Posts filed under ‘Learning’

All Change? Not quite….

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

I am sitting in my kitchen and have my guilty secret, Homes Under the Hammer, playing in the background. Today I start a new phase of my working life. I will  be working from home and to US hours. This is something I have requested and planned for, it will give me daytime hours when I can assist some of my family. People have had mixed reactions to this plan. Some think I am bonkers, some are worried that I will have too much on my plate, some think it is a good thing. One statement has been oft-repeated – ‘I couldn’t do that, I wouldn’t have the discipline’.Discipline is not what worries me, I have sporadically worked from home in past roles and am able to focus on work. I don’t even worry very much about the solitary nature of this change; I will go into the office often enough to keep contact. Added to that I work for a US company so my contact with my American colleagues will not change.

I am a happy bunny as I sit mulling over the changes. I am grateful to my Company for allowing me to make this change, I now need to plan my days to make the most of them. This means Lesley makes a list and on that list I have so far:-

  • Seeing family members and providing support as best I can
  • Getting my sporadic exercise plan into an ordered shape
  • Blogging (naturally)
  • A tidier house – (my inner voice is saying ‘Dream on Les’)
  • Volunteering at a local school once a week on a reading programme; I have my training for this initiative later this week. I also have to go through all the normal approvals which will take a few weeks but I am happy that I now have a chance to do this.

The last item is something I have been considering for some time. I can see how my writing a blog now and then could come across as do as I say, not as I do. I don’t like the thought of being preachy, that I hope is not what you read here. I have always been interested in this particular programme and I think I now have the opportunity to do something about it. This makes me smile…

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

May 8, 2012 at 11:03 am Leave a comment

Humphrey’s PJ Week….

I blog to get people to donate to kid’s charities. I don’t want money, I want you to donate direct to a children’s charity then write to me by commenting on the blog. Please read the ‘About Lesley’ section of the blog to find out why I do this; the Comments and Running Totals pages to see how far we have come….

Today’s post is the latest Twitter suggestion blog. This one comes from @HumphreyCushion who suggested  I blog on another Twitter user @HumphreysPJWeek and asked if I could work something into the blog for the other Humphrey? I am happy to do so:)

Humphrey’s PJ Week (http://www.humphreyspjweek.co.uk/) is an annual event run by The Children’s Trust Organisation http://www.thechildrenstrust.org.uk/. Humphrey’s Pyjama Week runs from the 11th to the 15th October 2010.

The premise for Humphrey’s Pyjama Week is really sweet; children at nursery school upwards donate £2 to wear their pyjamas to school. There are fun activities and a story about Humphrey’s friend who hurt their head. They can even make jam tarts as they are Humphrey’s favourite treat, yummy!

The story of Humphrey and his friend with the hurt head is a lovely way to introduce young children to the idea of disability and brain injury. It is a tough subject for a small child to understand and this is the way to introduce it with fun and delicacy. I am impressed that the Children’s Trust has come up with such a clever way to do this. Humphrey is a lovely character, see below:-

A sweet and gentle image linked to fun activities like a Treasure Hunt, what a super way for children to have fun learning about a difficult life-lesson.

Last year 10,000 children took part in Humphrey’s week, this year they are hoping to target 40,000 children into this initiative. They also have lots of support from my fellow bloggers. I sent a tweet out to say I was blogging on Humphrey’s PJ week and was contacted by Miss Lizzie (@MissieLizzieB) to let me know that there were a couple of blogposts already out there for this great event. I attach the links from Lizzie’s blog

http://missielizzie-meandmyshadow.blogspot.com/2010/09/hooray-for-humphreys-pj-week.html

and her guest post on Baby Born Free’s blog on the same subject

http://www.bornfreemumanddad.co.uk/2010/09/14/hooray-for-humphreys-pj-week/.

I also wanted to cover a little on the work that the Children’s Trust do as the monies raised from Humphrey’s PJ Week will go to this great organisation. The Children’s Trust is a national charity working with children who have multiple disabilities and complex health needs. They are based at a 24 acre site in Tadworth, Surrey but offer services to children from across the UK. They offer a unique combination of services, some of which include:-

  • Residential care with therapy, including those with an acquired brain injury
  • Community based care for those returning to home/school after a brain injury
  • Special education for children with profound and and multiple learning disabilities at The School for Profound Education
  • Hospice/palliative care

I do hope that you have learnt a little about The Children’s Trust and Humphrey’s PJ Week from this post. Please take the time to check out the websites and please also check them out on Twitter via @HumphreysPJWeek and @childrens_trust.

I hope that Humphrey’s PJ Week will be really successful and raise lots of funds for The Children’s Trust. I will also ask Humphrey and his pals to perhaps come back to the blog and let me know how much they were able to raise…….

As always I will close with my normal request to you:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions.

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8-year-old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.

Lesley

September 26, 2010 at 7:42 pm 4 comments

What Should Our Children Study?

I blog to get people to donate to kid’s charities. I don’t want money, I want you to donate direct to a children’s charity then write to me by commenting on the blog. Please read the ‘About Lesley’ section of the blog to find out why I do this; the Comments and Running Totals pages to see how far we have come….

This is my third post from Twitter suggestions. Today’s post is brought to you by @UncleMarvo, blogger and tweeter wonder! Marvo has given me a tricky theme, “A crystal ball blog, suggesting what kids might be studying in about 8 years from now”. Phew!

The reason this is tricky for me is that I am truly torn between my innate practicality (yes, I am practical) and my belief that you need to study something meaningful to you. I am aware too of the reduction in course numbers and places….

I did a little research on this as it is a long time since I looked at courses. Apologies to all non-UK readers but I focused on UK institutions since this is the education system I went through. I looked at 2 local universities and Oxford to see what choices they had. I then looked at the City & Guilds website for vocational courses.

I won’t go into huge specifics on the courses, if you are interested you can look at the UCAS site or the City & Guilds site. Both are very informative and you can spend large amounts of time looking through the courses and the requirements for applying for same. I did have a good look at some of the financial details. The University fees for 2010/11 are £3,290 and City & Guilds seem to run at about £1500. All of this mounts up if you are taking a course that will last 2 or 3 years.

On top of this there are books, rent, living expenses. Day to day living costs money and with part-time jobs becoming harder to get you may be dependant on loans, savings, contributions from friends and family to keep your head above water.

I will contrast this with my student days. When I was a student many moons ago I didn’t have to pay fees. I even got a grant! It was a great time for me and I have some fantastic memories associated with my student days, especially of the people I met there. I did work throughout as well, the grant alone wasn’t enough to keep me solvent but I didn’t leave with large debts hanging over me.

My how times have changed. It won’t be uncommon for today’s students to complete their courses tens of thousands in debt. That really doesn’t start you off well, does it? It means that this will  be hanging over them as they look for employment. I know this is common in other countries but it is still a relatively new thing here and feels quite shocking when you stop to think about it…..

So, eight years from now? My crystal ball is rather dull but I have ruminated and will now speculate!

The number of courses will have decreased and perhaps dramatically. This will have come from the increases to fees and the reductions in funding. Funding reductions will have in turn led to a reduction in staff which will reduce the choices available. I think the focus will become extremely practical; courses that will lead to a ‘career’ will become the primary choice as practicality comes to the fore. This could include IT, Accountancy, Maths & Sciences, Business, etc. I am not sure how vocational courses will be impacted. I think nursing and teaching foundation courses will still be popular but I am not sure how the tourism/leisure and the traditional trades will fare unless we see an upturn in the overall economy.

I understand why students will base their choices on where they feel job opportunities will lie. That is natural, I had the same focus at that age; the late 70s was a time when you wanted to ensure you maximised your chance of employment post-education. The added pressure for our students eight years hence will be to have reliable and regular employment. The flip side will be those who see ‘no point’ in trying as it will be too difficult to start their grown-up life saddled by debt and an inability to fund the traditional mortgage, marriage, family choices that many of us have made.

The pain point for me in all this? Life is enriched and enhanced by art, culture and beautiful things. My fear is that the arts will suffer in a purely pragmatic and practical world. I worry that the courses available for the Arts will reduce and that they will be chosen less and thus diminish further. Ever the optimist, I hope that changes to funding and attitude will not so negatively impact our Colleges and Universities to the point that we endanger the protection and promotion of our cultural life. We need writers, artists and curators to keep this world alive too.

Lastly, I will say that I hope that I am wrong and that eight years hence all our young people will have the chance to achieve this:-

As always I will close with my normal request to you:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions.

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8-year-old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.

Lesley

September 15, 2010 at 11:30 pm Leave a comment


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