TUNELESS CHOIR

Tuneless choirs are a sensational phenomenon that unite people across the country. The new form of singing group calls for people to sing like nobody’s listening’. It allows for those people who can’t hold a tune to sing their hearts out with their fellow tuneless members.

Nadine Cooper put together the first Tuneless Choir group in 2016 after having spent her life being teased for singing badly. She even remembers how her music teacher said to her, aged 11, that she should stop signing as she “was spoiling it for everyone else”.

Her first choir was based in West Bridgford, Nottingham, and has been very successful. There will soon be 29 Tuneless Choirs across the country, with 7 launching in early 2019. The choir’s aim is to simply provide a place to sing purely for enjoyment, with no need to improve!.

Each choir has roughly 40 people singing, and the biggest of all can be found in Sutton Coldfield where there are 140 members.

The London Hackney Tuneless Choir joined Ruth and Eamonn on stage. They announced how they were planning to launch their group by the end of January. The choir has been set up by Talibah Rivers, who is singer with a passion for jazz. But only a few had signed up, causing the stage to appear quite empty.

Fortunately, Talibah also runs the Vauxhall Tuneless Choir, which has attracted nearly 30 members so far. They joined the Hackney choir on stage in order to boost the numbers, and together they regaled the audience with their edition of I Will Survive. Hopefully, through appearing on Do The Right Thing, the London Hackney Tuneless Choir will find more members.

 

If you’d like to join the Hackney Tuneless Choir, please visit: https://www.tunelesschoir.com/join-another-tuneless-choir/london-hackney-tuneless-choir/

 

If you’d like to find out if there’s a Tuneless Choir near you, please visit: https://www.tunelesschoir.com/

 

If you’d like to find out more about the health benefits of singing, please visit: https://www.evidence.nhs.uk/search?q=singing

TEXTING AND WALKING

There are now believed to be more mobile phones in the world than people and the average Brit checks their mobile phone 100 times a day. We end up spending hours a day on their phones messaging friends, posting on social media and using different apps.

Eamonn looked into how much time we really spend on our phones each day. He took to the streets, asking people to view their phone’s screen time data – and people were shocked by how long they spend on their phone.

As we grow increasingly dependent on our own devices, people are attempting to walk and text at the same time – this has christened the term ‘smombies’ – as in smartphone and zombie. Sadly, this issue can have devastating consequences; by multitasking in this way, people are distracted from oncoming traffic. Stephen Bailey hit the streets asking people why they were walking in texting with interesting responses…

Love Island’s Dr Alex joined Eamonn and Ruth in the studio to talk about the potential danger of walking and texting. Having worked in Accidents and Emergency Departments, he is well aware of how it can have catastrophic effects.

If you’d like to find out more about ROSPA, visit: www.rospa.com

If you’d like to find out more about, visit: roadsafetygb.org.uk/

If you’d like to find out more about THINK!, visit: www.think.gov.uk

ONLINE BULLYING: WEEK 4

Since our series began, Do The Right Thing has heard from a number of concerned parents and teachers who are worried about the effect that cyberbullying can have upon our young people.

This week we heard from Julie, who wrote into the show about her 16-year-old daughter Sarah (not their real names). Sarah has been mercilessly bullied both in person and online and has been driven to self-harm.  At the end of last year Sarah was hospitalized for her own safety. Her mum is devastated that her beautiful daughter has been permanently scarred for life and is seriously worried about her future safety. She was very disappointed in how Sarah’s school dealt with the bullying and wrote in saying that things need to change.

Joining Esther in the studio was Professor Ann John whose recent study found that young victims of cyberbullying are twice as likely to attempt suicide and self-harm as those who have been bullied face to face. She called for all schools to include cyber-bullying in their anti-bullying strategies as well as providing digital citizenship lessons to teach children about being safe online. She also suggested that schools should recognise the vulnerability of both the perpetrator and the victim involved in bullying and that there should be a strong focus on supporting both parties.

If you have been affected by any of the issues above please see below for available sources of help:

Harmless, provides information and support for people who self harm or are at risk of suicide as well as their friends, families and professionals who are working with them. If you would like to know more about Harmless, visit their website on http://www.harmless.org.uk/.

Childline is also there day and night if you need someone to talk to. If you would like to get in contact with Childline, you can call them on 0800 1111 or visit their website www.childline.org.uk for more ways to get in touch.

Other sources of help / information:

For support and advice about bullying and cyberbullying, visit the NSPCC website on: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/child-abuse-and-neglect/bullying-and-cyberbullying/

If you’d like to get in contact with the National Bullying Helpline, visit nationalbullyinghelpline.co.uk

If you’d like to get in contact with Bully Busters, visit bullybusters.org.uk

If you are under 25 and need someone to talk to The Mix offer support and advice for young people. They can help with all sorts of problems from mental health to self-harm, from homelessness to finding a job, from break-ups to drugs. You can call them on 0808 808 4994 or visit their website www.themix.org.uk for more ways to get in touch.

If you need help, because your child is refusing to attend school as a result of bullying or other trauma, you can find out more about Red Balloon on www.redballoonlearner.org or by calling 01223 366052 or emailing admin@group.rblc.org.uk.

If you would like to know more about The Diana Award and their work in schools to combat bullying, visit their website on: https://diana-award.org.uk/anti-bullying/

If you’d like to get in contact with Anti-Bullying Pro, visit www.antibullyingpro.com/support-centre

If you would like to visit the Ofsted Parent View website use the following link: https://parentview.ofsted.gov.uk/

MENTAL HEALTH AND INSURANCE

Travel insurance can be as cheap as £9 for annual Europe cover. Of course, costs can increase if you declare a pre-existing medical condition. However, if that medical condition relates to a mental health issue, prices can soar.

1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year and nearly half of us will be affected at some point. While mental health conditions should not be treated any differently to physical health problems, this is not always the case.

Esther Rantzen went to meet Money and Mental Health Policy Institute’s (MMHPI) Director Helen Undy, who told her that their research has revealed that almost half of people with mental health problems ‘never’ disclose their illness to their travel insurer, potentially invalidating any insurance they might take out.

Those who do disclose face much higher premiums. The MMHPI is calling for a change and want the Financial Conduct Authority to look into whether travel insurance pricing for this group complies with the Equality Act 2010.

In the studio, Ruth met Elizabeth Watson, who’s campaigning for change on the issue. Elizabeth was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and depression 5 years ago. In 2017 Elizabeth decided to book a holiday to Spain. She tried to purchase travel insurance but the combination of her physical and mental conditions meant cover wasn’t forthcoming – it excluded her mental health conditions.

Elizabeth has since set up a petition that calls for the Financial Service Authorities, and others to stop discriminating against those with mental health issues and to offer travel insurance at a reasonable price. It is generally only physical conditions “in the last 5 years” that needs to be disclosed, whereas there is no limitation on mental health conditions, which seems unfair. She has 65,000 signatures.

To find Elizabeth’s petition, please visit: https://www.change.org/p/stop-travel-insurance-companies-discriminating-against-mental-health-conditions

To find out more about the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, please visit: https://www.moneyandmentalhealth.org/

To find out more about MIND’s advice on mental health and insurance, please visit:

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/guides-to-support-and-services/insurance-cover-and-mental-health

To find out more about the Financial Conduct Authority, please visit:  https://www.fca.org.uk/

To find out more about the Association of British Insurers, please visit: https://www.abi.org.uk/

GIZMO’S UPDATE

Last week, the show looked into how the law looks differently on cats and dogs. Currently, cats are not legally required to be microchipped. Furthermore, when a driver hits a cat there is no need for them to report the incident, and local councils don’t need to contact their owners. This means that cat owners can be looking for their beloved pet for months before finding out it had been hit and either been killed or was put down.

Eamonn and Ruth spoke to Helena last week about her cat Gizmo. When he went missing she searched for weeks. She eventually found out that Gizmo had been put down. Helena told us about how she’s trying to change the law by starting a petition called Gizmo’s name.

Amazingly, the Do The Right Thing audience has helped the petition massively. Since the programme aired, an impressive 10,000 more have signed it. Helena still needs more signatures for it to be debated in parliament, and you can find a link to it below.

To find out more about Helena’s petition, visit: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/229004

To report a deceased cat, visit Helens’ website: https://www.facebook.com/groups/209892012761768

If you’d like to find out more about Cats Matter, visit: www.catsmatter.org

If you’d like to find out more about Rehman Chishti MP Cat’s Bill: www.rehmanchishti.com/news/rehman-presents-bill-cats

If you need advice of having a cat as a pet visit The Cat’s Protection: www.cats.org.uk/

If your pet is missing or died, The Blue Cross have pet bereavement support service – www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-bereavement-and-pet-loss

FOOD CYCLE

FoodCycle is a charity that uses donated vegetables and fruit from supermarket, shops and small businesses that would otherwise go to waste. Food Cycle volunteers then cook up a weekly three course meal at each of the charity’s thirty-nine UK locations. Anyone at all can drop in for a hot, nourishing meal in a welcoming, community environment. The atmosphere is cheerful and warm, with friendships forming among guests of all ages. And it’s not just those eating the meals who benefit from FoodCycle – cooks and hosts get so much out of the experience that volunteer slots often book up weeks in advance.

Ruth and Eamonn visited Food Cycle’s location in Norwood Junction to lend a helping hand and find out more about this amazing organisation, meeting the different people who help to make FoodCycle

To find out more about FoodCycle, visit their website: www.foodcycle.org.uk

To find out more about how WRAP UK looks at food waste across the UK, please visit: http://www.wrap.org.uk/food-drink

To find out more the Campaign to End Loneliness, please visit: https://www.campaigntoendloneliness.org/

ROMANCE SCAMS

Romance frauds are on the rise. The scam involves a fraudster contacting a vulnerable person using a dating site. The fraudster then cons the victim, often scamming them out of an awful lot of money. Brits were defrauded out of £41 million due to romance fraud in 2017.

These scams are usually carried out from abroad, so they will rarely meet in person. Romance Fraudsters usually pretend that they are coming to visit the UK but something will stop them, such as an accident. Sometimes victims travel to Gatwick and call police to report partner missing. Sadly, the scale of romance fraud devastates victims and can often lead to suicide

Eamonn told the audience about how Sally had sadly been affected by the scam. When Sally’s partner of 23 years passed away, she met a man on a dating website. He claimed to be from Manchester, and charmed her by sending her flowers and champagne. She sent him £10,000 over a period of three months, after he claimed to have lost his passport and wallet and that his daughter was unwell. Sally’s daughter eventually realised what was going on, and stepped in to end the scam.

Michael then explained about how these scams have affected Charles and his mother Marion (not their real names). Marion was scammed after she lost her husband of 45 years. She was speaking to a man who claimed to be an oil tycoon. This man supported her whilst she was mourning. He asked Marion for money so that he could return to the UK, and that he would pay her back. She ended up sending him her life savings of over £100,000. Sadly, Charles has not been able to get any of the money back.

Bernadette Lawrie, Financial Abuse Safeguarding Officer at Sussex Police, advised – never give out personal details to someone you’ve never met, and never send money to someone you’ve never met.

The Sussex Police programme Operation Signature categorises all victims of romance fraud as vulnerable. They are likely to be lonely, divorced or bereaved. They have two Vulnerable Fraud Caseworkers who visit the victims that require additional support following a police intervention. Most of these victims have suffered at the hands of romance fraudsters. They are the ‘hardest convince’ that they need help, due to the manipulation that they have endured.

If you’d like to find out more about the Romance Fraud advice that Sussex Police gives, please visit: https://sussex.police.uk/advice/protect-yourself-and-others/fraud/dating-and-romance-fraud/

If you’d like to find out more about what ScamWatch has to say about Romance Fraud, visit: https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/types-of-scams/dating-romance

If you’d like to find out more about what Action Fraud has to say about Romance Fraud, visit: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/news/victims-lost-41-million-to-romance-fraud-in-2017

If you’d like to find out more about the Little Book of Big Scams, visit: www.financialfraudaction.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/The-Little-Book-of-Big-Scams-–-Third-Edition.pdf

 

BRAVEHOUND UPDATE

On last week’s show, Eamonn and Ruth spoke to Fiona MacDonald, who set up the charity Bravehound, which helps veterans who are suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder by providing them with a support dog. As owning a dog can improve companionship, promote exercise and encourage good food routines, they can be the perfect way to help ex-soldiers transition into civilian life.

Bravehound’s committed team go to great lengths to match veterans with suitable dogs. They are supported, every step of the way and the charity provides continuing help throughout the dog’s lifetime. As well as training and supporting the veterans from before they get the dog, Bravehound also helps them with pet insurance, feeding and equipment throughout the dog’s life.

If you’d like to support the charity, you can donate to Bravehound here: https://www.bravehound.co.uk/donation/

If you would like to find out more information about all the good work that Bravehound does, please visit:  https://www.bravehound.co.uk/about/

If you’d like to find out about the work that Mind does for PTSD, visit www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd

If you’d like to find out more about PTSD UK, visit  www.ptsduk.org

If you’d like to find out more about PTSD Resolutions, visit http://www.ptsdresolution.org

If you’d like to find out more about Combat Stress, visit www.combatstress.org.uk

If you’d like to find out more about Stand Easy, visit www.standeasy.org.uk

BERYL & MELVIN: THE POWER OF LOVE

In the studio this week, a very special couple joined Ruth and Eamonn to talk about the power of love. Beryl and Melvin had a very challenging few years, but are thankfully out the other side.

Two years ago, in 2017, Melvin collapsed by a pool whilst on holiday in Rhodes with his wife Beryl. This was the second time this had happened, as he had collapsed whilst on holiday in 2015. Thankfully, Mark Bowman, a British emergency responder rushed to his aid. Mark worked on Melvin to get his heart beating again.

Melvin was rushed to hospital, and was put on a life support team. He remained in a lifeless state when he was transferred to a clinic, and Beryl was very concerned. After 5 days of Melvin’s condition not improving, the doctors told Beryl she should take Melvin home. She was warned that the journey would be dangerous and risky.

Back in the UK, Melvin still did not improve. The prognosis was poor – the doctors said that Melvin would never recover and would be bed bound for the rest of his life. Beryl was told that Melvin was best of spending the rest of his life in a nursing home. She refused to accept this and instead called for him to be moved to a neurological rehabilitation unit so that he could get better. Beryl constantly encouraged Melvyn to push himself – tough love ensued. As a result, supported by their family and friends, Melvin has returned home to an almost normal life.

Whilst Beryl has remained in sporadic contact over the phone with Mark Bowman, Melvin never had the opportunity to say how grateful he is. In the studio, Do The Right Thing reunited Melvin with Mark, and Melvin was able to finally thank him in person for saving his life.