Archive for March, 2012
Further to my post regarding tonight’s Earth Hour I have now learned that Dutch astronaut André Kuipers will be monitoring the event from onboard the International Space Station, where he is currently living, in orbit some 240 miles (386 kilometers) above the Earth’s surface. Big Brother is watching you! (LOL)
(Click HERE to see a full-size version of this photo. The large area of illumination to the left of the picture is Paris.)
All around the world, at 8.30 tonight, lights will be going out, as Planet Earth celebrates Earth Hour – an initiative of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Hundreds of millions of people will voluntarily be plunged into darkness for one hour, in a symbolic act of identifying with and saving the small and fragile planet that we all share. But in addition to this one-hour event, a ‘beyond the hour’ campaign is also under-way, where people are being encouraged to take a longer-term environmental action, such as using less electricity, recycling more, or changing to a more Earth-friendly diet. Personally, I’m going for the latter – I’m starting a juice diet today: raw energy, and weight-loss!
Here’s a short introductory video about Earth Hour:
and here’s the main official video:
Be a part of Earth Hour, tonight – and BEYOND – and help change the planet!
It’s always good to be able to report on local philanthropic work and I was delighted to read this evening about a nearby centre for young people that is run by volunteers, and that has just – itself – been the recipient of a charitable donation.
Baglan Youth Forum was established in 2005 to: ‘Help young people, based primarily but not exclusively in Baglan, especially but not exclusively through leisure time activities, so as to develop their physical, mental and spiritual capacities that they may grow to full maturity as individual members of society’ (coincidentally, very similar to the aims of the Chreda Foundation of which I am a Trustee).
In November 2010, having received a grant of nearly £¼ million from the Big Lottery Fund, the Forum opened a new ‘Chill-Out’ Centre on the ground floor of Baglan Library, which was then formally ‘opened’ the following March by Hollywood star Michael Sheen, who grew up in Baglan (and who, a month later, starred in Port Talbot’s widely-acclaimed 72-hour open-air Passion play).
Four nights a week the state-of-the-art Centre welcomes more than 50 young people between the ages of 9 and 24, and provides an environment where they can eat, watch TV, play games, use computers, or just ‘chill out’, as well as accessing information, advice and support on youth issues, and taking advantage of learning and training opportunities.
Although there are some paid part-time staff members, much of the running of the Centre is voluntary, and it relies heavily on community support. So they were recently pleased to receive a donation of £350 from Tata Steel, which these days operates the massive Port Talbot steelworks (the town’s main employer). The company proudly reports on this in its latest newsletter, which goes out to all households in the local area, and which I received today. Centre Manager Karla Williams is quoted as saying that this is the largest single donation they have received to-date.
Well done to Tata – an Indian-based company – for their generosity and support of the local community… and for producing a very readable newsletter!
Tomorrow has been designated ‘Wear A Hat Day’, here in the UK. So why not wear a hat to work and donate £1 to Brain Tumour Research?
All over the UK, Brain Tumour Research and its member charities will be encouraging people – especially in education and the public sector – to raise awareness about the prevalence of brain tumours and the lack of adequate funding for research into this cancer ‘Cinderella’. They will be asked to make a donation, then to wear a hat to work, to show their support for the cause.
More under-40s die from brain tumours than from any other form of cancer, yet it currently receives less than 1% of UK cancer research spending.
Prime Minister David Cameron has written offering his support for the fund-raising event, and a number of MPs have produced videos explaining why they are getting involved. 2010 ‘Hat Maker of the Year’ Kate Langrish has even designed a range of campaign hats for the occasion.
Well then… if you’re in the vicinity of Southampton, UK this Friday evening you should really try to get along to the Central Hall for a programme of ‘swing’ music featuring some excellent young musicians who are raising funds for the Mayor of Southampton’s charity appeal (Gift of Sight and Alzheimer’s Research UK).
Tickets for “Swing’s the Thing” are £10 for adults and £6 for students, and can be purchased at the door or by telephoning 023 8052 8193. Further information is available online at http://www.showcaseperformancegroup.com/.
Guest conductor for the evening is Robert Scott (currently conducting “Singing in the Rain”, in London), and guest vocalist is Emma Scott-Copeland, who brought this event to my attention via my brother Graham, who attends the same dance school as Emma (DM Dance Centre, Southampton – which was featured in last Sunday’s blog on this website).
To get a flavour of what could be in store for you on Friday, just watch this short promotional video: