International Holocaust Memorial Day

I am mindful today that all over the world people will be acknowledging and remembering the terrible crimes against individuals during the second world war.

My own mother knew girls within the rag trade in London who worked alongside girls who bore the numbers as well as the horrendous mental scars from the prison camps.

We must never allow these atrocities to be forgotten and for those that lost friends and relatives, for some whole families we send our prayers, forgiveness for such cruelty is a big ask.

Prejudice and ignorance at its possible worst.As I discussed earlier this week with a minister friend we are all a mixture of ancestors from various religous beliefs and nationalities so what’s the issue?

Choices for women

Like many I have been appalled at some of the verbal abuse certain people in power have directed at women and/or the vulnerable. No names mentioned, but latest discussion on affecting the freedom of choice for women to have a termination of pregnancy for fear of ‘punishment’ is beyond belief.

Without getting into the reasoning behind specific religious beliefs and respecting those that maintain those beliefs there are many reasons why a woman should have the choice and be supported in that choice without shame. This ‘choice’ may be enforced following unwanted attention in the form of a sexual attack culminating in an unwanted pregnancy and/or for medical reasons or just personal circumstances.

In the same day we see women having to petition for the right not to be forced to wear high heels to work -again sheer madness. I am old enough to remember when girls were not allowed to wear trousers to work in the bank until the staff union stepped in.

In a fast growing world or progress it does seem unbelievable that we have to go backwards in terms of people being able to live their life the best they see fit the way they see fit.

 

Meanwhile we all run the risk of being killed by idiots using their mobile phones whilst driving or being in charge of a drone which can cause an airplane to crash, the latter reports are on the increase… now that is worrying. Let’s focus our attentions on the real law breakers putting us all at risk.

Anti-bullying week

Bullying can happen to any of us at any age and in any environment. Sadly far too often people do not realise that the way they are being treated in school or the workplace is recognised as bullying and unacceptable behaviour.

It is proven statistically just how few people who are being bullied share their pain and often for fear of further reprocussions. If you feel that you are being a victim of bullying in any way please ensure that you tell somebody to not only get help for yourself but make those that need to know are aware that it is going on.

There are many easy ways in which you can increase your confidence to regain your power against the cruelty of others.  Don’t under-estimate the power your school or company have in taking the purpertrators to task. In the case of  bullying at school they can be excluded from school.

For parents there are many signs to watch out for which may be connected to bullying, poor sleep patterns, change in diet, being withdrawn and of course reluctance to go to school. Continued bullying can have all sorts of adverse affects on your child’s health, wellbeing and even affect their exam results.

 

Anti-bullying

Later this month it is Anti-bullying awareness week and I hope the various connected charities will be well supported during this time and schools nationally take full advantage of this platform.

However, we all need to be aware of bullying every day and the various forms it takes. Additionally, the growing concerns to parents of the increase and attitude towards cyber-bullying one of the downsides of modern media.This leaves our children subjected to 24/7 attacks from those that choose this cruel way to intimidate others.

Please see my article on Innovate My School’s website

http://www.innovatemyschool.com/industry-expert-articles/item/1670-how-schools-can-tackle-cyberbullying.html

Be safe be aware. Some may be comforted by the fact that statistics say most bullies go on to suffer with depression in later life…I would prefer they are encouraged from an early age to STOP IT for everyone’s sake! Whereas a large proportion of victims don’t tell anybody they are being bullied an even more worrying statistic.

Down’s Syndrome Awareness

This morning I watched the extremely emotive, empowering and brilliant advertisement in support of Down’s Syndrome run by Mencap.

Thankfully some of the myths and ignorance of the 1960’s has been replaced with more awareness and correct information to empower those children with Down’s. Slowly and hopefully we are educating the proportion of society that remain ignorant or indifferent to people with challenges to overcome.

Over the years I have known and had the privilege to work with young adults with Down’s Syndrome and they are truly  beautiful and inspirational to observe and get to know.

To find out more information please visit http://www.mencap.org.uk.

Elephants and Castles…observers of life

Last night I went to see the London based band ‘Elephants and Castles’ play live at The Farmers Boy in St Albans. Great night listening to this really interesting duo who write their own material. OK so do a lot of bands… and I know I am a writer… but their lyrics really impressed me. I found myself hurriedly scribbling a few down on the back of my business cards having scrounged a pen!

The band members Chris Anderson and Rob Spencer are also both teachers with the former being a music teacher who really makes a difference to the lives of the children he works with.

Chris Anderson has been known to me for nearly twenty years and I have enjoyed attending gigs in the past with other bands including ‘Missing the Ferry’ in which he plays with three other band members two of which are his equally talented and musical brothers Kevin and Paul.

My followers know that I don’t often stray from my main blog theme but these guys deserve a mention and one particular song really resonates with me and my work with the elderly..  ‘Larry and Janet‘ is an emotive song about how changes to areas affect those that may have lived there for most if not all their life and are expected to move away from all that’s familiar. And, as their lyrics state:

‘What’s left for you and me, we don’t fit into next year’s plans. …One way ticket to the outskirts..they’re gonna push us out’

During the course of the evening I was informed by loyal fans about the inspiration of so many of their songs, these guys are keen observers of life. I was equally pleased to learn ‘Outdoor kids‘ another brilliant song was inspired by Redbourn my village!

If Chris and Rob get to see this I hope I scribbled the lyrics down correctly.. after consuming a few large glasses of wine. Thanks for making a Sunday night memorable and I will be playing your disc later.

Keep an eye on these two…they have some amazing musical messages that need to be heard!

 

 

 

Talking about being bullied

I have always been a great supporter of anti-bullying activities, indeed I was responsible for the funding and placement of a buddy bench at my local junior school.

As we all know when one is bullied it says more about the bullies than it does about you…easy to say not so easy to apply. Even the most popular students at school are the victim of bullying. There are great support charities to give advice including the Anti-bullying Alliance.

Very pleased to hear that Prince William is helping with awareness of this ever-growing problem to both children and adults alike especially via modern media.

Please read my article on tackling cyber bullying on Innovate My school’s website

http://www.innovatemyschool.com/ideas/how-schools-can-tackle-cyberbullying

Mixed messages

A few of my followers may have been surprised to see a post last week about grime music. What I didn’t mention was that during the fun time with my daughter I was actually quite alarmed, and, if I am honest, disappointed to hear the young male singers using the ‘n’ word. My daughter explained it is spelled differently but I heard what I heard.

As  I ranted at the time; are we going backwards have we learnt nothing? Martin Luther King and others gave their time and their life in support of a non racialist time.

I have been advised since that it is acceptable for one shall we say ‘young man of colour’ to use it to another ‘young man of colour’ and that in itself is sending mixed messages.

Confusingly so all youngsters will now start using this word (however they spell it) which I am deeply uncomfortable with. The irony being if they do use it verbally  in the workplace and/or within schools/colleges they run the risk of being in trouble for being racist or bullying.

I am trying to be politically correct in my blog and no offence is intended. My own mother grew up understanding what real prejudice meant in war time and being half Jewish and consequently raised us not to be prejudice in any shape or form.

If anybody can explain the purpose of this u-turn  I would greatly appreciate it as it makes no sense to me. Music artist and writers have the ideal platform of opportunity ‘to do good’ with their lyrics and send the right messages – this current phase isn’t one of them…but that’s just my view.