21 year old gets final birthday flowers from her dad who died of cancer when she was 16

The BBC reports on an emotional story of how a 21 year old called Bailey Seller has received her last bouquet flowers from her dad who died five years ago from cancer and had pre-paid for her to received flowers until she hit 21 years old. With the flowers she’s also been receiving a handwritten note which this year said: “I will still be with you with every milestone, just look around and there I will be.”

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Bereavement is the time we spend adjusting to loss. There is no standard time limit and there is no right or wrong way to feel during the bereavement period – everyone must learn to cope in their own way. We thought about this recently in our PSHCE lessons. It is a difficult but important topic to think about. The NHS provides lots of useful information on bereavement, and the Child Bereavement UK charity offers advice on how to speak to people who are bereaved.

 

 

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Alan Shearer: Dementia, Football and Me

In a recent Year 8 PSHCE lesson as part of our healthy lifestyles unit, we learnt about dementia. It was poignant to see students talking about their experiences of family members with dementia, and the rest of the class listening, learning and empathising.

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In class we started by checking that we understood what dementia was.

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Then we discussed how having dementia would be tough for those who have it and their families. One student told us about his mum working in a centre where lots of people have dementia and how it can get quite violent.

On Sunday evening the well-know former Blackburn, Newcastle and England football player Alan Shearer, who also presents on BBC Match of the Day, will appear in a BBC documentary exploring the links between dementia and football. Alan Shearer writes in a BBC article about the documentary:

“I went into football knowing that at the end of my career I could probably expect to have some physical issues, which I do – I have dodgy knees, a dodgy back and dodgy ankles. But what I never contemplated for a second back then was that there is a chance that heading the ball could affect my brain.”

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The documentary airs on BBC One on Sunday 12th November at 10:30-11:30pm, though you will be able to catch it again on BBC iPlayer.

Is Love Island harming the moral fabric of Britain?

If you haven’t stumbled upon the ITV2 TV series Love Island then I will leave it to the Independent to explain:

It’s essentially Big Brother – with contestants being slowly voted out of a house (in this case, a Mallorcan villa) by the public and the last pair standing winning £50,000 – only the road to victory is paved with Machiavellian gossiping and condom wrappers. Ostensibly, the ITV2 show is about finding love, but going far in it seems to require successfully walking the tightrope of being honourable without being boring. I should also note it’s quite meta in the sense that the rules literally don’t matter and are changed at the producers’ whim.

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This year’s Love Island has proved hugely popular. The show has become must-see viewing amongst mainly female (67.4%) viewers and under 35s (63.6%). It’s already appeared on the wordpress this year for its discussion on feminism. Last week the a contestant from the show, Chris, was praised for openly showing his emotions and breaking the stereotype that men shouldn’t cry. Chris had been involved with fellow contestant Olivia Attwood whilst in the villa, and was left in tears when she decided to cool things off. In one scene Olivia told Chris not to cry again; which led many viewers to accuse her of being “cold-hearted” and “harsh”. In fact some people went so far as saying that if it had been the other way round she would have been seen as a victim of bullying.

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On this Wednesday’s show the couples all became immediate parents with the show’s producers providing each couple with baby dolls. After just a short while Chris said,  “I think this morning he has already brought out an emotional side in me. With Olivia, we have stopped the mishaps we’ve had together and we’ve got to focus on the baby now, because ultimately he is our main responsibility.” I tell you this programme can be an interesting way to learn about life skills!

Laura Hamzic who works for Brook, a sexual health charity for young people, would agree with me, saying that shows like Love Island can provide young people with an entry point for discussion by reconciling sex with relationships.

“I think we’re still quite quick to judge young people as being sexually irresponsible and promiscuous and that’s something we would challenge,” she says. “They are starved of places to discuss sex and relationships in controlled environments like school, because sex education is very poor. Love Island isn’t exactly the best place to learn about sex and relationships, but it’s better than porn.”

Love Island’s commissioning editor Amanda Stavri agrees, pointing out that the key to the show’s success is relationships rather than sex. “Our feeling is if you’re inviting 12 singletons to live together in the sun, things are gonna get heated under the covers,” she says. “But it’s not salacious, it’s not grubby, it’s not explicit. We’re more interested in the story of the couple who have chosen to take their relationship to the next level.”

If you’re not down with the kids and their lingo then BBC Three have even provided a useful dictionary according Love Island so you can better understand the conversations.

If all this has whetted your appetite for Love Island you can catch up on episodes via the ITV Hub.

Spontaneous Pop Star Heroics

Liam Payne pulling his friend from a burning balcony; Pink comforting a young girl mid-concert and stopping a fight that had broken out in the audience; and Justin Timberlake administering the Heimlich manoeuvre on his friend choking on a peanut. These are all stories of pop starts who might be some people’s heroes for their musical abilities, but have proven themselves to be heroes in emergency situations too.

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Pool float looks like a Giant Sanitary Pad

huge_maxi_pad_pool_float__by_paulrokicki-d53mh4eThe Pasadena Pool Float looks very similar to a sanitary pad…

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There has been plenty of discussion on social media about the pool float’s unintentional resemblance to a feminine hygiene product. People are questioning why the company that makes the float didn’t test their new product with a focus group as surely someone should have spotted the similarity!

If you have any questions about menstruation (periods), tampons and sanitary towels then the bright and vibrant Betty website might have the answers. There is also a Betty Collective YouTube channel with not only facts about periods but also advice on people, food and shopping.

Canada on track to decriminalise cannabis to protect children

Canada will be the first G7 country to completely legalise marijuana use if the plans which are starting to go through parliament are successful.

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The prime minister Justin Trudeau made the promise to legalise it stating that by legalising it the drug could be better regulated, kept away from children and profits would be kept out of criminal hands. At the earliest the new laws will be passed by probably 2019. Until then, Trudeau has stressed that in the absence of legislation, recreational marijuana remains illegal across Canada. “Until we have a framework to control and regulate marijuana, the current laws apply,” he told reporters.

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Here in England cannabis is a Class B drug.  Other Class B drugs are: Amphetamines, barbiturates, codeine, ketamine, methylphenidate (Ritalin), synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic cathinones (eg mephedrone, methoxetamine). Being caught in possession of a Class B drug can bring up to 5 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both. Whereas being caught dealing or producing can mean up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both.