MEDIA DIGEST, 6 October: Mandelson, child rights and a fundraising fatality

Third Sector's round-up of today's top stories, including War on Want's attack on the new business secretary, Unicef's call for the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to be incorporated into British law and the fundraising cyclist killed in a road accident

Anti-poverty charity attacks Mandelson appointment
War on Want has expressed "grave concern" at the appointment of former EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson as Britain's new Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. It claimed the Global Europe strategy introduced by Mandelson during his time in Brussels had been based on the same deregulation of markets responsible for the financial crisis. John Hilary, executive director of the charity, said: "Peter Mandelson has jeopardised the livelihoods of millions of working people through his reckless pursuit of deregulation."
See www.waronwant.org for full story

Unicef calls for UN child rights convention to become law in UK
Unicef UK has called for the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to be incorporated into UK law. The charity's announcement echoes recommendations made in a report released on Friday by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which outlined the Government's progress on implementing the UNCRC since it was last assessed in 2002. David Bull, executive director of Unicef UK, said: "We share the UN committee's assessment today that a lot of progress has been achieved by the UK government in its implementation of the convention since 2002."
See www.unicef.org.uk for full story

Thousands show their support for End Child Poverty campaign
Organisers claimed 10,000 people gathered in Trafalgar Square on Saturday as part of the End Child Poverty campaign. Participants hope the campaign will send a clear reminder to Gordon Brown to keep his promise to end child poverty by 2020.
See afpgoogle.com for full story

Armed forces charities fear ‘swamping' of services
Ex-servicemen's charities are predicting they will be "swamped" by an increase in demand for their services. Combat Stress has seen an increase of 53 per cent in the number of veterans seeking help since 2005. Ministry of Defence figures show that up to 2,000 members of the armed forces are diagnosed with mental conditions each year after serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. Robert Marsh, fundraising director at Combat Stress, said his organisation was working at full capacity: "We need to develop more capacity for the future because we are already creaking."
See telegraph.co.uk for full story

NHS budget ‘could easily fund' restricted cancer drugs
A leading charity has claimed the total cost of the main cancer drugs currently being denied to NHS patients would amount to less than 1 per cent of the entire health service budget if they were to be funded by the NHS. Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, told The Sunday Telegraph: "The current budget for cancer drugs is £729m, compared with a total NHS budget of £110bn. By the end of this financial year, we expect a surplus of between £1.5bn and £3bn to be left over, yet we're wrangling over payments for drugs that are a small fraction of this cost. We think that is wrong."
See telegraph.co.uk for full story

Fundraiser killed during sponsored bike ride
A father of two has been killed while taking part in a charity bike ride from John O'Groats to Land's End. Forty-eight-year-old Graham Lees was struck by two vehicles on the A38 near Taunton. Lees had secured sponsorship of almost £5,000 for the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance at the time of his death. He raised £10,000 for Breast Cancer Care in 2006.
See telegraph.co.uk for full story

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