We continue to believe that industry self-regulation is the way forward. We think this can be achieved by the public applying moral pressure to fashion brands. Social media, in our opinion, is the perfect conduit. After all we have seen how swiftly the 'Are You Beach Body Ready?' protest spread. The 'Ice Bucket Challenge' is another analogy.
We can't keep locking up 85,000 people today knowing that hardly any of them will manage to find work and that around 50% of them will be back in again within a year of release. There are currently too many people in prison, and we have a system that seems to keep bringing them back there time and time again--that has to stop. Prison reform means fewer prisons and better prisoners.
The Swadlincote adventure is launched on Wednesday 27th January and the year ahead promises to be intriguing. If all goes well it could be the Derbyshire town does revolutionise the way the UK address food waste.
A young carer is somebody under the age of 18 who delivers unpaid care to a loved one who may suffer from physical or mental illness or substance misuse. Awareness raising is vital, not only for identified young carers but also for those that are unidentified.
Being in a band means there isn't always much we can do to help causes through our work. So if we're asked, we try to take the opportunities. What's going on in Syria at the moment is so obviously pertinent, so present. The politics are enormously complicated and we don't profess to know half enough about it. But at its core is the biggest humanitarian crisis of our lifetime, and human beings who simply want to survive, who want their children to be safe. So, we and some other great musicians are doing a little gig this Friday 22nd to help raise money for Syria (we're DJing).
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 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.
It's Christmas Eve, and this morning I delivered the last two of three hundred Christmas hampers. I don't work for Harrods, or M&S, or anyone else who might spring to mind when you think about hamper deliveries; I work for Salisbury Foodbank. And each one of these three hundred hampers will go to families and individuals who are struggling to put food on the table this Christmas...
With Twitter fast becoming the go to place for abuse it seemed only logical that the figures would reveal a truth which we all felt was inevitable - that social media is the breeding ground for hate. What I saw shocked me, but not for the reasons you might have expected. Twitter's most influential moments were not trolling campaigns, messages of hate during a terrorist attack, nor were they based around celebrity gossip or the revelation that the world's most famous pop star does indeed have a penis...
I guess the difficult thing for me is that as of right now, there is no-one (that I am aware of) who has been immersed to completely in 45 different charitable organisations. A feeling and experience I cannot share with anyone else. But, today I want to try and share that feeling with you.
My challenge to you this Christmas is that if you're like me and have the time but not much money, rather than seeing these adverts and feeling guilty that you can't help, or just brushing them off: pledge some hours to them. Join #1millionhours, and give the gift of time to those that need it most.
Our most recent report, 'Generation Inactive', has found a worrying lack of tracking and measurement of children's physical activity and fitness in primary schools, and examines different ways we can encourage 'the least active generation in history' to become more fit and active. We can't continue to focus on the size of their waists when it is the health of their hearts that is most important.
You're probably reading this post on a computer or mobile device via a vibrant glow emitted by the screen. So readily available to many of us, light and power only becomes evident in their unexpected absence - the frustration of dead batteries, power outages and darkness. Yet for 622million people in Africa, energy poverty is the norm. Home to one-sixth of the world's population, Africa receives only 4% of the world's energy supply... Inspired by my own childhood I knew that we could electrify Africa now, and we could do it quickly.
In 1989 I was born without my right hand. Twenty-six years later, I'm an international concert pianist - something that perhaps few people would have envisaged. Being a professional pianist might not be the most obvious career choice if you have one hand but why shouldn't it be?
Downpour will wipe out the field. Beds will be drenched in mud, the air so cold the children wont sleep, the conditions so hideous the parents will fear for their families lives. I was impressed by the positivity and the drive, but all I could think was how the fuck these people will survive the winter?