Physical activity is a key part of ensuring we stay healthy. Achieving sufficient levels of activity can help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases (such as heart disease and Type 2 diabetes) and help to prolong our activity into older life.
In May 2020, in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, protests swept across America and extended to the UK along with many other nations. Perhaps galvanised by the sheer brutality of George Floyd’s death, captured on film for all to witness; perhaps compounded by the collective psychological impact of Covid-19, a time when shared commitment to giving our all to protect life was seemingly at the heart of global consciousness and yet people of Black and ethnic minority backgrounds remained far more likely to die from it; George Floyd was the latest in a long line of Black men and women to die at the hands of those who should be there to protect them. His death sparked a response of collective action in America, not seen since the civil rights era. Under the mantra of ‘Black Lives Matter’, UK demonstrations took place in more than 150 towns and cities. From London to Hull, Manchester to Cardiff, Glasgow to Birmingham, Bristol to Sheffield, and Belfast to Bangor, anti-racism protestors united to demand radical change. Whilst demonstrating against police brutality and racism in America, protestors in the UK also emphasised how these same issues of anti-Black racism play out in the UK too, pointing to deaths including those of Rashan Charles, Sheku Bayoh, Mark Duggan, and Dalian Atkinson. All these men died during attempts by UK police to either apprehend or restrain them, or whilst in police custody. Protestors also highlighted the death of Belly Mujinga who lost her life to Covid-19 after reportedly having been spat at while working at Victoria Station. Her death offering just one poignant reminder of a significant disparity between racial groups in the UK which sees members of Black and Minority Ethnic communities more vulnerable to dying from Covid-19.
The Covid-19 pandemic and related social and economic crises have prompted calls for governments to catalyse a green recovery. This blog aims to complement these proposals, drawing on a recent article written with Aidan While about the differential capacity to act on low carbon goals across people and places.
The Sheffield Institute for Policy Studies (SIPS) is delighted to have hosted its 4th Annual Postgraduate Research Poster Competition. The Competition is open to postgraduate students at all levels, and within all disciplines, across Sheffield Hallam University. The event was organised by a staff/student team including Dr Jill Dickinson, Benjamin Archer, Ruth Squire, Tracey Holland, Elouise Hearnshaw, Katrina Fleming and Sophie Negus.
Since the start of the Covid-19 crisis, there has been a strong wave of public support for key workers and this has included teachers; for example, they are explicitly mentioned on the front page of the clap for our carers website. However there are widely differing views about the crucial role of schools and teachers in enabling the economy to begin to return to something like normal. On one side the right wing press - and the Education Secretary - cleverly placed this as a call to the 'duty' of teachers, positioning 'hero' teachers in opposition to the teacher unions. On the other, many parents are concerned about the safety of schools for their children. Other UK nations - not to mention some English LAs - take the view that it is unsafe to open schools so soon, as we can see. Meanwhile, the Children's Commissioner argues that disadvantaged children need to return to school quickly.
Universities have proved their worth in the COVID-19 crisis, responding at speed not simply to their own students and research partners’ changed demands, but to the communities and the national effort. But there is a clear sense that the skies will darken once the immediate crisis abates. The concerns include a precipitous fall in international students and constrained local mobility, student retention and progression to university, and the impact of a prolonged economic recession on research and development budgets. These concerns led Universities UK – the umbrella body for the country’s 137 universities, of which I am a Board member, to develop a proposal to government for a systematic programme of support.
The social, economic and environmental impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have led to the UK Government issuing instructions for members of the public to 'stay at home' with limited exceptions for shopping, exercise, medical need, and essential travel for work purposes. These directions are supported by Regulations that restrict the operation of public meeting places (or Third Places) including restaurants, cafes, bars, cinemas and gyms. The guidelines for entering a public space, and the maintenance of a 2 metres distance from other individuals not of the same household, pose fresh questions about blurred spatial boundaries.
Dr Emma Bimpson and Dr Kesia Reeve discuss the unique and profound challenges that COVID-19 is likely to pose to mothers experiencing homelessness.
Last year we completed a research study exploring the experiences of homeless mothers for the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) and Sheffield Hallam University. Now that we are all adjusting to a life spent entirely at ‘home’ we have had cause to think about the mothers who participated in that research. It is difficult to imagine what the domestic circumstances described by those women – in the lead up to their homelessness and then afterwards – would look like in the context of COVID-19.
There are nearly seven million 16-24 years olds in the UK; around 1 in 10 of the national population.
The scale of government responses across much of the world to the Covid-19 pandemic have been unprecedented in peacetime. Extensive business and employee support schemes (such as furloughing) have prevented an economic downturn turning into a huge crisis of mass unemployment and rapidly increasing poverty.
With ‘lockdown’ firmly in place, no-one can be in doubt about Government rules. However, only recently the BBC News reported anti-social behaviour being on the increase. There will be those who always misbehave, however, daily I see groups of, I'm sure, 'normally law-abiding citizens' gathered together, playing, or simply enjoying the sunshine. This is particularly concerning given the volume of media reminders.