In the UK over 3.5 million people between 50-64 are economically inactive... That means one in three people 50+ are out of work compared with one in five people under 50. There has been a 40% rise in unemployment amongst over 50s in the last two years. The recession is hitting everyone hard but I was personally shocked to hear those figures.
Eight-year-old Sitan was lying on a rattan mat outside her family's house shading herself from the baking midday sun. Years of malnutrition had left this eight-year-old looking more like a little girl of four. Worse, she could barely move and was virtually silent. She, like many millions of children across the developing world, has a condition called stunting. In layman's terms this means she didn't get enough nutritious food as young child and is now physically and possibly mentally less developed than she should be.
As ministers scramble to engrain a culture of giving on society - such as through 'nudges' at cash machines and supermarket check-outs - perhaps allocating a small proportion of each person's wealth to charity is the only way to ensure the UK's safety net is large enough to withstand the unfolding crisis.
Once upon a time, long before I moved to London, I used to enter Oxfam with a heady sense of adventure about the the delights I was sure to discover. And discover I did, knocking aside the elderly in my greedy quest to rifle through the rails, gathering great swathes of questionable but utterly brilliant items into my arms.
The tennis this weekend caused quite a stir. In the big Murray VS Federer debate, loyalties across the country were torn between supporting a Brit and supporting a tennis favourite. Of course, if you admitted you were supporting anyone other than Murray, the aftermath was almost as bad as telling an avid football supporter that 'it's just a game'.
When PDSA approached me to work with them, I knew that becoming an Ambassador would be the perfect role for me. I love our Jack Russell, Daisy, to bits so I completely understand how much people's pets mean to them - we British often treat them like our children!
A happy fact of life at Opera Holland Park is that our largest source of income still comes from the seats we sell to our audience. For an arts organisation that has to be a healthy state of affairs; the art itself is the focus and driver of everything. But we, like others, have to find people and organisations with the resources to make the books balance.