Our friendships are among the most valuable relationships we have. This is the same for people young and old. We are all social beings and require one another. However, many people with disabilities are facing major challenges in making and sustaining friendships.
Fast forward to 2015, and what do we think is the biggest challenge the nation faces, in which the National Trust we can play a part? It's not saving great houses any more, though we need to make sure that people carry on enjoying them and feel that the past they represent is still relevant to their lives today. No, the threat is to the health and beauty of our countryside.
Nowadays it seems difficult to go without a day where there is not some kind of disability related news item in the mainstream media, and disabled people appear to be taking over the country. Disabled people are certainly more visible, and there are certainly more people who define themselves as being disabled.
It is in all our interests to send the Maldivian regime a clear, unambiguous and robust message: their behaviour is unacceptable. Mr Nasheed must be released, the charges dropped and the democratic process restored.
I've been an environmentalist for 25 years now... Some people might think I'm a bit of a fanatic. Jeremy Clarkson would, no doubt, belittle my desire for a greener, healthier world for this and future generations by saying I'm an 'arty-farty, Lycra-clad cycling leftie-weftie who knits his own muesli' - or, more likely, would just punch me in the face. But I don't care. Because I know that unless every one of us does our bit (and is clearly told what 'our bit' is), we face a very unpleasant future.
The parent of a disabled child, you are suddenly forced to look with a hard and discerning eye at the society your children live in. Will it nurture them, in spite of their condition, or will it neglect them?
This week, we called on MPs from all parties to ban snares outright. Britain is one of only five countries left in the EU where snares are completely legal, and frankly it shames us all. Snares are indiscriminate, inhumane, and unnecessary. Banning them is a no-brainer.
I've worked with human remains in various guises for over 10 years and the idea of interacting with them, for example at medical museums, is currently particularly contentious.
The Government yesterday announced its final pre-election budget and, as expected, there was quite a bit in there on tax avoidance. That's hardly surprising - we know that there is overwhelming public support for action on tax dodging. Unfortunately none of the big parties have yet gone far enough - and yesterday's budget announcements don't change that.
Every day, women around the world spend many hours walking long distances to collect clean water and provide supplies for their families. In fact, a shocking 750 million people globally - approximately one in nine people - lack access to safe water and acceptable sanitation.
This is not the first time such allegations have surfaced; there have been other examples, and, whilst this is not the lone cause of radicalisation, such behaviour can play a part in that journey. The extent of this influence is open to debate on a case by case basis.
Moving past crippling mistrust and misidentification of the guilty requires recognition of the ways that dominant representations of racial difference legitimise and normalise habitual discrimination, phenomena that everybody ought to be welcome to oppose.
You can tell people that their appearance isn't the most important thing but if what they're seeing elsewhere in society and in the news, magazines, TV and the internet completely contradicts that, who will they believe?
An ad-hoc party spilled out, placard-wielding polar bears scooted across the terminal on luggage trolleys, the softhearted action, which the bears said was 'testing the waters', had a clear message - 'no new runways', not in Heathrow, and not anywhere.
If the Kennel Club changed the breed standards to put the welfare of the dogs first and only awarded prizes to those breeding healthy dogs, the lives of thousands if not millions of dogs could be improved.
Rape needs to be understood as a crime of violence against women as women, not as offences the property 'rights' of husbands or families nor a symbolic assault upon the identity a the enemy... A world without rape must start from the respect for women's rights over their own body: in war and peace.