Solution to all problems……

How often do you hear ‘you’ll feel better after a strong cup of tea’? or ‘cup of tea with plenty of sugar – it’s good for the shock’……


Whatever situation we are going through, a cup of tea is thought to ease the way.


So, a pretty sobering piece in The Metro this morning!  ……… which published findings ‘office teabags have 17 times more germs than a loo seat’


When you consider that statement remember office teabags are usually stored in an open jar which everyone can help themselves to.  How many times have you been in the toilets at work and seen people come out of a cubicle and leave the area without washing their hands…………. then they make a cup of team – ouch!


I can see how the findings could be right – what do you think?


Maybe think twice before accepting that cuppa!  Better still, bring your own cup and T-Bags in!

Equality 4 Mental Health – will it ever be so?

Founded by Norman Lamb MP, Alastair Mitchell & Andrew Mitchell MP to raise both awareness and resources of all experiencing mental ill health.


Just a year ago they brought together 250 leaders from business, trade unions, the arts, music, sport, education, health and politics, to demand equality for all who suffer particularly in receiving timely, appropriate help and support.


In her speech on the day she became Prime Minister, Theresa May said ‘if you suffer from mental health problems, there’s not enough help to hand’.  So there is clearly high level support to do the right thing.  But will change happen?


Equality 4 Mental Health are submitting a statement to the Chancellor to include in the Government’s Autumn Statement.  This coupled with the substantial support they have recruited and that of 9 former Secretaries of State for Health, Chair of the Health Select Committee, former CEO of NHS England as well as senior government officials.


Some of the points included in Equality 4 Mental Health’s statement include:


  • Cuts to budgets need to stop
  • Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 – 3 times higher than women
  • People requiring support from Mental Health professionals are often shunted across the country – there needs to be more local support,
  • Support for children and young people is woefully inadequate and has infact gone backwards over recent years.  75% of this age bracket do not receive any help.  Children/young people’s mental health services receive just 0.7% of the total NHS budget.  In the first year of promised additional investment only £143m was allocated from an expected £250m!
  • Children & young people with eating disorders and mental illness are not receiving treatment early enough.
  • Research continues to lose out with just 5.5% of research funding.


There are other damning points in the statement.  I wonder if despite all the good intentions and support from establishment members if money will win out.  I.e. will budgets be slashed along with services and support?


Or, for once, when it’s really essential, will we do the right thing and invest?


I know which I am hoping for………. what about you?

A triumph – Friday 6 February


The final day of the Orientation Week – 4th generation dawned with some trepidation from the Growing Talent Associates.  After preparation, planning, run through after run through the Social Enterprise Judging Panel had arrived!


Coffee and adrenaline flowed as did the nerves and bravado! at 10am the judges started to arrive – Jon Barnes – PwC, Simon Pratt – Portico, Greg Bramwell – Baxter Storey, Chloe Crudgington – Iron Mountain, Patti Sidhu – Pertemps and Jo Gadian – JCP.  Armed with score sheets, questions and feedback, the panel listed intently to the three ideas:


A Better Place was the first to go.  Sinead, Michael and Joshua delivered a sensitive presentation on rape and the social stigma for all involved.  Next up was Growing Hope a knit of ideas based on the individual interests of Maxine – allotments, Daoud – football coaching, Jessica – dance classes for all ages and abilities and Selwyn in charge of transport.  The third presentation by Kit, Jane, Courtney and Kaith was to develop a unified bike scheme in Ealing.


The panel had five minutes to decide the winning idea – but took over 20 – such was the calibre!  Finally A Better Place was announced as the overall winner and Jon presented silver cups to team members.


winners 2


Some judges comments taken from their score sheets include:  ‘engaged immediately- great presentation’, ‘professional and passionate’, ‘great team support for each other’.  To think the Growing Talent Associates had only known each other for a few short days!


Comments from the Associates themselves reflecting on Growing Talent so far:

‘Job seeking really knocks your confidence, so this is a great way to build people up again and make them feel worthy of work’

‘I am very happy to be on this programme, I feel very positive about the future’


‘Great scheme’

‘I hope it continues’

‘Thank you for this great opportunity’

‘This scheme is brilliant – it helps us gain confidence’

‘Fantastic organisation and inspiring Growing Talent should replace all JobCentres’

‘This scheme has helped me and I know it has helped others’

‘This is a fantastic experience.  It’s a really good way of gaining confidence and getting doors open for the future which we don’t usually believe can happen.’

Prince Ea – sums it up beautifully……..

I’ve always been amazed at how dependent we are on social media.  We have generations who can’t live without their mobiles to access social media.  Surprisingly, it isn’t just the young either.  I often see middle aged men and women just missing lamp posts and other obstacles because they are texting!

The scariest times are when people are texting very close to the platform edge having just got of the train.  No sense of danger.  no ability to wait five minutes.  Are the messages we get really that urgent that we have to put ourselves in harms way?

In Dubai last year, a whole family were walking around Dubai flicking through their mobiles!  Not talking to each other.  Not taking in their surroundings.  What a crazy world.  Does anyone talk to each other anymore?

One of the Growing Talent Associates found this film link.  Brilliant lyrics.  Thought provoking on our behaviours.  What do you think of it?