The beginning of the year heralds transformative resolutions and fresh starts, but for the social care sector, there is no new deal. Social care professionals need to remain steadfast in their resolve to deliver high quality care amid straitened circumstances.
I wasn't asking for much money (the price of a cup of coffee), I wasn't asking people to leave home, to choose anything, to drive anywhere. I'd done all the work for them, they trusted me, they knew the project was real, they knew the gloves were going to real people and all they had to do was press one button. So they did. Facebook likes and Amazon wishes were turned (as if by magic) into real life love.
This year, I am thrilled to step into my new role as president of Unicef UK, the world's leading children's organisation. It's a real privilege to follow in the footsteps of Lord Paddy Ashdown who has been in the position for the last six years. As we welcome in the New Year and reflect on another Christmas filled with family, friends, food and presents, it's easy to forget about those who are less fortunate than us. This year, in my new role for Unicef UK, children across the world who face violence, disease, hunger and the chaos of war are at the front of my mind.
Be specific, stop the loggers. Climate Revolution is working with the charity, Cool Earth; working with indigenous people they are ring-fencing the forest to stop the loggers and so protect the interior. They are on track. So far they have raised £20million in actual money and in kind from practical support from governments. We need another £114million to save the whole world equatorial forest by 2020. The Queen has welcomed the Commonwealth's commitment to protect the forest in her name using the Cool Earth model to halt the destruction of rainforest.
The UK has led the way in aid to the Syria region, and the government recently took the very welcome step of offering to take in 20,000 refugees living in camps in the Middle East. But we know that Britain can also reach out a hand to some of those who have already made the dangerous journey to Europe, those at-risk children who are on their own this winter. Like those dark days in 1938, children are leaving their homes today without their families because they fear for their lives. Britain can live up to the best of our history by offering them a better future.
What a grim year 2015 was. A new Government (same Health Secretary); a new vision for the NHS (same money). But let's not dwell - new year, new start!...
As we move into 2016 the charity sector requires renewed leadership that harnesses the innovative ideas that exist across the different causes that we champion. For me, I will be working closely with other disability and social care charities to ensure that 2016 is the year in which innovation helps to end institutionalisation for disabled people.
The founding principle of everything I do is to break down negative perceptions, to call on people to question their previously held views, and to re-centre the focus of the discussions of this crisis on the individual human experience.
Like many other sufferers of chronic illnesses- a perfect body would be one that was working in order and didn't seem to have a meltdown at a moment's notice. Having a long-term illness (for me it's Crohn's Disease) can completely change the way we see our body: from something that could do with losing a few pounds to something which makes us question everything around us.
Problem drinking is never just about alcohol. Drinking is often a crutch for other underlying factors. Mental health issues, low self-esteem and stress can drive people to consume alcohol to a harmful degree in the first place.
On the morning of the hunt, the man reappeared. He was carrying an empty sack, and a pole with a net attached. Clearly he had come to collect the fox. But the fox wasn't there. Puzzled, he looked around for a while before leaving. It must have been very confusing for him... A little later, the hunt met, just down the road.
Over the past few years it has been widely publicised that imprisonment for women should be the last resort and the criminal justice system is not the place to support women who have complex health, social and welfare needs. What will the New Year, new inspector and new era for women in prison mean?
We can't change the terrible experience these children have already lived through, but we must try to ensure that each and every one of the children affected are kept safe, and provided with the food, water and supplies they so desperately need.
September is PupAid month so it was all hands on deck for the biggest puppy farming awareness dog show in Europe and now possibly the world.
We cannot continue to play our precious indigenous species off against each other. If wild animals are survive and thrive, we need to develop a much better understanding of the impacts our activities have on the species we share the land with...
So it's Christmas. It's been a tricky one for me to think about this year from the depths of Calais's refugee camp known as 'The Jungle'. However, a couple of Christmas-related things have been happening which I though I would share, as an insight into Christmas as a refugee.