Leadenhall Market, which lies at the heart of the City of London,is spreading the love this Valentine’s Daywith an interactive, romantic poetrywalking experience for Londoners to enjoy as part of their daily exercise.
Paving the way with verse, the Market has created a special walking route through the City, via its romantic cobbled alleyways. Unused shops will be lit up red to symbolisepassion, while QR codes displayed around the marketplace will give access to readings of classic love poetry.
Beautifully recited by actors and members of the Leadenhall Market community, Charlie Carter and Frances Eva Lea, those strolling through the market will hear literary works by William Butler Yeats, Robert Burns, Christina Rossetti, Shakespeare and more*– chosen to highlight Leadenhall Market’s 700–year history.
Launching in time for Valentine’s Day, and running throughout February and March, the #LeadenhallLove campaign is designed to remind Londoners that while the City remains in lockdown, during these difficult times, there is still – and always will be – love. The readings are intended to bring comfort and provide a mood boost for those out for their daily exercise.
As an outdoor public space, Leadenhall Market is accessible 24 hours a day and so can still be enjoyed by Londoners who are complying with the Government’s national lockdown restrictions. While the 35 boutique shops, bars, restaurants and cafes in the marketare currently closed, locals are still welcome to enjoy the iconic architecture of Leadenhall’s Victorian wrought iron and glassstructure which creates a spacious, airysettingfor local residents to walk through and explore, while being able to stay socially distanced.
London remains under lockdown. Further details on the restrictions in place are available here.
For those unable to visit the market at this time, a special video featuring actor Charlie Carterwho is also part of Leadenhall Market tenant The London City Shoe Shine Co reciting A Birthday by Christina Rossetti has been created.
Established in 1991, London City Shoe Shine Co has been in Leadenhall Market ever since, shining the shoes of the City workforce for 30 years.The stall is run by a group of actors who have worked on major TV dramas, West End shows and musicals for companies such as the RSC, The English Theatre Frankfurt and The Old Vic.
From designer fashion rentals to clothes-swapping circles, sharing clothes shifted up a gear in 2020 with clothes swapping set to be one of the big fashion trends of 2021, driven by fashion and eco conscious Gen Z and Millennials.
This predicted shift to thrift has been accelerated by the pandemic amongst younger digitally switched-on consumers aged 16-30. According to a new survey carried out by Censuswide* on behalf of the North London Waste Authority(NLWA):
1 in 2 Millennials (25-30) and Gen Z (16-24) bought second-hand, swapped or borrowed more in 2020 than 2019
1 in 5 Gen Z belong to a virtual swap group
A third of Gen Z have been re-wearing clothes more and over a quarter of all respondents (26%) intend to do this more
Committed to helping people find ways to live more sustainably, NLWA encourages consumers to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle and recently ran a series of virtual clothes swapping events. This approach is backed up by the influencer marketing platform Wearisma, which found a 47% increase in engagements for #clothesswap content in Q2 2020 compared to Q2 2019 across all key social media platforms.
Green is not yet the new black and fast fashion is fighting back hard – just look at Black Friday £1 bikinis from big retail brands, but market research for 2020 both pre and post COVID-19 pandemic points to the fact that second-hand fashion is the fashion sector’s biggest growth area. In June, US consignment company thredUP’s2020 Resale Reportpredicted that the value of the second-hand clothing market can be expected to trump that of fast fashion by the end of the decade, and20% of UK citizens say the pandemic has changed their approach to fashion.
Chair of NLWA Cllr Clyde Loakes said: We ran our first clothes-swapping events in north London in 2013 and we’ve seen appetite for them grow and grow. Attendance at the first events was 338 people, but last year’s events saw over a thousand people coming through the door.
“It is encouraging that young people are realising they need to be more sustainable, but we cannot afford to lose momentum on tackling the climate emergency. Clothes swapping is invaluable. It’s inclusive, free, and is definitely a step in the right direction. We need to wake up to the fact that endless consumption is taking its toll on our planet.”
Interestingly only 13% of those polled said they wouldn’t wear clothes someone else has worn before, (11% of Gen Z), which means 87% are happy to do so. This is good news for sustainability. After all, the most sustainable fashion we own is in our wardrobes.
Commenting on the shifting sector and the survey findings, Fashion Psychologist Shakaila Forbes-Bell said: With the economic fallout of COVID-19, the climate crisis and the growing numbers of Gen Z coming of age, the continued growth of thrifting seems assured.
NLWA Top Tips on Reducing Textile Waste:
Reuse – Find your closest charity shop or clothing bank where you are in north London with the Charity Retail Association’s search tool. Join swapping events or swap with friends and family.
Removing stains – Taking care of clothes helps them stay in good condition and last longer. Search online for tips on getting rid of all kinds of stains.
Repairing and altering clothes – Repairing or altering clothes can bring them back to life and save money. Check out NLWA’s guides on how to adjust a seam, repair an edge, sew on a buttonor repair a hole. If you don’t feel confident to alter a garment, or if it looks complicated, there are lots of local professional alteration services available.
Textile recycling – When clothes and other textiles cannot be repaired, they can be reused or recycled. It’s always best to try to repurpose these in the first instance, such as using them as dust cloths. Where reuse is just not an option, textiles can be taken to your nearest reuse and recycling centreor visit Recycle Now to find the nearest bank.
Buy sustainably – All of this doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself every now and again, but there are more sustainable options around, and they might save you money too. Try browsing your local charity shop or vintage clothes shops for some bargains, or even sites like Ebay, Gumtreeor Freecycle for good value or freebies. Or, for special occasions you can find local hiring companies on Love Your Clothes.
The UK fisheries audit released today by the largest international advocacy organisation dedicated solely to ocean conservation, Oceana, paints a disturbing picture of the state of UK fish stocks. Only 36% of the 104 audited stocks were known to be healthy in terms of stock size and only 38% sustainably exploited. Oceana calls on the UK government to stop overfishing and lead the way in sustainable fisheries by setting catch limits in line with science.
Of the top 10 most economically important fish stocks for the UK, 6 are overfished or their stock biomass is at a critical level: North Sea cod, North Sea herring, Southern North Sea crab, Eastern English Channel scallops, North East Atlantic blue whiting and North Sea whiting. Further, there is insufficient data to define reference points for North Sea anglerfish. Therefore, only 3 of the top 10 stocks upon which the UK fishing industry relies are both healthy and sustainably exploited: North East Atlantic mackerel, North Sea haddock and West of Scotland Nephrops. This is due to catch limits having been set at or below the recommended sustainable limits for preceding years, demonstrating the positive impact to be gained by following scientific advice.
“It is shocking to find that 6 out of 10 of the UK’s most important fish stocks are overfished or in a critical situation. This report provides clear evidence that setting catch limits higher than those recommended by scientists is causing stocks of some of the UK’s best-loved fish, like cod, to rapidly decline. Those currently taking part in negotiating catch limits for 2021 must set them in line with scientific advice and not push for continued overfishing”, said Melissa Moore, Oceana’s head of UK policy.“There is an opportunity and a responsibility for the UK to lead the way in achieving sustainable fisheries. Ensuring catches of shared stocks are fully aligned with scientific advice must be an absolute priority”, added Moore.
Of particular concern is cod, an iconic species in the UK, which has been significantly overfished over past years, primarily as a result of political decisions. Unsustainable fishing pressure, higher than that scientifically advised, has led to a series of cod stock declines and collapses, to the extent that currently none of the UK cod stocks can be considered as healthy and sustainably exploited.
The audit provides an evidence-based snapshot of the status of UK fish stocks and sets a benchmark for the state of these fisheries following the UK’s departure from the EU. It also shines a light on the devastating impact of the politically-motivated setting of catch limits higher than recommended by scientists. This evidence is particularly relevant and should inform the EU-UK negotiations on 2021 catch limits (Total Allowable Catches, or TACs) for shared fish stocks which have started this week. Oceana is urging the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and all involved in the negotiations to follow the best available science when setting catch limits. Failing to do so will result in the fishing industry itself, as well as coastal communities and marine life, suffering in the long run.
Key facts from Oceana’s UK fisheries audit
Negotiations for North East Atlantic TACs cover over 50 commercial species distributed among 200 different stocks.
The majority of fish landed in the UK from the North East Atlantic in 2019 (618,000 t, valued at £979 million) came from UK waters (81% by live weight and 87% by value). The second most important waters for the UK fleet were those of the EU, accounting for an additional 15% of landings (8% by value).
Of the 104 stocks audited 35.6% were healthy in terms of stock size, whereas 20.2% were in a critical condition. Data limitations mean the status of the remaining 44.2% cannot be determined, leaving them at greater risk of unsuitable management decisions.
Of the 104 audited stocks 37.5% were sustainably exploited prior to the UK leaving the EU, while 28.8% were being overfished and the exploitation status of another 33.6% cannot be assessed against Maximum Sustainable Yield reference points to guide management decisions.
About 70-90% of the landings by volume of the ‘top ten’ fish stocks come from Scottish vessels.
Now that the UK has left the EU, DEFRA will lead TAC negotiations for fish stocks shared with third parties (e.g. the EU or Norway).
The new UK Fisheries Act is the main framework regulation for the devolved management of the UK’s fish and shellfish resources and fisheries.
The UK is a net importer of seafood and the majority of UK catch is sold overseas, notably to markets within the EU (>720,000 t imported and >450,000 t exported).
Background and context:
The UK´s decision to leave the EU and to regain the control of its waters has enormous consequences for the management of UK fisheries.
Within the last decade, the overfishing rate for fish populations in European Atlantic waters has dropped from roughly 66% to 38% due to the strong EU fisheries regulatory framework (including the Common Fisheries Policy). It is essential that this trend continues and accelerates so that overfishing finally becomes a thing of the past and so that marine ecosystems are given the chance to rebound and build resilience to large-scale threats such as climate change.
Oceana’s UK fisheries audit collates and presents the range of biological and socio-economic evidence that should underpin management decisions, like the setting of TACs or the proposal of fisheries management plans.
Oceana advocates for TAC limits in line with scientific advice and set at or below Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) fishing rates – a scientifically determined number for the maximum fish catch that will allow fish populations to recover and reproduce.
To achieve sustainable fisheries and healthy marine ecosystems, it is vital that the UK government, in its bid to become a world leader in fisheries management, uphold the vision of ‘clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse seas’ set out in the UK’s Marine Strategy.
British Nutrition Foundation is a leading UK nutrition charity that exists to give people, educators and organisations access to reliable information on nutrition: grounded in science, working with experts and supporting anyone on their journey towards a healthy, sustainable diet.
After a competitive pitching process in Summer 2020, British Nutrition Foundation appointed Barley Communications to lead and deliver on a full rebrand, from crafting new brand and messaging foundations, all the way through to logo and visual identity development, which will be launched in 2021. More recently, British Nutrition Foundation signed on to a communications retainer, where Barley is supporting the charity in raising its public profile, as well as strengthening its positioning amongst industry and academic audiences
Despite pandemics featuring prominently on the National Risk Register for the past decade, the impact of COVID-19 has been dramatic. Chaired by Lord Harris – a former reviewer of London’s terrorist preparedness – a new National Preparedness Commission has been established to ensure the country is better prepared. The intention is not to criticise the handling of past crises, but to look to the future by overseeing a programme of strategic work intended to encourage immediate action to tackle the greatest threats facing the UK.
Made up of leading figures with hands on experience of responding to emergencies, the commission will hear from experts across the world, hold roundtable events, and publish guides and policy papers outlining good practice to ensure an effective response.
The objective of the National Preparedness Commission is to urge policymakers ‘to think ahead’ to ensure our society, infrastructure and financial systems are able to cope with major shocks in the future. The Daily Telegraph and the BBC covered the launch of the commission and Lord Harris was interviewed by Ian King on Sky News.
A new campaign to encourage the nation to switch to reusable facemasks has been launched today, as research for North London Waste Authority (NLWA)* reveals that 102 million single-use facemasks** are being disposed of each week in the UK. These masks end up being thrown away or littered, creating a huge new plastic pollution problem.
The poll also found that nearly one in five people (18%) think that disposable masks should go in the recycling bin, which is resulting in increased contamination issues at recycling facilities.
Facemask littering has also become a common sight during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 45% of those surveyed feeling angry when they see masks littered on the ground or in waterways. And many go uncollected, with 15% saying they sometimes would pick up other people’s litter but are not doing so during the pandemic in case of contamination. With 70% of those who wear disposable facemasks not realising that they are a single-use plastic, NLWA is today launching a campaign to encourage people across the UK to switch to reusables – and to help those who can least afford them in north London access a free reusable mask.
Chair of North London Waste Authority, Cllr Clyde Loakes, said:
“The progress we’ve all made in reducing our reliance on single-use plastics is at risk of being undone during the pandemic, and disposable facemasks are a major culprit. They are not made of paper, they are not recyclable and whether they are binned or littered they will damage the environment. Today we are urging people to keep doing their bit to help tackle the climate emergency by switching to reusable masks, which offer just as much protection as disposables.”
“Steve Oulds, National Commercial Manager at Biffa Waste Services Ltd, a Materials Recovery Facility, said:
“Contamination is one of the biggest challenges we face, and we are now seeing many disposable facemasks coming through our facility every day. Where facemasks are found in the load, it can result in the entire load being rejected and losing otherwise perfectly good recyclables. Masks that make it into the facility have to be pulled off conveyor belts by hand, which puts the health of our operatives at risk. We are also dealing with more tissues and wipes than normal – and even get Covid-19 test kits. None of these items are recyclable and they should go in the general waste bin.”
It’s not just facemasks that are fuelling the single-use plastic problem. 16% of respondents say their use of other single-use plastics has gone up during the pandemic. Delivery packaging was the top item to have increased in use (15%), followed by takeaway packaging (12%) and supermarket food packaging (12%).
When asked about plastic in the context of Covid-19, more than one in five (21%) say they are concerned about plastic pollution but right now health is more important so they are happy to use more single-use plastic for now. 16% think it’s safer to buy food such as fruit/veg in plastic packaging than loose as it’s protected and 28% say they are concerned about plastic pollution and trying to use less single-use plastic but it’s harder to cut down during the pandemic.
Dr Jennifer Cole of Royal Holloway University of London and Northern European Hub Coordinator of the Planetary Health Alliance said:
“It’s vital that we don’t let the pandemic push back very real gains we have made in reducing single use plastics. If you can’t find a coffee shop that will refill your reusable cup, take a flask instead. Buy from a stall that wraps your roll in cardboard rather than polystyrene, wash loose vegetables rather than expecting them to be wrapped in plastic, and start to see face coverings as a fashion accessory – choose three or four cloths ones that can be washed with your laundry and coordinate with your outfits. There is no excuse for slipping back into using throwaway cups or relying on throwaway masks when reusable alternatives are available”.
NLWA is working with not-for-profit social enterprise Fashion Enter to create 1,400 reusable facemasks to be distributed in the run up to Christmas via food banks and other support services across north London***. To find out more about the facemask project and learn how to make your own reusable mask, visit nlwa.gov.uk/reusable-facemasks.
A world-leading £1.5 million research programme that aims to achieve scar free healing within a generation has been launched today, 26th November, by The Scar Free Foundation, the only medical research charity which focuses solely on scarring. The five-year research study led by the University of Bristol will identify the gene(s) that causes scarring and inform future treatments.
Scarring affects over 20 million people in the UK*and The Scar Free Foundation Programme of Wound Healing Research at the University of Bristol will be the first study of its kind in the world – combining large scale population health data with model organism studies to analyse the role that genes play in wound repair and scar formation.
Led by Paul Martin, Professor of Cell Biology, Nic Timpson, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology, and Dr Beck Richardson, Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Bristol; the research team will identify genetic differences and investigate the genetic make-up of scarring by drawing on DNA data from large groups of people including: people with BCG vaccination scarring, children with cleft lip surgery, women with Caesarean section scarring and patients with internal lung scarring. This data will be combined with scientific studies focusing on the translucent zebrafish, using live imaging and genetic analysis to model wound healing and scar formation.
Professor Paul Martin said:
“The Scar Free Foundation’s investment with the University of Bristol gives us a unique opportunity to undertake world class research into the genetics of scarring. The programme will enable us to marry up the fantastic population health cohort approaches that Bristol does so well, with our own wet lab experimental and cell biology studies in order to break new ground in scarring research.”
Dr Beck Richardson said:
“Being a part of this exciting project will allow us to study how certain genes influence wound repair and the severity of subsequent scarring. Live imaging studies in translucent zebrafish will allow us to see how changes to these genes affects certain cells involved in scarring and gives us an experimental window through which to watch scars being formed and to identify ways to stop this.”
Dr Sophie Dix, an Ambassador spokesperson for the Foundation, said
“As a mother to a burns survivor, I am delighted to see significant funding being dedicated to research into scar prevention. We live in a world obsessed by perfection and body image, yet the cosmetic aspects, and the fact that my daughter will soon be a teenager, are not my main concern. Scars don’t grow the same way that healthy skin does – this makes walking and running painful and Delilah’s hands don’t function in the same way. She has had to endure countless operations to try to gain normal function. The work The Scar Free Foundation is funding is pioneering and has the potential to transform the lives of the many people affected by scarring – in the UK and worldwide.”
Brendan Eley, Chief Executive of the Scar Free Foundation, said:
“We’re delighted to be able to launch such a ground-breaking programme with the University of Bristol. This life changing research will help us identify which factors cause us all to scar differently, and develop innovative treatments to improve patients’ lives. Scarring can cause long term emotional and physical problems including pain, itching and loss of movement, requiring the need for frequent operations, skin grafts, cream application multiple times a day and daily physiotherapy. We want to find ways of making life easier in the future for the millions of people living with scarring in the UK.
“Like many charities, Covid-19 has impacted our research programmes over the last six months, with some studies having to be put on hold as clinicians and scientists returned to the front line. Although we need to increase our current funding to meet ongoing research needs, we’re lucky to have low overheads and a highly efficient team with a very clear aim –to achieve scar free healing within a generation.”
New research reveals how the first national lockdown to halt the spread of COVID-19 has turned back the clock for disabled customers, who have been forced to rely on inaccessible websites and apps to purchase basic essentials and access goods and services.
As organisations brace themselves for a second nationwide lockdown, Purple is urging businesses to tap into new revenue opportunities by making simple changes to the customer journey on Purple Tuesday (3 November) to improve disabled people’s access to their goods and services.
The COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions have created new challenges for UK businesses and society but findings from Purple suggest some solutions to trading in lockdown have come at the expense of disabled people. As more organisations and customers have turned to online booking services during the pandemic, disabled customers often face barriers in using these services.
The latest research shows that the vast majority of websites do not comply with the latest accessibility requirements and one recent study showed that more than 98% of home pages had accessibility failures.* Specific challenges highlighted by disabled people for Purple Tuesday include:
Inaccessible online forms – which can be difficult to navigate, particularly for people living with sight loss where it’s not clear whether a field is drop-down menu or an open field that requires a typed response
Mobile accessibility – where consumers cannot complete purchases because the website or online form are not mobile-friendly
Product information – where insufficient information is provided as to whether a product or service can meet your needs as a disabled person
Product availability – some disabled people have told us they can’t access products that meet their needs online, including some rail websites which don’t have facilities to book priority seating online
Missed deliveries – which often force disabled people to collect parcels from postal depots that are inaccessible if you don’t drive
Purple has also reviewed a number of FTSE 100 company websites, which has highlighted missing accessible features which include a site map for the website, menus and dropdowns that are not accessible to keyboard users, and the ability to accept cookie policies.
The poll of disabled people also highlighted barriers facing disabled people offline, including the removal of disabled parking bays in order to make space for socially distanced queues.**
As a second nationwide lockdown looms, Purple is calling on organisations to rethink their current strategies towards disabled customers for Purple Tuesday to help them take advantage of the £274 billion Purple Pound – the consumer spending power of disabled people and their families. The recent Click-Away Pound report shows that inaccessible websites are costing UK businesses up to £17.1 billion from disabled online shoppers last year, so improved accessibility should form a central part of business recovery plans.***
Mike Adams OBE, Founder and Creator of Purple Tuesday, said:
“National and regional lockdowns have shone a very bright light on the approach of organisations to their disabled customers. At one end of the spectrum there is a sense of bunkering down, neglect and grouping all disabled customers as vulnerable, making them feel helpless and not valued. Other businesses have seen their proactive approach as a symbol of their brand, a socially aware organisation that is connecting or reconnecting with their customers.
“With 22% of the population being disabled, meeting their customer needs is a huge economic and social opportunity for businesses. Purple Tuesday this year is about making do and mend and getting organisations to adopt, adapt and implement practice that has previously worked for others across all sectors and of all sizes to support the economic recovery.”
More than 3,500 organisations have used Purple Tuesday to make practical commitments to improve the disabled customer experience. Activities include the adoption of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard Scheme, using ‘not every disability is visible’ signage, workforce training and encouraging staff to learn hello and goodbye in British Sign Language.
Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Justin Tomlinson said:
“In the month that we mark the 25-year anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act, Purple Tuesday is a timely reminder for businesses to put inclusivity at the heart of everything they do.
“We know this has been a challenging time for our high streets and businesses – the government has rightly stepped up to support those most in need. It’s more important than ever to unlock the spending power of disabled people and I would urge businesses to do just that and reap the rewards.”
Sainsbury’s and Landsec are among this year’s participants who have made new commitments to improve the customer experience for disabled people. Sainsbury’s recently launched their EnAble network, which supports colleagues with disabilities and health conditions, and an in-store and online disabled customer journey audit is underway.
Tim Fallowfield OBE and Board Sponsor for Disability, Carers and Age at Sainsbury’s, said:
“I am proud that we are the official partner of Purple Tuesday 2020. At Sainsbury’s, we have supported Purple Tuesday for the past two years and accessibility to services and products has never been more important for customers than it is now. I would encourage other businesses to get involved in this conversation and think about how they can become more accessible.”
Landsec, one of the UK’s largest commercial property development and investment company, has extended its staff disability training to service partners this year and is once again promoting Purple Tuesday on its landmark Piccadilly Lights.
Jamie Taylor, Head of Property Operations, Landsec, said:
“Creating inclusive and welcoming spaces for all is extremely important to Landsec. All our teams across our retail and commercial office properties have received training, which we are extending to our service partners this year to improve the customer experience for disabled people. We’re very pleased to be supporting Purple again this year and are delighted to have been able to showcase the launch of the campaign on Piccadilly Lights”.
The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Scheme has proved to be even more important this year, providing important visual indicators so that people around them can recognise that they have a disability and need space to maintain social distancing.
Paul White, CEO of The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Scheme, said:
“We are absolutely delighted that a number of businesses are using Purple Tuesday to implement the Sunflower scheme as a tangible commitment to improve the experience for the disabled person. This is more important than ever during the pandemic where customers are more anxious about visiting a facility. By these businesses recognising the Sunflower and that the wearers disability is hidden, they are making the invisible, visible.”
Kathryn Knowles, Managing Director of Cura, said:
“In our company our entire mission is to help people with medical conditions to get insurance. Helping people is at the core of everything that we do. Purple Tuesday hits home for us that this isn’t yet the norm, for many organisations. It makes us realise how important it is to get the message out to other organisations that being accessible is the right thing to do and it doesn’t have to be big expensive changes to do it.”