Culture Equality

Football fans doing good

There can be few more relevant or powerful images than the one of Dave Kelly, an Evertonian to the core, holding a banner representing both Merseyside clubs while standing on the freezing concrete of Sir Matt Busby Way behind a trolley filled with donated items for a foodbank set up by Manchester United supporters.

It has been part of Kelly’s average weekend routine for three years now, operating out of Goodison Park on behalf of Everton’s Supporters Trust, and depending on his team’s schedule sometimes from one of the three collection points around Anfield where he works with Ian Byrne, who coordinates collections on behalf of Spirit of Shankly.


Plastic-busting fungi

According to the first-ever State of the World’s Fungi report, Scientists at London’s Kew Botanical Gardens reported that these organisms have the potential to break down waste plastic – an important advance in a world where momentum is building to reverse the toxic tide of plastic that is killing marine life and polluting the ocean.

Every year, at least eight million metric tonnes of plastic end up in the sea, sometimes decomposing into tiny microplastics that make their way into our food chain.

Senior Kew Gardens Scientist Ilia Leitch, said that other fungi and microorganisms are also being explored for their potential to degenerate different types of plastic, explaining that “by understanding how the fungi break down these bonds and what the optimal conditions are, you can then increase the speed at which they do it.”

In the meantime, the Kew Gardens report showcases the kind of pioneering thought that will be at the heart of the fourth UN Environment Assembly next March, on “innovative solutions for environmental challenges and sustainable consumption and production.”

Culture Equality

Twinning Project

A new initiative will be launched on Wednesday which pairs professional football clubs with prisons in an attempt to prevent reoffending.

The Twinning Project will aim to tackle the high rate of reoffending by using football to better prepare prisoners for release, find employment and reduce reoffending.

The initiative has the backing of the government, FA, Premier League and EFL, as well as the PFA and LMA.


AI for social good

Google has announced a new initiative, AI for Social Good, which will aim to drive the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) to address societal issues.

In a joint statement, Google AI senior VP Jeff Dean and Google VP Jacquelline Fuller noted that, in recent years, Google has been adopting AI for forecasting floods, protecting whales and predicting famine.


Innovation agency grants £865k to mobility project

Innovate UK has awarded more than three-quarters of a million pounds toward the development of an artificial intelligence platform that could improve care for people with mobility issues.

A consortium led by Cambridge Bio-Augmentation Systems (CBAS) is developing a machine learning system that analyses the daily movements of patients with orthoses and those at risk of falls.

Culture Equality

Street and Arrow

Street & Arrow dishes up tasty modern street food. However this social enterprise does more than just good grub, it’s also serving up second chances for its employees.

Street & Arrow hires people with convictions for twelve month blocks. During that time workers are paired with a mentor who can help them master everything from basic employment skills like turning up to work on time through to debt management and relationship issues.


Social entrepreneur helps the deaf community

Mandlakazi’s journey only started when he realised that his aunt, who is hard of hearing, was in danger.

Even though his aunt can lip-read, he became worried about her safety in highly congested or noisy areas.

As his aunt can’t hear alarms or other potentially life-saving sounds, he thought of a solution to help her and others in a similar situation.

Mandlakazi founded Senso, a startup SME, and created a wrist armband to help people with hearing impediments react to life-threatening situations in time.


Pop-up classroom to teach girls to code

Diversifying the white male dominated tech industry is quite the task, especially outside major cities. But there are two kickass Australian women who’ve found neon-lit ways to start working on this, especially in regional areas.

Melbourne-based tech education startup Code Like a Girl has launched a mobile, pop-up classroom with the aim to provide coding workshops to young women, and diversify the tech industry in the long run.

Planet Wellbeing

5 firms tackling the biggest global issues

Faster trains. Cleaner air. Fresher food. Engineering firms are tackling some of the world’s biggest problems. 

Culture Equality

Supporting those with mental health issues

Double Click, based in Shotton, is a service which used to be run by Flintshire Council to provide employment and training opportunities.

However, for the last two years it has been operating as an independent company and has turned a small profit.

Its success comes despite its base being targetted during 2017 by criminals who broke in and caused damage to the building and computers.