Today is Human Rights Day. It marks the close of 16 Days of Activism to end violence against women and girls. And it's also two weeks since the first Women's Equality Party conference, where I was honoured to share the stage with women who came to tell their stories and to shape a better future where human rights also means women's rights.
By embracing a truly modern approach to worship and inspiring a whole new generation of young Christians, Hillsong has to be respected and admired. They do some incredible charity work and appear to be going from strength to strength in terms of attracting new members to the church. It's just a shame that they are not quite as welcoming as they seem. I, for one, will not be going to Wembley Arena this Christmas.
Ultimately, my question is this: Can someone be proud of something that undoubtedly hinders them? Of course cerebral palsy has made me more resilient and shaped my personality. I would be a very different person without it, but applying Darwinian theory, if there was a fire and I was without an assistant, CP could only be a hindrance.
We seem to be moving to an age that values access over ownership. In this shift towards experiences rather than possessions, a "sharing economy" spurned by the technology sector, is growing. Millennials increasingly stream music, films and TV, rather than buying physical copies. We download books and audiobooks to our phones. We rent out our homes, spare bedrooms, and take rides in other regular people's cars.
I've been one of thousands wringing their hands in consternation for the future, and that's as a resident of incubated West London, immune from so many almighty challenges - economic, cultural, environmental - faced by inhabitants of much more precarious places. But bizarrely, it was a young man in an environment that typifies the latter who I had the good fortune to talk to earlier this year, and his words seem like beacons of compassion, confidence and hope as I start pondering how 2017 can be better.
Now that Brody is nearly 5, I have finally got used to the fact that Global Development Delay (GDD) doesn't mean "may catch up" for us. It's forever. And because he is still primarily undiagnosed, despite an autism and epilepsy diagnosis (as well as a few others), GDD seems to be moving on to a new "catch all" term - learning disability.
From Liberia to Nepal, Ethiopia to India, progress is being made to ensure more disabled people are living lives with dignity with inclusive water infrastructure, accessible toilets and improved hygiene services.
It essential that we continue to emphasise and support organisational awareness and action, but also help parents and carers act in an informed manner where they can also help encourage good child protection. The NSPCC will also continue its systematic work in schools to help develop a resilience in children that helps them speak out and stay safe.
Our ambition is to address scientific questions that affect the entire planet and the lives of the individuals on it. The answers to these questions will deliver real benefits to society and underpin national and international policies that will impact the future of planet Earth.
Government-backed Casey review recommends that schools should teach integration as part of the curriculum to halt the spread of racism and extremism.
Ploughing in and tackling this thorny issue is surely a good first step. Shaking the usual suspects out of their satisfied clichés will revivify the debate; these pigeons could do with a some cats being set among them. But this on its own will not be enough. It will take hard work, concrete granular action and a way to make the debate less hysterical before integration in Britain finally moves on.
It is easy in our work to forget the impact we can have on those we care for, as it is something we all love doing. It is an immense privilege spending time with people towards the end of their lives and such rewarding work. Sometimes though, there are extra special moments and that Christmas day was one of them.
© Erika Pineros / Handicap International During my missions around the world as a physiotherapist for Handicap International, one of the things tha...
I was just behind Britain's most decorated female Paralympian Sarah Storey in first, and Channel 4 presenter Alex Brooker in second. BBC presenter Andrew Marr who became disabled from a stroke was number 8.
I have Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which weakens my limbs and leaves me highly dependent on others. I have my wheelchair and I do fine on sidewalks. But batteries die, stairs show up, and I do get hungry from time to time. Now, throw zombies into that mix!
For the last few months, there has been endless talk within health and social care fields about a 'social care' crisis that reached fever pitch when t...