A political heavyweight is risking a punch on the nose to help raise funds for youngsters suffering from the same genetic disease that sadly led to the death of a baby from Crewe.
Jonathan Arnott, a UKIP MEP, is taking part in a chess-boxing event on Sunday in London with the aim of raising money for theAlly Cadence Trust for Spinal Muscular Atrophy.
He decided to promote this particular charity after hearing about the death of Sophie Harling, who sadly died last October aged just ten months. She was the daughter of a fellow MEP’s employee, Wayne Harling, who lives with his wife Lizzie in Crewe.
Jonathan is to face Lib Dem Toby ‘Slowby’ White in the contest of “brains and brawn” at London’s famous boxing venue, York Hall, on April Fools Day – but it is no joke and he wants as many people as possible to show their support by donating to the charity.
The contest involves involves three minute rounds of chess followed by two minutes of boxing. Chess and boxing rounds alternate until there is a winner. Competitors can either knock their opponents out by checkmate on the board, or more fittingly by a knockout in the boxing ring. If neither checkmate nor knockout occurs, then the end result of the bout is determined by the judges’ scorecards.
36-year-old Jonathan has previously competed in international chess tournaments but as a novice boxer he has been practising with a sparring partner to build up his stamina and expertise. Continue reading A worthy cause→
It was both depressing and alarming to read that assaults on community nurses and mental health workers in Cumbria have shot up.
We all know that regrettably attacks on our NHS staff take place far too often. Violence, both physical and verbal, on health workers, also including paramedics and doctors, should never ever occur.
Understandably patients and their relatives are often in a tense state when needing medical care, both in a community and hospital setting, but they should not vent aggression on anyone, let alone those trying to help.
Mental health problems in society are on the rise, through a combination of factors, and staff are specially trained to help them, ideally without being assaulted. Sadly some of those with serious mental health issues are always going to be a potential risk and drink and drug abuse exacerbates this.
A total of 17% of staff within Cumbria Partnership NHS Trust reported suffering physical violence while working last year.I sincerely hope that the next set of figures does not show a further rise. Our selfless health workers, both in the community and in hospital settings, should be able to carry out their duties free from fear.
With an agreed £1.9 billion sale of General Motors-owned Vauxhall/Opel to the Peugeot Citreon group, understandably the focus has now moved on to the fate of the Astra plant in Ellesmere Port.
However, we should be reassured that the UK car industry is not the same today as it was in the 80s and 90s. Gone are the days of British car manufacturing being nothing more than a ‘sick man of Europe’. In 2012, the plant in Ellesmere Port was under threat of closure. However, it was soon revealed that the Cheshire plant was producing 47 cars per hour compared to only 30 at its sister plant in Bochum, Germany.
It may be true that it is logistically easier to close a factory in the UK compared to France or Germany, but economic arguments don’t lie. Cheaper business tax rates, more flexible workforces and greater political stability has already secured the investment of VW-owned Bentley in Crewe, Indian-owned Jaguar Land Rover in Merseyside, and Nissan in the north east.
Vauxhall’s new owners will soon see that the smart money is on keeping their plants in the UK open for business for the long term.
It is so refreshing to learn that the waste reduction charity, Wrap, is advocating ditching ‘use-by’ dates for milk.
Like many others I was brought up to tell whether milk was okay by sniffing or sipping it. Using old-fashioned common sense has served generations well in terms of sussing out if food and drink is safe or not.
Food safety is obviously very important but we now live in a risk-adverse namby-pamby society where more than 100 million pints of milk and more than 4 million tonnes of food are needlessly chucked out each year.
Unfortunately some people get confused between ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ dates and education by Wrap can only but help.
Meanwhile I am delighted that they are in talks with the dairy industry, Food Standards Agency and government officials over whether to scrap the use-by dates to reduce milk wastage.
I hope this comes about and is also applied to other food stuffs that don’t need such labels.