On the move

first_img Comments are closed. Thanet Council in Kent has appointed Christine Shepherd as its new HRmanager. She joins from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, where she managedthe housing directorate’s HR and training team. She now has more than 20 yearsHR experience since she started her career at the London Borough of Lambeth.She has been charged with developing a progressive HR service across thecouncil. Keith Green is the new chief learning officer at the Royal Mail. The role isnewly created and Green joins the organisation from an HR consultancy. He waspreviously the managing director of the Qtab management consultancy, which hasnow ceased trading. Tony Green has joined DHL Aviation Europe as head of HR. In his newposition, he will be based in Brussels, with responsibility for 6,000 staffacross western Europe. He has been promoted from a similar position at DHL inthe UK. He will lead the organisational development of the aviation group toensure global HR policy is implemented throughout his area. He will also beresponsible for the consistent application of the HR framework throughout theaviation group. Previous Article Next Article On the moveOn 21 Oct 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

OH&W Awards – ‘If directors buy into the strategy, you are going to have a much better success rate’

first_imgRelated posts: Technology company Arm’s headquarters building in Cambridge Winner of the ‘Best wellbeing initiative’ in last year’s Occupational Health & Wellbeing Awards, Office Athletes has forged a close health and wellbeing partnership with Cambridge technology company Arm, a collaboration that led to the innovative use of ‘geocaching’ and augmented reality to get employees up and out from their desks.  The Office Athletes team at Cambridge-based technology company Arm is a prime example of how, even in a competitive OH market increasingly marked by contract ‘churn’, it is still perfectly possible as a contracted provider to build a deep, long-term and extremely rich client/contractor partnership.“Arm started out as Acorn Computers, operating out of a converted barn outside Cambridge nearly 30 years ago. Now, Arm technology reaches 70% of the world’s population. We’ve been with Arm for about 15 years now; we are very bespoke to it,” explains Elliot Fraser, Cambridge gym manager and lead of the Office Athletes wellbeing team at Arm.“When we first took the contract on there were 500 people here and now there are more than 2,500. We have grown with Arm all the way and have tried to give it the most bespoke services that we can as possible really,” he adds.Arm, via Office Athletes, won last year’s Occupational Health & Wellbeing Awards ‘Best wellbeing initiative’. There is more detail in the panel below but its Arm-GO ‘geocaching’ initiative was both innovative and clever in how it resonated with the organisation’s predominantly young, tech-savvy (but also sedentary) workforce and got them up and about and more active around Cambridge“We have to do a certain number of wellbeing initiatives every year, and we try to be creative and do stuff we will enjoy as well as that we think will get the greatest footfall. It was our physio who originally had the idea of doing something along the lines of geocaching,” recalls Elliot.“We looked at various apps and applications and recognised that Pokémon Go was really popular. We knew our demographic here; they are all young and on their smartphones and, of course, Arm is a technology company. So making it phone-based was never going to be a problem.“It just kind of snowballed from there. It was really integral to get all the maps and technology working properly on everyone’s phones; it wasn’t easy but we did have the budget to build it, which was great. And we’ve been able to use that to springboard loads of other ideas,” he adds.Lunch-and-learn workshopsAlongside this specific initiative, Office Athletes runs an extensive wellbeing education programme including delivering ‘lunch-and-learn’ workshops at the company’s UK sites including Cambridge, Belfast, Glasgow, Manchester and Sheffield.“On top of that wellbeing education side, there is a full-time physiotherapist on-site, sports massage, health assessments, ergonomic assessments and a fully functional gym,” explains Scott Taylor, Arm UK health and wellbeing manager.“The people team at Arm also works very closely with Office Athletes and if we ever need to link up with the occupational health side of things, there is a company we can use locally for that,” he adds.The fact Arm’s workforce, as with most office-based jobs, is predominantly sedentary means musculoskeletal work and awareness-raising is an ongoing priority on the health and wellbeing side.“There is a lot of musculoskeletal and ergonomic assessment work,” explains Scott. “We are trying to increase physical activity throughout the day beyond just encouraging people taking breaks, although that is an important side of it, too. The on-site physio will also work with people directly if they have got a specific MSK issue. We also finding we’re branching out more and more into stress and mental health as well.”On that note, one benefit the team hadn’t forecast from the Arm-GO initiative was that it didn’t just get people moving physically, it was also beneficial from a social, mental and emotional health perspective.“A lot of people were just tending to sit at their desks most of the day. Some had just moved to Cambridge from various parts of the world and they had no idea what was around,” says Elliott.“So getting them outside, finding them different things to do around Cambridge, having a walk around was really helpful. Many of them ended up doing it in groups as well; it was really nice to see people talking to each other, ‘where did you find this one?’, ‘can you answer this puzzle, I’m stuck on it?’ and so on.“We could tell when each QR code was scanned. We could tell people were scanning them at 8pm and we could see people were doing them on the weekends, getting their kids and families involved. So it really did more than I thought it would,” he adds.How to make change ‘stick’What, then, do Scott and Elliot believe is the secret to making this sort of initiative, or even just health and wellbeing generally, ‘stick’ organisationally?“I think any behaviour change has to come from the hierarchy, modelled from the director level. If the directors buy into the strategy that you are trying to implement, then you are going to have a much better success rate moving forward,” says Scott.“Our senior leaders very much did this; they bought into the project, some of them even did it themselves. You could do it in work time due to Arm’s approach to flexible working,” he adds.“Arm-GO was a very specific event, but it was important that the foundations were already there,” agrees Elliot. “The fact people are already able to work freely and go to the gym at lunchtime or had perhaps participated in other events that we do and all our education – if that hadn’t been there initially, I don’t think it would have led to the fundamental change it did,” agrees Elliot.Being recognised through the Occupational Health & Wellbeing Awards has certainly been beneficial in terms of raising the profile of the work Office Athletes does within Arm, both Scott and Elliot agree. But it has also had wider benefits within Arm in terms of highlighting its ongoing commitment to the health and wellbeing of employees.On top of that, while winning is of course always great, just the process of entering an award can be valuable because it forces you to reflect upon what you’re doing, what you’ve achieved, and how you’re delivering services.As Scott points out: “I remember it just popped up on my email and we’d had such a good time building Arm-GO and we’d showcased it well, we just thought, why not? Why not just submit it and see what happens?“Another benefit to me has been in terms of seeing what other people are doing, of reading some of the other winners and shortlisted entries; we can just take ideas from there and make them our own! But if it also raise awareness, and the profile, of what we’re doing, that’s even better,” he adds.The Arm/Office Athletes team in a nutshellTeam of eight working with Arm, predominantly at the technology company’s Cambridge headquarters.Includes strength & conditioning coaches, sports performance specialists, physiotherapists, health assessors, and nutritionists, but also has access to an occupational health provider if need be.Serving approximately 2,500 employeesHow ARM became an OH&W winnerArm, entered by Office Athletes, won in the ‘Best wellbeing initiative’ category for creating a wellbeing-based geocaching event based around the augmented reality game Pokémon Go.Geocaching events use participants’ mobile device-based GPS to help find containers at specific locations. Arm created its own bespoke event to encourage its largely office-based staff to become more active.The Arm-GO game saw employees download a map that marked eight locations in its base of Cambridge. Using the GPS on their phones, they then had to visit each location and scan a hidden QR code to reveal a further puzzle to solve. Once they had visited all eight sites, they had to submit their answers to each of the puzzles to be entered into a prize draw.The company found most employees chose to play Arm-GO during their lunchbreak and immediately after work, suggesting they were spending more time outside during their working day.Our judges described the entry as “a good example of creating wellbeing activity bespoke to cultures and age profile” and an initiative that had “been delivered within a tight budget but has clearly delivered positive results.” OH&W Awards – ‘We are very focused on ensuring mental health is not swept under the carpet’By taking a holistic approach to wellbeing, one combining healthy eating, physical activity, mental wellbeing, changing habits and leadership, the… One-fifth do not train line managers in health and safetyOne in five organisations do not train their managers in health and safety, despite the view that they are often… OH&W Awards – ‘If directors buy into the strategy, you are going to have a much better success rate’By Nic Paton on 3 Jul 2020 in OH & Wellbeing Awards, Musculoskeletal disorders, Occupational Health, Wellbeing and health promotion, Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article No comments yet. Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply.Comment Name (required) Email (will not be published) (required) Websitelast_img read more

Estate agent erects 200 boards supporting campaign to stop new homes

first_imgAn estate agent in Essex has caused a stir by backing a local campaign to stop more homes being build, a move that even the initiative’s director has described as ‘ironic’.Two-year-old firm Acasa Homes has paid for 200 boards to be erected around its home town of Rochford near Basildon in Essex calling for planning permission to be revoked for a 660-home development by Bloor Homes.Acasa Homes’ founder Hugo Rodrigues has admitted to local media that ‘it doesn’t make sense’ for an estate agent to be opposing the building of new homes but that the town’s infrastructure cannot support any more people living in the town.“We’re hoping that because we’re an estate agent, it has a positive effect on the campaign,” he told the local newspaper.“When it comes to the development, there’s no common sense and it’s stupid.“It doesn’t add anything to the town. There are no new schools or GP surgeries and the road runs right through the town. It’s baffling.”Melanie English, the organiser of the campaign, says she is ‘delighted’ with the support of Acasa Homes, but has admitted: “It’s ironic that an estate agency is opposing houses being built”.The campaign is seeking to reverse Rochford District Council’s adopted local developments plan, which includes the Bloor Homes site.The council’s leader has rejected calls to stop any more homes being built in the area, claiming that £10 million has been extracted from developers so far to fund local amenities and infrastructure projects. bloor homes Acasa Homs Hugo Rodrigues Essex November 7, 2019Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Land & New Homes » Estate agent erects 200 boards supporting campaign to stop new homes previous nextLand & New HomesEstate agent erects 200 boards supporting campaign to stop new homesLocal campaigners admit it’s ironic that local firm Acasa Homes is opposed to more homes being built.Nigel Lewis7th November 20190713 Viewslast_img read more

Thousands stolen in Corpus JCR theft

first_imgCorpus Christi has been subject to a major theft, with £1,300 disappearing from the room of the JCR Treasurer.In an email sent to JCR members on Saturday evening, Treasurer Gege Parthasarathy said, “Last night £1,300 of JCR money was stolen from my room… This is really serious and the exec are in the process of contacting the police as a result of the Dean’s advice in hope that this can be resolved.”The email was signed by Parthasarathy, in addition to current JCR President Erika Pheby, JCR VP Harry Begg, and former President Patricia Stephenson, and called for information on the robbery.On Saturday night the source of the money in Parthasarathy’s room remained unclear. The email stated that the money was “going to be banked this [Saturday] morning.”JCR member Aled Jones commented, “After the glorious ecstasy of last night’s Christmas bop, it was terrible to hear about the theft. Hopefully the swift action that was taken will mean that this can be resolved soon.”A member of Corpus JCR’s executive said that the committee are currently unable to comment.last_img read more

Exeter offers protesting students “more expensive” deal

first_img“However, it’s important that we recognise that the college have come to us with a proposal, and hopefully they will concede to negotiations concerning the details of the proposal to make this an offer that benefits both the students and the college.”As well as proposing this offer, the Rector has also offered to hold an open meeting next Tuesday at 1pm.Although it is unclear exactly what form the meeting will take, the decision has attracted a positive reaction from students. Nathan Ellis, an Exeter second-year said, “This demonstrates that the action of students to show college how angry they are is working but also that we need to keep going, in order to secure a real reduction in the catering charge.”In order to maintain the boycott, students have set up a ‘Hallternative kitchen’ in the JCR kitchen. In a JCR motion passed to provide a £150 float for the project, “Sam and friends” promised to “cook for everyone each night this week.”Sam Perkins, the organiser, explained, “When we did the one-day boycott last trinity, we provided food all day for the whole JCR. It was a big task, but it really aided the morale of the event. We thought this longer boycott would benefit from having cheap and convenient food reliably every night – and the camaraderie of everyone coming together has cemented the student solidarity too.”However, the success of the ‘Hallternative kitchen’ has sparked more confusion over college costs. One of the emergency cooks explained, “While the Catering Charge covers overheads, the prices we pay per meal are supposed to solely cover the ingredients – yet we have been producing comparable food for £1.50 a night (£1 on Monday), compared to £3.15 in Hall. Where does all our money go? If only we knew.”The ‘Hallternative kitchen’ was established following its brief closure last Sunday. The kitchen, which is the only on-site self-catering provision was locked by the college’s Junior Dean due to an “almighty mess”.Saturday 22nd February also saw a banner promoting the ongoing hall boycott controversially confiscated from a student’s room.The banner stated “Exeter: Most expensive college #ctcc” and had been hanging from a window. The Rector explained the move: “Our attention was drawn to the banner, hanging from a window above Turl Street, by the University’s security personnel. The College rules forbid students from hanging objects from their windows. Our Junior Dean therefore removed the banner.”Sunday night saw an emergency JCR motion debated which proposed, “That College provide redress for their failure to meet their obligations to a tenant”, and “That College refund students for the cost of the banner”. As protests continue, Exeter College has offered its JCR and MCR an alternative to the catering charge.The offer, which was made on Wednesday 26th February, proposes to replace the £840 mandatory annual flat-fee paid by students living-in with a £598 termly mandatory charge which would cover three meals in college on weekdays along with brunch and dinner on weekends.Students living out would have to pay £150 per term, which would be redeemable against meals in hall. In this scenario individual meal prices would increase.In an email to the JCR, the Rector explained the proposal. “College is now offering to replace the catering charge with two kinds of meal plan… For students who live in: a flat cost of £598 per term (added to your battels) will cover three meals a day, every week day in full term, and brunch and dinner at weekends. This works out at £10.67 a day and includes the cost of food and overheads.”JCR President, Richard Collett-White, told Cherwell, “The JCR is pleased that genuine negotiations are now taking place, though I am doubtful we will come to an agreement just yet.“We have yet to discuss the proposal as a JCR, but I know many students have reservations which we will need to thrash out.”Other students were more openly condemnatory. Orock Nsoatabe, a second year, told Cherwell, “When I was living in college I barely went to hall at all. With this offer I would have paid £1,800 a year for next to nothing. Even if you were to go to hall, £10.67 is still a lot for a day’s worth of food.”An anonymous Exeter student added to that sentiment saying, “The email we received told us ‘the student body needs to choose this solution, or stick with the catering charge.’ That’s a worse hostage situation than the first Die Hard movie.”Owen Donovan, a third year English student, concurred, “I personally do have a problem with the tone of the Rector’s e-mail and the ultimatum that it contained. I hope that going forward college authorities will be open to negotiation rather than the offer of only two options.last_img read more

IMPD Officers Sued For Destroying Homeless Camp

first_imgFiled in the Southern Indiana District Court on behalf of five plaintiffs, the complaint claims the two officers went to the homeless camp at the intersection of South Pine and East Georgia streets in Indianapolis on the morning of Dec. 17. They are alleged to have removed the personal belongings of the plaintiffs and thrown everything away without giving prior notice or providing the opportunity for the items to be retrieved.The ACLU of Indiana asserts the officers’ seizure and destruction of the plaintiffs’ property violated Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable seizure and the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of due process.“The plaintiffs had not abandoned their property, and there was no legal justification for officers to seize and destroy their personal property,” Ken Falk, ACLU of Indiana legal director, said in a press release. “Officers made no attempt to offer the plaintiffs an opportunity to reclaim their property. All the belongings were thrown away.”Currently, the identities of the officers are unknown. However, Falk said if they do not come forward, they will be identified during discovery by reviewing Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department records of police runs.The city of Indianapolis said it could not comment on the pending lawsuit.According to the complaint, the five plaintiffs have resided for some time underneath the railroad overpass on the “little-traveled street” east of downtown Indianapolis. When the two police officers arrived, all the plaintiffs, except for Allen Hostetler, had left the area.The officers, the complaint alleges, grabbed Hostetler’s ankles and dragged him out of his tent. In the process, they damaged his cell phone, which Hostetler uses to obtain odd jobs.Then the officers gave Hostetler five minutes to gather his possessions. He was not able to secure all of his property, nor was he allowed to safeguard some of the property that belonged to the other plaintiffs.After five minutes, a handful of workers who had arrived with a large white flat-bed truck began throwing the remaining items into the trailer of the truck.“At no time did the officers or anyone else inform Mr. Hostetler of where he or the other plaintiffs could go to reclaim the property,” the complaint says. “Instead it was clear that the property was being disposed of as trash.”Under IMPD General Order 1.21, homeless individuals must be given a written notice seven days in advance of removal of their personal property and verbal notification 24 hours prior to the cleanup of the camp. Also, the order states personal property should not be destroyed unless it creates a health hazard.Among the items taken from the five plaintiffs were prescription medication, clothes, blankets, mattresses, heaters, and tents. In addition, one plaintiff, Michael Miller, lost his birth certificate and Social Security card.The plaintiffs claim there was no legal justification to seize and destroy their property. They are asking for a hearing and the award of damages.“Depriving these community members of what little property they have lacks compassion and will not solve public safety concerns,” Jane Henegar, executive director of the ACLU of Indiana, said in a statement. “To address concerns regarding homelessness in Indianapolis, elected officials should look into housing alternatives rather than further displacing an already destitute community.”The case is Allen Hostetler, Vance Briggs, Michael Miller, Angela Day, George Bishop v. John Doe 1 and John Doe 2, members of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department sued in their individual capacities, 1:18-cv-3995. IMPD Officers Sued For Destroying Homeless CampDecember 20, 2018Marilyn Odendahl FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare Lawyer Daily The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed a lawsuit Wednesday against two as yetunidentified Indianapolis police officers, alleging they unlawfully seized and destroyed the belongings of five homeless individuals who had been living under a railroad bridge.  last_img read more

NORTH BERGEN BRIEFS

first_imgA shot of North Bergen’s Municipal Pool. The town is opening up its competitive swim team registration. See briefs for more registration. Photo credit goes to Art Schwartz. ×A shot of North Bergen’s Municipal Pool. The town is opening up its competitive swim team registration. See briefs for more registration. Photo credit goes to Art Schwartz. For more information, visit grovechurchNJ on Facebook or call (201) 863-7030. The picnic will be held rain or shine.Competitive Swim Team registration is June 1-23North Bergen Competitive Swim Team registration for boys and girls ages five to 18 is open from June 1 through June 23 at the North Bergen Recreation Center, 6300 Meadowview Ave. Hours are from 2 to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday.This is not a program to teach children how to swim. Children must be able to swim and pass a swim test.Proof of residence and nonrefundable registration fee of $75 are required at registration, and children must be prepared to pay for a swim suit at registration.Summer Tennis Camp registration is June 1-23Summer Tennis Camp registration for boys and girls ages nine to 14 is open from June 1 through June 23 at the North Bergen Recreation Center, 6300 Meadowview Ave. Hours are from 2 to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday.This program will run 3 to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays from June 26 to July 27.Proof of residence, birth certificate/passport, and nonrefundable fee of $35 (cash, check, or money order) are required at registration. This program is limited to the first 75 children to register.Volleyball Camp registration is June 1-23Volleyball Camp registration for boys and girls in grades six, seven, and eight only is open from June 1 through June 23 at the North Bergen Recreation Center, 6300 Meadowview Ave. Hours are from 2 to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday.There will be two sessions: from June 26 to 29 and from July 10 to 13. The program will run from 3 to 5 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.Proof of residence, birth certificate/passport, and registration fee of $35 must be presented for both sessions, and this program is limited to first 75 children to registerFlag Football registration is June 1-23Flag Football registration for boys and girls ages five, six, and seven (born in 2010, 2011, and 2012) is open from June 1 through June 27 at the North Bergen Recreation Center, 6300 Meadowview Ave. Hours are from 2 to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday.Proof of residence, birth certificate/passport, and registration fee of $35 (cash, check, or money order) are required to register.North Bergen man convicted in Hoboken assaultOn Thursday May 25, North Bergen resident Fundador Bonet, 36, was convicted by a Hudson County jury of aggravated assault after a four-day trial, according to a press release from the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office.The press release states that on Oct. 8, 2015 Bonet allegedly sent text messages to one of the victims, Joel Lopez, ostensibly arranging a time and place for Lopez to pick up his six-year-old child.In actuality, those texts were allegedly sent to lure Lopez to a dead-end street in Hoboken where Bonet and several others jumped and assaulted Lopez and his cousin Jesus Vazquez.Lopez sustained a gash to the top of his head, a black eye, a knot on his forehead, facial swelling, and bruising over his neck and arms.The jury deliberated several hours before returning their decision of guilty on the aggravated assault count. Bonet was acquitted on two weapons counts of his indictment.According to the press release Bonet, who was previously convicted of aggravated manslaughter and aggravated assault, faces up to five years in New Jersey state prison.Judge Patrick Arre is scheduled to sentence Bonet on June 30.Metropolitan Transit Authority plans study for potential Staten Island light railThe 2015-2019 amended capital plan for the MTA has included $4 million to study a much-discussed light rail on Staten Island’s West Shore section. The potential 13-mile route would take commuters from Richmond Valley to Elm Park and over the Bayonne Bridge, connecting to the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail at 8th Street. The “Raise the Roadway Project” also includes infrastructure improvements to the bridge that would accommodate the light rail.The MTA committed to studying the proposal last year, but only now is putting its money where its mouth is with the newly amended capital plan.Two studies were previously conducted, the last in 2009 to gauge the idea’s feasibility. The Staten Island Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC) and local officials have long supported the idea.Like many infrastructure projects envisioned long ago, the financial crisis in 2008 severely delayed them. The SIEDC has been promoting public transit recently by holding a design contest for a conceptual gondola to carry passengers across the Kill Van Kull. The winner of that contest was Leitner-Poma, the same company that designed Bayonne’s wind turbine.Mayor cuts ribbon for Muda’s BarbershopMayor Nicholas Sacco cut the ribbon to officially open Muda’s Barbershop on May 26. The shop at 7515 Broadway is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday to Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.Owner Muda began working in barbershops at 12 years old, sweeping the floors. Born and raised in North Bergen, he spent four years cutting hair in a previous barbershop at this same location before buying the shop from the former owner and setting up his own business, offering all styles of haircuts, including scissor cuts, fades, designs, and more.Commissioner Hugo Cabrera, Freeholder Anthony Vainieri, and numerous other township officials and local residents attended the ribbon cutting to show their support and offer their best wishes.center_img Attend a free summer picnic at Grove Reformed Church on June 10Grove Reformed Church’s annual free summer picnic is Saturday, June 10 from 5 to 7 p.m. There will be food, music, and crafts for kids. Everyone is invited to this fun neighborhood event at 46th Street and Kennedy Boulevard.last_img read more

Speech: Defence Secretary Op-Ed for the Mail on Sunday on mental health

first_imgOur Armed Forces do a magnificent job. It’s my privilege to see the incredible work they do all around the globe – every hour of every day. In Iraq I’ve spoken to our impressive air men and women who have been hammering barbaric Daesh fighters in Iraq to destroy the death cult that has brought bloodshed to the streets of Britain. In Poland I’ve met inspirational soldiers– not simply supporting and leading NATO missions in Eastern Europe but underpinning our security at home. And in the North Atlantic and the Gulf I’ve listened to the sailors protecting our precious undersea communications cables and patrolling our vital trading routes. All the while, our dedicated submariners maintain our nuclear deterrent – our nation’s ultimate armour against the most extreme threats to our way of life.These people are the greatest of their generation. And they have the right to expect more than simply the best jets, warships and tanks to help them do their duty. It is also their right to expect the best possible support care on and off the battlefield. In the not too distant past that would have meant treating the physical scars of conflict. There wouldn’t have been much thought about helping heal the invisible wounds war leaves behind. But times have changed. We now understand the importance of a healthy mind as well as a healthy body. That’s why the Ministry of Defence is now spending around £20 million a year on mental health services to treat the trauma life on the front line can bring. But while things have vastly improved – they are not perfect. We should never be too afraid or too timid to tackle the stigma of mental illness and look at new ways to offer help. That’s why I want to commend the Mail on Sunday’s Helpline for Heroes campaign for shining the spotlight on this critically important issue. It’s simply unacceptable that serving personnel with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, suicidal or negative thoughts, should suffer in silence.So I have now agreed to spend an extra £20m over the next decade to improve mental health services in the Armed Forces – £2m more every year for vital services. That’s at least £220m over the next 10 years. Today we launch the Military Mental Health Helpline for serving personnel and their families while bolstering the care currently on offer. We are forming a deeper partnership with Combat Stress – the leading charity in the UK for supporting veterans with mental health problems. The charity already helps a small number of serving personnel through their 24-hour helpline, but we will be enhancing this service with additional funds and creating the entirely new Military Mental Health Helpline with its own memorable number –  0800 323 4444. This will be specifically targeted at serving personnel and their families – allowing them to access help anywhere, anytime. It will be staffed by professionals and will benefit from improved information sharing with the military, so those in need get the vital help they need. We have examined the choices closely and believe this will deliver the best service for our Armed Forces.The freephone number will take calls from midday today. And it will be backed up by a major internal marketing campaign.  The truth is we’ve not always been the best at talking about these issues in the military. So I will personally be working with the Service Chiefs to make sure there isn’t a single person in the forces who doesn’t know where to turn in times of trouble.But I don’t just want people to know who to call when they need to talk to someone. I want them to know what else is on offer.I want them to know about the 20 sites providing mental health care for the military in the UK and abroad – bringing together psychiatrists, mental health nurses, clinical psychologists and social workers to help manage the mental health needs of those in difficulty.I want them to know about the service provided by NHS England – the Transition, Intervention and Liaison Mental Health Service – which seeks to increase the access to, and treatment of, mental health services for those approaching discharge who may have mental health needs.I want them to know more about the Veterans Gateway – offering current and former personnel support on everything from financial assistance to property problems.I want them to know about our ground-breaking partnership with Prince Harry and the Royal Foundation – raising awareness about the importance of good mental fitness, drawing on the best research and putting a wealth of information online.And I want them to know we have a mental health strategy that can work for them. It’s about educating our chain of command and working with our people and their families. It’s about spotting the early warning signs of mental illness. It’s about encouraging those who need help to get it quickly. And it’s about prevention – building that vital awareness of good mental health fitness into training so that our troops are better equipped to deal with operational stress before, during and after combat as well as the stresses of day-to-day living that we all experience.Next month the King’s Centre for Military Health Research will be holding a conference uniting leading experts from across the UK and the world to discuss mental health challenges encountered by personnel from the day they join through to retirement. Their work is increasingly important.As the dangers our nation faces become ever more intense and ever more complex, whether from aggressive states such as Russia, terrorism or cyber warfare, it’s vital for us to keep our brave men and women at the top of their game both physically and mentally.But there’s always more we can do to help those who find themselves isolated or feeling low. So make no mistake, it is one of my top priorities as Defence Secretary to make sure everyone in the Armed Forces feels valued.At home, as well as across the world, our Service personnel remain Britain’s finest. And if the ever-evolving nature of conflict demands that we keep adapting our approach then, have no doubt, we are ready and willing to do so. No-one in our Armed Forces need suffer in silence. Our heroic men and women are the backbone of our nation. They lay their lives on the line for us every single day. They are the very best of British. And they deserve nothing less than the very best support.last_img read more

Coronavirus: What should businesses do to make customers feel safer?

first_imgAs lockdown eases, new research has suggested much of the British public believe it is too soon to reopen businesses.Only 37% of respondents feel safe enough to visit restaurants and cafés, according to a nationwide YouGov poll of more than 2,000 adults commissioned by workplace safety platform SafetyCulture.However, the survey has also highlighted ways in which business owners can make customers feel more at ease.More than three in five people said having effective social distancing protocols in place would make a difference, with this likely to make 63% feel safer in restaurants and cafés.“Everywhere is high risk in a pandemic, but everyone has the right to expect a safe experience, so businesses must prioritise the safety of both their customers and employees right now,” said Dan Joyce, general manager EMEA at SafetyCulture.Free and readily available safety supplies including gloves, masks and hand sanitiser would give 43% of respondents confidence to visit a café or restaurant. Compulsory temperature checks would also be appealing to 37% in a restaurant and café, and 38% in pubs and bars.More than a quarter of British people (26%) said being able to access a list of daily safety procedures conducted by cafés and restaurants before visiting would make them feel safer, while 31% wanted to view a list of recent cleaning activities.“Safety and getting your business up and running can go hand-in-hand. As we have seen in other markets which have re-opened sooner, safety has become a differentiator that will attract customers and talent to your business,” added Joyce.The launch of the research follows SafetyCulture’s recent partnership with the British Beer & Pub Association, to support pubs as they reopen their premises.“Transparency around the safety measures businesses have put in place will help ensure both customers and employees feel confident about getting back to work and to socialise, which is crucial to get the British economy up and running again.”Following the Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcement yesterday, VAT on food is to be cut to 5% as part of government plans to revive the hospitality industry.last_img read more

Senior wins Churchill Scholarship

first_imgWhen he first arrived on campus from his native Long Island, N.Y., Harvard senior Levent Alpoge debated between two concentrations: computer science and mathematics.The debate ended when Alpoge took Math 55 during his freshman year. That one class convinced him that the mathematics faculty’s teaching was inspired.“One thing that’s really cool about Harvard is that professors take a significant interest in helping undergraduates learn mathematics,” he said. “They’re into teaching, and teaching is their passion.”Now his decision is paying an exciting dividend, and taking him from one Cambridge to another.Alpoge was recently named a Churchill Scholar and will spend next year at the University of Cambridge. There, he will complete Part III of the university’s Mathematical Tripos and conduct research in analytic number theory, which will earn him a master of advanced study in mathematics.Alpoge decided to apply for the scholarship after his friend and fellow Quincy House resident Tony Feng ’13 won it last year.“This opportunity really couldn’t have come at a more ideal time,” Alpoge said. “The U.K. is currently producing some excellent mathematical research. There are a lot of breakthroughs coming out of Cambridge and Oxford right now, especially in the field of analytic number theory.There are other benefits, too.“I’ve never been to the U.K. for an extended period of time,” he said. “I’m looking forward to traveling around Europe, especially visiting my relatives in Turkey.”At Harvard, Alpoge is active as a course assistant for Math 55 and teaches 8- to 10-year-olds in the Harvard Math Circle program. He is co-editor in chief of the Harvard College Mathematics Review and has been a member of the Harvard Computing Contest Club team throughout his College career. His interests are not limited to mathematics, however: He enjoys soccer and is also an avid runner, completing his first marathon last November.In addition to the Churchill Scholarship, Alpoge won the Detur Book Prize, an award given to Harvard sophomores who achieved high academic standing as freshmen, was named a Goldwater Scholar, a John Harvard Scholar, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.First awarded in 1963, the Churchill Scholarships were created to encourage American students to spend a year studying in the U.K. Each year, the program provides 14 American scholars with funding for a year of postgraduate study in engineering, mathematics, or the sciences at Churchill College, University of Cambridge. In addition to covering academic costs, the scholarship funds each student’s travel, housing, and visa expenses.last_img read more