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News Report Page 8 of 17
Publication Date:-
News reports located on this page = 4.

Compassion calls on UK's top bargain retailers to go cage free

LEADING farm animal welfare charity, Compassion in World Farming, is urging the UK's 3 largest bargain retailers, like:- Poundland, B&M, and Home Bargains; to commit to a cage free future for hens. Since 2015, there has been a huge wave of food businesses across the globe pledging to go cage free. All the UK's major supermarket chains have either stopped selling eggs from caged hens or have pledged to go cage free by 2025 and many popular restaurant chains, including:- Frankie and Bennie's, Café Rouge and Pizza Express, have also made cage free commitments. Compassion is now calling on Poundland, B&M, and Home Bargains to join the cage free revolution. Around 16 million laying hens in the UK are currently kept in cages. These animals will spend almost their entire lives confined, with barely enough room to spread their wings. Animal welfare is a significant concern for UK shoppers, with 81% of the public believing cages in farming are cruel and 67% feeling that this method of farming is outdated. At a time when the market is shifting towards higher animal welfare standards, it's deeply disappointing that Poundland, B&M and Home Bargains still sell eggs from caged hens. Compassion has written to the retailers on multiple occasions over recent months, but they have failed to make a cage free commitment. "These so called 'cheap' eggs may seem like a good deal, but they come at a high price to the millions of hens confined in cages. We must ensure there is no market for caged eggs anywhere in Britain. Major UK food businesses have already committed to a cage, free future, it's high time for bargain retailers to follow suit. Caged eggs on any store shelf will mean millions of hens may continue to live a life of misery, year after year." says Natasha Smith, UK Campaigns Manager at Compassion in World Farming.

53 people a week killed or seriously injured on North West roads

ANALYSIS from the road safety charity Brake has revealed that nearly 53 people are killed or seriously injured on roads in the North West every week. The findings have been published to mark today's launch of national Road Safety Week, supported by Kwik Fit and Specsavers, which is shining a light on campaigners who are:- "Stepping Up for Safe Streets" and improving the safety of roads. A UK wide survey of 2,000 adults, commissioned by Brake, has also shown that nearly a   of adults were in a collision, or had a near miss, with a vehicle on a UK road in the past year, with 24% of North West residents stating they were involved in such incidents. Road safety campaigners believe that crashes and near misses have a big impact on people's perceptions of safety, making streets feel less welcoming and holding people back from choosing to walk and cycle, modes of transport which reduce the danger for others. Road danger is a serious issue in the North West. 194 people were killed and 2,553 seriously injured on the Region's roads in 2018, with the number of people being killed a 16% increase on 2017. 29% of all deaths and serious injuries on the North West's roads in 2018 were pedestrians. Cheshire West and Chester has seen the biggest rise in the total number of people killed or seriously injured with an increase of 32%, rising from 112 in 2017 to 148 in 2018.

Specsavers founder Dame Mary Perkins said:- "It's clear that good eyesight is vital for safe driving. but we know that many people do not have regular eye tests, running the risk of falling below legal driving standards and potentially putting themselves and others at risk. We urge drivers to Step Up for Safe Streets, this Road Safety Week, by checking that your eyesight is fit for driving. We're delighted to be supporting Brake's Road Safety Week campaign this year; together, we can help make roads safer for everyone."

Brake is sharing inspiring stories of supporters in the Region who are campaigning to reduce road danger and is also advising how everyone can step up in their daily lives, suggesting that people choose to leave the car at home, to help improve safety and air quality, or pledge to be a safe driver, always keeping within speed limits and never drinking or taking drugs and driving. Schoolchildren, community groups and employees across the Region will be taking part in the week by learning about, and celebrating, the safe systems solutions which can eliminate death and serious injury from the roads; from 20mph limits in urban areas, to technology which can prevent vehicles from speeding.

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity, said:- "These findings paint an alarming picture of the danger on the North West's roads and yet it's what we're all exposed to, every day, when getting about. We shouldn't have to accept this level of risk as part of our daily lives and so we are calling on everyone to "Step Up" for Road Safety Week and shout out for the solutions that we know can make our roads safe. Across the Region, people are working tirelessly to campaign for safe streets, organising petitions, meeting with MPs and Councillors and raising money and awareness. This Road Safety Week we want everyone to think about how they can do their bit and step up for safe streets. Can you join or start a local campaign? Do you need to take the car on your next journey, or could you walk, cycle or get the bus? If you are travelling by car, will you pledge to always keep within speed limits and never drive after drinking alcohol or taking drugs? Let's all Step Up for Safe Streets and, together, we can help make roads safer for everyone."

Another simple way for people in the Region to get involved with Road Safety Week is by completing Brake's survey about the safety of the streets where you live. The findings will be shared with Local Authorities to help them understand the views of the people who live, work and play on their streets. You can take part at:- RoadSafetyWeek.Org.UK/Survey.

Road Safety Week 2019 partners, Kwik Fit and Specsavers, are also backing the campaign for safe streets, with Kwik Fit offering free vehicle safety checks at more than 600 centres across the country and Specsavers touring a virtual reality driving experience to encourage people to make sure their eyesight is good enough for driving.

Mark Slade, Managing Director of Kwik Fit, said:- "This campaign highlights that we can all play a role in making our streets safer. While car safety technology becomes ever more advanced, it is vital to remember that the most important component is still the driver. We are all responsible for our own vehicles when we get behind a wheel so we urge drivers to make sure they 'step up' and keep their cars in the safest condition possible. At Kwik Fit we are here to help keep people safe on the roads so urge any motorist who has concerns about any part of their vehicle to bring it into 1 of our centres for a free check."

Men are being urged to engage in adult learning for career development and wellbeing

THIS International Men's Day, men are being urged to engage in adult learning for career development and wellbeing, as figures show they are failing to fully exploit these opportunities. Women have a:- 'significantly higher participation rate than men' across all forms of adult learning, according to research by the Department for Education. While 39% of women are participating in adult learning, only 35% of men are enrolled on an adult learning course. Indications are that distance learning has a much greater gender gap. Men make up only 22% of enrolments at major UK provider Open Study College, which has enrolled more than 85,000 students in the past decade. With the data showing men are unlikely to enrol in distance learning, when they do begin a distance learning course, they are also less likely to take advantage of the flexible schedule offered; electing to start at more traditional times. While women begin courses throughout the year, spikes in male enrolment come in line with the traditional academic calendar: January, August, September and October.

So why are men lagging behind? Lack of time, cost and employer support are the leading reasons given by men in the UK as barriers to adult learning. Men are more likely than women to see both time (58% vs 51%) and lack of employer support (33% vs 23%) as obstacles to accessing education and training. Open Study College's CEO, Samantha Rutter, said:- "Distance learning offers a flexible approach to education and training that fits around existing commitments. While many women are taking up the opportunities provided, we want to encourage more men to take advantage of the benefits. Our research shows men are more likely to regard their own skill level as inadequate, with fifteen per cent considering themselves 'not skilled enough' to take up a course. On International Men's Day 2019; and with the Leading by Example focus; we want to showcase real examples of how distance learning can positively impact a men's career prospects and wellbeing."

One such case is that of Open Study College student, Marc Roe, who used adult learning as a route out of his catering job and into a career in the fitness industry. Whilst working as a personal trainer, Marc took advantage of the benefits distance learning has to offer to help him achieve his ideal career in sports therapy:- "Whilst working as a qualified chef I realised I wanted to work more with people. In what was a complete career change, I chose to become a personal trainer and fitness instructor. Once qualified, I realised there was the opportunity to provide additional and related services to my clients. I'd been assisting the physiotherapist from 1 of my local professional football clubs, in the medical department, and he encouraged me to diversify, which is why I chose to enrol on the Sports Injury Level 3 course with Open Study College. Distance learning was the right option for me for a number of reasons including my age, family and having a full time job. I was able to fit distance learning around my existing lifestyle. I've recently started a role as Kit Manager and Sports Massage Therapist at Walsall Football Club."

Sports offered a lifeline of a different kind to Steven Burke, 29, who needed something to focus on as he struggled with his mental health:- "I enrolled on a course with Open Study College to give me a focal point to concentrate on; something to occupy my mind and work towards. I found that it really helped me. Even on days when I didn't feel like studying, I would force myself to do at least a little, and I'd feel 10 times better afterwards. I chose the Personal Fitness Trainer Level 3 course as it was a subject I felt connected to. With each unit I passed I developed more confidence and felt a sense of happiness and achievement. Now I've successfully completed the course I'm planning further study to develop my knowledge in order to move forward towards becoming a personal trainer."

While sports courses are popular with male learners, most men enrolling with Open Study College in 2019 have opted to study A Levels, which can often provide a route into higher education for many students. Other popular areas of study with men include:- accounting; health and social care; GCSEs; counselling; and mortgage practice and advice. To find out more visit:- OpenStudyCollege.Com.

Tenancy Deposit Scheme urges students to 'take control' of their tenancy agreements

THE advice has been issued by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), a Government approved tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme, in response to a National Union of Students report about student housing. The organisation specialises in providing award winning Insurance backed and Custodial deposit protection. The main difference between the 2  schemes is that under a Custodial scheme the money is held by TDS, whereas under an Insurance backed scheme the landlord can hold the money in their own bank account during the tenancy. The National Union of Students (NUS) 2019 Homes Fit For Study report stated that just 61% of surveyed students who paid a deposit said they had received it back in full at the end of their tenancy. But Steve Harriott, Group Chief Executive at TDS, insists there are lots of steps that can be taken to ensure all the deposit is returned when the rental agreement comes to an end. He said:- "We recognise that money is particularly tight for students and they rely on receiving their deposit back quickly. Unfortunately, the report has suggested this is not always happening.  We highly recommend students read the inventory to their rental property when they move in. We recommend they are methodical and thorough, making comments along the way on the document where it does not reflect the contents, condition or cleanliness of the property. Throughout the tenancy any issues should be reported to the landlord or agency and a record must be kept. When the tenancy comes to an end, return the property with the same standard of cleanliness as there was when you moved in. All belongings and rubbish should have been completely removed and make sure everything is left where it was at the start of the tenancy so there are no disputes about missing items."

TDS is the only not for profit tenancy deposit scheme in the UK, which means it continuously invests surpluses into raising industry standards with excellent service levels, quicker call response times, user friendly technology and faster tenancy dispute resolutions. In light of the report, the NUS is now calling for the Government to start penalising landlords. But, TDS said using their deposit services means students; or any renter; can take steps to ensure they are treated more fairly. Steve added:- "We urge students to raise a dispute (insured) or repayment request (custodial) with TDS at the end of the tenancy if they do not feel the landlord is proposing fair deductions, or the landlord is not responding to their requests at all. We offer free alternative dispute resolution where trained independent adjudicators will make a decision on disputes and take into account a number of factors such as fair wear and tear and the length of the tenancy when deciding if an award is justified, and if so, how much is reasonable."

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