Friday 8th March marks the annual celebration of International Women’s Day. The theme for 2019 is ‘Balance for Better’. The theme encourages all to help build a gender balanced world. There is still a lot more to be achieved. From grassroots activism to worldwide action, we are entering an exciting period of history where the world expects balance. We can all notice its absence and celebrate its presence.
International Women’s Day is a day to reflect on the progress made in the fight for women’s rights, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the fights for women’s rights in their countries and communities.
The hard work is shown by the fact that more women are working than ever before. Today, over 70% of women aged 16–64 are employed, which is up from 53% in 1971. This a great increase but is still below the 79.8% of men we see today.
Under representation of women in is still evident in parliament with women holding 208 out of 650 seats in the House of Commons and 207 out of 805 seats in the House of Lords.
Despite these increases, there is still a gap that needs to be bridged and International Women’s Day raises awareness of this. We need to continue the fight and achieve balance for better.
Use the hashtags #BalanceforBetter and #IWD2019 to follow the events!
Check your hearing this 3rd March on World Hearing Day! The day raises awareness on how to prevent deafness and hearing loss and promoting ear and hearing care globally. This year’s theme is ‘Check your hearing’ which draws attention to the importance of early identification and intervention for hearing loss.
On 3 March 2019, the World Health Organisation, who organize the day, will launch a free app that allows people to check their hearing. The app, called HearWHO app, will be used to raise awareness about the importance of hearing, encourage people to check their hearing regularly and practice safe listening and allow health workers to check the hearing status of people in their communities.
Many people live with unidentified hearing loss and often fail to realise that they are missing out on certain sounds and words. Checking your hearing is the first step towards addressing the issue. Everyone should regularly check their hearing, especially those in groups at a higher risk of hearing loss such as the over 50s and people working in loud environments.
The risks of hearing loss has become particularly more prominent in recent years with technology such as those listening to music or watching television at high volumes, creating higher risk of hearing loss from a younger age. Unless action is taken, by 2030 there will be nearly 630 million people with disabling hearing loss.
Eating Disorders Awareness Week this year takes place between 25th February and 3rd March. Eating disorders can affect anyone, anywhere. This National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), want to change the conversation around food, body image, and eating disorders!
This year’s theme ‘Come as You Are’ aims to encourage inclusivity. The eating disorders charity, Beat, estimates that there are over 1.6 million people struggling with an eating disorder throughout the UK. Everyone should be able to speak out, share their experiences and connect with others.
The week also aims to start conversations with a variety of communities that struggle with eating disorders and coming to terms with them compared to those traditionally thought of as struggling with eating disorders. Eating Disorder Awareness Week gives everyone a platform and recognises that all experiences are valid no matter where they are in relationship to food or their bodies.
Eating Disorders are a mental illness and aren’t always visible. Too often those who suffer from eating disorders are ignored and turned away from treatment and the Liberal Democrats want to make treatment for eating disorders available to all.
This Eating Disorder Week come as you are, not as you think you should be.
If you think you or a loved one may have an eating disorder or want to find out more follow this link to the NHS Eating Disorders Page https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/eating-disorders/
You can follow the events on the hashtag #NEDAwarenessWeek
Human Rights Day takes place annually on the 10th December commemorating the establishment of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the declaration’s establishment, a document that establishes the equal dignity and worth of every person. The document is available in more than 500 languages making it the most translated document in the world, marking its’ global importance.
Human Rights Day recognises the success of the document whilst realising that the documents promise is yet to be fully realised. There are countries around the world where these rights are not observed, leaving people at great risk. It is important that we stand up for the rights of those in these countries as well as our own rights. Human Rights Day helps to raise awareness of human rights and their importance, whilst putting pressure on non-abiding countries to make a change.
The Liberal Democrats recognise the importance of the International Declaration of Human Rights and fully support the document, realising its’ relevance now as much as ever.
The events can be followed through the hashtag #StandUp4HumanRights
Anti-Bullying Week will take place this year between the 12th and 16th November. This year’s key theme is ‘Choose Respect’. The theme has been chosen to highlight the fact that bullying is a behaviour choice and that a positive example can be set by choosing to respect each other. There are two awareness days taking place, starting ‘Odd Socks Day’ on the 12th and ending with ‘Stop Speak Support’ cyberbullying day on the 15th.
The ‘Stop Speak Support’ day will be Anti-Bullying week’s first Cyberbullying focused day. Cyberbullying continues to be a significant issue for young people today and the issue has received great focus in recent years. The importance of the day is shown by its support from the Royal Foundation and the Royal Cyberbullying Taskforce set up by the Duke of Cambridge.
Organised by the Anti-Bullying Alliance, the week raises awareness of bullying and the impact that it can have on all in society, not just children. The Alliance, started in 2002, want to create an environment where people can live, grow, play and learn. They do this by providing support and expertise in relation to all forms of bullying between children and young people.
If you have been the victim of bullying, need support or are just simply interested in learning more, visit the Anti-Bullying Alliance website at: https://www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/
You can also follow the events online through the hash tags #antibullyingweek and #abw18
World Mental Health Day: 10th October 2018
This year’s World Mental Health Day focuses on young people in a changing world.
Half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14, but most cases go undetected and untreated. Depression is one of the most common diseases in teenagers and suicide is the leading cause of death for people between 5-19 years old.
Being young can be difficult, with changes in every part of your life. From exam pressures, social media, getting to grips with dating, to moving away to uni or getting a new job, young people deal with many different pressures while growing up. Often at the same time they are starting to use drugs, like alcohol, which can make problems worse.
Unfortunately there’s still a taboo around mental illness that means problems are too often kept secret rather than shared with friends and family. Luckily many of our schools have already got the message about the importance of helping youngsters build the mental resilience from early life. This World Mental Health day is all about improving communication between young people and parents, teachers and friends, to let everyone know that, like physical health, mental health is something to work at and to talk about openly.
If you are experiencing mental health problems or need support, there are lots of places you can go to for help.
Telephone: 116 123 (24 hours a day, free to call)
Provides confidential, non-judgemental emotional support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those that could lead to suicide. You can phone, email, write a letter or in most cases talk to someone face to face.
Telephone: 0300 123 3393 (9am-5pm Monday to Friday)
Web site: www.mind.org.uk/help/advice_lines
Mind provides confidential mental health information services. With support and understanding, Mind enables people to make informed choices. The Infoline gives information on types of mental distress, where to get help, drug treatments, alternative therapies and advocacy. Mind also has a network of nearly 200 local Mind associations providing local services.
Rethink Mental Illness Advice Line
Telephone: 0300 5000 927 (10am-2pm Monday to Friday)
Provides expert advice and information to people with mental health problems and those who care for them, as well as giving help to health professionals, employers and staff. Rethink also runs Rethink services and groups across England and Northern
Libraries Week takes place between the 8–13 October to celebrate our country’s libraries.
Libraries play are very important to our area, helping to bring our community together. That’s why Libraries Week is focusing on how our libraries help with personal well-being. Libraries don’t just give us free access to our favourite author’s and magazine subscriptions they do much much more – bringing communities together, fighting loneliness, and supporting people with their mental health by providing a safe space.
Do you know how libraries help local people…
- Libraries save the NHS £30million per year by improving well-being – a saving like that pays for over 1,000 hard working nurses!
- Research shows that library users have are happier and more satisfied with their lives than non-users.
- Being a regular library user is also associated with good health.
- Reading for pleasure has been linked to a reduction in stress, the symptoms of depression and the risk of developing dementia in later life.
- 76% of adults say reading improves their life and the same number says it helps to make them feel good.
Why not pick up your library card (or sign up for one) and get reading today to celebrate.
If you love your local library you can get involved with Libraries Week too. Just check out their brilliant website here.
This Saturday, the 30th June, marks National Armed Forces Day and is a time to celebrate the fantastic contribution of our Armed Forces.
We will celebrate those who both currently and have previously served in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, and show support for all of those in the Armed Forces community.
George Butcher said, “I believe it is very important to understand more about the day to day working of our Armed Forces personnel, and the issues and challenges they face – both whilst serving in uniform, and also when they leave active service and annually celebrate the huge contribution they make.”
“I will be using the day to #SaluteOurForces to pay tribute to the British Armed Forces community for their hard work, dedication and efforts to and keep us safe in the UK and across the globe.”
Here in AREA there are a number of events being held to celebrate our troops, service families, veterans and cadets.
You can find out more at www.armedforcesday.org.uk/find-events