I walk past beggars all the time. I decided I would take out £100 - a small but not insignificant amount of money to me - and that I would give it away to 20 people at £5 a time. I wanted to see how it would make me feel - if it would change me.
It's a myth peddled to children from an exceptionally young age; before they can walk or talk, with colourful picture books showing happy animals grazing by duck ponds in lush green fields. In these story books the farmer and his wife are a picture of health - their bonny children and a mischievous-looking dog at their sides.
Animal research may not be something we want to think about when we take our medicines - but it is something necessary for those medicines to exist. Instead of trying to ban animal research, let's instead make sure that if we do it, we do it to world-class standards.
A few years ago I visited China on a trip around Asia with my girlfriend at the time. My girlfriend had a connection to someone who ran executive retreats at The Great Wall and we had visited the retreat while there, sipping Champagne at sunset and sleeping out on the Wall.
Do I really want someone or something that would simply agree with what I say, because they are programmed to, as oppose to having any emotional investment in the subject matter? Will I miss having a real person supporting me, who is able to read and understand my emotions in the context of their own?
Blindly investing time and money into adopting these new technologies can be just as risky as not investing in them at all. There's no one-size-fits-all model, and charities should not be making these difficult decisions in the dark. So how can charities know which changes to make to ensure digital fundraising success for their organisations?
Today, 20 July, will be the second anniversary of my brother David Clapson's death. His benefits were stopped after he missed just one meeting at the Job Centre. He was diabetic and without the £71.70 a week from his jobseeker's allowance he couldn't afford to eat or top up his electricity card to keep the fridge where he kept his insulin working. My brother died three weeks after his benefits were stopped. He was 59.
I want to make sure that anyone involved in this horrific practice, will be behind bars for a long-time. This is why someone in breach of a protection order can face up to five years in prison. This is in addition to laws already brought in - someone found guilty of assisting or performing FGM can face a sentence of up to fourteen years, whilst someone with responsibility of a child who has FGM performed on them, but failed to prevent the act could also face a sentence of up to seven years.
What passes for routine these days means that within an hour the crew on board has spotted, hailed and rescued forty-four men, women and children. All Syrian, all fleeing the war. This summer, across the Greek islands, this is nothing unusual...
Today's ruling should surely convince the home secretary that it's now time for the Government to commit to surveillance conducted with respect for privacy, democracy and the rule of law - rather than stubbornly ploughing ahead with more of the same.
My partner Scott and I should have been sharing our son Edward Gili's first birthday in May this year. But instead of having that exciting first year to celebrate and many more to look forward to, we had just nine precious days to spend with our beautiful son.
There is a great Arabic proverb: 'farkh al-bat awwam'. In English, 'the son of a duck, floats', or, 'like father, like son'. In Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's case, Mr al-Assad doesn't so much float as sink like a stone... Fifteen years ago today, Bashar 'inherited' the rule of Syria from his father, who, to be clear, wasn't much of a floater himself. Fifteen years on, Bashar has practically destroyed the country.
Young people armed with budgeting skills and the knowledge necessary to manage money have a greater chance of finding and holding down a job. We know that people who are in control of their lives and finances are more resilient, more able to find and keep a job, and more likely to create a stable home.
I want my government to remember the numerous times the UK has displayed compassion and commitment to human life and dignity by providing refuge for those facing persecution. During the Second World War they helped the Kindertransport children, in the 1980s they took in refugees from Vietnam, and in the 1990s they helped those fleeing from war in Bosnia and Kosovo. Sadly, the lack of support they are currently offering refugees will definitely be a stain on their history.
As we packed up our kit in the hot sun and Mary showed us the way back through the village and scarce trees to our car I thought about how hard it had been to hear Jane and Mary's stories, but was wowed by their powerful determination to end FGM and tell others about its dangers. Mary's final words to me are ones I'll never forget...
In June, the National Disability Arts Collection and Archive was granted funding of £1 million pound by The Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England and Joseph Rowntree Foundation with the goal of creating a permanent archive of the work of disabled artists.