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Arts & cultural organisations set to double use of repayable finance

first_imgArts & cultural organisations set to double use of repayable finance Advertisement Repayable finance is playing a bigger role in supporting the arts and cultural sector in the UK with organisations set to seek £309 million over the next five years, a Nesta report has shown.This amounts to more than double over the next year than borrowed during 2016, according to the results of a survey commissioned by innovation foundation Nesta. The £309 million figure over five years amounts to £62 million per year and highlights an increase in demand since 2016, when 15% of the survey’s respondents used repayable finance, receiving £29 million in repayable finance between them.According to the report, while repayable finance is currently only used by a small proportion of organisations (15% of respondents), they are optimistic about the benefits, with an average of 57% believing they will see a higher income in the next five years.While organisations that have sought repayable finance tend to be based in London according to Nesta, it expects 54% of future demand to come from outside the capital. Over twenty organisations since 2015 for example have received or are set to receive Arts Impact Fund loans, which offers repayable finance between £150,000 and £600,000 to arts organisations in England. The £7m fund was launched by Nesta, Bank of America Merill Lynch and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, with support from Arts Council England and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.There are still some concerns around taking out repayable finance, with the highest concerns relating to repayments, particularly in generating the income to repay the finance received (57%) and the terms of the contract (49%). However, Nesta found that those who had previously taken it out reported a positive experience, and were far less likely to cite barriers.Fran Sanderson, Director of Arts Programmes and Investments at Nesta, said:“We’ve had a real sense through the investment period of the Arts Impact Fund that there would be strong and increasing demand for this kind of repayable finance. It felt as though organisations in the sector were warming up to the idea, and seeing the potential benefits of this type of finance through our and other case studies. We wanted to back this up with some data, so commissioned the report, and are happy to see that this supports the case for raising and deploying more funds into the sector.“We are learning all the time about how to make investments in as constructive a way as possible, including working closely with funding partners such as Arts Council, Esmée Fairbairn, Bank of America and other social investors we’ve worked with, such as our collaboration with Big Issue Invest and Triodos on getting Village Underground’s Hackney Arts Centre off the ground.”  92 total views,  2 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis6  91 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis6 About Melanie May Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com. Tagged with: arts Finance Funding Melanie May | 6 April 2018 | Newslast_img read more

Mourning Mothers spokesperson to serve six-month jail term

first_img After Hengameh Shahidi’s pardon, RSF asks Supreme Leader to free all imprisoned journalists Follow the news on Iran Iran: Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020 March 18, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts News June 9, 2021 Find out more News IranMiddle East – North Africa Help by sharing this information to go furthercenter_img News Organisation IranMiddle East – North Africa News Call for Iranian New Year pardons for Iran’s 21 imprisoned journalists RSF_en January 17, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Mourning Mothers spokesperson to serve six-month jail term Reporters Without Borders is deeply concerned to learn that Mansoureh Behkish, a netizen and founder of the Mourning Mothers movement, has been told to report to the sentence application court at Tehran’s Evin prison on 29 January to begin serving a six-month jail sentence.“We urge the authorities not to jail Behkish,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The way she has been hounded for years is typical of the constant harassment received by the relatives of executed prisoners when they refuse to comply with the regime’s desire to maintain a veil of silence over these cases.“Their only crime is to keep demanding truth and justice for those who were hanged or disappeared in mass graves. It is outrageous that men and women such as Behkish who dare to provide information about these cases are being convicted and jailed on charges of anti-government propaganda.”The mouthpiece of Mourning Mothers, an alliance of mothers and other relatives of prisoners who have been executed from the 1980s onwards, Behkish has repeatedly been harassed and detained.She and 33 other members of Mourning Mothers were arrested while demonstrating in Tehran’s Laleh Park on 9 January 2010. Banned from leaving the country when freed on 17 March 2011, she was arrested again in Tehran on 12 June 2011 and spent a month in Section 209 of Evin prison.A Tehran revolutionary court sentenced her to four and a half years in prison in December 2011. On appeal, her sentence was reduced to six months in prison on the anti-government propaganda charge and a suspended sentence of three and a half years in prison for “activities threatening national security.”Bekhish also belongs to “Mothers of Khavaran,” a movement named after the south Tehran cemetery used as common grave for political prisoners who were executed en masse in 1988. Bekhish posts articles on various websites about these groups, their ceremonies and the harassment to which they are subjected. Six of her close relatives (four brothers, a sister and a brother-in-law) were executed during the 1980s. She has a gravely ill mother who she has to look after on her own.With 28 journalists and 20 netizens currently detained, Iran is one of the world’s five biggest prisons for media personnel. February 25, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Cary, North Carolina Named ‘Nicest’ Housing Market; Milwaukee Designated as ‘Naughtiest’

first_imgHome / Featured / Cary, North Carolina Named ‘Nicest’ Housing Market; Milwaukee Designated as ‘Naughtiest’ Cary, North Carolina Named ‘Nicest’ Housing Market; Milwaukee Designated as ‘Naughtiest’  Print This Post The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Subscribe With Christmas just one week away, RealtyTrac has released a list of the nicest and naughtiest U.S. housing markets based on a number of factors, including foreclosure rate, crime ratings, unemployment rate, school scores, housing affordability, and sex offenders per capita.RealtyTrac found the “nicest” housing market in the U.S. to be Cary, North Carolina, and the “naughtiest” to be Milwaukee, Wisconsin, based on those metrics.Cary was chosen as the nicest housing market based on the city’s low unemployment by county rate (4.40 percent), sex offender per capita rate (0.021 percent, or an average of 2.12 sex offenders for every 10,000 people), low foreclosure inventory (0.17 percent, or 17 foreclosures for every 1,000 housing units), total crime index (20.1 percent, for a crime rating of A), average elementary school score for 2013 (1.0979) and home affordability, or the percentage of median income to buy median-priced homes (21.38 percent).In all, there were 55 cities with a population of 100,000 or more that were designated as nice by RealtyTrac. All 55 were below the national average in the categories of unemployment, sex offenders, and foreclosures, and above the national average for elementary school scores. The unemployment average for the 55 cities was 4.6 percent, well below the national rate of 5.8 percent; the cities had a combined foreclosure rate of 24 for every 1,000 housing units and four sex offenders for every 10,000 people. The combined school score for the nice cities was twice the national average.All 55 nice cities had a crime rating of B or above, and 20 of them had a crime rating of A, according to RealtyTrac. The combined crime rate of the 55 nice cities was about one-third of the national average.Six of the top 10 nice housing markets were located in Texas. After Cary, North Carolina, the top 10 is as follows: second, Fairfax, Virginia; third, Pearland, Texas; fourth, Irvine, California; fifth, Frisco, Texas; sixth, Sugar Land, Texas; seventh, Richardson, Texas; eight, Katy, Texas; ninth, College Station, Texas; 10th, Fremont, California.In contrast, RealtyTrac designated 20 housing markets as “naughty” based on the same factors. Naughty cities all had unemployment, sex offender, and foreclosure inventory rates higher than the national average. School scores in naughty cities were below the national average, and all 20 cities had a crime rating of C or below.Combined, the 20 naughty cities had school scores nearly half the national average; crime rates nearly twice the national average; an average unemployment rate of 7.8 percent, two full percentage points higher than the national average; an average of 128 foreclosures for every 1,000 housing units; and an average of 27 sex offenders for every 10,000 people.The “naughtiest” housing market in the U.S. belonged to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Milwaukee had a sex offender per capita rate of 0.289 percent, an unemployment by county rate of 6.18 percent, a 1.13 percent foreclosure rate, a 0.12 average elementary school score, a crime grade of D, and a housing affordability rate of 22.18 percent, RealtyTrac reported.After Milwaukee, RealtyTrac’s top 10 naughty list is as follows: second, Detroit Michigan; third, Stockton, California; fourth, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; fifth, Fresno, California; sixth, Sacramento, California; seventh, Rockford, Illinois; eighth, Springfield, Massachusetts; ninth, Hartford, Connecticut; and 10th, Paterson, New Jersey. Related Articles in Featured, Market Studies, News The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago About Author: Brian Honea Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days agocenter_img Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Previous: DLS Executives Discuss Challenges Facing Servicing Industry on Internet Radio Show Next: Senators Ask FHFA to Revisit FHLBank Membership Requirements Tagged with: foreclosure rate Housing Market RealtyTrac Unemployment Rate Sign up for DS News Daily Share Save Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Is Rise in Forbearance Volume Cause for Concern? 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Brian Honea’s writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master’s degree from Amberton University in Garland. foreclosure rate Housing Market RealtyTrac Unemployment Rate 2014-12-18 Brian Honea December 18, 2014 949 Views last_img read more

Voucher program begins for Farmer’s Market

first_img Pike County Sheriff’s Office offering community child ID kits Book Nook to reopen The State Farmer’s Market Authority is now accepting on-line applications for the Senior Voucher Program (SFMNP).  The program provides a direct tie between production agriculture and nutrition by providing seniors the opportunity to buy fresh local produce directly from farmers.Grant Lyons, Pike County Extension coordinator, said the Pike County Extension Office is volunteering to assist with the online application process.“Completing an application is no guarantee that you will receive vouchers,” Lyons said. “Those who are interested in the assistance the Extension office can provide or just want more information about the Senior Voucher Program are encouraged to contact  Sheron Mitchell at the Extension office at 334-566-0985.  The office is located at 306 South Three Notch Street in Troy.” Skip Around the WebMd: Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch)Blood Sugar BlasterIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier LivingHave an Enlarged Prostate? Urologist Reveals: Do This Immediately (Watch)Healthier LivingWomen Only: Stretch This Muscle to Stop Bladder Leakage (Watch)Healthier LivingRemoving Moles & Skin Tags Has Never Been This EasyEssential HealthMost 10 Rarest Skins for FortniteTCGThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view your opt out options in Revcontent’s Privacy PolicyWant your content to appear on sites like this?Increase Your Engagement Now!Want to report this publisher’s content as misinformation?Submit a ReportGot it, thanks!Remove Content Link?Please choose a reason below:Fake NewsMisleadingNot InterestedOffensiveRepetitiveSubmitCancel Plans underway for historic Pike County celebration “The budget does not allow enough checks to satisfy everyone who wishes to receive them and is eligible,”he said. “Issuance is on a first come-first serve basis until all available funds are expended.”In order to be eligible to apply for the program,  a person must be 60 years of age or older on the day of the application and the household income must not exceed the specified amount for the number of people in the household.For a household of one, the monthly income must not exceed $1,606. For a household of two the income must not exceed, $2,163; for a household of three, $2,721; for a household of four, $3,279; for a household of five, $3,838; for a household of six, $4, 396.Both the age and income criteria must be met in order to receive SFMNP coupons. Lyons said the first goal of the program are to provide fresh, nutritious, unprepared, locally grown fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs from farmers markets and roadside stands to low-income seniors.“The program also seeks to increase domestic consumption of agricultural commodities by expanding or aiding in the expansion of farmers markets, roadside stands, and community supported agriculture programs,” Lyons said. “The voucher program goal include  developing  or aiding  in the development of new and additional farmers markets, roadside stands, and community supported agriculture programs.”Lyons said no person is “entitled” to SFMNP checks. Remember America’s heroes on Memorial Day Sponsored Content Voucher program begins for Farmer’s Market Email the author By Jaine Treadwell Latest Stories You Might Like UPDATED: Owners, police seek ‘black box’ in store burglary Editor’s note: updated at 3 p.m. Saturday with owners’ comments. While others have tried before, the burglars who broke into… read more Troy falls to No. 13 Clemson Print Article By Blood Sugar Blaster Published 3:00 am Saturday, January 31, 2015 Md: Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch) Those who are approved will receive their  vouchers by mail to be used at Farmers Market Authority (FMA) approved markets and roadside stands. The coupons/vouchers must be expended by November 15 of the calendar year in which they are received.The Senior FMNP is administered by the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, Farmers Market Authority Section to provide coupons to low-income seniors that are 60 years of age or older that can be used to purchase eligible foods (fruits, vegetables, honey, and fresh-cut herbs) from farmers that grow them and are selling them directly to you at local farmers markets and roadside stands.Applications may be completed and submitted on the Farmers Market Authority website as www.fma.alabama.gov.last_img read more

Federal authorities seize massive 221-pound shipment of cocaine at Southern California port

first_imgCustoms and Border Protection(LOS ANGELES) — Federal authorities seized two massive shipments of cocaine at the same California port of entry in late January. The total for the two shipments was 221 pounds — the largest at that port in 25 years, according to officials.The busts, which were announced on Friday, were both found aboard ships at Port Hueneme in Ventura County, about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles, coming from Central and South America. The first shipment, which was 204.2 pounds, was seized on Jan. 22 on a cargo ship from Ecuador.Six days later, the same authorities found a seven-bundle, 17.5-pound shipment of cocaine on a ship from Guatemala.Both deliveries were concealed beneath the floorboards of the ships.Customs and Border Protection, Home Security Investigations and Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized the drugs in a joint operation.“CBP plays a critical role in the effort to keep dangerous drugs from illegally entering the country. Specifically, by leveraging a comprehensive, multi-layered, intelligence driven, and threat-based approach to enhance the security of our seaports, we can diminish the effectiveness of transnational criminal organizations drug operations,” Carlos C. Martel, CBP director of Field Operations in Los Angeles, said in a statement. The seizures came just days after a joint drug bust between Australian and U.S. authorities on Jan. 11 resulted in a record 1.7 tons of methamphetamine being found at Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport.The location of the bust announced Friday is only about 90 minutes northwest of Long Beach seaport.That shipment included a record 3,810 pounds of meth, 55.9 pounds of cocaine and 11.5 pounds of heroin. Australian officials said the total street value of the haul was $1.29 billion.Officials said the seizure announced Friday was the largest bust at Port Hueneme “in the last quarter century.”No one has been arrested in the drug bust, according to CBP, but an investigation into the shipment is ongoing.CBP seizes an average of 5,863 pounds of narcotics every day, according to government statistics.CBP’s Office of Field Operations, which monitors 328 ports of entry, seized 62,331 pounds of cocaine for fiscal year 2017, the last year for which full statistics are available. Another 9,346 pounds of cocaine were seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Majority of veterans who died at Massachusetts health care facility had coronavirus

first_imgDerek Brumby/iStock(BOSTON) — The number of deaths at a Massachusetts health care facility for veterans has continued to rise amid the novel coronavirus crisis, with at least 21 residents reported dead as of Friday afternoon, state officials said.Fifteen of those veterans tested positive for COVID-19, according to Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders. The results for three residents were pending, while two tested negative and one person’s COVID-19 status was unknown.Through Thursday, there had been 18 deaths at the facility.The Soldier’s Home, a veteran’s center and hospital in the city of Holyoke, has been battling a growing number of coronavirus cases and allegations that multiple residents died without the government being informed.Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse said that he was alerted to “the gravity of the situation” last Saturday, when people associated with the home reached out to his office anonymously.Morse said he then contacted the Board of Health, but he did not hear back by Saturday and decided to call the home’s superintendent himself on Sunday.“I was shocked on the phone call when the superintendent let me know that there had been eight deaths between Wednesday and Sunday without any public notification, without any notification to my office and also just no notification to the state government that oversees the facility in the first place,” Morse said in a Facebook Live speech on Tuesday.At least 59 veteran residents have tested positive and 160 have tested negative as of Friday, according to Sudders. On Thursday, 23 residents had tested positive in addition to seven staffers. Testing is ongoing.“This is a critical health situation for our veterans, and the commonwealth will continue to make all resources available to the leadership of the Holyoke and Chelsea Soldiers’ Homes to contain the spread of the virus,” an Office of Health and Human Services spokesperson said in a statement.Morse said Wednesday the situation was “likely going to get worse before it gets better.”“Every decision needs to be based on, How do we save as many lives as possible? How do we stop the spread of this virus?” Morse said in a Facebook live speech.The Soldier’s Home Superintendent Bennett Walsh has been placed on paid administrative leave.Walsh did not respond to request for comment from ABC News.He did release a statement to MassLive defending his actions, saying he provided regular updates to state officials about the number of residents and staff who were tested and their results after a resident tested positive March 21.He also said that all family members were contacted and told that a resident tested positive.“Our focus then and always was on the veterans and their families,” Walsh said in his statement.Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday called for an investigation into the deaths.“We will get to the bottom of what happened,” the governor said.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Value for money

first_img Comments are closed. Value for moneyOn 27 Feb 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Avaluable learning experience or a jolly out of the office? How you viewconferences affects what you get out of them. But planning before hand can makeall the difference. By Caroline HornConferenceorganisers generally put enormous efforts into creating events that they hopeare informative, well-presented and innovative. But it is less easy for them topredict what kind of audience they will get on the day. Nodoubt, some delegates will be rapt with attention and keen to develop theirknowledge of online learning or complexity science – whatever the day promises.There will also be those who are less than keen, having been ordered to attend.And there will be some delegates in holiday mode, who view the day as awell-deserved break from the computer terminal and telephone.However,even for those people whose hearts sink at the mention of conferences orexhibitions, there are ways to ensure that such events provide something ofvalue. And, as conference organisers start to move away from the traditionalday-long format of hour-long sessions, the chances are that more people willstart to view conferences in a positive light, too.JeremyStarling, managing director of The Eventworks, says the globalisation ofbusiness and the swift development of technology mean conferences are becomingan increasingly important occasion. “Getting people together in a room is anincredible opportunity for businesses,” he says. While smaller meetings can,increasingly, be handled using technology such as videoconferencing or bye-mail, the ‘big event’ is an invaluable opportunity to bring togetherdifferent groups within a company, or to share expertise among a wideraudience.”Unfortunately,he adds, that opportunity is often wasted. “Most conferences are an appallingwaste of time,” he says. “They are ineffective and an outdated method ofcommunication. Most delegates don’t expect to get much from them other thanmeeting people, or a good session in the bar afterwards.”Manypeople attend conferences wanting to hear experts answer all their questionsabout new issues but, as Paul Kearns of Personnel Works points out, it can bedifficult for the conference organiser to meet these expectations. “The raisond’être of conferences is to pick up on a topic that is sexy – say, onlinelearning. It is a new area and people coming to listen want to hear the dos anddon’ts.“That’sfine as far as it goes, but it means that those organising the conference haveto get expert speakers, people who know a lot about it. And that’s where a lotof public conferences fall down, because sexy topics are the new topics andthere is not often a lot of expertise out there. It’s a Catch-22 situation.”Anotherspeaker comments, “I have sat through some conferences where 90 per cent hasbeen complete dross. The speakers have not told anyone anything new and havenot provided any insights.” Whena conference for blue-chip companies can cost around £100,000 that is anincredible waste of resources. “Maybethe conference industry has been peddling the same thing for too long and maybethe whole question of the role of conferences needs to be rethought,” hesuggests.So,while delegates need to work at getting the most from conference events, thereare many who agree that the conference itself needs to change if it is toprovide an effective opportunity for learning.Sowhy should you go? It can be important for delegates to do some homework beforesigning up for an event, says Kearns. “People need to be clear about theirexpectations – you’re not going to get all the answers quickly at a conference,but you might hear something useful. “Checkwho is going to speak beforehand. It’s better to attend three or four decentsessions than to go to lots just for the sake of it. If you’ve never heard ofthe people on the conference sheet, ask yourself why you’re going.”Sometimesit can be difficult to decide whether a conference is relevant to you by justlooking at the standard pre-publicity material and invitation information; atelephone call to the centre could help to clarify that.JaneLittlewood, sales and marketing manager for Hayley Conference Centres, adds,“We generally try to ensure that there are notes for people to read before theyarrive at the event. Delegates are also asked to fill in a pre-conferencequestionnaire on what they want out of the conference.”That,says Starling, helps delegates to get more from the day. “When you have theinformation before the conference, you can start to work at it and then developthose issues at the conference – rather than using the conference to introducethose issues.”Oncedelegates have decided, or been told, to go, they need to ask themselves abouttheir frame of mind en route to the event. “Are you going to learn, as a prisoner,or as a holidaymaker?” asks Richard Greaves, European manager of ImpactDevelopment Training Group. “Ifpeople can move away from ‘prisoner’ or ‘holidaymaker’ to ‘learner’, they’reheading in the right direction. If you come to a conference and you’re not inlearner mode, then you’re wasting your time.”Whenyou arriveThinkcarefully about which seminars are relevant to you and how much creditabilitythe speakers have, advises Greg Whitear of business training consultancy GregWhitear Associates. “Do the speakers have an academic background, or do theyhave grass-roots experience? You want to hear people who have worked in anenvironment similar to your own,” he says. TheEventworks’ Starling believes that delegates could do more to ensure the conferencewill fulfill their expectations, “Delegates should make sure they are includedin sessions that offer involvement – or they should get conference organisersto promise formats that offer some form of involvement. “Itis hard to learn something when you’re sitting in a chair and listening, evenwhen a speaker is interesting,” he explains.SarahChurchman, head of diversity at PricewaterhouseCoopers, agrees. “I shy awayfrom traditional conferences, but I’d be more interested if there were a lot ofworkshops involving discussions, feedback and working in small groups.”Whenspeaking at conferences, she has found that the question and answer sessions atthe end of seminars can be very telling. “Often speakers will dress up theirorganisations in fairy lights to make them sound more interesting. But thequestions at the end, if they are used properly, can show the company in a morerealistic light,” Churchman says.NetworkingNetworkingwith people in the audience is the most important part of the day, says Kearns.“I try to be provocative in my talks and I judge how well it has gone by howmany people ask for my business card afterwards.” Butwhile delegates can use the coffee breaks and lunchtime for networking, hefeels the conference format doesn’t really build in enough networking time.Noteveryone, however, finds it easy to start chatting to complete strangers, saysGreaves. “There are people who can go to a conference and within five minuteshave become firm friends with another 10 people. Others find it harder. Ifanything is going to happen, it will happen in the social time, coffee andlunch, or the bar session at the end.” Forthose who do find networking difficult, Whitear advises, “Try to go up tosomeone and just look at their name badge, and they will generally introducethemselves.”Anddo not ignore the fact that in-house conferences can be a good opportunity tofocus on your career. As Starling says, “If it is a company conference and theleaders are there, that is often the only time you will get to talk to them.Use that time and say what you thought about the event, engage them, find outwhat is their vision of the business.”Headds, “A lot of executives worry that they are not approachable and wonderwhether people will come and ask questions. You don’t have to ask in front of300 people – find a quiet time after the sessions. And always ask, ‘What’s init for me?’ Are your ideas valued? Find out where the business is going, whatthey want you to contribute, and what they are going to do to help your career.”Networkingcan also take place after the conference, says Churchman. “You can phone peopleand talk about the information given at the conference. I have done that and Ihave always been surprised at how many people have called me to follow uppoints I have raised during talks I’ve given.”Afterthe eventManypeople are familiar with the scenario of leaving a conference with a bag fullof A4 diagrams, texts of speeches and autocue notes, says Greaves. “People takethat bag to the office and never open it again.” Itis a point that Kearns focuses on after his seminars. “I always ask people,‘What are you going to do with this tomorrow?’ If you don’t think about that onthe day of the conference, you never will.”Starlingsays the best time to make an action plan is while still at the venue. “Isuggest that, while still at the conference venue, delegates take half an hourto sit down somewhere privately and ask, ‘What am I going to do differentlytomorrow as a result of this conference?’ “Makean action plan with four or five points and say, ‘I’ll make sure I do this andthis, and stop doing this and this’. We call it a reality session.”Delegatescan also pass on relevant electronic information to work colleagues, saysGreaves. “If it is the appropriate thing to do, we use a website with apassword that people in the conference or organisation could access, with keyslides and key ideas. If delegates have fallen asleep during the conference,they can still learn from their office! At any rate, people learn in differentways and speeds – for some people, it’s crucial to be able to go back.”Churchmanwill often forward information from the conference to her work colleagues, orperhaps organise an internal presentation. “These days, companies want to knowwhat other organisations are doing, and quite often that’s what a conferencecan give you,” she says.“Thereare also times when it is imperative that people in the office find out whatwas discussed at a conference, particularly if it was an in-house event todiscuss strategy,” says Greaves. “People who weren’t at the conference may wellbe concerned about their future, so it is essential that delegates walk awaywith a communications plan.”FeedbackIncreasingly,organisations are asking for feedback from delegates, says Littlewood. “Moreconference companies are working on a return on investment, so delegates willbe asked whether a conference met their expectations and about the venue.” Starlingadds, “It’s important to know that, if your company asks for feedback, they areinterested in what you have to say. If you go to a conference knowing they wantyour feedback, then give it. Listen and comment.”But,says Starling, if companies really want their delegates to get the most out ofconference events, they need to ensure “involvement, involvement, involvement”.Headds, “If you stand on a stage and lecture people, no matter how sexy yoursoftware, they might retain 90 per cent of what you’re saying, but if you wantthem to take ownership of the ideas, you have to get them committed and getthem working. You can’t sell it from the stage.”Perhapsthe whole idea of the traditional conferences needs to be reconsidered, saysKearns. “It is hard for anyone to take away all the information they are givenduring a two-day conference. Conferences work better when there are fewerspeakers, chunky sessions where you get to grips with the practicalities of theissues, and where the time is more limited,” he says.AtHayley Conference Centres, Littlewood says there is a discernible trend towardsmaking conferences more inclusive and less formal – from people wearinginformal clothing to “cabaret-style” seating, as well as demand for moresyndicated workshop rooms alongside the main conference area.Andas Starling adds, “Once you get people really working on areas like strategyand business plans, they can make a real contribution to the business, so atthe end of the day, your business is better. Don’t use the platform to tellpeople things – use it to drive your business forward.”10must do’s before you attend a conferenceBesure the conference is worth your while. If you don’t recognise any names amongthe speakers, are you sure you want to go?Preparefor the conference. Read any background notes and prepare questionsBookyourself on events that promise interaction – or persuade the conferenceorganiser to stage someUsethe question and answer session to find out what the speakers’ companies arereally likeBebrave – use coffee breaks to networkThinkabout what you have learned while you are still at the venueWritea four-point action plan on using your new-found skillsFollowup contacts after the eventEarnBrownie points by sharing what you have learned with colleagues, perhaps withan in-house presentationTellyour company whether the conference lived up to expectations – or they mightsend you to another one Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Award-winning strategies

first_imgWith its key achievements and award-winning success, what makes the Aegon UKoccupational health team stand out from the rest? Leadership, commitment andkey initiatives are a good starting point, by Nic Paton Too often health professionals, despite the best intentions, end up workingin grand isolation. But that is a luxury a good occupational health nurse – whowill often need to bring together many different strands of care – can illafford. Angela Dunlop, occupational health and safety adviser at Aegon UK, says:”You must have excellent communication skills and not be afraid of talkingto people. There are a lot of people out there with a lot of experience, in HRtoo, so don’t be afraid to use it.” Dunlop and her team know what they are talking about. In October the AegonUK occupational health department was shortlisted for the prestigious AonHealth Solutions Award for Managing Health at Work at the Personnel TodayAwards 2002, the only OH team to have been so. It has also won bronze in theScotland Health at Work awards, and is being considered for either a silver orgold award. The British Safety Council recently awarded Aegon a ‘sword of honour’ forits approach to health and safety, an award only given to 40 companiesworldwide each year. Aegon UK is the British subsidiary of Dutch insurer Aegon and the namebehind Scottish Equitable. It has assets of more than £43bn, making it one ofthe largest companies within its sector. Within the UK it employs some 4,500people. OH provision at the company has been available since 1998, provided througha contract with OH provider Corporate Health at a cost of £90,000 a year,including the cost of providing two full-time OH nurses. It is located withinthe HR department. Dunlop helped found the department and previously worked for OH companySalus, which provides occupational health provision for Lanarkshire HealthBoard. Initially the team only had Dunlop as a specialist OH practitioner, but inOctober it expanded to include another OHN, Janette Hoffmann. It iscomplemented by an OH support nurse, Joanne Cassidy, a health and safetyadviser Chris Clarke and overseen by Gareth Humphreys, group personnel manager.”The main challenge is that I am not sitting in an occupational healthdepartment, I am in personnel. So there is often tension around maintainingconfidentiality. It is about trying to get the right balance for the employeeand the employer,” says Dunlop. Having said that, relations with the management are ‘excellent’, she says.”The support we have had from Aegon UK’s senior management has been secondto none.” Focus on outcomes So, what is so special about Aegon UK? According to Dr John Cooper, head ofcorporate healthcare at Unilever, who judged the Personnel Today Aon Health SolutionsAward for Managing Health at Work, it is very much the fact that the departmentis not isolated. “The thing that stood out for me was that it is very much amulti-disciplinary effort. There was evidence of good leadership and it makesit work. It is one thing to have a good idea, but it will not work unless thereis leadership and commitment. “The team is also very business-oriented. They have made attempts tomeasure what they are doing. They are very much focused on outcomes,” hesays. Departmental initiatives include a monthly health promotion topic, forinstance on mental health awareness, family health or safe skin. A monthlystaff needs survey is also carried out, which has been central to formulatingthe department’s ongoing OH strategy. Alternative therapists are contracted in to offer osteopathy, reflexologyand aromatherapy, and have proved so popular that there are now waiting lists.Another element has been the implementation of an alcohol and substance misusepolicy. Staff benefits include private medical insurance, as well as permanenthealth insurance for those with long-term ill health. The company’s totalbenefits bill comes to £1.6m, an average cost of £408 per employee. Innovative rehabilitation But the main task facing the OH department has been to make it easier forlong-term absentees to return to work. Since 1998, 76 employers have used thedepartment’s innovative rehabilitation programme. Of these, 28 are now back atwork, 27 are receiving benefit from it and 21 are still off on long-term sickleave. This, says Aegon, represents a long-term absence figure of just 0.67 percent. Any employee who has been absent for four weeks or longer is automaticallyreferred to OH for an assessment. Medical, social or work-related factors areexplored in this assessment and ways of returning-to-work are discussed. Anindividual return-to-work programme is also designed. “Through liaison with the employee, their medical practitioners andtheir managers, action can be taken to ensure the employee’s health is notadversely affected by work,” explains Dunlop. Other elements of the programme include gradually building up the time anemployee can spend back at work and, where necessary, retraining them intoanother position. Both approaches have been found to be very effective inhelping employees who have been absent for a significant period of time. Staff will maintain regular contact with the OH department during anyrehabilitation programme, and progress reports are sent to the HR departmentand their GP. “A major contributory factor in the success of the programmeis regular communication with all relevant parties to work in partnership, aswell as the ability to adapt to changes when needed,” Dunlop said in thedepartment’s entry to the award. Absence figures overall have reduced to 4.3 days per employee per year, downfrom six days in 1998, with the added benefit of the company spending lessmoney on temporary staff to cover absences. Staff turnover is currently 12.32 per cent, significantly better than itsrivals in the sector, at 17-19 per cent. In the past year (from March 2001 toMarch 2002) the turnover rate fell from 14 per cent to the current 12 per cent.The company also points to improved productivity since the absence and turnoverrates fell, and improved morale. Success stories Dunlop is particularly proud of her success in turning around the long-termsickness absence rate at a nearby rival organisation, GRE, which was taken overby Aegon. After the takeover, Dunlop was called in to instigate a healthpromotion programme and suggested the company tackle long-term absence. “I met with employees and looked at why they were off sick and what wecould do to get them back to work. It had just not been managed properlybefore,” she says. A total of 90 per cent of the long-term absentees are now back at work andthe company’s executors have said they want to bring in their own nurse. Another key area of the department’s work is stress management. “We seea lot of stress cases but not all is work-related. Most employees live inEdinburgh, which is now really expensive, so many have financial worries too.This means there are various different kinds of stress,” says Dunlop. “There is the odd case of bullying and harassment, but no more thananywhere else. Because the average age of our employees is mostly late 20s toearly 30s, they tend to be quite a sporty bunch, so we do see a number ofmusculoskeletal injuries, pulled muscles and that sort of thing,” shesays. A health needs survey of staff in 2000 – conducted as part of thedepartment’s three-year health promotion strategy – found that two-thirds ofrespondents felt their life was very or quite stressful, with time pressures atwork and money worries the two most common problems. A third of people tookwork home with them, 64 per cent worked long hours to get through their workand 60 per cent felt they were always trying to catch up. More than half – 57 per cent – found getting enough physical exercise in atypical week difficult, but more than a third took exercise at least threetimes a week. One of the key achievements any good OH department must have is trust –trust among employees that you are going to maintain confidentiality and lookafter them, and trust from management that you are going to work successfullyfor the company. “You have to build up that trust. Employees must know you are not goingto go back and tell their employer everything. It is about getting the consent ofthe employee to divulge appropriate information. “You get a feel for what you can or cannot tell them, and a lot of thetime it will be something they have already told their line manageranyway,” explains Dunlop. Open communication A key facet of this approach is the department’s attitude to working withother health professionals and management. Dunlop says she tries very hard tokeep communication channels open as widely as possible and will often be foundto be working closely with local GPs, consultants, psychiatrists and the HRteam. “Our main advantage has been working within the company, not separateto it. We are the link people, we bring everyone together,” she says. As to the future, Dunlop envisages there will be more work on stress, as thecompany is working its way through a number of redundancies. Other initiativesinclude a review of the absence management programme and the alcohol and drugmisuse strategy. “We are going to have to look very closely at stress. I would like todo a survey specifically on stress during February,” she says, adding thatshe will then do another one in February 2004 to provide a comparison. And the close working relationship with health colleagues will alsocontinue. In some cases, consultants and GPs are now actively advising Aegonemployees to approach the OH department if they have an appropriate problem. “GPs and local health practitioners are more supportive of allowingtheir patients to return to work sooner than anticipated, safe in the knowledgethey will be closely monitored for adverse effects and appropriate action takenpromptly. This has the added advantage of an increase in the likelihood of thereturn to work being successful,” said Dunlop in her Awards entry. “So often you see good activities, but they are not able to show youany results,” explains Unilever’s Dr Cooper, summing up what made theAegon department stand out. “This was a more business-like approach to OH.It is very easy for a nurse or doctor to go to a manager and present a proposal.But too often that proposal is not measured or linked to outcomes.” The team– Angela Dunlop, occupational healthand safety adviser– Gareth Humphreys, group personnel manager– Joanne Cassidy, occupational health support nurse– Chris Clarke, health and safety adviser– Janette Hoffmann, occupational health and safety administrator Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Award-winning strategiesOn 2 Jan 2003 in Musculoskeletal disorders, Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Gobert, George, Giannis headline NBA All-Defensive teams

first_imgThe second team included Golden State’s Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, who earned his first selection. They were joined by Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard, Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid and New Orleans guard Jrue Holiday. The teams were selected by a panel of 100 writers and broadcasters. Boston’s Marcus Smart and Milwaukee’s Eric Bledsoe rounded out the first team that was announced Wednesday. Written by Gobert finished with 97 first-team points and 196 points, giving the Utah center his third straight first-team selection. George had 96 first-team votes and 195 points, followed by Antetokounmpo (94, 193). FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailNEW YORK (AP) — Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert and MVP finalists Giannis Antetokounmpo and Paul George were the leading vote-getters for the All-Defensive first team.center_img May 22, 2019 /Sports News – Local Gobert, George, Giannis headline NBA All-Defensive teams Associated Press Smart and Bledsoe both earned their first All-Defensive team selections. Tags: Giannis Antetokounmpo/NBA All-Defensive Team/Paul George/Rudy Gobert/Utah Jazzlast_img read more

Nationwide Girls Go CyberStart Competition Includes Indiana

first_imgFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb today announced the 2019 Girls Go CyberStart challenge, a skills-based competition designed to encourage girls to pursue cyber-based learning and career opportunities. Registration is now open. Indiana was one of 16 states to participate in the inaugural event hosted in 2018 by the SANS Institute. More than 6,500 girls participated, including more than 400 Hoosier high school students. This year, the program has expanded to 26 states, including a collegiate competition, and the organization provides free cybersecurity resources to interested schools.“Indiana is a proven cybersecurity leader and continues to grow its reputation as a national leader in technology,” Gov. Holcomb said. “We should encourage our young people to know and pursue tech-based skills to help develop critical thinking skills and find fulfilling careers in a high-wage, high-demand field.”The country faces a deep shortage in computer science and cyber-trained workers, although experts predict these to be some of the highest paying, in-demand jobs. Since 2010, cyber jobs have increased by more than 75 percent, outpacing the talent pool and resulting in more than 1 million unfilled cyber positions nationwide. In Indiana, an estimated 2,300 jobs are unfilled, according to the Cyberseek jobs tool.Girls Go CyberStart centers on a fun and thought-provoking game to inspire young women to test their aptitude in cyber skills. Female students in grades 9-12 can participate for free, either as individuals or as part of a school-based team. As part of theCyberStart challenge, participants will take on the roles of agents in the Cyber Protection Agency, where they will develop forensic and analytical skills and deploy them to sleuth through challenges and tackle various online cybercriminal gangs.As they work their way through the game, players will be challenged to solve puzzles and be introduced to a broad spectrum of cybersecurity disciplines, including forensics, open-source intelligence, cryptography and web application security.In 2018, a team from Park Tudor High School in Indianapolis took home the first-place finish from among nearly 400 Hoosier students who participated. For a quick look at some of the challenges, visit the CyberStart website.This year, college students can participate in a separate challenge called Cyber FastTrack, which allows students who excel in both the CyberStart Game and CyberStart Essentials (an online course that extends the learning of CyberStart Game) to be eligible to win $2.5 million in scholarships for advanced cybersecurity training and to be introduced to employers for internships and jobs in the field.High school girls may register for Girls Go CyberStart now through March 20, when the games begin. College students may register for Cyber FastTrack beginning on April 5 and will be able to start playing immediately. Participating students do not need prior cybersecurity knowledge or IT experience. All that is required is a computer and an Internet connection.More information may be found at girlsgocyberstart.org for Girls Go CyberStart and at cyber-fasttrack.org for Cyber FastTrack.last_img read more