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Issue:- 8 March  2012

Big Yellow Friday at Runshaw College

STUDENTS from the NCFE Level 2 and 3 Supporting Teaching & Learning in Schools course at Runshaw Adult College were dressed in yellow on Friday, 2 March 2012 to support and raise awareness of the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation. A Charity cake sale and a raffle draw were held at the Euxton lane campus. Daffodils were also available on sale. A fundraising family cabaret party has been organised at St Bedes Club, Chorley for the local community. One of the students from the group, Jessica Gallagher-Smith from Chorley, has been through a harrowing ordeal when her daughter Ruby was diagnosed with an extremely rare life-threatening condition called Bilary Atresia that affects new born babies. Jessica and her husband Elliott have been supporting the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation for over seven years through various fundraising activities to help raise awareness amongst parents about childhood liver disease.

Jessica commented:- "I would like to say thank you to all my friends at Runshaw for their help and support. The Children’s Liver Disease Foundation has helped our family enormously over the past seven years by supporting us, providing us with information and helping us organise events where we can meet other families affected by Bilary Atresia. The money raised will help the foundation support the research on the cause of Bilary Artesia which will help give a better future for young people and families who could get affected."

NSPCC and Liverpool Women’s Hospital in partnership

LIVERPOOL is one of the first places in the UK to trial an innovative new programme to educate new parents about the risks of inflicting head injuries on babies. The Preventing Non Accidental Head Injury (NAHI) programme is a pioneering service from the NSPCC which focuses on educating parents about the risks of shaking babies and gives practical coping strategies for the pressures of parenthood.

Working in partnership with Liverpool Women’s Hospital (LWH), the Preventing NAHI programme involves midwives and health professionals simply showing new parents a short film before they are discharged from hospital. The film helps mums and dads understand the dangers of shaking a baby, how to respond to their baby crying, and how to cope with feeling stressed and tired. The midwives talk to the parents about the film and answer questions. They help parents think about how they might deal with frustrations without taking it out on the baby. They also ask parents to sign a statement confirming they’ve seen the DVD and give them an information leaflet to take home. Parents are then asked to sign a promise to care safely for their baby.

Bernadette Oxley, Regional Head of Service for the NSPCC in Liverpool and the North West said:- "Evidence shows us that teaching parents how to handle their baby and cope with stress may be the best way to protect infants from non-accidental injury. Abused babies are more likely to die from head injuries than any other cause. It is estimated that 24 in every 100,000 babies suffer from non accidental head injury, but the true number is likely to be higher as babies with mild injuries may never be seen by a GP or hospital. In one study, as many as one in nine mothers admitted to shaking their baby."

This is the first educational programme of its kind to reduce the number of non-accidental head injuries in babies in the UK. It is based on a project in Buffalo, New York State, which found that over a five year period the incidence of NAHI decreased by 47% in the pilot areas where the DVD was shown

Research suggests that many more people shake, or are tempted to shake, their baby than is currently known through hospital cases. Babies are very vulnerable to being shaken in the first few months of their life and at this age, non accidental head injuries are often fatal and can cause severe brain damage, resulting in lifelong disability. Other effects to babies can include:- partial or total blindness, motor impairment (for example cerebral palsy), seizures, hearing loss, developmental delays or speech and learning difficulties.

Cathy Atherton, Head of Midwifery at Liverpool Women’s Hospital said:- "Becoming a parent is one of the most profoundly important life events many of us experience. The transition to parenthood can be a source of great joy; but may also be a source of great anxiety. Babies do not arrive with a user manual; they significantly change our lives; and the total dependence of a newborn can be a daunting responsibility. Many parents are unaware of the dangers of shaking a baby, so by working with the NSPCC and informing them before they take their newborn home we aim to help keep their baby safe."

Bernadette Oxley added:- "The birth of a baby is a critical time when parents are especially receptive to offers of advice and support and so by raising awareness to parents before they leave hospital, of the dangers of shaking a baby, the programme ensures a captive audience of parents at their most open to learning new information. It also provides an ideal opportunity to involve fathers as 86% of dads now attend their child’s birth. We’re very pleased to be working collaboratively with Liverpool Women’s Hospital to deliver the message to new parents. We are committed to working in partnership in the best interests of children and this programme offers the chance to help parents get off on the right foot - and crucially to help set the pattern for effective parenting later on."

For more information about the NSPCC’s work to prevent the abuse of babies and toddlers, please visit the charities' website  and pledge your support for the NSPCC’s All Babies Count campaign.

Extend fuel discount scheme to rural North, says CLA

THE Country Land and Business Association (CLA) are calling for a reduction in fuel prices in rural areas of Northern England, as a new rural fuel derogation pilot gets underway in the Highlands and the Isles of Scilly.

Residents and businesses in the Highlands and Islands and the Isles of Scilly have been benefitting from a 5p per litre cut in fuel prices since the beginning of March 2012.

Now, in the run up to the Budget on 21 March 2012, the CLA in the North wants local rural businesses and communities to benefit from an extension of the scheme.

CLA North Policy and Public Affairs Director Douglas Chalmers said:- "Cumbrian MP Tim Farron has already written to the Chancellor asking him to announce a similar scheme in Cumbria, but there are large remote areas across the entire North that would benefit from this. In the run-up to the Budget there is much discussion on how we can stimulate our economy. Rural-based businesses are significantly disadvantaged by being further from road and rail networks and often with poorer broadband availability. Raw materials in, and products out have further to travel, and most people are dependent on private transport. A 5p cut would go a long way to improving their competiveness."

FairFuelUK has published a report conducted by the Centre for Economic and Business Research which suggests that a 2.5p cut in fuel duty, rather than costing the treasury, would stimulate the economy and create up to 175,000 jobs. In addition, it would boost GDP by 0.33 percent.

Douglas added that:- "We mustn’t forget that a reduction in fuel duty would also have a direct affect on everyone who lives in rural communities. At a time when families really are counting their pennies, living in an area where services and jobs are further away, and there is little public transport, this one change would make a tremendous difference to families as well as businesses."

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