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News Report Page 8 of 15
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Long live pen and paper:- 'How tablets and devices hinder children's creative and emotional development'


INTEGRATIVE Psychotherapeutic Counsellor, Liz Ritchie and Youcef Bendraou, Stationery designer at Pukka Pads, discuss the impact technology has on children's creative development and future academic success. A recent discussion between Integrative Psychotherapeutic Counsellor, Liz Ritchie and Stationery designer Youcef Bendraou from Pukka Pads has revealed new professional opinion, that confirms that pen and paper remain the most effective learning and development tool for children, even with continuing digital and technological advances.

Throughout Liz's 27 years as a therapist, she has seen the slow and steady impact the excessive use of technology is having on children's creative development, communication and academic success, causing behavioural issues, sleep problems and an inability to socially interact. Liz explained:- "If children are overly dependent on technology, it actually precludes any prospect of developing their critical thinking skills, therefore hindering their moral development and negatively impacting their academic success. It is through writing with pen and paper that children learn the:- 'real life' skills of how to be creative. When using a computer, children don't have to think if their handwriting is legible or if they need to improve their handwriting. Also, by using a laptop or tablet to write, there are many shortcuts which limit children's spelling and grammar knowledge. Handwriting using pen and paper gives us a sense of identity and an awareness of what we can achieve. By using pen and paper we are more in tune with what we're good at and what needs more work. This is motivating to make us more ambitious individuals in later life. From a therapeutic perspective, journaling, drawing and opting to use pen and paper over a screen definitely helps mitigate the risks outlined above as these activities provide us with a creative outlet to explore other ways of communicating and developing as children."

Pukka Pads has been 1 of the UK's leading Stationery suppliers for over 20 years and its products are designed to meet the education and development needs of pupils and Schoolchildren across the country.

Youcef Bendraou, Senior Graphic Designer at Pukka Pads, said:- "Stationery provides children with the tools needed to connect themselves to their ability to create. It is through drawing, colouring and undertaking arts and craft sessions, that children develop their sense of self. This is how they discover what they like, what they're good at and what they're not, rather than sitting under an umbrella of tech which gives us no individuality. Putting pen to paper remains a critical part of a child's development and it is so important that parents encourage the use of traditional writing, drawing and creating outside of School to help aid children's learning. Design has played a critical role in product development at Pukka Pads as we aim to create products that create an enjoyable writing or drawing experience and more recently, with our understanding of how important pen and paper is to creativity and sense of self, have developed products that empower our customers to embrace their individuality. We're all programmed to be creative but technology doesn't give us creative freedom, we are guided by a format, templates and software, meaning we have to adjust our mindset to work with a technological framework. Our human instinct is to be creative, not technology literate, so that is why it feels far more natural to put pen to paper."

Liz Ritchie concluded:- "There certainly is a creative deficiency for children who are connected to modern technology and this also presents itself in emotional intelligence. Children's emotional development is compromised because of what is required on a cognitive level. If dependent on technology, children can then only think things through on a very superficial level as that's all that tech requires. Since tech doesn't require any emotion at all, the younger generation is most definitely struggling with a deficit in emotional skills. In my role as a therapist, I see this playing out with younger people who have very little emotional awareness. It is therefore imperative that a broader awareness of technology's impact is shared and commonly talked about, along with the creative activities such as drawing and writing, which all should be encouraged to help mitigate these risks and make children put down the screen."

Youcef Bendraou added:- "Many of us will be familiar with the exciting appeal a fresh, clean page of paper or new notebook can evoke. The sense of opportunity created by the freedom to create can have a physical and profound effect on us as humans. We're calling on parents to encourage their children's love for tactile creating and allow them to experience the joy in being creative, for their own development and enjoyment."

Leading Stationery brand, Pukka Pads, recently reported a significant 15% year on year turnover increase from:- 2020 to 2021. This is the most significant growth the business has seen in several years, proving that pen and paper isn't dead. Pukka Pads was founded in 1999 and remains the brand of choice for Stationery users across the country. Although the company is famed for its classic metallic A4 jotta, the leading Stationery brand has more than 1,000 Stationery products that sit across more than 30 dynamic ranges.

Most non-smokers in Liverpool say they would not kiss, date, hire nor rent to a smoker

30% of adult smokers say they have been treated unfairly because they smoke; according to new research. An independently conducted survey by Lake Research, which was commissioned by Philip Morris Limited (PML), questioned 2,000 non-smokers and 1,800 smokers, highlights the extent of the negative feeling that non-smokers have towards smokers. It found that 41% of non-smokers admit they may be hesitant to hire a smoker and 61% say they would not rent a room to someone who smoked. 44% say they could never date someone who smoked, while 54% say they wouldn't like to kiss someone who'd just had a cigarette. However, the judgement may be counterproductive, finding that 47% of smokers say they want to quit, but feel unable to do so and 57% claim that this judgement and lack of understanding about their smoking doesn't help them give up and even makes it harder to stop. Encouragingly though, although non-smokers have a negative view of smokers, the vast majority still want to support those who don't quit in their efforts to give up cigarettes; nearly 82% of non-smokers agree that more should be done to help smokers find less harmful alternatives to cigarettes. Shockingly 55% of the smokers polled are conscious of negative sentiments and say they feel there's a stigma against them and others that smoke, and 55% say people don't understand what it's like to be a smoker. The survey also exposes some strong feelings towards smokers in their everyday life, particularly around money and health. Most non-smokers believe that smokers waste money (80%) and smell bad (73%). 54% believe they have a negative impact on NHS resources.

Christian Woolfenden, Managing Director of Philip Morris Limited in the UK and Ireland, said:- "The best thing any smoker can do is quit tobacco and nicotine completely. Many smokers want to quit but feel that being frowned upon by non-smokers across many areas of their lives only makes it harder to do so. With more support and understanding from friends, family and work colleagues, plus more information from Government, regulators and public health experts about smoke free alternatives, many more smokers could be encouraged to stop completely and for those who don't quit, to switch to less harmful options such has heat not burn products, e-cigarettes or nicotine pouches. The study also found that women are more averse to smoking than men, with 56% believing it should be banned compared to 51% of men, and 46% of females saying they would never date a smoker, compared to 42% of males. Regionally, Leicester was the UK City where most people were against smoking; 66% of residents of the East Midlands City believed smoking should be banned, compared to a national average of 54%. As the only tobacco manufacturer committed to delivering a smoke free future, we believe that we can all play our part in helping to accelerate the decline in smoking. We believe cigarette sales can end within 10 to 15 years in many countries if the right measures and support are put in place."

The benefits of quitting smoking to you and those around you are very claer. If you want to become stop smoking, local NHS stop smoking services are free, friendly and can massively boost your chances of quitting for good. For all the information on what you can do to stop smoking we recommended you visit:- NHS.UK In England you can call the free Smokefree National Helpline on:- 03001231044 for more advice as well as asking your GP to refer you a stop smoking adviser.

The information within this report was taken from Lake Research, who interviewed 1,834 adult cigarette smokers and 2,015 non-smokers across 12 areas of England between 10 November and 16 December 2021, including at least 150 adults from:- Birmingham, Brighton, Coventry, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oxford, Portsmouth, Sheffield. The survey took up to 10 minutes to complete and all adult smokers taking part smoke at least 3 cigarettes in an average week.


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