The debate over the state of the social care sector was reignited last week, after figures were released showing that over 150 allegations of abuse against the elderly are made every day in the UK. A Freedom of Information request to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) revealed 30,000 allegations of abuse in social care services in the first six months of this year.
The UK's childcare system is broken. In Scotland, where I lead a major children's charity, multiple factors mean the current settlement penalises many families. The first issue is, simply, cost... There is also a profound crisis of availability. Many parents find it impossible to access childcare provision that fulfils the needs of their child and complements work or study.
I know that you are only a human being just like I am and I hope that my words might reach you and make a difference. A huge part of your focus is on money and the economy and I understand how important this is, the recession was devastating. However, there is something much more important than money and that is human suffering...
There are some people in this world who are true inspirations to us all. You might not have had the honour of meeting one of these people yet, but they won't be far away. They'll be quietly and diligently going about their business without you even noticing - but they'll be making a big difference to a lot of people who really need the help.
Inequality is everywhere at the moment. Scarcely a day goes by without a new take on an age-old story. Inevitably, much of this has focused around money - the super rich, multinationals, bonuses, the wage gap, housing, Swiss bank accounts, tax - all have been under the media spotlight in articles that generate anger and jealousy in equal measure.
Why is it that the composers, songwriters and performers who create this independent music are so often perceived as having little in common? Does an upcoming electronica or left field hip-hop artist really have such vastly different career development needs as, for instance, a classically-trained composer?
This has been a really exciting week for Paul Brannen MEP and me, as our team in Brussels joined us in Newcastle for 'Constituency Week'. With the help of two electric LEAF cars kindly lent to us by Nissan we travelled all over the region to meet with local groups and businesses, giving our European office the chance to see the impact of our work in the North East.
It takes a certain type of person to make a business successful, not everyone is cut out to start a business. The harsh reality is that the vast majority of businesses will fail, one in three start-ups collapse within the first three years, which is often down to having an insufficient support and expertise network.
The vernacular of 'Science 2.0' has become increasingly utilised in the debate about the future of science. Many media articles and conferences focus on this topic, and the European Commission has recently held a public consultation to better understand the impact of 2.0 and desirability of policy action to enable it.
For two decades money raised by National Lottery players has been re-invested in local communities and national projects to the tune of an eye-watering £32billion. Anyone who has ever bought a National Lottery ticket has helped to combat homelessness, tackle the stigma of mental health illness, inspired filmmakers, kept museums open and parks appealing.
What a waste of a life. All those highs and lows. All those start again Mondays, and "Damn, I've blown it now" moments. Where in this NHS plan is there a mention of health and happiness, or dealing with the psychological side of weight gain, where does it mention being active and learning to love physical activity?