The last few days have brought beautiful snow scenes to many parts of the country – here are some pictures and more good news to keep you warm.
Millionaire lottery winner to buy new slippers….
A man who won a million pounds on the National Lottery could not think of anything he wanted other than a new pair of slippers. Grandfather John Baxter, 63, from Baldock, Herts, works at Luton airport and has no plans to retire early. ‘We are exceptionally down to earth people’ he said ‘we won’t let this go to our heads’.
His wife Carol will be getting the stainless steel sink she has always wanted, but they will go on their annual holiday to Great Yarmouth as per usual. ‘We won’t be moving because we have finally got our house just how we want it’ she said.
Cut in asthma admissions following smoking ban
In the first year after the ban on smoking in English enclosed public places came into effect there was a 12% drop in the number of children being admitted into hospital with severe asthma, a study shows.
The researchers at Imperial College London contrasted their findings with the 2% annual rise in severe asthma attack admissions in the years from 2002 – 2007 before smoking restrictions were introduced.
The authors say more homes are also now smoke-free, and suggest that a smoke-free norm is linked to the ban. The fall was seen in boys and girls of all ages, across wealthy and deprived neighbourhoods and in cities and in rural areas.
Pubs are being saved by volunteers
At the height of the recession it was estimated that 7 British pubs were closing every day, but that rate has declined and an initiative called Pub is The Hub is helping communities to run their own pubs. The organisation was founded by Prince Charles ten years ago and in the last year there has been a huge upsurge in interest with 120 groups making enquiries.
In some cases they are put in touch with investors from Canada, Japan and the Middle East who are keen to invest in the famous British watering hole, even though they have never been to the pub in question. Already 40 village pubs are community-owned. The Old Crown in Hesket Newmarket (Lake District) became the first ten years ago and in that time its turnover has almost trebled.
The 60-year old chairman Julian Ross admits that it has been a slow process but says The Crown is at the heart of community life and that its revival helps others to see that they can save their pub too.
Great Grandmother, 87, enjoys Saturday nights on the streets
On Saturday nights from 11pm to 3am, Mary Pickles, 87, goes out with a team of Street Pastors in Burnley, Lancashire. She says ‘I love every minute of my role and we are well received on the streets by all the pub and club goers.’ With first aid training under her belt, she is one of a team who patrol the town centre preventing violence and helping drunks.
Armed with Jelly Babies and chocolate, she hands them round to calm people down and diffuse tense situations. She also carries a pair of flip flops, as girls often cannot walk on their high heels at the end of the evening.
Other benefits are a noted drop in the crime rate, according to the Burnley borough council and police. The first group of Street Pastors started in London where 18 of the 32 boroughs now have teams of volunteers, and there are 20 other towns in the UK who have formed similar teams.