles.

Headway's Action for Brain Injury Week 2012 poster shows a mother and daughter with the message "A brain injury affects more than one person's life. Who carers about the carer? Headway does."Headway's Action for Brain Injury Week 2012 poster shows a man and a woman with the message "A brain injury affects more than one person's life. Who carers about the carer? Headway does."

You can download the posters below in two formats – one for general use and one for professional printing.

Free Comic Book Day is a single day – the first Saturday in May each year – when participating comic book shops give away comic books absolutely FREE to anyone who comes into their stores (rules vary from shop to shop).

The nearest participating shop to East Lothian is Forbidden Planet, 39-41 South Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1  1LL.

The Comics:
2012 Silver Books

In 1983 Dr Graham Hughes and his team in London described in detail a condition – often known as “sticky blood”, in which there was a danger of thrombosis.

This condition – easily diagnosed by simple blood tests, affects millions of people throughout the world. The good news is that once diagnosed, the disease can, in most people, be treated, and further thrombosis (clotting) prevented.

Patients with the syndrome were at risk, both from vein thrombosis (including DVT’s), and in some, more dangerous arterial thrombosis, including a risk of strokes and heart attacks. In women with the syndrome, the “sticky blood” is unable to get through the sensitive small blood vessels in the placenta to the fetus, and there is a risk of miscarriage.

The discovery of the condition came from careful clinical observation. Whilst treating patients with a condition called lupus, Dr Hughes noted that some of his lupus patients had a tendency to blood clots, to headaches and even strokes and, in pregnancy, to clotting of the placenta and miscarriage.

cartoonFurthermore, Dr Hughes recognised that this group of patients could be distinguished by a specific blood test – the detection of so-called “antiphospholipid antibody”. He immediately recognised that the Syndrome could also occur without lupus – indeed, in the vast majority of patients, there was no evidence of Lupus, hence the name ‘primary’ antiphospholipid syndrome for these patients.

Dr Hughes gave the syndrome the name antiphospholipid syndrome (or APS). In the mid 1990s international colleagues re-named the syndrome ‘Hughes Syndrome’ to honour the doctor who described it.

Info: Hughes Syndrome Foundation

Join FSID’s flagship Mile in Memory walk to honour the memory of someone special to you.

 

FSID hopes to see a host of Mile in Memory walks taking place across the country on Saturday 12th May. Most importantly, every penny you raise will go towards their aim of making cot death a thing of the past.
Organise your own walk

Join us on the day by organising your own one mile sponsored walk in memory of a loved one. Organising your own walk is easy and fun to do and FSID will give you all the help you need.

Order your Mile in Memory pack today!

 

What you get when you register your walk
• FSID Fundraising pack
• Dedicated FSID coordinator
• Tips and advice on how to organise your event

 

Join a walk
If you don’t fancy organising a walk but would like to support this event, then why not join a Mile in Memory walk near you?

See our map for locations across the country.

 

Contact Us
For more details contact Lucy at fundraising@fsid.org.uk or on 020 7802 3201

The aim of the month is to increase awareness of local history, promote history in general to the local community and encourage all members of the community to participate.

Activities happen across the UK and include trips, library exhibitions and local lectures.  It is a great way for groups to highlight local history and for local people to get involved.

It is a perfect opportunity to visit the John Gray Centre, the new home of the East Lothian Local History Centre. Although based in Haddington, it holds records relating to the whole of East Lothian: from Dirleton to Whittingehame, and Musselburgh to Oldhamstocks.

Whether you’re doing family history research, writing a local history book or want to find out who once lived in your house, the John Gray Centre should be the first place you visit.

Further details on our services can be found via the website www.johngraycentre.org , including a new online catalogue that shows you the materials that can be accessed when you visit.

Cake Break is a scrumptious way to raise money for people affected by MS all across the UK.

Get busy baking and join thousands of others getting active in MS Week.

Sign up and receive a free Cake Break pack containing all the information you’ll need to organise an amazing event. It’s as simple as inviting your friends, family and neighbours, providing them with plenty of cake and then watching the donation boxes fill up.

Plan a Cake Break:

You can hold a Cake Break at any time of the year. Let’s get baking to beat MS.

Sign up

Event information

  • When:04 May 2012 at (All day)
  • Location:Home, work, school & communities all over the UK!

For any queries or to order more materials, email cakebreak@mssociety.org.uk or call 0845 481 1577.

You’ve heard about ‘paying someone back’ or ‘returning’ a favour how about paying it forward?

There is tremendous power and positive energy in giving – it is a shame that not enough people have experienced it to the fullest. Pay It Forward Day is about all people, from all walks of life giving to someone else and making a positive difference. At last count there were more than 38 countries around the world participating in the day.

So why Pay it Forward?

  • To encourage all of us to embrace the incredible power of giving.
  • To show each other that we care and that there is love, hope and magic all around us.
  • To know that we may be only one person in this world, but to one person, at one time, we are the world.

Make a difference and experience the true power of giving. Thank you for your support. Together we can change the world – one good deed at a time!

Take a look at the Pay it Forward Day website and

Download the Pay it Forward Day School Kits

Color version

Black and White version

You’ve heard about ‘paying someone back’ or ‘returning’ a favour how about paying it forward?

There is tremendous power and positive energy in giving – it is a shame that not enough people have experienced it to the fullest. Pay It Forward Day is about all people, from all walks of life giving to someone else and making a positive difference. At last count there were more than 38 countries around the world participating in the day.

So why Pay it Forward?

  • To encourage all of us to embrace the incredible power of giving.
  • To show each other that we care and that there is love, hope and magic all around us.
  • To know that we may be only one person in this world, but to one person, at one time, we are the world.

Make a difference and experience the true power of giving. Thank you for your support. Together we can change the world – one good deed at a time!

Take a look at the Pay it Forward Day website and

Download the Pay it Forward Day School Kits

Color version

Black and White version

Story Lab is the theme of the 2012 Summer Reading Challenge.

What is Story Lab? It’s a five-sided hi-tech HQ that attracts stories from all over the world and sends them spinning throughout the city – and beyond! It’s the place to read, collect, share, create, transmit and broadcast stories

Like all Summer Reading Challenges, Story Lab will be divided into three stages, and as children read books over the summer, they will collect stickers to help the Story Lab kids to complete each stage. On completion, children will receive a medal and certificate.

 

 Stage 1 – Bronze

Bronze coin – To retrieve an ancient bronze coin from the vault beneath the museum, you’ll need to read two books.

 Stage 2 – Silver

Silver mirror – Moving on to the river (site of Olympic activity and arts) the next stage is to recover the silver mirror from the banks of a small island. You do this by reading two more books.

 Stage 3 – Gold

Gold medal – The final stage is to retrieve a golden medal hidden in the Olympic Park. Again, you need to read two more books to complete the challenge.

The cast – characters in Story Lab:

Story Lab features four characters: Lex, Rani, Will and Evie. They are helped by Aesop, the ginger lab cat, and the operation is overseen by Prof Cortex. She’s the computer genius behind the lab.

From June, you will be able access the Story Lab website.

 

On the first day of Lloyds TSB National School Sport Week, 25 June 2012, we will be celebrating London 2012 World Sport Day, part of the Get Set goes global programme.

It’s a chance for schools to celebrate the world’s arrival in the UK for the greatest festivals of sport, and all the Values and Games-related work you have been doing.

Schools will be invited to take part in an opening celebration and that will be streamed to classrooms and assembly halls across the UK, and around the world.

Branded tools and resources will be available to help schools create and host an international celebration that embraces the teams and athletes of the 205 Olympic and 170 Paralympic teams. The aim is to celebrate the multiculturalism of the school’s local community, and to showcase the sports and cultures of their chosen Olympic and Paralympic teams.

After this opening celebration, schools can continue their National School Sport Week by organising a whole host of sporting activities, encouraging parents and the wider community to get involved and support their local school, helping fuel further excitement and anticipation for the start of the London 2012 Games.

Your school will need to be registered with Get Set (the official London 2012 education programme) to access the London 2012  World Sport Day resources that will be available later this year.

You can also access exclusive benefits from London 2012 by mentioning your involvement in London 2012 World Sport Day and National School Sport Week in your application to join the Get Set network, the London 2012 reward and recognition scheme for schools and colleges.

Visit http://www.london2012.com/getset for more details.

Once you are signed up to London 2012 World Sport Day, presented by Lloyds TSB, you will be able to access the following resources:

  • An event pack full of branded materials to help decorate schools for the opening celebration and their own international celebrations
  • Activity ideas for schools to embrace the cultures of their supported teams thoughout the life of a school
  • An exciting toolkit and case studies to guide teachers and students in the planning of their opening celebration and international celebrations
  • Create your own school goodies and decorations by using our ‘we’re a supporter’ kits for your supported Olympic and Paralympic team

Moth Night (formerly National Moth Night) is the annual celebration of moth recording throughout Britain and Ireland. It retains the familiar combination of moth recording by enthusiasts with local events aimed at raising awareness of moths among the general public. Each year will have a theme (although recorders are always welcome and encouraged to do their own thing) and the event will take place on different dates. However, in response to feedback from participants, future events will be confined to the warmest months and each event will last for three consecutive nights (Thursday-Saturday).

Recording can take place on any one or more of these nights. We hope that these changes will greatly improve the chances of favourable weather for moth recording during the event. The other major change is a move to online recording only. We are working in association with the Biological Records Centre at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology to create a comprehensive but easy-to-use online recording system that will be the route for all future records. As well as vastly improving the efficiency of handling the many thousands of records received each year, this new system will give participants immediate feedback about the event. The full findings will continue to be published in the journal Atropos but, in the future, we will be providing better feedback to all those who take part in the event.

Moth Night 2012 will take place on 21 – 23 June 2012. The theme will be the moths of brownfield habitats (such as old quarries, disused railway lines, reclaimed coal tips, gravel and clay workings etc.) and will include both daytime searches and the usual night-time recording.

Moth Night 2013 will take place on 8 – 10 August 2013 and Moth Night 2014 will take place on 3 – 5 July 2014.

If you have any queries with respect to Moth Night 2012, please email enquiries@mothnight.info

Refugee Week is a UK-wide programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK, and encourages a better understanding between communities.

There is a huge amount of information available:

The longest day

http://www.picnicweek.co.uk/

Open Farm Sunday is a fantastic project which has seen hundreds of farmers across the UK opening up their farm for one Sunday each year since 2006! It is a fantastic opportunity for everyone, young and old, to discover at first hand what it means to be a farmer.

Take time to listen to the birds, soak up the scenery, experience the smells of the farmyard and really get in touch with the land that feeds us. So come and feed your senses on Open Farm Sunday.

Each event is unique with its own activities – based around the farm’s own individual story. Activities during the day may include a farm walk, nature trail, tractor and trailer rides, pond dipping, activities for children, a mini farmers market or picnics.

Find a farm to visit near you!

Are you a farmer? Why not get involved and open up your farm, click here to find out how.

Tap the Sky!

National School Grounds Week is Learning Through Landscape’s annual campaign to show just how easy – and worthwhile – it can be to take teaching and learning outdoors.  Research tells us that learning beyond the classroom is often more memorable and helps children make sense of their learning.  In fact, Ofsted said, “When planned and implemented well, learning outside the classroom contributes significantly to raising standards and improving pupils’ personal, social and emotional development.”

This year LTL is teaming up with Waterwise to deliver a week long programme of ideas, inspiration and support for schools and early years settings across the UK to ‘Tap the Sky’. Throughout the week we will be encouraging you to get children outdoors to learn about water, experiment with it and play with it – while also thinking about ways of conserving it. We’ll be providing resources to help children learn about where water comes from, what it is, how it is used and how they can make their schools, homes and communities more water efficient.

Register here

Hundreds of millions of girls and boys throughout the world are engaged in work that deprives them of adequate education, health, leisure and basic freedoms, violating their rights. Of these children, more than half are exposed to the worst forms of child labour such as work in hazardous environments, slavery, or other forms of forced labour, illicit activities such as drug trafficking and prostitution, as well as involvement in armed conflict.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the first World Day Against Child Labour in 2002 as a way to highlight the plight of these children. The day, which is observed on June 12th, is intended to serve as a catalyst for the growing worldwide movement against child labour, reflected in the huge number of ratifications of ILO Convention No. 182 on the worst forms of child labour and ILO Convention No. 138 on the minimum age for employment.

The World Day Against Child Labour provides and opportunity to gain further support of individual governments and that of the ILO social partners, civil society and others, including schools, youth and women’s groups as well as the media, in the campaign against child labour.

National School Sport Week which is delivered in partnership with Youth Sport Trust, will continue to encourage your pupils to take part in more sport, try new Olympic and Paralympic Sports and live the Values of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. In 2011, over 4 million young people took part in Britain’s biggest celebration of school sport.

If you are registered for National School Sport Week, you will receive the free London 2012 World Sport Day resources,  the Flame Followers resource pack , and have the chance to be a part of the action as the Flame travels for 70 days on its historic journey through the UK, before arriving at the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on 27 July.

Register now for National School Sport Week here.

Anne Frank Guide

Make your own project or talk using unique sources

More…

On World Oceans Day people around the planet celebrate and honor the body of water which links us all, for what it provides humans and what it represents. Be a part of this growing global celebration!

The world’s ocean:

  • Generates most of the oxygen we breathe
  • Helps feed us
  • Regulates our climate
  • Cleans the water we drink
  • Offers us a pharmacopoeia of potential medicines
  • Provides limitless inspiration!

Now we can give back.

Take part in World Oceans Day events and activities this year and help protect our ocean for the future!

It’s up to each one of us to help ensure that our ocean is protected and conserved for future generations. World Oceans Day allows us to:

  • Change perspective – encourage individuals to think about what the ocean means to them and what it has to offer all of us with hopes of conserving it for present and the future generations.
  • Learn - discover the wealth of diverse and beautiful ocean creatures and habitats, how our daily actions affect them, and how we are all interconnected.
  • Change our ways – we are all linked to, and through, the ocean! By taking care of your backyard, you are acting as a caretaker of our ocean. Making small modifications to your everyday habits will greatly benefit our blue planet.
  • Celebrate - whether you live inland or on the coast we are all connected to the ocean; take the time to think about how the ocean affects you, and how you affect the ocean, and then organize or participate in activities that celebrate our world ocean.

 

Sign up for free to download the Dr. Seuss manual with age-appropriate activities, promotional materials, and more!


World Environment Day is an annual event that is aimed at being the biggest and most widely celebrated global day for positive environmental action. World Environment Day activities take place all year round but climax on 5 June every year, involving everyone from everywhere.

World Environment Day celebration began in 1972 and has grown to become the one of the main vehicles through which the UN stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and encourages political attention and action.

Through World Environment Day, the UN Environment Programme is able to personalize environmental issues and enable everyone to realize not only their responsibility, but also their power to become agents for change in support of sustainable and equitable development.

World Environment Day is also a day for people from all walks of life to come together to ensure a cleaner, greener and brighter outlook for themselves and future generations.

Everyone counts in this initiative and World Environment Day relies on you to make this happen! We call for action – organize a neighborhood clean-up, stop using plastic bags and get your community to do the same, plant a tree or better yet organize a collective tree planting effort, walk to work, start a recycling drive . . . the possibilities are endless.

 

Queen's Diamond Jubilee logo

The Queen celebrates 60 years as Monarch in 2012.

More info: http://www.thediamondjubilee.org

Pinning The Queen’s History

Historypin, working with Google, wants you to contribute photos, videos and other memories of The Queen over the last 60 years to an online gallery to celebrate Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee

Commonwealth Time Capsule

The Royal Commonwealth Society wants you to contribute your stories to create a ‘people’s history’ of the Commonwealth during the 60 years of The Queen’s reign

The Commonwealth Time capsule website

The Jubilee Woods Project

The Princess Royal is Patron of the Jubilee Woods Project which aims to plant six million trees across the UK in Diamond Jubilee year

The Jubilee Woods Project aims to plant six million trees across the UK © PA

Nominate a website to be preserved forever by the British Library

The British Library is curating a special collection of websites about the Diamond Jubilee for the UK Web Archive.

Timeline

From fulfilling her role as Queen at the age of 25, to raising a family, to world travel on a scale unparalleled by previous Monarchs: learn more about The Queen’s extraordinary life and times on our interactive timeline

Quizzes

From crowns to corgis, Accession to Australia, medals to motorcars: test your knowledge of all things Royal in our series of illustrated quizzes

Pages

May 17 was chosen because the date is the anniversary of the World Health Organization’s May 1990 decision to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders. This victory of the lesbian-gay-bisexual and transgender (LGBT) cause was a historic step towards considering freedom of sexual orientation and gender identity as a fundamental basic human right.

The objective is to provoke action. Actions can take place in a number of different forms: a debate in the classroom, an exhibition in a cafe, a demonstration in the street, a radio program, a screening in a neighbourhood home, a round table organized by a political party, a short story competition sponsored by a newspaper, an awareness campaign led by an association, etc. These initiatives can be backed by LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans) associations, by human rights organizations, but also by women and men of any background and interest. In fact, today many people who are not specifically interested in questions of homosexuality are worried about the problem of homophobia.

Find out more: http://www.dayagainsthomophobia.org

52% of Americans find homosexual relationships “morally acceptable”
(Gallup Survey, May 2010)
5 x Young Dutch LGBT people are up to five times as likely to attempt suicide as their heterosexual peers
Social and Cultural Research Agency (SCP) - www.scp.nl/english/
91% of Dutch people claim to accept homosexuality
- http://www.scp.nl/english/Publicati…
48% of French people are in favor of adoption by same-sex couples
(French Center for Research on Lifestyles – CREDOC, July 2010)
11 countries recognize same sex marriage rights
Wikipedia - wikipedia
45% of Americans favor marriage equality for same-sex couples
(Pew Research Center 2010) - Pink News Same-Sex Marriage USA
76 Countries in 2010 prosecute people on ground of their sexual orientation
ILGA report on State sponsored Homophobia - ILGA website

This Christian Aid Week (13 – 19 May 2012), let’s give the tools to help people in poverty out of poverty.

http://www.caweek.org/resources/young-people.html

Young people

Assemblies, talks and activity sheets to inspire children and young people in churches and schools.

  • All-age talk

    An all-age talk introducing the people of Gbap in Sierra Leone and looking they challenges they face and how they are tackling them.

  • Children’s activity sheet

    The Tools for the job activity sheets are designed for use with children aid 7-11 during Christian Aid week. Intended to complement the All-age talk.

  • Youth group resource

    Having the right tools – a youth group resources aimed at 13-year-olds and above.

  • Primary school assembly

    Small town, big ideas – a Christian Aid Week PowerPoint presentation looking at the vital work our partner does in Sierra Leone and at the people affected. Trouble downloading the PPT file to your PC? Right-click the download button and choose the ‘Save Target As’ option.

  • Primary school assembly

    An assembly presentation to be used with the PowerPoint presentation. Contains a prayer and ideas for further action.

  • Primary school assembly

    A PDF of the primary school PowerPoint presentation.

  • Secondary school assembly

    Council power! a PowerPoint presentation raising awareness of Christian Aid Week and how a Christian Aid partner is helping change people’s lives in Sierra Leone. Trouble downloading the PPT file to your PC? Right-click the download button and choose the ‘Save Target As’ option.

  • School assembly presentation notes

    An assembly presentation to be used with the PowerPoint presentation. Contains a prayer and ideas for further action.

  • Secondary school assembly

    A PDF of the above secondary school PowerPoint presentation.

  • Young people video

    Download our video from the YouSendIt website – this site allows you to download larger files more easily.

  • School poster and lesson plan

    This resource includes a poster and a lesson plan and it has been written to help schools celebrate Christian Aid Week. Aimed at ages 7-14.

  • Activity sheets

    This activity accompanies the Tools and teamwork lesson plan to celebrate Christian Aid Week. Aimed at ages 7-14.

  • Lesson plan presentation

    A PowerPoint presentation to be used with the above resources. Aimed at ages 7-14. Trouble downloading the PPT file to your PC? Right-click the download button and choose the ‘Save Target As’ option.

 

World Fair Trade Day is the first global campaign for The Fair Trade movement connecting producers and customers around the world and is endorsed by WFTO.
 
Events you can organize for WFTDay 2012
Face painting
Let’s colour the celebration with face painting event! This is a fun event. Paint your face with the WFTDay logo, make a photo of your painted face and send the photo together with your organization’s name to the WFTDay 2011 Drop Box. We will upload the photos on our website on the Community section of the WFTDay website!  
Fair Trade Product Fairs
In several parts of the world, public fairs are held where Fair Trade shops display their products. Everybody can participate in products fairs and enjoy the food tasting of delicious and diverse products from small producers around the world.  Help promote Fair Trade products by volunteering and promoting Fair Trade product fairs. 
Fair Trade Fashion Shows  
Let’s promote Fair Trade fashion! Organize your own fashion show and show to your community the latest Fair Trade fashion collection!
World Fair Trade Day Beating of Drums
Drum beating is becoming an event associated with World Fair Trade Day celebration. Let’s keep this tradition. If possible, include beating of drums in your events. It is sure way to catch attention, it is fun and lively!  
Fair Trade Coffee/Tea Breaks
Several Fair Trade shops and organizations have successfully held Fair Trade Coffee Breaks, and each time a new record is set.  Fair Trade Coffee Breaks are very effective ways in promoting the consumption of Fair Trade beverages during coffee break time in offices and various establishments. Help promote Fair Trade coffee and other beverages consumption by participating in Fair Trade Coffee/Tea Breaks.  Visit and inquire your nearest Fair Trade shop about this event. 
  
Fair kids painting competition
Children have wonderful imagination! We can teach children the values of fairness and Fair Trade through painting competition. It is fun for children, as well as, adults! Organize a local Fair Kids Painting competition and teach your kids about Fair Trade!

Fair Trade Cooking Competitions
Cooking competitions using Fair Trade ingredients are a sure hit in many places, especially for people with discriminating taste.  Help promote making the kitchen a Fair Trade place in every home.  This is also a chance to discover delicious Fair Trade menus from all over the world by participating or witnessing this event.

Art show
Explore socially relevant art masterpieces with various social themes like the environment, climate change, poverty, women and many more.  See how artists express relevant issues of today through the arts media.  It’s fascinating and a learning experience for everyone.

Fair Trade Concerts
Celebrate Fair Trade Day with your family and friends in one of our Fair Trade Day concerts organized by our members and supporters. 

Fair Trade Film/Documentary showings 
Several events like this were held in 2009 and 2010.  You can celebrate World Fair Trade Day in your school by showing Fair Trade films/documentaries.  Contact your nearest Fair Trade shop or organization and inquire about film materials for showing.   You can also show films/documentaries with themes like poverty, climate change, environment and food and water crisis.

Fair Trade university lectures
Some student groups in local colleges and universities have organised university lectures and invited Fair Trade experts to talk on topics like trade justice, Fair Trade, climate change, poverty and other issues.  Students are very active promoters of Fair Trade.  You can also organize your own Fair Trade lectures at your school.   
 
More Fair Trade activities you can get involved: 
- Fair Trade Tea Parties
- Fair Trade community picnics
- World Fair Trade public hearings
- Local authorities support for WFTDay
- Fair Trade artist competition

You may have come across a reference in a diary or elsewhere to the fact that 9 May is “Europe Day” and perhaps asked about its significance.

Probably very few people in Europe know that on 9 May 1950 the first move was made towards the creation of what is now known as the European Union.

In Paris that day, against the background of the threat of a Third World War engulfing the whole of Europe, the French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman read to the international press a declaration calling France, Germany and other European countries to pool together their coal and steel production as “the first concrete foundation of a European federation”.

Picture - European flag on background of metal scaffoldingWhat he proposed was the creation of a supranational European Institution, charged with the management of the coal and steel industry, the very sector which was, at that time, the basis of all military power. The countries which he called upon had almost destroyed each other in a dreadful conflict which had left after it a sense of material and moral desolation.

Everything, therefore, began that day. That is why during the Milan Summit of EU leaders in 1985 it was decided to celebrate 9 May as “Europe Day”.

Every country which democratically chooses to accede to the European Union endorses its fundamental values of peace and solidarity.

These values find expression through economic and social development embracing environmental and regional dimensions which are the guarantees of a decent standard of living for all citizens.

While Europe as such has existed for centuries, the elements which united it, in the absence of rules and institutions, have in the past been insufficient to prevent the most appalling tragedies.

The integration of Europe will not come about in one day or even in a few decades. Deficiencies are still numerous and there are evident imperfections. The project which was begun just after the Second World War is still very new. In the past, efforts at European union were based on domination of one group over another. These attempts could not last, because those who had been conquered had only one aspiration: to regain their freedom.

Today’s ambition is completely different: to build a Europe which respects freedom and the identity of all of the people which compose it. Only by uniting its peoples can Europe control the mastery of its destiny and develop a positive role in the world.

The European Union is at the service of its citizens. While keeping their own specific values, customs and language, European citizens should feel at ease in the “European home”.

More info: http://europa.eu/abc/symbols/9-may/euday_en.htm

The 8th of May is World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day. It is on this day because this is the date of birth of the founder of the Red Cross Henry Dunant. He got the first ever Nobel Peace Prize. Red Cross Day was celebrated for the first time in 1948. After several name changes, it became World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day in 1984. The day celebrates the role of members and volunteers of both organizations in saving lives and protecting poor people around the world. This special day encourages people to continue the work of Henry Dunant and help people in need. People can volunteer their time, donate money, organize fundraising events or give blood.

The Red Cross traditionally operates in largely Christian countries, while the Red Crescent serves Muslim populations. There are moves to add a non-religious “Red Diamond” partner. They work very closely to achieve their common aims. Their bonds have become stronger as they try to tackle the world’s humanitarian crises. Together, they have the world’s largest capacity to provide relief in any war zone, disaster area or natural catastrophe. They are among the most famous charities around the world and their two symbols are the most recognized logos anywhere. The two organizations operate in over 170 countries and have nearly 100 million members. An amazing 250 million people a year receive their help.

Read More at http://www.redcross.int/

The story of an idea: a comic by Moebius

 

This animation brings to life the story of the creation of the Red Cross, Red Crescent Movement and its history to date. The comic strip was created by the world renowned artist Jean Giraud, alias Moebius.

Download a copy of the comic.

pdfPDF 2 MB

(via The Tree Council)

Walk in the Woods is the Tree Council’s month-long festival to encourage everyone to enjoy trees and woods in spring. Across the UK, walks, talks and other events take place in town and countryside throughout May – a great month to go down to the woods or to a local park or just enjoy tree-lined streets. Spring flowers, birdsong and fresh green leaves make them particularly inviting.

Walk in the Woods month is a great time to organise an event and get new people interested in trees – especially in their local patch. A particular aim of Walk in the Woods is to attract people who rarely, if ever, visit woods – even those on their doorstep.

Interested in getting involved? All events can be found on our events map. To find out about some of the things that took place in your area last year, you can look at past events. If you’re interested in organising your own event in 2012, read further to get some useful tips on how to organise exciting walks and other activities. Don’t forget to register your event, so that other people can come and join you!

If you want to get as much local involvement as possible, you can download the free 2012 poster as many times as you like (please download the 2012 poster below).  Just fill in the details of when and where your event is taking place, or a contact number for information, and put it up on local notice boards.

Don’t forget to record your bluebell sightings for the The National Trust’s Bluebell Watch Simply tweet the location’s postcode and tag #bluebellwatch.

Download attachments:

Vesak is the holiest day in Buddhism. On this day are celebrated the birth, the Enlightenment, and the death of the Buddha. This day is usually in the middle or last two weeks of May.

Buddhists the world over rejoice and ponder this day, which is itself a symbol of rejoicing and pondering. Celebrations can be large affairs, filled with (vegetarian) food, animals, and festivals, or small remembrances, filled with meditation. Silent marches or meditations in the evening end the daylong celebration.

This holiday goes by other names as well, among them Buddha Purinama, Wesak, and Visakha Puja. The name may be different, but the reason for celebrating is the same.

St. Florian was a patron from Noricum, Rome in three hundred A.D., who was said to be one of the first commanding fire fighters of an actual battalion. As legend states, St.Florian saved an entire village engulfed in flames using just a single bucket of water. Legend also states, because of this act St.Florian is known as the protector of those who have come in danger of fire.

The duties St. Florian performed for his province are the same duties that fire fighters around the world perform everyday-with the same dedication and braveries. On May 4, St. Florian is globally recognized and honored and is also known as the day of St.Florian. Therefore, International Fire Fighters Day was chosen to be honored on May 4 in honor of the saint.

http://www.dontgivefireahome.com

Fire Safety

This section tells you everything you need to know about preventing fires, protecting your home and family, the services that can help you, and what to do if the worst ever happens.

Prevention

It’s easy to prevent fires – if you know what to look for and what to avoid.

Alarms & Extinguishers

Fire safety equipment must be installed, maintained and used properly. Get the essential facts here.

Fire Emergencies

Learn what to do in an emergency – it could save your life.

Book a Home Safety Visit

Have your home checked over by professional Firefighters and get a ten-year smoke alarm fitted free of charge!

Fire & Rescue Services

There’s far more to Scotland’s Fire and Rescue services than tackling blazes. Find out how they can help you stay fire safe here.

Fire Action

Would you know what to do if a fire breaks out? How would you and your family escape?

This section gives essential information on Fire Action, as well as tips on everyday routines that will help keep you safe.

Escape Planning

Make a Fire Action Plan for your home today. Read our notes on escape planning and make your own printable plan with our interactive Fire Action Planner.

Emergency Basics – Know What To Do

Knowing exactly what to do in the event of a fire could save your life. Find out here.

Safety Routines

Simple, every day routines to help keep you and your loved ones safe from fire.

There is an old superstition that rowan trees (also known as mountain ash) offer protection against wishes.

It is considered unlucky to cut down a rowan tree except on St Helen’s Day, cut with a household knife from a tree the cutter had never seen before. It must be taken home by a different route from the one taken to get there!

 

 

 

More info: http://www.rnli.org.uk/

World Asthma Day is an annual event organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) to improve asthma awareness and care around the world. World Asthma Day 2012 will take place on Tuesday, May 1, 2012. The theme of World Asthma Day 2012 will be “You Can Control Your Asthma.

On their website you’ll find a wide variety of information about World Asthma Day, including advice and resources for activity planning, and a listing of World Asthma Day events in your area and around the world.

Read more about World Asthma Day

Latest WAD News

World Asthma Day 2012 materials now available! Click here to access them.

In 1982 the Dance Committee of the International Theatre Institute (ITI) founded International Dance Day to be celebrated every year on the 29th April, anniversary of Jean-Georges Noverre (1727-1810), the creator of modern ballet.

The aim of International Dance Day is to celebrate Dance, to revel in the universality of this art form, to cross all political, cultural and ethnic barriers and bring people together with a common language – Dance.

Every year a message from an outstanding choreographer or dancer is circulated throughout the world. The personality is selected by the founding entity of the International Dance Day – the International Dance Committee of the ITI, which collaborates with World Dance Alliance, a Cooperating Member of the ITI.

Together with the World Dance Alliance, ITI and its Dance Committee celebrate International Dance Day at UNESCO in Paris.

 Message of the 30th anniversary of International Dance Day

Celebrate the never-ending choreography of life

Through time, through the ages, what endures is mostly art. Art seems to be everything humankind leaves to its heirs – whether through buildings or books or paintings or music. Or movement, or dance. In that sense, I think of dance as the most current, the most up-to-date history lesson, as it is in a constant relationship with its most recent past and can only happen in the present.
Dance also, somehow, does not acknowledge borders in the same way as many other arts. Even when certain styles try to limit themselves or work within a frame; the movement of life, its choreography and its need for flux: these take over very quickly, allowing certain styles to mingle with other. Everything engages with everything, naturally, and dance settles only in the space it belongs to — that of the ever-changing present.
I believe that dance may be one of the most honest forms of expression for us to cherish: because when people dance, whether in a ballet performance, a hip-hop battle, an underground contemporary show or just in a discotheque, cutting loose, there are seldom any lies deployed, any masks worn. People reflect each other constantly, but when they dance, perhaps what they reflect most is that moment of honesty.
By moving like other people, by moving with other people and by watching them move, we can best feel their emotions, think their thoughts and connect to their energy. It is, perhaps, then that we can get to know and understand them clearly.
I like to think of a dance performance as a celebration of co-existence, a way to give and make space and time for each other. We tend to forget this, but the underlying beauty in a performance is that it is primarily the convergence of a mass of people, seated one next to the other, all sharing the same moment. There is nothing private about it; a performance is an extremely social experience. All of us assembled for this ritual, which is our bond with the performance, our bond with the same present.
And so, in 2012, I wish everyone lots of dance. Not to forget all their problems of 2011, but on the contrary, to tackle them creatively, to dance around them, to find a way to engage with each other and the world, to engage with life as part of its never-ending choreography. Dance to find honesty and to transmit, to reflect and to celebrate it.”
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui

(via Depression Alliance)

Held every year in April, Depression Awareness Week™ is a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness, vital funds for Depression Alliance and try to end the stigma associated with depression. You can help us by raising awareness, holding a fundraiser, donating or joining Depression Alliance.

Depression Awareness Week 2012

This year’s Depression Awareness Week is 22nd – 28th April 2012. We are currently planning the events for this year, further details will follow shortly. This year we are hoping people will organise lots of local fundraising events in their area to both raise money and awareness of depression, why don’t you put your thinking cap on and organise your own fundraising event.

To raise money you can download a fundraising pack here. Alternatively you can support Depression Awareness Week by donating online at www.justgiving.com/depression/donate.

Remember you can send us photos (digital if possible) and details of your event so that we can feature it on the website or in the newsletter. Email us with details: fundraising@depressionalliance.org.

Share your story

If you would like to tell your story about your experiences and how you have overcome depression, please consider becoming a Depression Alliance Case Study Volunteer. We work with around fifty case study volunteers who share their experiences with local and national press, radio and television in order to raise awareness of depression and reduce the stigma attached to it. Email casestudies@depressionalliance.org.

Every child has the right to education, and these rights start from birth. But every year, over 200 million children under the age of five do not receive these rights, giving them less chance to achieve their potential and end the cycle of poverty.

The Global Campaign for Education is calling on world leaders to keep their promises and ensure early childhood care and education for every child – right from the start.

The Global Campaign for Education is calling on world leaders to keep their promises and ensure early childhood care and education for every child – right from the start. You can do this by submitting your Big Picture here or by signing your name to the campaign. If you are a teacher representing a school, please use the Register School or Organisation form.

More info: http://www.globalactionweek.org

Live Below the Line is a campaign that’s changing the way people think about poverty—and making a huge difference—by challenging everyday people to live on the equivalent of the extreme poverty line for 5 days.

Live Below the Line is an innovative awareness and fundraising campaign that’s making a huge difference in the fight against extreme poverty.

Quite simply, we’re building a movement of passionate people willing and able to make a meaningful difference to those who need it most.

Live Below the Line is challenging individuals and communities to see how much change you can make out of £1. By living off just £1 per day for food for 5 days, you will be bringing to life the direct experiences of the 1.4 billion people currently living in extreme poverty and helping to make real change.

Think about that figure – 1.4 BILLION – that’s over 20 times the population of the UK – living every day in extreme poverty.

Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox.  Maundy Thursday is always the Thursday before the Easter weekend. In 2012 Maundy Thursday is on April 5th and in 2013 it falls on March 28th.

In Greece and Bulgaria, eggs are painted red on Maundy Thursday, the egg being symbolic of birth, rebirth and new beginnings, and the colour red representing the blood of Jesus. According to legend is said that Mary Magdalene, who was the first to see Jesus risen from the dead, went around the world telling of the news. She arrived at the Emperor Tiberius’s palace in Rome, where according to tradition, everyone visiting must present a gift to the Emperor. Mary presented the Emperor with an egg and greeted him with the words “Christ has risen from the dead!” In disbelief, the Emperor said that this was as likely as the white egg in Mary’s hand turning red. No sooner had he spoken the words when the egg started to change colour until it finally turned bright red.

In Sweden, Maundy Thursday is called Skärtorsdagen and is related to old folklore as the day of the witches. Children dress up as witches and knock on doors receiving Easter eggs or money. The tradition predates Christian times coming from a pagan belief relating to the Spring Equinox, that on this day witches flew off on broomsticks to dance with the devil at Blåkulla.

A rather odd Slovakian tradition the Thursday of Easter week was to bring an anthill into the house complete with ants in the belief that it would bring yearlong happiness and an abundance of food. There was one important proviso, however, the anthill must not be carried over water or all efforts would be in vain.

The word “Maundy” comes from the Latin word mandatum, meaning “commandment,” referring to the commands Jesus is said to have given his disciples at the Last Supper – to love one another and remember his sacrifice.

In many Christian churches the “Washing of the Feet” is a traditional part of the celebration, as Jesus is said to have washed the feet of his Apostles at the last supper. Many churches also carry out Maundy Thursday rites that include handing out special coins known as “Maundy money” to the poor and elderly.

 

International Dawn Chorus Day is the worldwide celebration of Nature’s daily Miracle. In 2012, it takes place on 6 May.

This year there will be more opportunities than ever to join in the excitement. In the run up to the event events from all over the world and across the UK will be listed on this website, so visit us regularly to see what’s planned in your area.

If you are planning an event you can now create your own listing for your event, including sounds, pictures and details of your organisation. Just register here to set up an IDCD account. If you would like to organise an event and are not sure where to start take a look here.

If you have any questions or would like to join our email list please contact the IDCD team at idcd@bbcwildlife.org.uk.

I hope you enjoy being part of International Dawn Chorus Day this year!

Neil Wyatt,
Chief Executive, The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country

On December 18, 2007, the United Nations General Assembly declared April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) in perpetuity.

About Autism

Autism affects both children and adults alike. Current research suggests that over 1 in 100 people may be on the autism spectrum, including Aspergers syndrome.

Information on Autism

The following pages explain what autism and Aspergers syndrome is and how the lives of people with the condition and those around them are affected.  Providing useful information, guidance and an overview of the services Autism Initiatives provides throughout the UK.


Further information

What is Autism

What is Asperger syndrome

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Number 6 is a ‘One Stop Shop’ for adults with Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism in Lothians.  This unique service offers a range of information, advice and social activities to enable adults to live as independently and successfully as possible.

www.number6.org.uk

It’s the first day of the fourth month.

Click here to open the springwordsearch.

WWF’s Earth Hour is a simple idea that’s quickly turned into a global phenomenon. Hundreds of millions of people turning off their lights for one hour, on the same night, all across the planet. It’s about appreciating the brilliant world we all share – and how we need to protect it. Not just for an hour a year, but every day.

Earth Hour – Our World Is Brilliant from WWF-UK on Vimeo.

8.30pm 31 March

Get Involved

Whether you want to play scrabble by candlelight, have a dinner party for friends, go for an exhilarating night cycle-ride or go along to one of the Earth Hour events happening across the country, you’ll be an important part of WWF’s global event…

Sign up and switch off

At 8:30 pm on Saturday 31 March 2012 switch off all non-essential lights and be a part of something HUGE. Connect with 1.8billion people around the world. Once signed up you can share your plans for the night on our UK event map.

Spread the word

Why not send our lovely Earth Hour eCards to everyone you know to let them know about this phenomenal event? Get a badge for your twitter profile to show you’ll be taking part and encourage your friends to do the same.

Plan a night to remember

Celebrate our brilliant world, by getting together with friends and family! Get some inspiration from our candle-lit dinner party menus from celebrity chefs and our brilliant dinner party guide download. There’s loads of other things you can do in the dark, just have a look.

See what others are doing

Take a look at what other individuals, businesses and even some of the nation’s best known landmarks are planning for Earth Hour. Rumour has it someone is having an Earth Hour wedding! You can plan something amazing and join our Community Competition to lead the switch off!

Beyond the hour…

WWF’s Earth Hour is not about an hour of darkness. It’s about a brighter future for our planet. And that goes beyond the hour to the way we live our lives – year around. Start to reduce your impact by reducing your energy consumption, recycling, cooking your own food and so much more. Have a look at some practical tips here.

Help save 1 billion trees in the Amazon Rainforest

As well as turning off your lights for an hour to show you care about our brilliant planet, you can support our work to help protect it.

For the second year, money raised through Earth Hour will help to protect the Amazon rainforest with Sky Rainforest Rescue.

Free Music Instrument lessons for the Public

Music for All, the charity of the UK musical instrument industry is proud to announce the first, annual, National Learn to Play Day taking place on March 31st, 2012.

On this day, the UK’s musical instrument shops will open their doors and offer free instrument “taster” lessons to the general public.

There are 15 million people in the UK that either want to play an instrument or used to play one. The Day is designed to welcome people into music shops and to inspire them to get playing. People are often surprised to discover that they ARE musical and simply need a musical “experience” to get them inspired to start playing.

The Day will offer free lessons on a variety of instruments, supported by music teachers and additional guidance on getting started learning to play music. The UK’s instrument manufacturers will also be supporting the event with staff, instruments and special offers!

Participating stores in Edinburgh include Red Dog Music (1 Grassmarket) and Rae Macintosh (6 Queensferry Street).

World TB Day, falling on March 24th each year, is designed to build public awareness that tuberculosis today remains an epidemic in much of the world, causing the deaths of several million people each year, mostly in developing countries.

It commemorates the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch astounded the scientific community by announcing that he had discovered the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus. At the time of Koch’s announcement in Berlin, TB was raging through Europe and the Americas, causing the death of one out of every seven people. Koch’s discovery opened the way towards diagnosing and curing TB.

Tell the world what you want to see in your lifetime

Progress in the global fight against TB cannot wait. For the World TB Day Campaign 2012, you can make an individual call to stop TB in your lifetime.
Do you want to see zero deaths from TB, faster treatment, an effective vaccine?
Visit www.mystoptb.org to make your own poster or upload a video with a personal message.

The World TB Day Campaign 2012 will allow people all over the world to make an individual call to stop TB in their lifetimes.

In their lifetimes, today’s children should expect to see a world where no one gets sick with TB.

In their lifetimes, women and men should expect to see a world where no one dies from TB.

People of different ages and living in different countries could have these hopes for stopping TB in their lifetimes:

  • Zero deaths from TB
  • Faster treatment
  • A quick, cheap, low-tech test
  • An effective vaccine
  • A world free of TB.

International World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

An international day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day.

The theme for 2012 is Water and Food Security.

Download and print out these materials for your World Water Day event or classroom and learn more about this years topic of ‘Water and Food Security’!

wwd12

Water for Food Wallchart – 3 x A3 >>

wwd12

How much water Download Game >>

wwd12

Download Poster
216 x 85 cm >>

wwd12

Download Lists 2 x A4 >>

Racism, xenophobia and intolerance are problems prevalent in all societies. Each and every one of us plays a role in either contributing to or breaking down racial prejudice and intolerant attitudes.

Send a message that racism is unacceptable. Download a postcard and send it to your friends.

Share this page with your social networks and ask what others are doing to fight racism.

Get involved

Facebook and Twitter Icons

Tell us what you are doing to combat racism on the Let’s Fight Racism Facebook page or via Twitter using #FightRacism.

Storify logo

See what actions others are taking on the Let’s Fight Racism Storify page.

Group icon

Take a stand against racism in your community. Join a group advocating for the rights of racial or other minorities in your own community and volunteer to help, including through online volunteering.

Learn more

Stories icon

Seek different perspectives through reading the writings of authors of other races or ethnicity. Read real life stories about overcoming racial discrimination.

Quiz Icon

Take this quiz to test your knowledge on human rights and discrimination and to celebrate the human rights defenders who have fought for the rights of others.

Durban Icon

Check out the UN’s global action plan to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.










Click on a thumbnail above to share an image with your friends. Ask them what they see – is there more than meets the eye?
Take a stand

 

East Lothian

The East Lothian Diversity Network brings together individuals, community organisations and groups that are interested in equality and diversity issues. Everyone is welcome to join and take part in our events!

Key focuses of the Diversity Network

  • Celebration: celebrating East Lothian’s rich diversity
  • Policy: helping to shape our services and practices
  • Information: gathering information about the needs and ambitions of minority groups
  • Campaigns: improving the understanding of equality and diversity amongst the residents of East Lothian

Become a member

You can become a member of the Network. Here are some of the benefits of signing up:

  • you get to take part in a variety of events to celebrate East Lothian’s diversity
  • you will learn more about equality and diversity
  • you can raise issues that are of concern to you
  • you can help to shape public services by sharing your experiences with policymakers

Best of all, it’s free to join! 

Email equalities@eastlothian.gov.uk to register

In December 2011, the General Assembly declared 21 March as World Down Syndrome Day (A/RES/66/149).

Down Syndrome is a type of mental disability caused by extra genetic material in chromosome 21. The cause is not known.

The estimated incidence of Down Syndrome is 1 in 1,000 births worldwide. Each year approximately 3,000 to 5,000 children are born with this chromosome disorder.

The following publications from Down’s Syndrome Scotland, are aimed at new parents and relatives although they will also be of interest to students and professionals.
Information booklet for parents and relatives

When a baby has Down’s syndrome (370kb) – Information booklet for parents and relatives

Information for parents and relatives

Getting to know a baby with Down’s syndrome (147kb) – Information for parents and relatives

Booklet giving more detailed information

What is Down’s syndrome (456kb) – Booklet giving more detailed information

Booklet for parents and relatives includes inspirational stories and photos

A Little Book About Babies (3521kb)- Booklet for parents and relatives includes inspirational stories and photos

Biodiversity, the variety of life on Earth, is crucial to sustaining our lives. It produces air for us to breathe, food to eat, water to drink and even medicines to cure our ills. It also provides value to us through activities such as walking or birdwatching and inspiration for art. We need it for our overall health, wealth and wellbeing.

With these thoughts in mind, the theme for Scottish Biodiversity Week (19-27 March 2012) is “Biodiversity is Life - Biodiversity is Our Life” in order to emphasise the critical links between us and our amazing, complex world.

Scotland’s precious wildlife and landscapes are dear to us and Scottish Biodiversity Week is a great opportunity to get out and about and experience them!

East Lothian’s Biodiversity

East Lothian Council Biodiversity Officer – can give presentations to schools or classes on biodiversity or related topics. The Biodiversity Officer will also help to develop school grounds, particularly through the Grounds for Awareness award. This award is launched annually in September and can offer up to £1000 for a wildlife, gardening or landscaping project within school grounds.  Tel: 01620 827242

East Lothian Countryside Ranger Service – can visit schools or help with longer term studies such as rivers or rock pooling. They can also work closely with related initiatives such as the John Muir Award and Forest Schools.  ranger@eastlothian.gov.uk.
www.www.edubuzz.org/blogs/rangerservice
East Lothian Outdoor Learning Service – often working closely with the Ranger Service. They can provide environmental education, linking this with adventurous activities such as canoeing, gorge walking or coasteering.  0131 653 5217
www.www.edubuzz.org/outdoorlearning

East Lothian Council have produced a teachers guide about wildlife and the natural world. The 16 page download includes classroom projects,useful websites, pictures and ideas. The Guide suggests good locations close to schools and how to prepare for a visit.  Download your Biodiversity Education Guide here

The word Ides comes from the Latin word “Idus” and means “half division” especially in relation to a month. It is a word that was used widely in the Roman calendar indicating the approximate day that was the middle of the month. The term ides was used for the 15th day of the months of March, May, July, and October, and the 13th day of the other months. The Ides of March was a festive day dedicated to the god Mars and a military parade was usually held.

In modern times, the term Ides of March is best known as the date on which Julius Caesar was killed in 44 B.C. Caesar was stabbed (23 times) to death in the Roman Senate by a group of conspirators led by Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus.

According to Plutarch, a seer had foreseen that Caesar would be harmed not later than the Ides of March and on his way to the Theatre of Pompey (where he would be assassinated), Caesar met that seer and joked, “The Ides of March have come”, meaning to say that the prophecy had not been fulfilled, to which the seer replied “Aye, Caesar; but not gone.” This meeting is famously dramatized in William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, when Caesar is warned by the soothsayer to “beware the Ides of March.”

John Rennie and Andrew Meikle are familiar names to people interested in engineering or East Lothian’s industrial heritage.  However, few have heard of James Howden.

James Howden, Marine Engineer and Inventor, was one of Prestonpans most illustrious sons, yet no monument or memorial exists in his home town.

He was born on 29th February(!), 1832 and lived with his parents James and Catherine and his four younger siblings in a property in the town’s High Street.

By 1851, James had moved to Glasgow to begin his apprenticeship and where he was later to perfect the forced-draught system for boilers.

He went on to found Howden – now a worldwide engineering company.

For all things to Science and Engineering, take a look at National Science & Engineering Week website.

 

No Smoking Day takes place on 14 March 2012. On the day more than a million smokers are expected to make a quit attempt.DIY Poster 1

Over the last quarter of a century we’ve grown into the UK’s leading public health event, helping over a million smokers to quit for good.

With No Smoking Day, there’s no pressure. When smokers are ready to stop, we’re here and ready to help, directing people to the support that’s right for them, when and where they want it.

Take the Leap with No Smoking Day

We know that most smokers would really like to stop, but find it hard to. So this year we are encouraging smokers to Take the Leap and give it a go. The theme recognises that giving up is tough, but the positive image and slogan speaks strongly to smokers helping them to aspire to a smokefree future

‘Take the Leap’ and its energetic accompanying image aim to echo the UK’s focus on the Olympics, asking smokers to think about their physical health. The campaign also coincides with a leap year – leap day will be an excellent opportunity to help smokers prepare to Take the Leap two weeks later on 14 March.

The ‘Take the Leap’ theme was developed with smokers themselves and reflects the positive messaging of the charity, we are here for smokers who want to quit and will help them take a leap towards a healthier, wealthier future.

No Smoking Day is part of the British Heart Foundation and offers year round resources to help people who want to quit. These include WeQuit.co.uk our dedicated quitters’ website, our online community forum which is host to 36,000 quitters and a suite of resources and tips and advice for smokers.

For more information about No Smoking Day visit our about section.

East Lothian residents wishing to seek advice can call 0131 537 9914

Pi, Greek letter (π), is the symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Pi Day is celebrated by maths enthusiasts around the world on March 14th. Pi = 3.1415926535…

With the use of computers, Pi has been calculated to over 1 trillion digits past the decimal. Pi is an irrational and transcendental number meaning it will continue infinitely without repeating. The symbol for pi was first used in 1706 by William Jones, but was popular after it was adopted by the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler in 1737.

Learn About Pi

The Number Pi

Outline of a Circle and its Diameter Pi represents the relationship between a circle’s diameter (its width) and its circumference (the distance around the circle).

Equations that use Pi

Area of a Circle

The area of a circle is calculated using Pi and the radius of the circle. This formula inspired the joke “Pies aren’t square, they’re round!”

Volume of a Cylinder

To find the volume of a rectangular prism you calculate length × width × height. In that case, length × width is the area of one side, which is then multiplied by the height of the prism. Similarly, to find the volume of a cylinder, you multiply the area of the base (the area of the circle, which is pi × r²), then multiply that by the height of the cylinder.

Click here to send a Happy Pi Day e-card

Wear your daffodil this March and help us continue caring for people with terminal cancer and other illnesses

Each March, the Great Daffodil Appeal aims to get everyone to wear a daffodil in support of our Marie Curie Nurses and raise money to help us provide more free care to people with terminal cancer and other illnesses.

But for those who have been touched by the work of Marie Curie, wearing the daffodil has a special and personal meaning.

Order a box of daffodils at - https://secure.mariecurie.org.uk/registe…

Spring your school into action to support the Great Daffodil Appeal

Brighten up your school and get pupils, teachers and school staff wearing yellow to raise money for the Great Daffodil Appeal 2012.

The money raised will help our Marie Curie Nurses provide more free care to people with terminal cancer and other illnesses, in their own homes.

Register

How it works

March 2, 2012 is the official Wear Something Yellow to School day, but feel free to choose any day in March that suits your school.

Wear something yellow to school
Wear a yellow hat, tights, wig or pair of shoes – anything goes as long as it’s yellow.

Collect donations
Ask eveyone to donate £2 to dress up in yellow for the day.

Too cool to wear yellow to school?

Don’t worry, there are lots of other fundraising activities to get
everyone involved in supporting the Great Daffodil Appeal 2012.

Register

 

Register today and we’ll send you fundraising pack including
top tips for fundraising, posters, bunting,
a box of daffodils and much more.
Register

Activity sheet

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Activity sheet
Activity sheet
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(PDF format, 536KB)

Quiz

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School quiz
Quiz
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Lesson plans

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Lesson plans
Lesson plans
Category: Documents
(PDF format, 536KB)

Wear Something Yellow to School poster

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Wear Something Yellow to School poster
Wear Something Yellow poster
Category: Documents
(PDF format, 390KB)

Yellow tie

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Yellow tie
Yellow tie
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Bunting

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Bunting
Bunting
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2 Billion People, 54 Countries. One Very Special Celebration. Join us for Commonwealth Day 2012.

Every year on the second Monday in March, 54 countries join together in celebration of the links they share as members of one diverse and dynamic global family – the modern Commonwealth.

In the UK, one way in which this special day is celebrated is with a unique event in London’s Westminster Abbey. The UK’s largest multi-faith celebration, the Commonwealth Day Observance is attended by Her Majesty The Queen, the Prime Minister, High Commissioners, up to 200 other VIPs and more than 1,000 schoolchildren.

The Commonwealth Day Observance takes a different theme each year. And in 2012 we will be ‘Connecting Cultures.’ Through a thrilling mix of world music, dance and personal testimonies, the event will explore the golden threads that tie together people from every continent, faith and ethnicity.

2012 will be a special year for the Observance as it will also be kicking off the Commonwealth’s celebrations for Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee – marking both 60 years as the UK Monarch and 60 years as Head of the Commonwealth.

If you’re from a school, have a look at the schools page here for suggestions on how to get involved and incorporate Commonwealth Day in your class room.

Visit www.commonwealththeme.org for more information on Commonwealth Day, and how you can get involved in celebrating the 2012 theme, Connecting Cultures.

There have been over 4,000 visitors to Observe since it started in November.  Visitors have come from:

United Kingdom, United States, India, Canada, Australia, Netherlands, France, Pakistan, Ireland, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Germany, New Zealand, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Russian Federation, Singapore, Croatia, Nigeria, Thailand, Mexico, Poland, Bangladesh, Qatar, Turkey, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Denmark, Greece, Indonesia, Japan, Puerto Rico, Philippines, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Romania, Trinidad and Tobago, Mauritius, Nepal, Islamic Republic of Iran, Israel, Switzerland, Egypt, Sweden, Bahrain, Kuwait, Colombia, Czech Republic, Jamaica, Norway, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Kenya, Botswana, Cyprus, Macedonia, Oman, Finland, Jersey, Malta, Estonia, Bahamas, Venezuela, Burma, Jordan, Namibia, Vietnam, Uganda, Ecuador, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Togo, Slovakia, Austria, Albania, Cote D’Ivoire, Azerbaijan, Argentina, Chile, Cayman Islands, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Guatemala, Fiji, Ghana, Hungary, Suriname, Reunion, Zimbabwe, Lithuania, Maldives, Guernsey, Seychelles, Brunei Darussalam, Belarus, Costa Rica, Republic of Korea, Yemen, China, Armenia, Gibraltar, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Macau, Syrian Arab Republic, Saint Lucia, Cambodia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Guyana, Ethiopia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Montenegro, Kazakstan & Cameroon.

Wherever you hail from, thank you for visiting, please leave a comment and…

…afio mai, susu mai ma maliu mai, akwaba, ani kié, bel bonjou, bem-vindo, benvenguts, bienvéni, bon bini, boyeyi bolamu, croeso, dalal ak diam, degemer mad, dobro došli, e komo mai, eguahé porá, fáilte, gabitê, haere mai, härzliche wöikomme, hosgeldiniz, hush kelibsiz, i bisimila, karibu, laipni lūdzam, malo e lelei, marsha vog’iyla, merħba, miawezon, mikouabô, mirë se vini, mishto-avilian tú, murakaza neza, ne y waoongo, nodé, ongi etorri, rahim itegez, selamat datang, soo dhawaw, sveiki atvykę, tere, tulemast, tonga soa, üdvözlet, ulihelisdi, vælkomin, vítejte, welcome, zupinje z te videtite, Καλός ήλθατε, добре дошъл, Тавтай морилогтун, Шчыра запрашаем, أهلا وسهلا, مرحبا !

 

Climate Week is a supercharged national campaign to inspire a new wave of action on climate change. It culminates with thousands of events and activities taking place throughout the week of 12 to 18 March 2012, planned by organisations from every part of society. Showcasing real, practical ways to combat climate change, the campaign aims to renew our ambition to create a more sustainable, low-carbon future.

The window of opportunity for action on climate change is rapidly closing. The UK is far from where it needs to be, but in every sector solutions are being pioneered, adopted and refined. The campaign aims to accelerate and enhance this process by inspiring more action through real examples – both the small improvements and the big innovations.

Climate Week is backed by every part of society – from the Prime Minister to Paul McCartney, the NHS to the Met Office, the TUC to the CBI, Girlguiding UK to the National Association of Head Teachers. It is supported by a Headline Partner Tesco, and four Supporting Partners: EDF Energy, H&M, Nissan and SodaStream. During the first Climate Week in 2011 over 3,000 events were attended by half a million people across the UK.

Climate Week’s Headline Partner is Tesco, which aims to become a zero-carbon business by 2050 – without purchasing offsets. In addition it has committed to work with its suppliers to reduce emissions from products in its supply chain by 30% by 2020, and to find ways to help its customers halve their own carbon footprints by 2020. Climate Week’s Supporting Partners are EDF Energy, H&M, Nissan and SodaStream. EDF Energy is Britain’s largest producer of low-carbon electricity, H&M is for a more sustainable fashion future, the 100% electric Nissan LEAF is driving change for a sustainable future, and SodaStream is the smarter way to enjoy sparkling drinks.

You can register now for the Climate Week Challenge, judged by celebrities including Kate Humble, Bruce Parry, and Liz Bonnin. The Climate Week Challenge in 2011 was Britain’s biggest ever environmental competition, with over 145,000 people participating in the one day and one-hour versions. This year teams from schools, workplaces, and community groups will again be challenged to come up with creative solutions to a problem that is only revealed on the Monday morning Climate Week.

The prestigious Climate Week Awards recognise the most inspirational and impressive actions taking place in every sector of society. The judging panel contains figures such as the human rights activist, Bianca Jagger, the former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, and the Bishop of London. Winners from 2011 included a community-run hydroelectric project in Settle, North Yorkshire, a virtually waterless new washing machine that uses polymer beads to clean clothes, and a schools project in the North East of England that has resulted in over 18,000 hours of pupil-led activities.

Climate Week Cuisine is a new part of the campaign for 2012, encouraging people to make the food that they eat a part of the solution to climate change. They can do this by joining in the call to action of eating a low carbon meal during Climate Week. This can be done easily by eating less meat or dairy, eating local, seasonal ingredients, or eating leftovers. Inspiration and ideas are being provided by a number of celebrity chefs including Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Angela Hartnett, and Levi Roots.

There are a number of other elements to the campaign. The Climate Week Pub Quiz will be run in hundreds of pubs and workplaces. The Climate Week Play in a Day at the Arcola Theatre in London features award-winning writers and celebrity performers putting together five 15 minute plays in just 24 hours.

There were over 1,000 pieces of media coverage about the last Climate Week, with national articles ranging from the business pages of The Telegraph to the fashion pages of the Daily Mail. Television coverage included a feature on BBC Breakfast, an entire episode of children’s show Blue Peter, and comedian Marcus Brigstocke discussing the campaign on the One Show.

Organisations can get involved right now by starting to plan an event for Climate Week. This provides a unique opportunity to profile their own initiatives and innovations to stakeholders and staff, customers and the community, members and the media. They can also spread the word in advance, so that others find out about Climate Week in time to plan their own activities.

Individuals can help right now by asking the organisations they know – such as their workplace or local school – to plan an event or activity for Climate Week. They can also register to take part in the Climate Week Cuisine call to action and plan to eat a low carbon meal during Climate Week.

To find out more about Climate Week, or to register your event, go to www.climateweek.com, email info@climateweek.com or telephone on 020 3397 2601.

For specific reources for school teachers, please visit our Teacher Resources section of the website.

The Big Draw

Every October, the Campaign’s flagship programme brings communities together in creative ways. Launched as a one-day celebration in 2000, The Big Draw is now an annual month-long festival of over one thousand events across the UK. National and regional museums, galleries and heritage sites, local libraries, schools and community centres participate.

The Big Draw is an open invitation to people of all ages to discover how drawing can connect them with their surroundings and the wider community, and offer enjoyment. Over 20 countries join the UK annually in organising events.

The Big Draw 2012

To organise an event you need to register. We believe that there should be as few barriers as possible preventing people from organising or taking part in communal art or drawing activities. We therefore make registration free to everybody.

The Big Draw is coordinated by a small arts education charity and receives no statutory funding. We therefore ask for a donation, however small, in lieu of a registration fee. We recommend £25 per event organiser, which covers the administration costs of running Big Draw.

Every year we issue a theme to help you plan your Big Draw and perhaps go on to win one of our Drawing Inspiration Awards.

To make sure your event goes smoothly, we offer

Once registered you will receive regular Big Draw newsletters.

We also have a help page, with information about the registration process, how your details are stored and what to do if you need to change your registration details.

Key Dates

16 Dec Drawing Inspiration Award submission deadline
April 2012 Drawing Inspiration Award Ceremony
1 Oct 2012 Big Draw starts
6 Oct 2012 Big Draw day
31 Oct 2012 Big Draw ends

Holi is known as the Hindu festival of colours.  It is a joyful celebration filled with fun and good humour.

People celebrate the festival by throwing handfuls of paint and coloured powder at each other – even complete strangers!

 

(read about its origins here)

EMPOWER RURAL WOMEN –

END HUNGER AND POVERTY.

“Invest in rural women. Eliminate discrimination against them in law and in practice. Ensure that policies respond to their needs. Give them equal access to resources. Provide rural women with a role in decision-making.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

woman carrying corn

International Women’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world on 8th March each year. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political. It is an occasion for looking back on past struggles and accomplishments, and more importantly, for looking ahead to the untapped potential and opportunities that await future generations of women.

Recognizing the critical role and contribution of rural women, the theme of International Women’s Day 2012 is Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty.

Key contributors to global economies, rural women play a critical role in both developed and developing nations — they enhance agricultural and rural development, improve food security and can help reduce poverty levels in their communities. In some parts of the world, women represent 70 percent of the agricultural workforce, comprising 43 percent of agricultural workers worldwide.

Estimates reveal that if women had the same access to productive resources as men, they could increase yields on their farms by 20–30 percent, lifting 100-150 million out of hunger.

Healthcare, education, gender inequality and limited access to credit, however, have posed a number of challenges for rural women. Further, the global food and economic crisis and climate change have aggravated the situation. It is estimated that 60 percent of chronically hungry people are women and girls. Yet, the Food and Agriculture Organization estimates reveal that productivity gains from ensuring equal access to fertilizers, seeds and tools for women could reduce the number of hungry people by between 100 million and 150 million.

World Maths Day on 7 March is Day 2 of the World Education Games  – an exciting event for ALL schools and students around the world running from 6-8 March, involving 5.5million students from over 200 countries and territories.

Practice opens on 1 February. This is the global challenge to get ALL students (4-18 years of age) excited about learning, and to give the top students in each school an opportunity to see how they measure up against the best.

The format is:

1 February – The Games open for Practice

6 March – World Spelling Day

7 March – World Maths Day

8 March – World Science Day

23 March – Award Presentations at School Assemblies

Click on the pictures to download these handy resources.

Student Guide
Teacher Guide School Action Pack School in a Box FAQs Technical Guide
World Map World Spelling Day Poster World Maths Day Poster World Science Day Poster World Education Games Poster

World Spelling Day on 6 March is Day 1 of the World Education Games  – an exciting event for ALL schools and students around the world running from 6-8 March, involving 5.5million students from over 200 countries and territories.

Practice opens on 1 February. This is the global challenge to get ALL students (4-18 years of age) excited about learning, and to give the top students in each school an opportunity to see how they measure up against the best.

The format is:

1 February – The Games open for Practice

6 March – World Spelling Day

7 March – World Maths Day

8 March – World Science Day

23 March – Award Presentations at School Assemblies

Click on the pictures to download these handy resources.

Student Guide
Teacher Guide School Action Pack School in a Box FAQs Technical Guide
World Map World Spelling Day Poster World Maths Day Poster World Science Day Poster World Education Games Poster

The theme of this year’s National Science & Engineering Week is “our world in motion” and it runs from 9 – 18 March 2012

National Science & Engineering Week shines the spotlight each March on how the sciences and engineering relate to our everyday lives and helps to inspire the next generation of scientists with fun and participative activities.

With over 4,500 events and activities attended by 1.7 million people in 2011, this is the UK’s widest grassroots celebration of all things science and engineering.   Each year, the British Science Association produces a series of new free resources and activities for event organisers and schools to help them run a science, engineering or technology event..

Dunbar Science Festival

Following last year’s successful inaugural event, Dunbar’s second Science Festival will be held on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th March. The venue will be packed with a diverse mix of exciting science activities – shows, drop-in sessions, workshops, storytelling and talks. See dunbarscifest.org.uk website nearer the time for more info.

Edinburgh International Science Festival runs from 30 March – 15 April 2012

East Lothian’s forgotten engineer:

James Howden, Marine Engineer and Inventor, was one of Prestonpans most illustrious sons, yet no monument or memorial exists in his home town.

He was born on 29th February(!), 1832 and lived with his parents James and Catherine and his four younger siblings in a property in the town’s High Street.

By 1851, James had moved to Glasgow to begin his apprenticeship and where he was later to perfect the forced-draught system for boilers.

He went on to found Howden – now a worldwide engineering organisation.

  • White Star Line was the company that built RMS Titanic. RMS stands for Royal Mail Steamer.
  • In 1912, skilled shipyard workers who built Titanic earned £2 per week. Unskilled workers earned £1 or less per week.
  • The Titanic was launched on 31st May 1911. It took 62 seconds to complete the launch.
  • The cost to build Titanic in 1912 was $7.5million. The cost today is $400million.
  • Titanic was 882ft 9in in length, 92 ft in width, 175 ft in height and it weighed 46,328 tonnes.
  • Approximately 3 million rivets were used to build Titanic.

 

  • Titanic left Belfast on 2nd April 1912.
  • Titanic departed Southampton on 10th April 1912.
  • Titanic hit the Iceberg on Sunday 14th April 1912 approx 11.40pm.
  • The Titanic sank at 2.20am on Monday 15th April – 2hr 40mins after hitting the iceberg.
  • There were 2,223 people on board. 1232were passengers and 991 were crew members.
  • Dr Robert Ballard of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute found the wreck in September 1985.
  • The Titanic lies approx. 12,460ft at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean (approx 2.5 miles).

Registration for Keep Scotland Beautiful’s 2012 National Spring Clean has now opened!

In 2011, 100,000 Scots joined the campaign to make Scotland cleaner and greener. We now need your help to meet our ambitious target of 200,000 volunteers in 2012. Please sign up now – and together we can make a difference.

If you want a fun day out, between 1 April – 31 May with family, friends, work colleagues or school mates, you’re only a step away – click on the “Register” button to get started or, if you have taken part before, login to your National Spring Clean account and start planning your event now!

Through National Spring Clean, Keep Scotland Beautifulencourages people to get together and help pick up litter from their neighbourhood each spring: a time of year when Scots traditionally give their homes a clean sweep and starting spending more time outdoors again after a long winter.National Spring Clean was re-launched as a month-long campaign in April 2007 after a six year break and has grown from year to year. Now, due to popular demand, the participation dates have been to include litter picks taking place over a two month period: 1st April – 31st May 2012, to make it more accessible to a wider number of participants.

Many groups take part in voluntary clean ups or litter picks throughout the year but National Spring Clean enables them to unite in a common cause and make a concerted effort to clean up the whole of Scotland as part of a bigger, coordinated campaign. To help groups get started KSB provides group organisers with a free Clean Up Kit to help them get started and they can request additional assistance from their local council.

Since 2007, thousands of public gardens, school grounds, woodlands, nature reserves, river banks, loch-sides, beaches, coastal paths, country parks, villages, city centres and road verges, have all benefited from a real spring clean – just in time for the summer.

Timeline

National Spring Clean 2007

  • In 2007 more than 11,500 volunteers took part in 273 clean up events as part of National Spring Clean during the month of April.
  • The average quantity of litter collected per person was one and a half black bags each – that is enough, if tipped out, to cover the grass of Hamden Stadium with at least half a metre of litter.

National Spring Clean 2008

  • In 2008 more than 366 clean up events were registered with Keep Scotland Beautiful, with 20,503 volunteers taking part during the month of April.
  • Enough black sacks of litter to line the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, from the castle esplanade to the Scottish Parliament, 12 times over, were collected as part of National Spring Clean 2008 across Scotland.

National Spring Clean 2009

  • In 2009 more than 57,639 volunteers took part in 1,082 clean up events as part of National Spring Clean during the month of April.
  • The average quantity of litter collected per person across Scotland was one and a half black bags – that is enough to fill 28,819 standard wheelie bins.

National Spring Clean 2010

  • In 2010, 83,668 volunteers took action to spring clean their neighbourhoods, at 1,406 clean up events. That is more than seven times as many participants as in 2007: 1.6% of the Scottish population.
  • Between them, they collected enough litter to line full bin bags end to end from Edinburgh to Ayr – or to fill 42,000 standard domestic wheelie bins.

National Spring Clean 2011

  • Almost 100,000 volunteers came out to participate in 1,538 clean up events across Scotland.
  • Between them, they cleared enough litter to fill almost 150,000 street litter bins.

 

Bike Week (16-24 June 2012) is an annual opportunity to promote cycling, and show how cycling can easily be part of everyday life by encouraging ‘everyday cycling for everyone’. Demonstrating the social, health and environmental benefits of cycling, the week aims to get people to give cycling a go all over the UK, whether this be for fun, as a means of getting around to the local shops, school, the library or just to visit friends.

As the biggest nationwide cycling event in the UK, Bike Week encourage over half a million people to join in events, rethink their everyday journeys and switch to cycling as the most convenient way to get around.

Event Organisers
Become an organiser and take advantage of free support and advice to help you make your event a success, and be part of a nationwide event. Registration for Bike Week 2012 is now open. Register here.

Penny Snowden - On Your Bike

Bath Cycle Skills Challenge

The World Education Games is the exciting event for ALL schools and students around the world. It runs from 6-8 March, involving 5.5million students from over 200 countries and territories.

Practice opens on 1 February. This is the global challenge to get ALL students (4-18 years of age) excited about learning, and to give the top students in each school an opportunity to see how they measure up against the best.

The format is:

1 February – The Games open for Practice

6 March – World Spelling Day

7 March – World Maths Day

8 March – World Science Day

23 March – Award Presentations at School Assemblies

Click on the pictures to download these handy resources.

Student Guide
Teacher Guide School Action Pack School in a Box FAQs Technical Guide
World Map World Spelling Day Poster World Maths Day Poster World Science Day Poster World Education Games Poster

The World Education Games is the exciting event for ALL schools and students around the world. It runs from 6-8 March, involving 5.5million students from over 200 countries and territories.

Practice opens on 1 February. This is the global challenge to get ALL students (4-18 years of age) excited about learning, and to give the top students in each school an opportunity to see how they measure up against the best.

The format is:

1 February – The Games open for Practice

6 March – World Spelling Day

7 March – World Maths Day

8 March – World Science Day

23 March – Award Presentations at School Assemblies

Click on the pictures to download these handy resources.

Student Guide
Teacher Guide School Action Pack School in a Box FAQs Technical Guide
World Map World Spelling Day Poster World Maths Day Poster World Science Day Poster World Education Games Poster

World Book Day was designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and is marked in over 100 countries around the globe.

To mark the day, school children are entitled to receive a World Book Day £1 Book
Token which can be exchanged for one of eight specially published World Book Day £1 Books, or is redeemable against any book or audio book of their choice costing £2.99 or more at a participating bookshop or book club. The World Book Day £1 Book Token will be valid from 27th February to 25th March 2012.
The full list of World Book Day £1 books for 2012 is:

* The What the Ladybird Heard Song, Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks (Macmillan)
* Winnie Flies Again, Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul (Oxford University Press)
* Where’s Wally Now?, Martin Handford (Walker Books)
* Magic Molly: The Clever Little Kitten, Holly Webb (Scholastic)
* Roald Dahl’s Fantabulous Facts, Roald Dahl (Puffin)
* How to Train Your Dragon: The Day of the Dreader, Cressida Cowell (Hodder Children’s Books)
* Big Day Out, Jacqueline Wilson, Illustrated by Nick Sharratt (Random House)
* Skulduggery Pleasant: The End of the World, Derek Landy (HarperCollins)

The World Book Day site has lots of Cool Stuff & Games featuring some favourite characters and competitions too.

 

A baby was born today,Wednesday, February 29.

How old will this baby be the next time his birthday falls on a Wednesday?

In March more than 250,000 children will make over a million active and sustainable journeys to school as part of the UK’s biggest school cycling event.

Map of The Big Pedal 2012 route.
  • Pupils, teachers and parents cycle or scoot to school to complete each of the 15 Big Pedal stages, (a bit like the Tour de France)
  • The more people that cycle or scoot to school, the faster your school completes each stage
  • The Big Pedal winner is the school that completes the whole race in the quickest overall time

For more info take a look at http://thebigpedal.org.uk

UN Family Photo

The Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) supports the worldwide observance of the International Day of Families (15 May) by preparing background information on the family for use by Governments, the UN system, including the regional commissions, and UN Information Centres and NGOs. An annual message of the Secretary-General is prepared for wide distribution.


2012: ” Ensuring work family balance”

May is Walking Month!

14-18 May is Walk to Work Week

21-25 May is Walk to School Week.

East Lothian Walks

East Lothian offers a great variety of landscapes for walking, with the Lammermuir Hills to the south, a coast of beaches and cliffs and an expanse of arable farmland in between. Many of the paths go to, or pass vantage points offering views of the surrounding rolling landscape. Amongst the features are many hidden gems – river valleys, woodland, secret bays and historic sites. It is now possible to walk the length of the East Lothian coast, The John Muir Way is almost 73km from Edinburgh to the Borders, leaflets are avaiable below with the route broken down into shorter sections, with opportunities to link into other paths and circular walks along the coast.

A number of walks leaflets have been produced by East Lothian Council and other community groups, highlighting walks along the coast and around towns and villages.  Download them below:

Walks Around

The John Muir Way

Scotways

Further information about these walks can be found on East Lothian Council’s web site, under Countryside, or by phoning East Lothian Council’s Access Officers on 01620 827671 or 827419.

http://www.british-voice-association.com/events_world-voice-day-2012.htm

Every year, World Health Day is celebrated on 7 April to mark the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948. Each year a theme is selected for World Health Day that highlights a priority area of concern for WHO.

The theme for 2012 is Ageing and health. Using the slogan “Good health adds life to years“, campaign activities and materials will focus on how good health throughout life can help older men and women lead full and productive lives and be a resource for their families and communities.

Over the past century life expectancy has increased dramatically and the world will soon have more older people than children.

Populations are ageing everywhere, but less-developed countries are witnessing the fastest change. This social transformation represents both challenges and opportunities. In particular, countries may only have a single generation to prepare their health and social systems for an ageing world.

Key facts

  • The number of people today aged 60 and over has doubled since 1980.
  • The number of people aged 80 years will almost quadruple to 395 million between now and 2050.
  • Within the next five years, the number of adults aged 65 and over will outnumber children under the age of 5.
  • By 2050, these older adults will outnumber all children under the age of 14.
  • The majority of older people live in low- or middle-income countries. By, 2050, this number will have increased to 80%.

In the 21st century, health is determined by and contributes to broad social trends. Economies are globalizing, more and more people live and work in cities, family patterns are changing and technology is evolving rapidly. One of the biggest social transformations is population ageing. Soon, the world will have more older people than children and more people of very old age than ever before.

1. The world will have more people who live to see their 80s or 90s than ever before

The number of people aged 80 years or older, for example, will have almost quadrupled to 395 million between 2000 and 2050. There is no historical precedent for a majority of middle-aged and older adults having living parents, as is already the case today. More children will know their grandparents and even their great-grandparents, especially their great-grandmothers. On average, women live six to eight years longer than men.

2. The past century has seen remarkable improvements in life expectancy

In 1910, the life expectancy for a Chilean female was 33 years; today, a mere century later, it is 82 years. This represents a remarkable gain of almost 50 years of life in one century, and is largely due to improvements in public health.

3. Soon, the world will have more older people than children

Within the next five years, for the first time in human history, the number of adults aged 65 and over will outnumber children under the age of 5. By 2050, these older adults will outnumber children under the age of 14.

4. The world population is rapidly ageing

Between 2000 and 2050, the proportion of the world’s population over 60 years will double from about 11% to 22%. The absolute number of people aged 60 years and over is expected to increase from 605 million to 2 billion over the same period.

5. Low- and middle-income countries will experience the most rapid and dramatic demographic change

For example, it took more than 100 years for the share of France’s population aged 65 or older to double from 7 to 14%. In contrast, it will take countries like Brazil and China less than 25 years to reach the same growth.

Main Banner

The Facts…

There are over 50,000 people in the UK whose kidneys have failed.

These people will die without dialysis or transplantation.

7,000 of them are on the transplant list but there is a huge shortage of donor organs.

At least 1 of them will die every day.

World Kidney Day UK

Kidneys For Life

Over 3 million people in the UK are at risk of kidney disease

People with diabetes, high blood pressure, a family history of kidney problems or from a black or Asian background are particularly at risk.

Kidney Disease is common, harmful and can be treatable

What can I do to help myself?

  • See your doctor for some simple checks
  • Stop smoking, exercise regularly, eat a well balanced diet
  • Take a look at our Healthy Kidneys Page

What can I do to help others?

Give the gift of life by putting your name on the Organ Donation Register

To learn about celebrations around the world and to download more resources, visit the International WKD site:  www.worldkidneyday.org

World TB Day, falling on March 24th each year, is designed to build public awareness that tuberculosis today remains an epidemic in much of the world, causing the deaths of several million people each year, mostly in developing countries.

It commemorates the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch astounded the scientific community by announcing that he had discovered the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus. At the time of Koch’s announcement in Berlin, TB was raging through Europe and the Americas, causing the death of one out of every seven people. Koch’s discovery opened the way towards diagnosing and curing TB.

Tell the world what you want to see in your lifetime

Progress in the global fight against TB cannot wait. For the World TB Day Campaign 2012, you can make an individual call to stop TB in your lifetime.
Do you want to see zero deaths from TB, faster treatment, an effective vaccine?
Visit www.mystoptb.org to make your own poster or upload a video with a personal message.

The World TB Day Campaign 2012 will allow people all over the world to make an individual call to stop TB in their lifetimes.

In their lifetimes, today’s children should expect to see a world where no one gets sick with TB.

In their lifetimes, women and men should expect to see a world where no one dies from TB.

People of different ages and living in different countries could have these hopes for stopping TB in their lifetimes:

  • Zero deaths from TB
  • Faster treatment
  • A quick, cheap, low-tech test
  • An effective vaccine
  • A world free of TB.

Each year, on 23 March, the World Meteorological Organization, its 189 Members and the worldwide meteorological community celebrate World Meteorological Day around a chosen theme. This day commemorates the entry into force, on that date in 1950, of the WMO Convention creating the Organization. Subsequently, in 1951, WMO was designated a specialized agency of the United Nations System.

This year, the theme is “Powering our future with weather, climate and water”.

Take a Step in 2012

In 2012, the Fairtrade Foundation is asking everyone to take a step for Fairtrade. Hot foot it over to www.fairtrade.org.uk/step for more about the exciting new campaign and get planning your events for Fairtrade Fortnight and beyond…

Fairtrade in East Lothian

East Lothian is a Fairtrade County.

There are two Fairtrade Towns in East Lothian, North Berwick and PrestonpansLongniddry achieved Fairtrade Village status a number of years ago.

If you would like to find out where to buy different fairtrade products in East Lothian, take a look at the East Lothian Fairtrade Directory.

To find out more about grant funding for Fairtrade events or activities, please visit our East Lothian Fairtrade Grant Scheme.


Related Links

Fairtrade Foundation – www.fairtrade.org.uk

Scottish Fairtrade Forum – www.scottishfairtradeforum.org.uk

Traidcraft – www.traidcraft.co.uk

Facebook – www.facebook.com/FairtradeEastLothian

What is Fairtrade?

Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. more

World Science Day on 8 March is Day 3 of the World Education Games  – an exciting event for ALL schools and students around the world running from 6-8 March, involving 5.5million students from over 200 countries and territories.

Practice opens on 1 February. This is the global challenge to get ALL students (4-18 years of age) excited about learning, and to give the top students in each school an opportunity to see how they measure up against the best.

The format is:

1 February – The Games open for Practice

6 March – World Spelling Day

7 March – World Maths Day

8 March – World Science Day

23 March – Award Presentations at School Assemblies

Click on the pictures to download these handy resources.

Student Guide
Teacher Guide School Action Pack School in a Box FAQs Technical Guide
World Map World Spelling Day Poster World Maths Day Poster World Science Day Poster World Education Games Poster

World Maths Day on 7 March is Day 2 of the World Education Games  – an exciting event for ALL schools and students around the world running from 6-8 March, involving 5.5million students from over 200 countries and territories.

Practice opens on 1 February. This is the global challenge to get ALL students (4-18 years of age) excited about learning, and to give the top students in each school an opportunity to see how they measure up against the best.

The format is:

1 February – The Games open for Practice

6 March – World Spelling Day

7 March – World Maths Day

8 March – World Science Day

23 March – Award Presentations at School Assemblies

Click on the pictures to download these handy resources.

Student Guide
Teacher Guide School Action Pack School in a Box FAQs Technical Guide
World Map World Spelling Day Poster World Maths Day Poster World Science Day Poster World Education Games Poster

World Spelling Day on 6 March is Day6 1 of the World Education Games  – an exciting event for ALL schools and students around the world running from 6-8 March, involving 5.5million students from over 200 countries and territories.

Practice opens on 1 February. This is the global challenge to get ALL students (4-18 years of age) excited about learning, and to give the top students in each school an opportunity to see how they measure up against the best.

The format is:

1 February – The Games open for Practice

6 March – World Spelling Day

7 March – World Maths Day

8 March – World Science Day

23 March – Award Presentations at School Assemblies

Click on the pictures to download these handy resources.

Student Guide
Teacher Guide School Action Pack School in a Box FAQs Technical Guide
World Map World Spelling Day Poster World Maths Day Poster World Science Day Poster World Education Games Poster

Wear your daffodil this March and help us continue caring for people with terminal cancer and other illnesses

Each March, the Great Daffodil Appeal aims to get everyone to wear a daffodil in support of our Marie Curie Nurses and raise money to help us provide more free care to people with terminal cancer and other illnesses.

But for those who have been touched by the work of Marie Curie, wearing the daffodil has a special and personal meaning.

Order a box of daffodils at – https://secure.mariecurie.org.uk/register/great-daffodil-appeal-box.aspx

Spring your school into action to support the Great Daffodil Appeal

Friday March 2, 2012

Brighten up your school and get pupils, teachers and school staff wearing yellow to raise money for the Great Daffodil Appeal 2012.

The money raised will help our Marie Curie Nurses provide more free care to people with terminal cancer and other illnesses, in their own homes.

Register

How it works

Save the date
Promote Wear Something Yellow around your school and encourage everyone to wear something yellow on Friday March 2, 2012.

Ask form tutors to mention it in class. Put posters up in common areas.

March 2, 2012 is the official Wear Something Yellow to School day, but feel free to choose any day in March that suits your school.

Wear something yellow to school
Wear a yellow hat, tights, wig or pair of shoes – anything goes as long as it’s yellow.

Collect donations
Ask eveyone to donate £2 to dress up in yellow for the day.

Too cool to wear yellow to school?

Don’t worry, there are lots of other fundraising activities to get
everyone involved in supporting the Great Daffodil Appeal 2012.

Register

 

Register today and we’ll send you fundraising pack including
top tips for fundraising, posters, bunting,
a box of daffodils and much more.
Register

Activity sheet

Download file

Activity sheet
Activity sheet
Category: Documents
(PDF format, 536KB)

Quiz

Download file

School quiz
Quiz
Category: Documents
(PDF format, 296KB)

Lesson plans

Download file

Lesson plans
Lesson plans
Category: Documents
(PDF format, 536KB)

Wear Something Yellow to School poster

Download file

Wear Something Yellow to School poster
Wear Something Yellow poster
Category: Documents
(PDF format, 390KB)

Yellow tie

Download file

Yellow tie
Yellow tie
Category: Documents
(PDF format, 182KB)

Bunting

Download file

Bunting
Bunting
Category: Documents
(PDF format, 177KB)

Every child has the right to education, and these rights start from birth. But every year, over 200 million children under the age of five do not receive these rights, giving them less chance to achieve their potential and end the cycle of poverty.

The Global Campaign for Education is calling on world leaders to keep their promises and ensure early childhood care and education for every child – right from the start.

 

http://www.globalactionweek.org/en/

World Malaria Day on 25 April 2012, is a time for examining the progress we have made towards malaria control and elimination and to renew efforts towards achieving the target of zero malaria deaths by 2015.

We have come a long way towards realising this goal since the first World Malaria Day four years ago, when it was estimated that a child died every 30 seconds of malaria. The huge increase in support for malaria control interventions in recent years means we can now acknowledge a reduction in the death rate; where once over a million people died of the disease annually, the figure is now closer to 790,000. This is progress and it shows that what we are doing is working. However we can’t afford to ease back until this number is zero, and this year everyone in the malaria community is discussing the remaining obstacles we face in the fight against malaria.

http://www.worldmalariaday.org

Work Your Proper Hours Day

Work Your Proper Hours Day (24 Feb 2012) is the day when the average person who does unpaid overtime finishes the unpaid days they do every year, and starts earning for themselves. We think that’s a day worth celebrating.

Over five million people at work in the UK regularly do unpaid overtime, giving their employers £29.2 billion of free work last year alone. If you’re one, why not take some time to reflect on how well (or badly) you’re balancing your life? This is one day in the year to make the most of your own time. Take a proper lunchbreak and leave work on time to enjoy your Friday evening – You deserve it!

Long hours are not good for us; they cause stress; they’re bad for our health; they wreck relationships; they make caring for children or dependents more difficult; and tired, burnt-out staff are bad for business.

People do long hours for a variety of very different reasons, and work life balance expert Professor Cary Cooper has helped us put together a long hours clinic tool, to give you tailored advice to fit your own situation.

You can also use our online balance check to diagnose what your workplace’s working style is, and then add yourself to our big interactive map to see how you stack up against everyone else. Or just check the map, to see what others have said.

Work Your Proper Hours Day for 2012 will be 24 February, but your own pay day may come earlier or later, depending on the hours you work above your contracted hours. Use our online unpaid overtime calculator to find out when you can celebrate paying off your long hours debt.

(via WorkSmart.org)

Free Music Instrument lessons for the Public

Music for All, the charity of the UK musical instrument industry is proud to announce the first, annual, National Learn to Play Day taking place on March 31st, 2012.

On this day, the UK’s musical instrument shops will open their doors and offer free instrument “taster” lessons to the general public.

There are 15 million people in the UK that either want to play an instrument or used to play one. The Day is designed to welcome people into music shops and to inspire them to get playing. People are often surprised to discover that they ARE musical and simply need a musical “experience” to get them inspired to start playing.

The Day will offer free lessons on a variety of instruments, supported by music teachers and additional guidance on getting started learning to play music. The UK’s instrument manufacturers will also be supporting the event with staff, instruments and special offers!

Participating stores in Edinburgh include Red Dog Music (1 Grassmarket) and Rae Macintosh (6 Queensferry Street).


National Poetry Day takes place across the UK on Thursday 4 October 2012

Help us celebrate the richness, variety and sheer fun of poetry of all kinds, from song lyrics and nursery rhymes to works by poets laureate…

The 2012 theme will be…

We work with National Poetry Day UK, and as soon as the theme is agreed we’ll put it up right here!

National Poetry Day across Scotland and the UK

For details of National Poetry Day events around Scotland, browse our Events Calendar.

For poetry events outside Scotland, visit the National Poetry Day website.

If you’re planning your own National Poetry Day event in Scotland please let us know! Email reception@spl.org.uk

For teachers

Visit our For teachers pages to read poems, find posters, see ideas about how to use poetry in the classroom, and tips for using National Poetry Day postcards.

For librarians

Check our For librarians pages for event format ideas, easy ways to find all sorts of poems on this year’s theme, and other useful resources to help you plan National Poetry Day with flair and not very much cash.

National Poetry Day postcards

You can collect free poetry postcards from the Scottish Poetry Library.

Or read them in our Poem stacks online.

Contact us at reception@spl.org.uk if you would like to get your hands on some, or send a stamped SAE for a free set.

Beatbullying’s Big March 2012 is the world’s first virtual, global march for children’s right to be safe.

On 1st March 2012, tens of thousands of virtual marchers will cross the websites of the world’s biggest brands. They will speak with one voice, and call on the UN to enshrine explicitly in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, “The right of every child to be safe from bullying, violence and the fear of violence by their peers as well as from abuse by adults.” Register now at www.beatbullying.org/bigmarch

Email signature for The Big March

“Let us work together to balance the global economy and build a new social contract for the 21st century. Let us chart a development path that leads to greater social justice and the future we want.” 

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Message for the 2012 World Day of Social Justice

Social justice

Social justice is an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations.

 

We uphold the principles of social justice when we promote gender equality or the rights of indigenous peoples and migrants.

 

We advance social justice when we remove barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability.

 

For the United Nations, the pursuit of social justice for all is at the core of our global mission to promote development and human dignity. The adoption by the International Labour Organization of the Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization is just one recent example of the UN system’s commitment to social justice. The Declaration focuses on guaranteeing fair outcomes for all through employment, social protection, social dialogue, and fundamental principles and rights at work.

 

The General Assembly proclaimed 20 February as World Day of Social Justice in 2007, inviting Member States to devote the day to promoting national activities in accordance with the objectives and goals of the World Summit for Social Development and the twenty-fourth session of the General Assembly. Observance of World Day of Social Justice should support efforts of the international community in poverty eradication, the promotion of full employment and decent work, gender equity and access to social well-being and justice for all.

 

As we look to the upcoming Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, we have a chance to rethink development strategies and business practices so that they point us toward a more sustainable and equitable future. Sustainability depends on building markets that do a better job of spreading the benefits of development. It means meeting growing consumer demand for greener products and services. And it means laying the foundations for dignity, stability and opportunity for all. As we strive to make this transformation, we must integrate social inclusion into our policies and other efforts.

Simon King holding a nest box

“National Nest Box Week is great for birds. Starting on St Valentine’s Day, it’s the time we remind ourselves to provide homes for dozens of species, from Blue Tits to Barn Owls.

If you’ve never built a nest box before, why not give it a go this year? Or if you haven’t got the time, it’s easy to buy a good one. Go on, take part for Britain’s birds!”

Simon King's signature

National Nestbox Week (14-21 February 2012) aims to encourage everyone to put up nest boxes in their local area in order to promote and enhance biodiversity and conservation of our breeding birds and wildlife.

The natural nest sites on which many of our bird species depend, such as holes in trees and buildings, are fast disappearing as gardens and woods are ‘tidied’ and old houses are repaired. Since National Nest Box Week was launched in 1997, thousands of enthusiastic naturalists across the UK have put up boxes to compensate for this loss. It is estimated that there are now 5-6 million boxes in gardens across the UK.

Whether you’re a family with space for a box in your garden, a teacher, a member of a local wildlife group, or you belong to a bird club and could organise a work party, National Nest Box Week gives you the chance to contribute to the conservation effort in the UK whilst giving you the pleasure of observing any breeding birds that you attract to your garden.

“Children under the age of 16 years should not take a direct part in any conflict”

(Article 38 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child).

It is estimated that over 300,000 children under the age of 18, both boys and girls, are involved in more than 30 conflicts worldwide.

Africa has the highest number of child soldiers. However, UNICEF has also found an alarming number of child soldiers in the East Asia-Pacific Region.  They also discovered  that Burma has more children soldiers than any other country in the world – it is estimated that there are 70,000 children in the Burmese state army alone.

Red Hand Day on 12 February, is a worldwide initiative to stop the use of child soldiers. On Red Hand Day public protest, demonstrations and other activities take place. The Red Hand Day’s symbol is a red hand which has been used all over the world by many organizations in order to say NO to child recruitment and the use of child soldiers. If you want to participate, you can find information at www.redhandday.org.

It is estimated that there are more than 132 million children worldwide who have been orphaned by disaster, disease or poverty, or abandoned on the streets by their parents.

The goal of World Orphan Week 2012 (6 – 12 February) is to highlight their plight and help give more children a mother, a home, and a family for life. Mother and children

By taking part in World Orphan Week 2012, you can make a real difference to the lives of orphaned and abandoned children.

World Orphan Week 2012 is a time to remember and reach out to all those children throughout the world who do not have a family that nurtures and gives them a sense of belonging. Why not take part as an individual, a school, a community group, or work place?

Email emma@soschildren.org to request a fundraising pack for World Orphan Week 2012.

Dickens 2012 is an international celebration of the life and work of Charles Dickens to mark the bicentenary of his birth, which falls on 7 February 2012.

Institutions and organisations from all over the world are partners of Dickens 2012 and work together to deliver a programme of events and activities to commemorate this very special anniversary.

Although a writer from the Victorian era, Dickens’s work transcends his time, language and culture. He remains a massive contemporary influence throughout the world and his writings continue to inspire film, TV, art, literature, artists and academia.

Dickens 2012 sees a rich and diverse programme of events taking place in the run up and throughout the whole of 2012.

Film, TV & Radio

From multi Oscar®-winning Oliver! to BBC’s hit series Bleak House, the world of film and TV have endeavoured to translate Dickens’s immortal stories to the screen. Dickens’s highly visual narrative style inspired early film-makers and many have credited the author with providing the very DNA that cinematic language is based upon. The oldest surviving film version of a work by Dickens – an adaptation of A Christmas Carol – is from 1901 and over a hundred years later Dickens’s works are still being filmed for cinema and TV and every one of his 15 novels has been filmed at least twice.

Literature & Education

Dickens believed that enriching people’s life with knowledge and enjoyment of the arts was key to building a fair society and creating opportunities. Dickens 2012 is committed to following Dickens’s educational mission by supporting learning activities around the world, from teachers’ conferences and family workshops to creative writing master classes and writing competitions.

Exhibitions

From May 2011 onwards Dickens’s life, works and legacy will be explored in a series of exhibitions across the globe. Major loans between Dickens collections and other museum sites will provide visitors with exciting opportunities to see and experience what inspired Dickens to become one of the world’s greatest writers and to find out more about the times he lived in.

London and UK will host a number of special commemorative exhibitions while venues in France, Switzerland and US will also show the rich heritage of Dickens’s life.

Theatre & Performing Arts

Dickens was a champion of the acting profession – he himself wanted to become an actor at the age of 18 and applied to the Covent Garden theatre. Since the publication of his first major book The Pickwick Papers, Dickens’s works have been adapted for the stage on countless occasions, and few novelists have provided more material for the theatre.

In 2012, audiences around the world will be able to see traditional and new adaptations of Dickens’s works, including the first adaptation ever of Dickens’s ‘The Life of our Lord’.

Festivals & Outdoor

The life and work of Dickens is regularly celebrated in festivals and outdoor activities around the world. In 2012, Dickens-themed activities are expected to bring together millions of people worldwide with new events and special editions of key annual festivals being staged to mark the bicentenary.

In addition, the year of the bicentenary will see new long-lasting commemorative initiatives including exciting legacy projects and heritage trails.

Find out what Dickens 2012 events are taking place near you by visiting http://www.dickens2012.org/

The theme for the Safer Internet Day (7 February 2012) is Connecting Generations with the slogan “Discovering the digital world together safely”.

Get involved and help raise awareness of internet safety for this year’s Safer Internet Day. There are many things you can do, including helping to spread the word about the Day and running activities with children and young people, parents and carers and others in the community.

The Safer Internet Centre here in the UK have produced packs for schools, which include quick ideas for teachers, a lesson plan and an assembly.

Download your 2012 schools pack now at the Safer Internet Day web site.

http://peaceoneday.org

http://worldparksday.com/

The Japanese bean throwing festival is celebrated every year on 3rd February and marks the beginning of spring.

Traditionally, people count out the number of beans to correspond with their age, then throw them out their door shouting “Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!” (“Demons out! Luck in!”).

鬼は外! 福は内!

In February

Rich meanings of the prophet-Spring adorn,
Unseen, this colourless sky of folded showers,
And folded winds; no blossom in the bowers;
A poet’s face asleep in this grey morn.

Now in the midst of the old world forlorn
A mystic child is set in these still hours.
I keep this time, even before the flowers,
Sacred to all the young and the unborn.

To all the miles and miles of unsprung wheat,
And to the Spring waiting beyond the portal,
And to the future of my own young art,
And, among all these things, to you, my sweet,
My friend, to your calm face and the immortal
Child tarrying all your life-time in your heart.

Alice Meynell

There are many observances in February including Setsubun the Japanese bean throwing ceremony, UNICEF Day for Change, World Cancer Day, National Libraries Day, World Orphan Week, Safer Internet Day, International Day Against Use of Child Soldiers, Valentines Day, National Nestbox Week, World Community Arts Day, Mahashivratri, World Day of Social Justice, Shrove Tuesday (or Fat Tuesday or Pancake Day), Work Your Proper Hours Day, Fairtrade Fortnight and…as it’s a leap year….February 29th!

Keep checking this site (or better still, sign up for email alerts) for full details.

Big Garden Birdwatch is fun, free, really easy, and only takes an hour. You can do your birdwatch wherever you like – at home, in your local park, or do it as part of a group at an RSPB event near you.

When, what, where

All you need is a pen, some scrap paper (or, a printout of this handy Big Garden Birdwatch 2012 counting sheet), and an hour to spend watching the birds in your garden, or local park, on either Saturday 28, or Sunday 29 January 2012.

Simply make a note of the highest number of each bird species seen on the ground (not flying over) at any one time, and return to the Big Garden Birdwatch page to submit your info.

Check out this video for some of the more unusual places that people did their 2011 birdwatch:

Where do you do Big Garden Birdwatch? from The RSPB on Vimeo.

How this information helps

For over 30 years, the RSPB have been asking the public to count the birds in their garden and each year more people get involved.

With results from so many gardens, the RSPB are able to create a ‘snapshot’ of bird numbers in each region – and they can see that some of our birds are disappearing in scary numbers.

We’ve lost more than half our house sparrows and some three-quarters of our starlings.

These surveys not only help highlight problems but are the first step in putting things right.

 

Goddess Saraswati pics, photo scraps and graphicsVasant Panchami is the festival dedicated to Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of learning, music and art.One of the most notable features of this Indian festival is the abundance of the colour yellow, which represents the brilliance of nature and the vibrancy of life.

During the festival, devotees wear bright yellow clothing, eat yellow (coloured by saffron) food, and worship statues of Saraswati in their home and in the mandir.

All Hindu educational establishments conduct special prayers and students place their pencils at the feet of the goddess to be blessed. It is during this festival that devotees are taught to write their first words.

It isn’t all about learning – it is also a day for art and painting competitions, poetry recitations, music festivals – and kite flying.

In 2012, Vasant Panchami takes place on 28 January.

The Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SR, is hosting a Burns Family Festival Day on Saturday 28 January.

It promises to be a fun-packed day for all the family! Interactive stories, music, song and laughter all inspired by Robert Burns. To book call 0131 556 9579

10.30am (1hr) | £5/£3 | 5+
Burns in the City!
Storytelling
Kicking off our Burns Family Day with a bang, join storyteller Tim Porteus and friends for a fun-filled morning of getting to know Rabbie as he travels into Edinburgh for the first time. Plenty of stories, songs, poems and laughter for all the family.

12pm (1hr) | Free | All Ages
Burns Songs & Music
Music
A celebration of all things Burns with live music and song in the Storytelling Court. Grab some lunch or tea and cake in the Storytelling Café and listen to the sounds of Burns, or just drop-in to the Court and enjoy!

2pm (1hr) | £5/£3 | 8+
Rabbie as a Laddie
Storytelling & Puppetry
What made Rabbie the way he was? Was Rabbie an awfu’ laddie? Where did his wonderful words come from? Join storyteller and puppeteer Sylvia Troon for an interactive session of stories and fun.

3pm (90mins) | £6/£4 | 12+
Simply Burns
Music and Spoken Word
Experience the romance and humour of Scotland’s most famous poet in this enchanting programme of song, story and verse. Combining atmospheric readings of some of his best loved poems and personal thoughts with songs inspired by his verse, Simply Burns is an event that celebrates the very best of The Bard. This captivating revue is a hit with devotees of Burns as well as with those who find it all a bit daunting. It’s witty, entertaining, and engaging… who knew Burns could be so much fun?

What is Food Intolerance and Sensitivity?

Although the word “Allergy” is commonly used to describe any unpleasant reaction to a drug, food, insect sting or chemical, this can be misleading. The word should only really be used to describe a reaction produced when the body meets a normally harmless substance, which has been “remembered” from a previous exposure and subsequently produces the “IgE” antibody.

“Sensitivity” is a reaction to a substance, which is an exaggeration of a normal side effect produced by that substance. For example, reliever inhalers used in asthma, if given at too high a dose in a particular individual may cause them to “shake”.

“Intolerance” happens when unpleasant symptoms occur after eating a substance which your body cannot handle because the digestive system does not produce sufficient quantities of a particular enzyme/chemical, which is needed to break down the food and aid digestion.

The causes of symptoms need to be correctly diagnosed so that the management and treatment for either allergy, sensitivity or intolerance can be appropriately taken.

VIDEO: Food Intolerance vs Food Allergy

(from http://www.allergyuk.org/allergy_intol.aspx)

Gluten Free Bread recipe

  • Mix together 500g Gluten Free White Bread Flour, 1tsp Salt, 7g dry yeast & 2tbsp caster sugar
  • Add 350ml milk, 75g melted butter, 2 eggs (beaten) and 1tsp vinegar
  • Place mixture in oiled 2lb loaf tin, cover with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place to rise for about 45 minutes until the mixture has risen about 3cm.
  • Bake for 45 minutes at 200 (180 fan/Gas Mark 6).

When ready, the loaf should sound hollow.

National Handwriting Day was founded in the USA by the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association (WIMA) so that we could continue to recognise the reward of composing a handwritten note using a high quality writing instrument.

The date chosen was 23 January, the birthday of John Hancock, the first man to sign the Declaration of Independence with a flourish!

In the UK the National Handwriting Association aims to:

  • raise awareness of handwriting as a crucial component of literacy
  • promote and foster good practice in the teaching of handwriting
  • provide support for those working with children and adults who have handwriting difficulties

Together with John Catt Educational Ltd, the NHA is hosting the SATIPS National Schools’ Handwriting Competition 2012 (Monday 21st November 2011 to Wednesday 16th May 2012). To find out more visit www.handwritingcompetition.co.uk

The Year of the Dragon begins on 23 January 2012, and will be marked in Scotland as well as in Chinese communities worldwide.

What is Chinese New Year ?

Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. In China it is also known as “Spring Festival”. The festival begins on the first day of the first month in the traditional Chinese calendar, and ends with Lantern Festival on the 15th day. The date varies from year to year with the lunar calendar, but is generally between mid January and mid February. In agricultural life, it represents the start of new life and the season of ploughing and sowing.

Chinese New Year is celebrated right across the People’s Republic of China, and in other countries and territories with significant Chinese populations, such Hong Kong, Macau, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and in Chinatowns worldwide.

According to folk legend, the Chinese New Year traditions started with the fight against a mythical beast called the Nian. Nian would come on the first day of New Year to eat livestock, crops, and even villagers. To protect themselves, the villagers would put food in front of their doors at the beginning of every year. It was believed that after the Nian ate the food, it wouldn’t attack any more people.

On one occasion, people saw that the Nian was scared away by a little child wearing red. So, every year, the villagers hung red lanterns and red scrolls on windows and doors, and used firecrackers to frighten away the Nian. Many of the modern traditions are based on this story.

How is Chinese New Year celebrated ?

Within China, regional customs and traditions vary widely. People exchange gifts, clean and decorate their house and buy new clothes. Families mark the coming of the New Year with fireworks to frighten away “evil spirits” – Chinese cities are very noisy places around midnight, and for hours afterwards! Early the next morning, children will greet their parents by wishing them a healthy and happy new year, and receive money in red paper envelopes.

What is the significance of the animals ?

The Chinese Lunar Calendar names each of its twelve years after an animal. One legend says Lord Buddha summoned all the animals to come to him before he departed from earth. Only twelve came to bid him farewell, and as a reward he named a year after each one in the order they arrived.

The animals are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig, which rotate in a 12 year cycle in that order. The current year, ending on 22 January 2012, is the Year of the Rabbit. The Year of the Dragon runs from 23 January 2012 to 9 February 2013.

The Chinese believe the animal ruling the year in which a person is born has a profound influence on personality, saying, “this is the animal that hides in your heart”.

Edinburgh Celebrations

On the weekend of Saturday 21 and 22 January, Edinburgh Zoo invites families to join them as they celebrate their Giant Pandas and all the Chinese animals at Edinburgh Zoo. Enjoy activities for children and adults. Learn Mandarin and discover all about Chinese Culture, take a calligraphy workshop and listen to Chinese music and entertainment. Even make your own dragon! There will also be competitions, quizzes and lots more. Admission charges apply. Edinburgh Zoo, 134 Corstorphine Road, Edinburgh EH12 6TS

For 12+, Take One Action Film Festivals is presenting ‘China On The Move: Marking Chinese New Year on Film‘ to mark Chinese New Year, with four award-winning films offering different perspectives on the complex transformations taking place in contemporary Chinese cinema, society and industry, and how they relate to the wider world. All screenings are at the Edinburgh Filmhouse, and will be followed by expert and audience discussion:

Mr Tree (Hello! Shu Xian Sheng)Wed 25 Jan only

Mr Tree
(Hello! Shu Xian Sheng)

Director
Han Jie
China 2011
88 minutes
Rated 12A
Cast: Wang Baoqiang , Tan Zhuo.
Mandarin with English subtitles
Last Train HomeThu 26 Jan only

Last Train Home

Director
Lixin Fan
Country of origin and year
Canada/China/UK 2009
85 minutes
Rated 12A
Documentary.
Mandarin with English subtitles
Apart Together (Tuan yuan)Sat 28 Jan only

Apart Together
(Tuan yuan)

Director
Wang Quan’an
China 2010
97 minutes
Rated 12A
Cast: Lisa Lu, Ling Feng, Xu Cai-gen, Monica Mok, Baiyang.
Mandarin with English subtitles

Manufactured Landscapes
Sun 29 Jan only
Manufactured Landscapes
Director
Jennifer Baichwal
Country of origin and year
Canada 2006
90 minutes
Rated 12A
Documentary.

English, Cantonese and Mandarin with English subtitles

 

Gong Hey Fat Choy!

(Wishing you prosperity in the coming year)

(Information from Scotland China Association)

Farmhouse Breakfast Week (22nd – 28th January 2012) is an annual campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast and demonstrate the variety of breakfast foods available in the UK.

The theme for the campaign is “Shake Up Your Wake Up” – make small changes to your morning routine to make sure you have time for breakfast every day!

Why eat breakfast…

  • Breakfast eaters tend to be slimmer than breakfast skippers.
  • Eating breakfast can aid concentration and mental performance at work and at school.
  • It provides you with the nutrients and energy needed for an active lifestyle.
  • Research shows that breakfast eaters are less depressed and have lower levels of stress than breakfast skippers.

Some breakfast recipes…

 

There have been more than 1,000 visits to this blog and most visitors came from the United Kingdom .  Top UK visitors were from Edinburgh (Edinburgers?), Glasgow (easy, Glaswegians), London (Londoners), Leicester (Erm, Leicestrians?), Fife (Fifers) and…East Lothian.

What do you call a person from East Lothian?

An East Lothiat?  An East Lothianer? An East Lothianite? Extremely Lucky?

Our overseas visitors, show in order were from: United States, India, Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, France, Australia, Germany, Italy, Pakistan, Poland, Nepal, Thailand, Taiwan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Israel, Trinidad and Tobago, Mauritius, Russian Federation, South Africa, Denmark, Mexico, Ireland, Singapore, Philippines, Macedonia, Cyprus, Slovakia, Turkey, Greece, Japan, Spain, Oman, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, Romania, Qatar, Bosnia and Herzegovina,  Norway,  Finland,  Sweden,  Czech Republic,  Switzerland, Jersey,  Ukraine,  Kuwait,  Ecuador,  Kenya,  Nigeria,  Zimbabwe, Brazil, New Zealand, Chile, Guyana, Jamaica, Islamic Republic of Iran, Republic of Korea, Portugal, Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Macau and Montenegro.

P.S.  If you have ever wanted to know the name for a resident of a particular place (‘demonym’) take a look at the book Labels for Locals by Paul Dickson or geography-site.co.uk.

The bad news is.…the third Monday after Christmas is considered by many to be the ‘saddest’ day of the year

The good news is…there is no basis for this whatsoever and the ‘formula’ used (amount of debt + motivation levels x sunlight or something or other) was part of a marketing campaign by a travel company.

(Incidentally, the ‘happiest’ day (in June,) is part of an ice-cream promotion.)

However, if you are feeling a little blue, The Mental Health Foundation has some great resources and suggests ten ways to look after your mental health.

Talk About Your Feelings
Talk About Your Feelings
Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled. Talking about your feelings isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s part of taking charge of your wellbeing and doing what you can to stay healthy.
Eat Well
Eat Well
There are strong links between what we eat and how we feel – for example, caffeine and sugar can have an immediate effect.  But food can also have a long-lasting effect on your mental health.
Keep in Touch
Keep in Touch
Friends and family can make you feel included and cared for. They can offer different views from whatever’s going on inside your own head. They can help keep you active, keep you grounded and help you solve practical problems.
Take a Break
Take a Break
A change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health. It could be a five-minute pause from cleaning your kitchen, a half-hour lunch break at work or a weekend exploring somewhere new.
Accept Who You Are
Accept Who You Are
Some of us make people laugh, some are good at maths, others cook fantastic meals. Some of us share our lifestyle with the people who live close to us, others live very differently. We’re all different.
Keep Active
Keep Active
Experts believe exercise releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel good. Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and help you concentrate, sleep, look and feel better.
Drink Sensibly
Drink Sensibly
We often drink alcohol to change our mood. Some people drink to deal with fear or loneliness, but the effect is only temporary.
Ask for Help
Ask for Help
None of us are superhuman. We all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things go wrong. If things are getting too much for you and you feel you can’t cope, ask for help.
Do Something You're Good At
Do Something You’re Good At
What do you love doing? What activities can you lose yourself in? What did you love doing in the past? Enjoying yourself helps beat stress. Doing an activity you enjoy probably means you’re good at it and achieving something boosts your self-esteem.
Care for Others
Care for Others
Caring for others is often an important part of keeping up relationships with people close to you. It can even bring you closer together.

Work Your Proper Hours Day

Work Your Proper Hours Day (24 Feb 2012) is the day when the average person who does unpaid overtime finishes the unpaid days they do every year, and starts earning for themselves. We think that’s a day worth celebrating.

Over five million people at work in the UK regularly do unpaid overtime, giving their employers £29.2 billion of free work last year alone. If you’re one, why not take some time to reflect on how well (or badly) you’re balancing your life? This is one day in the year to make the most of your own time. Take a proper lunchbreak and leave work on time to enjoy your Friday evening – You deserve it!

Long hours are not good for us; they cause stress; they’re bad for our health; they wreck relationships; they make caring for children or dependents more difficult; and tired, burnt-out staff are bad for business.

People do long hours for a variety of very different reasons, and work life balance expert Professor Cary Cooper has helped us put together a long hours clinic tool, to give you tailored advice to fit your own situation.

You can also use our online balance check to diagnose what your workplace’s working style is, and then add yourself to our big interactive map to see how you stack up against everyone else. Or just check the map, to see what others have said.

Work Your Proper Hours Day for 2012 will be 24 February, but your own pay day may come earlier or later, depending on the hours you work above your contracted hours. Use our online unpaid overtime calculator to find out when you can celebrate paying off your long hours debt.

(via WorkSmart.org)

It is estimated that there are more than 132 million children worldwide who have been orphaned by disaster, disease or poverty, or abandoned on the streets by their parents.

The goal of World Orphan Week 2012 (6 – 12 February) is to highlight their plight and help give more children a mother, a home, and a family for life. Mother and children

By taking part in World Orphan Week 2012, you can make a real difference to the lives of orphaned and abandoned children.

World Orphan Week 2012 is a time to remember and reach out to all those children throughout the world who do not have a family that nurtures and gives them a sense of belonging. Why not take part as an individual, a school, a community group, or work place?

Email emma@soschildren.org to request a fundraising pack for World Orphan Week 2012.

World Cancer Day – 4 February 2012

World Cancer Day takes place every year on 4 February and is the singular initiative under which the entire world can unite together in the fight against the disease.

www.worldcancerday.org

The Japanese bean throwing festival is celebrated every year on 3rd February and marks the beginning of spring.

Traditionally, people count out the number of beans to correspond with their age, then throw them out their door shouting “Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!” (“Demons out! Luck in!”).

 

 

 

鬼は外! 福は内!

The aim of World Religion Day is to foster the establishment of interfaith understanding and harmony by emphasizing the common denominators underlying all religions.

The following could be described as the ‘Golden Rule’ of the major religions:

Attention: open in a new window.

Hurt not others
in ways that you yourself
would find hurtful.
  Buddhism
What is hateful to you,
do not to your fellow man.
That is the entire law;
all the rest is commentary  .
Judaism
Do unto others
as you would have them
do unto you.
  Christianity
No one of you is a believer
until he desires for his brother
that which he desires
for himself.
  Islam
Blessed is he
who preferreth his brother
before himself. 
Baha’i Faith 

This poster is designed by
Jeff Strieff

The Big Lunch is an annual event for neighbours taking place on Sunday 3rd June 2012. To find out how you can get involved visit: www.thebiglunch.com

The Eden Project

Get your free Pack today
If you’re planning a Big Lunch this summer, make sure you request your free Pack, bursting with all the bits and pieces you need to get started. It includes a wall planner with practical hints, tips and ideas, invitations that you can add your details to and pop through your neighbours doors, stickers, recipes and much much more. Big Jubilee Lunch Packs, including a letter of support from Her Majesty The Queen, are also available for anyone planning an event to celebrate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

INVITATION 6th World Community Arts Day

World Community Arts Day 17/02/12
ART AS A CATALYST FOR CARING AND SHARING

To create a World Festival Society for a day.
We can either react in fear or anger to the state of our world thus becoming part of the problem or respond creatively and become part of the solution.

You are invited to be part of a global celebration on 17/02/12.

All we ask of you on that day is to do an arts project, however small or big. Be creative about an issue that you believe promotes “caring and sharing”. Song, dance, theatre, draw, paint, write, make, poem, photogragh, lecture, walk, tour, talk, art class anyway that you feel you are creative!

The first years have seen WCAD grow from a celebration of Reg Bolton to a global event from as far as Brazil, Slovenia, Scotland, Australia, USA, Ireland, Mexico and many more. All we ask of you on that day is to do an arts project, however small or large to mark this day. If you can mark the event on your website in the build up to it that would be great to. It is going to be our biggest yet.

Or join one of the social networking groups on Myspace, Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, YouTube, etc.
PLEASE GO TO WEBPAGE TO SEE EXAMPLES OF WHAT HAS HAPPENED IN PREVIOUS YEARS

http://worldcommunityartsday.com/

PLEASE PASS ON.

What is Food Intolerance and Sensitivity?

Although the word “Allergy” is commonly used to describe any unpleasant reaction to a drug, food, insect sting or chemical, this can be misleading. The word should only really be used to describe a reaction produced when the body meets a normally harmless substance, which has been “remembered” from a previous exposure and subsequently produces the “IgE” antibody.

“Sensitivity” is a reaction to a substance, which is an exaggeration of a normal side effect produced by that substance. For example, reliever inhalers used in asthma, if given at too high a dose in a particular individual may cause them to “shake”.

“Intolerance” happens when unpleasant symptoms occur after eating a substance which your body cannot handle because the digestive system does not produce sufficient quantities of a particular enzyme/chemical, which is needed to break down the food and aid digestion.

The causes of symptoms need to be correctly diagnosed so that the management and treatment for either allergy, sensitivity or intolerance can be appropriately taken.

VIDEO: Food Intolerance vs Food Allergy

(from http://www.allergyuk.org/allergy_intol.aspx)

Gluten Free Bread recipe

  • Mix together 500g Gluten Free White Bread Flour, 1tsp Salt, 7g dry yeast & 2tbsp caster sugar
  • Add 350ml milk, 75g melted butter, 2 eggs (beaten) and 1tsp vinegar
  • Place mixture in oiled 2lb loaf tin, cover with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place to rise for about 45 minutes until the mixture has risen about 3cm.
  • Bake for 45 minutes at 200 (180 fan/Gas Mark 6).

When ready, the loaf should sound hollow.

Makar Sankranti is one of the most auspicious day for Hindus, and is celebrated in almost all parts of India with different names and different rituals.

The festival marks the commencement of Sun’s journey to the northern hemisphere, thereby making the days warmer and longer than the nights – i.e. it marks the end of winter season and beginning of harvest or spring season.

It is one of the few Hindu festivals which is celebrated on a fixed date each year – 14 January.

Some common rituals include spring cleaning, wearing new clothes and exchanging gifts.

In Gujarat and Maharashtra, Makar Sankranti is a festival of the young and the old. Colourful kites are flown all around.

In Punjab, Makar Sankranti is called Lohri. December and January are the coldest months of the year in Punjab and huge bonfires are lit on the eve of Sankranti. Sweets, sugarcane and rice are thrown on the bonfires and friends and relatives gather together.

In Uttar Pradesh, this period is celebrated as Kicheri. It is considered important to have a bath on this day and masses of people can be seen bathing in the Sangam at Prayagraj where the rivers Ganga, Jamuna and Saraswathi flow together.

In Southern India it’s the harvest festival Pongal and lasts for 3 days. On the first day, rice boiled with milk is offered to the Rain God. On the second day, it is offered to the the Sun God and on the third day, the family cattle are given a bath and dressed with flowers, bells and colours, to honour them for their hard work in the fields.

Dickens 2012 is an international celebration of the life and work of Charles Dickens to mark the bicentenary of his birth, which falls on 7 February 2012. Institutions and organisations from all over the world are partners of Dickens 2012 and work together to deliver a programme of events and activities to commemorate this very special anniversary.

Although a writer from the Victorian era, Dickens’s work transcends his time, language and culture. He remains a massive contemporary influence throughout the world and his writings continue to inspire film, TV, art, literature, artists and academia. Dickens 2012 sees a rich and diverse programme of events taking place in the run up and throughout the whole of 2012.

Film, TV & Radio

From multi Oscar®-winning Oliver! to BBC’s hit series Bleak House, the world of film and TV have endeavoured to translate Dickens’s immortal stories to the screen. Dickens’s highly visual narrative style inspired early film-makers and many have credited the author with providing the very DNA that cinematic language is based upon. The oldest surviving film version of a work by Dickens – an adaptation of A Christmas Carol – is from 1901 and over a hundred years later Dickens’s works are still being filmed for cinema and TV and every one of his 15 novels has been filmed at least twice.

Literature & Education

Dickens believed that enriching people’s life with knowledge and enjoyment of the arts was key to building a fair society and creating opportunities. Dickens 2012 is committed to following Dickens’s educational mission by supporting learning activities around the world, from teachers’ conferences and family workshops to creative writing master classes and writing competitions.

Exhibitions

From May 2011 onwards Dickens’s life, works and legacy will be explored in a series of exhibitions across the globe. Major loans between Dickens collections and other museum sites will provide visitors with exciting opportunities to see and experience what inspired Dickens to become one of the world’s greatest writers and to find out more about the times he lived in. London and UK will host a number of special commemorative exhibitions while venues in France, Switzerland and US will also show the rich heritage of Dickens’s life

Theatre & Performing Arts

Dickens was a champion of the acting profession – he himself wanted to become an actor at the age of 18 and applied to the Covent Garden theatre. Since the publication of his first major book The Pickwick Papers, Dickens’s works have been adapted for the stage on countless occasions, and few novelists have provided more material for the theatre. In 2012, audiences around the world will be able to see traditional and new adaptations of Dickens’s works, including the first adaptation ever of Dickens’s ‘The Life of our Lord’.

Festivals & Outdoor

The life and work of Dickens is regularly celebrated in festivals and outdoor activities around the world. In 2012, Dickens-themed activities are expected to bring together millions of people worldwide with new events and special editions of key annual festivals being staged to mark the bicentenary. In addition, the year of the bicentenary will see new long-lasting commemorative initiatives including exciting legacy projects and heritage trails.

Find out what Dickens 2012 events are taking place near you by visiting the Events Calendar

Farmhouse Breakfast Week (22nd – 28th January 2012) is an annual campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast and demonstrate the variety of breakfast foods available in the UK.

The theme for the campaign is “Shake Up Your Wake Up” – make small changes to your morning routine to make sure you have time for breakfast every day!

Why eat breakfast…

  • Breakfast eaters tend to be slimmer than breakfast skippers.
  • Eating breakfast can aid concentration and mental performance at work and at school.
  • It provides you with the nutrients and energy needed for an active lifestyle.
  • Research shows that breakfast eaters are less depressed and have lower levels of stress than breakfast skippers.

Some breakfast recipes…

 

The Festival au désert (Festival in the Desert) is an annual three day concert held on the outskirts of Timbuktu, Mali, west Africa. It is the most remote festival in the world and in 2012 takes place from January 12-14.

It has its origins in the annual meetings held by the nomadic Touaregs (often referred to as ‘the blue people’ because of the stains their indigo-dyed robes leave on their skin) to reconnect with each other after the nomadic season, have fun, resolve conflicts, and to exchange ideas.

The modern day festival is a mix of traditional north African desert music, international musicians, camel racing, dance and sword play.

The Festival is also a way to celebrate “La Flamme de la Paix” (The Flame of Peace), a name that was given to the ceremony where more than 3000 firearms were melted and used to create a monument in 1996 in Timbuktu.

The Festival au désert (Festival in the Desert) is an annual three day concert held on the outskirts of Timbuktu, Mali, west Africa. It is the most remote festival in the world and in 2012 takes place from January 12-14.

It has its origins in the annual meetings held by the nomadic Touaregs (often referred to as ‘the blue people’ because of the stains their indigo-dyed robes leave on their skin) to reconnect with each other after the nomadic season, have fun, resolve conflicts, and to exchange ideas.

The modern day festival is a mix of traditional north African desert music, international musicians, camel racing, dance and sword play.

The Festival is also a way to celebrate “La Flamme de la Paix” (The Flame of Peace), a name that was given to the ceremony where more than 3000 firearms were melted and used to create a monument in 1996 in Timbuktu.

http://www.rhs.org.uk/Gardening/National-gardening-week

Join the Celebrations!

Tartan Day ScotlandTartan Day marks the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320 at Arbroath Abbey. This historical occasion sowed the seeds of modern day democracy and was used as a basis for the American Declaration of Independence. Tartan Day was inspired by this historical occasion to celebrate all that is good about Scotland - its people, its heritage, its history, its culture and its amazing legacy to the world.

At the beginning of April each year, a week-long programme of very special events commemorates all that is best about Scotland and the Scots, home and away.

     2012 Events Guide

Tartan Day 2012 Events Guide

The 2012 Tartan Day Angus Programme of Events brochure has now been produced and can now be viewed online. The programme has over 50 events across Angus with events to suit the whole family.

 Tartan Day Angus Events 2012

Food

Tartan Day 2012 Menus

There are many venues throughout Angus who have created menu’s for the Tartan Day – Week of Celebration starting on 30 March to 8 April 2012.  Each venue producing traditional Scottish dishes made with local Angus produce.

 Tartan Day Menus 2012

 

Find out more about why we celebrate Tartan Day, spot the famous faces amongst our Tartan Day Ambassadors and keep up-to-date on news stories from around the world.

Find out how to Get Involved

 

 

 

Tartan Day Scotland
Do you have any event you would like to add to the Tartan Day Event Programme?

Have you had your say, declared your allegiance to Tartan Day or given us your suggestions for improvement?
Perhaps you’re interested in attending or running one of the Tartan Day events or even in sponsoring Tartan Day?
Do you need some ideas about how you might go about celebrating Tartan Day?

If yes, then Get Involved

http://www.tartandayscotland.com/home/home.asp

Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated to commemorate the birth of Hanuman, the monkey-faced god who is worshipped by Hindus throughout India.

Hanuman Jayanti is an important festival of Hindus. Hanuman is the symbol of strength and energy. Hanuman is said to be able to assume any form at will, wield rocks, move mountains and dart through the air.

 

On December 18, 2007, the United Nations General Assembly declared April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) in perpetuity.

About Autism

Autism affects both children and adults alike. Current research suggests that over 1 in 100 people may be on the autism spectrum, including Aspergers syndrome.

Information on Autism

The following pages explain what autism and Aspergers syndrome is and how the lives of people with the condition and those around them are affected.  Providing useful information, guidance and an overview of the services Autism Initiatives provides throughout the UK.


Further information

What is Autism

What is Asperger syndrome

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Number 6 is a ‘One Stop Shop’ for adults with Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism in Lothians.  This unique service offers a range of information, advice and social activities to enable adults to live as independently and successfully as possible.

www.number6.org.uk

Since 1967, on or around Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday, 2 April, International Children’s Book Day (ICBD) is celebrated to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children’s books.

Each year a different National Section of IBBY has the opportunity to be the international sponsor of ICBD. It decides upon a theme and invites a prominent author from the host country to write a message to the children of the world and a well-known illustrator to design a poster. These materials are used in different ways to promote books and reading. Many IBBY Sections promote ICBD through the media and organize activities in schools and public libraries. Often ICBD is linked to celebrations around children’s books and other special events that may include encounters with authors and illustrators, writing competitions or announcements of book awards.

WWF’s Earth Hour is a simple idea that’s quickly turned into a global phenomenon. Hundreds of millions of people turning off their lights for one hour, on the same night, all across the planet. It’s about appreciating the brilliant world we all share – and how we need to protect it. Not just for an hour a year, but every day.

Earth Hour – Our World Is Brilliant from WWF-UK on Vimeo.

8.30pm 31 March

Get Involved

Whether you want to play scrabble by candlelight, have a dinner party for friends, go for an exhilarating night cycle-ride or go along to one of the Earth Hour events happening across the country, you’ll be an important part of WWF’s global event…

Sign up and switch off

At 8:30 pm on Saturday 31 March 2012 switch off all non-essential lights and be a part of something HUGE. Connect with 1.8billion people around the world. Once signed up you can share your plans for the night on our UK event map.

Spread the word

Why not send our lovely Earth Hour eCards to everyone you know to let them know about this phenomenal event? Get a badge for your twitter profile to show you’ll be taking part and encourage your friends to do the same.

Plan a night to remember

Celebrate our brilliant world, by getting together with friends and family! Get some inspiration from our candle-lit dinner party menus from celebrity chefs and our brilliant dinner party guide download. There’s loads of other things you can do in the dark, just have a look.

See what others are doing

Take a look at what other individuals, businesses and even some of the nation’s best known landmarks are planning for Earth Hour. Rumour has it someone is having an Earth Hour wedding! You can plan something amazing and join our Community Competition to lead the switch off!

Beyond the hour…

WWF’s Earth Hour is not about an hour of darkness. It’s about a brighter future for our planet. And that goes beyond the hour to the way we live our lives – year around. Start to reduce your impact by reducing your energy consumption, recycling, cooking your own food and so much more. Have a look at some practical tips here.

Help save 1 billion trees in the Amazon Rainforest

As well as turning off your lights for an hour to show you care about our brilliant planet, you can support our work to help protect it.

For the second year, money raised through Earth Hour will help to protect the Amazon rainforest with Sky Rainforest Rescue.

Sport Relief brings the entire nation together to get active, raise cash and change lives. It’s back from Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th March.

Everyone can take part in the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Mile at events across the UK plus there’ll be incredible celebrity challenges, tons of top TV to enjoy and more.

How does it help?

The money you raise is spent by Comic Relief to help people living incredibly tough lives, both at home in the UK and across the world’s poorest countries. It goes a long way too. From transforming the lives of people in the UK’s most disadvantaged communities, or those living with poor mental or physical health, to protecting street children and providing life-saving healthcare abroad.

How can I join in?

The best way to take part in the UK’s biggest year of sport is to enter the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Mile. With hundreds taking place across the UK, there’s bound to be one near you. Alternatively, you could do your own fundraising at work, in school, with family and friends or on your own.

http://www.sportrelief.com/

International World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

An international day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day.

The theme for 2012 is Water and Food Security.

Download and print out these materials for your World Water Day event or classroom and learn more about this years topic of ‘Water and Food Security’!

wwd12

Water for Food Wallchart – 3 x A3 >>

wwd12

How much water Download Game >>

wwd12

Download Poster
216 x 85 cm >>

wwd12

Download Lists 2 x A4 >>

 

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on 21 March. On that day, in 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid “pass laws”. Proclaiming the Day in 1966, the General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination (resolution 2142 (XXI)).

Since then, the apartheid system in South Africa has been dismantled. Racist laws and practices have been abolished in many countries, and we have built an international framework for fighting racism, guided by the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The Convention is now nearing universal ratification, yet still, in all regions, too many individuals, communities and societies suffer from the injustice and stigma that racism brings.

The first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”. The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination reminds us of our collective responsibility for promoting and protecting this ideal.

The East Lothian Diversity Network brings together individuals, community organisations and groups that are interested in equality and diversity issues. Everyone is welcome to join and take part in our events!

Key focuses of the Diversity Network

  • Celebration: celebrating East Lothian’s rich diversity
  • Policy: helping to shape our services and practices
  • Information: gathering information about the needs and ambitions of minority groups
  • Campaigns: improving the understanding of equality and diversity amongst the residents of East Lothian

Become a member

You can become a member of the Network. Here are some of the benefits of signing up:

  • you get to take part in a variety of events to celebrate East Lothian’s diversity
  • you will learn more about equality and diversity
  • you can raise issues that are of concern to you
  • you can help to shape public services by sharing your experiences with policymakers

Best of all, it’s free to join! 

Email equalities@eastlothian.gov.uk to register.

Poets convey a timeless message. They are often key witness to history’s great
political and social changes. Their writings inspire us to build lasting peace in our
minds, to rethink relations between man and nature and to establish humanism
founded on the uniqueness and diversity of peoples. This is a difficult task, requiring
the participation of all, whether in schools, libraries or cultural institutions. To quote
the poet Tagore, the 150th anniversary of whose birth will be celebrated this year, “I
have spent my days in stringing and unstringing my instrument.”

Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO
Message for World Poetry Day
21 March 2011

Peoms recital on the World Poetry Day Poetry contributes to creative diversity, by questioning anew our use of words and things, our modes of perception and understanding of the world. Through its associations, its metaphors and its own grammar, poetic language is thus conceivably another facet of the dialogue among cultures. Diversity in dialogue, free flow of ideas by word, creativity and innovation. World Poetry Day is an invitation to reflect on the power of language and the full development of each person’s creative abilities.

Every year on 21 March UNESCO celebrates the World Poetry Day. A decision to proclaim 21 March as World Poetry Day was adopted during the UNESCO’s 30th session held in Paris in 1999.

UNESCO encourages the Member States to take an active part in celebrating the World Poetry Day, at both local and national level, with the active participation of National Commissions, NGOs and the public and private institutions concerned (schools, municipalities, poetic communities, museums, cultural associations, publishing houses, local authorities, etc.).

StAnza, Scotland’s international poetry festival, runs from March 14-18.

National Poetry Day

National Poetry Day takes place across the UK on Thursday 4 October 2012

Help us celebrate the richness, variety and sheer fun of poetry of all kinds, from song lyrics and nursery rhymes to works by poets laureate…

The 2012 theme will be…

We work with National Poetry Day UK, and as soon as the theme is agreed we’ll put it up right here!

National Poetry Day across Scotland and the UK

For details of National Poetry Day events around Scotland, browse our Events Calendar.

For poetry events outside Scotland, visit the National Poetry Day website.

If you’re planning your own National Poetry Day event in Scotland please let us know! Email reception@spl.org.uk

For teachers

Visit our For teachers pages to read poems, find posters, see ideas about how to use poetry in the classroom, and tips for using National Poetry Day postcards.

For librarians

Check our For librarians pages for event format ideas, easy ways to find all sorts of poems on this year’s theme, and other useful resources to help you plan National Poetry Day with flair and not very much cash.

National Poetry Day postcards

You can collect free poetry postcards from the Scottish Poetry Library.

Or read them in our Poem stacks online.

Contact us at reception@spl.org.uk if you would like to get your hands on some, or send a stamped SAE for a free set.

National Poetry Day

National Poetry Day takes place across the UK on Thursday 4 October 2012

Help us celebrate the richness, variety and sheer fun of poetry of all kinds, from song lyrics and nursery rhymes to works by poets laureate…

The 2012 theme will be…

We work with National Poetry Day UK, and as soon as the theme is agreed we’ll put it up right here!

National Poetry Day across Scotland and the UK

For details of National Poetry Day events around Scotland, browse our Events Calendar.

For poetry events outside Scotland, visit the National Poetry Day website.

If you’re planning your own National Poetry Day event in Scotland please let us know! Email reception@spl.org.uk

For teachers

Visit our For teachers pages to read poems, find posters, see ideas about how to use poetry in the classroom, and tips for using National Poetry Day postcards.

For librarians

Check our For librarians pages for event format ideas, easy ways to find all sorts of poems on this year’s theme, and other useful resources to help you plan National Poetry Day with flair and not very much cash.

National Poetry Day postcards

You can collect free poetry postcards from the Scottish Poetry Library.

Or read them in our Poem stacks online.

Contact us at reception@spl.org.uk if you would like to get your hands on some, or send a stamped SAE for a free set.

Biodiversity, the variety of life on Earth, is crucial to sustaining our lives. It produces air for us to breathe, food to eat, water to drink and even medicines to cure our ills. It also provides value to us through activities such as walking or birdwatching and inspiration for art. We need it for our overall health, wealth and wellbeing.

With these thoughts in mind, the theme for Scottish Biodiversity Week (19-27 March 2012) is “Biodiversity is Life - Biodiversity is Our Life” in order to emphasise the critical links between us and our amazing, complex world.

Scotland’s precious wildlife and landscapes are dear to us and Scottish Biodiversity Week is a great opportunity to get out and about and experience them!

East Lothian Council Biodiversity Officer – can give presentations to schools or classes on biodiversity or related topics. The Biodiversity Officer will also help to develop school grounds, particularly through the Grounds for Awareness award. This award is launched annually in September and can offer up to £1000 for a wildlife, gardening or landscaping project within school grounds.  01620 827242

East Lothian Countryside Ranger Service – can visit schools or help with longer term studies such as rivers or rock pooling. They can also work closely with related initiatives such as the John Muir Award and Forest Schools.  ranger@eastlothian.gov.uk.
www.www.edubuzz.org/blogs/rangerservice
East Lothian Outdoor Learning Service – often working closely with the Ranger Service. They can provide environmental education, linking this with adventurous activities such as canoeing, gorge walking or coasteering.  0131 653 5217
www.www.edubuzz.org/outdoorlearning

East Lothian Council have produced a teachers guide about wildlife and the natural world. The 16 page download includes classroom projects,useful websites, pictures and ideas. The Guide suggests good locations close to schools and how to prepare for a visit.  Download your Biodiversity Education Guide here

No Smoking Day takes place on 14 March 2012. On the day more than a million smokers are expected to make a quit attempt.DIY Poster 1

Over the last quarter of a century we’ve grown into the UK’s leading public health event, helping over a million smokers to quit for good.

With No Smoking Day, there’s no pressure. When smokers are ready to stop, we’re here and ready to help, directing people to the support that’s right for them, when and where they want it.

Take the Leap with No Smoking Day

We know that most smokers would really like to stop, but find it hard to. So this year we are encouraging smokers to Take the Leap and give it a go. The theme recognises that giving up is tough, but the positive image and slogan speaks strongly to smokers helping them to aspire to a smokefree future

‘Take the Leap’ and its energetic accompanying image aim to echo the UK’s focus on the Olympics, asking smokers to think about their physical health. The campaign also coincides with a leap year – leap day will be an excellent opportunity to help smokers prepare to Take the Leap two weeks later on 14 March.

The ‘Take the Leap’ theme was developed with smokers themselves and reflects the positive messaging of the charity, we are here for smokers who want to quit and will help them take a leap towards a healthier, wealthier future.

No Smoking Day is part of the British Heart Foundation and offers year round resources to help people who want to quit. These include WeQuit.co.uk our dedicated quitters’ website, our online community forum which is host to 36,000 quitters and a suite of resources and tips and advice for smokers.

For more information about No Smoking Day visit our about section.

East Lothian residents wishing to seek advice can call 0131 537 9914 or email stopsmoking@eastlothian.gov.uk

 

 

Pi, Greek letter (π), is the symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Pi Day is celebrated by math enthusiasts around the world on March 14th. Pi = 3.1415926535…

With the use of computers, Pi has been calculated to over 1 trillion digits past the decimal. Pi is an irrational and transcendental number meaning it will continue infinitely without repeating. The symbol for pi was first used in 1706 by William Jones, but was popular after it was adopted by the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler in 1737.

Learn About Pi

The Number Pi

Outline of a Circle and its Diameter Pi represents the relationship between a circle’s diameter (its width) and its circumference (the distance around the circle).

Equations that use Pi

Area of a Circle

The area of a circle is calculated using Pi and the radius of the circle. This formula inspired the joke “Pies aren’t square, they’re round!”

Volume of a Cylinder

To find the volume of a rectangular prism you calculate length × width × height. In that case, length × width is the area of one side, which is then multiplied by the height of the prism. Similarly, to find the volume of a cylinder, you multiply the area of the base (the area of the circle, which is pi × r²), then multiply that by the height of the cylinder.

Click here to send a Happy Pi Day e-card

(via www.piday.org)

 

Climate Week is a supercharged national campaign to inspire a new wave of action on climate change. It culminates with thousands of events and activities taking place throughout the week of 12 to 18 March 2012, planned by organisations from every part of society. Showcasing real, practical ways to combat climate change, the campaign aims to renew our ambition to create a more sustainable, low-carbon future.

The window of opportunity for action on climate change is rapidly closing. The UK is far from where it needs to be, but in every sector solutions are being pioneered, adopted and refined. The campaign aims to accelerate and enhance this process by inspiring more action through real examples – both the small improvements and the big innovations.

Climate Week is backed by every part of society – from the Prime Minister to Paul McCartney, the NHS to the Met Office, the TUC to the CBI, Girlguiding UK to the National Association of Head Teachers. It is supported by a Headline Partner Tesco, and four Supporting Partners: EDF Energy, H&M, Nissan and SodaStream. During the first Climate Week in 2011 over 3,000 events were attended by half a million people across the UK.

Climate Week’s Headline Partner is Tesco, which aims to become a zero-carbon business by 2050 – without purchasing offsets. In addition it has committed to work with its suppliers to reduce emissions from products in its supply chain by 30% by 2020, and to find ways to help its customers halve their own carbon footprints by 2020. Climate Week’s Supporting Partners are EDF Energy, H&M, Nissan and SodaStream. EDF Energy is Britain’s largest producer of low-carbon electricity, H&M is for a more sustainable fashion future, the 100% electric Nissan LEAF is driving change for a sustainable future, and SodaStream is the smarter way to enjoy sparkling drinks.

You can register now for the Climate Week Challenge, judged by celebrities including Kate Humble, Bruce Parry, and Liz Bonnin. The Climate Week Challenge in 2011 was Britain’s biggest ever environmental competition, with over 145,000 people participating in the one day and one-hour versions. This year teams from schools, workplaces, and community groups will again be challenged to come up with creative solutions to a problem that is only revealed on the Monday morning Climate Week.

The prestigious Climate Week Awards recognise the most inspirational and impressive actions taking place in every sector of society. The judging panel contains figures such as the human rights activist, Bianca Jagger, the former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, and the Bishop of London. Winners from 2011 included a community-run hydroelectric project in Settle, North Yorkshire, a virtually waterless new washing machine that uses polymer beads to clean clothes, and a schools project in the North East of England that has resulted in over 18,000 hours of pupil-led activities.

Climate Week Cuisine is a new part of the campaign for 2012, encouraging people to make the food that they eat a part of the solution to climate change. They can do this by joining in the call to action of eating a low carbon meal during Climate Week. This can be done easily by eating less meat or dairy, eating local, seasonal ingredients, or eating leftovers. Inspiration and ideas are being provided by a number of celebrity chefs including Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Angela Hartnett, and Levi Roots.

There are a number of other elements to the campaign. The Climate Week Pub Quiz will be run in hundreds of pubs and workplaces. The Climate Week Play in a Day at the Arcola Theatre in London features award-winning writers and celebrity performers putting together five 15 minute plays in just 24 hours.

There were over 1,000 pieces of media coverage about the last Climate Week, with national articles ranging from the business pages of The Telegraph to the fashion pages of the Daily Mail. Television coverage included a feature on BBC Breakfast, an entire episode of children’s show Blue Peter, and comedian Marcus Brigstocke discussing the campaign on the One Show.

Organisations can get involved right now by starting to plan an event for Climate Week. This provides a unique opportunity to profile their own initiatives and innovations to stakeholders and staff, customers and the community, members and the media. They can also spread the word in advance, so that others find out about Climate Week in time to plan their own activities.

Individuals can help right now by asking the organisations they know – such as their workplace or local school – to plan an event or activity for Climate Week. They can also register to take part in the Climate Week Cuisine call to action and plan to eat a low carbon meal during Climate Week.

To find out more about Climate Week, or to register your event, go to www.climateweek.com, email info@climateweek.com or telephone on 020 3397 2601.

For specific reources for school teachers, please visit our Teacher Resources section of the website.

 

2 Billion People, 54 Countries. One Very Special Celebration. Join us for Commonwealth Day 2012.

Every year on the second Monday in March, 54 countries join together in celebration of the links they share as members of one diverse and dynamic global family – the modern Commonwealth.

In the UK, one way in which this special day is celebrated is with a unique event in London’s Westminster Abbey. The UK’s largest multi-faith celebration, the Commonwealth Day Observance is attended by Her Majesty The Queen, the Prime Minister, High Commissioners, up to 200 other VIPs and more than 1,000 schoolchildren.

The Commonwealth Day Observance takes a different theme each year. And in 2012 we will be ‘Connecting Cultures.’ Through a thrilling mix of world music, dance and personal testimonies, the event will explore the golden threads that tie together people from every continent, faith and ethnicity.

2012 will be a special year for the Observance as it will also be kicking off the Commonwealth’s celebrations for Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee – marking both 60 years as the UK Monarch and 60 years as Head of the Commonwealth.

If you’re from a school, have a look at the schools page here for suggestions on how to get involved and incorporate Commonwealth Day in your class room.

Visit www.commonwealththeme.org for more information on Commonwealth Day, and how you can get involved in celebrating the 2012 theme, Connecting Cultures.

Holi is known as the Hindu festival of colours.  It is a joyful celebration filled with fun and good humour.

People celebrate the festival by throwing handfuls of paint and coloured powder at each other – even complete strangers!

 

 

EMPOWER RURAL WOMEN –

END HUNGER AND POVERTY.

“Invest in rural women. Eliminate discrimination against them in law and in practice. Ensure that policies respond to their needs. Give them equal access to resources. Provide rural women with a role in decision-making.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

woman carrying corn

International Women’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world on 8th March each year. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political. It is an occasion for looking back on past struggles and accomplishments, and more importantly, for looking ahead to the untapped potential and opportunities that await future generations of women.

Recognizing the critical role and contribution of rural women, the theme of International Women’s Day 2012 is Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty.

Key contributors to global economies, rural women play a critical role in both developed and developing nations — they enhance agricultural and rural development, improve food security and can help reduce poverty levels in their communities. In some parts of the world, women represent 70 percent of the agricultural workforce, comprising 43 percent of agricultural workers worldwide.

Estimates reveal that if women had the same access to productive resources as men, they could increase yields on their farms by 20–30 percent, lifting 100-150 million out of hunger.

Healthcare, education, gender inequality and limited access to credit, however, have posed a number of challenges for rural women. Further, the global food and economic crisis and climate change have aggravated the situation. It is estimated that 60 percent of chronically hungry people are women and girls. Yet, the Food and Agriculture Organization estimates reveal that productivity gains from ensuring equal access to fertilizers, seeds and tools for women could reduce the number of hungry people by between 100 million and 150 million.

To celebrate National Doodle Day, Usborne Books have a competition to win Doodle Books – see here

World Book Day was designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and is marked in over 100 countries around the globe.

To mark the day, school children are entitled to receive a World Book Day £1 Book
Token which can be exchanged for one of eight specially published World Book Day £1 Books, or is redeemable against any book or audio book of their choice costing £2.99 or more at a participating bookshop or book club.  The World Book Day £1 Book Token will be valid from 27th February to 25th March 2012.
The full list of World Book Day £1 books for 2012 is:

  • The What the Ladybird Heard Song, Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks (Macmillan)
  •  Winnie Flies Again, Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul (Oxford University Press)
  • Where’s Wally Now?, Martin Handford (Walker Books)
  • Magic Molly: The Clever Little Kitten, Holly Webb (Scholastic)
  • Roald Dahl’s Fantabulous Facts, Roald Dahl (Puffin)
  • How to Train Your Dragon: The Day of the Dreader, Cressida Cowell (Hodder Children’s Books)
  • Big Day Out, Jacqueline Wilson, Illustrated by Nick Sharratt (Random House)
  • Skulduggery Pleasant: The End of the World, Derek Landy (HarperCollins)

The World Book Day site has lots of Cool Stuff & Games featuring some favourite characters and competitions too.

DaisyEatYourPeasThe Daisy ‘Eat your Peas’ Game BarnabyGrimesThe Barnaby Grimes Game

Fairtrade Fortnight (27 Feb – 11 March) kicks off the 2012 campaign!

Take a Step in 2012

In 2012, the Fairtrade Foundation is asking everyone to take a step for Fairtrade. Hot foot it over to www.fairtrade.org.uk/step for more about the exciting new campaign and get planning your events for Fairtrade Fortnight and beyond…

 

Fairtrade in East Lothian

East Lothian is a Fairtrade County.

There are two Fairtrade Towns in East Lothian, North Berwick and PrestonpansLongniddry achieved Fairtrade Village status a number of years ago.

If you would like to find out where to buy different fairtrade products in East Lothian, take a look at the East Lothian Fairtrade Directory.

To find out more about grant funding for Fairtrade events or activities, please visit our East Lothian Fairtrade Grant Scheme.


Related Links

Fairtrade Foundation – www.fairtrade.org.uk

Scottish Fairtrade Forum – www.scottishfairtradeforum.org.uk

Traidcraft – www.traidcraft.co.uk

Facebook – www.facebook.com/FairtradeEastLothian

What is Fairtrade?

Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. more

Mahashivratri (meaning “Great Night of Shiva”) is a festival dedicated to the Hindu goddess Shiva (who, along with Brahma and Vishnu, forms the trinity of Hinduism).

Unlike the majority of Hindu festivals, it is a night-time festival, observed on the evening and day before a new moon, which in 2012 is 20 February.

Every night of the new moon is dedicated to Shiva but this one is particularly important. It is the night which Shiva is said to perform the cosmic dance from creation to destruction.

Many Hindus fast and the devout say all-night prayers.

“Children under the age of 16 years should not take a direct part in any conflict”

(Article 38 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child).

It is estimated that over 300,000 children under the age of 18, both boys and girls, are involved in more than 30 conflicts worldwide.

Africa has the highest number of child soldiers. However, UNICEF has also found an alarming number of child soldiers in the East Asia-Pacific Region.  They also discovered  that Burma has more children soldiers than any other country in the world – it is estimated that there are 70,000 children in the Burmese state army alone.

Red Hand Day on 12 February, is a worldwide initiative to stop the use of child soldiers. On Red Hand Day public protest, demonstrations and other activities take place. The Red Hand Day’s symbol is a red hand which has been used all over the world by many organizations in order to say NO to child recruitment and the use of child soldiers. If you want to participate, you can find information at www.redhandday.org.

Supposedly, the third Monday after Christmas is the ‘saddest’ day of the year, based on amount of debt, motivation levels and lack of sunlight.  There is no real mathematics behind the ‘formula’ used and the whole thing was part of a marketing campaign by a travel company (and the ‘happiest’ day in June, is an ice-cream promotion!).  However, if you are feeling a little blue, The Mental Health Foundation has some great resources and suggests ten ways to look after your mental health.

Talk About Your Feelings
Talk About Your Feelings
Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled. Talking about your feelings isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s part of taking charge of your wellbeing and doing what you can to stay healthy.
Eat Well
Eat Well
There are strong links between what we eat and how we feel – for example, caffeine and sugar can have an immediate effect.  But food can also have a long-lasting effect on your mental health.
Keep in Touch
Keep in Touch
Friends and family can make you feel included and cared for. They can offer different views from whatever’s going on inside your own head. They can help keep you active, keep you grounded and help you solve practical problems.
Take a Break
Take a Break
A change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health. It could be a five-minute pause from cleaning your kitchen, a half-hour lunch break at work or a weekend exploring somewhere new.
Accept Who You Are
Accept Who You Are
Some of us make people laugh, some are good at maths, others cook fantastic meals. Some of us share our lifestyle with the people who live close to us, others live very differently. We’re all different.
Keep Active
Keep Active
Experts believe exercise releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel good. Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and help you concentrate, sleep, look and feel better.
Drink Sensibly
Drink Sensibly
We often drink alcohol to change our mood. Some people drink to deal with fear or loneliness, but the effect is only temporary.
Ask for Help
Ask for Help
None of us are superhuman. We all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things go wrong. If things are getting too much for you and you feel you can’t cope, ask for help.
Do Something You're Good At
Do Something You’re Good At
What do you love doing? What activities can you lose yourself in? What did you love doing in the past? Enjoying yourself helps beat stress. Doing an activity you enjoy probably means you’re good at it and achieving something boosts your self-esteem.
Care for Others
Care for Others
Caring for others is often an important part of keeping up relationships with people close to you. It can even bring you closer together.

UNICEF and schools have been working together on Day for Change for over 20 years. On the first Friday in February (3 February 2012) UNICEF asks schools to make a change in their day and ask students, staff and parents to make a donation to UNICEF for making that change.

You can now register for Day for Change 2012.

Sports for Development in Uganda

Each year a different country and a different theme is chosen. In 2012 your school can help change the lives of children Uganda by funding Sports for Development programmes.

UNICEF believes that sport can be used to engage children, developing their confidence, talent, skills and sense of teamwork. It is essential for their physical, mental and social development. But lots of children, especially girls, are being denied their right to an education. In Uganda, UNICEF is helping children realise their rights through sport.

Denying children’s rights is wrong. Help put it right.

Free resource kit

Every school that registers receives a free resource kit packed with fundraising ideas, assembly and lesson plans, real life stories, stickers, posters and much more to make their Day for Change a success. Schools can also download additional resources or print out extra copies on the Day for Change 2011 resources page.

Simon King holding a nest box

“National Nest Box Week is great for birds. Starting on St Valentine’s Day, it’s the time we remind ourselves to provide homes for dozens of species, from Blue Tits to Barn Owls.

If you’ve never built a nest box before, why not give it a go this year? Or if you haven’t got the time, it’s easy to buy a good one. Go on, take part for Britain’s birds!”

Simon King's signature

National Nestbox Week (14-21 February 2012) aims to encourage everyone to put up nest boxes in their local area in order to promote and enhance biodiversity and conservation of our breeding birds and wildlife.

The natural nest sites on which many of our bird species depend, such as holes in trees and buildings, are fast disappearing as gardens and woods are ‘tidied’ and old houses are repaired. Since National Nest Box Week was launched in 1997, thousands of enthusiastic naturalists across the UK have put up boxes to compensate for this loss. It is estimated that there are now 5-6 million boxes in gardens across the UK.

Whether you’re a family with space for a box in your garden, a teacher, a member of a local wildlife group, or you belong to a bird club and could organise a work party, National Nest Box Week gives you the chance to contribute to the conservation effort in the UK whilst giving you the pleasure of observing any breeding birds that you attract to your garden.

 

The theme of this year’s National Science & Engineering Week is “our world in motion” and it runs from 9 – 18 March 2012

National Science & Engineering Week shines the spotlight each March on how the sciences and engineering relate to our everyday lives and helps to inspire the next generation of scientists with fun and participative activities.

With over 4,500 events and activities attended by 1.7 million people in 2011, this is the UK’s widest grassroots celebration of all things science and engineering.   Each year, the British Science Association produces a series of new free resources and activities for event organisers and schools to help them run a science, engineering or technology event..

Following last year’s successful inaugural event, Dunbar’s second Science Festival will be held on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th March. The venue will be packed with a diverse mix of exciting science activities – shows, drop-in sessions, workshops, storytelling and talks. See dunbarscifest.org.uk website nearer the time for more info.

Edinburgh International Science Festival runs from 30 March – 15 April 2012

East Lothian’s forgotten engineer:

James Howden, Marine Engineer and Inventor, was one of Prestonpans most illustrious sons, yet no monument or memorial exists in his home town.

He was born on 29th February(!), 1832 and lived with his parents James and Catherine and his four younger siblings in a property in the town’s High Street.

By 1851, James had moved to Glasgow to begin his apprenticeship and where he was later to perfect the forced-draught system for boilers.

He went on to found Howden – now a worldwide engineering organisation.

Makar Sankranti is one of the most auspicious day for Hindus, and is celebrated in almost all parts of India with different names and different rituals.

The festival marks the commencement of Sun’s journey to the northern hemisphere, thereby making the days warmer and longer than the nights – i.e. it marks the end of winter season and beginning of harvest or spring season.

It is one of the few Hindu festivals which is celebrated on a fixed date each year – 14 January.

Some common rituals include spring cleaning, wearing new clothes and exchanging gifts.

In Gujarat and Maharashtra, Makar Sankranti is a festival of the young and the old. Colourful kites are flown all around.

In Punjab, Makar Sankranti is called Lohri. December and January are the coldest months of the year in Punjab and huge bonfires are lit on the eve of Sankranti. Sweets, sugarcane and rice are thrown on the bonfires and friends and relatives gather together.

In Uttar Pradesh, this period is celebrated as Kicheri. It is considered important to have a bath on this day and masses of people can be seen bathing in the Sangam at Prayagraj where the rivers Ganga, Jamuna and Saraswathi flow together.

In Southern India it’s the harvest festival Pongal and lasts for 3 days. On the first day, rice boiled with milk is offered to the Rain God. On the second day, it is offered to the the Sun God and on the third day, the family cattle are given a bath and dressed with flowers, bells and colours, to honour them for their hard work in the fields.

The theme for the Safer Internet Day (7 February 2012) is Connecting Generations with the slogan “Discovering the digital world together safely”.

Get involved and help raise awareness of internet safety for this year’s Safer Internet Day. There are many things you can do, including helping to spread the word about the Day and running activities with children and young people, parents and carers and others in the community.

The Safer Internet Centre here in the UK have produced packs for schools, which include quick ideas for teachers, a lesson plan and an assembly.

Download your 2012 schools pack now at the Safer Internet Day web site.

What is Braille?

Braille is the system of touch reading and writing that utilises raised dots to represent the letters of the print alphabet for persons who are blind or visually impaired. The Braille system also includes symbols to represent punctuation, mathematics and scientific characters, music, computer notation, and foreign languages.

How is Braille taught?

At The Royal Blind School in Edinburgh pupils start to learn Braille by strengthening their fingertips. Students play with items such as macaroni and peas in a tray and try to sort them using their fingertips. They then progress to learning actual Braille that is taught by their teachers, printing their own stories on Brailling machines. Finally as teenagers they can progress to Braille notebooks that are a really fast and professional means of writing and transcribing Braille.

How was Braille Invented?

Louis Braille was born in Coupvray, France, near Paris on January 4, 1809. At the age of 3 he was playing with a sharp awl in his father’s harness making shop, when he accidentally poked his eye, and subsequently developed an eye infection causing total blindness. He attended the local school until 1819, when he was awarded a scholarship to the Royal Institution for Blind Youth in Paris where he was the youngest student. While there, Braille yearned for more books to read. He experimented with ways to make an alphabet that was easy to read with the fingertips. He started by working on a reading code with a special tool he developed called a slate and stylus. In 1824 at the age of 15, he invented the 6-dot Braille system that evolved from the tactile “Ecriture Nocturne” (night writing) code invented by Charles Barbier de la Serre to send military messages that could be read on the battlefield at night, without light. In 1829 he published his work in Method of Writing Words, Music and Plain Songs by means of Dots for Use by the Blind. He then spent the majority of his life working on this tactile reading and writing system.

Learning Braille

Braille is a system of transcribing print so it can be read by touch. Braille is now mainly used by blind people but the original idea was for soldiers to be able to read at night without putting themselves in danger by using any light. Cells
Cells
The basis of the Braille system is known as the Braille cell. The cell is comprised of six dots numbered in a specific order. Each dot or combination of dots represents a letter of the alphabet and there are 63 different cells not counting the space. The positions are normally numbered starting at the top of the left-hand column as shown opposite.

The two main forms of tactile Braille are embossed paper Braille and refreshable Braille displays (RBDs) in which an electronic signal results in pins moving up and down to make a row of cells. Braille readers use RBDs as computer monitors.
Codes
A natural question is what the Braille cells mean. However, the cells have no intrinsic meanings; since there is only one standard Braille alphabet, the cells mean different things depending on which Braille Code is in use: math, music, Japanese, etc.
Memorizing the dots
One way to learn the alphabet in literary Braille is to memorise the dot patterns for the first ten letters, a-j, shown by the simulated or inkprint Braille cells below.

Simulated Braille Cells
(The shadow dots in empty positions are for sighted persons and are not used in embossed Braille.)

The dot patterns for the next ten letters, k-t, are the same as the first ten but with an additional dot in position 3. The dot patterns for the letters u,v,x,y, and z are the same as the letters a-e with additional dots in positions 3 and 6. The letter “w”, dot pattern 2-4-5-6, is out of alphabetical order because the French alphabet did not have that letter when Louis Braille invented the Braille alphabet in 1829.

The picture below shows you how the dots are arranged in the Braille cell for each letter of the alphabet.

Complete Alphabet
Braille does not have a separate alphabet of capital letters as there is in print. Capital letters are indicated by placing a dot 6 in front of the letter to be capitalised. Two capital signs mean the whole word is capitalized

Case
Braille numbers are made using the first ten letters of the alphabet, “a” through “j”, and a special number sign, dots 3, 4, 5, and 6.

Numbers Comma
Larger numbers only need one number sign.
The comma in braille is dot 2.

 

Information courtesy of:

American Federation for the Blind [ www.afb.org ]
Perkins [ www.perkins.org ]
World Blind Union [ www.worldblindunion.org ]

Why not try some Braille games or send secret messages at http://www.nationalbrailleweek.org/

What is Braille?

Braille is the system of touch reading and writing that utilises raised dots to represent the letters of the print alphabet for persons who are blind or visually impaired. The Braille system also includes symbols to represent punctuation, mathematics and scientific characters, music, computer notation, and foreign languages.

How is Braille taught?

At The Royal Blind School in Edinburgh pupils start to learn Braille by strengthening their fingertips. Students play with items such as macaroni and peas in a tray and try to sort them using their fingertips. They then progress to learning actual Braille that is taught by their teachers, printing their own stories on Brailling machines. Finally as teenagers they can progress to Braille notebooks that are a really fast and professional means of writing and transcribing Braille.

How was Braille Invented?

Louis Braille was born in Coupvray, France, near Paris on January 4, 1809. At the age of 3 he was playing with a sharp awl in his father’s harness making shop, when he accidentally poked his eye, and subsequently developed an eye infection causing total blindness. He attended the local school until 1819, when he was awarded a scholarship to the Royal Institution for Blind Youth in Paris where he was the youngest student. While there, Braille yearned for more books to read. He experimented with ways to make an alphabet that was easy to read with the fingertips. He started by working on a reading code with a special tool he developed called a slate and stylus. In 1824 at the age of 15, he invented the 6-dot Braille system that evolved from the tactile “Ecriture Nocturne” (night writing) code invented by Charles Barbier de la Serre to send military messages that could be read on the battlefield at night, without light. In 1829 he published his work in Method of Writing Words, Music and Plain Songs by means of Dots for Use by the Blind. He then spent the majority of his life working on this tactile reading and writing system.

Learning Braille

Braille is a system of transcribing print so it can be read by touch. Braille is now mainly used by blind people but the original idea was for soldiers to be able to read at night without putting themselves in danger by using any light. Cells
Cells
The basis of the Braille system is known as the Braille cell. The cell is comprised of six dots numbered in a specific order. Each dot or combination of dots represents a letter of the alphabet and there are 63 different cells not counting the space. The positions are normally numbered starting at the top of the left-hand column as shown opposite.

The two main forms of tactile Braille are embossed paper Braille and refreshable Braille displays (RBDs) in which an electronic signal results in pins moving up and down to make a row of cells. Braille readers use RBDs as computer monitors.
Codes
A natural question is what the Braille cells mean. However, the cells have no intrinsic meanings; since there is only one standard Braille alphabet, the cells mean different things depending on which Braille Code is in use: math, music, Japanese, etc.
Memorizing the dots
One way to learn the alphabet in literary Braille is to memorise the dot patterns for the first ten letters, a-j, shown by the simulated or inkprint Braille cells below.

Simulated Braille Cells
(The shadow dots in empty positions are for sighted persons and are not used in embossed Braille.)

The dot patterns for the next ten letters, k-t, are the same as the first ten but with an additional dot in position 3. The dot patterns for the letters u,v,x,y, and z are the same as the letters a-e with additional dots in positions 3 and 6. The letter “w”, dot pattern 2-4-5-6, is out of alphabetical order because the French alphabet did not have that letter when Louis Braille invented the Braille alphabet in 1829.

The picture below shows you how the dots are arranged in the Braille cell for each letter of the alphabet.

Complete Alphabet
Braille does not have a separate alphabet of capital letters as there is in print. Capital letters are indicated by placing a dot 6 in front of the letter to be capitalised. Two capital signs mean the whole word is capitalized

Case
Braille numbers are made using the first ten letters of the alphabet, “a” through “j”, and a special number sign, dots 3, 4, 5, and 6.

Numbers Comma
Larger numbers only need one number sign.
The comma in braille is dot 2.

 

Information courtesy of:

American Federation for the Blind [ www.afb.org ]
Perkins [ www.perkins.org ]
World Blind Union [ www.worldblindunion.org ]

Why not try some Braille games or send secret messages at http://www.nationalbrailleweek.org/

Every year on 27 January, the world marks Holocaust Memorial Day. On the HMD website you’ll find all of the resources, information and advice you need to participate.

Holocaust Memorial Day provides an opportunity for everyone to learn lessons from the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and subsequent genocides and apply them to the present day to create a safer, better future. On HMD you will find the shared memories of the millions who have been murdered in the Holocaust and subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur in order to challenge hatred and persecution in the UK today.

Creating a safer, better future from Holocaust Memorial Day Trust on Vimeo.

National Handwriting Day was founded in the USA by the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association (WIMA) so that we could continue to recognise the reward of composing a handwritten note using a high quality writing instrument.

The date chosen was 23 January, the birthday of John Hancock, the first man to sign the Declaration of Independence with a flourish!

In the UK the National Handwriting Association aims to:

  • raise awareness of handwriting as a crucial component of literacy
  • promote and foster good practice in the teaching of handwriting
  • provide support for those working with children and adults who have handwriting difficulties

Together with John Catt Educational Ltd, the NHA is hosting the SATIPS National Schools’ Handwriting Competition 2012 (Monday 21st November 2011 to Wednesday 16th May 2012).  To find out more visit www.handwritingcompetition.co.uk

Happy New Year!

 (and bonne année! bliadhna mhath ur! sretna nova godina! ??????? ???? ??????! gelukkig nieuwjaar! ???????? ???? ????! feli?an novan jaron! head uut aastat! gott nýggjár! ….)

What do we have to look forward to in the coming months?

The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives, highlighting the contribution of cooperatives to socio-economic development, in particular recognizing their impact on poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration.

(Order your resource pack here)

 

2012 has also been designated as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All recognizing that “… access to modern affordable energy services in developing countries is essential for the achievement of … the Millennium Development Goals and sustainable development.

(Fact: more than 1.4 billion people worldwide have no access to electricity, and 1 billion more only have intermittent access. Some 2.5 billion people – almost half of humanity – rely on traditional biomass for cooking and heating)

© Daniel Rogers

It has also been designated Alan Turing Year, commemorating the mathematician who, when seconded to top secret Bletchley Park during WWII, designed the first computer, which enabled the allies to crack the German Enigma code and, arguably, win the war.  Many events are scheduled for 23 June, the centennial of Turing’s birth.

Films relating to Turing include:

Breaking the Code
Enigma Secret
Decoding Nazi Secrets
The Strange Life and Death of Dr Turing
Enigma
The Secret Life of Chaos
Decoding Alan Turing

 

2012 marks 60 years of The Queen’s reign and Diamond Jubilee celebrations will centre around 2-5 June.

(Fact: The only other British monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee was Queen Victoria in 1897.)

Find out more about London 2012London will host the Olympic Games from 27 July-12 Aug).

(Click here to find teaching resources inspired by the London 2012 Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Values)

Further details of forthcoming observances will continue to be posted here on our new look blog (check out the calendar on the right).  Meanwhile, you can follow us on Twitter (@observe_hq) and, to whet your appetite, here is a taster of what January has to offer:

January

  • 17 – Martin Luther King Day
  • 23 – Chinese New Year (Dragon)
  • 25 – Burns Night
  • 30 – Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day (no, we’re not making it up, and if you want to pop some virtual bubble wrap, click here)

Big Garden Birdwatch is fun, free, really easy, and only takes an hour. You can do your birdwatch wherever you like – at home, in your local park, or do it as part of a group at an RSPB event near you.

When, what, where

All you need is a pen, some scrap paper (or, a printout of this handy Big Garden Birdwatch 2012 counting sheet), and an hour to spend watching the birds in your garden, or local park, on either Saturday 28, or Sunday 29 January 2012.

Simply make a note of the highest number of each bird species seen on the ground (not flying over) at any one time, and return to the Big Garden Birdwatch page to submit your info.

Check out this video for some of the more unusual places that people did their 2011 birdwatch:

Where do you do Big Garden Birdwatch? from The RSPB on Vimeo.

How this information helps

For over 30 years, the RSPB have been asking the public to count the birds in their garden and each year more people get involved.

With results from so many gardens, the RSPB are able to create a ‘snapshot’ of bird numbers in each region – and they can see that some of our birds are disappearing in scary numbers.

We’ve lost more than half our house sparrows and some three-quarters of our starlings.

These surveys not only help highlight problems but are the first step in putting things right.

 

Goddess Saraswati pics, photo scraps and graphicsVasant Panchami is the festival dedicated to Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of learning, music and art.One of the most notable features of this Indian festival is the abundance of the colour yellow, which represents the brilliance of nature and the vibrancy of life.

During the festival, devotees wear bright yellow clothing, eat yellow (coloured by saffron) food, and worship statues of Saraswati in their home and in the mandir.

All Hindu educational establishments conduct special prayers and students place their pencils at the feet of the goddess to be blessed.  It is during this festival that devotees are taught to write their first words.

It isn’t all about learning – it is also a day for art and painting competitions, poetry recitations, music festivals – and kite flying.

In 2012, Vasant Panchami takes place on 28 January.

The Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SR, is hosting a Burns Family Festival Day on Saturday 28 January.

It promises to be a fun-packed day for all the family! Interactive stories, music, song and laughter all inspired by Robert Burns.  To book call 0131 556 9579

10.30am (1hr) | £5/£3 | 5+
Burns in the City!
Storytelling
Kicking off our Burns Family Day with a bang, join storyteller Tim Porteus and friends for a fun-filled morning of getting to know Rabbie as he travels into Edinburgh for the first time. Plenty of stories, songs, poems and laughter for all the family.

12pm (1hr) | Free | All Ages
Burns Songs & Music
Music
A celebration of all things Burns with live music and song in the Storytelling Court. Grab some lunch or tea and cake in the Storytelling Café and listen to the sounds of Burns, or just drop-in to the Court and enjoy!

2pm (1hr) | £5/£3 | 8+
Rabbie as a Laddie
Storytelling & Puppetry
What made Rabbie the way he was? Was Rabbie an awfu’ laddie? Where did his wonderful words come from? Join storyteller and puppeteer Sylvia Troon for an interactive session of stories and fun.

3pm (90mins) | £6/£4 | 12+
Simply Burns
Music and Spoken Word
Experience the romance and humour of Scotland’s most famous poet in this enchanting programme of song, story and verse. Combining atmospheric readings of some of his best loved poems and personal thoughts with songs inspired by his verse, Simply Burns is an event that celebrates the very best of The Bard. This captivating revue is a hit with devotees of Burns as well as with those who find it all a bit daunting. It’s witty, entertaining, and engaging… who knew Burns could be so much fun?

The Year of the Dragon begins on 23 January 2012, and will be marked in Scotland as well as in Chinese communities worldwide.

What is Chinese New Year ?

Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. In China it is also known as “Spring Festival”. The festival begins on the first day of the first month in the traditional Chinese calendar, and ends with Lantern Festival on the 15th day. The date varies from year to year with the lunar calendar, but is generally between mid January and mid February. In agricultural life, it represents the start of new life and the season of ploughing and sowing.

Chinese New Year is celebrated right across the People’s Republic of China, and in other countries and territories with significant Chinese populations, such Hong Kong, Macau, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and in Chinatowns worldwide.

According to folk legend, the Chinese New Year traditions started with the fight against a mythical beast called the Nian. Nian would come on the first day of New Year to eat livestock, crops, and even villagers. To protect themselves, the villagers would put food in front of their doors at the beginning of every year. It was believed that after the Nian ate the food, it wouldn’t attack any more people.

On one occasion, people saw that the Nian was scared away by a little child wearing red. So, every year, the villagers hung red lanterns and red scrolls on windows and doors, and used firecrackers to frighten away the Nian. Many of the modern traditions are based on this story.

How is Chinese New Year celebrated ?

Within China, regional customs and traditions vary widely. People exchange gifts, clean and decorate their house and buy new clothes.    Families mark the coming of the New Year with fireworks to frighten away “evil spirits” – Chinese cities are very noisy places around midnight, and for hours afterwards! Early the next morning, children will greet their parents by wishing them a healthy and happy new year, and receive money in red paper envelopes.

What is the significance of the animals ?

The Chinese Lunar Calendar names each of its twelve years after an animal. One legend says Lord Buddha summoned all the animals to come to him before he departed from earth. Only twelve came to bid him farewell, and as a reward he named a year after each one in the order they arrived.

The animals are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig, which rotate in a 12 year cycle in that order. The current year, ending on 22 January 2012, is the Year of the Rabbit. The Year of the Dragon runs from 23 January 2012 to 9 February 2013.

The Chinese believe the animal ruling the year in which a person is born has a profound influence on personality, saying, “this is the animal that hides in your heart”.

Edinburgh Celebrations

On the weekend of Saturday 21 and 22 January, Edinburgh Zoo invites families to join them as they celebrate their Giant Pandas and all the Chinese animals at Edinburgh Zoo. Enjoy activities for children and adults. Learn Mandarin and discover all about Chinese Culture, take a calligraphy workshop and listen to Chinese music and entertainment. Even make your own dragon! There will also be competitions, quizzes and lots more. Admission charges apply.  Edinburgh Zoo, 134 Corstorphine Road, Edinburgh EH12 6TS

For 12+, Take One Action Film Festivals is presenting ‘China On The Move: Marking Chinese New Year on Film‘ to mark Chinese New Year, with four award-winning films offering different perspectives on the complex transformations taking place in contemporary Chinese cinema, society and industry, and how they relate to the wider world. All screenings are at the Edinburgh Filmhouse, and will be followed by expert and audience discussion:

Mr Tree (Hello! Shu Xian Sheng)Wed 25 Jan only

Mr Tree
(Hello! Shu Xian Sheng)

Director
Han Jie
China 2011
88 minutes
Rated 12A
Cast: Wang Baoqiang , Tan Zhuo.
Mandarin with English subtitles
Last Train HomeThu 26 Jan only

Last Train Home

Director
Lixin Fan
Country of origin and year
Canada/China/UK 2009
85 minutes
Rated 12A
Documentary.
Mandarin with English subtitles
Apart Together (Tuan yuan)Sat 28 Jan only

Apart Together
(Tuan yuan)

Director
Wang Quan’an
China 2010
97 minutes
Rated 12A
Cast: Lisa Lu, Ling Feng, Xu Cai-gen, Monica Mok, Baiyang.
Mandarin with English subtitles

Manufactured Landscapes
Sun 29 Jan only
Manufactured Landscapes
Director
Jennifer Baichwal
Country of origin and year
Canada 2006
90 minutes
Rated 12A
Documentary.

English, Cantonese and Mandarin with English subtitles

 

Gong Hey Fat Choy!

(Wishing you prosperity in the coming year)

(Information from Scotland China Association)

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’”

National Libraries Day

Win a free annual subscription for your school!

To celebrate National Libraries Day on 4th February 2012, JCS Online Resources is running a competition which is open to all secondary schools and 6th Form Colleges in the UK and abroad.

The six best entries as judged by the JCS team will win a year’s free subscription to one of the following online resources:

  • Bridgeman Education 355,000+ copyright cleared images providing access to the visual culture of every civilization and period from prehistory to the present.
  • The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Chemistry World and Education in Chemistry – Two magazines which present authoritative review articles on a wide variety of chemical topics, from historical to state-of-the-art chemistry for teachers and students.
  • Credo Reference – A multi-publisher online reference library offering a wide range of innovative features.
  • eChalk – A broad and expanding range of curriculum-mapped games, puzzles, simulations and starter activities.
  • Keesing’s World News Archive (including a 2012 print subscription) – A comprehensive, concise and regularly updated record of the world’s most important political, social and economic events since 1931.
  • Scran – 360,000 images, sounds, movies and learning resources copyright-cleared for educational use.

Entries of no more than 500 words may be submitted from students, teachers and librarians from a school or 6th Form College in the UK or Worldwide:

Teachers:

  • Describe how your use of online reference resources has helped and enhanced your teaching, and the benefits that have been gained by you and your students. How do you determine the quality of the online resources you use?

Students:

    • How do you use online reference resources to help your studies, what do you like about them and how do you make sure the information is reliable?

Hints: Homework help? More fun than books? Quicker/easier? I can use my phone? Internet searches might not be right? Etc…

Librarians:

  • How has the introduction of online reference resources to your library collections helped enhance the service you provide to your school? Describe their key benefits and how you evaluate their quality.

To enter the competition, follow this link and circulate it to your teaching staff and students! Print off this poster to promote the competition in your staff room, library and school notice boards.

The aim of World Religion Day is to foster the establishment of interfaith understanding and harmony by emphasizing the common denominators underlying all religions.

The following could be described as the ‘Golden Rule’ of the major religions:

Attention: open in a new window.

Hurt not others
in ways that you yourself
would find hurtful.
Buddhism
What is hateful to you,
do not to your fellow man.
That is the entire law;
all the rest is commentary.
Judaism
Do unto others
as you would have them
do unto you.
Christianity
No one of you is a believer
until he desires for his brother
that which he desires
for himself.
Islam
Blessed is he
who preferreth his brother
before himself.
Baha’i FaithThis poster is designed by
Jeff Strieff

A baby was born today,Wednesday, February 29.

How old will this baby be the next time his birthday falls on a Wednesday?

Radishes for Christmas…

radish virgin w/ 9 radish stars
When: 23rd December every year.
Where: Zocalo area of Oaxaca city, Mexico.

While you are peeling sprouts and stuffing your turkey the good citizens of Oaxaca in Mexico are carving radishes. La Noche de los Rábanos (Night of the Radishes) is a unique folk art festival that takes place in the run up to Christmas.

The Night of the Radishes is one of the most anticipated events in Oaxaca. Every year, this humble vegetable is carved into intricate sculptures of animals and saints, conquerors and kings, and anything else you can possibly imagine.

Nobody really knows how this festival started, although it is believed to have originated towards the end of the 1800s when markets during Christmas eve sold salt-dried fish and vegetables for customers coming out of midnight mass. To differentiate the fish from the veg (and no doubt pass the time as they waited for customers) the vendors sculpted their radishes into tiny figures. These carved radishes then became a popular addition to the Christmas table and more and more intricate carvings were made each year.

(via Somewhere in the world today)

The winter solstice occurs exactly when the axial tilt of a planet’s polar hemisphere is farthest away from the star that it orbits.

Earth’s maximum axial tilt to our star, the Sun, during a solstice is 23° 26′.  More evidently from high latitudes, a hemisphere’s winter solstice occurs on the shortest day and longest night of the year, when the sun’s daily maximum elevation in the sky is the lowest. Since the winter solstice lasts only a moment in time, other terms are often used for the day on which it occurs, such as ‘midwinter’, ‘the longest night’ or ‘the first day of winter’.

Worldwide, interpretation of the event has varied from culture to culture, but most cultures have held a recognition of rebirth, involving holidays, festivals, gatherings, rituals or other celebrations around that time (e.g. Dōngzhì Festival in East Asia, the Jewish festival of Hanukkah, the Inca festival of Inti Raymi, to name but a few).

 

“Let us live our daily lives in solidarity with those less fortunate than us – the poor, the sick and elderly, those enduring abuse, discrimination or violations of their rights – and thereby build a better world for all”.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Message for International Human Solidarity Day
20 December 2010

International Human Solidarity Day

The General Assembly, on 22 December 2005, by resolution 60/209 pdf icon identified solidarity as one of the fundamental and universal values that should underlie relations between peoples in the Twenty-first century, and in that regard decided to proclaim 20 December of each year International Human Solidarity Day.

At the World Summit for Social Development, Governments committed themselves to the eradication of poverty as an ethical, social, political and economic imperative of humankind.

By resolution 57/265 pdf icon the General Assembly, on 20 December 2002, established the World Solidarity Fund, which was set up in February 2003 as a trust fund of the United Nations Development Programme. Its objective is to eradicate poverty and promote human and social development in developing countries, in particular among the poorest segments of their populations.

Through initiatives such as the establishment of the World Solidarity Fund to eradicate poverty and the proclamation of International Human Solidarity Day, the concept of solidarity was promoted as crucial in the fight against poverty and in the involvement of all relevant stakeholders.

International Human Solidarity Day serves to remind us about the importance of solidarity for the achievement of the international agreements on social development, including programmes of action of international conferences and multilateral accords.

2010 theme: Reaching Out to Our Neighbours

The theme for the 2010 International Human Solidarity Day is: “Reach out to our neighbours,” to highlight the fact that despite the encouraging signs of progress made towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), deep disparities remain, among and within countries.

Role reversal in Ancient Rome…

When: December 17th to 23rd.
Where: Ancient Rome.

The tradition during the popular Roman festival of Saturnalia was for slaves and masters to switch places in a reversal of roles. The slaves were allowed to treat their masters with mock disrespect and hold a banquet which was served by their masters. However, this role reversal was mostly superficial as the banquet was often prepared by the slaves in the first place whilst preparing their master’s dinner as well.

Children headed the family, cross-dressing and masquerades took place and general merriment of all kinds prevailed. Grudges and quarrels were forgotten, wars were put on hold, gifts exchanged. Candles and lamps chased away the spirits of darkness. A mock king (the Lord of Misrule) was also crowned chosen by bean ballot. This evolved into the practice of baking a cake containing a bean, whosoever finds the bean is crowned king.

Saturnalia was introduced around 217 BC to raise morale after a particularly crushing military defeat at the hands of the Carthaginians. It was based upon the Persian holiday (Sacacea) and the Egyptian mid winter celebrations. Originally only celebrated for a day it became so popular (probably more with slaves than masters!) that it grew into a week-long extravaganza.

Saturnalia is believed to have had the first parade floats, called the ‘carrus navalis’ and could be the origins of today’s carnivals.

(via Somewhere in the world today)

On 4 December 2000, the UN General Assembly, taking into account the large and increasing number of migrants in the world, proclaimed 18 December as International Migrants Day.

On 18 December 1990, the General Assembly had adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.

THE Scottish Government has in recent years sought to increase Scotland’s falling population and introduce initiatives to attract and retain new migrants.

The Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, in launching a workers’ rights poster for migrants said:
Migration to and from Scotland is not a new thing. For generations, people from all over the world have come here to start new lives. We recognise the need for Scotland to continue to attract skills and talent from overseas – to help us weather the current economic storm and to enable Scotland to flourish in the longer term.

You can read about the experience of immigrants in Scotland from 1830 to 1939 here.

Come, come again, whoever you are, come!
Heathen, fire worshipper or idolatrous, come!
Come even if you broke your penitence a hundred times,
Ours is the portal of hope, come as you are.

The Whirling Dervishes Festival is one of the world’s most intriguing sights, a mesmerising spectacle of dizzy twirling. The ritual whirling is an act of love and a performance of faith for the Sufi arm of Islam.

Whirling DerwishThe dervishes are a kind of monk of the Mevlevi Order, (see Mevlana.net for more info) named after their founder Mevlana Jelaleddin Rumi, the great 13th century Sufic saint and poet, from Konya, Turkey who made this whirling dance famous. Mevlana taught tolerance, positive thinking, and forgiveness, and as a way of connecting with God, he would whirl through the city streets. He encapsulated his religious philosophy in one of his poems, the philosophy which gave fame to the Sufi branch of Islam and brought about the Mevlevi order of whirling dervishes.

Every December on the anniversary of Mevlana’s death thousands of pilgrims flood to Konya to witness the whirling at his Mausoleum. The ceremony known as Sema, takes place in the evening through an intricate tradition of mystical dances. The dancers are accompanied by the “Ney” (one of Mevlana’s longer poems) and a reed pipe which is symbolic of the mythological trumpet that will be blown on the Day of Judgement. With downcast eyes, the dancers spin faster, their long white skirts spinning open like umbrellas. Their leader represents the sun and the spinning dancers the orbits of the stars and moon. There are four dances symbolising the four seasons, the four elements and the four ages of man.

(via Somewhere in the world today)

International Mountain Day is an opportunity to create awareness about the importance of mountains to life, to highlight the opportunities and constraints in mountain development and to build partnerships that will bring positive change to the world’s mountains and highlands.

The United Nations General Assembly has designated 11 December, from 2003 onwards, as International Mountain Day”. 

This year’s International Mountain Day theme will focus on Mountains and Forests. It aims to raise awareness about the relevance of mountain forests and the role they play within a Green Economy as well as in climate change adaptation measures.

Healthy mountain forests are crucial to the ecological health of the world. They protect watersheds that supply freshwater to more than half the world’s people. They also are the home of untold wildlife, provide food and fodder for mountain people and are important sources of timber and non-wood products. Yet in many parts of the world mountain forests are under threat as never before and deforestation in tropical mountain forests continues at an astounding rate. Protecting these forests and making sure they are carefully managed is an important step towards sustainable mountain development.

By linking this year’s International Mountain Day to the International Year of Forests 2011, we can benefit from the international existing attention and focus on the theme as well as twinning certain communication activities and products to produce a more effective awareness raising exercise.

Links

UN

 

MP
IYF2011

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted on 10 December 1948. The date has since served to mark Human Rights Day worldwide. The High Commissioner for Human Rights, as the main UN rights official, and her Office play a major role in coordinating efforts for the yearly observance of Human Rights Day.
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/dshuhuOGWao?rel=0" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

This year, millions of people decided the time had come to claim their rights. They took to the streets and demanded change. Many found their voices using the internet and instant messaging to inform, inspire and mobilize supporters to seek their basic human rights. Social media helped activists organize peaceful protest movements in cities across the globe – from Tunis to Madrid, from Cairo to New York – at times in the face of violent repression.

Human rights belong equally to each of us and bind us together as a global community with the same ideals and values. As a global community we all share a day in common: Human Rights Day on 10 December, when we remember the creation 63 years ago of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

On Human Rights Day 2011, we pay tribute to all human rights defenders and ask you to get involved in the global human rights movement.

Visit CelebrateHumanRights.org and make a wish.

Since it’s conception by the International Union of Soil Sciences in 2002, the 5th December is internationally recognised as World Soil Day; a day to advocate the importance of soil for human survival and to raise awareness of the threats facing it and the vital nature of sustainable management.

‘DIRT! The Movie’, narrated by Jamie Lee Curtis, provides an excellent tool for awareness raising and to help generate support for the protection of this much under valued natural resource.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/IGMW6YWjMxw?rel=0" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Tree Dressing Day takes place on the first weekend of December each year.

 In different parts of Britain, Ireland and northern Europe, there is a tradition of fastening rags to trees (usually hawthorn) near holy wells. After taking the water, people tie a piece of their clothing to the tree. The tree is a symbol of long life and health. In Scotland these are known as clootie (cloth) trees.

Read the rest of this entry »

Download a free interactive advent calendar from the Woodland Trust:

Snow angel

     download

Winter wonderland

Hidden in this snowy woodland are 24 baubles, each one hiding a festive activity.

     download

Secret doors

Reveal a daily surprise behind each door.

     download

 

Girls should kick a straw mattress to attract a future husband, and pour molten wax into water to see what the future holds (or download an App from iTunes).

When: November 30th.
Where: Scotland, Greece, Romania, Russia, Poland, France, Germany and Austria.

Saint Andrew was one of Jesus’ twelve disciples and is most famously the patron saint of Scotland. His feast day November 30th is also Scotland’s official national day.

After Andrew’s death his remains were preserved by the faithful and have had a somewhat eventful history with various body parts now being in different locations around the world. One story goes that St Rule was ordered to take the Saint’s bones to Constantinople but in fact brought them to Scotland, having been warned by an angel in a dream that he must take the Saint’s bones to “the ends of the Earth”. However they arrived, it is known that some of St Andrew’s relics, including a tooth and one of his kneecaps, were being venerated by pilgrims at the town of St Andrews around the 11th century, although no one knows exactly what happened to them. Pope Paul VI presented a portion of St Andrew’s relics to Scotland in 1969 with the words “Saint Peter gives you his brother”, and they now reside at St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh.

Although most commonly associated with Scotland, Saint Andrew is also the patron saint of Greece, Romania, Russia and Constantinople. In Germany and Austria, the Saint’s feast day is celebrated as Andreasnacht (St. Andrew’s Night) with the custom of Andreasgebet (St. Andrew’s Prayer). Among his many responsibilities, St Andrew is the patron Saint of unmarried women and so Andreasnacht is regarded as a time when young girls and unmarried women perform the various folkloric rituals to reveal the identity of their future husband. Pouring molten wax into water is meant to reveal the shape of a girls future in the shape off the wax. Alternatively kicking a straw bed, while reciting the Andreasgebet (St Andrew’s Prayer) is supposed to magically attract the future husband. Another custom is to throw a clog over the shoulder – if it lands pointing to the door, the girl will get married in the same year.

St Andrew’s Day app

St Andrew's Day app

Celebrate St Andrew’s Day with this free iPhone and Android app from Scotland.org. Search for events in Scotland and find out what is happening across the rest of the world to celebrate Scotland’s national day.

Get ideas to host your own celebration – including recipes, a whisky tasting guide and a special St Andrew’s Day music playlist. Or why not gen up on your Scottish knowledge with our animated history of St Andrew.

Download it for FREE from the iTunes app store

Download it for FREE from the Android Market

more ideas:

Try this St.Andrew’s Day Quiz

Design your own tartan

Plant a tree – it is National Tree Week

Bake some shortbread

Explore Scotland’s history online

Make your own Lewis Chessmen

What do you serve at a buffet for monkeys?

When: Last Sunday of November.
Where: Lopburi, Thailand.

Twenty chefs from from some of Bangkok’s top hotels prepare two tonnes of grilled sausage, fresh fruit, vegetables, ice cream, milk and jelly for over 1,000 very hairy and somewhat ill mannered guests. The town of Lopburi in Thailand celebrates its Monkey Festival every year laying out a lavish banquet for its local population of Macaque monkeys.

Buffet tables at the impressive San Pra Kan shrine literally groan with the weight of all the food as the hungry monkeys tuck in with great gusto, leaping from table to table snatching food and gulping down drinks like there’s no tomorrow!

The cheeky monkeys have the freedom of the town and often grab bags and food from unsuspecting passers-by, leaping out from buildings, scaling walls and generally wreaking havoc wherever they go. But nobody seems to mind. The locals say they bring good fortune and prosperity to the town (probably mostly in the form of the tourists who come to see their antics!). The feast is therefore a sort of “thank you” to the monkeys.

The annual feast is also in honor of Rama, the hero of the epic legend Ramayana (Rama’s Journey), who rewarded his good friend and ally, Hanuman the Monkey King, with the fiefdom of the town of Lopburi.

(via Somewhere in the world today)

First mounted in 1975, National Tree Week is UK’s largest tree celebration annually launching the start of the winter tree planting season.

National Tree Week is a great chance for communities to do something positive for their local treescape. Each year, Tree Council member organisations such as voluntary bodies and local authorities, up to 200 schools and community groups, our 8,000 Tree Wardens and many others, support the initiative by setting up fun, worthwhile and accessible events, inspiring upward of a quarter of a million people to get their hands dirty and together plant around million trees.

Do you want to be part of this great collective achievement? All events can be found on this events map.

YES!

Buy Nothihng Day poster 2011Lock up your wallets and purses, cut up your credit cards and dump the love of your life – shopping.

Saturday November 26th is Buy Nothing Day (UK). It’s a day where you challenge yourself, your family and friends to switch off from shopping and tune into life. The rules are simple, for 24 hours you will detox from shopping and anyone can take part provided they spend a day without spending!

Everything we buy has an impact on the environment, Buy Nothing Day highlights the environmental and ethical consequences of consumerism. The developed countries – only 20% of the world population are consuming over 80% of the earth’s natural resources, causing a disproportionate level of environmental damage, and an unfair distribution of wealth.

More info: buynothingday.co.uk

Edinburgh Castle

At a loose end this St Strike Day?!  Check out these great ideas:

Free Entry – St Andrews Day 2011

Edinburgh Castle will be FREE to enter on 30th November 2011
in celebration of St Andrews Day.  Expect long queues though!

Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry Exhibition

Bonnie Prince Charlie’s victory told through embroidery in Prestonpans Town Hall.  Well worth a visit.

12 – 4

Borders Scrap Store

If you feel inspired to do something creative after visiting the tapestry, you could always call into Borders Scrap Store at Fisherrow Centre, South Street, Musselburgh.  The Scrap Store is packed to the rafters with bargain priced yarns and fabrics, cardstock and paper – and all sorts of crafty items.  It is open Wednesdays 9.30 – 4 p.m.

Aladdin

In ancient Peking, in the little known Scottish enclave of Musselburgh, only one boy can help the evil Abanazar find the magic lamp that will make him the most powerful warlock in the world. That boy is Aladdin. However, Aladdin couldn’t care less about such things; he only has eyes for the beautiful Thistle Blossom, the bonniest lass in the land.

Will Aladdin realise the danger that Abanazar poses? And will he be able to save the family steamie? Well, with the help of his silly brother Wishee Washee, a magical flying carpet and the Genie of the Lamp, he might just.

Written and directed by Liam Rudden and produced by Brunton Theatre, the team responsible the highly entertaining productions of Dick McWhittington, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Sinbad And The Little Mermaid and Mother Goose this is a brand new pantomime for 2011.

2 p.m. Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh

Magic Carpet

Museum of Flight
Time:
 10:30 (30 mins)
Cost: Free
Booking: Limited places – sign up on the day at the Information Desk in the Entrance Hall and then meet at the Inckkeith Lighthouse Lens in the Grand Gallery.

The magic carpet introduces little ones to some of the fantastic things in the museum through stories, songs and activities.

Edinburgh’s Christmas

East Princes Street Gardens – a Highland Village-style market selling top of the range food, drink, clothing and jewellery from all over Scotland plus rides and fun for all the family, including the big wheel, carousels and helter skelter, plus gentler rides especially for wee ones.

Mound Square – a range of traditional German crafts, toys, sausages and gluehwein to get you in the festive spirit.

www.edinburghschristmas.com

Darren Whitehead Exhibition

Award-winning wildlife artist Darren Woodhead, is back at SOC HQ, Waterston House, Aberlady, with a brand new exhibition “From Tyne to Coast” which runs until Wednesday 25th January 2012 (daily 10am to 4pm).

Flag Heritage Centre

The Athelstaneford site is a 4-star visitor attraction, comprising the Flag Heritage Centre, the Saltire Memorial and the historic Parish Church and graveyard. The Heritage Centre is open daily between 09:00 and 18:00 from April to October – and on St. Andrew’s Day. Admission is free. You can download the Information Leaflet .

St Andrew’s Day app

St Andrew's Day app

Celebrate St Andrew’s Day with this free iPhone and Android app from Scotland.org. Search for events in Scotland and find out what is happening across the rest of the world to celebrate Scotland’s national day.

Get ideas to host your own celebration – including recipes, a whisky tasting guide and a special St Andrew’s Day music playlist. Or why not gen up on your Scottish knowledge with our animated history of St Andrew.

Download it for FREE from the iTunes app store

Download it for FREE from the Android Market

Need more ideas:

Try this St.Andrew’s Day Quiz

Design your own tartan

Plant a tree – it is National Tree Week

Bake some shortbread

Explore Scotland’s history online

Make your own Lewis Chessmen

 

When: November 21st every year.
Where: Bulgaria.

This is the day of the most terrible lame wolf, who ate people. On this day you must not comb your hair, wear a new shirt or wash your clothes. Don’t sew, don’t knit and do not cut bread with a knife.

Wolves have played a mystical part in the history of Bulgaria right as far back as the Thracians who paid homage to the wolf as a great warrior king of rascals. The wolf is both revered and feared and many people, places and villages take their name from the wolf.

Bulgarians believe that the nights between the 14th and 21st November are evil nights in which a man can catch all sorts of diseases after dark, and so late at night people don’t leave their houses. It is said an old and ugly woman writes down the sinners in her book and strikes them down with her stick.

The last night (21st November) is Koutzoulan – the most Terrible Wolf day and this day is steeped in superstitions to avoid bad luck and illness befalling a person.

via Somewhere in the world today

More info at RoadSafetyWeek.org.uk

Your free downloadable posters

Print and display Brake’s posters to promote road safety in your community and tell the world you’re getting involved in Road Safety Week! Just click on the thumbnail images below to download posters as PDFs, then right-click on the poster and select print.

Generic Road Safety Week Poster:

weheartrsw

Posters aimed at drivers:

noneedforspeednomoretragediesdidyouneedtomakethatcall

drinkdrivingismurderkidssayslowdown

Posters aimed at children and teenagers:

dontletitbeyouwalkcycleridesmart

Posters aimed at parents:

holdhandskidssayslowdownletsmakeroadsafer

“We were all children once. And we all share the desire for the well-being of our children, which has always been and will continue to be the most universally cherished aspiration of humankind.”

We the Children: End-decade review of the follow-up
to the World Summit for Children
Report of the Secretary-General (2001)

children at school

Primary school children in class, in Harar, Ethiopia. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

By resolution 836(IX) of 14 December 1954, the General Assembly recommended that all countries institute a Universal Children’s Day, to be observed as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children. It recommended that the Day was to be observed also as a day of activity devoted to promoting the ideals and objectives of the Charter and the welfare of the children of the world. The Assembly suggested to governments that the Day be observed on the date and in the way which each considers appropriate. The date 20 November, marks the day on which the Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in 1989.

In 2000 world leaders outlined the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015. Though the Goals are for all humankind, they are primarily about children. UNICEF notes that six of the eight goals relate directly to children and meeting the last two will also make critical improvements in their lives.

Facts about diabetes

You can be a diabetes expert with our diabetes facts. Don’t forget to share them with your friends and family so they know about diabetes too!

Diabetes in the UK

  • Diabetes is really called Diabetes Mellitus
  • 2.6 million (2,600,000) people in the UK have diabetes
  • More than 180 million people (180,000,000) worldwide have diabetes
  • In the UK, most people get diabetes treatment on the National Health Service

General diabetes facts

  • Type 1 diabetes is sometimes called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes
  • Type 1 diabetes is managed using insulin injections or an insulin pump
  • 90% of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes
  • Type 2 diabetes used to be called non-insulin dependent diabetes
  • Type 2 diabetes is managed by diet, exercise and sometimes medication and insulin

Diabetes history

  • World Diabetes Day is on November 14th every year
  • Diabetes may date back to ancient Egypt!
  • There is a lot to learn about diabetes, but don’t get put off!

Random diabetes facts

  • Diabetes doesn’t have to stand in the way of your dreams
  • Many celebrities and sportspeople have diabetes

The theme for anti-bullying week 2011 is “Stop and think – words can hurt“.

Over at Antibullyingweek.co.uk, there is a free to enter competition, open to all young people under the age of 18-years. There are hundreds of £££s worth of prizes for winners and their schools. More details and entry form here.

Also, check out the downloadable Anti-Bullying posters.

Free Anti Bullying Poster 1
Free Anti Bullying Poster 2
Free Anti Bullying Poster 3

The goal of Kindness Day is that everybody in the UK performs at least one act of kindness or good deed the same day.

Cool to be Kind Day – 13th November 2011 and Every Year!

Act Against Bulling, a registered charity, has announced that the ‘Cool to be Kind Day’, part of the ‘Cool to be Kind’ campaign will be held on 13th November from now on! The campaign offers an upbeat approach to the unsavoury subject of bullying and is perfect for schools.  The slogan is ‘Don’t be Rude, Don’t Exclude, Don’t Push In and Don’t Hurt to Win’. Visit Act Against Bullying’s homepage to find out more about and download resources to have your own successful ‘Cool to be Kind Day’.

Kind Kid Awards – 13th November 2011, Kindness Scotland

Kindness Scotland, a member of the World Kindness Movement, are holding their annual ‘Kind Kids Awards’. To find out more about this, please visit www.kindnesscotland.co.uk.

“Every act of kindness is potent and lingers long in the heart of the recipient.”
Gary Lineker (October 2011)
“Kindness is a universal language regardless of age, nationality or religion.”
Sir Alex Ferguson CBE (October 2011)
“Kindness is at the heart of the work that hundreds of thousands of local charities throughout the UK do everyday. Kindness Day UK is our opportunity to return that kindness back to them. Be it an hour of your time, a skill or £10 donation, let’s work together on 13th November to show local charities how much we appreciate the kindness they show to our communities all year round.”
Marcelle Speller OBE(October 2011)
“The eminent medieval Rabbi Hillel said “If I am not for myself who, will be for me? If I am for myself alone, what am I?” That’s my idea of the very essence of kindness. Love, Vanessa xx”
Vanessa Feltz (October 2011)
“We have many choices to make in life, some more challenging than others, making a choice to be kind is easy! We can choose to smile at people we meet, it’s free and it’s a great way to show kindness and bring more happiness to everyone! Smile and you will see! x”
Camilla Dallerup (September 2011)
“Kindness costs nothing and it can give immense pleasure”
Peter Snow (September 2011)
“Nature enriches and sustains our lives – Love Nature and be kind to the planet.”
Dr Mike Clarke – Chief Executive, RSPB (September 2011)
“Not many of us are in a position like Henry Wellcome to leave a large sum of money for research or to make scientific discoveries and medical breakthrough ourselves. Acts of kindness, however, do not have to be on this scale and I hope that “Kindness Day” encourages us all to help others in any way we can.”
Sir Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust (August 2011)
“I think it’s really important to be kind, especially to people whose lives are grim – I try hard to cheer people up in as many ways as I can – if all else fails – I tell ‘em a joke!”
Jo Brand (August 2011)
“Kindness Day? Kindness Day? Do you suppose if we were kind and enthusiastic for centuries uninterruptedly, that someone would create ‘Nasty, Indifferent Day’?”
Dr. Patch Adams (August 2011)
“Kindness is a value central to everyone at WaterAid and something we see demonstrated daily in our work overseas. It is the kindness and compassion of communities that ensures the long term success of water and sanitation projects.”
Barbara Frost CE WaterAid (July 2011)
“It’s kindness that helps people cope with a crisis”
Sir Nicholas Young – CEO, British Red Cross (July 2011)
“As families across the country struggle to make ends meet, a little kindness can go a long way in these difficult times.”
Kay Boycott – Director of CPC, Shelter (July 2011)
“Kindness literally makes a world of difference to people with a learning disability. If we built our systems and institutions – and even society – around offering kindness first and everything else second, this would benefit not just people with a learning disability but all of us.”
Mark Goldring – Chief Executive, Mencap (July 2011)
“Kindness is to selflessly reach out to others from our own vulnerabilities.”
Dr John Low CBE – Chief Executive, Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) (July 2011)
“Through my work at the Katie Piper Foundation, I’ve seen how the smallest of kindness can make a difference to someone’s life. Even a simple smile instead of a start can lift someone’s heart.”
Katie Piper – Katie Piper Foundation (July 2011)
“Kindness Day is a wonderful initiative. Its aim is to make the world a better place for mankind, animals and the environment. Get involved – do something special and help make a difference.”
Caroline Barker – World Animal Day (July 2011)
“Be kind. It doesn’t cost anything.”
Billy Murray (January 2011)
“Kindness Day should be everyday of your life.”
Patsy Kensit (October 2010)
“I love the quotation from Charles Kingsley The Waterbabies – “Do unto others as you would be done by,” it could so easily read “Be as kind to others as you would like them to be to you.””
Vincent and Flavia (October 2010)
“Be kind to your garden and be gentle on your back!”
Alan Titchmarch (October 2010)
“Wishing kindness and compassion to all living creatures.”
Brian Blessed (October 2010)
“I think we ought to have a kindness year, or a kindness century.”
Jilly Cooper OBE (September 2010)
“Being kind costs nothing. Be kind to someone and that kindness will always return to you.”
Kavita Oberoi – Managing Director, Oberoi Consulting (September 2010)
“Just imagine a city known for it’s kind people. Thats a city where I’d want to live.”
Emma Harrison CBE – Chairman, A4e (September 2010)
“Kindness is a highly underrated quality.”
Pam Ferris (September 2010)
“Every act of kindness is a little bit of love we leave behind.”
Noel Edmonds (September 2010)
“There can be no greater act of kindness than to help others when your own world has been destroyed.”
Dame Barbara Stocking DBE – Chief Executive, Oxfam GB (September 2010)
“A simple kindness can light up a miserable day and is, in itself, a reward.”
Prof The Rt HON Sir John Major KG CH (September 2010)
“Kindness is like mercy: it blesses him that gives and him that takes”
Prof Lord Richard Layard (September 2010)
“The joy of giving far outweighs the pleasure of receiving.”
Peter Cullum, Executive Chairman – Towergate Partnership (September 2010)
“Kindness should be at the centre of everything.”
Charles Kennedy MP (September 2010)
“People never forget an act of kindness.”
Adrian Barritt, adurva.org (September 2010)
“Kindness is the essence of being a good human being. It transcends race, religion, nationality or culture. And it costs nothing!”
Dilwar Hussain, Policy Research Centre (September 2010)
“Every day should be kindness day.”
The Rt Hon David Blunkett (September 2010)
“It doesn’t cost a penny to be kind and the reward is priceless.”
Arlene Phillips (August 2010)
“Be kind. Do good. Change the world for better.”
Louise Burfitt-Dons (May 2010)
“No one good deed is better than another.”
David Jamilly (June 2010)

National School Meals Week (NSMW) is run by the Local Authority Caterers Association (LACA) and promotes healthy school meals. A school lunch helps young people recharge their batteries to be at their best for afternoon lessons. This year NSMW takes place from 7th to 11th November.

Monday

Sponsored by Dolmio Pasta Sauces part of Mars Foodservice
Today is all about inviting people to have a school meal. This could be a local politician or celebrity, someone from the media or a sports person. Who will you invite? Or will you leave it up to the pupils? They could have a vote to see who they would like to have lunch with. And you could use a delicious Dolmio sauce to add to pasta to make a healthy main course to serve to your guests

Get eating for local authorities
Get eating for schools

Tuesday

Sponsored by Bernard Matthews Foodservice
NSMW is going global as we want pupils to learn about food from around the world. We’re focusing on five countries so you can organise a school lunch promotion around India, Mexico, China, Italy and the UK. Theme days are a great way to increase school lunch take-up. Serve a themed menu with some delicious dishes for the pupils to try.

Get travelling for local authorities
Get travelling for schools

Wednesday

It is time to have some fun with food as everyone is encouraged to get creative. This could be cooking and tasting new dishes or designing funny faces on a pizza base or as part of a salad.These ideas could be included in a cookery lesson or even an art class.
They will fit in perfectly with a whole school approach to learning more about healthy food, what it tastes like and where it comes from.

Get creating for local authorities
Get creating for schools

Thursday

Supported by Change 4 Life
School meals play an important part in having your 5-a-day and they often contribute two to three portions each day. On this day we want to put across how lucky young people are to have hot, tasty food available at lunchtime in school. Especially when compared to poorer countries in the world. This is why we are linking up with the charity Mary’s Meals who provide a fortified porridge at lunchtime so that children go to school to have their only meal of the day and then learn while they are there.

Get 5-a-day for local authorities
Get 5-a-day for schools

Friday

Today Simon Weston, the Falklands War hero gives an interview about the importance of the 11th day of the 11th month and what it stands for. This can be used as part of a school assembly and it also links to the National Curriculum and World War 2. This has an important link with school meals as the current system was set up under the Education Act 1944. You can use the National School Meals Week tools to create awareness of Remembrance Day and there is a fundraising guide if you wanted to raise money, which is optional.

Get remembering for local authorities
Get remembering for schools