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UK's most dangerous prisoner nicknamed Hannibal will die in underground glass box

Monster Robert Maudsley, who earned the nickname Hannibal the Cannibal after wedging a spoon into a victim's brain, will be kept in a special cell in solitary confinement until his dying dayUK's most dangerous prisoner nicknamed Hannibal will die in underground glass box

Monster Robert Maudsley, who earned the nickname Hannibal the Cannibal after wedging a spoon into a victim's brain, will be kept in a special cell in solitary confinement until his dying day.

By Jessica Taylor Real Life Features Writer

15:42, 17 Nov 2021

Mass murderer Robert Maudsley, who is serving a life sentence for brutally killing four people, will live out his days in a glass box designed specifically for him.  The monstrous killer, who is being held in Wakefield Prison, has already spent 40 years living in solitary confinement in a glass cage after he was deemed too dangerous to be around other prisoners.  Maudsley, from Toxteth, Liverpool, was just 21 when he committed his first murder in 1974.  The serial killer, who had been working as a rent boy at the time, butchered one of his clients, John Farrell.  The murder was so violent, cops named him "blue" because of the colour of his face.  Maudsley was arrested and eventually convicted of murder. He was jailed with the recommendation he should never be released.  When he was first locked up, Maudsley was sent to Broadmoor Hospital, which houses some of the UK's most violent prisoners.  After three relatively quiet years behind bars, the serial killer seized an opportunity to attack child molester David Francis in 1977, with the help of fellow prisoner David Cheeseman.  The pair barricaded themselves in a cell with Francis before spending the next nine hours brutally torturing the sex offender to death.  During the attack, Maudsley shoved a spoon so far into Francis's ear, it wedged into his brain.  After the killing, for which he was convicted of manslaughter, he was deemed too dangerous to stay in Broadmoor and was transferred to Wakefield Prison.  The following year, after settling into his new cell, Maudsley strangled and stabbed wife-killer Salney Darwood in his cell, before hiding the body under his bed.  Then he hunted prison corridors for his next victim Bill Roberts, who had been jailed for sexually abusing a seven-year-old girl.  He stabbed Roberts to death before hacking at his skull with a makeshift dagger.  After the bloodshed, Maudsley calmly walked up to a prison guard and chillingly said there would be two fewer people at dinner that night.  His rampage rung alarm bells for prison bosses who deemed him too dangerous to mix with the general prison population and a special cell was constructed to keep him in.  The cell, which was completed in 1983, was dubbed the glass cage as it resembled Anthony Hopkins' cell in Silence of the Lambs.  At 5.5mx4.5m, it's surrounded by bulletproof glass which prison guards peer into to keep a close eye on him.  The only furniture is a table and a chair, which are both made of compressed cardboard, while his toilet and sink are bolted to the floor.  The door of the cell is made of solid steel, which opens into a cage just inside. Maudsley's bed is a concrete slab.  The see-through walls contain a slit, through which guards pass him meals and other things he needs.  Spending his days entombed in the cell, Maudsley is allowed one hour of exercise per day. When he goes to the exercise yard, he's escorted by six guards and he never has access to other inmates.  When interviewed, Maudsley said he felt "tortured" in solitary confinement and claimed his speech has suffered from never speaking to anyone.  He said: "I feel no officer takes any interest in me and they're only concerned with when to open the door and then to make sure I get back in my cell as soon as possible.  I think an officer could stop and talk a bit but they never do and it's these thoughts that I think about most of the time."

Maudsley has claimed the confinement has given him flashbacks to his childhood, when he was regularly locked away and beaten.  The serial killer had an abusive childhood at the hands of his father. After being dumped in an orphanage as an infant, his parents brought him and his 11 siblings home when he was eight.  He was regularly hit and often took extra beatings to protect his siblings. Once, he was locked in a room for six months, with his only human contact coming from beatings from his dad.  In the year 2000 Maudsley asked for the terms of his imprisonment to be relaxed begging for a pet budgie or, if that request was denied, a cyanide capsule so he could end his life.  Both requests were turned down, leaving him to live out his days in the glass cell underneath Wakefield Prison.

Girl, 16, killed by friend will 'never know straight A GCSE results', say parents

Wenjing Lin was choked to her death by Chun Xu who also tried to kill her stepfather by luring him into the basement. Her mother says she never forgive him

By Peter Diamond, Leonie Chao-Fong & Philip Dewey

21:47, 9 Nov 2021 Updated 21:50, 9 Nov 2021

A 'model student' who was murdered by a family friend in a Chinese takeaway will never know she was awarded straight A’s for her GCSEs, say her parents.  Wenjing Lin, from the Welsh village of Ynyswen, Treherbertm, was choked to death by Chun Xu at the Blue Sky takeaway before he tried to murder the girl’s stepfather by luring him into the basement.  Xu, 32, of no fixed abode, was found guilty of murdering Wenjing and attempted murder of her stepfather at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court on Tuesday.  Yongquan Jiang Yang, the 16-year-old girl’s stepfather was attacked by Xu with two knives, in what was described as a “repeated and vicious attack”.

After the trial, Wenjing’s mother Meifang Xu spoke of her grief at the loss of her daughter, and how she proud she was of her achievements, according to the Daily Record.  Speaking outside Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court with the support of her husband Mr Yang, Ms Xu said: “My beautiful daughter is gone and I can never forgive you.  I have lost my beloved daughter, my everything. Everything of me.  She cared for my husband and I very much. She has been helping us to communicate with all the English speakers.  (Wenjing’s) school friends miss her so much, I know they are suffering from the pain and loss of their best friend. They will never recover from it."

She praised her daughter for passing all her GCSE's with As but was saddened she will never know her results that she worked so hard for. "I’m so proud of her achievements in the school," she added.

“I’m still not able to comprehend why the perpetrator would do this to her. Our lives have been turned upside down. I was crying every day, watching videos every day and trying to feel close to her and listen to her voice.  I cannot imagine what my life is like without her.  The perpetrator has broken our family. I had to begin counselling to help me but it will never take away the pain the perpetrator has caused us.”

Ms Xu also described how her husband Mr Yang had suffered from the violent attack in Ynyswen, Treherbert, on March 5.  She said: “My husband was a very strong and fit young man. Before this vicious brutal attack he never felt scared of anything but now he even struggles to work and he also has nightmares of when Wenjing was lying on the floor by the counter in the reception area.  Due to the severe mental and physical injuries from the savage, brutal attack by the perpetrator, the treatment he must receive from the hospital will go on for a long time.”

Ms Xu also thanked the police, CPS, school, the community and friends for their support.  She added: “We are so relieved justice has been done and the perpetrator should be punished for my husband and Wenjing. He should be punished for what he did.  I hope there won’t be any innocent victims like Wenjing.”

During the trial, Xu said he "did not mean to hurt the little girl. I wanted revenge on her mother".

After the verdict, the judge said Xu could expect "a sentence of life imprisonment", due to take place on Friday.  Xu was regarded as a nephew to the mother as their parents had lived next door to one another in China. Ms Xu had transferred £20,000 to Xu who promised to send the money back to a friend in China for them to repay a loan they used to start their business in the UK.  However, Xu gambled away £14,000 of the money and sent only some of the cash back which he had begun repaying.
What a surprise  :angry037:

It's completely ridiculous and and other faiths festivals etc aren't cancelled so Christmas so as far as I'm concerned this comes under the Religious Hatred Act.  Christians have everyy right to celebrate AND it's a tradition of the UK.

Now Whitehall's woke 'blob' tries to ban Christmas: Ministers are warned using the word in festive jab drive will offend minorities

    Civil servants have blocked word 'Christmas' as it may offend minority religions
    Ministers planned use slogan for students: 'Don't take Covid home for Christmas'
    Saqib Bhatti, the Conservative MP for Meriden, branded the ban as 'ridiculous'
    It comes as Boris Johnson revealed new rules to limit spread of Omicron variant

By Glen Owen Political Editor For The Mail On Sunday

Published: 22:37, 27 November 2021 | Updated: 09:26, 28 November 2021

Civil servants have blocked the word 'Christmas' from efforts to avert a winter Covid crisis, as they fear it would offend minority religions.  The ban, detailed in emails leaked to The Mail on Sunday, was revealed as Boris Johnson announced tighter travel restrictions and new rules on masks in a bid to limit the spread of the new Omicron variant.  Ministers had also planned a publicity blitz telling students to get tested before returning to their families using the slogan: 'Don't take Covid home for Christmas' but it was vetoed by Cabinet Office officials.  The move sparked a row over 'wokeism' in the Civil Service which has been disparagingly nicknamed 'The Blob' by critics with one Muslim Tory MP branding the ban 'ridiculous'.  Last night, the Prime Minister threw winter travel plans into chaos by announcing that every traveller arriving in the country must self-isolate until they can produce a negative PCR test, and that anybody who came in contact with someone infected with the mutation must stay at home for ten days.  Masks will be compulsory on public transport and in shops, while experts will now consider whether to extend the booster vaccine to all over-18s.  Mr Johnson said: 'I very much hope that we will find that we continue to be in a strong position and we can lift these measures again, but right now this is the responsible course of action to slow down the seeding and the spread of this new variant and to maximise our defences so that we protect the gains we've worked for so hard.'

The Downing Street announcement came after two people in the UK were found to be infected with the new variant one in Brentwood, Essex, and the other in Nottingham. Both cases are linked and connected to travel in southern Africa.  It is understood that one of those infected was double vaccinated: their swabs are being studied at the Government's research laboratory in Porton Down, Wiltshire, and by the vaccine manufacturers AstraZenica and Pfizer.  As part of the attempt to suppress a winter spike, Ministers drew up plans for the 'Don't take Covid home for Christmas' advertising campaign targeting students, to run from December 3 to 17.  But it is being held up by the Cabinet Office on the grounds that it is not 'inclusive' enough.  The Government plans to use social media 'influencers' on sites such as TikTok, to urge the 1.2 million students who will be travelling home at the end of the term to take a Covid test before they do.  But in an email sent on Thursday, an official said: 'We have been advised by Cabinet Office that we should not use the word Christmas as the Government campaign needs to be inclusive and some religions don't celebrate Christmas.  The other option was 'festive season' which keeps the emotional motivation. We have gone with 'Don't take Covid-19 home for the holidays' as it links to school and university Christmas holidays. The alliteration with 'home' and 'holidays' scans well and is memorable'.

Another official then objects: 'We don't refer to Christmas as the holidays (that's an Americanism). Please can we say, 'Don't take Covid-19 home'.'

Last night, Saqib Bhatti, the Conservative MP for Meriden, said: 'As a Muslim, I find it ridiculous we can't enjoy this special time of year. I look forward to showing my new son his first Christmas tree. The idea you can't mention Christmas is completely ridiculous.  It's a time to celebrate, whatever your background. It's part of the British culture I love. It's the celebration of all cultures that makes this the most welcoming country in the world.  I'm proud of that and proud to celebrate Christmas. The Blob needs to stop waging war on Christmas and get on with delivering for the British people.'

In other developments:

*  Health Secretary Sajid Javid used an interview with this newspaper to announce a new 'NHS Reserves' programme, modelled on Army reserves, comprising retired medics and logistic experts who can swing into action if the NHS comes under strain in the winter and help deliver vaccines;
*  The number of Covid hospital admissions fell 11.2 per cent over the previous seven days to 768 and the number of deaths dropped by 16.8 per cent to 131 but the number of positive tests rose 8.6 per cent to 39,567;
*  The total number of booster doses administered surpassed 17 million, amounting to almost 30 per cent of the over-12s;
*  More than ten per cent of the 600 passengers arriving in the Netherlands from South Africa yesterday tested positive for Covid on PCR tests despite having to provide proof of a negative lateral flow test taken within 24 hours of departure.

Mr Johnson said that the measures will be reviewed in three weeks. The new mask rules are expected to become mandatory within days.  He said: 'We're not going to stop people travelling, I want to stress that, but we will require anyone who enters the UK to take a PCR test by the end of the second day after their arrival and to self-isolate until they have a negative result.  We will require all contacts of those who test positive with a suspected case of Omicron to self-isolate for ten days regardless of your vaccination status.  We will also go further in asking all of you to help contain the spread of this variant by tightening up the rules on face coverings in shops and on public transport.'

Coronation Street's Victoria Ekanoye to have double mastectomy after cancer diagnosis

Coronation Street star Victoria Ekanoye, who played Angie Appleton in the ITV soap, revealed she has been diagnosed with breast cancer, just months after she and partner Jonny Lomas welcomed their first child

By Emma Wilson Showbiz Reporter

11:25, 8 Nov 2021 Updated20:16, 8 Nov 2021

Coronation Street star Victoria Ekanoye is to have a double mastectomy as she bravely revealed she has been diagnosed with breast cancer.  The former soap star, who played Angie Appleton during her 18-month stint on the ITV show, found a lump in her left breast while feeding son Theo, who she and partner Jonny Lomas welcomed in January.  Victoria, 39, said she was inspired by the late Girls Aloud singer Sarah Harding, who passed away in September, to get a third opinion after she was convinced something wasn’t right.  During an interview with OK! the actress revealed she was given the all-clear by two doctors, but sought further advice and was subsequently given a tough diagnosis, and she’s preparing to undergo a preventative double mastectomy.  Victoria, who has a family history of breast cancer, said she noticed a lump “protruding” from her breast while feeding Theo, and she was told by doctors in France it was a “benign lump”, but that “didn’t sit right” with the actress.  A second doctor blamed the lump on blocked milk ducts, but Victoria was unconvinced, and she said it was Sarah’s battle with breast cancer that prompted her to push for a third opinion.  It was really alarming for me, as it was for everyone. And so sad. Really sad,” she said of the singer’s tragic death. “If anything it made me determined to get to the bottom of things with my health.”

She refused to wait six months for another appointment, and went to a clinic in the UK, where she underwent a series of tests, only for doctors to confirm what she had already feared.  “I felt so bad for Jonny as I’d prepared myself and felt that I knew the outcome,” she explained, as the consultant told them Victoria had found cancerous cells and a “4cm mass”.

The actress confessed it’s been an overwhelming year for her and Jonny, especially after her traumatic labour with son Theo, and she said she’s trying to focus on the future as a way to deal with the stress.  “It feels unfair. I feel a bit overwhelmed and I’m scared because, as optimistic as the outlook is, you can’t predict the future. I just want to be here. I’ve got a life to live and a family to love and look after,” she candidly shared.

She refused to wait six months for another appointment, and went to a clinic in the UK, where she underwent a series of tests, only for doctors to confirm what she had already feared.  “I felt so bad for Jonny as I’d prepared myself and felt that I knew the outcome,” she explained, as the consultant told them Victoria had found cancerous cells and a “4cm mass”.

The actress confessed it’s been an overwhelming year for her and Jonny, especially after her traumatic labour with son Theo, and she said she’s trying to focus on the future as a way to deal with the stress.  “It feels unfair. I feel a bit overwhelmed and I’m scared because, as optimistic as the outlook is, you can’t predict the future. I just want to be here. I’ve got a life to live and a family to love and look after,” she candidly shared.

Doctors are hopeful that the double mastectomy will be curative, and Victoria won’t need any other treatment, but she’s worried the surgery will keep her in hospital over Christmas, as she’ll need a full body blood transplant before the op due to having sickle cell anemia.  Victoria said she’ll have reconstructive surgery at the same time, and she’s keen to “get up off the floor” and put the health ordeal behind her.  “I just want to get it done and get up off the floor and start living my life. But it’s scary as I know there are risks with surgery and I’ve got my little boy. I want to make sure I’m here for him,” she sobbed.

Brit dad, 57, killed by shark while swimming as horrified wife watched from shore

The couple were together with their adult children at the time of the attack, watching on as Mr Millachip swam at the popular beach as the shark struck

By Tom Ambrose

15:01, 7 Nov 2021 Updated 15:39, 7 Nov 2021

A British dad was killed by a great white shark as he swam in the sea off Western Australia, as his wife and kids tragically watched on from the shore.  Paul Millachip, 57, was attacked by the shark, with witnesses claiming it was around 14ft long, at around 10am local time on Saturday.  A large shark was reported to have been seen in the water before Mr Millachip was killed, according to 9News.  His wife, who asked not to be named, paid tribute to her husband and described him as a "wonderful man" and a "wonderful father" to the couple's two adult children, The Sun reported.  Mrs Millachip added that the attack off Port Beach in Fremantle “came out of the blue”, according to a report by  The family were together at the time of the attack, watching on as Mr Millachip swam at the popular beach as he often liked to do.  Mrs Millachip said a group of teenage boys witnessed the attack and rushed into the sea to warn other swimmers to move away from the danger.  It must have been an absolutely terrifying experience for them, so my heart goes out to them,” Mrs Millachip said.

“I thank them for what they did. Amazing. They could potentially have saved other lives.  Rest in peace Paul,” she added. “He died doing what he enjoyed doing the most, which was exercising.”

Emergency services were called to Port Beach at North Fremantle just after 10am on Saturday after reports of the attack on Mr Millachip.  The couple were originally from the UK and had been together for 35 years, she said. Mr Millachip was "super fit" and regularly took part in triathlons and marathons, she added.  “We had been going down to the beach two or three times a week we would go running first and then go swimming,” she said.

“He was due to swim for 1km on Saturday I just went into the water and out again because it was cold and I’m not a huge fan of the cold water.  He was a wonderful man, a wonderful father, and he loved his exercise.”

Police Inspector Troy Douglas said the search had been thorough and would only resume if there was “reason”.  “Inquiries will continue based on anything washed up or anything found,” he said.

Exclusive: Full list of inspirational Pride of Britain winners who are the best among us

We reveal some of this year’s inspirational winners of the Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards the show is held in partnership with TSB

By Natasha Wynarczyk

00:01, 30 Oct 2021Updated20:57, 4 Nov 2021

The most star-studded night is back as the Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards hits our screens for the first time since 2019.  More than 150 famous faces including Prince Charles, Ant and Dec, Holly Willoughby, Ed Sheeran, Sharon Stone and Simon Cowell came together to celebrate our unsung heroes.  And for the first time in Pride of Britain’s 22-year history, host Carol Vorderman was joined onstage by a co-host, Ashley Banjo.  Carol said: “The night will be a proper celebration.”

Here, we reveal some of this year’s inspirational winners.

Lifetime Achievement – Rosemary Cox, 82, Wolverhampton

Successfully campaigned to set up the first Organ Donor Register in the UK, helping to save thousands of lives.  After their 24-year-old son Peter died in 1989 following a brain tumour, Rosemary and John Cox saw the need for a register for people who wish to donate their organs.  Peter had asked before his death for his organs to be used to help others and his sacrifice saved or transformed the lives of 17 people.  But his parents found that although patients in need of a transplant were listed on a central NHS computer, there was no equivalent register for potential donors.  Over the next five years, the couple from Wolverhampton and their daughter Christine launched their campaign, travelling the country fundraising, lobbying politicians and creating awareness for their cause.  Their efforts culminated at the 1993 Conservative Party Conference when Christine made an impassioned plea from the platform for a register of donors' wishes.  Health Secretary Virginia Bottomley pledged there and then to set up an NHS Organ Donor Register, which launched on 6th October 1994.  Today the number of people who have registered their organ donation decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register has reached over 26 million or 42% of the UK population.  Meanwhile, since the register was established on the 6th October 1994, over 27,000 people have donated their organs after their death and over 76,000 deceased donor transplants have taken place.  Rosemary is now 82. Her husband John passed away in 2007, but their son’s legacy lives on and she continues to campaign to promote the benefits of organ transplantation.  When the NHS marked the register’s 25th anniversary in 2019, it was revealed it had saved or transformed 20,000 lives. And over the last 12 months, NHS Blood and Transplant facilitated nearly 3,400 transplants.

Special Recognition – Rob Allen, 34, Northampton

Founded Sands United, an inspirational network of football teams where men who have lost babies and young children can come together to grieve.  Rob and his wife Charlotte’s third child Niamh was stillborn, days before her due date in 2017. They were helped through their loss by the stillbirth charity Sands, but at one meeting, Rob counted 24 women and three men.  Realising that grieving dads were finding it difficult to reach out for help, he organised a charity football match to raise funds for Sands, but also giving men an opportunity to come together and talk about their loss.  The one-off game, featuring bereaved fathers, grandfathers, uncles and brothers, raised £6,000, but the emotional benefit for the players was even more significant.  And so, Sands United was born, and entered a local league in Northampton. But Rob’s impact has spread far wider.  Inspired by his example, there are now more than 30 Sands United teams across Britain. Each team’s kit is embroidered with the names of the babies they have lost, and hundreds of men, and their families, have been empowered to open up about their loss, and support each other through sport.

This Morning Emergency Services Award – Stephen Warton, 53, Cumbria

Part-time firefighter risked his life to dive to the rescue of a teenager who had been submerged in icy waters for more than 20 minutes.  Kacper Krauze, 13, had been attempting to swim across the River Eden in Appleby-in-Westmorland in February 2019.  The weather was unseasonably warm, but the icy water sent his body into shock, and he sank to the bottom of the river.  Appleby fire and rescue officers, who are retained with full-time jobs including butcher and mechanic, were the first emergency responders on the scene.  Crew manager Stephen, a painter and decorator, and firefighter John Bell went into the river, supported by colleagues David Anderton, Michael Dowding, Bradley Hall, James Wood and Neil Aitken from the river bank.  After a short search they located Kacper under two to three metres of water.  Unable to dive down and reach him due to his safety gear, Stephen went against protocol and took off his flotation equipment and helmet so he could dive fully and bring the boy to the surface.  Kacper had been underwater for about 25 minutes, and when Stephen brought him to the bank, he was in cardiac arrest and severely hypothermic.  Paramedics resuscitated him and he was flown by air ambulance to hospital, where he was placed in an induced coma. He spent several weeks in intensive care but has since made a steady recovery.  Mum Wioletta said: “It’s a miracle he survived. Every day is a little bit better, and he’s slowly getting back to normal."

Good Morning Britain Young Fundraiser – Hughie Higginson, 10, and Freddie Xavi, 11, Lancashire

Best pals have raised more than £200,000 after Hughie was diagnosed with Leukaemia and Freddie vowed to help him thank his doctors and nurses.  Hughie was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia last September and began three years of treatment at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital. He wanted to say thank you to the medics looking after him so he signed up for the hospital charity’s fundraising walk.  Sadly, on the day he was too ill to take part, which is when best pal Freddie stepped up. He devised his own fundraising challenge on behalf of his pal, running 2km every day in the 50 days leading up to Christmas.  He completed the final 2km on Christmas morning, pounding the streets before opening his presents. Hughie summoned all his strength to join his mate on the final stretch so they could cross the line together, hand-in-hand.  The football-mad boys’ inspirational friendship, and incredible fundraising efforts touched hearts in their Lancashire community and beyond, and the pair have now raised more than £220,000.  Georgia Sleigh from the hospital charity said: “Freddie and Hughie are just incredible words just don’t do justice to how inspiring they both are.”

Child of Courage – Harmonie-Rose Allen, 7, Bath

Quadruple amputee given a 10% chance of survival as a toddler has inspired the nation with her courage and unbreakable spirit.  Harmonie-Rose was 10 months old, and had recently taken her first steps, when she started coughing and struggling for breath. Doctors twice allowed her home from A&E, but the next day, she went floppy and a rash appeared.  This time she was blue lit to Bristol Children’s Hospital, but doctors did not know if she would survive the journey.  She arrived in a critical condition and her limbs had turned black. Meningococcal septicaemia had damaged her legs, arms and the tip of her nose, leaving surgeons with no choice but to amputate.  She was given a 10% chance of survival, and her parents were asked for permission to turn off her life support if necessary.  Since then, and after more than 10 operations, she has beaten the odds. With enormous public help and unique family support she has thrived and now loves writing, drawing as well as many sports including swimming, dancing, gymnastics.  In 2019, she crossed the finish line of the Bath Half Marathon on her prosthetics, raising £6,450 for the children’s charity, Time Is Precious.  During the first lockdown in 2020, she completed her 2.6 challenge, tackling six things doctors said she’d never do because of her disabilities, 26 times.  These were running, singing, drawing, swimming, gymnastics and jumping, and she raised more than £76,000 for Meningitis Now.  Her latest challenge this year was to scale a climbing wall 100 times and run 500m for the first time on her blades in a bid to raise £20,000 for an accessible playground.  In March she received her first bionic arm. One of her first jobs was to paint her new nails and it also means she can hold her mum's hand for the first time since she was a baby.

Spirit of Adventure – Max Woosey, 11, North Devon

“Tent Boy” Max has spent more than 500 nights sleeping under canvas, raising £640,000 for his local hospice.  Neighbour and family friend Rick Abbott was terminally ill with cancer when he gave Max a tent, and told him to “go have an adventure”.  When Rick passed away, Max decided to do a sponsored camp out to raise money for the hospice which had cared for his friend in his final weeks.  In March 2020, he set himself the target of sleeping in the tent until the end of lockdown and hoped he might raise £100.  As lockdown restrictions dragged on, Max refused to come in from the cold and donations poured into his JustGiving page. Now, nearly 18 months later, he is still on his fundraising mission.  At 8pm each night, the 11-year-old puts on his pyjamas, collects up his teddies, the Beano and his torch, says goodnight to his parents and makes his way to the garden.  The marathon camper has now been sleeping outdoors for more than 500 nights, braving sub-zero frosts, heatwaves, and even Storm Bella.  He has raised more than £640,000 for North Devon Hospice, enough to pay for 15 community nurses and cover more than half the hospice’s estimated losses due to the pandemic.  Max has also inspired thousands of other children to take part in a Big Camp Out for Action For Children.

Special Recognition – Gee Walker, 67, Liverpool

Forgave her son’s killers and devoted her life to promoting racial harmony in his memory, building a legacy of love to overcome hate.  The brutal racist murder of Anthony Walker in 2005 shocked the nation. The 18-year-old aspiring lawyer was chased from a bus stop in Huyton, Merseyside and killed with an ice pick in an unprovoked attack.  His mum Gee refused to let her life, and Anthony’s memory, be consumed by bitterness, declaring of his killers: "I forgive them. I don’t hate them. Hate is what killed my son. I am in enough pain. Why take on and carry about hate and anger as well?”

Her actions in the following 16 years have been just as powerful as her words. She founded the Anthony Walker Foundation in 2006 to combat racism and offer a space for people to feel safe after suffering racial abuse.  In the last five years, the Foundation has worked with nearly 40,000 young people through educational and outreach programmes in schools.  Its victim support services have also helped nearly 10,000 people who have experienced hate crime while volunteers have engaged with thousands in a bid to build safer, stronger communities.  Despite her achievements on a national scale, when asked what she is most proud of, she says simply: “Being a mum and a nan”

Environmental Champion – Amy and Ella Meek, 18 and 16, Nottingham

Campaigning sisters set up a kid’s charity to help fight the global scourge of plastic pollution.  Amy and Ella are the founders of youth social action group Kids Against Plastic, which is now a registered charity.  It calls for action against plastic pollution and encourages individuals, schools and businesses to be more ‘plastic clever’ and ditch single use plastics where possible.  So far more than 1,000 schools and 50 cafes, businesses, festivals and councils have committed to being ‘plastic clever’.  The sisters, from Nottingham, have given TED talks, spoken with leaders in the aviation industry about reducing their plastic footprint, addressed politicians in the House of Commons and spoken at the United Nations’ Young Activist Summit in December 2019.  They've personally collected 100,000 pieces of rubbish, one for every sea mammal killed by plastic pollution every year, and run a scheme to champion other anti-plastic activists who do the same around the country.  Their first book, Be Plastic Clever, has just been published.

Prince’s Trust Young Achiever – Hassan Alkhawam, 23, Northern Ireland

When Hassan Alkhawam, aged 23, and his family fled their home in Syria due to the war, they were given refugee status and rehomed in Northern Ireland in 2017.  Since arriving in the country, Hassan has transformed his life. He is now studying Software Engineering at university and has been a key worker in Tesco during the Covid 19 pandemic.  Before coming to Northern Ireland, Hassan’s father became ill and was no longer able to work, meaning Hassan had to leave full-time education and get a job to support the family.  When he arrived in Northern Ireland, Hassan wanted to return to education and fulfil his dream of going to university but needed to take an English language course before he could apply.  At the time, Hassan was not working and didn’t have money to pay for the course. A friend told him about The Prince’s Trust and Hassan got in touch to see if they could help.  He took part in The Prince’s Trust Get into Retail programme, a training and mentoring scheme that gives young people the skills, experience, and confidence they need to find a job.  After completing the four-week programme he was offered a job and started working there just before the pandemic began.  As well as working part time and studying, Hassan is a voluntary Director of a local charity, NI Hyatt, that supports vulnerable members of the refugee and migrant communities.  He has recently completed courses in advocacy and interpreting so that he can help this community settle into life in Northern Ireland.

Special Recognition - The Oxford Vaccine Team

“We couldn’t be here without them,” said Carol as she announced the Special Recognition award for the team of scientists who developed the Oxford coronavirus -1>coronavirus vaccine.

The six men and women representing Prof Sarah Gilbert’s team received the loudest and longest standing ovation of the night, as the audience applauded them for nearly two minutes.  The team throughout lockdown, fitting in 16-hour days around home-schooling to create the world’s most potent weapon against Covid in record time.  By the end of July 2021, more than a billion doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine had been delivered to more than 170 countries worldwide.  The team received their gong from TV icon Stephen Fry, who said he “would have walked 100 miles over broken glass barefoot to present the award”.

Afterwards, Stephen said he was the one who was starstruck. “I couldn’t believe I was going to speak to them,” he said.

“I’m never going to meet Edward Jenner, who gave the first smallpox vaccinations, or Fleming who discovered penicillin, but these people are of an equal status.  It’s extraordinary what they did.”

Dr Catherine Green said: “It’s lovely to have the recognition of the British public. We are just doing our job but to be recognised for doing your job under extraordinary circumstances feels really momentous.”
Fun, Games And Silliness / Re: Jokes
« Last post by PippaJane on November 10, 2021, 10:42:42 AM »
My 5-year-old: "Do trees poop?"

Me: "Of course they do, that's how we get #2 pencils."
Fun, Games And Silliness / Re: Jokes
« Last post by PippaJane on November 10, 2021, 10:40:22 AM »
If biblical events were being covered by today's media...

On Red Sea crossing:
WETLANDS TRAMPLED IN LABOR STRIKE: Enforcement Officials Killed While Pursuing Unruly Mob

On David vs. Goliath:
HATE CRIME KILLS BELOVED CHAMPION OF RELIEF TROOPS: Psychologist Questions Significance of Rock Used as Weapon

On the prophet Elijah on Mt. Carmel:

On the birth of Christ:
HOTELS FULL, ANIMALS EJECTED FROM SHELTER: Animal Rights Advocates Enraged by Insensitive Couple

On feeding the 5,000:
LAY PREACHER STEALS CHILD'S LUNCH: Disciples Mystified Over Behavior

On healing the 10 lepers:
QUACK PREYS ON TERMINALLY ILL: Authorities Investigating Use of Non-traditional Medical Procedure 

On healing of the two demon-possessed men in Gadarenes:
MADMAN CAUSES STAMPEDE: Local Farmer Faces Bankruptcy After Loss of Hogs

On raising Lazarus from the dead:
ITINERANT PREACHER RAISES STINK: Will Now Being Contested by Lawyers of Heirs
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