As Kermit the Frog once said 'it's not easy being green' and this is especially true when it comes to fashion. We always assume going green involves wearing a hemp sack and not washing your hair for weeks on end but this just isn't true.
The xl programme not only helped me realise what I'm good at but it also showed me how to apply that to my school work and ultimately my future career. What it really gave me was ambition. Now I'm going to college and training to be a childcare assistant. I've been given a second chance with a solid foundation for my future. I'll always be thankful for that.
Childhood is supposed to be a time of play, being carefree and happily learning about the world. Fortunately for most people, it is. But for a percentage of young people, their upbringing doesn't fit this model and instead it becomes a steep learning curve, with harsh lessons to absorb along the way.
My start in life wasn't a very easy one. I was born prematurely with a complex blood disorder and placed into foster care. The treatment I received for my condition meant that I had to travel a lot and also ruled out the possibility of medicating my ADHD...
Maya showed me that any of us can be a refugee at some point in our lives. Any of us can lose everything we have, leave behind everything we know, suffer loss, face obstacles, experience struggle. But as long as we come together in support of one another, love and humanity will prevail.
I believe that in order to move forward we must learn from our past. While we cannot know all of the answers and may not always make perfect decisions...
Standing outside the room my palms were clammy, I had pins and needles in my face and could feel nausea rising from my stomach. I stalled - I couldn't go through the door. All those months in prison flashed through my mind, as well as the moment I threw the punch that changed our lives. Walking in and meeting Joan and David, the parents of 28-year-old James Hodgkinson who I killed with a single punch, was something I needed to do. I knew how important it was for me to tell them how sorry I was face to face.
It may not surprise you to know that Muhammad Ali was a huge influence on my career. I used to watch every Ali fight and documentary I could lay my hands on. Not only was he a phenomenal boxer, he is a moral person who has always stood up for what he believes in. Last week I launched a campaign for the great man to receive an Honorary Knighthood and the reception to the idea has been incredible. The petition is aiming for 25,000 signatures and in less than a week we've managed to get over 18,000. I'm very confident that soon we'll be able to reach the 100,000 that it requires to be discussed in Parliament.
Remember that gung-ho teen who stopped you at the shopping centre for your signature on a petition or donation to a local cause? You might have just met tomorrow's millionaire entrepreneur.
The question shouldn't be "do petitions work?" but "how do they work best?" It's all down to the power of a strong personal story that will help you build an army of supporters who you can call on to take action, every step of the way to victory. If you do that, your campaign will be impossible to ignore - however many signatures it attracts.
Evidence shows that the public are turned off by negative news as it leaves them feeling anxious, passive and helpless, in despair rather than informed. According to research projects into negative bias in the news, not only do audiences prefer positive news stories but exposure to a typical news story results in a drop in mood in most people.
When the Wonky Veg box was released I had to get my hands on one - if only to see how the supermarkets had gone about joining the war on waste. I would never normally spend money on full priced veg, but this had to be done.
As an art therapist specialising in work with children and young people I am acutely aware of the fact that for far too long we have applied adult solutions to children's problems and that one size certainly does not fit all.
Do those guys really want all that stuff? They've probably got the best vibrators money can buy, boobs to die for and been on all the top walking tours already. Also another goody bag? Just add it to the super massive, awards season pile.
I really believe in the power of creativity to help. For me, it's writing. But equally all forms of creative expression are vital, whether that's doodling on a napkin or listening to super loud music and singing along at the top of your lungs.
Good news struggles to find its place in the news agenda. As an editor, or journalist, at what point do you say that a policy or a scheme or a venture has become successful enough to justify attention with so much else to cover? How do you avoid a good news story looking like a puff piece?