MEDIA DIGEST, 22 SEPTEMBER: youth crime, free books and boozy mums-to-be

Third Sector's round-up of today's charity-related news, from the increasing numbers of under-14s being put behind bars to a charity's claim that pregnant women can't keep away from them.

More children locked up, says Barnardo's
The number of children being given custodial sentences in England and Wales is increasing, according to a report by children's charity Barnardo's. The report says: "We are almost alone in western society in routinely incarcerating large numbers of children aged between 10 and 14 who commit crime." In Europe, only Russia and Ukraine put more children in prison.
See Guardian.co.uk for full story

Education charity sends free books to schools
The Booktrust is to send 750,000 packs featuring poetry anthologies and story books to primary schools. A reading survey by the trust found that 44 per cent of children aged between seven and 14 said their mothers did not like reading poetry with them. Books will also be sent to children being schooled at home, in hospital schools, hospices and in pupil referral units.
See Education Executive for full story

A third of pregnant women 'don't heed alcohol warnings'
A third of mums-to-be continue to drink alcohol during pregnancy, according to a survey by baby charity Tommy's. The poll also found that one in 10 pregnant women think drinking alcohol doesn't cause as much damage as health experts claim.
See Daily Record for full story

Every child needs good neighbours
The NSPCC has revealed that 7,000 abused children received help last year as a result of concerned neighbours calling their helpline. John Cameron, head of the NSPCC Helpline, said: "Thankfully many responsible neighbours are looking out for these children, but we want more to join them and to call as soon as they suspect something is wrong."
See Press Association for full story

Purnell defends plans to increase sector's role in tackling poverty
James Purnell, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, has defended Government plans to reform welfare by extending private and voluntary sector involvement. Speaking at the Labour Party conference yesterday, Purnell said the proposals were not "a betrayal of our values" but an affirmation of the party's belief that "everyone has a right to work".
See Guardian.co.uk for full story

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