Telecare’s monthly news roundup returns for June 2020. As coronavirus continues to dominate the news, we’ll be bringing you some of the other stories you might have missed this month. From the footballer who prompted a government U-turn to a look back at the remarkable life of Dame Vera Lynn, let’s dive in.
UK Breaks Coal-Free Record
One of the few good things to come out of the coronavirus crisis is a significant reduction in fossil fuel usage worldwide. Here in the UK, we went more than two months without using any coal whatsoever. This is the longest coal-free period we’ve seen since the Industrial Revolution! As recently as 2016, coal provided around 25% of the power in the UK grid. However, for 67 days from 9th April, the UK generated no coal-powered electricity. Coal is a fossil fuel, which can be very harmful to the environment. As a result, coal power has been on a sharp decline for some time. The government aims to phase out coal completely by 2024.
Footballer Prompts Government U-Turn
Marcus Rashford, who plays football for Manchester United, recently launched a campaign to support vulnerable children in the UK. According to 2019 statistics, more than 15% of school pupils across the country rely on free school meals. When schools closed due to Covid-19, the government introduced a voucher scheme to ensure vulnerable children would not go hungry. However, the school year is quickly drawing to a close. The government was therefore proposing to end the scheme as the summer holidays began. Rashford, who depended on free school meals himself as a child, wrote an open letter to the government asking them to reconsider. After huge media attention and pressure from all sides (including some of his own MPs) Boris Johnson announced the extension of the scheme.
Dame Vera Lynn Dies Aged 103
On 18th June 2020, the Forces’ Sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn sadly passed away. She had recently celebrated her 103rd birthday. Born in 1917, Dame Vera began performing at the age of seven and dedicated her life to her music. Her iconic wartime anthem ‘We’ll Meet Again’ was a symbol of hope for a generation of soldiers during World War Two. In recent months, it has taken on a whole new significance. On VE Day 2020, at the height of lockdown, Katherine Jenkins led the UK in a poignant nationwide singalong of ‘We’ll Meet Again’. As well as her glittering music career, Dame Vera Lynn also did prolific charity work. She gave her name to a children’s cerebral palsy charity. Katherine Jenkins said that Dame Vera’s voice, “brought comfort to millions in their darkest hours.”
Health Benefits of Volunteering
We all know that volunteering is a great way to help the community, but did you know that it could also be good for your health? A recent study from Harvard University suggests that adults over 50 who regularly volunteer for charitable causes have a reduced risk of mortality. What’s more, they were on average more physically active and had more optimistic outlooks. They also tend to develop fewer physical limitations than their non-volunteering counterparts.