Please don't think for a minute that I have done all of this by myself. For every child receiving a book there are 10 people who work locally to sponsor the program by raising money, registering kids and to do whatever they can do to make the Imagination Library successful. There is no better example of this than the effort in Southwark. Once again, kind and gentle souls have taken a dream conjured up in Tennessee and given it new life in their community.
I feel the same way as Idris Elba. Because as a disabled person, I rarely see "people like me" on television or in the media either. The numbers speak for themselves. There are 11million disabled people living in Britain today. Yet just 2.5% of people on screen are disabled.
Doing what I do for a living, I spend my waking hours weighing up the potential of misadventure against the likelihood, the steps you need to take to minimize danger against the worst possible outcome. The risk of shark attack in Australia is tiny, but the potential effects are catastrophic, and so I cannot in good faith just tell my Aussie supporters to carry on swimming anytime, anywhere.
Hopefully you've had the chance to take a look at our thought-provoking new campaign film #sharetheorange featuring Alzheimer's Research UK supporter Christopher Eccleston. Why have we taken this unusual approach to communication? And what's with the orange?
Some would say that my recent experience with discrimination is small compared to what other people have to go through, and I agree to some extent. But sometimes it's the smaller incidents of exclusion and misunderstanding that can grow or develop into bigger issues... Barring transgender contestants from mainstream pageants is just wrong.
While we have to await to measure the real impact of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative on the future generations, I think that we can learn 4 useful lessons from an open letter that look like a manifesto. Four starting points for a reflection that could bring to us more luck than a chain letter in the new year.
I can't wait for the day the disability community fights the judgemental, misrepresentation of the media about disability without saying "But my son isn't really that disabled, he can do so much." Because that will mark the day we begin to really challenge public perception.
Whilst realisation of your death was sinking in during those grey, cold January days of 2016, many of us went on with our day jobs. At the beginning of that week I had a discussion with a hospital patient, facing the end of her life. We discussed your death and your music, and it got us talking about numerous weighty subjects, that are not always straightforward to discuss with someone facing their own demise. In fact, your story became a way for us to communicate very openly about death, something many doctors and nurses struggle to introduce as a topic of conversation.
Inequality has been shown to impact on the durability of economic growth and increases the chances of future financial shocks; it undermines social cohesion and equality for women; and it increases political instability. In a surprising echo to Aicha's words, the self-proclaimed zillionaire Nick Hanauer wrote in 2014 that "if we don't do something to fix the glaring inequities in this economy, the pitchforks are going to come for us"... Economic and policy changes in recent decades - including deregulation, privatisation, financial secrecy and globalisation, especially of finance - have supercharged the age-old ability of the rich and powerful to use their position to further concentrate their wealth.
Endless appointments show your importance has cranked up to fever pitch. You go to numerous therapies while having the pleasure of perfect strangers trampling through your home and checking you out. It's a lot like Big Brother but with less sleep.
With the right support, many people are capable of finding love, whether or not they have a disability. People with a learning disability should have the opportunity to be in a loving relationship if they want to be.
In a developed nation, such as the UK, food poverty in this day and age is totally unacceptable. Not only does it weaken wellbeing, damage educational achievement and squander potential, but it is unjustifiable in a modern society and a country with plenty.
For now, the epidemic is officially over and families and communities are beginning to rebuild their lives, but the work of organisations such as Unicef remains as important as ever. Even before the Ebola outbreak, Liberia had one of the highest child mortality rates in the world, and combatting this continues to be one of our biggest challenges in the country.
Prime Minister Questions last week saw Conservative MP Philip Davies argue (sadly echoing the comments of an MP from our own benches over the Christmas break) that money should be taken from the international development budget to pay for the much needed extra resources to deal with the consequences of the recent flooding. This is a false choice - however, it is not the only threat to Britain's international development budget.
I like stress. I not only want to work in A&E, I want to do it parked in a wheelchair. I don't make it easy for myself, but I expect my employers to make it safe and practically possible. And I deserve to be paid fairly for the work I do...
Yesterday morning I heard that David Bowie had died of cancer, aged 69. Yesterday afternoon I spent a grateful and contented hour walking and talking with my darling Dad. He is convalescing from an operation to remove a cancerous tumour, he is 69, thankfully he's going to be OK.