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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 229

Date:- 12 December 2005

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LOCAL COMMUNITY GROUPS BENEFIT FROM BT CHAMPIONS

THE BT Community Champions award scheme has benefited 7 community groups in the North West, with cash boosts of up to £500, thanks to local BT employees’ continued commitment to voluntary work. The scheme is open to BT employees who have been actively involved in a local group or charity organisation for more than 12 months.

This was the 3rd of 4 rounds of funding for this year. Community groups in the North West of England have benefited from cash grants totalling £4,680, for schemes ranging from youth and sports clubs to a Morris dancing troupe and a variety of charitable initiatives.

Christopher Spence chief executive of Volunteering England said:- “The outstanding contribution made by volunteers to the community has been highlighted in 2005, the Year of the Volunteer. I heartily congratulate all the BT Community Champions on their awards, which recognise their dedication to volunteering.”

Local champion Donna Thompson said:- “We are very proud of our work at the Ormskire Morris Dancing. Receiving recognition and support through the BT Community Champions scheme shows how much our voluntary work is valued, both by those in our community who benefit from it directly, and my employer. This funding from BT will make a real difference, helping to maintain the bus that transports the group to its regular dancing commitments in the community.”

BT people can apply for cash grants of up to £500, which can be used for purchasing specific equipment or as a contribution towards a particular project. As an alternative to the funding, winning groups can apply for a full set of BT-branded football kit, for adults with disabilities or youth teams. For further details visit: www.btcommunitychampions.com.

The Marina Dalglish Appeal Glam Ball

ON Saturday 3 December at the Formby Hall Golf Club, the charity Marina Dalglish Appeal held a glam ball with a real whose who of Formby and Southport attending the event.

TIME IS RUNNING OUT FOR SCHOOLS TO WIN A CHANCE TO PRODUCE AN EDITION OF BBC QUESTION TIME

UK SECONDARY schools only have a few weeks left to enter the Schools Question Time Challenge.  With a chance to work with David Dimbleby to produce a real BBC Question Time TV programme up for grabs, UK secondary schools have every reason to enter the Schools Question Time Challenge.

To be in with a chance of winning this unique opportunity, pupils must enter the new Schools Question Time Challenge. Supported by the BT Education Programme, the Institute for Citizenship and the BBC, the Challenge is open to all schools with pupils aged 14 – 18 and involves pupils staging their own debates based upon the popular BBC Question Time format.  Schools can enter the Challenge by visiting their website and completing a simple online form. The deadline to enter the Challenge is 6 January 2006.

Schools can learn more about participating in the Challenge by downloading the BT Education Programme’s free resources which include teacher’s notes, lesson plans and activities. The resources aim to help pupils form opinions, improve their speaking and listening skills and engage with the issues that affect them as citizens.  From all the online entries 12 finalist schools will be selected and given a £500 grant from BT to run their own local Question Time event. Each finalist school will also receive professional support from BT in staging the event by taking part in a Schools Question Time workshop. A panel of judges will travel to each finalist school to evaluate their Question Time event and then select the 4 award winners. Pupils from the 4 winning schools will collaborate with David Dimbleby and the Question Time production team to produce a real BBC Question Time programme to be broadcast in July 2006 on BBC 1.

David Dimbleby commented:- "Everyone who has taken part in the Schools Question Time Challenge has found it interesting, enjoyable and instructive. Teachers and students alike enjoy the fun of planning their own television programme and those who get through to the final round, or actually work on the broadcast programme itself, say it is a once in a lifetime experience. I encourage all schools to enter the Schools Question Time Challenge before the deadline.”

Roll over Ramsey, The Girls are Doing Fine!!

DESPITE Gordon Ramsey's recent comments that "women can't cook to save their lives"; it seems that it's the men who need extra encouragement when it comes to showing off their culinary skills.

A survey reveals that 24.4% of men claim they are 'too nervous' or 'wouldn't know what to do' if they had to hold a simple dinner party for friends and family.  And it's not just confidence that gets the better of the would-be chefs - its lack of suitable space. Nearly 70% of men feel they don't have the right space to entertain in style and comfort. And men, more so than women, (58% v 55%), feel that the personality of the host is key to ensuring a successful dinner date, presumably adding further to their nerves!

Overall, the survey by the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC), found that an amazing 40% of people have actually never thrown a dinner party, principally because of perceived lack of space. But for those who have, the recipe for success is clear, good food (85%), good conversation (82%) and a pleasant environment (73%). And to get the party going? 43% say that 'plenty of wine' usually does the trick.

Top of the dinner party social faux pas is to not thank the host, as 73% cite this as a 'no no'. Criticising the food comes second, while arriving uninvited (66%) or imbibing too much wine (65%) will also get you talked about long after the dishes are cleared.  And if you want to get along with your fellow diners? Steer clear of politics and religion, still considered off limit topics by the great British public (48%, 40% respectively).

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