INTO THIS HEROIC NEW BOOK
CAN you write a poem or
short story for a book being produced for Operation Shoebox UK, a
charitable organisation which supports British servicemen and women
based overseas, particularly in Afghanistan?
The book is the idea of Operations Director Ian Whiteway, who in
2005, set up the scheme sending parcels to troops. Ian said:-
"With the help of United Press we are putting together a book,
funds from which will go directly to help our forces. We are looking
for poems and short stories from people all over the UK. You don't
have to be directly connected to the services and your entry does
not have to be on a military subject."
Operation Shoebox UK is an entirely voluntary organisation, with a
UK wide network of over 40 regional co-ordinators, they have over
22,000 supporters all making and helping to provide goodie boxes to
be shipped out to Afghanistan.
"The boxes contain treats and gifts the troops could never get
out there. It is a huge morale boost to our boys and
girls, the general public probably don't even realise how amazing it
is to receive a shoebox from a stranger, someone who cares enough to
take the time to make up a shoebox." said Ian, Operations Director at the
The competition will be split into categories and judged by a
professional panel; winning entries will be published in the book,
due out in time for Christmas 2013.
The competition is open to all UK residents and the categories are:-
under 12's; under 18's; over 18's. 3 prizes of £100 for the
categories have been kindly donated.
The winner of each age group
will receive the following:- Under 12's £100 for Argos; under 18's
£100 for Primark and over 18's £100 for Marks and Spencer.
Full terms and conditions with details of how to enter can be found
unitedpress.co.uk. If you want
to enter now you can email your short story or poem (any length) to:-
Please put "Shoebox Book" at the top of your entry and you
must specify which category you are entering for:- under 12's; under
18's; over 18's. Or post your entry to United Press, Admail 3735,
London, EC1B 1JB. You must include your full name and postal address
including postcode. The closing date is 28 February 2013.
excluded pupils praised
education centre for challenging pupils has received a glowing
report from OFSTED. The centre in Netherley has up to 56
students, most aged between 11 and 14 -who are at risk of, or have
It was inspected by the education watchdog just three months after
it opened on the former site of Hope Special School, and has been
rated as 'good' overall, with some outstanding features.
It marks a huge turnaround for the pupil referral unit, which was
placed in special measures in 2008 following a damning inspection,
which prompted a complete re-organisation of the service.
During the most recent inspection, OFSTED noted that:-
► Despite students arriving with high levels of absence and poor
behaviour, they make good or outstanding progress.
► Progress in reading, writing and
mathematics improves "rapidly",
as do attitudes to learning.
► Behaviour is good and "often outstanding"
with students having "high social and moral standards"
The report says that most students make such good progress, they
quickly return to mainstream education or move on to other schools.
Councillor Jane Corbett, Cabinet member for education, said:-
"This is a fantastic report which clearly demonstrates the amazing
work that is being done to support some of our most challenging
young people and get them back in to mainstream education. It is all
too easy to write off young people who are behaving badly or who
have poor attendance, but the success of the Secondary Education
Centre shows that you can make a major difference and get students
back on track. Congratulations to all the staff for their hard
work and commitment to making a massive difference to our young
The leadership and management of the centre is praised for being
good or outstanding, and it also notes the collaboration with
mainstream schools, as well as the investment in the new site by the
Headteacher Debbie Buxton – described as inspirational by inspectors
said:- "This is a huge vote of confidence in the whole team.
I am absolutely delighted for all of the staff, who work so hard to
win the trust of students and help them achieve their potential."