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Economy

The Rise In Food Banks

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Since 2009, the UK has seen a rapid and alarming increase in the amount of food banks opening across the country, with the Trussell Trust seeing the amount of food banks they operate go from 29 in 2009 to 251 in 2014.

The figures from the Trussell Trust, a non-governmental Christian charity which coordinates food banks in the UK, revealed over 1 million Brits received an emergency ‘three day food parcel’ in 2014-2015. This shocking figure is only set to increase and does not include any other food banks run by other charities and organisations.

Below is some of the possible causes of this steep increase in the need for emergency food packages and what can be done to alleviate the issue.

Why Do People Need To Turn To Food Banks?

The exact reason for the increase in the number of people needing to access emergency food is under much debate across the UK. However, the Trussell Trust and many other charities believe that it is a direct result of austerity cuts in combination with unemployment levels. A recent study published by the British Medical Journal states that a direct link has been found between the greater use of food banks and higher unemployment, sanctions and cuts in welfare spending.

Lower wages, insecure work, high renting costs, increased cost of living and cuts to the welfare budget are all being blamed for the rise in food banks. Both working and unemployed people are finding it hard to cover all of their costs and afford to feed themselves and their families. The Trussell Trust claim that over a third of the aid given out by its 445 food banks in 2014-2015 went to children and that the main reason given to them for needing emergency food parcels was problems with benefits. The charity has also seen an increase in those on low incomes seeking help.

So What Can Be Done To Help?

The Trussell Trust says that the first thing to do is listen to the people who need the help in the first place. While the current government are claiming their austerity measures are working, they are ignoring the plight of the lower classes and leaving many of the poorest in our society in desperate need of help.

In commenting on the figures, the Trussell Trust UK food bank director Adrian Curtis said: “The Trussell Trust’s latest figures highlight how vital it is that we all work to prevent and relieve hunger in the UK.”

“It’s crucial that we listen to the experiences of people using food banks to truly understand the nature of the problems they face.”

The obvious solution to the issue is an increase in wages, more secure jobs, less exploitative contracts and lowered housing prices… which sounds like an unattainable dream when it’s typed out like that and you look at the state of society in the UK currently and how few of these issues are being tackled in an attainable and achievable way by out of touch politicians. Working together and collaboratively to improve the life of every person in our society is the way forward in rectifying this harrowing food bank trend but does the government even want to listen or acknowledge their culpability?

Article supplied by www.flowcaritas.co.uk – recruiter for jobs in the charity and not for profit industries.

 

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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