You are currently browsing the monthly Archive for April, 2012.

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:

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 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 , 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 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 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

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

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


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:

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.


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


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


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:

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) -
91% of Dutch people claim to accept homosexuality
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.

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:

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.


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.

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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.

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.


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!




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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

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:

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

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.

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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

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.