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Cubs camp outside Cameron's house

Monday, August 8, 2011

children meeting guards in front of 10 Downing StreetA group of Beaver and Cub Scouts pitched up their tents outside the Prime Minister's house and bedded down for the night, it has been revealed.

The youngsters camped outside 10 Downing Street to raise money for children's health charity Sparks - playing games and cooking meals on David Cameron's lawn.

The 15 boys and girls aged between six and eight got their hands on a special badge after taking part in the charity fundraising expedition, a first night away from home for some of them.

The badge features 10 Downing Street's famous front door, which they got to open and look inside.

The youngsters are members of the Broomwood Beaver Colony of the 12th/14th Battersea Westside Scout Group, from south London.

Assistant leader Fiona Williams said: "This is the first time I have been on a sleepover as a leader with the colony."

Teenagers 'addicted' to smartphones

Friday, August 5, 2011

It goes without saying that most of us would be lost without our iPhone or BlackBerry but now there is evidence to suggest we are becoming increasingly "addicted" to our smartphones and it is affecting how we behave.

smart phoneA study by Ofcom reveals that more than a third of adults and the majority of teenagers classify themselves as highly addicted to their smartphone, whether it be an iPhone, BlackBerry or Android.

The notion that social media and young people is a match made in heaven is seemingly confirmed by the revelation that teenagers tend to use their smartphone to access social network sites, listen to music and play games, while adults tend to use them for email correspondence and general access to the internet.

Of the teenage smartphone users polled, 27% admitted they had used their phone in a venue such as a cinema or theatre where they had been asked to switch it off, compared to 17% of regular mobile phone users.

Meanwhile, 60% of smartphone users aged 12 to 15-years-old said they had a high level of addiction, compared to 33% of those with a regular mobile phone.

Think-tank call over parenting

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Parents have been urged to spend more time with their children and make sure they follow simple rules in a bid to aid their development.

class roomThe think-tank report said parents should follow a five-step programme every day in the same way that people are urged to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables on a daily basis.

The people behind the CentreForum report said that the steps would remind parents to do things with their children each day to boost their development.

Parents are urged to read to their child for 15 minutes; play with their child for 10 minutes; talk to their child with the TV turned off for 20 minutes; be positive and offer praise about things; and provide a healthy diet.

The report claimed that taking action earlier in a child's life has a greater impact than later efforts when they have started their school education.

Its author, Chris Paterson, said that quality parenting is crucial in influencing how a child develops socially and intellectually.

The think-tank urged ministers to support a national campaign promoting the five easy-to-remember steps for parents.

Texts 'as valued as phone calls'

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Young people are three times more likely to value texting over making and receiving calls on their smartphones, and overall, all age groups now rate texting as highly as calls, a survey has revealed.

Mobile phoneAccording to the poll of more than 2,000 people, 40% of people aged between 18 and 24 said texting is the most valuable function on their mobile, compared to 12% who said making and receiving calls.

Around 82% of those polled said that texting is the most popular way of getting a message to a friend or relative on a smartphone.

The poll, which was carried out by YouGov on behalf of Firstsource Solutions, indicated that 27% think making and receiving calls is the most important function. Women value texting more than calls, with 32% saying it is the most important function.

Despite all the latest functions available on smartphones, it would appear that people still value more traditional functions like texting, making and receiving calls.

Apps, however, are becoming increasingly more popular and are now more valued than the ability to use email on smartphones.

One in seven, or 14%, now value apps as the most important function on their smartphone, which makes it the third most valued function.

Fifth of children 'bullied online'

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A study has revealed that one in five young people aged between 11 and 19 have been the target of bullying over the internet.

The study of almost 500 people, which was carried out by researchers at Anglia Ruskin University, revealed that girls are more affected by cyber-bullying than boys.

Young person on computerAlmost a fifth overall (18.4%) admitted they had been subjected to cyber-bullying, with 22% of the 273 girls questioned saying so, and 13.5% of the 200 boys quizzed admitting to being bullied via the internet.

Meanwhile, two-thirds (66%) of 312 young people questioned said they had witnessed cyber-bullying or know someone who has been a victim.

Research leader Steven Walker said: "Many of the respondents in our study thought that cyber-bullies do not actually think they are bullying.

"Others thought cyber-bullies are motivated by a lack of confidence and a desire for control, perhaps because they are too cowardly to bully face-to-face."

If you have experienced online bullying you can get help and advice from BullyingUK.
They are a part of  Family Lives, a national charity providing help and support in all aspects of family life. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Call 0808 800 2222, email, or live chat with a trained support worker.