Oxfam GB will be certainly be hopeful that a difficult 2018 is firmly behind it with the appointment of Danny Sriskandarajah as its next chief executive. A few months ago, Oxfam GB announced that it would be appointing as CEO Mr Sriskandarajah who previously served as Secretary General and Chief Executive of Civicus which is a South African based global alliance of civil society organisations. Mr Sriskandarajah will be succeeding Mark Goldring who last year announced he would be stepping down from his role at the charity.
Strong non-profit background
Mr Sriskandarajah who is based in London has a strong background in the non-profit sector having worked at Civicus since 2013 and previously having served as Director General of the Royal Commonwealth Society. Prior to that Mr Sriskandarajah was a director of the Commonwealth Foundation and also worked at the Institute for Public Policy Research. Mr Sriskandarajah is originally from Sri Lanka, but was raised in Australia and PNG before moving to the United Kingdom in 1998.
Oxfam chairperson Caroline Thomson says Mr Sriskandarajah is the correct person to lead Oxfam as it seeks to change and renew itself because he both a brilliant strategic thinker and has a track record of delivery. Ms Thomson adds that Mr Sriskandarajah has a solid understanding of the challenges faced by the entire sector including gender justice. Ms Thomson describes Mr Sriskandarajah as one of the next generation of leaders who has both a global reputation of original thought and the ability to inspire the people who work with him.
Will deliver solutions
Most importantly Ms Thomson says that it is believed that Mr Sriskandarajah is willing to ask all the hard questions necessary and has the ability to work well with colleagues across the entire federation of Oxfam to deliver solutions. A spokesperson for Oxfam did not say how much the organisation would pay Mr Sriskandarajah but did say it would be less than what was paid to Mr Goldring. Last year the charity earned £472.2 million during the financial year of 2017-2018 and employs 5,000 full time staff members as well as tens of thousands of volunteers.
Category: National Trust
The Director General of the National Trust has vigorously defended the charities decision regarding charging for entry to the Giant’s Causeway visitor centre. Some people have complained that they have been misled by official signs which suggest they must pay to visit the world-famous stones in County Amtrim. Hilary McGrady who heads up the Trust says that all money collected is used for maintenance of the site as well as other properties in Northern Ireland under the care of the National Trust.
Trying to be transparent
Mrs McGrady says her organisation is trying to be transparent about the signs. Some residents who live nearby and those who walk past the site have complained about the signs indicate that people are accessing the tourist location with the “permission” of the National Trust. Mrs McGrady whom herself hails from Northern Ireland says the organisation has been clear that anybody wishing to walk to the Causeway Stones for free has the ability to do so.
Maintenance not free
She adds that maintenance of the attraction is not free and somebody has to pay for it to be looked after. This means that entry to the visitor centre and the experience one gets from it will not be for free and that is the reason the National Trust charges an entry fee as well as for parking. People are paying for those two things rather than the Stones. The National Trust is the largest landowner in the United Kingdom and earned an income of £600 million from legacies, membership and property. The organisation has assets of approximately £1.3 billion.
Doing a better of job of being clear
According to a recent report, the Giant Causeway generated a contribution of more than £480 million to the Northern Ireland economy in 2017. Mrs McGrady who assumed the role of Director General in 2018 says it is a privilege to lead the National Trust. She says she has worked hard to be clear about what exactly the Trust is about. This is because for many years the media and the public conception of what the National Trust stands for has been a little confused.One day the conversation is about climate change and the next day the topic of discussion is LGBTQ so one can understand the confusion regarding what the organisation stands for.
Mrs McGrady says the overwhelming majority of the general public have enormous affection of the National Trust because it takes care of special places and she is seeking to take the organisation back to its roots which is what it does on a day-to-day basis. This doesn’t mean the organisation will stop pushing boundaries and it will continue to push the stories that the public wants to hear. She also wants to make sure the organisation stays relevant and its standards continue to rise.
Jessica Kellgren-Fozard in an internet celebrity who also happens to have be deaf and disabled. Not surprisingly Ms Kellgren-Fozard isusing her fame to support a charity that provides dogs that help hearing impaired individuals. Jessica has a YouTube following and is posting videos in a bid to raise £1,000 to sponsor Leo the puppy who will one day be one of the 900 plus dogs that have been paired with hearing impaired humans, assisting them with every day activities.
On her fundraising page Jessica tells readers that she knows intimately what it is like living with disabilities and being deaf. She says there is a feeling of worry and isolation and that she is lucky to have a couple of dogs named Tilly and Walter who provide her with comfort whenever she feels in need of it. Jessica says no one should ever feel isolated and hopefully with the support of her followers, Leo will go on to provide assistance to someone and ensure they never feel that way again.
Hearing Dogs For Deaf People is thrilled
Rachel Annetts a fundraising manager with Hearing Dogs responsible for Brighton says the charity is thrilled that Jessica has chosen to raise money for it. The charity receives absolutely zero in terms of government funding and is therefore completely dependent on the kindness of supporters in order to continue training dogs that transform the lives of hearing-impaired people. Ms Annetts adds that Jessica’s campaign will help a lot. Not only do these guide dogs make their human partners aware of important sounds that could save their lives such as smoke or intruder alarms, but they also provide emotional support as well.
The charity is grateful
Ms Annetts concludes that guide dogs are critical for many hearing-impaired people because as Jessica notes they do experience a sense of loneliness and isolation. Anyone who chooses to support Jessica in her efforts to raise money for Hearing Dogs For Deaf People will be directly aiding deaf people move away from a life of loneliness and reconnect with the world so the charity is extremely grateful. At present one in five UK residents experience some form of hearing impairment and this will increase to one in four over the next one or two decades.
Category: Guide Dogs For The Blind
A young boy whose eyesight is slowly being lost has become an inspiration to the rest of us after raising thousands of Pounds for Guide Dogs. 12-year-old Corey Allenby hopes he can help other people who are also losing their sight after being diagnosed with a genetic disorder known as Retinitis Pigmentosa which is a condition that results in the death of the retinal cells at the back of the eye. Corey is currently registered as being partially blind but his sight has been so impaired that he no longer has peripheral vision and is totally night blind which means he cannot see at all after the sun goes down.
Refuses to let his disease get the better of him
Corey has so far raised £2,866 for Guide Dogs and has also refused to allow his disease get the better of him. He has mastered level five braille and has also learned how to use a cane as well as been trained in the use of a buddy dog. When Corey met his first buddy dog from Guide Dogs, he was inspired to raise money for the organisation because he was so impressed with the dog’s training and intelligence which has resulted in the improvement of so many visually impaired lives throughout the country.
Putting on events
Corey along with the help of his family and their friends put on a number of events including a special fun day and a sponsored walk. Corey’s sister also participated in a sponsored dance-a-thon, raising close to £3,000 all of which went to Guide Dogs. Corey says he is incredibly pleased to have raised so much money for a charity he thinks is completely amazing. He adds that it did take a lot of work to put everything together but he received support from family, friends and even his school.
Making a difference
The money raised by Corey will be used to train a young guide dog and Corey will be able to keep track of its progress through regular updates. Amy Petterson a fund raiser for Guide Dogs says the work Corey has done and the amount of money he has raised for the charity is a remarkable achievement. Corey has also been helping the visually impaired in other ways, his mum set up a Facebook page for him which she says has made a huge difference because he has been speaking to parents all over the world with children who have a similar condition to his and wish to know what to expect. Retinitis Pigmentosa affects an estimated 1 in every 4000 people, and is passed on by mutated genes.
According to WWF, the number of tigers in Nepal has nearly doubled over the last nine years helping to save the species from extinction in the wild. In 2009 there were 121 tigers in Nepal and this year the population estimate is now 235. This is fantastic news because it means the global trend of rising wild tiger populations that began for the first time in a century during 2016 is intact. The tiny landlocked country of Nepal looks on track to reach its 2022 goal of doubling its wild tiger population compared to 2010.
The goal of doubling wild tiger numbers
This target has been adopted by 13 other countries that the tiger roams wild in. Ghana Gurun, WWF’s person on the spot in Nepal says every tiger is another step closer to saving the species from extinction. Whilst Nepal is just a few tigers away from the goal of doubling the species population by 2022, it emphasises the continuing requirement to keep tigers and their habitat protected for the long-term survival of the species.
With a little help from its friends
The survey was conducted by the government of Nepal and used a number of techniques including camera traps to come up with an estimate of the wild tiger population in the country. Leonardo DiCaprio has a foundation which also funded conservation efforts in Nepal’s Bardia Natioanl Park for the last eight years. The movie star says that the significant increase in wild tiger numbers in Nepal is evidence that when everyone works together, it is possible to save the Earth’s wildlife including species on the brink of extinction.
Wild tiger numbers have fallen dramatically
Mr DiCaprio says he is proud of his foundation’s partnership with WWF to support the efforts of the government of Nepal and local communities to double the population of wild tigers. Whilst the story is positive we should pause to remember that wild tiger populations have fallen by more than 95 per cent since the turn of the 20th century and the species continues to be under threat as a result of human wildlife conflict, habitat destruction and poaching.
Still under threat
The illegal trade in wildlife such as tiger bones, skins, claws and other body parts continues to boom in Asia where they are used for medicine or displayed as status symbols. Thanks to much of the conservation work done by governments of countries in Indian, Russia, Nepal and Bhutan in partnership with agencies such as WWF, the wild tiger population has increased from 3,200 in 2010 to 3,890 today.
Category: Cancer Research UK
Cancer Research UK says that within 25 years, the leading cause of preventable cancer in the UK amongst women will no longer be smoking but will be obesity instead. Part of that is down to the fact the most common’s weight related cancers only affect women such as breast cancer. Cancer Research UK says that adult obesity increases the risk of as many as 13 different types of cancer ranging from bowel to kidney cancer. Less than 1 in 7 people in the UK however are aware there is a link between obesity and cancer.
Cancer Research UK has been running an awareness campaign featuring massive posters in locations where there is plenty of footfall. The organisation is seeking to show people they have gaps in their knowledge and wants to educate the public that the biggest preventable cause of cancer today after smoking is obesity. A Cancer Research UK spokesperson says a half century ago, most people were unaware that smoking causes cancer.
Highlighting the link between obesity and cancer
Today the organisation wants to highlight the link between obesity and cancer and make sure it has the public’s attention so that they know the facts. Companies are bombarding the public with advertisements for junk food. Many accessible foods are high in calories which makes it very difficult for people to maintain a healthy weight.
The government needs to act
Cancer Research UK hopes that its campaign will force the government to take measures to tackle the obesity epidemic and make it easier for all us to make far healthier choices. Obesity is a massive threat to public health that will only get worse if we fail to act. The government can help reduce the number of obesity related cancers by making it simpler for people to maintain a healthy weight and protect their children. Overweight children are five times more likely to be obese as an adult.
Awareness campaigns and legislation work
The measures Cancer Research UK is urging the government to adopt is a ban on junk food advertisements before 9PM and for restrictions to be placed of the discounting of less healthy products. The reduction in the number of people who smoke is something society needs to celebrate. It is an example of what can happen after decades of efforts to raise awareness of the health risks associated with the habit. When you combine that with strong political support such as taxation policy, banning advertising and smoking in indoor places, the efforts do pay off.
Oxfam reckons that the four biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world are dodging an estimated £3 billion pounds in taxes. The aid agency says that such behaviour deprives governments in both the developed and the developing world of an important source of revenue that could be used for poverty reduction programmes and the provision of public healthcare. The poorest countries suffer the most from tax avoidance because they tend to rely more on corporate tax to finance government spending than they do on income tax.
An Oxfam spokesperson said it was not acceptable for big pharma to deprive governments of billions in tax revenue that could be used to alleviate poverty and provide healthcare. The irony is that these companies develop life-saving treatments for profit whilst depriving governments of revenue that could be used to save people’s lives. Given the amount of money that governments pay big pharma companies for their medicines, the least that can be expected is that these companies pay their fair share in tax.
Companies should pay their fair share
The analysis by Oxfam suggests that the four biggest pharmaceutical companies who manufacture vaccines and household brands are moving their profits from countries where they operate and transferring them to tax havens. The report also highlights how the industry in general lobbies governments, shaping policy that sets the price of medicines extremely high. Prices are so high that more often than not products are simply not affordable for public providers of healthcare or for patients.
R&D model needs to be overhauled
Oxfam says there is a necessity for the research and development model for new medicines to be completely overhauled so that drug discovery is determined by the needs of the public instead of profits. This is not the first time the pharmaceutical industry has been criticised. Recently the Health Secretary accused the manufacturer of a drug used to treat cystic fibrosis of ripping off tax payers and profiting off the back of the NHS. Whilst these companies do make medicines that can transform lives their behaviour may well end up preventing people from receiving the treatment they desperately need.
Tax avoidance is one reason for growing inequality
Tax avoidance is not limited to the pharmaceutical industry. It is taking place all over the world and is one of the driving factors behind growing income inequality. The United Kingdom has shown much needed leadership in tackling the problem of global tax avoidance and has passed legislation that forces global corporations operating in the country to publish details of all their activities in every country they operate in. The policy has yet to be implemented and Oxfam is urging the government to do so sooner rather than later.
Category: Guide Dogs For The Blind
Dogalogue is running a fantastic sale store wide in the run up to Christmas. You can purchase items and receive a whopping 10 per cent discount. All you need to do is make a purchase this December and enter code D18G0012 at check out and this deal could be yours. There are loads of items to choose from ranging from gorgeous gifts and essential extras. If you want to make sure your get your 10% discount remember to make a purchase before the end of the month.
How to get this deal
- Shop at the Dogalogue store and make a purchase on or before December 31st 2018.
- Enter coupon code D18G0012.
- Receive a 10% Discount on your entire purchase.
Category: Guide Dogs For The Blind
An employee with a specialist team of Guide Dogs UK who helps deliver a whopping 1,400 puppies every year says she has the best job in the world. Nicole Bottomley has been working with Guide Dogs for 4 decades. Her husband Matthew is the head of breeding operations for Guide Dogs UK and she has been working for the organisation since she was 18 after falling in love with the cute puppies that she saw being trained out and about as she was growing up.
Calling in life
Mrs Bottomley says that the best bit about her job is being there to see the puppies born and knowing they would eventually become guide dogs who would change the lives of their owner. She says that every day is amazing. Mrs Bottomley said she knew her job was her calling even when she was at school. At the time there were no vacancies so she started her career with a veterinary practice before graduating to Guide Dogs UK and has never looked back.
Mrs Bottomley says it is very rewarding working with the dogs and she deeply loves providing support to volunteer families. She started her career with Guide Dogs UK as a kennel assistant and eventually became the manager. She was then moved over to the breeding centre where she worked as dog care manager. She took a break to have her children and then returned part-time eventually transitioning back to full time after joining her present team. Her job entails visiting dogs at volunteer homes and helping to deliver puppies.
Every step of the way
Mrs Bottomley says her team is there every step of the way, from the moment mating takes place right through to delivery of a litter. Once a litter is delivered the pups are brought to the breeding centre at six weeks of age where they are vaccinated and microchipped and then settled into the kennels. They spend a week at the kennels before being moved to their puppy walking homes which can be anywhere throughout the UK.
Going from basic training to proper training
Their puppy walker givens them basic training such as learning to walk ahead whilst on a leash and learning to understand commands such as sit and stay. They also get used to environments such as cafes and shops. Training proper begins when a puppy is a year old and more advanced skills are taught such as learning to walk in a straight line and stopping at kerbs. The dogs are then matched with an owner upon graduation with whom Guide Dogs continues to provide support for the final four weeks of training.
The RSPB was instrumental in the successful prosecution of a game-keeper who shot and killed two owls. Timothy Cowin was charged with the intentional killing of two owls that are a protected species, the short-eared owl. Mr Cowin plead guilty to both charges as well as an additional charge of possessing weapons that could be used to commit offenses against wild birds. He was fined a total £1,210 for all the charges he was found guilty of after appearing in Lancaster Magistrates Court.
Conviction is a stark warning to others
The North Yorkshire Police who partnered with RSPB issued a stark warning to others who feel inclined to commit crimes against wildlife. A police spokesperson said the latest conviction represents yet another step in the fight against crimes against protected species of birds. The conviction of Timothy Cowin is the first time a raptor prosecution case has been successful in court after many years and the police are proud of the officers who worked hard to make the case.
The spokesperson added that whilst on the surface things seemed rather straightforward, in fact the case was rather complicated as a result of matters of law. According to judgement, on April 19th last year, RSPB officers visited the area Mr Cowin worked in as a game-keeper and saw him walking along the moor with a gun in hand. One of the officers saw Mr Cowin shoot and kill two short-eared owls and watched him dispose of their bodies on the moor. The RSPB officers immediately contacted the police and after a short pursuit, the police were able to detain Mr Cowin and arrest him.
Probably not the first time
Both of the owl corpses were collected and taken for post mortem which confirmed the cause of death had been a bullet wound. Mr Cowin also was found in possession of a Fox Pro calling device which is used to lure prey. Mr Cowin’s vehicle was seized as a result. The police spokesperson adds that not only did Mr Cowin let himself down but has tarred his former profession negatively. His actions are likely to have an impact for a number of years. The police say they will continue to take action to ensure the laws are obeyed.
RSPB grateful to police
A spokesperson for the RSPB said that the organisation has received several disturbing reports over the years from the hunting community alleging that short-eared owls were being systematically targeted on the grouse moors in Northern England. The spokesperson adds the way these spectacular birds were premeditatedly flushed shot and then hidden is shocking. He concluded by saying RSPB is incredibly grateful for the immediate response of the police to a location that is considered remote at best.