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Metro.co.uk: News, Sport, Showbiz, Celebrities from Metro

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    The picture of the ring and one of the comments on Facebook post from That's It I'm Ring Shaming showing the pimple popper ring
    (Picture: That’s It I’m Ring Shaming)

    We’ve all seen those gross/satisfying videos of huge pimples being popped – but would you really want to wear one on your finger?

    One bride-to-be posted this picture of her engagement ring in a Facebook group and another woman decided to take the picture and post it in a ring shaming group.

    The image of the ring, with diamonds and what looks like rose quartz set in a square of diamonds, was described as ‘hideous’ by the poster.

    She said: ‘I’m in several engagement groups (like activity, not “to be married”) on my makeup Instagram and we always alert each other when we’ve posted a new picture. Well this girl who is super adorable said “new post” and I got excited because she always posts super cute outfits.

    ‘This was the post. I’m disappointed lol it’s hideous. Sweet girl. Horrible taste in rings. Shame this bulby boi to shreds.’

    One woman said it looks like a blister and another took it a step further describing it as a ‘Dr. Pimple Popper Pilar cyst’.

    The Facebook post from That's It I'm Ring Shaming showing the pimple popper ring
    The post of the ring on the Facebook group (Picture: That’s It I’m Ring Shaming)

    Another woman added: ‘This ring is more fake than the orgasms I had with my ex boyfriend.’

    Ooo, harsh.

    It’s not the first ring to be criticised by the group – there was the one made from hair, the thin one and the milky one.

    There was even the woman who wanted to wear two rings because her fiance couldn’t choose but was told both were ugly.

    MORE: Man calls off his wedding after his dog ate chocolate and alcohol at fiancée’s hen party

    MORE: Daughter worries she gave her dad herpes and ruined her parents’ marriage after using his razor


    Pimple Popper engagement ringPimple Popper engagement ring

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    Diverse children kayaking
    (Picture: The North Face)

    A new campaign fronted by clothing brand The North Face aims to make outdoor exploration accessible for a more diverse audience.

    In theory, anyone can access outdoor spaces – but, in reality, engaging with nature in the UK has traditionally been a pursuit of the middle classes.

    There are a number of reasons for this, but at it’s heart, outdoor exploration has been largely gentrified due to the cost of equipment, the physical inaccessibility of natural beauty spots and the likelihood of diverse populations living in urban areas.

    But nature should be for everyone – and The North Face’s latest campaign aims to make this a reality.

    Group of diverse children
    (Picture: The North Face)

    Partnering with The Outward Bound Trust – an educational charity that helps young people to defy limitations through adventure – the brand will be enabling thousands of young people to experience exploration in the UK through a series of events and activities over the next year.

    It is part of the expansion of The Explore Fund across Europe, with similar schemes also launching in Germany and Italy.

    The project will see kids from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds given the opportunity to experience nature through school trips and events, learning skills like kayaking, hiking and orienteering.

    ‘Exploration is within everyone, but some face more barriers than others,’ reads the website.

    ‘By removing obstacles and empowering people, we change the way that we think about the outdoors, ourselves, and our place on the planet. We open ourselves to the wide range of cultures and experiences that connect us.’

    A group of diverse kids orienteering at night
    (Picture: The North Face)

    The aim is to encourage equality and even provide career opportunities for young people who would never normally have access to outdoor sports. The belief is that getting young people outside at an early age will ignite their imagination and create a curiosity for the natural world.

    ‘We’re excited to be developing our work with The North Face this year,’ says Nick Barrett, Chief Executive of The Outward Bound Trust.

    ‘It’s great to work alongside an organisation who shares our passion for outdoor adventure, and genuinely wants to help develop and diversify our sector.

    ‘We’re excited to see how our program unfolds, and about the opportunity to not only offer more young people the chance to experience real exploration in the wilderness but help them to progress a career in the outdoors as well.’

    ‘For over five decades, The North Face has been pushing the limits of exploration,’ adds Amanda Calder-McLaren, Brand Comms Director at The North Face.

    ‘The Explore Fund is how we turn our purpose into action.

    ‘We’re thrilled to be launching The Explore Fund by announcing a very special diversity project with The Outward Bound Trust, designed to support young underprivileged people living in city environments to access the outdoors.

    ‘We firmly believe that advancing diversity in the outdoors will make for a kinder, more connected world.’

    MORE: Strong Women: ‘Surgeons didn’t want to remove my healthy breast, but I know my own mind’

    MORE: Mixed Up: ‘I was adopted by two black parents – they made me who I am today’

    MORE: UK schools ‘discriminating against pupils with Afro hair’


    Diverse children kayakingDiverse children kayaking

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    Split image featuring two profile photos of Hannah Shewan Stevens, campaigner for Changing Faces
    By refusing to face my condition, I paid a heavy price (Picture: Hannah Shewan Stevens)

    I am a disabled, queer woman with a catalogue of chronic conditions, and I am beautifully scarred.

    I have had hundreds of different labels thrown at me, but it took a long time for any of them to truly stick. Sick, crazy, damaged, scarred, freak, disabled – each had its own venom and felt like a punch to the gut.

    By allowing others to label me, I became trapped in a box and the only logical answer was to start colouring outside the lines, so I threw the stereotypes out the window and refused to be defined by society’s narrow view of disabilities and visible differences.

    A myriad of ailments wreak havoc with my body daily, but a rare autoimmune condition called scleroderma is responsible for my most visible difference.

    The condition has torn a scarred path across my torso and back, and significantly impacts my body.

    For years, believing that people would judge me for my scars and my disability, I hid them from the world and myself.

    As a teenager, I stopped looking at my skin entirely and, after a traumatising experience on a beach where a mass of strangers stared and commented on my ‘car crash’ scars, I swore never to wear swimwear again.

    Profile photo of Hannah Shewan Stevens, campaigner for Changing Faces
    I became convinced that only unscarred and able bodies could earn respect from people (Picture: Hannah Shewan Stevens)

    By refusing to face my condition, I paid a heavy price.

    My relationship with my body broke down, I exacerbated my mobility problems and, because I was unwilling to check my skin or my symptoms, I missed flare-ups of my condition, which delayed important treatment.

    My self-esteem also suffered, especially when it came to romantic relationships.

    I firmly believed that no one would ever want to touch my scars and, if they did, I let them overstep my boundaries because I was just grateful that someone saw past my ‘disfigurement’.

    I mistakenly thought my self-respect was a worthy sacrifice for attention.

    The worst occasion of this happened when I broke down in the middle of a one-night stand, unable to bear the person seeing my scars, and they brushed past it without a word.

    Afterwards, my self-worth plummeted; I was convinced that being disabled and scarred would scare off romantic partners for good.

    This was reinforced on several occasions when partners would refuse to acknowledge my scars or encouraged me to cover up. I became convinced that only unscarred and able bodies could earn respect from people.

    Eventually, I forced myself to examine the damage I had done to myself and my body and started the arduous journey to actually loving myself, and my labels.

    It kicked off when I made the decision to get involved in awareness work. I took part in a body positivity march organised by mental health campaigner and writer, Natasha Devon, and became a champion for Changing Faces.

    Suddenly I found myself strutting down Carnaby Street in swimwear and the first layers of self-loathing began to fall away.

    I eventually learned to see my body objectively and to appreciate all its scarred and disabled glory.

    Now I share my story in the hopes that other people will embrace their differences and harness the power of labels.

    More than anything, I hope to see a future where visible differences are no longer hidden and are not a cause of shame. Where disabled people can date without fear of judgement.

    But to get there, we have to learn to use labels to form connections, instead of letting them divide us.

    Our labels should be a handshake, open and ready to be accepted by anyone we meet.

    I am a rainbow of labels. Who are you?

    Changing Faces is the UK’s leading charity for everyone who has a mark, scar or condition that makes them look different. If you or a loved one have a visible difference and need some advice or support, call 0345 450 0275 or visit the charity’s website for more information.

    MORE: We have to challenge the fashion and beauty industry to be more inclusive of people with visible differences like mine

    MORE: My enjoyment of fashion and makeup shouldn’t be limited by my birthmark. I want the world to showcase diversity in all its forms

    MORE: I was bullied for my alopecia but now I embrace not having any hair


    CHANGING FACES: HannahCHANGING FACES: Hannah

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    This paraplegic armadillo was given a makeshift wheelchair to survive
    This paraplegic armadillo was given a makeshift wheelchair to survive (Picture: Paulo Sena IEMA/ Caters News)

    Your reference point for armadillos is probably from that episode of Friends where Ross introduces the holiday armadillo.

    And it makes sense, seeing as we don’t see the mammal much in the U.K. It’s highly unlikely that we’ll bump into one as they are native to the Americas.

    But if we were to see this disabled armadillo on our travels or in the zoo we probably wouldn’t forget about him any time soon.

    That’s because the armadillo struts around with little wheels attached to him.

    The paraplegic possum, from Brazil, lost the use of its hind legs so now needs aid to help him walk.

    The five-month-old creature, called Bolinha, has been kitted out with a pair of toy wheels and he looks seriously cool.

    Armadillo with wheels
    Fast and furious armadillo (Picture: Paulo Sena IEMA/ Caters News)

    Bolinha was given a makeshift wheelchair to survive after almost starving to death in the wild where he lost the use of his hind legs.

    He’s been given a new lease of life in the form a custom-made wheelchair by vets in Brazil.

    The wheels are attached to spokes which are strapped to his body with string and elastic bands.

    The makeshift device has been designed to support the tiny armoured possum’s disabled legs.

    With his new cart, the little mammal is now able to shuffle around independently in the dirt and scavenge for food.

    MORE: Disabled duck finally learns to walk using a special tiny wheelchair

    MORE: Disabled dog rescued from meat trade now zooms around in a wheelchair at home in the UK

    MORE: Meet the couple who use their London home as a refuge for disabled pets


    PARAPLEGIC ARMADILLOPARAPLEGIC ARMADILLO

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    Take in the views in La Cangreja National Park (Picture: http://www.VisitCostaRica.com)

    Work can feel like it never stops with never-ending streams of emails pinging through at all times of the day; tedious traffic jams and challenging clients often punctuate your day. That’s why holidays are so important.

    With the world at our fingertips, cookie-cutter holidays needn’t be the go-to option. What about a destination that is ‘full of life’ – a country whose whole essence is based on the saying Pura Vida, which literally means ‘pure life’.

    As we become more mindful about where we make our footprints, Costa Rica is the perfect destination for responsible and curious travellers, who are keen to discover unspoiled nature and embrace other cultures all year round.

    It might be a small country, but Costa Rica is home to around 5% of the world’s biodiversity and is full of adventures whether you want a laid back beach vibe or adrenaline-pumping activities, all while being surrounded by awe-inspiring wildlife and phenomenal landscapes from dense rainforests, to striking volcanoes and stunning beaches.

    Costa Rica is a holiday destination, where everyone’s experience can be different and where visitors can enrich their mind, body and soul – and we’re going to tell you how.

    Mind

    Swap your morning commute for a relaxing yoga session where the lush landscape is your yoga studio (Picture: www.visitcostrica.com)
    Swap your morning commute for a relaxing yoga session where the lush landscape is your yoga studio (Picture: http://www.visitcostrica.com)

    Costa Rica will take you far from your everyday stresses and not just geographically as you will be transported to a new realm while you embrace ‘Pura Vida’ by soaking up the variety of experiences available.

    Getting back to nature couldn’t be easier, with one of the most bio-diverse regions in the whole world. It would hard to find more reason to put down your phone as you spot some of the different 900 species of birds taking to the skies, or behold the wonder of humpback whales as they spend up to seven months in the nearby Pacific waters.

    Costa Rica is home to over 500 species and you can see them in their natural habitat (Picture: www.visitcostarica.com)
    Costa Rica is home to over 500 species and you can see them in their natural habitat (Picture: http://www.visitcostarica.com)

    Recharge your batteries at one of the luxury eco lodges in the national parks across Costa Rica. Guests are invited to swap their hectic morning commutes for a more peaceful journey – with morning yoga options or leisurely walks in the country’s lush national parks.

    The Osa Peninsula is one of Costa Rica’s best kept secrets. A stunning haven where you can hit your re-set button and tune in to relaxation mode. Surrounded by untouched natural beauty, the lucky ones that make the most of this blissful destination will get to spot some of the most unique wildlife in the world as they explore on leisurely bike rides, kayaking around the mangroves, forest baths, or just chilling on the beach with local organic delights.

    Body

    Find your zen in the Tabacon Hot Springs (Picture: www.visitcostarica.com)
    Find your zen in the Tabacon Hot Springs (Picture: http://www.visitcostarica.com)

    It’s important to look after your body, and Costa Rica really might be the best place in the world to do it. Living well is the very essence of ‘pura vida’ and its lush habitat makes it a natural wellness retreat.

    On the Pacific side of Costa Rica, there are inviting eco lodges and eco hotels specifically designed to make the most of the bountiful country, with even some of the best spa treatments using the mineral rich volcanic ash and yoga classes incorporating the rainforest as a natural studio.

    Pura Vida living will ensure visitors make the most of the lush landscape, with so much to see, imagine walking through the clouds? You can enjoy this breathtaking experience in Mountverde, or, the thrilling zipline through the rainforest, taking in the views and wildlife as you get the adrenaline pumping.

    What's better than you, your board and the big blue sea? (Picture: www.visitcostarica.com)
    What’s better than you, your board and the big blue sea? (Picture: http://www.visitcostarica.com)

    If water sports are more your thing, you could think about surfing on the Pacific coast – a surfer’s mecca – or, white water rafting through Rio Pacuare and Rio Saraiqui. Costa Rica is a natural playground where you can explore and push yourself to discover new adventures, but after working up that sweat, you might want to search out the relaxing hot spring pools, like at La Fortuna and also the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano area. No chlorine, just natural thermal water from under the Arenal Volcano; ready to soak your bones.

    Fresh local food is made up of locally sourced vegetables, fruits and fragrant herbs to nourish the body. While smoothies using fresh fruit like papaya, mango and pineapple are packed with nutrients to help you feel good. Costa Rica boasts a plethora of influences, including Latin, Asian and European cuisine with the fresh seafood being a huge staple on the pacific coast – an absolute must if you love ceviche. But if you fancy a bit of Caribbean flavour, then you’ll be able to hunt this out on the South Caribbean coast with tasty local dishes.

    Soul

    Learn how to be a cowboy and appreciate the rich Costa Rican culture (Picture: www.visitcostarica.com)
    Learn how to be a cowboy and appreciate the rich Costa Rican culture (Picture: http://www.visitcostarica.com)

    In Costa Rica, visitors are encouraged to immerse themselves in the culture by not only exploring but getting to know the locals. ‘Pura Vida’ is the way of life, and Costa Ricans want others to embrace this way of life and want to give an authentic experience and part of this can be throwing open their doors so that visitors can stay with local families for a true authentic experience.

    Getting off the beaten track and understanding different customs opens our eyes and can give us new perspectives – especially as they differ across the country.

    Costa Rica still has a strong cowboy influence in Guanacaste and La Fortuna that it’s not widely known for, but visitors can learn what it’s like to be a cowboy for the day from riding, to tending to the horses and cattle and what cowboys eat. You can even have a go at milking the cows.

    The ‘Pura Vida’ way of life runs deep in the country’s rural tourism and is steeped on sustainability, so visitors can see how neighbouring communities work together and trade. You’ll get shots that are unique to your own adventure, learn a thing or two and create memories to treasure forever.

    These are just a few of the exciting host of experiences you can enjoy in Costa Rica. Direct flights are available with British Airways from San Jose and with Tui to Liberia in Guanacaste.

    For more information about your visit to Costa Rica, click here: www.visitcostarica.com/uk/


    LaCangreja_2-b859LaCangreja_2-b859

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    Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, swinging in the garden she designed for Chelsea Flower Show
    Kate Middleton swinging in her Chelsea Flower Show garden (Picture: Kensington Palace)

    There are certain perks to being part of the Royal Family and the Duchess of Cambridge taking her husband Prince William and their children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, to enjoy a sneak preview of the garden she has designed for this year’s Chelsea Flower Show is certainly one of them.

    Kate’s garden was inspired by the importance for children to spend time outside to help them become ‘happy, healthy adults’.

    Unfortunately, the rest of us will have to wait until tomorrow to explore the creative gardens.

    When and where is the Chelsea Flower Show held?

    The event is organised by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and has been held in the same location since 1912 – namely, the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

    It will run from tomorrow (21 May) until Saturday 25 May.

    Chelsea Flower Show 2019 ticket prices and how to get them

    The first two days at the Chelsea Flower Show are reserved for members of the RHS.

    Unfortunately all member tickets are now sold out. If you’re a horticultural fan and want to go along next year, it might be worth considering becoming a member – these tickets are slightly cheaper and start from £42.

    Princess Charlotte and Prince George sat on a wooden bridge and looking into the stream below, with Prince William visible in the background playing with Prince Louis
    Prince George and Princess Charlotte seem to be big fans of their mother’s garden (Picture: Matt Porteous/PA)

    The public can buy tickets for the remaining three days, but those tickets are almost completely sold out too, barring a few left for Friday.

    If you want them, you better be quick, but it’ll cost you – the all day tickets are worth £107.00.

    You can also scour the web for resale sites, but it’s likely you’ll end up paying a hefty amount more than the average.

    Haven’t nabbed a ticket or don’t fancy splashing the cash?

    There’s always the option of watching the Chelsea Flower Show coverage on BBC Two. It will be broadcast bi-daily until 26 May, and the winners will be featured once announced. See the BBC website for each day’s specific air times.

    Worst comes to worst, you could go to a park with swings, close your eyes and pretend you’re there.

    Or get yourself an indoor nature fix, if that’s more your thing.

    MORE: Where is the Chelsea Flower Show held and when is it on TV?

    MORE: My Odd Job: My gardens for Chelsea Flower Show are made with blood, sweat and tears

    MORE: George, Charlotte and Louis visit their mum’s garden at Chelsea Flower Show


    Duchess of Cambridge RHS Chelsea Flower Show gardenDuchess of Cambridge RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden

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    Stereotypes around older people's sex lives are damaging their wellbeing
    (Picture: Ella Byworth)

    As you get older, you gain greater self-assurance and confidence – and that apparently extends into the bedroom.

    A new study has found that many people over the age of 50 are having the most adventurous sex of their lives, with 62% saying they have become more daring in the bedroom because they now have fewer inhibitions.

    The research, conducted by Lumen, found that another reason for the kinkier action between the sheets is that having more ‘down time’ has led to experimenting in the bedroom, whilst more than 10% put it down to simply having a higher libido.

    The study also revealed that there’s definitely a chance over 50s will go all the way on their first date, with more than a third saying they would have sex within the first three dates,

    A sex session for over 50s lasts, on average, twenty five minutes, and most love making sessions involve three different sex positions, with missionary topping the table as position of choice.

    But close behind that somewhat vanilla position were doggy, oral and 69, with anal making an appearance in the top ten.

    Dating stages picture; Ella Byworth for metro.co.uk
    (Picture: Ella Byworth)

    More than half also declared that they won’t stop having sex until they’re physically unable to. Good for them.

    But age doesn’t always come with wisdom – more than half of the people questioned admitted to never using protection whilst having sex and a staggering 80% have never been tested for an STI.

    Only 4% of both men and women say they use protection most of the time.

    It’s possible that abandoning condoms has contributed to the increasing diagnosis of STIs in this demographic, with cases of chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis rising by more than a third over the last decade.

    To help raise awareness and tackle the issue of rising STIs in the over 50s, Lumen is launching a ‘safe sex’ campaign, partnering with sexual health educators and brands.

    ‘Of course the over 50s are having more adventurous sex, they’re more comfortable in their own skin and know what they want. It’s something that should be celebrated, not recoiled from.

    ‘Our app is all about anti-ageism, body confidence and helping to create meaningful and genuine connections,’ says Antoine Argouges, Co-Founder and CEO of Lumen.

    ‘But we also want to encourage healthy and safe relationships, which is why we’ll be partnering with sexual health educators and brands to help tackle the rise of STIs in the over 50s.

    ‘We know this is a serious issue amongst the over 50s, and as a dating app specifically for that audience, we know we have an opportunity to bring this to their attention.’ 

    MORE: My scars made me feel I’d never deserve respect

    MORE: Diverse kids empowered to enjoy the natural world in new campaign

    MORE: Woman shamed for engagement ring that looks like ‘a pimple popper blister’


    Stereotypes around older people's sex lives are damaging their wellbeingStereotypes around older people's sex lives are damaging their wellbeing

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    Yasmin's parents
    Now that my mother has dementia, all I want is to give her the same love and support she gave to me (Picture: Yasmin Sofi)

    When I first arrived in the UK from Northern Syria two years ago, I was full of hope for my future.

    I already spoke a good level of English and I loved the British weather – it was a relief from the stiflingly long hot summers of home.

    But these days, life is increasingly tough in my new home-town of Wrexham in Wales.

    Shortly after my three sisters and I left the bombed and broken town we grew up in, our father had a heart attack due to stress. Now we’ve learnt that our 59-year-old mother has dementia.

    Most people can take comfort in knowing they can care for their parents in their time of need but, because I’m a refugee, the rules are different for me.

    Unless the rules change, my mother and father, who have now fled Syria for Iraq, will never be allowed to see out their old age with me and my sisters in the UK.

    As if living with conflict on our doorstep wasn’t enough, in 2010 I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Like anyone who receives a cancer diagnosis, I was so shocked and I couldn’t think of any words to say when the doctor told me the news.

    It was a really hard time for me but my parents were my rock, travelling the long journey with me back and forth to Damascus, a city in Syria, for all my treatment and operations.

    Without my parents, I don’t know how I would have coped with my cancer and the constant struggle of living in a war zone. I took all my strength to survive from them.

    Now that my mother has dementia, all I want is to give her the same love and support she gave to me when I was unwell.

    But it’s not just my battle with cancer that my parents supported me through. Throughout my whole life, my mother and father gave me the best education they could.

    Back in Syria, alongside my career as a radiographer, I studied biotechnology engineering to develop my skills in the laboratory and to learn more about administering different medical tests.

    My mother’s dementia is rapidly deteriorating and it is becoming increasingly hard for my father to look after her on his own.

    Every Friday, after a busy week of work, I would travel for more than 10 hours to attend lectures in Aleppo, taking a long and convoluted route to avoid the most dangerous areas of conflict. It was a big risk for me to take, but all I have ever wanted is to keep learning and progressing in my career.

    My favourite thing about my job as a radiographer was helping people. The hospital I worked at was a special one for women and lots of my patients were hoping to get pregnant. It always made me so thrilled to give people the happy news that they wanted.

    If I could be a radiographer for the NHS it would change my life. I would be contributing something to society, using the skills I have spent the last 20 years perfecting to diagnose and treat people in Britain.

    Although I am almost fluent in English and have passed the level needed for most people to work, for a career in radiography I need to achieve an extremely high score. But studying English is not easy when I am worried about my parents back home.

    My mother’s dementia is rapidly deteriorating and it is becoming increasingly hard for my father to look after her on his own.

    Meanwhile, the conflict in Syria dampens their hopes of returning home, so they remain in Iraq where clashes between armed groups pose a constant threat to their safety.

    What governments don’t realise when they create rules that keep families apart, is the impact it has on our ability to integrate, to learn a new language, to make friends. It affects every part of our struggle to rebuild our lives in a new country.

    After years of campaigning from charities like the British Red Cross, MPs overwhelmingly voted to change these rules to allow more refugees across the UK to be reunited with their families.

    But over one year later, and nothing has changed. For families like mine, this is a whole extra year of missed birthdays, Ramadans, shared meals and laughter.

    I am urgently calling on the UK Government to relax restrictive rules so that no refugee is forced to be without their family indefinitely.

    Your family is not just your partner and your young children, your family is your parents and adult children too, it is everything that makes you who you are.

    I somehow survived conflict and cancer, but I’m not sure I can survive without my parents.

    MORE: Hundreds of child refugees deported from UK back to war zones

    MORE: Long-term illness and mental health problems are intertwined – why are they treated separately?’

    MORE: I will not stop talking about the racism I face even if it means I lose my job


    received_2406631966222978-9de6received_2406631966222978-9de6

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    A sad looking little teddy bear, weighed down by his melancholy.
    Very cute, but are you sure you still need to sleep with him? (Picture: Getty Images/Moment RF)

    A survey has found as many as 34 percent of adults still sleep with a soft toy every night, while 15 percent admit they can’t sleep without theirs.

    17 percent confess they still cuddle a teddy when they’re upset, and an incredibly depressing almost one in ten (9%) say they’d rather share a bed with their teddy than their own partner.

    The study, carried out by Hotpoint to celebrate the launch of their ActiveCare washing machine, spoke to 2,000 people and found that almost half (44%) of the nation have held onto their teddies and dolls, whether at their house or their parents’ home.

    Continuing the theme that we’re a nation of adult babies, 40% of Brits have a bedroom in their parent’s house which remains packed with all their childhood dolls and teddies, with five percent of adults demanding that their old bedroom is kept the same as it always was, as a shrine to their youth.

    How healthy and well adjusted.

    The research also found eleven percent of British adults have taken their special soft toy on holiday with them, and five percent have even sneaked it into work.

    Yes, 5% of human adults have smuggled a teddy into work with them. The mind boggles.

    With such reliance on childhood toys, it’s no surprise that when they do go missing the effects can be severe.

    24% of people who had misplaced a teddy or doll said they felt “devastated” by the loss of their beloved toy.

    When the teddy bears were lost, men were on average more devastated than women, with 21% saying they felt like they’d lost their best friend, compared to just 19 percent of women.

    Best friend, guys. BEST FRIEND.

    MORE: Boy with autism calls 911 to locate lost teddy bear – and cops come to help

    MORE: This is how Costa Rica can enrich your mind, body AND soul


    Sad little teddy bear is weary with woeSad little teddy bear is weary with woe

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    Confetti on floor during prom
    A high school student has organised an inclusive prom for disabled students (Picture: Getty)

    If American films are anything to go by, proms are the highlight of the high school social calendar and everyone worth their salt has to go.

    But sadly, these films also show those on the sidelines that don’t have a date or don’t even bother going, feeling like outsiders.

    So one teenager from Texas, U.S, is trying to change that. Kennedy Bentley just had her own end of year prom but wants to organise the next one, for students with special needs.

    Although prom season is now wrapping up, the 18-year-old wants the next one to be for those who have Down’s Syndrome and other conditions.

    The youngster decided to get the ball rolling ahead of the event, as she understands that not all teenagers and their families can afford to splurge lots ofmoney on one night.

    Luckily for her, local businesses have also agreed to offer their services for free.

    Three teenage girls (14-18) in formal dresses beside limo, low section
    (Picture: Getty)

    ‘I started to think about how we spend so much money — some kids spend almost $1,000 (£784)— and how not everybody has the opportunity to do that,’ Bentley, told the Dallas Morning News.

    ‘Their parents are already paying for medical needs and other classes they have to get through and don’t have the financial capacity to get kids to proms.’

    The student, a graduating senior at Richardson High School, said she realised that many disabled children have ongoing medical costs as healthcare is not free in America.

    She just wants one night for them to enjoy, the same as any highschooler without having to worry about anything else.

    Kennedy connected with people with Down’s Syndrome at her church, but she noticed how some of the students at her school struggled to make friends.

    She wondered if a social hub like prom would be alienating for people with disabilities, unable to navigate the venue and rituals.

    ‘People think it’s not their problem — that person is someone else’s problem. They don’t want to stop and take the chance to help that person,’ she added.

    Teenagers dancing together at prom
    The prom will be next spring (Picture: Getty)

    So she got involved in the Interact Club, the youth branch of Rotary International – an international service organisation – and worked with them to raise funds.

    Kennedy tried to sort it all out in time for this year’s prom but was unable to secure all the connections.

    But for next year, she has found a venue which will host the prom at a discounted rate.

    Others have also volunteered their services including Dallas entertainer DJ Mike; clothing store Terry Costa which will provide dresses; and International Suit Wearhouse which will dress the boys.

    What a sweet community effort.

    MORE: Teenager without a date takes himself to prom wearing half a suit and half a dress

    MORE: This teen’s incredibly cheesy promposal will melt the even the iciest of hearts


    Teenagers dancing together at promTeenagers dancing together at prom

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    An image of waitrose, a screenshot of her order and Karla
    Karla spotted the problem on her confirmation email (Picture SWNS)

    We’ve seen some pretty silly supermarket substitutions in our time – remember the mum who got two ‘2’s and a one candle instead of a five?

    Karla Tandazo, 28, from Mill Hill East, London, though, had an even bigger shock when she pressed checkout on her delivery.

    The supermarket had somehow accidentally ordered 1,404 packs of two Wild Alaskan Keta salmon fillets to her order – costing £4,689.98.

    Luckily, American Express notified her of ‘unusual activity’ and she spotted the mistake long before the delivery was due.

    Can you imagine trying to get almost 3,000 salmon fillets off your doorstep?

    The packs are normally priced at £4.99 but thanks to a 3 for £10 deal, Karla saved over £2,500. She would have been charged £7,005.95, were it not for the deal.

    Thinking that she’d made the colossal mistake herself, Karla read and reread her first order to make sure she hadn’t accidentally added 1,404 packs of salmon.

    A screenshot of Karla's Waitrose order
    Karla’s order (Picture: KarlaTandazo / SWNS)

    The supermarket told Karla that she’d receive a £4,689.98 refund within seven days, and said they were ‘really sorry about the inconvenience this must have caused’ .

    ‘I was working from home when I made the order,’ she said.

    ‘You have to imagine, I wasn’t thinking too hard about this – I saw that salmon deal, and thought that sounded nice, so I put them in the basket.

    ‘Then I got an email from American Express telling me about unusual recent activity, which is when I discovered I’d been charged thousands of pounds.

    ‘For a moment, I wondered if I’d been so silly and ordered 1,404 salmon packs.

    ‘After I could see there must have been some kind of system error, I got in touch with Waitrose, who – to be fair – were very helpful and apologetic.

    ‘Though they did say they’d need to speak to their manager about x, y, and z.

    ‘I found the whole thing confusing, but pretty funny – I’ve taken to telling my friends.

    ‘I’d have refused to have taken 3,000 pieces of salmon in at first, and then given them away at the station or something, or even opened up a little shop.’

    Waitrose have been contacted for comment.

    MORE: Over 50s are having the ‘most adventurous’ sex of their lives

    MORE: Paraplegic armadillo rolls around in custom made wheelchair and he looks cool


    A woman who placed an order with Waitrose for three pieces of salmon was mistakenly billed over ?4,600A woman who placed an order with Waitrose for three pieces of salmon was mistakenly billed over ?4,600

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    Faye Waddams and her little boy Noah, now almost four
    Faye and Noah now (Picture: Faye Waddams)

    Laughing and playing with her three-year-old son Noah, Faye Waddams, 33, has a simple act of kindness from a stranger to thank for this moment.

    Faye describes 6 March 2015 as the worst day of her life – she had an epileptic seizure as she walked up the stairs at Bow Road tube station, when she was almost 24 weeks pregnant.

    But a stranger behind her rolled her over and shouted for help, refusing to leave her side until the paramedics and Faye’s work colleague arrived.

    When the medical team got there, the stranger put her hand to Faye’s head, stroked her hair and said she hoped everything would be ok, before leaving her in the hands of the paramedics.

    It was a brief meeting but one that Faye still thinks about often. Thanks to the help of the stranger, Faye was taken to hospital, and miraculously, both she and her baby were fine.

    Faye has never been able to find the stranger who helped her but wants to thank her.

    A few months later, on 13 June, Noah was born – happy and healthy. With his fourth birthday approaching, she hopes she might be able to finally track her down.

    Faye tells Metro.co.uk: ‘She did such simple things, but at the worst and scariest moment of my life, her kindness was a huge positive in an otherwise god awful day.

    ‘I have tried really hard to find her but with no luck. If I could speak to her now, I’d tell her that bump is now Noah, a cheeky, happy and healthy almost four-year-old.

    Faye with Noah when he was a baby in hospital
    Faye with Noah when he was born (Picture: Faye Waddams)

    ‘Despite fears, I managed to walk away with bumps, bruises, cuts and sprains. I would thank her for having human compassion – I don’t think she knew what to do but she was kind and stayed when so many would have walked away.

    ‘I would thank her from the bottom of my heart for my baby boy, as I do everyone who helped me that day. That I will never have the words to tell her how grateful I am. Small actions have a big impact.’

    Faye, from Loughton, Essex, was diagnosed with epilepsy at age seven and it had been well-controlled for years so when she met her husband Chris, she had no concerns about falling pregnant.

    But Faye suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum – a very severe form of morning sickness, which the Duchess of Cambridge also suffered from.

    Unable to keep down food or water, Faye was missing vital doses of her medication as she was simply throwing it up again.

    She says: ‘I started having complex partial seizures daily from very early on in my pregnancy and I was under my neurologist and obstetricians care from 10 weeks. I had my first tonic clonic seizure in pregnancy in the March and a second four weeks later.’

    Faye, Chris and baby Noah in hospital
    Faye, Chris and baby Noah (Picture: Faye Waddams)

    On the day of 6 March, Faye had woken up early but she hadn’t been able to keep her medication down.

    She was on her way to work and had managed to get to Bow Road, the station near her office, but she was feeling incredibly sick.

    When she reached the tube station stairs, she felt an aura – a warning for a seizure – and tried to get to the floor, but it was too late.

    She fell down the stairs on her front, but luckily, the stranger behind her stepped in.

    ‘That was the last I remember. I came to to a lady turning me over and talking to me. She took control, shouting for help. The rest is a bit blurry,’ Faye says.

    ‘My work colleague arrived and took over. Paramedics arrive and I was put onto a spinal board. I was cut out of my clothing and a cannula was put in. Then I was blue lighted to the Royal London Hospital, East London.’

    Noah as a newborn baby
    Noah when he was born (Picture: Faye Waddams)

    Faye didn’t see the stranger again but knows that her help was crucial in getting her to hospital as soon as possible.

    Amazingly, despite the seizure and the fall, both Faye and the baby were ok.

    She says: ‘I was taken to resus while they checked me over, the concern being I’d broken my neck and obviously there were concerns for the baby.

    ‘The gave me pain relief, paged my neurologist and obstetrician and arranged scans. My husband and sister were at the hospital and said they were kept informed in the relatives room.

    ‘Later in the day, they found I had no fractures or breaks and baby seemed ok but they kept me in because of concerns the stress would bring on labour.’

    With another 17 weeks to go until her due date, Faye continued to suffer seizures throughout her pregnancy.

    Chris, Faye and Noah now
    The Waddams family (Picture: Faye Waddams)

    ‘I had a second tonic clonic seizure four weeks after that ohe and the partial seizures continued.

    ‘My medication levels had plummeted – my body was processing my medication faster than it could absorb it, which was common with the medication I was on.

    ‘Eventually they induced me three weeks early. I was exhausted and couldn’t take much more.

    What to do if someone has a seizure

    Do:

    • Protect them from injury (remove harmful objects from nearby)
    • Cushion their head
    • Look for an epilepsy identity card or identity jewellery – it may give you information about their seizures and what to do
    • Time how long the jerking lasts
    • Aid breathing by gently placing them in the recovery position once the jerking has stopped (see picture)
    • Stay with the them until they are fully recovered
    • Be calmly reassuring

    Don’t:

    • Restrain their movements
    • Put anything in their mouth
    • Try to move them unless they are in danger
    • Give them anything to eat or drink until they are fully recovered
    • Attempt to bring them round

    Epilepsy action

    ‘Noah was born on 13 June 2015 at 15:09 weighing a very healthy 7.1lb. There was no sign of the trauma my beautiful boy had suffered whilst inside me.

    ‘After a horrific pregnancy, labour and birth were easy. I was just so relieved that we were getting him out.’

    After Noah’s birth, Faye spent a long time trying to get her epilepsy back under control.

    Noah giving his mum Faye a kiss
    Faye says she is so grateful to the stranger for helping to save both her and Noah (Picture: Faye Waddams)

    Now, almost four years on, she has been seizure free for a year and it has allowed her to retrain to become a swimming instructor.

    Faye and Chris have decided that they don’t want to risk having another child because of her epilepsy.

    ‘We’re very lucky to have Noah but we have decided we won’t have any more children because of how ill I was during the pregnancy and because of the medication I am now on,’ she says.

    Faye is speaking out for National Epilepsy Week and wants people to understand what to do in the event of seeing someone else having a seizure – like the stranger who helped her.

    She also writes about her experiences in her blog and hopes her honestly will help other people with the condition.

    Noah with his arms around Faye now
    Faye and Noah now (Picture: Faye Waddams)

    ‘I have had not so positive experiences. I have had people refuse to give me a seat on the train when pregnant, and didn’t even offer when I was sat on the floor because I felt like a seizure was coming on,’ she says.

    ‘I was in a shop once when in the first few months of being pregnant and began to feel an aura coming on. I sat down on the floor again – the shop assistant took one look at me and carried on walking.

    ‘If they can do nothing else, just stay close by and reassure the person. If in doubt, call for an ambulance – you don’t know their seizure history. Someone who seems drunk or disorientated could be having a partial seizure – again remain close and don’t try to restrain them.

    ‘Doing something is better than doing nothing. I think fear and lack of knowledge are the main reason people don’t help. The key to this is raising awareness. Knowledge is power.’

    Are you the stranger who helped Faye? Get in touch at laura.abernethy@metro.co.uk.

    MORE: Woman charged £4,600 after Waitrose added 3,000 fillets of salmon to her order by mistake

    MORE: 1 in 3 British adults still sleeps with a soft toy


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    KATE LEAVER: LEAN ON ME
    Why can’t millennials make friends at work? (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Do you have a work wife? An office bestie? Someone to eat lunch with and gossip with at the water cooler?

    A shocking number of millennials are lacking these daily interactions – with 65% of 25-34-year-olds saying they find it hard to make professional friendships.

    In fact, three in 10 have quit at least one job to avoid a company’s social scene and 48% of 18-24-year-olds have called in sick because of difficult office cultures.

    The figures, published by Milkround, found that only 26% of people over the age of 55 found it hard to make friends at work – so why are younger people finding it so tricky?

    Stress is one factor that is causing social greater difficulties for younger employees when compared to their older colleagues – 30% reported that being too stressed caused them social problems. Another reported barrier to making friends are the financial pressures associated with socialising outside of work.

    Additionally, 24% of under-25s surveyed claimed they were more likely to feel anxious about meeting a new colleague, compared to just 8% of over-55s.

    Drawing of someone writing an email on their laptop
    A lack of professional friendships can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    This lack of friendships goes deeper than simply not having anyone to sit with at lunch – it’s actually negatively impacting mental health and contributing to feelings of isolation and loneliness.

    75% of those who struggle to make friends in the workplace believe it has a negative impact on their mental well-being.

    47% of those surveyed felt a main value of workplace friendships is the practical and emotional support they provide in facing challenges at work – so taking those friendship networks away could really do some damage.

    Sophie* knows this feeling all too well. She says she has always struggled to make friends at work, and that it is in part a product of her environment.

    ‘I blame London for why I find making friends hard – at all the different jobs I’ve had in my life,’ Sophie tells Metro.co.uk

    ‘The pressures and demands of just existing in this city – just plain old breathing in and out with a roof over your head – have pushed me into spaces I don’t belong.

    ‘That sense of not belonging when shared by others around you manifests in ways that make for an environment that is not conducive to friendship making.

    ‘I often try to reach out to people who I have nothing in common with, so we try and find commonality through work, this is bad because work comes with hierarchies, bosses, and things that can add a negative influence to a budding work friendship.

    ‘I eat lunch alone, because I don’t want to pretend that I care about the work we do with colleagues who are also pretending to care about the work we do.

    ‘I make excuses to get out of work social things because I feel unable to engage with people who would in any other circumstance not give me the time of day.

    ‘Work for me is like being in the army, except without the sense of duty, love and purpose.’

    Sophie knows that a lack of work friends has an impact on her mental health, it’s something she can feel every day:

    ‘It makes me feel erratic,’ explains Sophie.

    ‘Like sometimes I want to stand up and scream; “Michelle in accounting goes home every day and cries because she’s miserable here!” And I get really, really angry a lot.

    ‘It does weirdly boost my need for other people though, I try and make conversations with complete strangers in the street.

    ‘It does make me dread every new day, not having any connections with people I see more than my own family. Its unnatural.’

    So how do we tackle this problem? Is there a way for millennials to work to forge meaningful workplace relationships? Relationship psychologist Emma Kenny thinks it’s vital that we try.

    ‘In an age that has seen an ominous rise in serious mental health conditions, and a sharp decline in the available resources to deal with the problem, it is crucial that young people entering the workforce learn to take care of their own well-being,’ Emma tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘Whilst a great deal of responsibility falls upon the shoulders of employers to foster a welcoming, safe and supportive working culture and environment, to ease the transition from education to employment, younger generations must also take positive steps to safeguard their own needs.

    ‘We will spend around a quarter of our adult lives at work, and so knowing that we are surrounded by people who we can trust and whose company we enjoy can only have a positive impact on our well-being – which is why it makes sense to work hard at workplace friendships.’

    Please stop giving unsolicited advice to people with acne
    Workplace friendships can be an invaluable source of professional support (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.u)

    According to researchers at Milkround, there are a number of practical steps that younger employees can take to improve their social situation at work:

    Overcoming social anxiety

    Facing your fear and stepping out of your comfort zone is vital.

    Natural introverts tend to catastrophise and imagine the social scenario as something far worse than it actually is. Do not avoid social situations as there is nothing to fear and everything to gain.

    It is always better to risk rejection in the pursuit of the reward of friendship.

    Positive body language

    Often, if we are feeling self-conscious, stressed or generally overwhelmed, our body language can betray our mood and send out the wrong signals.

    Whether it is slumped shoulders, averted eyes or crossed arms, negative body language can suggest that a person is uncomfortable or defensiveness and create an air of unapproachability.

    Adopting a relaxed posture, maintaining eye contact and, most importantly, smiling, puts people at ease and gets the conversation flowing.

    Facing the financial hurdle

    If finances are proving to be a barrier to forming friendships at work, then suggest activities that do not cost a penny. For example, arranging a charity walk could be a great team-building exercise and an effective way to strike up workplace friendships with people who share a common interest.

    Being proactive and taking matters into your own hands in this manner are attractive characteristics that people look for in potential friends.

    Communicating your concerns

    If feelings of isolation and loneliness at work are affecting your mental health, then talk to somebody about it; communication is key.

    Totaljobs study found that one in four men and one in five women have never told anyone about their workplace loneliness.

    Approaching your manager or HR representative may seem daunting, but they are there to help. Share your concerns and always remember that asking for help makes you stronger, not weaker.

    But workplace besties aren’t for everyone. And there can be benefits in keeping your work life and your social life completely seperate.

    Dora* says her approach to workplace friendships has changed over the years – and now she’s more relaxed about skipping work drinks and keeping herself to herself in professional environments.

    ‘I grew up working in the hospitality industry, where it was super easy to make friends. I met one of my best mates working in a pub – still friends to this day, I’m her maid of honour,’ says Dora.

    ‘However, now that I work in an office environment, I try to keep a more professional distance; mainly because it makes it easier to switch off when I get home and I don’t like getting involved in office politics or gossip (which is easier to avoid if you’re not socialising).

    ‘I have still managed to scramble together a few new pals, but it’s not the same level of camaraderie as I felt when I was younger and working in bars. Then again, we had access to booze and bonded over shitty customers, so kind of makes sense.

    ‘I have such a great network of friends outside of work that it doesn’t really affect me much. Plus, as I’m freelance I’m used to working alone so I usually just get on with my day.

    ‘But I will say that office cliques do make me feel anxious – and tends to unfortunately happen more with women than men.

    ‘I have worked in a lot of managerial roles, where it was common not to make friends because you had to keep a distance from your employees, so I guess I’ve been trained in that since I was in my early 20s.’

    There are certainly different approaches for different people, and it also depends in large part on the industry you work in and the type of job you have.

    Only you know what feels normal to you. If you’re happy to keep to yourself in the office and save your socialising for your ‘real’ friends, that is fair enough – but if you feel lonely, isolated or anxious at work, then it might be time to seek help.

    MORE: Teen organises prom for students with Down’s Syndrome and others who are left out

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    MORE: Woman charged £4,600 after Waitrose added 3,000 fillets of salmon to her order by mistake


    KATE LEAVER: LEAN ON MEKATE LEAVER: LEAN ON ME

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    Busy Phillips started the YouKnowMe hashtag to talk about abortion
    Caption: It\’s ok to not want to talk about your abortion – Busy Phillips
    Getty

    In the wake of the cruel, draconian changes to abortion law in Georgia and Alabama, women have been sharing the stories of their abortions.

    Using the hashtag YouKnowMe, women have been sharing the details of their abortions, an idea started by actress and campaigner Busy Phillips, who wanted to shed light on the fact that 1 in 4 women will have an abortion in her lifetime.

    ‘I was 26, happily married and excited for the pregnancy. We got a non compatible with life diagnosis – the skull didn’t form. We ended the pregnancy at 13 weeks. We made the best choice for us and now have a happy and healthy baby’ writes a woman named Michelle.

    ‘My boyfriend at the time said I could either have an abortion or he could beat “it” out of me. I cried the entire time. And months after so hard I would vomit. I count the age with every passing year, But it’s probably the only reason I’m alive today. 1 in 4’ wrote Meg.

    ‘I was 15 and so scared to tell my mom I was pregnant. I went to a judge and he agreed that I was aware of what I was doing and I had a legal and safe abortion at 15 weeks. 25 years later, I have no regrets’ shared Amanda.

    The stories being shared on Twitter and Instagram are harrowing, beautiful, honest and raw.The women sharing them are unspeakably brave.

    But I still find something about the campaign uncomfortable.

    Of course anyone who wants to discuss her experience of abortion has the right to do so. Women’s voices about their experiences of abortion are valuable and valid.

    But it’s also okay not to want to talk about your abortion. You don’t owe anyone your story.

    You don’t have to spill the details of your abortion to try and fight against the dystopic nightmare taking place in the USA.

    Wanting to stay silent about your abortion doesn’t make you a bad feminist. It also doesn’t mean you’re ashamed or you regret it. It just means that for whatever reason, it’s not a story that you feel willing or able to share.

    A woman can feel absolutely no regret about her abortion, and still not want to talk about it.

    Even if it was the best choice you ever made, it’s still okay to stay silent.

    The idea of the YouKnowMe campaign is to demonstrate that all ‘types’ of women have abortions – which is completely true. Abortions are not just for promiscuous women, young women or women who don’t want children.

    59% of US women who have abortions already have children.

    59% of US women who have abortions are between the age of 20 and 29.

    But being able to speak out publicly about having had one requires a certain level of privilege.

    There are women all over the world who would face being disowned by their families for speaking out, who would be shunned by their communities or risk professional ruin for being honest.

    The women leading the charge on openly admitting to having had an abortion are mostly wealthy, white celebrities  Because they can.

    Not for a moment am I suggesting that being a rich white woman makes sharing your abortion story easy. It’s still an incredibly brave thing to do. But for a lot of women it’s just not possible.

    For many women putting their abortion story on social media would be dangerous. It could lead to violence from a family member or a partner. It could (illegally) get them fired. It could result in being excommunicated from their church or their community.

    Even if you can share your abortion story without your parents deleting your phone number or your partner hurting you, you are still not obliged to.

    There are women who want to shout about their abortions, who want to destigmatise through total honesty.

    But not all of us can do that. Some of us only tell our abortion stories to close friends over a bottle of wine.

    Others mention it rarely, and only to their partner.

    There are women who will take the secret of their abortion to the grave.

    None of these women are wrong.

    If you feel comfortable talking publicly about your abortion then that is brilliant. But you do not have to.

    Reproductive freedom should not be contingent on the willingness of women to spill their most intimate experiences.

    We deserve the freedom to choose what happens inside our own bodies, and we should not have to earn that freedom by giving total strangers the details of our medical history.

    If you would like to support the efforts to combat this legislation without sharing your abortion story, you can donate to the Yellowhammer fund. 

    MORE: Alabama’s abortion laws are not as extreme as Northern Ireland’s

    MORE: Emily Ratajkowski poses naked to draw attention to US abortion bans


    It\'s ok to not want to talk about your abortionIt\'s ok to not want to talk about your abortion

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    Old Sikh man meditating
    Girl Gaze: Journeys Through the Punjab & The Black Country celebrates diaspora communities in the West Midlands (Picture: Jennifer Pattison)

    The Black Country, an area of the West Midlands, has one of the largest Punjabi communities outside of India.

    Since the community started to grow there in the 1940s, Punjabis have carved a unique identity in the area, adding to its cultural, economic and social landscape.

    And now their contributions are being celebrated in a new photographic exhibition – Girl Gaze: Journeys Through the Punjab & The Black Country.

    Gender, identity, patriarchy, tradition, culture, memory, and place are the themes encapsulated by the art show, shown through the voices of young girls and women.

    It brings together new work by four female artists: Uzma Mohsin, Jennifer Pattison, Andrea Fernandes, and Jocelyn Allen.

    Each of the artists brings their individual interests and distinctive narrative styles to explore a range of complex issues.

    The artists wanted to create art by women for women.

    Woman and a girl hiding behind some balloons
    Jocelyn Allen explores what it is to be born a daughter of the Punjab (Picture: Jocelyn Allen)

    ‘At its heart, the show celebrates the unique and exceptional contribution of the Punjabi diaspora in the West Midlands by bringing together four female photographers to create compelling stories about the lives of British-Punjabi girls and women as well as their female relatives and communities in the Punjab,’ said curator Iona Fergusson.

    ‘We are excited by these stories as we hope they will inspire new dialogues.’

    Women wearing traditional Indian clothes hanging out in a hall
    Andrea Fernandes’ Panjab Court (Picture: Andrea Fernandes)

    One of the artists, Jennifer Pattison’s interest in magical worlds is expressed in the rich traditions of the Punjabi Lori (lullabies).

    The artist is interested in how lullabies are passed down the generations from grandmother to daughter to grandchild.

    Her piece is entitled Rice Pudding Moon & The River of Dreams and is a series of images taken at dusk, dawn or lit by moonlight.

    Mum watching baby sleep
    Jennifer Pattinson explores how lullabies are passed down the generations from grandmother to daughter to grandchild (Picture: Jennifer Pattison)

    Jennifer told Metro.co.uk what she wanted to achieve with the concept.

    ‘I wanted to transport the viewer to the quiet, intimate moments shared between a mother and a baby as they drift off to the magical realm of sleep.

    ‘I made multiple trips to the Punjab to produce the work and it became quite clear to me whilst editing which images needed to be included.’

    Edited portrait of a woman
    Uzma Mohsin looks at personal stories of Punjabi women (Picture: Uzma Mohsin)

    Other pieces in the exhibition include Uzma Mohsin’s work Love & Other Hurts which seeks to breathe new life into the personal histories of Punjabi women in the Black Country.

    She pictures life in diaspora communities and amongst family members in India, exploring courage, resilience, bonds of love and friendship but also hardship, loneliness, abandonment and depression.

    Back of a woman with a buzz cut and leopard colours dyed on hair
    More of Uzma’s female subjects (Picture: Uzma Mohsin)

    Jocelyn Allen’s You Will Live in This World as A Daughter is a series of portraits of girls and young women that explores what it is to be born a daughter of the Punjab, looking at patriarchal settings.

    In Panjab Court, Andrea Fernandes investigates how culture, tradition, nationality impact the way we perceive and represent ourselves collectively and individually.

    Woman lying down with black transparent scarf on her head
    Jocelyn Allen shoots a series of portraits of girls and young women (Picture: Jocelyn Allen)

    The exhibition takes place in West Bromwich as part of Blast! – a festival of photography, talks, and walks from Friday 24 May to Saturday 29 June 2019.

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    Loose peppers and a member of Morrisons staff with loose veg
    (Picture: Morrisons)

    Cutting down on plastic is important but not easy.

    If you buy your fruit and veg from supermarkets, you often end up with mounds of single use plastic packaging.

    Well, now Morrisons is offering a section of many of its stores with plastic-free fruit and veg.

    You can pick them up loose and put them in your own bags or use recyclable paper ones.

    The move follows a ten-month trial in three Morrisons stores in Skipton, Guiseley and St Ives.

    In those stores, the amount of loose fruit and veg bought by customers increased by an average of 40%.

    The supermarket hopes to see a similar result across other stores, which could save an estimated three tonnes of plastic a week.

    A member of Morrisons staff stands in the new plastic-free section
    The new plastic-free section (Picture: Mikael Buck/Morrisons)

    Morrisons will create a section with loose fruit and veg to sit alongside their packaged veg.

    Customers will see an entire section of the fruit and veg department with no plastic. There will be a neighbouring section where customers can still buy packaged veg, if they choose.

    The loose fruit and veg areas will be rolled out in 60 Morrisons stores during the course of 2019. They will then continue to be introduced as part of the supermarket’s ongoing store refurbishment programme nationwide.

    The areas will include everyday essentials such as carrots, potatoes and onions as well as more unusual seasonal varieties such as celeriac. Fruit will include apples, pears and oranges, plus figs, persmimons and pomegranates.

    For the first time, customers will also be able to buy loose cauliflower, white cabbage and chestnut mushrooms.

    Drew Kirk, Fruit and Veg Director at Morrisons said: ‘Many of our customers would like the option of buying their fruit and veg loose. So we’re creating an area of our greengrocery with no plastic where they can pick as much or as little as they like.

    ‘We’re going back to using traditional greengrocery and we hope customers appreciate the choice.’

    What can you get in the new plastic free section?

    • Apples
    • Apricot
    • Banana
    • Clementine
    • Coconut
    • Fig
    • Kiwi
    • Lemons
    • Limes
    • Mango
    • Melon
    • Nectarine
    • Oranges
    • Papaya
    • Passion Fruit
    • Peach
    • Pears
    • Persimmon
    • Pineapple
    • Plum
    • Pomegranate
    • Rhubarb
    • Avocado
    • Beetroot
    • Cucumber
    • Peppers
    • Salad onions
    • Tomatoes
    • Artichoke
    • Asparagus
    • Aubergine
    • Broccoli
    • Brussels Sprouts
    • Cabbage
    • Carrot
    • Cauliflower
    • Celeriac
    • Courgettes
    • Fennel
    • Garlic
    • Ginger
    • Kale
    • Leeks
    • Marrow
    • Mushroom
    • Onions
    • Parsnips
    • Potatoes
    • Pumpkins
    • Sprouts
    • Squash
    • Swede
    • Sweet Potatoes
    • Sweetcorn
    • Turnip

    MORE: Mum’s hunt for stranger who saved her and her baby when she had a seizure at a tube station

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    Morrison\'s introducing plastic free fruit and veg areasMorrison\'s introducing plastic free fruit and veg areas

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    Sperm banks tempt donors by using hyper masculine language
    (Picture: SDA)

    Researchers have discovered that sperm banks ‘use masculinity as currency to buy sperm donor’s time’.

    The research, which is co-authored by Cass Business School academic Dr Laetitia Mimoun, analysed the marketing strategies used by sperm banks in the United Kingdom and Australia and found they rely on masculine archetypes to create value for a commodity they cannot legally buy.

    Sperm banks in the United Kingdom and Australia use images and phrases associated with masculinity to attract donors because laws prohibit them from paying for sperm.

    In some countries you are able to pay for sperm. Globally, the sperm donation industry is valued at more than 3.5 billion US Dollars; greater acceptance of same-sex relationships and increased demand for fertility treatments are expected to drive further industry growth in coming years.

    Sperm banks in the UK and Australia are disadvantaged within this industry as they are unable to pay donors or provide them with anonymity, they are subject to limitations on the number of donations any one male can provide and the import and export of sperm is highly regulated.

    Some experts argue that regulation is important, but being unable to pay for sperm means that there is less of it available in the UK than in other countries.

    The UK has experienced a sperm shortage, which worsened after the UK ended donor anonymity in 2005, resulting in the closure of the national sperm bank.

    To overcome regulatory constraints and increase donor numbers sperm banks in the UK and Australia began to market the act of donating sperm as a confirmation of masculinity.

    Hyper masculine sperm donation campaigns
    (Picture: National Sperm Bank)

    ‘This is to say that if you give your sperm you are a real man and you are better than all the other men who cannot do so for whatever reason,” said Dr Laetitia Mimoun, the study’s lead author Dr Mimoun said this strategy relied on two archetypes of masculinity — the ‘soldier’ serving their country and the ‘everyday hero’ saving a damsel in distress.

    (Picture: NHS)
    (Picture: NHS)

    The soldier archetype uses images and phrases associated with duty, honour and heroism to affirm masculinity; a donor is willing to sacrifice himself and his time without reward.

    (Picture: IVF Australia) 
    (Picture: IVF Australia)

    Examples of the soldier archetype are found in a recreation of the famous Lord Kitchener propaganda poster used to recruit soldiers to the British Expeditionary Force in 1914 and in a campaign that described sperm shortages as ‘the real banking crisis’.

    The everyday hero archetype uses images of life-saving professions such as firefighters and life guards, linking the ability to create a life with being able to save one.

    Sperm banks tempt donors by using hyper masucline language
    (Picture: IVF Australia)

    The researchers found that campaigns employing the everyday hero archetype sometimes use hypersexualised or romanticised images of men to intensify their appeal.

    Examples of this are found in campaign posters showing athletically built men in swimming trunks or underpants but also in videos depicting men cooking barbecues or handing out roses to women.

    Dr Mimoun said the use of these marketing strategies had significant impacts on the sperm donation industries in both the UK and Australia.

    ‘This has helped the industry in the UK and Australia to resolve their donor shortages to a great extent,” Dr Mimoun said.

    ‘It’s very interesting that sperm banks are able to procure sperm for free as long as they sell it as a way to affirm the masculinity of donors, especially in today’s context when the notion of masculinity is constantly challenged.’

    If you’re UK based and interested in donating sperm, you can find out more here.

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    MORE: Pregnant transgender man had stillbirth because nurse didn


    Hyper masculine sperm donation campaignsHyper masculine sperm donation campaigns

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    Rihanna has graced our makeup bags, our lingerie draws, and now she is set to take over our whole wardrobe.

    The 31-year-old’s esteemed brand Fenty recently moved over to the fashion department after announcing a collaboration with luxury retailer LMVH.

    She becomes the first black, female designer under LVMH and her fashion brainchild Fenty has just released its first looks.

    Fenty teased fans online with some of the new boss outfits we can expect to see which includes white denim, pantsuits, and accessories we’ve seen the Barbados beauty wear herself like big orange sunglasses.

    Rihanna styled all the attires on herself over on her Instagram page where it’s getting all the love.

    The label is so close to dropping and we’re so, so excited.

    Soon, you could be spending all your money to wear the best RiRi-approved garms.

    Rihanna organising the shoot showing the first looks Twitter @fentyofficial
    Rihanna organising the shoot showing the first looks (Picture: Twitter @fentyofficia)

    Fenty released a 45-second video on its website, Instagram and Twitter featuring models showing off some of the fierce outfits.

    Some of them included an ensemble of white jeans, shorts, tops, and blazers as well as its dark counterpart: black jackets, skirts and more.

    The hotly-anticipated launch has an 80s vibe as you can expect to see shoulder-padded blazers.

    Models showing off black denim clothes
    Expect lots of beautiful baggy fashion @fentyofficial

    The multi-hyphenated queen herself showed it off on her Instagram, pairing them with the best bits of accessories available in the range.

    Shooting for T Magazine‘s first digital cover, Rihanna was seen in an oversized, beige two-piece suit with what appears to be a flat bumbag attached to it.

    She completed the look with some silver bling and pointed orange stilettos.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bxr2yqvHcPy/

    In the other images, the fashion mogul was pictured in a dark wash denim mini dress, with the same jewellery but a change of shoe, opting for the same style in beige.

    Oversized is clearly a theme in the collection as the last image shared on her social media shows Rihanna in a baggy white shirt and the famous orange-tinted sunglasses.

    People have been applauding Rihanna for her boss moves as she becomes the first black woman to have her own label with LMVH – the folks who own Louis Vuitton, Dior and various other designers.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bxr23IkHmQs/

    In her interview with the New York Times, she said she never expected to get into fashion.

    ‘I didn’t have these dreams when I was little. I had a dream of making music; that’s it. I didn’t even think about the fame part, and then that happened.

    ‘Then the one-hit-wonder comment came straight out of the gate and that put a fire under my ass, and I just never stopped working.

    ‘Every time it was about challenging myself: I have to do better, I have to do better.

    ‘I have to think about the next thing, which is terrible because people should live in the moment. I just started branching out into different creative outlets. That’s what makes me happy.’

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bxr26QsH6zR/

    Fans are excited to get a glimpse of the range and even celebrities like Snoop Dog and DJ Khaled have been congratulating the star.

    Most of us can only obsess over the few bits Fenty has shown us thus far, but it’s not long till we can add it to our carts.

    The line drops on 29 May online with a pop-up store set to open up in Paris on 24 May.

    So put it in your calendars, people.

    MORE: Fenty Beauty is coming to Boots in the UK

    MORE: Which Boots stores will stock Fenty Beauty?

    MORE: Rihanna did not come here to play as she drops new Savage x Fenty line


    First look at Fenty fashionFirst look at Fenty fashion

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    How can you help bees on World Bee Day?
    Lovely bees. (Picture: Getty)

    It’s world bee day – a day dedicated to helping us be better friends to bees.

    As you probably know, bees are essential for the survival of the world as we know it, as they play a huge role in pollination, the method through which plants reproduce. Without them, we’re stuffed.

    So, how can you be a good friend to the bees?

    Flowers

    Whether you’ve got a huge garden or a tiny scrap of window box, you can help bees by planting seeds and growing flowers.

    Bees especially love crocus, hyacinth, borage, calendula, and wild lilac provide enticing in the spring. In the summer they’re mad about lavender, cosmos, echinacea, snapdragons foxglove, and hosta.

    If you don’t have any outside space you can volunteer with community gardening projects.

    Not just flowers though 

    Just like us, bees need variety.

    As well as flowers, try planting vegetables.

    Bees will help pollinate lots of things, particularly french, runner and broad beans, aubergines, onions and peppers.

    If fruit is your thing then try apples, pears and plums to blackberries, strawberries and raspberries.

    Water

    Help thirsty bees by leaving out a dish of water for them to drink.

    Yes, bees really do drink water!

    Best if you pop some sticks or rocks in the dish so the bees have somewhere to stand while they’re drinking and don’t get wet. No one likes a soggy bee.

    Buy organic 

    Organic farmers use fewer chemicals when they grown, meaning they harm fewer bees.

    Buy organic if and when you can, and you’ve done a bee a favour.

    No pesticides 

    If you’re lucky enough to have lots of space to grow vegetables then you can help bees by avoiding using pesticides.

    Be careful where you buy honey

    Honey isn’t always mean to bees, but if you want to be sure you’re buying ethical honey then you should buy from organic bee keepers.

    MORE: Ancient tree to be chopped down after idiots ‘set it on fire’

    MORE: Sperm banks tempt donors by using hyper masculine language


    Bees and honeycombsBees and honeycombs

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    How to get milkshake out of a suit
    Don’t rub it lads (Picture: Twitter)

    The humble milkshake is fast becoming the ultimate weapon in political activism.

    First Tommy Robinson gets two milkshakes thrown over him in two days, then Ukip candidate Carl Benjamin was hit four times in a week, and then Nigel Farage was deluged in the stuff as yet another protester chose to voice their anger with dairy.

    Nigel and Tommy’s milkshake showers were caught on video and you can see them scurrying away surrounded by burly security who, on both occasions, failed to prevent the devastating direct hit.

    Tommy Robinson was drenched in a classic McDonalds milkshake, and Nigel Farage caught the wrong end of a Five Guys salted caramel shake.

    And as temperatures and political tensions continue to rise, we are unlikely to have heard the end of milkshake-gate.

    The empty milkshake cup from Five Guys which is believed to have been emptied on Nigel Farage in Newcastle city centre during a Brexit Party walkabout. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 20, 2019. The Brexit Party leader became the latest victim of a protest which has seen other European election candidates such as Ukip's Carl Benjamin and ex-English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson suffer similar attacks. See PA story POLITICS Brexit Farage. Photo credit should read: Tom Wilkinson/PA Wire
    The empty milkshake cup from Five Guys which is believed to have been emptied on Nigel (Picture: Tom Wilkinson/PA Wire)

    Burger King was even accused of ‘endorsing violence’ after reminding customers in Scotland that it sells milkshakes earlier this week.

    The only defense is constant vigilance. And a solid stain-removal strategy for when the inevitable attack hits.

    How do you get milkshake stains out of a suit?

    Milk-based stains on clothing can be really tricky. It is important to act as quickly as you can – so there’s no time for crying over spilt milk or berating your security personnel – when the milkshake hits, get to a sink, stat.

    ‘After the initial milk incident, don’t rub the area. Dab the area dry to remove excess milk,’ says Jade Mansfield, from Love2Laundry.

    ‘You really have to treat milk stains as soon as possible for the best results.’

    For best result, Jade says it’s important to properly soak the suit – which will involve stripping off completely. So it might be wise for politicians to start carrying a spare pair of clothes at all times.

    ‘Whether it’s fresh or dried milk, you’ll need to pre-treat or soak your suit using a product that contains enzymes,’ explains Jade.

    ‘Leave your suit soaking for at least 30 minutes, or longer if the stain is old.

    ‘Wash your suit using the hottest water that’s safe for the fabric – you can find this out by checking the tag.’

    Top tips for removing milkshake stains

    Lay the garment on a clean towel with the stain facing up towards you.

    Blot out as much of the stain as possible using a clean cloth or lint towel.

    Blot only lightly and never rub as you can damage some fabrics.

    Rinse the item with cold water – never warm or hot water as this will set the stain. This should remove the majority of the stain, although depending on flavouring in the product you may be left with colourful residue .

    The majority of suits are dry clean only and cannot be washed, so the remainder of the stains will need spotting with a specialised dry cleaning spotting chemical – such as Sultraspot Protein.

    Apply the chemical with a tamping brush, leave it for a few minutes to let the remover do its work and then put it into the dry cleaning machine for a wash.

    The dry cleaning machine will remove the chemical you have applied along with the residue of the stain.

    Once out of the machine, the area where you have worked on the stain will need a good press and that should have it looking like new again.

    Mark Rickett, dry cleaning expert

    So there seems to be hope yet for milkshake-drenched politicians – act quickly and you might not have to shell out for a new suit every other week.

    But with the prevalence of these shake attacks rising week on week, it’s looking likely that dry cleaners are going to do good business this summer.

    MORE: Milkshake thrown at Nigel Farage while out campaigning for Brexit Party

    MORE: Fenty fashion just teased us with a sneak peak and the looks are fierce

    MORE: Morrisons is rolling out plastic-free fruit and veg areas in stores


    How to get milkshake out of a suitHow to get milkshake out of a suit

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