Balfour Project Peace Advocacy Fellowship 2020-21

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The Balfour Project seeks an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on justice and equal rights. Acknowledging Britain’s continuing historical responsibilities, it works through popular education and advocacy to persuade the British Government to recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel and uphold equal rights.

Following a successful pilot last academic year, they have announced the Peace Advocacy Fellowship scheme for 2020-21, offering  ten scholarships for postgraduate students or final year undergraduates in the UK (each fellow receives a bursary of £700).

The fellowship provides knowledge and skills based workshops on a variety of topics, which are necessary for peace advocates. Each fellow will work on a research/advocacy project according to his/her interests and the organisation needs.

You can watch the Balfour Project Peace Advocacy Fellowship video, and enter the Call for Applicants via their website at https://balfourproject.org/APPLY


Applications are open  between 7 September and 9 October. Some interviews may be held between 14-18 September, with others to follow after 9 October. The fellows will be appointed on 16 October.

Workshops will take place throughout the academic year in coordination with the fellows.

Making the Parliamentary estate a COVID-19 secure workplace

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The House of Commons has produced a briefing for Members about the changes made to ensure that the parliamentary estate is a COVID-19 secure workplace.

Any staff who can work remotely should continue to do so, rather than returning to the estate,
or their constituency offices.

You can view the briefing here: https://intranet.parliament.uk/Documents/Members%20Pack_June%202020_V2.pdf

For more information, contact covid19secure@parliament.uk

Hotlines List Update – please make sure you are accessing the current list

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The Hotlines List was updated on 20 August 2020.

Please bookmark the list, and don’t download or print it.

We have received complaints that people are using out-of-date information, because they are either saving or printing out the list, instead of accessing the current version on the intranet.

Please go here to see the new information and the link to the list.

MP Staff: NFU photo competition – Win a Great British Food hamper

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The NFU are running a ‘love your countryside’ photo competition for parliamentary staffers where the winner will receive a Great British Food Hamper, which includes a bottle of English wine, a selection of cheeses, pies, truffles and fudge; the runner-up will also receive a hamper of delectable British goodies.

To enter, please send the following to nfulondon@nfu.org.uk using your parliamentary email address:

  •  A picture you have taken whilst exploring your local countryside;
  •  A short caption describing what the countryside means to you (no more than 100 words);
  • Your name;
  • The place you took the photo;
  • The name of the MP you work for.

Entries close at 5pm on Friday 28th August. The winners will be announced on Tuesday 1st September.

Regardless of whether you’re based in the big smoke or the sticks, there’s fantastic places on your doorstep to get out and visit.  For those of you who are based in London, this might be the excuse you needed to explore the beautiful sights of Bushy Park, the Walthamstow Marshes or the WWT London Wetland Centre- if you require any further inspiration, please do reach out.

We look forward to receiving your entries and hope you enjoy exploring your local beauty spots.

Should you have any questions regarding the competition, or concerns relating to food and farming, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Click here for terms and conditions.

Facebook scam warning

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It’s been brought to our attention that several MPs have received a message in their Facebook notifications, saying that their page has been reported and asking them to click on a link to ‘repair’ their page.

DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK!

This is a known scam and could result in malware being downloaded to your computer and could compromise the Parliamentary network.

If you have already clicked the link, please notify PDS immediately.  You should also report it to Facebook, and you can find the email address in our hotlines list.

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Banner – Equipment for returning to the workplace

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Our office supplier, Banner, has published a catalogue of equipment to allow MPs and staff to return to the workplace safely, including:

  • preparing the building
  • equipping the workforce
  • controlling access to sites
  • implementing a social distancing plan
  • reducing virus transfer

You can view the catalogue here: https://www.easyflip.co.uk/BannerReturntotheWorkplace/

Daily Update 31/07/2020

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The total deaths as a result of Coronavirus now stand at 46,119, an increase of 120 as of today. 

According to the ONS, daily Coronavirus cases in England have risen from 3,200 last week to 4,200. These findings are based on tests of households in England, excluding care homes and hospitals. The ONS estimates that daily cases are significantly higher than those reported by the Department of Health and Social Care because the ONS’ data includes people without symptoms. 

People that have been asked to shield across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland will no longer be required to isolate from today. From Saturday those shielding will no longer receive food packages or medicine deliveries from the government. 

Daily Update 30/07/2020

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The total deaths as a result of Coronavirus now stands at 45,961, an increase of 83 as of today. 

According to the ONS the UK has recorded the highest level of excess deaths amongst European countries with 6.9% more excess deaths in the country as a whole and 7.5% more in England. Spain and Belgium are second and third with 6.7% and 3.9% respectively. 

The required isolation period for people that have tested positive for Coronavirus will increase from 7 to 10 days. This announcement comes after the Prime Minister warned yesterday of signs of a second wave of Coronavirus across Europe. 

Britain has also re-imposed a 14-day quarantine period on people arriving from Spain. In an Interview with Sky news Matt Hancock said that “I am worried about a second wave. I think you can see a second wave starting to roll across Europe, and we’ve got to do everything we can to prevent it from reaching these shores, and to tackle it.”

Daily Update 28/07/2020

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The total deaths as a result of Coronavirus now stands at 45.874, an increase of 119 as of today. 

The National Institute for Economics and Social Research has published a study which shows that UK unemployment could rise to 10% when the government ends the furlough scheme. According to NIESR’s research, many of the jobs that will be lost if the government were to end the Furlough scheme in November could be protected if the scheme were to continue until next year. 

The National Food Strategy has drawn attention to the connection between poor diet and food poverty in a recent report. In the report the agency state that “one of the miserable legacies of Covid-19 is likely to be a dramatic increase in unemployment and poverty and therefore hunger.” NFS suggest that in order to combat the harmful effects of Coronavirus fuelled food poverty more people should be made eligible for free school meals. Currently 1.5 million children are entitled to free school meals, the agency suggests increasing that number to 2.8 million. According to the study on 1% of packed lunches have meet nutritional standards. 

Daily Update 27/07/2020

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The total deaths as a result of Coronavirus now stands at 45,756, an increase of 7 as of today. 

Surges in the number of infections across Europe have forced countries to implement stricter restrictions on travellers. On Saturday the UK government announced that Britons on holiday in Spain would be required to isolate for two-weeks upon their return. France has also imposed similar restrictions on visitors from Spain. 

Online junk food ads face a total UK ban in an effort by the government to tackle obesity. Restrictions will require large restaurants or chains with more than 250 staff employees to put calorie labels on their food items. There will also be restrictions on ‘by-one-get-one-free’ deals and other discounts on junk food.