A Slide in the Pension Landscape: Retirement Struggles for the WorkforceAviva

Lingering debts, lack of pension savings and the rise in the cost of living…a third of over 50’s are leaving retirement at a later age, Aviva’s Working Lives report reveals.

The 2016 report, which examines the UK’s private sector businesses, are causing concern with the shifting of retirement patterns.

Nearly half of the people analysed found the lack of pension saving was the main cause for concern.

Aviva’s findings suggest a divide between employers and its employees with the announcement of George Osborne’s Pension Freedoms Day’, last year. The legislation assessed workplace savings and benefits with only a quarter of private sector businesses being prepared for staff retirement.

The report has revealed less than half of larger sized businesses (250+ employees) have plans in place for those who wish to retire earlier compared to 14% across small and medium sized companies.

The scrapping of the Default Retirement Age in favour of Osborne’s Freedoms has seen businesses benefits, of pension freedoms and the auto-enrolment remain in financial struggle, with employees now who are now expected to work 8 years longer.

Less than a quarter of employers believe the Freedoms could result in employees retiring at a better age- compared to nearly a third believing valuable skills will be lost.

Growing fears for the over 50’s has seen a 2015 report –The Missing Millions, being launched.  The research of one million people highlighted the efforts of the over 50’s. Business in the Community’s Age at Work Director Rachel Saunders, found the loss of control in the labour market. She said: the over 50’s were being ‘pushed out’ with the invaluable ‘skills and experience’ needed in businesses.

Aviva 2

The impact of the Working Lives report raises concern over the aging population.

Aviva’s Managing Director- Andy Curran explains; businesses need to ‘embrace’ the ‘changing’ workforce for an effective workplace pension.

Nevertheless the Working Lives report found 86% job satisfaction amongst over 65’s was at the highest compared to the combined age groups of 18-64 with 57%.

The value of the over 65’s was greater with one in five found they still had a lot to offer to their employer while one in ten wanted to keep the older employees on.

Auto-enrolment has encouraged employers to start making provisions for the future but there is a still a long way to go since it first began in 2013, as Aviva’s UK Life CEO Andy Briggs agrees.

He states: ‘productivity’ and ‘enthusiasm’ as some of the reasons cited by employees as to why they are ‘valued’ team members.

Briggs encouraged businesses to ‘focus’ on the over 65’s by ‘ensuring’ the skills and experience is not lost in the workplace.

Following the Pensions Freedoms Day, employees are now on average working 8 years longer than hoped, with businesses being unprepared in the shifting retirement patterns. Aviva’s Working Lives report highlights employers’ fears about a ‘skills exodus’ being stretched and retirement put on hold.

Bursting the Bubble? The Decline in London’s Housing Crisis


London ©ChloeDobinson

Low wages, high rent and a demand for properties. Can London get out of a period of slow growth in property prices?

A recent report from credit ratings agency, Moody’s, predicted that housing prices will surge.

The capital is set to be hit the hardest, and is expected to rise by at least 24% over the next 5 years, the report claims. On average a property in Greater London will cost £620,000.

UBS research found London has the most overpriced housing market in the world with foreign investors making up 54% of all brought properties in the capital.

MIPIM UK, a marketplace for property professionals, sees 4500 participants come together from 35 cities for one exhibition.

One of the speakers at the MIPIM UK 2015 event was Mayor Boris Johnson, whose plan was to build ‘thousands of homes’ for Londoners who help ‘make’ this city work.

The FIRST STEPS programme, which sees residents on lower incomes get onto the property ladder. The project has already delivered over 30,000 immediate homes to an estimated 44,000 Londoners, since 2012.

London’s economy continues to grow but with low wages and unemployment rates London has become a city for foreign investors.  The increase of London house prices grew by 4% in the last year while the average private sector rents in London increased to 3.2%. Has the capital just become a city for the rich and wealthy pushing the low incomers out?

Multimedia Package: 2015 general election 

Legal Voting Age of 18 in EU

Can a Digital Democracy Save the Democratic Decline?

Electronic voting to be introduced in the UK by 2020, as voters’ numbers diminishes. Can online voting encourage citizen’s engagement with politics? Chloe Dobinson investigates.

Only 56% of 18-24 year olds registered to vote in the 2010 general election with political activist Russell Brand recently admitting to having ‘never voted’ believing most people are ‘disenchanted’ by politics.

Open Up, a report submitted by Speaker Jon Bercow, plans to encourage young adults into the political system through online voting, following the 80% turnout of 18-24 year olds in theScottish referendum.

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We can shop, bank and socialize online so why is e-voting not in place?

Saying goodbye to polling stations, by voting through the click of a mouse, can boost the youth turnout to 1.8 million, up to 70%. (Viral Voting)

Campaign group WebRoots Democracy believes accessibility, to those with disabilities and visual impairments will boost the turnout to 79%.

Online voting has the potential to enfranchise voters who are ‘currently locked out the current voting methods’, helping to connect with an audience who are becoming an ‘increasingly digital’ population in the UK.

But it is not only convenience. According to the think tank Viral Voting, an organisation offering advice on political issues, removing the paper ballot by a third of the cost involved. Paper saving and the decline in voting numbers could save up to £12.8 million.

Piloted in countries such as Estonia, Belgium and the US; why is the UK not keeping up in a digitally literate world?

The democratic decline, of fewer voters going to the polls and introduction of online voting, would ensure convenience with 65% of the public in favour of the new voting process. (Viral Voting)

Banishing polls cards and moving online ‘isn’t the battle’ in why  electorate’s should vote, as founder of WebRoots Democracy Areeq Chowdhury believes ‘taking the time’ to voice the public’s citizenship can make a difference.

There is still resistance in e-voting as Professor Bob Watt, who gave evidence at the Open Up Commission, believes there are still flaws in security.

He continues, online voting will not ‘permit’ with the public, with the influence of others in their political decision.

Despite widespread public support, Watt believes revolutionising the voting process cannot deliver a ‘secret and secure’ system, with electronic devices leading electorates to ‘making unconsidered decisions’.

Left or right wing? Voters are still undecided as polling firm Iposos MORI suggests 50% of voters are open to changing their minds.

Columnist for The Guardian Polly Toynbee, suggests the government have ‘gone out of their way’ to make it difficult for 18-24 year olds to vote.

She continues, by registering young adults to cast their ballot ‘automatically’, through debates at colleges and universities can get them into the ‘habit’ of voting.

A system of where 18-24 year olds could vote and register on the same day would dismiss the democratic decline.

The work and pensions benefit, taxation and winter fuel allowance are policies swaying the over 65’s in a voting turnout of 76% in the 2010 general election; with growing concerns over young adult’s disengagement to politics.

Below is an audio report discussing how politicians can bridge the gap in over 65’s and 18-24 year olds in the voting turnout?

A manifesto for technology, from Labour Digital, favours an online democracy with party leader Ed Miliband planning to trial digital voting in 2020, if elected May 7.

Writing the foreword to the document, Labour’s policy co-ordinator Jon Cruddas, sees young people invited through sixth forms and colleges into the political conversation through creating ‘consultations digitally’ about the right to vote.

Below is a video report which discusses how we can encourage 18-25 year olds to vote in the borough of Barking and Dagenham?

The youth manifesto, which will be released in time for the 2015 General Election on May 7, sees the online voting process aligned with how digitally literate the public live.

He continues, the transformation of politics through online voting would be more ‘accountable and demanding’ for politicians, by insuring young adult’s voices are heard across the nation.

Giving Young People a voice: The resurgence of Youth Council’s 



The resurgence of Youth Councils has contributed to the political process engaging and encouraging young adults to get involved with politics, following the 81% turnout of 16-17 year olds in the Scottish referendum, writes Chloe Dobinson

Youth Councils are a forum which gives younger people a voice in representing their views in a decision-making. Since the emergence of the European Youth Forum in 1996, Youth Councils have re-emerged in supporting members through youth clubs and educational programmes.

Growing internet campaigns, such as Votes at 16, have improved political education in schools by having a positive effect on teenagers. According to Votes at 16, 1.5 million 16-17 year olds are currently denied the vote while changes to the voting arrangement have been proposed by implementing online voting.

Mid Sussex District Youth Action Council, whose members are currently re-forming and formulizing themselves, have developed an action plan to increase the group membership. Mid Sussex District Council, offer support through group sessions enabling young people to tackle issues for themselves and affect meaningful change, by putting their community first.

Pandora Ellis who works for West Sussex believes Youth Councils are important in a political society with young people ‘learning they are valid members of society, with rights and responsibilities’

Volunteering and raising awareness to Youth Councils can help influence and understand how local governments work as Ellis further explains, ‘active citizens and being part of a solution, rather than a media stereotype’ can enable ‘significant personal growth’ by interacting and socializing with other members about issues that affect them.

Former minster Damian Green opposed Cameron’s view, of keeping the voting age at 18, and expressed support in reducing the voting age to 16.

‘They are (16-17 year olds) a proportion of the electorate. The reason I am in favour, would be to get people into the habit of voting at an early age. I’d hope they would carry on and do that for the rest of their lives. It is a really important decision in their lives explaining that we are engaging and can express their own views in politics’.

UK Youth, a national charity who reach 693,000 young people through a network of youth clubs and projects, enable members to learn about the political process.

Communications Manager with UK Youth Joanna Birch-Phaure believes ‘Many young people get to take part in youth parliaments, youth council’s, young mayor and other ‘practice’ opportunities that might help them engage in politics and democracy.

She continues ‘UK Youth have designed a free resource which can be used with groups of young people to engage them with the idea of democracy and hopefully help them feel like voting is worthwhile.  Bite the Ballot and NUS are some of the organisations who are campaigning for the reengagement which saw only 51% of 18-25 year olds vote during the 2010 General Election. (direct.gov)

UK Youth have designed The Democracy Challenge Toolkit, which introduces democracy and voting to people aged 16 and over, through fun and educational activity sessions.

Arguably not all 16-17 year olds are politically aware some not knowing their left from their right wing, with GCSE politics not being compulsory in schools. Joining pressure groups and Youth Councils help make an impact on our political choice.

Mid Sussex Youth Member Greg Cox, who is about to vote for the first time this election suggests how more young adults can get involved with their local youth council, by offering better support to ‘local authorities’ in educating 16-17 year olds about ‘local government of how it works and what it is responsible for’ by managing groups locally and specifically for youth engagement.

The support of other Youth Council members helps create debate and interest as Greg knows, “To encourage young people to have an understanding and an interest in their community, society and county with youth councils by showing how a group of individuals regardless of their political view can influence change in their local community’.

Building social skills and personal development benefit Youth Council members as Ellis further explains, bringing 16-17 year olds together to be more ‘social and have fun’ by training members to be more confident and including them in the planning and decision making can ‘help their voices to be heard’.

Ellis continues, “By making politics about issues they are interested in; issues affecting them or people they know can move politics away from the politicians grey suits and old people to current challenges that young people face on a daily basis’.

Children Losing out on Education due to Disruptive Behaviour

Low level disruption has become a concern, with recent Ofsted reports stating ‘children are losing up to an hour of education a day’.

The report was raised when Ofsted’s Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw raised concerns from his annual report in 2012/2013.

Wilshaw commented on the findings: ‘That’s why Ofsted has tightened the guidance on behaviour for inspection and increased the number of unannounced inspections undertaken as a result of concerns.

Kelsie Clark-Davies, a child behaviour specialist who leads in social inclusion at William Bellamy Primary School,  which recently received a rating of good from Ofsted reports, East London explains:

‘The key aspect that any school needs is a clear and consistent behaviour policy that is shared throughout the whole school’.

William Bellamy Primary School (credit: William Bellamy)

William Bellamy Primary School (credit: William Bellamy)

recent study carried out by Ofsted reported that children lose up to an hour of education a day due to disruptive behaviour.

The inspection, based upon 95 state schools and academies across the country, sees disruptive behaviour as now being accepted by teachers as part of everyday life in the classroom.

Ofsted Chief, Sir Michael Wilshaw, said about the report: “low-level disruption in class is preventing too many teachers from doing their jobs”. Two thirds of the teachers who took the survey complained that school leaders are failing to assert their authority when dealing with poor discipline and pupils flouting the school rules.

Wilshaw explains there was a “blurring of lines between friendliness and familiarity” and teachers were “losing respect along the way”.

A study by Ofsted and YouGov showed problems including swinging on chairs, calling out and not getting on with work as the main cause for concern in primary schools.  The survey based upon 1,024 parents and 1,048 teachers showed it was a bigger problem than expected from parents.

Disruptive behaviour is being accepted by teachers as part of everyday life in the classroom.

Stay on Green, a policy recently introduced in the school, includes  a range of positive behaviour management strategies, which give the opportunity for pupils to move from warnings to rewards, ranging from ‘red’ to ‘gold’.

Clark-Davies continued: ‘The behaviour policy has been firmly embedded throughout the whole school. Parents, teachers and pupils are aware of the system’.

Stay on Green has been embedded in numerous primary schools. Children can earn ratings of gold, silver and bronze, dependent on their behaviour, with red and yellow seen as poor and disruptive.

Clark-Davies continued: ‘I believe in our school our ethos permeates throughout the school that we are very child centred and they come absolutely first. Sometimes it’s about looking beyond the behaviour, what is the behaviour trying to tell us. We talk about behaviour as a communication so if a child is behaving in a certain way that needs meeting somewhere along the way.

William Bellamy try to understand the underlining problem with the pupils behaviour, and if there is a difficulty in learning, by providing support and interventions to the particular child.

‘We have a number of interventions in place: we (William Bellamy) have a team of learning mentorsacross the school so they work with identifying pupils that are referred to them so if we have a child that was hitting ‘yellow’ on our behaviour system (Yellow is featured as one of the lowest stages where the teacher then has to contact the pupils parents) hitting frequently then we could refer them to our learning mentor who works with the parent, the child and sets targets’.

YouGov, who specially conducted a survey for Ofsted, cited behaviour such as fidgeting, talking and chatting in class as some main problems for primary school pupils.

Improving our education system is significant with Ofsted chief Wilshaw stating: schools need to ‘compete at the highest levels’.

High expectations of behaviour are consistent in dealing with disruptive pupils and enforcing their expectations successfully to staff, pupils and parents. William Bellamy Primary School’s Head Teacher Miss Preston discusses the behavioural policy ‘Stay on Green’ more in detail:

‘We promote good attitudes for learning as all teaching staff is encouraging and rewarding children for good behaviour/attitudes for learning. Children are very keen to get ‘bronze’, ‘silver’ and ‘gold’ as they receive positive recognition for this.

The names of pupils achieving ‘gold’ are added into the golden book and read out during school assembly, and their parents receive a phone call home to praise the children’s good behaviour. Children achieving ‘bronze’, receive a bronze sticker and praise.

‘These achievements are celebrated every week in a whole school assembly where these positive messages are delivered and reinforced. Often children progress from ‘green’ to ‘bronze’, ‘silver’ and ‘gold’.

In case of inappropriate behaviour, Miss Preston explains: ‘parents are always consulted; we believe working together with the parents give the child the best support in making improvements’.

According to YouGov, 4/5 of the parents surveyed wanted the school to communicate its expectations around behaviour clearly and regularly.

Parents are becoming more involved with their children. Denise Moore, a primary school parent of Rush Green Primary School, conducted an extensive research about where to send her daughter:

‘My child’s education is extremely important to me and deciding where the best options are in my local area is significant, especially with the recent Ofsted reports’

She continued: ‘Key factors such as behaviour policies and workshop programmes help improve the school’s environment and strive the children for good results.

The Ofsted report concludes that leader’s teachers, parents and pupils need to share responsibility and need to know if and where low-level disruption occurs and ensure that all staff deals with it.

Ofsted report: Disruptive children cause pupils to lose an hour of education a day, writes Chloe Dobinson

A recent study carried by Ofsted believed children lose up to an hour of education a day due to disruptive behaviour.IMG_0136

The inspection, based upon 95 state schools and academies,  sees disruptive behaviour as now being accepted by teachers as part of ‘everyday life in the classroom’.

Ofsted Chief Sir Michael Wilshaw said about the report: ‘low-level disruption in class is preventing too many teachers from doing their jobs’. Two thirds of teachers questioned for the survey complained that school leaders are failing to assert their authority when dealing with poor discipline and pupils flouting the school rules.

YouGov survey showed cited problems including swinging on chairs, calling out and not getting on with work as the main cause for concern in primary schools.  The survey based upon 1,024 parents and 1,048 teachers showed it was a bigger problem than expected from parents.

How do we stop troublesome behaviour: clear rules, assertive teachers or consistency? Previous reports have seen main areas for improvement such as working with parents during the recent Behaviour and Safety programme introduced in 2013, and child behaviour management training. Speaking to Kelsie Clark-Davies, a child behaviour specialist who leads in social inclusion at William Bellamy Primary School, Dagenham explains:

‘Rather than looking at behaviour as poor behaviour, we really try and get underneath and understand the needs to act in a certain way… In most cases there’s something that has gone wrong along the way and the children seem to have attachment difficulties in schools. Children, for whatever reason, in their first few years of their life have had some kind of disruption with their main carer.’

Ofsted Chief Wilshaw explains there was a ‘blurring of lines ‘between friendliness and familiarity’ and teachers were ‘losing respect along the way’.

Ofsted  who deliver one (programme) called Incredible Years Parenting and also the Fast programme, which is through the NSPCC, its families and schools together and child profession with colleagues from the children centre or other colleagues in the school to deliver specific mandatory accredited and recognised programmes.

Should Ofsted not encourage good attitudes for learning? Local school William Bellamy, are addressing this issue by rewarding children for good behaviour and has now gone from satisfactory to good in recent Ofsted reports. Head teacher Miss Preston explains, the school’s behaviour policy and the ceasing of low-level disruption.

William Bellamy has a behaviour policy called ‘stay on green’. Operating a ‘no hands up’ policy, where they encourage children to respond naturally to questions and within conversations. Preston further explains: ‘if a child calls out inappropriately’, they would be ‘taught the appropriate way and monitored’. Children are keen to achieve ‘bronze, silver and gold’ at William Bellamy Primary School, where it is credited as positive recognition.

In response to the YouGov survey, 72% of primary teachers said misbehaviour had a medium or high impact on lessons, but how are head teachers dealing with pupils? Miss Preston comments,

‘Low-level disruption will no doubt hinder the learning of pupils, this is why we ‘nip it in the bud’ as soon as a child displays this behaviour. We find that out positive focus on behaviour encourage pupils to make the right choices and display the required behaviour’.

There has been blame at weak head teachers with 4 in 10 teachers accusing them of failing to impose clear rules.

Head teacher Miss Preston continues: ‘Low-level disruption is classified as ‘blue’ behaviour in our policy. We promote good attitudes for learning which address this as all teaching staff are encouraging and rewarding children for good behaviour/attitudes for learning’.

Of parents who took part in the YouGov survey, just under two thirds said the head teacher should make sure all staff applied the behaviour policy as a way of improving the learning culture.  Local Dagenham parent Ryan Carr, who moved from South to East London because of the poor school rating, is now happy about his child’s current school, Rush Green Primary School, which achieved a rating of good.

‘I’m happy with the way my child’s performing at school and that’s due to the great teachers and imposed rules. The teachers are assertive and teaching my child effectively.’

‘A positive learning culture is in place and I think the Ofsted inspections are great by keeping schools on their toes with the unannounced inspections’.

William Bellamy Primary school is set to maintain these high standards by keeping ‘child centred’ and as head teacher Miss Preston explains: ‘The improvements are due to a whole school philosophy and policy, consistency is important’.

listen to ‘Ofsted report: Disruptive Children Cause Pupils to lose an hour of education day’ on audioBoom


Our final version of our 10 minute documentary titled ‘YMCA & Me’ which looks at the struggle of a young residents life and how the YMCA have helped.

Work Placement Presentation

This week I had to create a presentation on a journalism work placement I had taken and discuss my experience and roles during the internship.

Slide 1

placement 1

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TipMine is an online website founded in America which share, saves and collects tips between users. I had a placement at TipMine for 3 months but got extended to 8 months due to enjoying the placement and wanting to gain more experience and knowledge of my time there.  I had an editorial and marketing role which I gained more editorial control over of how much and what I chose to write. The website dealt with numerous categories such as graduates, employment and gaming catering for each online user and their interests.

placement 2

Slide 3

Here are the roles I was giving during the 8 month placement which I had to complete every week to 2 weeks. I would write content for categories such as music, cooking, students, photography etc as well as pushing myself to try new categories and write in topics I had no experience in such as automotive, gardening and sport. I used promotional websites such as Pinterest, Linkedin, Scoop It, Twitter and WordPress to promote the work I was writing and the site as a whole.

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Slide 4

The skills I have gained in university such as being able to write with a critical eye  and from a analytic point of view using theories and academic material. Also researching contacts an sources for a news story, how to research the topic allows us to have more control in my journalistic writing. The ability to meet deadlines and having a structured timetable creates organisation which can used in work placements and working life. The skills I gained from the work placement is professional communication with the employers contacting them every week through email and Skype giving updates on my work and the progress I was making. They were also there to support me if I needed any help with the tasks I was given. I was taught how to create infographics which is a visual way of receiving information and is more consumable and creative for the audience. I was motivated each week to create new and interesting articles and tips by wanting to push myself to produce content in different categories and get experience in something new.

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Being able to collect, share and save tips is a great way to connect with internet users and promote citizen journalism. Contributors to the site would come from all over the world allowing the website to have experience and knowledge from their culture and background. Building a portfolio with the articles, interviews and tips I was creating shows my experience I had gained over the placement and all the work I had produced.

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Slide 7

I received weekly feedback on the posts written giving positive and something to work on which I found helped greatly. I would also receive how many views my tips were receiving. I always completed tasks on time sticking the set deadline, a skill I developed through my university and coursework. I was capable of completely the set tasks given both independently and working alongside the employers also trying new and different of getting the user to visit the site.

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The current UK job market and unemployment at a high, especially with the younger generation, employment is hard to go by. The journalism and media sector being a competitive market. Developing and building your portfolio of your work you are most proud of can help with future reference to both employment and more work placements. Building a network of contacts of emails and phone numbers which you can use for any advice, employment or even news stories. By getting as much experience as you can will develop your skills and experience. By having different roles gives you a taster of journalistic work and which role you would find more suitable for future employment. According to Career Paths, people who you know help get you a job with the employers already knowing your journalistic skills and capability due to previous experience together.

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Slide 9

The references I used to create my work placement presentation.

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How the Olympics Changed My Opinion…

The London 2012 Olympics was a momentous time. Not only for the Olympians and organisers but also for the UK as a whole. The UK was ready to show the world what an Olympic games we could put on and make Olympics games history.

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A common worry children found before joining secondary school was being bullied

Submitted to LSBU

A common worry children found before joining secondary school was being bullied.CIMG0917 Chloe Dobinson investigates

According to Anti Bullying Alliance almost half of all children and young people say they have been bullied at some point at school.

Hannah Smith, who committed suicide earlier this month at 14-years-old, is the latest in a long line of victims tormented by online bullies. Cyber bullying can reach a much wider audience through the use of forums, social networks and websites, and teenagers aged between 13-17 are the most vulnerable group in today’s society due to the widespread development and access to technology.

‘Lisa’, a victim on online bullying, said her ordeal started when she was 16.

She said:“It all started because I was the new person in the class and because I was from another college. I didn’t make any friends in the first couple of weeks so I was picked on; they made fun of my accent and teased me because I was an outsider.”

Lisa’s bullying not only extended from physical bullying but to online and through social media sites.

She continued: “They would write nasty comments on my profile and say mean things about my family on the uploaded pictures; they encouraged others to make comments and threats about me too, allowing everyone on my friends list to see the comments. I reported them to social media to have them removed from the site but it took a few weeks to get them taken off.”

Lisa recommended others who are being bullied online to seek help and most importantly tell someone as she did.

“I didn’t know who to speak to luckily my old friends from college were there for me. I couldn’t tell my parents but they realised I wasn’t my normal self when I had terrible mood swings and stopped going to college after a while,  my parents spoke to me and I told them everything  about the online bullying”.

Johnny who created an anonymous profile online and started to bully others on the social media sites tells us his experience of being the bully and the other side of the story.

He said: “I started to bully this small group of people in the last year of secondary school just because they were quiet and I knew they would not do anything back so I thought I would torment them online by nasty messages and threatening them. Just because I thought it would be funny and entertaining for me. The people I bullied started not showing up to school and they missed one of their important GCSE exams, I realised by the end of the year why am I doing this because they were quiet so I stopped. I got nothing out of bullying; I was losing friends and could see that it was having a major impact on the victims. I do regret bullying those people online because you realise you are not pushing others out the way you are pushing yourself away”.

Andrew Vint, a youth worker at Warrington Youth Club which works with people aged from 7 to 25. Vint discusses what the charity does to help those being bullied and the bullies themselves.

He said: “We offer support and channel people into, who have been the victims of bulling: we have things like Girls Group, the Loud and Clear programme, the Men’s Health Group. We also have external organisations that come into the centre and tackle such issues in small and large groups. We try to deal with the root cause, as well as re-educate those who were the bullies as well. It’s kind of like a double edge sword”.

Warrington Youth Club currently delivers a range of evening, weekend and holiday projects, the Loud & Clear programme which focuses especially on child protection and safeguarding. Vint explains that this is a skill children need to learn and be aware of.

He stated: “I think the way we look at how societies going, a lot of negativity amongst young people, often when I witnessed young people engaging and communicating they are quick to blame other people and knowing child protection and child safeguarding I feel there is only ever gonna add to their awareness and their insight in understanding that they have a voice, that they don’t have to be victim. It’s something that is needed in this present time”.

Youth clubs are a great way for teenagers to get support with Vint experiencing cases of bullying at the youth club.

“We have had a few incidents at the centre, a lot of the time we come across these things and we actually go on to behavioural contracts because we need to put them in place of structure and support. They need to be very clear boundaries once they have stepped over that line to actually bully another young person or press another young person. We go straight into behavioral contracts”.

A recent study commissioned by Anti-Bullying Alliance shows that over half of children and young people in the UK see cyber bullying as a “everyday problem’ of daily life.

“The media aren’t a nasty thing, used correctly it can be an awesome communication tool; it can be an awesome way to promote and to get information. Unfortunately, aspects of the world have incorporated bad parts to it and unfortunately these are accessible. What we hope to do is not irradiate the elements of badness and use it all”.

BBC research shows that cyber bullying is common among teenagers with at least 1 in 5 having been a victim. Cyber bullying is different from other forms of bullying- tactics can often be hidden and more subtle so it’s sometimes difficult to detect.

The wider search powers included in the Education Act 2011 gives teachers stronger powers to tackle cyber-bullying Alex Roseburn, a secondary school teacher in London discusses how teachers have more control with electronic devices and how their school in particular is dealing with online bullying.

She said: “They wouldn’t be allowed to have them in the classroom, I think children are losing the art of communicating and the skills for conversation with one another due to the phones and texting and emails.

I think it might be impossible for schools to prevent cyber bullying happening in the school. Obviously they will monitor computer use and if children feel cyber bullying is happening to them that they have got appropriate adults that can deal with the situation”.

Cyber bullying is a different form of bullying and can happen at all times of the day with bullying occurring outside the school and in the privacy of your own home.

She continued “Pupils if they are being bullied online need to speak out; they need to tell adults, tell the teachers, tell parents. Get in touch with the social networks and report what’s happening to them. Get on to the phone manufacturers get these people blocked from incoming texts and emails and in extreme cases to inform the police.

“Schools need to highlight this problem to show that it is going on and take responsibility for it. Children should be safeguarded whether they are in school or outside of school. The school should create an ethos where adults are approachable and children can trust in the adults to deal with issues that are going on like this”.

The recent announcement by Facebook that users have changed their settings to share posts on the internet rather than “friends” or “friends of friends” and let strangers view personal content allowing younger people to be more acceptable to online bullying.

Roseburn stated: “We have to teach youngsters to be vigilant with what they put on these sites so they are not putting themselves at risk to more online threats”.

Support Line, a confidential emotional support for children, young adults and adults, who help in excess over 5,000 cases a year, explain their range of issues that help and support victims of bullying.

Support Line stated: “We provide emotional support to anyone who is being bullied, and also signposting to other means of support, e.g. face to face counselling and other bullying resources. With raised awareness of Anti Bullying Week we expect to receive more requests for help in relation to this issue.

“Many schools deny bullying is happening in their school –raising awareness of the effects of bullying, having buddying schemes where older children can monitor what is happening and anyone being bullied can talk to them as some are reluctant to talk to staff, putting structures in place to deal with the bully and find out why the person is bullying”.

Teenagers need help and support from charities such as Support Line by hoping for a better future, victim Lisa states.

“Most importantly no matter what age you are you can still get bullied whether it’s in school, college or in the workplace it occurs everywhere and at every age with everyone going through it at some point in his or her life. To resolve any form or extent of bullying you need to report it”.


Cyber bullying is a behaviour that takes place through the use of electronic devices such as mobile phone, social media and the internet that intentionally hurts other individuals or groups. “Beat Bullying” is going to examine the rise of cyber bullying in the UK among teenagers aged between 13-17 with this age category being the most vulnerable.

We had expert interviews with a local teacher and a youth worker from Warrington Youth Club. 

As well as interviews from both sides of bullying from the victim and an online bully.

Presented by Chloe Dobinson & Tunde Thomas 

Photography for Journalists

Photo Story-Columbia Market

For my 10 piece photo story I wanted to capture the public event of the Columbia Market, which is a weekly event every Sunday located at Bethnal Green in East London. I wanted to showcase Columbia Market’s practicality and uniqueness to the public by promoting it as a great weekly event.

It’s had several names over the years; Columbia Road was named in honor of the heiress and philanthropist Angela Burdentt Coutts.

It’s had several names over the years; Columbia Road was named in honor of the heiress and philanthropist Angela Burdentt Coutts.

Columbia Market

It is the capital’s most colourful and beautifully scented market. The market began as a Saturday trading market, but as the Jewish population grew a Sunday market was established.

Columbia Market

This also provides the opportunity for Covent Garden and Spitalfields traders to sell their stock left over from Saturday.

Columbia Market

Many of the plants and flowers are grown and sourced locally. Columbia Market sells a wide range of flowers from roses to petunias, all accommodating to the person’s needs.

Columbia Market

As well as cut flowers, there are topary trees, pot plants, hanging baskets, bulbs and bouquets turning the street into blossom.

Columbia Market

Today wide ranges of unusual shops compliment it, turning the whole shopping area into one of the most interesting shopping experiences to be had.

Columbia Market

Jesse Chorley and Buddug are decorated in their signature vintage homemade style. This shop incorporates the uniqueness of discovering a ‘one off’.

Columbia Market

Jessie and Buddug have grasped the combination of personalization and vintage effortlessly alongside each other.

Columbia Market

The 52 stalls and surrounding shops sell everything to cater for the English obsession of gardening.

Columbia Market

Since the 1980’s the market has grown into one of the international repute. There are plenty of attractive pubs, cafes and food stalls where you stop and relax.

The Closure of T4 (Videoblog) 

By Chloe Dobinson, Karishma Boodhoo & Louise Brisbane

The Culture of Alcohol (Podcast) 

By Chloe Dobinson,Karishma Boodhoo & Louise Brisbane

The Rise of Music Ticket Prices

“The most overpriced gig ever” declared Fox News, referring to the recent announcement of The Rolling Stones reuniting and playing two shows at London’s 02 arena and charging tickets for between £95- £375. There does seem to be a trend of music artists charging extensive amounts of money, since over the last decade revenues from music sales have gone down,  for instance The Killers, Prodigy and Kings of Leon are all doing the same in recent months. This can’t be doing much good for ticket sales seeing as most of the fans are students, coincidently students and music fans are now paying to see new bands live due to it being more reasonable and affordable prices.

Controversially The Stones did announce those prices reflecting how good their shows are since the shows are “50 Years and Counting” it does bring the legendary status and that they are one of the greatest bands in the world.  A VIP hospitality ticket of the shows, which guarantees you a place inside the named ‘tongue pit’ will give you a clear view of the legendary rockers, however costing an eye-watering £1,140. The band have been criticised for charging this amount with Stones frontman, Mick Jagger, defending the ticket prices stating to the Telegraph “it’s a very expensive show to put on”. Though in that same week the four piece played a surprise show at Paris and only charged fans a merely £12 in comparison to the upcoming London shows, remarkably  Stones fans won’t see the difference in performance but will see a huge difference in their wallets. Not only music fans will have to pay for the ticket but also a booking fee with ticket sites charging an extra £7 on top of the extortionate amount. Ticket sites already make huge profits from extra charges such as booking and handling fees with Billboard announcing that Live Nation was making a profit of 9.7% to $1.96 billion, in the first quarter, from $1.79 billion in the prior year period. Revenue for the first nine months of 2012 was $4.38 billion, up 4.4% from $4.19 billion in the same period last year.

I can understand bands and ticket businesses wanting to make a profit but with the Rolling Stones case, among with many other bands, this is an excessive amount to be charged for a music gig, all the fans want to do is see the band and hear the songs no need for an elaborate setting or backdrop. It can also be partly the fans fault because we will pay the money to see the music artists so there will be no amount we will stop at.  According to Forbes, almost all of the top 25 highest-paid musicians in 2011 made the bulk of their money from touring. However it does make music fans wonder if it is the actual artists charging this amount of money or their managers and if they really care about the fans or just want to make a profit.

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