Hero man battles injuries to walk 30 marathons in 30 days to help hospital

If you increased your walking during lockdown to escape the confines of your own four walls, then you’ll know even 30 minutes can leave you a little breathless.

So, the idea of 30 marathons in 30 days might mean you need a lie down just thinking of it.

Yet that’s exactly what one lone ranger did on a mission to fundraise by walking a staggering 786miles throughout November to raise cash for Royal Papworth Hospital.

The hospital, based in Cambridgeshire, is one of the world’s leading cardiothoracic hospitals and the UK’s main heart and lung transplant centre.

Speaking exclusively to Uspire, Andrew Forster told us about why he embarked on the incredible quest that tested him not only physically but also mentally.

Andrew said: “I took on the challenge because I was working for the hospital during COVID-19 and saw how hard everyone was working so I just wanted to give back.

“I myself moved into hospital accommodation for three months to make sure I could be on call 24/7 to take delivery of PPE and to make sure the wards were fully stocked.

“Also, I wanted to do it because the hospital gave me a chance of employment years ago when I was struggling to find work and I wasn’t in a great place myself.”

While Andrew admits he is sporty and a keen walkaholic, he did reveal his fitness journey is one that did not come so easily and is something he has been working on over the years.

He explained: “Before I started working at the hospital, I was 18st. Yet I got myself together and decided to lose some weight. I’ve become very sporty and have not been able to sit still since.

“Before the marathons, I walked roughly eight to ten miles a day anyway either at work or outside of work, so I didn’t really do too much training before.

“Though unlike celebrities who have teams of people around them for these charity challenges they do, I had no one to help me so I didn’t really have a training programme.”

Despite not having a rigorous training programme or a hype team around to motivate him, Andrew decided he would still do the challenge with his abilities and leave the rest to fate.

“I constantly had injuries throughout the challenge, but surprisingly the worst part was the sheer exhaustion.”

Andrew Forster

However, walking that many miles over such an intense timeframe does not come without its problems and Andrew faced multiple complications along the way.

He told us: “I constantly had injuries and niggles throughout the challenge; my feet, ankles, shins, knees, hips, but surprisingly the worst part was the sheer exhaustion.

“I was averaging only 4hours and 18minutes sleep a night for the month.”

Andrew continued: “I’m a single man and I’m used to being in my own company, so that wasn’t too much of an issue, but it would have been easier if I had a team around me.

“That said, my friends were great at sending me supportive messages throughout the challenge. I also had a guard of honour when I reached my last steps of the mission when I arrived at the hospital on day 30, which was a really nice way to end.”

Following his remarkable feat, clocking up 1,702,037 steps and amassing over £6,000 in donations, Andrew is now recovering at home just in time for Christmas.

He added: “I burned roughly 7,000 calories a day. I’m resting now and craving homemade food, after a month of eating tinned food, packet food and microwave meals.”

All of the money Andrew raised will now go straight to the hospital’s charity where they bridge the gap between NHS funding and the reality of providing world-leading care.

In particular, they help patients and their families by improving the hospital environment; providing state-of-the-art and additional equipment as required; developing new ways of treating cardiothoracic diseases; supporting staff; and expanding research capabilities.

It’s not too late to donate, simply click here: Andrew Forster.

Christmas films with a twist! Use classic flicks as home-schooling tool

Any home-schoolers out there counting down the days until end of term? Well, you might not have to any longer as we’ve got the perfect way to spend the final week.

If you thought Elf and The Snowman were just entertainment, then think again.

These festive flicks can provide crucial education by helping kids retain knowledge and understand the world they live in, in a more relatable way than standard text books.

Not sure how? Well, former primary school teacher Laura Steele has done the hard work for you by creating education resources to turn passive screen-time into active learning.

Laura, who now works for lesson plan experts PlanBee, has crafted thought-provoking exercises for young people to engage with long after the movie has stopped playing.

To check out her tips, take a peek below.

Father Christmas

Based on the book by Raymond Briggs, this short-animated film takes a look at what Father Christmas does on the other 364 days of the year that he’s not delivered gifts.

1) Ask your child to choose one of the destinations Santa visits on his holidays and put themselves into his shoes (or boots!) and write a postcard home, explaining everything he got up to.

2) Father Christmas doesn’t enjoy all the visits he makes. Encourage your child to write him a letter, suggesting where he should go next year, and why he might like it better than his holiday this year.

3) Father Christmas spends time organising presents for us, but what present would he like to receive? Ask your youngster to draw a picture of the gift they would get for him and write a short explanation of their choice.

Download FREE Father Christmas activity sheets here

The Snowman

Also based on a Raymond Briggs book, in this film a young boy’s snowman magically comes to life and takes him on an adventure to meet Father Christmas.

1) The boy and the Snowman never speak to each other, but if they did, what would they say? Children could write an imagined conversation between them, or even act it out.

2) We see the boy building the Snowman step-by-step. Encourage your child to draw pictures and write instructions for each of the different stages of construction. Ask them to design their own snowman! Ask them to label what they would use for his eyes, nose, mouth, buttons and so on.

3) If you watch the film carefully, you will see many animals. Can your child spot them? As an extra challenge, they could choose an animal to research and make a poster or write a report on it.

Download FREE Snowman activity sheets here

Elf

Elf tells the tale of Buddy, a human who has been raised by elves at the North Pole. On discovering that he is not actually an elf, Buddy travels to New York in search of his father.

1) Buddy is given a snow globe of New York City. Children could design and draw their own snow globe, showing where they live.

2) Challenge them to describe and draw the film’s funniest, happiest and saddest moments.

Download FREE Elf activity sheets here

The Grinch

Based on the 1957 book by Dr Seuss, a creature named The Grinch hates Christmas and he devises a wicked plan to ruin the festive season for the town of Whoville.

1) Children could write a character description of The Grinch, detailing his appearance, his personality, what he does, and how he changes by the end of the film.

2) Ask children to draw a picture of, or describe, Whoville at Christmas. Would they like to live there? Can they explain why?

3) Ask your child to step into The Grinch’s shoes and describe or act out their thoughts about Christmas both at the beginning of the film, and then at the end, and discuss how they differ.

Download FREE Grinch activity sheets here

The Polar Express

A young boy who is beginning to lose his belief in Santa heads to the North Pole and has amazing adventures, makes new friends, and regains his belief in the magic of Christmas.

1) Ask your child to design a ticket for the Polar Express. Who would they give it to, and why? Which two letters do they think The Conductor would cut out on it, and why? Which full word would be created on re-boarding the train?

2) In the film, the symbol of Christmas spirit for the boy is the bell he receives from ‘Mr C’. Ask children to draw and explain what represents the Christmas spirit for them.

3) At one point, the train passes the Northern Lights. Encourage children to research exactly what this phenomenon is. They could also create their own artwork depicting the scene.

Download FREE Polar Express activity sheets here

Klaus

A young postman who is not very good at his job is sent to serve an unwelcoming, frozen town in the far North. When he meets an old toy maker, Klaus, and together they begin delivering presents to the children of the town, things begin to change…

1) Ask children to imagine that they are one of the kids living in Smeerensburg. Challenge them to write a letter to Klaus, telling him how they have been good, what gift they would like and why.

2) In the film, Klaus has carved alcoves into a tree trunk for a family of figurines. Ask children to draw or make their own version of this, complete with everyone that is special to them.

3) Klaus says: ‘A true selfless act always sparks another’. Ask children to name the selfless acts in the film. Have they made any selfless acts themselves in the past? Are there any that they could make in the future?

Download FREE Klaus activity sheets here

Arthur Christmas (2011)

Santa’s rather accident-prone son, Arthur, sets out on a mission to deliver a present that was left at the North Pole on Christmas Eve.

1) Encourage children to draw and write a short description of each member of Santa’s family: Santa himself, Mrs Santa, GrandSanta, Steve and, of course, Arthur. What characteristics do they each have? How are they similar? How are they different?

2) Arthur is particularly fond of his slippers. Unfortunately, he loses them during his adventure. Can your child design a new pair for him?

3) Challenge your children to design and make their own version of ‘Christmas: The Board Game’. What will the board look like, what’s the aim of the game and how is it played? Will they need any extra items such as counters or question cards?

Download FREE Arthur Christmas activity sheets here

[Credit: Shutterstock]

In addition to these tips and tricks, you can also set various other fun challenges to any film by turning the sound off and asking your child to describe what is happening onscreen.

Ask children to imagine that they are helping a blind person experience the film, so they need to use as much detail as possible for each scene.

You can also challenge your child to write a review of the film, including how many stars out of five would they give it; what was the best bit; who was their favourite character; or what about recording a vlog review giving their opinion to share online with friends and family?

Sounds like Pictionary just got trumped!

The power of Mother Nature: Why green space is vital to wellbeing

Not only is the great outdoors good for keeping us physically fit, it is also proven to boost mood, reduce stress, restore attention capacity, and combat mental fatigue.

Yet while many of us are privileged to soak up the sunshine in gardens or at the local park, there are those who don’t live nearby to crucial outdoor areas and suffer as a result.

However, one woman is spearheading a movement that will enable everyone in society to feel the grass between their toes and meander amongst the trees.

[Credit: Mike Benna / Unsplash]

Meet Sophie Howe, the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, who is embodying the role of Mother Nature literally as she fights for everyone’s right to access green spaces.

In particular, Ms Howe believes that all people should be able to connect with nature within a four-minute walk from their front door.

To coincide with National Tree Week, Howe is calling on the Welsh government to ensure people can access nature regardless of where they live as it should be a right not a privilege.  

The superwoman of the great outdoors has laid down requests in her Manifesto for the Future proposal, stating that there should be natural green space within 300m of every home which equates to a four-minute walk, short wheelchair journey, or one-minute cycle.

[Credit: Leo Rivas / Unsplash]

Not only this, Howe also wants to see greener communities and is pushing for more trees to be planted in every town and city in Wales by 2030.

“Greening our spaces can give people access to those smaller, day-to-day interactions with nature which we know have benefits for our health and wellbeing.”

Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales

While trees are aesthetically pleasing and provide play areas for kids and pets, they are also powerhouses at reducing pollution and managing climate change.

They do this by producing oxygen, intercepting harmful particles from vehicle emissions, and controlling CO2 in the atmosphere which reduces the overall concentrations of greenhouse gases.

Speaking about her mission, Howe said she is striving to connect people through nature as well as invest in improving air quality to keep society well and reduce inequalities.

[Credit: Sophie Howe / Future Generations]

She explained: “Greening our spaces can give people access to those smaller, day-to-day interactions with nature which we know have benefits for our health and wellbeing, which is especially important during pandemic restrictions.

“Investing in nature helps us fight the climate and nature emergency and its effects – for instance, bolstering our defences against devastating threats like flooding.”

Fortunately, it seems Howe’s comrades are on side as the First Minister, Mark Drakeford, has announced plans to invest an impressive £5million into a National Forest next year to create areas of new woodland and help restore some of Wales’ unique and irreplaceable ancient woodlands.

Might be time to take that walk we’ve been putting off all weekend…

For more info, click here: Manifesto for the Future.

Decriminalising cannabis! How weed is set to become legal across the pond

For the first time in history, the US House of Representatives has passed a bill to decriminalise cannabis at the national level.

The House of Representatives, also known as the lower house, are responsible for all legislature across America alongside the Senate, otherwise known as the upper house.

In a progressive move for the country, the bill requests that marijuana should be removed from the list of federally controlled substances and erased from certain federal convictions.

Simply, it would be legal to use weed and there would be no criminal consequence.

[Credit: Thought Catalog / Unsplash]

Currently, each of the 50 states holds an individual stance on the matter, meaning in some areas of the United States you could be charged whereas others you are able to use it.

For example, in California it is legal both recreationally and medicinally as well as to cultivate up to six plants for personal use or with a commercial license to sell to others.

Meanwhile, over in Texas it is illegal other than the use of CBD oil containing no more than 0.5% THC [tetrahydrocannabinol] – the chemical responsible for psychoactive effects.  

In total, fifteen states and the District of Columbia allow the recreational use of cannabis by anyone over the age of 21. In contrast, 38 states approve its use for medicinal purposes only.

[Credit: Richard T / Unsplash]

The bill would wipe out these isolated laws to make one blanket rule across the nation.

Known as the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement [MORE] Act, the bill would need to be approved by Senate and signed by the President to be authorised.

As well as legalising the drug, the bill supports reinvesting funds into local communities; removing federal criminal records of those charged or convicted for non-violent cannabis offenses; and providing cannabis business owners easier access to grants or loans.

Speaking about the initiative, Democrat Earl Blumenauer – founder of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus and original sponsor of the bill – said he hopes to create significant change.

[Credit: Wesley Gibbs / Unsplash]

Blumenauer explained: “We’re not rushing to legalise marijuana. The American people have already done that.

“We’re here because Congress has failed to deal with the disastrous war on drugs and do its part for the over 50million regular marijuana users in every one of your districts.”

We wonder how long it will take the UK to follow in the same footsteps…

New to home-schooling? Tips and tricks to help give kids a headstart

While schools have remained open this term, there is still so much uncertainty with students being sent home, cancelled exams, and the threat of lockdown no3.

So, it’s understandable that parents are taking matters into their own hands.

Following our bizarre 2020, home-schooling has seen a huge surge in numbers as thousands of mums and dads step up to the challenge to educate their children.

The trend kickstarted during the first lockdown when schools closed in March, yet with the ongoing unpredictability of this year parents have chosen to continue the process.

[Credit: Michael Parzuchowski / Unsplash]

Parents said they felt elated to have experienced such positivity from home-schooling and this was an incentive to continue keeping their brood under their roof.

With a whopping 38% increase, the Association of Directors of Children’s Services state as many as 75,668 children were home-educated on October 1 – up from 54,656 a year before.

While the numbers seem promising, that education might take a less formal and more individualistic approach to learning, there is still the question of how and what to teach.

[Credit: Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash]

Yet thanks to a superhero gang, aka a group of former primary school teachers, they have come to the rescue with education resources to help us big kids help our little kids.

The Learn at Home packs each contain eight lessons with teacher-led teaching input videos, parent-friendly lesson plans, slideshow presentations and printable worksheets.

Covering an extensive range of fun and unusual topics – from forensic science to cookery lessons and Italian culture to women’s suffrage – there really is something for everyone.

[Credit: Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash]

Hosted on PlanBee, a site that prides itself on being the hive of resources and lesson plans, parents are free to cherry-pick whatever they feel is most suited to their child.

Chatting about the tools, company spokesperson Oli Ryan said their aim to take the stress and anxiety away from teaching to make it enjoyable for the whole family instead.

Oli said: “We hope these packs will take some of the pressure off parents who are new to home-schooling. They’re designed specifically for mums and dads, so there’s no educational jargon.

“Educating your children at home can seem a pretty daunting prospect, but with these packs we think we’re helping with the heavy-lifting.”

[Credit: Bermix Studio / Unsplash]

He added: “We wanted to make sure that the lesson packs were educational, but interesting and fun, too. We’ve made sure they cover topics that children are unlikely to have learned about in school previously – hopefully it’ll all be new to them!”

As a taster, PlanBee have put one of the lesson videos online for free so you can take a peek at what the packs look like. There’s also a great money-off offer for the whole of December.

To start prepping your lessons, click here: PlanBee.

Real-life guardian angels: Local heroes gift care packages to people in need

They say angels only exist in fairy-tales, but we’ve come across some real-life cherubs who are helping their local community out the goodness of their hearts.

Please shake your pom-poms for Helping Hands, a small team who set up a Facebook group in April 2020 when the first coronavirus lockdown hit to help as many people as they could.

Based in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, the crew have become overnight heroes as they are not only handing out 100 care packages per week free of charge to anyone who needs help, they have also been sending birthday presents to people of all ages during quarantine.

[Credit: Helping Hands Facebook]

Thanks to the generosity of donations, the squad have been able to gift more than 60 individuals who have received surprise goodies on their big day.

In addition to this, the gang have been playing Secret Santa too, delivering advent calendars to local kids to make sure they can still have a Christmas to remember.

But not content with just feeding the hungry or saving birthdays and Crimbo, the Helping Hands family have also morphed into cleaning fairies.

[Credit: Helping Hands Facebook]

On a mission to tidy-up Hamilton, a large town south-east of Glasgow, they have been making the area cleaner by collecting litter and syringes in publics spaces then disposing of it properly to make the parks and streets safer for all.

Think that’s impressive?! Think again.

They are also fundraising for other nationwide causes, having already donated to Teenage Cancer Trust and with more tricks up their sleeves to plan future events for fellow charities.

[Credit: Helping Hands Facebook]

Oh, and did we mention they also give away free pizza on a Friday and Saturday night to people who help out in the community?! What absolute legends.

We hope others can be inspired to start something similar in their area.

To find out how you can support the team, click here: Helping Hands Hamilton.

Infinity pool in the sky! Spellbinding rooftop forest set to hit London

As the future remains uncertain, architects are having to use their creative genes to invent experiences that we can enjoy outside should social distancing continue.

And let’s just say, they don’t always do things by halves.

In what sounds like a scene from a Hollywood film, an infinity pool submerged in a rooftop forest with over 100 trees and 10,000 plants is coming to London.

Located in Southwark, near London Bridge, the pool – which will flow over the edges to give the illusion of it having no boundaries – will be eco-friendly, heated by the building’s waste.

[Credit: Fabrix/Roots]

If you’re itching to grab your bikini or trunks to sip a Piña Colada while gazing out onto the city’s skyline, you might have to wait just a little bit longer though as while construction is due to kickstart in January 2021, it’s not expected to be completed until 2024.

The impressive expanse of greenery, covering more than one acre, is being created on the rooftop of an equally impressive building – the former Blackfriars Crown Court.

However, while the court served the neighbourhood by handling criminal cases, the makeover will transform the six-storey building into a place where the entire community can get involved.

[Credit: Fabrix/Roots]

Not only will it boast the rooftop, one of the largest urban gardens in Europe, it will also have a restaurant and bar, office space, an auditorium, and a variety of cafés and shops.

“Community goes further than a coffee, it’s about creating daily connections between the neighbourhood.”

Fabrix CEO, Clive Nichol

The developers, property investors Fabrix, are also hoping to introduce facilities for locals with community gardens, allotments, a potting shed and a seed bank on the roof.

Speaking about the impressive task ahead of them, CEO Clive Nichol said the vision for Roots In The Sky is a modern workplace that actively engages with its local surroundings, and helps shape a neighbourhood that is enjoyable, liveable and economically productive.

[Credit: Fabrix/Roots]

Nichol explained: “It’s a commercial building that aims to be a ‘good citizen’, offering a genuine place for community uses, contributing to the ongoing regeneration of Bankside and to London’s wider greening targets.

“This building anticipates the shift in the way people are thinking about their working life post-COVID. It’s designed with generous spaces and natural ventilation, access to nature and a mix of uses that reflects new ways of working and living.”

He added: “Community goes further than a coffee, it’s about creating daily connections between the neighbourhood and those using the building for work and leisure. We hope it serves as a statement on the value of sustainable, community-led development.”

Let the countdown to 2024 commence!

We’re heading for a huge energy shift on December 21 ­– but do you know what you have to do?

It has been coined ‘science so new, it’s not yet in the text books’.

We’re not talking Bunsen burners and periodic tables, but the way we experience feelings, also known as energies. It is now understood that the power of our emotions not only makes us feel something in our hearts but has a direct impact on the world around us.

When we hear the word ‘energies’, it tends to exist on a spectrum ranging from the land of quantum physics to hippies who worship Mother Earth.

Yet in its simplest form, an energy is synonymous to a vibe. Think of someone you’ve been around and thought, ‘I love their vibe.’ Quite simply, you like their energy.

[Credit: Gregg Braden Instagram]

Speaking of energy, there is currently a lot of talk in astrology circles on how it is building up in the atmosphere towards December 21 when a grand conjunction will take place.

A grand conjunction refers to the meeting of Jupiter and Saturn, which are set to secure their closest alignment since the year 1623 nearly 400 years ago, and with this rare sequence of events comes a significant planetary energy shift.

One man who has a passion for this field is Gregg Braden, a New York Times best-selling author who bridges the gap between science and spirituality. He draws parallels between quantum physics particles and human beings – who are made of the same particles.

If we lost you at ‘quantum physics’, hold fire. Gregg says it best…

[Credit: Gregg Braden Instagram]

He explained: “What we know is that we’re made of quantum energy, for 70 years scientists have been telling us that we are little particles of quantum energy and those little quantum particles can do miraculous things. In this field of quantum energy all possibilities already exist.

“In simpler terms, think back to a time when you imagined a perfect scenario – perhaps it was a conversation with a loved one, a situation at work, or hoping for more peace – just by thinking of these, they exist in our minds due to the energy required to imagine them.”

This alludes to the fact that every possible outcome of our lives is already stored in this field of energy all around us and that we (unknowingly) choose the possibility just by where we focus our energy. This inevitably can open a whole new possible way of thinking!

Gregg continued: “We imagine with our mind and that’s how we lock that possibility into place. With our heart, we give that possibility life.”

[Credit: Gregg Braden Instagram]

Understanding it has a mental-physical crossover presence is one thing, but how do we make it real in our world?

Gregg said: “Thought happens in the upper chakras and emotion happens in the creative centre, they say our emotions are only two; love and fear. When we think a thought in our mind, we give the thought life through these two emotions: love or the fear. When we place love or fear into that thought we then we create a feeling. Now, we have a definition of feeling; the union between emotion and thought. Feeling takes place in the heart.

“Our beliefs (derived from our feelings) then translate the quantum possibilities that we imagine and focus on into the physical reality of our world. Belief is what translates those possibilities into the atoms of our world.”

Are you still with us, because now it gets interesting!

Greg concluded: “Atoms look like waves of energy, rather than particles of things, therefore if you want to change an atom you have to change the energy that the atom lives in. The infamous Albert Einstein supported this view, stating that the energy field which connects everything together is what determines how the atom behaves.”

The energy field around us is made of electrical and magnetic energy, these two energies hold everything together. Yet if one changes, then you alter the way the atom behaves.

[Credit: Gregg Braden Instagram]

Taking this and applying it to the human body, the organ that creates the strongest electrical and magnetic field inside of us is the heart – with its electrical field 100x stronger than the brain.

This is the exact point at which all of Gregg’s theories unite together.

The heart is where we have feelings (the union between emotion and thought), it is also where the waves of electrical and magnetic energy take place that change our body and world (the atoms around us), unbeknownst to us as we simply register it as an emotion.

So, if our thoughts, feelings and beliefs ‘select’ one of the endless outcomes in the field, it is beneficial to us and everyone around us to focus as much as we can on the things that make us FEEL good. Of course, life doesn’t always deal us those cards, but if we remind ourselves of the energy shift leading up to December 21, it could be everything to gain and nothing to lose.

If you want to make a change but think you need some guidance, we strongly recommend checking out Steven and Evan Strong ­– a father and son duo who dedicate their lives to exploring these ideas as well as telling the story of the aboriginal people of Australia.

Their next conference, entitled Our Alien Ancestry: Original Voices, takes place virtually over December 12 and 13 and will delve into understanding the future by recognising our ancient past.

For more information, click here: Forgotten Origin.

The power of intervention: Foster kids are being saved from homelessness

One of the trickiest times for young people is when they transition from child to adult, as it often means losing access to the services they qualified for while under-18.

In the UK, this issue is extremely problematic as kids leave CAMHS [Child Adolescent Mental Health Services] and find themselves either unable to access free services or no longer able to see the counsellor they have been working with now that they are no longer of age.

Similarly, this problem happens for foster children who hit 18 only to discover they are left to their own devices and face the reality of homelessness as they struggle to find a home.

[Credit: Project Meet Me Halfway / Founder, Jimmy Wayne]

However, one man has swept in to save as many young people as possible who fall through the gaps with his incredible initiative Project Meet Me Halfway.

The organisation, based in the US, raises awareness of youth ageing out of foster care with high risk of becoming homeless with the hope of ‘meeting them halfway’ to find solutions.

Having experienced homelessness himself at the tender age of 16, founder Jimmy Wayne grew up in and out of the North Carolina foster care system before sleeping on the streets.

However, with grit and determination he turned his life around and is now living proof that change can happen providing young people have opportunity and hope around them.

[Credit: Project Meet Me Halfway / Instagram]

Not only did Jimmy find a home, but he also went on to become a country music recording artist and best-selling author, before starting his charity to improve the lives of foster kids.

In honour of his company’s name, Project Meet Me Halfway, Jimmy walked halfway across America – from Nashville, Tennessee to Phoenix, Arizona – to draw attention to the plight of the 30,000 foster children ageing out of the system each year.

Just a casual seven months and 1,700 miles later, Jimmy completed his journey at the Home Base Youth Facility in Phoenix before kickstarting his foundation back in 2010.

[Credit: Project Meet Me Halfway / Instagram]

His aim was to highlight the devastating statistics that haunt America and showcase what happens when people don’t get help: notably, 25% of former foster kids become homeless after age 18; 50% will be unemployed; and 60% of males will be convicted of a crime.

By meeting the teens ‘halfway’, Jimmy’s message is about telling young people that he wants to help them strive towards a better future, but they have to at least meet him halfway. In other words, they have to work hard to help themselves in order to be helped.

Jimmy now works tirelessly to secure donations, of which 100% are distributed to organisations that serve foster kids, abused and neglected children, and those ageing out of foster care.

He also encourages people to recognise that no resource is too small, should they not have the cash to donate. For example, if people cut hair they can gift one hour a week to foster kids who otherwise can’t afford a haircut; or locals can offer time by tutoring, teaching yoga, playing basketball, or sharing whatever skill they have.

For more info, click here: Project Meet Me Halfway.

Epic new venue to host world-class stars bursts into heart of London

The freedoms of 2021 are so close we can practically taste them.

And what better way to hurtle back into some sense of normalcy than to celebrate down the front row of an epic music venue promising globally-renowned acts to entertain us?

This is all possible thanks one exhibition centre and a brand spanking new makeover.

Over in London’s West Kensington, the infamous Olympia – which first opened in 1886 – is set to undergo some surgery as it’s being given a whopping £1.3billion cash injection for a revamp.

[Credit: Olympia London / Instagram]

The iconic location has already welcomed huge stars through its doors, from The Cure to Jimi Hendrix to Pink Floyd, so they are no stranger at executing nights to remember.

“We’re creating richer experiences and more opportunities for all our visitors that we host at our iconic London venue.”

Managing Director of Olympia London, Nigel Nathan

They have also hosted the glitziest and most glamorous events on the showbiz calendar, including the Burberry Autumn/Winter 2020 show at London Fashion Week which was splashed all over the fashion press, including Vogue.

Alongside the music venue, two hotels will open to create an even greater cultural destination in the heart of the city.

While the 5* Hyatt Regency will provide swanky rooms and suites with a bar, deli and new restaurant, boutique hotel chain citizenM will offer affordable luxury with iconic art decor.

[Credit: Olympia London / Instagram]

But the music venue, that’s really what we have our eye on…

Boasting a 4,400-capacity space – equal to Brixton Academy – the state-of-the-art venue will be run by AEG Presents, the world-leading global music and live entertainment company.

Chatting about the renovation, Managing Director of Olympia London, Nigel Nathan, said he can’t wait to enrich the lives of visitors.

Nathan said: “We’re incredibly excited to have these fantastic brands joining us. Collectively, we’re creating richer experiences and more opportunities for all our customers and visitors that we host at our iconic London venue.”

[Credit: Olympia London / Instagram]

Meanwhile, YOO Capital, the company who are investing in the development, are elated that there is light at the tunnel after the bizarre 2020 we have all endured.

Their chairman, John Hitchcox, said: “It’s been a challenging year for the events, live entertainment, retail and hospitality sectors – but having these three partners on board is a real positive for London and a clear indication of confidence in both the city and this iconic landmark as a destination for culture and creativity.

“It will give a real boost to the local economy, so we are very pleased to be taking another big step towards the realisation of a new vision for this area.”

We can’t wait to see which artists will be on the line-up!