Petition to The Prime Minister
Survivors of sexual violence are being denied support: tell the PM this must end now.
In 2016 I was raped by a man while I was travelling. I was unconscious when he first assaulted me and when I was conscious, I said no repeatedly. He then told me again and again how much he could seriously hurt me. He raped me throughout the night. I reported the rape as soon as I was safe but my attacker has never been caught. I returned to the UK in August 2017 and knew I needed support. I tried to access a counselling service right away. I called my local Rape Crisis centres, who were kind on the phone, but told me they’d had to close their waiting list and didn’t know when they might be able to offer me any help. I tried again and again over the next 8 months, contacting multiple centres, and was told every time that they had huge numbers of women waiting. Nearly two years on from the attack I was experiencing severe stress, lack of sleep, migraines and I was having flashbacks during my sleep which had started to creep into my waking hours too. I was self-medicating on alcohol just to get by. Every time I was rejected help from Rape Crisis, my mental health spiralled further beyond my control until suddenly I just couldn't go on any longer. Luckily for me, my employer saved me when I hit rock bottom by arranging private therapy for me. But my case is extremely rare – the reality is there are thousands of survivors of rape and sexual abuse suffering in silence and desperate for support being turned away from local Rape Crisis centres and other sexual violence support services across the country due to inadequate funding. I was last turned away from a Rape Crisis waiting list on 8 March 2018. A year on from that date, many Rape Crisis waiting lists are still closed. There just isn’t enough funding or services to help everyone in need. For years the Government have promised to turn something called the Istanbul Convention into law. It would give protection and set a standard of support for victims of sexual violence. It says there should be at least 150 Rape Crisis Centres in England and Wales. Currently there are only 44. Help me, hold this government to account for the complete failure to ensure rape counselling services are there when survivors need them. Tell Theresa May that every victim of sexual violence and abuse has the right to access independent specialist support services in the community the moment they seek it, and to get long term counselling that will help them recover. Please, sign this petition and demand the government fund these life-saving services. To find out more about how important this campaign is and how you can make a difference, check out End Violence Against Women Coalition who are supporting me in this petition.
Petition to Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Jo Swinson, Caroline Lucas, Nigel Farage, Jeremy Corbyn, Ian Blackford, Nigel Dodds, Liz Saville Roberts
Save our students. Make Mental Health First Aid a compulsory part of teacher training
Hi, my name is Ben and in January 2018, I lost my younger brother, Sam, to suicide. He was just 15. I sat on my bed that Sunday evening, unaware that only a few metres away from me my brother was about to take his own life. I heard screams through the headphones and ran upstairs at 21:30. I carried out emergency resuscitation for almost half an hour before the mass of emergency services arrived. No one should ever have to experience the loss and confusion of losing someone to suicide and I hope that, with your help, this petition can save at least one family the awful pain I've had to and continue to face. As part of research into ways of helping young people suffering with mental health conditions in schools we found that staff are generally not equipped to deal with problems faced by some students as they don't have the knowledge to do so. Very few staff members have mental health first aid training of any level. That's why I'm calling on the government to train teachers in mental health first aid so that they have the tools and knowledge available to help if they do feel they should step in and start a conversation. Mental health first aid would be a very cost effective and simple session to run which outlines potential problems faced by students and offers suggestions to staff on what to do. It would also advise staff on who to contact about the student to start putting into place the support they need as quickly as possible. There are so many teachers who are capable of dealing with physical medical emergencies, it’s about time that the same can be said for dealing with mental health problems as well. Most schools have a single specialist physical first aider as well as having a mass of teachers with knowledge of first aid. I don't think an epicentre of mental health support is the right way of dealing with the issue, instead we should a more broad knowledge. Making the training compulsory may seem excessive at first but we now live in an age where three students per class have a diagnosable mental health condition . There are 4 schoolchildren lost to suicide every week . And the rates of depression and anxiety in young people have increased by 70% in the last 25 years . So, I wholeheartedly believe, this isn't an excessive measure to be taking, it's a desperate one. Please sign and share my petition. Visit our Instagram pages - @iambenwest and @team_walk2talk  mentalhealth.org  papyrus.org  thesamwestfoundation.org
Petition to Theresa May MP, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Bereavement Leave to be given to all Grieving Families
Did you know that if a loved one dies your employer doesn't have to give you time off from work? 3 days seems to be the normal time given. My son Jack died suddenly just before his 2nd birthday and I was to discover the lack of entitlement . Please sign this petition to ask the government to Create Bereavement leave to protect other families. While many good employers offer compassionate leave, there is no statutory right to leave and this campaign aims to introduce two weeks of paid bereavement leave for the death of a Child and members of the immediate family. In the immediate aftermath of the death families have to cope with their individual loss, the grief of their wider family, including other children, as well as a vast amount of administrative and other arrangements such as the funeral and in some cases a post Mortem. Just three days off for a family death is an anomaly and I ask for your help to have this amended. I am supported in my campaign by many organisations who feel the same as I do. Grief can effect us at different times, it's something that we learn to cope with but it never leaves us #talkingishealing
Petition to Jeremy Hunt MP, Maureen Watt
Introduce compulsory mental health checks for secondary school children
Every year, thousands of mental health problems aren't diagnosed and lead to numerous problems in the lives of many teenagers, who's problems continue into their adult years. In 2015, 231 people committed suicide between the ages of 10-19. I am calling for compulsory biannual mental health checks to be introduced for children from ages 10-18, in order to ensure that no mental health problem in a child remains covered. I care about this because after seeing many personal friends experience their own battles with mental health problems. It's time to change. http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/helping-someone-else/
Petition to Advertising Standards Authority, Committee for Advertising Practice
Ban ads for slimming clubs and weight loss products around children #FreeFromDiets
Schools, sports clubs and places of leisure for children and young people should all be safe spaces for under 18s, where they are not at risk of being body shamed, exposed to harmful messaging around dieting and diet culture, or encouraged - whether inadvertently or not - to focus on ideas around restricting food and aspiring to a particular type of body. These ideas are at odds with the core message being promoted by slimming clubs and weight loss products - that in order to live a happy and fulfilled life, to be a worthwhile member of society and to inspire others, you must be thin or have a body that meets the narrow beauty ideals we regularly see in the media. My name is Molly Forbes and I'm a mum of two daughters and a positive body image campaigner. In my work as a presenter, podcaster and internet influencer I regularly interview experts and speak at events and in the media, discussing the harmful effects of diet culture and the link between body image and mental health. As a mum, I'm particularly interested in the way children and young people are being impacted by these messages. Current advertising guidelines state that slimming and weight control products or services must not be addressed to people under 18, but this is not stopping slimming clubs from targeting schools, childrens' sports clubs and places for children and families as sites to recruit potential new members to their groups. I've received countless messages from other parents, letting me know about banners for slimming clubs being displayed on or near schools, leaflets for slimming clubs being handed out on or near schools and posters being put up in many sports and recreation clubs for under 18s across the country. Although the slimming clubs may argue that they are not directly addressing under 18s with this form of marketing (and intend instead to speak to parents), there is no doubt that children are seeing these messages - and in some cases being encouraged to take leaflets home in their school book bags. This is damaging for multiple reasons: 1. There is a huge body of evidence showing that dieting (including slimming clubs marketed as a "lifestyle plan") can lead to disordered eating and, in some case, severe eating disorders. 2. There is increasing evidence to show more children are being affected by eating disorders than ever before, with some children as young as three years old receiving help. 3. There's a wealth of evidence to show associated mental health problems linked to poor body image are on the rise, with the latest report showing one in eight adults has had suicidal thoughts due to poor body image. 4. There's also increasing evidence to show poor body image is now a particular area of concern for children and young people, with one in five girls not raising their hand in class for fear of being judged over their appearance. 5. Many studies have shown that poor body image can lead to a reduced quality of life and general health - with those with a negative body image less likely to take part in physical activity, eat in a way that feels good for their body, or socialise with friends. There is no doubt that being exposed to marketing for slimming services and weight loss products on or near school, at their sports' club or dance classes could have a negative impact on a child's body image and be damaging to both their mental and physical health. I'm calling for tighter regulations, enforcement and investigation of the way these services and products are marketed and new slimming club members are recruited, with a ban on advertising within a 100 metre radius of any school, sports club or place of leisure for children and young people, to include putting up banners, posters, handing out leaflets or sponsoring sports kit. Just as it is not deemed appropriate for junk food ads to be placed near schools or for brands making HFSS products to sponsor kids' sport clubs, I argue that the same rules should apply to slimming services and weight loss products. Our children deserve a childhood free from negative body image influences and to be given the chance to grow up loving the skin they're in, appreciating it and not feeling compelled to conform to narrow beauty ideals or ideas of health which are manufactured by a multi-billion pound diet industry. Banning the advertising of slimming services and weight loss products around schools and places of leisure for children and young people is an important step in protecting their mental and physical health when it comes to body image. Please sign this petition and share it if you agree. #FreeFromDiets
Petition to Kent Council
Barton Court Grammar School: Mental Health Injustice
For years Barton Court Grammar School, in Canterbury, Kent, has upheld it's reputation amongst the youth for being one of the worst schools in Kent for support and help with mental health issues and student wellbeing whilst simultaneously upkeeping a reputation of exactly the opposite with adults and those responsible for us and we haven't come forward. Why? Mostly because we would likely be silenced for it, threatened with detentions and isolations, much like we were when one of our teachers turned out to be a paedophile and was sent to prison and also like when students where excluded for trying to participate in a climate change strike. Unfortunately, on the 6th of December, 2019, this train wreck of a school was awarded a Headstart Award for Wellbeing and Resilience and during the presentation assembly, at least a quarter of my year came forward and said that they refuse to be a part of it, myself included. I could not, in good faith, respectfully sit there and watch the people who have made my life miserable win an award for claiming that they have done the opposite when there have been countless times that I have been told my anxieties inconvenience them or that me having an extreme panic attack is not a good enough reason to be able to call home and just speak to my own parents. They've lied too much, to us, to adults, to every one and they keep getting away with it. Well not anymore I refuse to be silenced when Barton Court has ruined so many aspects of my life as a struggling kid who just wants a peaceful education. I will not stand down and fall victim to the countless threats that the school throw at us as they have no right to take away our education for our opinions and voicing them and you shouldn't either. I'm pleading with you, if you even slightly agree or have fallen victim to the endless scorns of Barton Court, stand up and help make a change so future generations
Petition to Prime Minister
Scrap University Fees
I am calling on the Prime Minister to stop all University fees immediately. Every person with a permanent stay or has been born in the UK should not have to pay £9250 PER YEAR university fees for their degree. There are so many people in debt because of this and I personally think it should come out of the Governments funding. It would allow more children/adults to pursue a career knowing they will not be in debt and would allow them a better future. Many students and recent graduates have killed themselves, and hundreds of thousands have contemplated suicide because of the crushing burden of their student loans, according to research and surveys. Then there are the hundreds of thousands that are either stuck claiming benefits or in a job they do not enjoy therefore creating depression along with other mental health issues which has begun to put an increased pressure upon the NHS. By abolishing student university fees, this could in fact alleviate some of the pressure which is costing the government extra money for their therapies and medications. Personally, I believe this is unfair due to the increasing amount of careers which need degrees in order to start and thus forcing people into universities alongside all the daunting costs which go with it. University fees on top of accommodation and living costs play a huge factor as it accumulates the majority of student debt which often takes a lifetime to repay. This is to create equal opportunities for all people from various upbringings and allow them to better themselves academically to enable this country to prosper. Essentially, this is about assuring the survival of the country as it is the younger generation that will one day run it.
Petition to The Gilstrap Charity, Newark and Sherwood District Council, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick
The Gilstrap Charity Children's Wood & Wildlife Meadow
After the Tweet from the Rt Hon Robert Jenrick yesterday it seems to be the appropriate time to release a new proposal for Cedar / Chestnut Avenue Park which we have been working on. This New Proposal will fulfill the Charitable objectives & obligations of the Gilstrap Charity, Newark and Sherwood District Council 's deceleration of a Climate Emergency, Tree planting scheme and the "Pocket Parks Programme" introduced by the Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick. The Gilstrap Charity Children's Wood & Wildlife Meadow. With the current proposals of redevelopment of Yorke Drive adding to the growing Green Space Deficit locally, https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=611915669314521&id=154161975089895 The Gilstrap Charity Children’s Wood & Wildlife Meadow will be the last non prescribed open green space in the Bridge Ward.This space is vitally important for our local community, With minimal financial support it could be a place where people get together to walk dogs, picnic, garden and play. It’s a space where everyone can come together without the financial pressure of pay to play. The Children’s Wood with local groups, Schools, Academy's, Nurseries and Council could host regular events with the aim to connect people to nature, raise aspirations and involve people in the management of the land. People are increasingly disconnected from nature and this is having serious mental and physical health implications. Our Proposal of The Gilstrap Charity Children's Wood & Wildlife Meadow can redress the imbalance right in the heart of our community. The Gilstrap Charity Children’s Wood & Wildlife meadow could be accessed at any time of day or night by families,adults,carers,schools, our community and wildlife. Despite living in a society where materially life has been good, some things are getting worse and society is noticing an increasing number of problems associated with modern living such as depression, anxiety, obesity, food poverty, the achievement gap and so on. We believe The Gilstrap Charity Children’s Wood & Wildlife Meadow can play a role in tackling some of these 21st Century problems and minimise the impact of the more challenging aspects of modern living. Being outside, even if it’s just to play and have fun, can reduce anxiety and increase self-esteem and attention span in children. The same is true for adults and for problems like depression; spending time in nature can be as effective as antidepressants in reducing symptoms. It’s a simple, free, activity with no side effects. Not only can the land help to alleviate negative feelings and thoughts but it can boost well-being and help people and our community to flourish. For this proposal to happen The Gilstrap Charity will need to protect the land through a Deed of Dedication with Fields In Trust. It's a robust yet flexible way to do it. The Deed is a legally binding document which means the proposed Gilstrap Charity Children's Wood & Wildlife Meadow is protected for future generations to enjoy. Cedar / Chestnut Avenue Park with very little money could be transformed, enhanced and preserved in perpetuity for the benefit of Newark and Sherwood.Trees, shrubs and soft landscaping are virtually free from most charitable organisations benches and led solar lighting is inexpensive.An ambitious tree planting scheme along with shrubs, wildflowers, wildlife and child friendly soft landscaping would #givenatureahome and provide vital "Green Lungs" to our heavily polluted community absorbing carbon contributing towards NSDC's carbon neutral target. Community veg growing, Community gardening, Community events, Play Groups, Outdoor learning,Sensory Garden, Education, Forest Schools, Bush craft workshops, open green space, Dog Walking, Just sit and enjoy nature, the possibilities this proposal presents are endless. Examples of this proposal can be found elsewhere and they work! Please show your support for this proposal by signing and sharing our petition. http://chng.it/nCMt4RGzns Proposal concept Key: 1. Picnic benches2. Multi Use Games Arena refurbished.3. Public Footpath4. Ambitious planting scheme.5. Solar lighting. with the remainder of the green space left open for non prescribed diverse use. #mentalhealth #playbuildschildren #GreenerNewarkandSherwood #CleanerSaferGreener #StandUpForTrees #PlayMustStay #MyTown #Perpetuity #SaveOurPark #outddorplay #outdoorlearning #community #climatechange #environment #carbonneutral #sustainability #love #powerofcommunity #lovewhereyoulive #communityinvestment #socialmobility #health