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Keep informed with news, articles and stories about all things related to children, young people and families.

UK charities gearing up to provide meals to children

With fears over school closure and free school meal programmes being affected by coronavirus, charities are preparing to feed disadvantaged children. Feeding Britain, which runs a food poverty scheme in 12 areas across England is exploring emergency programmes similar to the ones which currently feed children during the school summer holidays. The Akshaya Patra Foundation which provides hot meals to London children during school holidays is also preparing for a crisis. Andrew Forsey, the national director of Feeding Britain,…
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Later bedtime linked to obesity risk in children

The Karolina Institute in Sweden has found that the later a child’s bedtime is, the more likely they are to become obese. Tracking 107 children from the age of one to six, researchers examined their weight, height and waist size. Sleeping patterns were also monitored for several days once each year. For those who went to bed later than 9pm each night, it was determined that their body mass index (BMI) was higher by the time the…
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Study uncovers young people facing rejection from mental health services

Research compiled by the Education Policy Institute (EPI) reveals that over 130,000 young people in the UK were rejected from NHS services in 2019. These include individuals who suffered abuse or self-harmed. 26% of children and adolescents who had referrals did not receive help because their conditions did not qualify for treatment access. The National Health Service refutes these claims, with a spokesperson calling the report a ‘flawed analysis’. Despite pushback the EPI stands by its analysis,…
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Risky play found to be beneficial for young children

Children who are allowed to participate in ‘risky’ play are said to have improved levels of confidence. University of Newcastle professor Linda Newman, Dr. Nicole Leggett and preschool director Kate Higginbottom collaborated on the experimental project in New South Wales, Australia. Their aim was to generate an environment considered ‘risky’ for the average preschool child and see how they reacted to being around elements such as authentic tools and a fire pit. “These days there’s a tendency…
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JK Rowling urges young people not to volunteer at orphanages overseas

Harry Potter author JK Rowling has spoken out at the One Young World conference, arguing that children living in orphanages in poor countries may be being treated with great cruelty and by volunteering in such orphanages, young people may be unintentionally supporting this practice. Rowling also expressed concern that many orphans in developing countries are separated from their parents because of extreme hardship rather than death. She encourages young people not to turn their backs completely on…
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Rise in number of state school pupils at Cambridge

The current proportion of state school pupils attending Cambridge University is nearly 68%, the highest number since the 1980s. Dr. Sam Lucy, Director of Admissions, says applicants have not been deterred by the perception that Cambridge is a socially exclusive institution. The University also states that a quarter of the current student body comes from ‘disadvantaged backgrounds.’ This year, the University reserved 100 places for students classified as ‘deprived’, with the aim of raising the…
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Department for Education to fund national mental health training scheme

The Department for Education has allocated £9.3 million towards helping students receive support for mental health issues. Directed by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families and in partnership with the Link Programme, instruction courses are to take place throughout England with the goal of reaching all 22,000 schools across the country. Working to bridge the gap between NHS specialists and school staff, the scheme aims to erase stigma surrounding mental health concerns…
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Research shows participation in sport enhances children’s wellbeing

Children who take part in organised athletic activities between ages 6 and 10 are more likely to have enhanced emotional health by age 12. A study published by the Université de Montréal finds that children who play a sport at an early age are more equipped with the ability to be cooperative and collaborative, skills that are necessary in both school and adulthood. Linda Pagani, a researcher who worked on the study, says these attributes …
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Youth activism and the new protest movement

Teenagers across the globe are taking action into their own hands by organising large-scale protests in Europe and the States against two very important issues: climate change and gun violence. But protesting is not a new phenomenon, today’s young activists are vocal on matters in ways that do not require them to vote since many are, in fact, too young to vote. Thousands of teens marched through the streets of London, Brussels, and Berlin in…
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African and Albino: “Not ghosts, but humans” by Zahra Dry

Albinism is a genetic disease, inherited from both parents, that causes a lack of pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes. While praised in some countries, in parts of Africa Albinos are often highly discriminated against. Tanzania has the highest Albino birth rate, with one in every 1500 children born with the condition, but these children are at risk from birth as there is still a belief in witchcraft that can put these children in…
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