Paper round

Idiot genius former footballer Paul Gascoigne became persona non grata with charities after allegations that he beat up ex-wife Sheryl, so it seems ironic that he now depends on them. Talking to the London Lite newspaper, the former England star revealed that times were so hard he had been forced to start buying from charity shops.

But he doesn't appear too downcast about it. "You can get some really good bargains," enthused Gazza. "I bought my mum, dad and sister presents from charity shops. You can save so much money." But Gascoigne isn't the only one facing the pinch in breadline Britain.

According to the Nursing Standard, one in seven applicants for financial support from the Elizabeth Finn Trust is a jobless nurse. Some can't find work because of the NHS financial crisis, according to the charity, but others have given up work because of physical injury or depression.

Adding to the gloom, the Morning Advertiser reported that a charity has been set up to help "troubled chefs". It is not clear what is troubling them - it's possibly a combination of existential angst and collapsed souffles - but a growing number have drug and alcohol problems. The former head chef of the Ritz, Michael Quinn, is helping Hospitality Action get the cooks back on the wagon.

If you're not depressed enough already, the Mammals Trust UK has urged us to think about the thousands of innocent animals flattened by motorists every year. Just so you know, you murdering bastards, the grisly toll is 800,000 rabbits, 50,000 deer, 50,000 squirrels and 25,000 foxes. And let's not forget the three million pheasants that go to their graves wearing tyre-print patterns. Fortunately, online magazine 4Car said that drivers can assuage their guilt by paying a "friendly fine" to the charity for every animal they hit.

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