Gang Culture at
RUNSHAW College students were given a rare
insight into gang culture and Policing strategies in a conference
held at the College on Wednesday, 15 October 2014, titled ‘Gang Culture.’
The School of Public Services invited several high profile guest
speakers to the event including senior members from Lancashire
Constabulary and a top Manchester barrister, as well as those
personally effected by gangs including an ex-gang member and two
mothers whose sons are currently serving jail sentences under the
much debated Joint Enterprise Law.
Guest Speakers and topics included:-
DCI Steve Dowson and DI Kev McLean talked about gang crime in the
Skelmersdale and Preston areas and police reduction strategies.
Inspector Evans talked about football hooliganism and the culture
An ex-offender and Manchester gang member gave a very personal
account of why he joined a gang and how his life is turning around
The Governor of HMP Kennet, Mr Valentine, gave the students an
insight into prison life and the problems surrounding gangs in
Barrister Barry Grennan from Kenworthys Chambers, Manchester,
explained the legislation surrounding Joint Enterprise and the
problems surrounding this particular law.
Janet Cunliffe and Amanda McCracken told their son’s
stories, who are both currently serving long sentences in jail, and
believe their sons were wrongly convicted due to Joint Enterprise
The students and staff found the conference to be
extremely interesting. It was a fantastic opportunity to hear from
some great speakers and for many of them it proved to be a real
eye opener. It is planned that the conference will become an annual
Student comments:- “I learnt a lot about what some people have
had to go through in their lives and how they’ve turned their lives
I really enjoyed the whole thing and listening to different point of
3rd of women
concerned with ability to cope with life due to menopause related
WOMEN in the North West get
little support, advice or treatment for symptoms relating to
menopause and hormonal changes, according to new research out on
Friday, 17 October 2014, resulting in 20% saying they are struggling to
cope with aspects of life due to their symptoms.
46% of women with symptoms said they feel depressed, while 30% said
they suffer from anxiety. Despite this, 65% of women in the region
questioned say there is a general lack of support or advice for
those going through the menopause.
Women in the workplace fare even worse in the region; a massive 73%
of female workers suffering symptoms said they feel unsupported at
work, even though 18% say their symptoms have a detrimental effect
on their work. 11% women said they have even considered quitting
The findings are from research carried out by not-for-profit
healthcare provider, Nuffield Health, who questioned 164 women in
the North West aged between 40 and 65. The figures formed part of
wider research which studied over 3200 women across the UK.
Dr Julie Ayres, Specialist in Menopause and PMS at Nuffield Health,
said:- “Menopause is a condition which is often dismissed as
part of life, and not something to be taken seriously, but for many
women the symptoms are significant and can have an extreme impact on
their life. Many feel anxious, confused, depressed and exhausted to
the point where they are struggling to cope with daily routine.
The menopause is not something that just happens to women in their
50s, it can affect those in their late 30s through to late 60s.
These women can suffer in silence for years when they could have
been benefitting from personalised advice or support to help them
understand what is going on.”
The survey also flags up a number of barriers that menopause experts
say may be causing thousands of women across the UK to miss out on
advice, management strategies or treatment which could significantly
improve their quality of life.
Despite reporting symptoms like joint and muscle ache, hot flushes,
irregular periods, night sweats, mood swings and poor memory, 46% of
women in the region questioned failed to recognise they could be
experiencing symptoms linked to the menopause, with almost the same
number (44%) mistakenly believing they are too young or too old for
symptoms. A quarter simply put it down to stress.
Four in ten women sought help from a GP. However, 40% of those who
did so said the possibility of the symptoms being menopause related
failed to come up.
Despite recent evidence that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can
significantly improve quality of life for many women, as well as
protecting younger women from long term diseases including
osteoporosis, 36% of women who visited a GP were not made aware of
hormone replacement therapy. In total, 25% who visited a GP were
prescribed HRT. 20% were told HRT was unsuitable for them, while 14%
said they turned it down due to the belief that it is dangerous.
Dr Julie Ayres said:- "Increasingly evidence shows appropriate
hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to be suitable for many women,
with far less risks than previously thought. The options should be
carefully explained to each individual woman, in light of her own
risks, future goals and the quality of life she is experiencing. It
is absolutely shocking that large numbers of women are getting no
help at all.”
The research suggests that despite the sheer numbers of women
dealing with symptoms of hormone change and menopause, the subject
remains taboo in the workplace. A staggering 93% said they felt
unable to talk to a manager or colleague at work. However, 20% said
they have needed to take time off work.
Dr Julie Ayres said:- “The issue needs to be dragged into the
21stcentury. Increasingly employers are beginning to take employee
health and wellbeing seriously, with numerous initiatives to help
improve health and fitness, yet clearly the menopause remains a
taboo subject. Until we highlight the subject and try to tackle some
of the difficulties that women are facing at work, we stand to lose
experienced and talented women who should be at the peak of their
career rather than facing forced retirement or feeling alienated.
I have many patients who couldn’t cope with work without hormone
replacement therapy and wouldn’t even contemplate stopping until
they retire. Any woman struggling in the workplace should seek help
and look at the numerous options available.”