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Southport & Mersey Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 10 December 2007

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TV’s Sian a ray of sunshine to UK’s poorest children

TV weather presenter, Sian Lloyd, is calling on the nation to give time to help organise day trips for some of the UK’s most disadvantaged children.

A recent survey reveals that nearly half of children in the UK think that not being able to afford to go on a school trip is a sign of poverty. To help address this Sian is helping to promote the How-to organise your Big Day Out guide which has been produced by the Dare to Care:- "Make time to help end child poverty" campaign as part of Family Month this December. The step by step guide provides ideas on days out and how to keep costs down together with a checklist on what to do before the event.

Dare to Care is being run by CSV, the UK’s leading volunteering charity and the Campaign to End Child Poverty, a coalition of 90 organisations.

The campaign aims to recruit 35,000 volunteers to give time to help children from low-income families and raise awareness of the experiences of children living in poverty.

Sian Lloyd says:- “Organise a Big Day Out and offer children who have limited access to new experiences the chance to do something new and exciting.  A planned day out is an opportunity for children and their families to take time out from their normal routines – to look forward to something different and simply have some fun.”

To help people with their events a limited number of grants worth £80 are being made available to community groups organising events.

To register and apply for a grant or get a copy of the How-to organise your Big Day Out guide call FREEPHONE 0800 284 533, visit  or  email.

ifs Young Business Writer of the Year

FINANCIAL education charity, the ifs School of Finance, has launched their annual ifs Young Business Writer of the Year competition.  This fun competition is open to anyone aged between 14 and 19 and enables them to test their writing skills by writing an article of no more than 1,000 words in a business magazine style.

As well as the title “ifs Young Business Writer of the Year 2008 the author of the winning article will receive £500.  The title for the article is:- Saving for the future, one size fits all?”

Budding young business writers should think about the various savings options available to the British public. Possible questions to consider when thinking about this issue include: Are the options available sufficient? Are some savings mechanisms better than others? Are some methods of saving more suited to particular types of individual? What should the role of the state be in providing for people's retirement?  Marks will be awarded for demonstrating research, evaluation, analysis and written argument skills as well as for good overall reporting style.

Gary Millner, Corporate Relations & Communications Director at the ifs School of Finance, said;- “This competition is not only great for young people with an interest in business and finance, it’s suitable for any young person to enter.  It’s a thought provoking question as more than 7 million working people are not saving any money for their retirement and a further 5 million are not saving enough to provide themselves with a reasonable retirement income. I’m sure we will receive many different views about how to tackle this problem from young people across the UK.  The ifs Young Business Writer of the Year competition helps improve writing standards in general, assists in fostering an interest in business/finance and also encourages students to think about what is a very important issue – saving for the future.”

Anyone aged between 14 and 19 who wishes to enter the competition simply has to email  their article (which must not exceed 1,000 words) , between now and February 29 2008.  Further details can be found online at

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