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Learn the ALAN method to help a friend struggling with their mental health

ILLUSTRATION REQUEST: Me and my Dad's bipolar - Eleanor Seagall
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

It’s tricky to know what to say to someone struggling.

You know you should reach out, but you don’t want to say the wrong thing. So you let the silence linger and feel rubbish for doing so.

The ALAN method is a tool developed by CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) to help get the conversation started, and make us all more comfortable checking in on someone who seems to be having a tough time.

It’s easy to remember and just as easy to do. Learn it, remember it, and have it in your mental back pocket for the next time you’re nervous about bringing up someone’s wellbeing.

Think of it as introducing a pal to a guy called Alan, then tick off each step.


Ask open questions, such as ‘how are you doing?’. Give the person time to open up if they need.

It’s okay to say you’re worried, or that you’re not sure how to start the conversation but you wanted to see if they’re okay.

Asking is the very first step in breaking down that wall and making a connection in someone’s time of need.


Once you’ve asked a question, make sure you actually listen to the answer. Be patient and let them say what they need.

Try to just listen, rather than attempting to solve any problem. Lots of people just need to vent – and even by chipping in with advice you could unintentionally cut them off or dismiss their feelings.


Create a plan of action to get them feeling better.

It’s a good idea to set SMART (another acronym, handy) goals – tasks that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. So rather than a general ‘I want to feel happier’, break that goal down into more manageable chunks; say, calling and booking a doctor’s appointment by this time next week, or planning to meet up again this coming Friday.

Let your friend know what support is out there and arrange a time for you to check back in.


Let them know they’re not in this alone.

Build a support network of friends, family, and professionals (a doctor or a therapist, for example) so that the person struggling knows they have people they can turn to in any situation.

Setting up a support network isn’t just essential for the person struggling, but for you, too. You’re not alone in wanting to help, and having other people on your team will help prevent stress becoming overwhelming.

Remember that if someone seems to be at risk of suicide, it’s best to stay with them and call emergency services.

Need support? Contact the Samaritans

For emotional support you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org, visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

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

MORE: Sophie Turner wants change people’s attitudes towards mental health: ‘If I can impact one person, that would be awesome’

MORE: Millennials struggle to make friends at work – and it’s damaging our mental health

Giving Fitbits to cancer patients could help them live longer

Couple with a fitness tracker and phone
More steps could mean a longer life for cancer patients (Picture: Getty)

Giving cancer patients fitness trackers could improve their chances of survival, according to new research.

Doctors found that patients with higher step counts had mortality rates that were up to a third lower than other patients.

Experts said the findings could even lead to doctors prescribing steps to their patients, rather than traditional medication.

The study, involving the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and the Royal Marsden Hospital, found that the link between activity levels and survival rates was incredibly strong.

As a result of the findings, doctors at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual conference announced that wearable fitness devices were set to become a standard part of treatment in future, and that there are already 70 clinical trials underway.

Another study of patients in the US with advanced cancer also found that step count had a dramatic impact on survival times.

Two women walking with a fitness tracker
Doctors could start prescribing steps instead of medication (Picture: Getty)

The study of 37 patients found that those who did an extra 1,000 steps every day were twice as likely to be alive at the end of the six month study.

‘It may be that we are able to say to patients; getting your step count from an average of 4,000 steps a day to say 6,000 or 8,000 steps could be more useful than being prescribed medication,’ said researcher Dr Andrew Hendifar, from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Professor Johann de Bono, from the ICR study, added: ‘We think patients with cancer can have their fitness levels monitored by Fitbit. This can help doctors know how well they will be able to cope with treatments. It can also give us an idea how long they have to live.

‘Simply put, if you are less fit you are less likely to do well and die quickly. But it also encourages patients to look at their step count and be more fit and active, which can help them get better.

‘This small trial shows the fittest patients were a third less likely to die.’

MORE: This clever photography hack makes it look like you have a swimming pool

MORE: Portraits capture the faces of women who have had abortions

MORE: Learn the ALAN method to help a friend struggling with their mental health

What I Rent: Laura, £595 a month for a two-bedroom flat in Alwoodley, Leeds

Laura What I Rent. Leeds, West Yorkshire
Laura lives alone in a two-bedroom flat in Leeds (Picture: Carl Milner Photography/Metro.co.uk)

We apologise in advance to all Londoners about to read this week’s What I Rent.

Yes, we’ve headed up North. Yes, this means the rent will be so low in comparison to prices in London that it will fill you with rage.

Just know that you’re not alone in this. Every Londoner currently spaffing hundreds on a box room in a houseshare will feel the same horror.

But there’s a reason for us inflicting this pain.

Our weekly series, What I Rent, aims to get more honest conversations going around renting, exploring what people get for how much they pay.

This week we’re in Leeds with Laura, a 24-year-old PR Specialist originally from Essex. She originally moved to Leeds with her then-boyfriend back in 2017, but has stuck in the city to live alone for the first time.

The 24-year-old PR Specialist pays £595 a month
The 24-year-old PR Specialist pays £595 a month (Picture: Carl Milner Photography/Metro.co.uk)

Hey, Laura! How much rent do you pay for this place?

£595 a month for rent.

For bills, £25 for water, £55 for gas and electricity (but I’m with Bulb so it can change every month if I use less), £13 for a TV licence, £25 for NOWTV wifi and entertainment pass, £90 for council tax, I think.

And what do you get for what you pay?

Two bedrooms, one bathroom, a living room, and a kitchen. I use the second bedroom as my dressing room/guest room.

Do you think you have a good deal?

Yes it’s a good deal, especially coming from down south I know how good this price is in comparison.

Also Alwoodley is one of the nicest areas in Leeds so I’m very grateful that I can afford to live here as I feel super safe.

Laura moved to Leeds with her boyfriend because they fancied a change
Laura moved to Leeds with her boyfriend because they fancied a change (Picture: Carl Milner Photography/Metro.co.uk)

What made you move to Leeds?

I’m originally from Essex and moved to Leeds in September 2017 with my boyfriend of the time – just for a change and because of how cheap it was.

I broke up with him about two months ago, so I’m now living by myself for the first time. I never thought I would like it as I always thought I’d be too scared,  but I absolutely love it.

It’s the best thing I’ve done and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.

Do you like where you live?

I’m really happy, I love the area. It’s a really nice, safe location which was important to me when living by myself.

My area is quite countryside which I love because there’s so many nice places to go for walks, like fields, parks, there’s a reservoir right near my place as well.

But also, it’s still so close to the city centre, 20 minutes which on a night out is only about a £10 Uber – fab! My work is just a 10 minute drive away as well which is great.

How did you find the flat?

On Rightmove. I had to move super quick due to living with my ex-boyfriend which wasn’t a great situation to be in.

I viewed loads of places but as soon as I walked into this one I knew it was the one and I said it instantly.

My parents thought I was being very dramatic when I said I might cry because I loved it so much, but I’ve always just had a feeling it’s the right one whenever I’ve viewed places.

After breaking up two months ago, Laura has loved living alone - a sign reads 'sassy since birth'
After breaking up two months ago, Laura has loved living alone (Picture: Carl Milner Photography/Metro.co.uk)

Do you feel like you have enough space?

Yes the flat is so spacious and as it’s two bedrooms I have loads of space.

I have a dressing room which is a dream and as all my family and friends are back home I have the spare room so it makes it easier for people to visit.

How have you made the flat feel like home?

It was unfurnished so everything here is my own.

I’ve loved that I can style it however I want because I live by myself, so there’s lots of cute pictures and decorations.

I’ve made the place very cute and sassy. I have lots of cushions and blankets as well which make it cosy.

I just got my dad to put up all my mirrors and pictures up so I’m happy with how everything is now. There’s a couple of other things I want to buy for the flat but I love how it is right now.

Laura's made the flat feel like home with plenty of decoration, such as this floral L
Laura’s made the flat feel like home with plenty of decoration (Picture: Carl Milner Photography/Metro.co.uk)

Are there any problems with the flat?

There aren’t any issues anymore, no, because I moved in so quickly.

From the person before there were things that needing doing but I text my landlord and he got everything sorted within about a week – and he even knocked money off my rent for inconvenience. I’m really happy with the place and I know that any issue I want fixed he will sort.

There was only one lock working on the front door and I asked the landlord to fix it and he did the following day.

Do you have any plans to move again?

I have no intention of moving anytime soon, I have a six month contract as I’d never lived by myself and also with all my family being so far away I didn’t know how I’d like it but I’m loving it so I intend to stay here after my contract!

Have you considered buying a place?

Yes, I have. It was something that was discussed when looking for this place but I didn’t know if I wanted to stay up here by myself.

I will definitely start to look into it more next year. Buying a house in Leeds is a lot easier than down south because the house prices are so much cheaper.

Oh, we know. Shall we have a look around?

Here's the living room, with plenty of pink
Here’s the living room, with plenty of pink (Picture: Carl Milner Photography/Metro.co.uk)
Laura What I Rent. Leeds
Oh hey, owl candles (Picture: Carl Milner Photography/Metro.co.uk)
The kitchen has plenty of pink, too
The kitchen has plenty of pink, too (Picture: Carl Milner Photography/Metro.co.uk)
Laura What I Rent. Leeds, West Yorkshire - the kitchen
And more owls! (Picture: Carl Milner Photography/Metro.co.uk)
jars of ingredients sit on Laura's kitchen windowsill
We do appreciate a good jar (Picture: Carl Milner Photography/Metro.co.uk)
Please note that this is the second sign related to a time for a specific alcohol
Please note that this is the second sign related to a time for a specific alcohol (Picture: Carl Milner/Metro.co.uk)
Laura What I Rent. Leeds, West Yorkshire
We think Laura likes quote signs (Picture: Carl Milner Photography/Metro.co.uk)
Here's the bedroom, with that lovely floral L
Here’s the bedroom, with that lovely floral L (Picture: Carl Milner Photography/Metro.co.uk)
Laura What I Rent. Leeds, West Yorkshire
Plus points for the cosy headboard (Picture: Carl Milner Photography/Metro.co.uk)
Laura What I Rent. Leeds, West Yorkshire - sweet dreams sign and salt lamp
Does a picture of a dreamcatcher work to catch dreams? (Picture: Carl Milner Photography/Metro.co.uk)
Laura What I Rent. Leeds, West Yorkshire - pink cushions on the bed
Guess what? More pink (Picture: Carl Milner Photography/Metro.co.uk)
Laura What I Rent. Leeds, West Yorkshire - bookshelf in the bedroom
Anyone else love nosing around someone’s bookshelves? (Picture: Carl Milner Photography/Metro.co.uk)
Laura What I Rent. Leeds, West Yorkshire - the guest bedroom and dressing room
The second bedroom serves as a dressing room and a place for guests to stay (Picture: Carl Milner Photography/Metro.co.uk)
Laura What I Rent. Leeds, West Yorkshire grey table in dressing room
What a sweet table (Picture: Carl Milner Photography/Metro.co.uk)
Laura What I Rent. Leeds, West Yorkshire - 27th May 2019 Carl Milner Photography for Metro.co.uk
Finally, the bathroom (Picture: Carl Milner Photography/Metro.co.uk)
Laura What I Rent. Leeds, West Yorkshire - the bathroom
Great sign, great eco-friendly toothbrushes (Picture: Carl Milner Photography/Metro.co.uk)

What I Rent is a weekly series that’s out every Tuesday at 10am. Check back next week to have a nose around another rented property in London.

How to get involved in What I Rent

What I Rent is Metro.co.uk's weekly series that takes you inside the places in London people are renting, to give us all a better sense of what's normal and how much we should be paying.

If you fancy taking part, please email whatirent@metro.co.uk.

You'll need to have pictures taken of your kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom, plus a few photos of you in your room. Make sure you get permission for your housemates!

You'll also need to be okay with sharing how much you're paying for rent, as that's pretty important.

MORE: What I Rent: Michelle and Alanna, £2,380 a month for a two-bedroom flat in St Paul’s

MORE: What I Rent: Flo and Jonny, £850 a month for a two-bedroom house in Aylesbury

MORE: What I Rent: Billie, £800 a month for a one-bedroom flat in Walthamstow

Bride who ran off with lover days after Mexican wedding has baby with husband after getting back together

A BRIDE dubbed the "fajita cheater" after she took off with another man days after her ?30,000 Mexican wedding has returned to the marital home. Andy Mitchell caused a sensation in June when he posted his wedding rings for sale, publicly accusing his new wife of cheating on her hen night. But it has now emerged that despite their bitter and very public split, Andy and Meaghan Mitchell are "testing the waters" of married life at their home in Kelty, Fife. And Andy, 40, even has the phrase "fajita cheater" tattooed on the back of his neck as a permanent reminder of their early marital troubles. Andy married Meaghan, 21, also from Kelty, in a lavish wedding ceremony in Cancun on June 3. But he posted their wedding bands for sale for ?400 just six days later, claiming she had been unfaithful on her hen night.A WOMAN dubbed the "fajita cheater" after she ran off with another man following her ?30,000 Mexican wedding has given birth to her husband's baby. Meaghan and Andy Mitchell tied the knot in a lavish ceremony in Cancun a year ago today. But the couple from Kelty, Fife, hit the headlines after Andy put his wedding rings on sale on Facebook six days later after discovering he'd been cheated on. The "Kelty Kardashians" story took another twist when it was revealed they were not only back together but that Meaghan was expecting their child. And on Monday last week, Meaghan, 22, gave birth to Gracie Roseanne.
Andy got a tattoo on his neck as a permanent reminder after his new wife ran off with another man (Picture: Deadline News)

A woman who ran off with another man just days after their £30,000 Mexican wedding, has given birth after she got back together with her husband.

Meaghan and Andy Mitchell split up very quickly after their lavish wedding ceremony in Cancun – which was a year ago.

Andy accused his new wife of cheating on him on her hen night – he got a tattoo on his neck that read ‘fajita cheater’ as a permanent reminder of his wife’s affair.

He put their wedding rings up for sale, just six days after the ceremony, and was very vocal about the split on social media.

Meaghan says she was never unfaithful to Andy before the wedding, but she does admit that she met another man and ran off with him days after she got married.

But last week the 22-year-old gave birth to her and Andy’s daughter, Gracie Roseanne, following a reunion that lead to the couple getting back together.

In fact, despite all of the theatrics, adultery and tattoos – the couple were actually only apart for four months and got back together in October. Maybe this proves that true love really does conquer all.

A WOMAN dubbed the "fajita cheater" after she ran off with another man following her ?30,000 Mexican wedding has given birth to her husband's baby. Meaghan and Andy Mitchell tied the knot in a lavish ceremony in Cancun a year ago today. But the couple from Kelty, Fife, hit the headlines after Andy put his wedding rings on sale on Facebook six days later after discovering he'd been cheated on. The "Kelty Kardashians" story took another twist when it was revealed they were not only back together but that Meaghan was expecting their child. And on Monday last week, Meaghan, 22, gave birth to Gracie Roseanne.
Despite all the drama, Andy and Meaghan are now back together (Picture: Deadline News)

Not ones to keep things to themselves, the couple publicly announced the birth of their child on Facebook.

‘After an absolute horrific night/morning Meaghan who can only be described as superwoman, well supermum gave birth to Gracie Roseanne Mitchell at 8:30 this morning weighing 5lb 4oz,’ wrote Andy.

A few days later, Andy was back on Facebook for another public declaration – this time to celebrate the couple’s first anniversary and to acknowledge their, erm, rocky start.

‘Happy anniversary Meaghan, love you so much more today than I did one year ago,’ wrote Andy.

‘I’d never have thought that was possible, tbf nobody thought it was possible but we did it together and look where we are now.

‘They say being married is hard work and the first year is the hardest, well being married to you is easy (most of the time lol).

‘No it wasn’t the perfect year of marriage but it was our year. We’re exactly where we wanted to be, sorry where we dreamed we would be in a years time and that’s all that matters.’

It just goes to show that even the toughest times and the angriest tattoos can be forgiven and forgotten.

MORE: Giving Fitbits to cancer patients could help them live longer

MORE: Learn the ALAN method to help a friend struggling with their mental health

MORE: This clever photography hack makes it look like you have a swimming pool

There’s a Donald Trump toilet brush to make your loo great again

This photo taken on May 15, 2019 shows a Donald Trump themed toilet brush displayed at a home in Shanghai. The brushes, which sell for 23 Yuan (US $3.34) have become popular on online shopping platforms since a trade war between the US and China escalated in the past week. (Photo by STR / AFP)STR/AFP/Getty Images
Clean that toilet, Mr Trump (Picture: STR)

Make your toilet smell great again.

The jokes write themselves, but it is very much reality that someone has made a Donald Trump toilet brush available to buy.

These hand-crafted domestic gems take on the uncanny likeness of the 45th president of the United States, sporting his typical blue suit, wild yellow hair, and red tie.

The brush can be found on Etsy and is being shipped from New Zealand, with the seller writing: ‘Make Your Toilet Great Again! No president has had a Toilet Brush like my Toilet Brush!

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Imaginechina/REX (10238397f) US President Donald Trump toilet brush US President Donald Trump toilet brush, Shanghai, China - 15 May 2019 A new toilet brush featuring US President Donald Trump went viral in the Chinese market after Trump made decisions to increase tariffs on Chinese imports. Several U.S. groups representing a variety of industries have denounced Washington's recent move to increase tariffs on Chinese imports. The U.S. administration of President Donald Trump increased the additional tariffs on 200 billion U.S. dollars' worth of Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent on Friday, and has threatened to raise tariffs on more Chinese imports.
How is this for a domestic product? (Picture: Imaginechina)

‘I am automatically attracted to toilet bowls, I just start scrubbing, I just kiss, I don’t even wait and when your a toilet brush they let you do it.’

As surprising as this news may be, the toilet brushes have been pretty popular, with people flocking to buy a product to let them clean their loo with the president’s head.

The brush’s unrelenting popularity has seen the demand overwhelming the supply.

They may now take 6-8 weeks to arrive, so sadly you can’t get one in time for the protests.

They’re also not the cheapest of products for scraping the inner rim of your loo.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Imaginechina/REX (10238397d) US President Donald Trump toilet brush US President Donald Trump toilet brush, Shanghai, China - 15 May 2019 A new toilet brush featuring US President Donald Trump went viral in the Chinese market after Trump made decisions to increase tariffs on Chinese imports. Several U.S. groups representing a variety of industries have denounced Washington's recent move to increase tariffs on Chinese imports. The U.S. administration of President Donald Trump increased the additional tariffs on 200 billion U.S. dollars' worth of Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent on Friday, and has threatened to raise tariffs on more Chinese imports.
Plunge him (Picture: Getty Images)

Each Trump brush isted on the website for NZ $35.70 (£19) and shipping for a further $35.70.

Further notes from the seller include: ‘Just Grab them by the handle…for those tough cleaning jobs. DJT’.

The jokes continue to write themselves.

MORE: Donald Trump UK visit: Where he will be as thousands protest in London

MORE: Donald Trump state visit: President didn’t recognise his gift to the Queen

MORE: Prince Harry chats with Ivanka but dodges Donald Trump after ‘nasty’ Meghan row

Bedbound, catheterised and suicidal from endometriosis – then art saved my life

British-Ghanian paint and performance artists Adelaide Damoah stands with her arms crossed in her studio in Woolwich, London
British-Ghanian paint and performance artist Adelaide Damoah in her studio in Woolwich

In 2005 Adelaide Damoah quit her successful career in pharmaceuticals after endometriosis made it impossible to live a normal life.

Bed bound, catheterised and in constant agony, at times, the pain was so severe she contemplated suicide.

Adelaide says: ‘I started having bad period pain from around the age of 17.

‘I used to assume it was normal but it got progressively worse as I got older. The GP used to advise me to take paracetamol and ibuprofen and said it was what came with having periods.

‘In my second year at university, I spent around three weeks in hospital as the pain was no longer confined to my periods and was excruciating.

‘However I wasn’t diagnosed until two years later in 2000, once I had private medical cover through the company I was working for.’

Living with endometriosis got so bad for Adelaide that she even considered taking her own life.

‘Before I had all of the treatments I had that helped me learn how to manage it, the endometriosis was an absolute misery. There were times when the pain was so bad that I could not move my legs. They wouldn’t move.

‘I’ve been catheterised and had to have bed baths. I’ve been in so much agony that I seriously contemplated suicide. It was mentally and physically exhausting and, at times, I couldn’t see an end to it so I just wanted to end it.’

She turned to art as a therapeutic exercise, creating autobiographical pieces by using her own body as a living paintbrush, a technique she views as reclaiming control over her body.

She says: ‘Art helped me to see something outside of myself and it guided me towards a more positive outcome. I left my job because I didn’t have a choice. It was physically impossible for me to do it.’

Paint and performance artist Adelaide Damoah squats covered in blue paint as she performs at the opening night of her Unfold exhibition.
Adelaide Damoah at the opening evening of her Unfold exhibition. (Picture: Jennifer Moyes)

But, admittedly, when it came to being a full-time artist, Adelaide didn’t know where to begin.

‘I had no idea where to start, so I went back to what I knew which was business. I naively started by going to a business networking conference called Mind Of A Millionaire with my portfolio. There I met Simon Woodruff of Yo Sushi and Alexander Amosu of RnB Ringtones.

‘I kept in touch with both and they gave me general business advice. But on the same day I also met a business man called Emile Emiabata who told me he thought I was ready for a solo show. I didn’t believe him, but went along with it and together we came up with the concept of Black Brits – my first solo show – which we put on at Charlie Allen’s menswear boutique in Islington.’

A wide and far reaching canvas of white with body parts in blue paint encircled by a ribbon of gold paint from Adelaide Damoah's This is Me the Inconsistency of the Self Performance Piece Day 1
Adelaide Damoah’s This is Me the Inconsistency of the Self Performance Piece Day 1 (Picture: Adelaide Damoah)

Her works now sell for around £10,000 each, but her first piece sold for just £150 to her friend Yejide who, to this day, is her biggest fan and owns more of Adelaide’s artwork than anyone else.

‘It felt amazing and so unbelievable to me that she believed in me enough to part with her hard-earned money to own my work and also to support me. It meant a lot and I’ll never forget it,’ says Adelaide.

It’s been 14 years since Adelaide quit her job but she has arguably just had one of her most successful years yet: her worked has exhibited in five group exhibitions across London, she’s performed her art at UCL, the Tate, The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, and at Museum Week, and she’s witnessed the value of her work soar by an incredible 436%. And she recently featured in a campaign by fashion house Chloé.

A screen is split in two. On one side we see part of Adelaide Damoah's face, on the other we see part of the face of Marine Tanguy, CEO of MTArt Agency. The caption reads: 'Adelaide Damoah is from Ghana.'
Taken from the campaign video Adelaide Damoah did with Chloé in April 2019
Adelaide Damoah works on a white canvas using her body as a paintbrush and black paint. The caption reads: 'There is incredible depth in her work.'
Taken from the campaign video Adelaide Damoah did with Chloé in April 2019
Adelaide and Marine survey Adelaide's work laid out on the floor of the studio
Taken from the campaign video Adelaide Damoah did with Chloé in April 2019

‘It was a wonderful opportunity to showcase my performance – “My Body is Present, Homage to Ana Mendieta” in an international campaign. It was great to see Chloé embracing diversity in this campaign.’

But, at the heart of it, art, for Adelaide, is still something that helps her cope with her endometriosis on a daily basis.

‘Making art is a meditative process for me. It calms me down and allows a deeper exploration of the self which is very healthy – especially as regards to mental health and wellbeing – which is useful for endometriosis sufferers. There are known connections between chronic pain and depression,’ Adelaide explains.

Paint and performance artist Adelaide Damoah spreads white paint across her face as part of the Visual Diet event at MC Saatchi
Adelaide Damoah performs #MYFACE at the Visual Diet event at MC Saatchi in January 2019 (Picture: Adelaide Damoah)

But art isn’t the only thing that helps.

‘To help with my endometriosis, I meditate, I do intermittent fasting and regular exercise to keep my weight down as excess fat exacerbates endometriosis. I no longer eat meat and keep dairy to a minimum. I keep drinking alcohol to a minimum – in fact I hardly drink at all now. Alcohol is pro-inflammatory so I want to keep my inflammatory markers to a minimum. I take rest seriously and try to get at least eight hours of sleep a night. I listen to my body and no matter what I have going on with work, when my body tells me to rest, I take the rest I need and work around it.’

But her art isn’t just about coping with her condition. It’s also a chance to take a look at so many other facets of life, society and humanity.

‘It has given me the opportunity and the luxury of learning about myself, my history, my family and to explore subjects that I would not have had the time to explore otherwise, such as colonialism and sexual harassment. It has given me a community to belong to and lifelong friends,’ says Adelaide.

Adelaide Damoah, her arms covered in gold paint, from her solo show Genesis
Adelaide at her solo show Gensis (Picture: Femelle Studios)

Not only a voice for those who suffer from endometriosis, Adelaide is also a strong advocate for fellow women of colour. As a woman of colour herself, Adelaide understands only too well the complexities and nuances of multi sectionality.

‘Life can be tough for women of colour living in the UK for a multitude of reasons. We face double discrimination as a consequence of the intersection between race and gender so it is so important for your mental health to remain focused on the positive.’

Adelaide believes in fellow support, positivity and mentorship: things she has been fortunate herself to have and live by.

Members of the BBFA Collective, from left to right: Enam Gbewonyo, Ayesha Feisal, Carleen de Sozer, and Adelaide damoah
Adelaide Damoah with the other members of the BBFA Collective, from left to right: Enam Gbewonyo, Ayesha Feisal, Carleen de Sozer, and Adelaide

‘What has helped me is surrounding myself with sister friends who genuinely love and support each other. I am a member of a collective called the Black British Female Artist Collective (BBFA Collective) and I cannot express how important that support has been. Outside of the collective, I surround myself with incredible women who nourish and support each other.

‘This kind of support means we provide a safe space where we can vent as well as provide positive encouragement and swap contacts. Help yourself by helping your friends. Always think positive and face forward. Take care of yourself always, whatever that looks like to you. For me it is mindfulness, meditation, eating right and exercise.

‘Reach out to other people in your industry who you admire and ask them to mentor you. A good mentor can change your life,’ she says.

Adelaide could never have guessed where her endometriosis would lead to but it’s taken her on the most incredible journey of self discovery.

‘Art means everything to me. It saved me from despair and pain,’ says Adelaide.


Adelaide will be performing on the Main Stage at the Cannes Film Festival on 17th June. In mid June she will be at the 33 Art Sale (for the Rural Refugee Network) and Wish Africa conference. In November she’ll be taking part in ART x Lagos art fair with my collective – the BBFA Collective. Adelaide is represented by MTArt Agency, the world’s first talent agency for upcoming visual artists. 

Morrisons launches Gingerbread Princes to celebrate Prince Harry’s first Father’s Day

A picture of the gingerbread princes
The Gingerbread Princes are to celebrate Father’s Day (Picture: Joe Pepler/PinPep)

Morrisons is selling a Gingerbread Prince to celebrate Prince Harry’s first Father’s Day after the birth of his and Meghan Markle’s child.

The Gingerbread Prince is decorated in a military uniform, has ginger hair, and features a Union Jack and crown on the label.

The handmade gingerbread will be available at all of Morrisons’ Cake Shop counters across the UK, and they’ll cost £1 each.

The gingerbreads have been designed to offer customers the chance to ‘treat their dads like a prince’ on Father’s Day, and we think it’s a really sweet idea.

The supermarket has also launched a ‘Design Your Own Gingerbread Man’ for those who want to recreate their own dad for Father’s Day – which is a really good idea if there’s anything specific you want to add to the biscuit.

A picture of the £1 gingerbread men
They celebrate Prince Harry’s first Father’s Day (Picture: Joe Pepler/PinPep)

The create-your-own pack comes with five gingerbreads, coloured writing icing, sugar coated chocolate beans and sugar strands for decoration.

John Cannan, Cake Shop Manager at Morrisons said: ‘We’ve created a special gingerbread biscuit to pay tribute to the royal couple, as they celebrate the Prince’s first Father’s Day.

‘We hope that dads across the country enjoy eating our gingerbread biscuits which are a popular product of our Cake Shop counters.’

The Gingerbread Prince will cost £1 and is available in all of Morrisons 494 stores at the bakery counter from today until stocks last.

Father’s Day is taking place on 16 June – so you have just under two weeks left to buy one!

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Every parent needs to see this photo of a smashed up bike helmet after a crash

Riding a bicycle on a country road
Always, always wear a helmet (Picture: BrianAJackson/Getty)

Here’s an important reminder to always wear a helmet when you head out on a bike – and make sure your children do the same.

It’s easy to let the ‘always wear a helmet’ rule slip, especially for kids who don’t want to wear something on their head.

This photo should serve as a reminder of just how important head protection is.

Pediatrician Dr Free Hess shared a photo of a helmet after a bike crash, after seeing a recent poll found 18% of parents admit their children don’t wear helmets when cycling.

She urges parents to look at the picture and imagine how bad an injury would have been sustained if that person didn’t have the helmet protecting their skull.

Then imagine if that person was a child.

Leaving the helmets behind for a quick scooter ride doesn’t seem like such a wise idea, does it?

Dr Hess shared a photo of a cracked bicycle helmet after a tumble
‘Imagine this blow being taken by a child’s head WITHOUT the protection of a helmet.’ (Picture: PediMom)

Dr Hess wrote: ‘ I see children in my Pediatric ER for head trauma after falling from a bike very often.

‘Some of these children are struck by cars but many sustain head injuries simply from losing control of their bikes while riding.

‘Helmets in this situation can make the difference between a simple concussion and severe neurological injury and even death.

‘A recent poll conducted by The University of Michigan showed that 18% of parents admit their children don’t wear helmets (see link to poll in comments). That’s 1 in 5.

‘This does not make sense to me.

‘Take a look at the helmet below. Imagine this blow being taken by a child’s head WITHOUT the protection of a helmet.

‘If you or a child is riding a bike, skateboard, ice skates, roller skates, hover boards, scooter, or anything else that has a risk of head trauma you need to have a helmet on. EVERY TIME.

‘Set a good example and make sure you always wear one too. Your kids need you just as much as you need them!’

The post is clearly doing the trick and reminding people of the importance of helmets, as it’s been shared more than 400 times.

Many people are commenting with their stories of how helmets have saved lives.

One commenter wrote: ‘My dad was hit by a truck while biking last February. He was unconscious and his helmeted head BROKE the windshield.

‘He miraculously had zero bleeding on his brain and has made almost a full recovery because of the helmet. It truly saved his life.’

Another said: ‘I was in a serious bike accident when I was 12, before bike helmet laws in California, and had severe neurological damage, was in ICU for a week and missed 6 months of school. This could have been avoided if I had been wearing a helmet.’

Others are commenting that it’s vital for parents to lead by example. If you don’t wear a helmet for every ride, your children will think it’s okay to ditch theirs.

‘If you don’t, they won’t,’ wrote one dad.

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The new ghd Oracle is about to make curling your hair so much easier

A woman using the ghd Oracle to curl her hair on the right and the ghd Oracle curler on the left
It is the perfect answer to curling your hair (Picture: ghd Hair)

Curling your hair can take time and whole lot of effort.

If you’ve ever struggled with hair straighteners or a curling wand, you know that getting pristine and perfect curls can be harder than it looks. Not forgetting all the fumbling around, arm ache, burnt fingers (and in Tori Locklear’s case, burning off your hair), that’s more frequently than not involved.

Enter cult hair tool brand ghd, who have released the ghd Oracle , a new tool that claims to ‘create endless curls in one simple stroke’.

The brand who revolutionised hair straighteners have spent over 7 years, 675,000 hours of testing and £5.2 million perfecting its latest tool. And it could just be the solution to your hair curling woes.

Adam Reed, ghd Global Ambassador, who helped devise the new tool, said: ‘So many of my clients struggle to curl their hair, but with the new ghd oracle, curling is now as easy as straightening.’

Here at Metro.co.uk we’ve tested the tool and can confirm it works like magic, but really it’s all down to physics – it’s genius.

Here’s everything you need to know.


How does the ghd Oracle work?

First the ghd Oracle heats the hair to 185 degrees, which is the optimum temperature for shaping the hair without damaging the underlying structure.

The hair then goes through the unique u-shaped barrel. By using that you can shape the hair to a desired curl or wave.

When your hair comes out of the curl zone, the Oracle crash cools the hair to instantly set it, to help ensure long-lasting results.

By varying the angle and the speed in which you use the tool, you can get a different result from a nice tight curl to a soft wave.

Adam explained this is trick of the tool: ‘It is all about the tilt you run the tool down your hair and the speed in which you glide it through – always work smoothly with the tool in one smooth movement, [otherwise] the curls won’t look seamless and it can create kinks’.


What’s it like to use?

Ghd tools are the holy grail of hair styling, because they really work – and the ghd Oracle is no exception.

We tested the brands new styler and it heats up in a flash, glides through hair nicely with no snagging or frying, and works equally well as a curling iron but with very little effort required.

Once you get the angle and speed right, the tool truly does create curls of your dreams in a matter of seconds. However, this does take a little practice. If you tilt the device at 90 degrees and glide the device down as you would hair straighteners the curls will be tighter, opposed to tilting at 45 degrees and pulling down vertically which creates looser curls.

We love that there’s no twisting or turning of the hair. You simply clamp, turn to your desired degree, glide your hair down, release, and voila, the perfect curl is formed.

If you’re as useless as we are at curling our hair, it makes curling your hair easier than ever.

It’s a game changer for those looking for a loyal curling companion.

How much does the ghd Oracle cost?

It’s priced at £175, which is certainly more expensive than their tongs and wands.

Where to buy the ghd Oracle in-store and online

But despite the price, you’re going to want to try it ASAP.

The ghd Oracle is exclusive to Rush Salons – you can find your nearest salon at ghdhair.com.

And as for when the ghd Oracle will be available online, we hate to break it to you, but it won’t be. This is because ghd want you learn how to use the new gadget and the technique needed to turn your tresses into perfect spirals, corkscrews, and waves.

Adam explains: ‘As it is a completely new tool to the hair tool category it is important you learn how to use it first – and then it is super easy!’

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Minorities in the workplace must ‘know their worth’ in order to be successful

Black woman working in an office
‘Creating the right networks and connections can help you move your journey forward’ (Picture: Getty)

This week it was revealed that no country will reach gender equality by 2030. And for minorities – closing that gap is even harder.

In December last year a major study found that black and Asian workers lose out on £3.2bn every year because of their ethnic background. There is still so much more to be done to improve working conditions and prospects for minority employees in the UK.

While a huge portion of that burden must fall on employers, businesses and government policies, careers expert Frances Trought believes that minority employees do have some power to improve their own situations.

And her new workshops aim to make ethnic minority employees feel more powerful at work.

Frances works with marginalised groups of professionals to build on empowerment, self-worth and networking as a way to tackle the systemic inequalities that exist in many working environments.

‘The idea is to empower people to work within organisations effectively,’ Frances tells Metro.co.uk.

‘The reality of people in work is that they are facing the gender pay gap, the ethnicity pay gap – and how long will it take to resolve those kinds of issues?

‘It’s great that companies are starting to get on board and to put actions in place to deal with the problems, but it is going to take too long.

Frances Trought headshot
‘We are living in a side-hustle culture, and it’s about making sure that you are exploring all of your skill’ (Picture: Tony Attile, Black Ink)

Frances believes that communication and confidence are two of the most powerful tools to help you succeed in the workplace.

‘It’s really about supporting your own journey,’ says Frances.

‘Within the workshops we do things like helping people to look at building their networks – even just speaking to people across their organisations can be incredibly useful.

‘There are so many people in the workplace who don’t engage with the rest of the organisation, so I want people to contact the right people, the BAME networks within your workplace – there will be people in those networks who have done it, and you can connect with them and learn from their journey.

‘Employees these days are multi-skilled. We are not just one-dimensional. Even if you think you don’t have lots of different skills, you do – think about your hobbies and interests – you can use these extra things that you do in your life to further your experience and your career.

Tips for workplace confidence

Build your networks. Find people in your workplace who you can connect with and learn from. Get to know other departments and don’t be afraid to reach out.

Confront toxic spaces. Settling in a toxic workplace can have a damaging effect on your self-esteem, and it’s hard to know that it’s happening. If you don’t feel happy look around for internal movement opportunities. The answer doesn’t always have to be as dramatic as leaving the company.

Find your cheerleaders. We all need cheerleaders. People who will build us up and bolster our self-esteem and, importantly, listen to our problems. They can be your family, friends or colleagues – never think that you’re alone.

Work on your side-hustle. Everyone has skills, interests and hobbies outside of the workplace. Use them to your advantage and really explore your potential in these different areas. It may open up opportunities that you had never even thought of.

‘We are living in a side-hustle culture, and it’s about making sure that you are exploring all of your skills.

‘I find that often people will have skills that they don’t explore, simply because they are too scared. The work that I do pushes people to find the confidence to lose this fear and believe in themselves and make those latent skill-sets blossom.

‘Cultivating these additional skills and side-hustles are a kind of personal insurance policy. It means that you don’t have to be scared when there are times of uncertainty or redundancies, because you know you have another skill that you can build on.’

Two women, one white and one black, in an office
‘Additional skills and side-hustles are a kind of personal insurance policy’ (Picture: Getty)

In addition to cultivating a side-hustle, Frances thinks it is important to make a commitment to be consistently learning. There is a misconception that education ends when we finish college or university – but Frances says successful careers are built on perpetual development.

‘Work is a constant learning journey,’ she explains.

‘So don’t ever just sit in your role and think that just being there is enough – it’s about continually learning. Especially during this fourth revolution where digital skills are really important.

‘It’s about relevance. You always need to make sure that your skills are relevant and have the right currency for the marketplace that you’re in. If a fantastic opportunity comes up – you want to be secure in knowing that you would have the skills to do that.

‘It’s also important to build your self esteem. If you’re in an environment where you’re not recognised, where you’re not rewarded, that will chip away at your confidence. And it can be hard to even recognise that it’s happening until you step out of that space.

‘So you have to put yourself in positive environments – by finding positive cheerleaders to surround yourself with, in your family, friends or professional networks. We all need cheerleaders to build us back up.

‘When you think that you can push through negative or toxic environments on your own – that’s when we start having issues in terms of mental health. You do need to ask for help. There are people who you can share your story with.’

Frances Trought delivers a speech at a podium
‘You need to make sure that your skills are relevant and have the right currency for the marketplace that you’re in’ (Picture: Tony Attile, Black Ink)

So what does Frances hope to achieve with her sessions? It’s fundamentally about reclaiming control.

‘Knowing your worth and how to negotiate your value is paramount in the 21 st Century work environment,’ reads the description of the Dare To Be Bold workshop event.

‘Understanding what “the game“ is, what the rules are, and how to play it underpins your success and survival in the workplace,’ it goes on.

‘The aim is to help minorities in the workplace,’ says Frances.

‘It’s about helping people realise that it is possible to take control. That even if they are lacking the confidence themselves, that creating the right networks and connections can help you move your journey forward.

‘We can’t just sit back and wait for change – how long will we be waiting?

‘It’s great when companies are making positive changes to help and improve working situations for minority employees, but there comes a point where you also have to ask yourself – what’s your role? How can you change things for yourself?’

As well as her workshops and forthcoming book, Frances’ new company Everything D&I works to create opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds, and they are currently working with the Microsoft BAME network to develop a Diversity Festival in October 2019.

The next Dare To Be Bold workshop will take place on Thursday the 13th June in London.

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Japanese sheer T-shirts trick people into thinking you have a toned body underneath

Sheer affect t shirts look slightly see through but aren't to make people think they're super toned https://ekodworkstore.com/items/5ccf0060272bd06cbb75e6bf
Want to look super toned? (Picture: eKodWorkStore)

A Japanese shop has found a way to having a toned-physique – without going to the gym.

And it’s by deception. Excellent.

Online retailer EkoD Works is selling T-shirts designed to create the illusion that the person wearing them has a very toned stomach, perky breasts or a wet T-shirt look.

Weird, we know.

The shirts are designed to look like sheer white fabric draped over a toned stomach and chiseled abs, but they really just use some creative shading on opaque cotton. Just like that, you have an illusion.

The website describes the T-shirt as a ‘delusional mapping T-shirt with faint muscles’ with a cost of ¥3,888 (£28).

Sheer affect t shirts look slightly see through but aren't to make people think they're super toned https://ekodworkstore.com/items/5ccf0060272bd06cbb75e6bf
But don’t look at it for too long (Picture: eKodWorkStore)

It’s designed to create the illusion that the person wearing it has a trim figure and a six-pack, using light-gray shading to look like shadows under sheer fabric.

The online store offers a female version of the deceiving shirt, which is designed to look like sheer fabric over a lace bra.

The shirt also retails for ¥3,888 (£28).

Sheer affect t shirts look slightly see through but aren't to make people think they're super toned https://ekodworkstore.com/items/5ccf0060272bd06cbb75e6bf
Deceptive, eh? (Picture: eKodWorkStore)

Other pieces of clothing available include a T-shirt that has been designed to look like it is drenched in water.

The shirt, called the ‘Delusion Splash T-shirt,’ is designed to look like wet fabric.

Its design makes the shirt look like it is sticking to the person’s skin as a result of being saturated with water.

Sheer affect t shirts look slightly see through but aren't to make people think they're super toned https://ekodworkstore.com/items/5ccf0060272bd06cbb75e6bf
T-shirt madness (Picture: eKodWorkStore)

The brand suggests washing their T-shirts by hand as the print could be removed if washed incorrectly. Also, ironing a tee on the print side isn’t recommended.

The T-shirt might be the magical answer to attracting eligible romantic partners for the summer.

That’ll need to be a fleeting flirtation, though. If the object of your affections stares a touch too long your fraudulent nature will be revealed.

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11 naked wedding cakes to fall in love with

Four amazing naked wedding cakes
These are all gorgeous (Picture: Instagram)

We’re used to seeing heavily-iced fruit cakes at weddings, but let’s face it, too much icing can be sickly.

And who really likes fruit cake, anyway?

We’ve fallen in love with naked cakes, which are rustic-looking cakes making a name for themselves on Instagram and Pinterest.

Naked cakes are cakes with a minimal outer layer of frosting, which allows the cake’s texture and filling to peek through.

We’ve selected a few naked wedding cakes that we think look beautiful – and they might just inspire any soon-to-be brides or grooms to have one made for themselves.

This cake by Claire Lawrence Cake Design features minimal frosting and berries

A naked cake by claire lawrence cake design
This cake is dreamy (Picture: Claire Lawrence Cake Design)


This cake, by Apple Tree Cake Design, only has frosting in the middle – with a sprinkle of icing sugar

A stunning floral naked cake
Isn’t this beautiful? (Picture: Apple Tree Cake Design)


We love this cake by Sweet Daisy May, which is minimalistic yet features dripping icing and flowers

A floral naked cake design
We love the flowers on this (Picture: Sweet Daisy May)


This cake is absolutely beautiful – it’s photographed by Chloe Win Stanley

A very tall naked wedding cake
This is GORGEOUS (Picture: Chloe Win Stanley)


Needing some wedding inspo? How about having your names at the top of a naked cake? This one’s by Brucey Bakes

This cake has the bride and groom's name on it
How about a naked cake with your name on it? (Picture: Brucey Bakes)


We love the added metallics of the dripping icing on this Parsons Bakery cake

A naked cake with dripping icing
We love the dripping icing on this (Picture: Parsons Bakery)


This chocolate cake made by Cake By Nicole is simple, yet very pretty

A naked chocolate cake
YUM (Picture: Cake By Nicole)


For those that want something a little more extra…

A naked cake with pink flowers
A naked cake for those who want something a little extra (Picture: Laurajane_ellis)


Now this cake, from Caked Patisserie, is absolutely gorgeous

This cake is gorgeous
Just, wow! (Picture: Caked Pattisserie)


This cake is perfect for a wedding or a summer party

This cake is gorgeous
Now this is gorgeous (Picture: Toertlfee)

And finally – isn’t this cake, by Nicole Cavallo, mesmerising?

A naked cake with 'love' on top
Lots of love has gone into this cake (Picture: Nicole Cavallo)

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3 easy changes to your diet that will help save the planet

Brown free range chickens in a green grassy field. Their crests are red. The horizontal composition is taken from ground level. Green trees are in the background.
Cutting down on red meat like beef and lamb can help the environment (Picture: mgritchie/Getty/iStockphoto)

With the planet hotting up and food production a major contributor to greenhouse gases, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that we need to start looking at the way we eat.

According to a UN-backed study, the world’s top soil could be gone in 60 years.

That may not mean much to you – it certainly didn’t to me, until I realised we need it to grow everything.

It might not be as well-known an issue as climate change but, with topsoil being lost faster than it can be replenished, it’s already having serious consequences, such as flooding, desertification, and declines in species.

All the while the global population is exploding, expecting to reach 10 billion hungry mouths by 2050.

More people and less food means more people are malnourished or at risk of starvation.

Last year, 800 million people went hungry.

In the UK, we’re already seeing a rise in a malnourished generation, with 4.1 million children living in poverty, with those in primary school most likely to go hungry.

So maybe we should start to take note, because the reality of others which seems so comfortably far away isn’t so far away after all.

You remember that ecosystem triangle you did at school? Small things make a big difference – meaning small changes to enough people’s diet will lessen our overall impact on the planet.

Things like helping cut greenhouse gases, which are another huge contributor to global warming and hunger.

When you find out that if every UK household was to cut just one meat-based dish out of their diet every week it would reduce CO2 emissions by 8.4%, making a difference seems a lot easier than you think.

So, here are 3 simple chang

es you can make to your diet that are both better for you and the planet:

1. Go for organic options where you can afford to

Organic farms use less fertilisers and so tend to be better for the environment. One study showed that, on average, organic farms support 50% more wildlife than conventional farms.

So, if you can afford it, an organic option can make a difference.

A good starting point is to choose organic for the products that tend to have the highest levels of pesticides – the ‘dirty dozen’: strawberries, spinach, kale, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery, potatoes. 

2. Eat more ancient grains

Wheat, corn and rice are the grains we eat the most. The problem is that these crops are grown very intensively, and rely heavily on fertilisers and herbicides to grow which damages the fertility of our soils.

However, ancient grains like spelt, barley, quinoa, buckwheat and amaranth have deeper roots, so can draw more water and nutrients from the soil without the need for fertilisers.

Eating these alternatives encourages more diverse farming, and they require less chemical fertilisers and waters to produce. Farmers could grow different species of crops on rotation, alternating between those that exhaust the supply of soil nutrients with those that replenish them. 

TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA - 2017/04/13: Healthy eating: white quinoa seeds. Quinoa is the common name for Chenopodium quinoa, a flowering plant in the amaranth family Amaranthaceae. It is a herbaceous annual plant grown as a grain crop primarily for its edible seeds The food is presented in a small plate. (Photo by Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Grains like quinoa require less fertilisers and water to grow (Picture: Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket/Getty Images)

3. Eat less but better meat

Animal farming is thought to be responsible for 14.5% of all greenhouse gas emissions so cutting down on cheap grain-fed meat is a simple and easy way to reduce your carbon footprint.

Try eating meat from animals that have eaten natural pasture and are accredited with the Pasture-Fed Livestock Association label.

Pasture-fed animals are often grazed in a way that helps to rebuild fertility in the soils and are therefore an important store of carbon. 

Methane bubbles from manure pit digester on dairy farm
Mmmmmmmm, tasty: Methane bubbles from manure pit digester on dairy farm (Picture: Edwin Remsburg/VW Pics via Getty)

The other thing we can all do is cut down on food waste.

Approved Food is a Sheffield-based business that buys food from suppliers that is past its best before date then sells it online at far less than the original RRP. They make an important distinction between the ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ dates that we need to pay more attention to.

In the ten years since it was formed, MD Andy Needham estimates this has prevented around four million tonnes of perfectly edible food going to landfill. And they claim the average family can save £66 on their weekly shop.

Other retailers are making more conscious buying decisions, so you don’t have to.

Farmdrop – an online supermarket that distributes sustainable groceries in electric vans, helping people eat better food sourced directly from farms that don’t trash the planet. Right now, they’re looking into their own carbon footprint – comparing that of organic to non-organic products.

Young farmer, Jack Cook, stands on his farm looking up at a chicken that stands on his shoulder like a parrot
Young farmer Jack Cook, from Purton House Organics farm in Wiltshire, Farmdrop’s organic egg supplier (Picture: Farmdrop)
Farmdrop founder Ben Pugh says: ‘Food is one of the biggest contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions, which is the major cause of climate change. But I believe that socially responsible food businesses like ours can help to avert the oncoming climate crisis by setting the very highest environmental standards for food sourcing and delivery.
‘We make it easy for people to buy planet-friendly groceries, from planet-friendly farmers, delivered in electric vehicles wherever possible, and with absolute minimum packaging.’

Outside of the home, charities like Fare Share take food from the food industry that would otherwise go to waste, redistribute to charities and community groups around the UK which are then turned into much-needed meals. Last year they delivered enough food to make 36.7m meals.

It’s all about making sensible choices. In the wise words of John F Kennedy: ‘One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.’

Tinder’s new Orientation feature lets people select multiple sexual identities

Tinder l;aunches inclusive Orientation feature
Tinder’s new Orientation feature lets you better describe your sexual and gender identity (Picture: Picture: Tinder, Metro.co.uk)

Tinder has made it easier to show potential matches who you are.

No, we’re not talking about an option that shows exactly what TV you’re watching at every moment.

The dating app’s new feature is called Orientation, which gives users the ability to select up to three sexual orientations they best identify with and prioritise potential matches based on their preferences.

You could already choose whether you wanted to match with men, women, or both, but the update will allow for more specific identity options.

So for example, you can list yourself as a trans woman, or someone who’s non-binary, then select your sexuality as bisexual, and ask to be shown everyone.

Users can also decide whether to show their sexual orientation on their profile, and whether they’d like to see potential matches of their same sexual orientation first (this bit will be within Discovery Preferences), so, for example, a bisexual person could prioritise other bisexual people, or someone non-binary may want to see those open to everyone first, or those who are asexual could see other asexual people come up first in their matches.

You just hit ‘edit info’ in the app and tap ‘Orientation’ to select the options that best fit you. Easy.

The new features will be rolling out in the US, UK, Canada, Ireland, India, and Australia throughout June.

Elie Seidman, CEO of Tinder, said: ‘We want all of our users to feel empowered expressing who they are while connecting with new people — and we’re always working to make that easier for our users on Tinder.

‘Dating apps are invaluable platforms for connecting the LGBTQ+ community, and we’re beyond proud to continue our efforts, in partnership with GLAAD, to improve the community’s experience on Tinder.’

Throughout Pride Month (that’s June, FYI), Tinder will also be offering free advertising on the app to nonprofit organisations dedicated to equality and acceptance for people across all genders and orientations.

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I’m bisexual and non-monogamous: It’s about time Tinder catered to me too

Tinder has launched a new feature for Pride Month called orientation
Tinder has launched a new feature, called orientation, which allows users to select up to three sexualities that they most identify with (Picture: Tinder)

‘I’m a queer girl, married to a dude, and we’re ethically non-monogamous’ – so reads my opening line on pretty much every dating app I’ve ever had a profile on.

It’s a testament to two things: How few apps provide the profile options for this kind of sexual identity and relationship status, and how important I think it is that potential suitors know about it.

Today Tinder announced the introduction of an ‘orientation’ feature which allows users to select up to three sexual orientation labels that they most identify with. The OG of dating apps clearly hopes to entice more queer users to its platform.

But is it just another Pride Month stunt? Or a genuine step forward for inclusivity? To me, it’s a bit of both.

Of course, it’s no accident that Tinder has decided to launch this new feature in June, the month which commemorates the anniversary of the Stonewall riots with LGBTQ+ marches, events, protests and celebrations.

At the same time it’s hard to argue that facilitating better expression of sexuality and orientation on a dating app is not a positive thing for LGBTQ folks. At any rate, it’s a damn sight more useful than a Pride sandwich.

When hook-up apps first took off in the late 00s the gamification of dating was enough of a novelty to lure us in.

Early apps such as Tinder tended to be characterised by their simplicity but as they’ve integrated into our digital lives we have begun to demand more of them, including better ways to express ourselves.

Tinder is actually pretty late to this party.

Lesbian dating app Her already includes a wide range of gender, orientation and relationship model options, while the premium version allows you to filter by these same terms. Gay men’s app Chappy allows you to browse depending on whether you for looking for ‘tonight’ or for ‘dates’.

Feeld lets you choose from a plethora of gender identities and sexual orientations before listing the exact kinks and sexual activities you’re interested in pursuing.

Most notably on OKCupid, which started as a traditional dating website but now has an app, users are able to opt out of seeing or being seen by straight people, something which I and many of my bi and pansexual friends have utilised at one time or another. Let’s just say that having to give every match a crash course in ‘queer studies’ before you’ve even scheduled a drink gets a little tedious.

For me most conversations begin with me asking ‘did you read the part where I said I’m bi and non-monogamous?’

All of this points to the fact that people want a more nuanced experience. Indeed, 31 per cent of the LGBTQ+ UK residents that Tinder surveyed said that apps and platforms open to all sexual orientations worked better for them.

We all want to feel seen and valued on some level, whether in casual hook-ups or romantic partnerships, so it seems poignant that a dating app would not wish to pave the way to that.

However, dating is not just a tick-box exercise and menu options are not a replacement for good communication. Needs, desires and boundaries are all things that are good to flag but better to discuss.

For me most conversations begin with me asking ‘did you read the part where I said I’m bi and non-monogamous?’ (regardless of whether the app has allowed me to explicitly state it), so while Tinder’s new feature might make that chat a little easier, it doesn’t – and shouldn’t – negate the need for it altogether.

Still, if this is a sign that we’re moving away from the belief that to give some care and consideration to sex and dating is to ‘overcomplicate’ things, then I’ll take it as a win.

Wherever you are on the Kinsey Scale – a research method used to describe someone’s sexual orientation – dating is not a binary exercise involving only yes or no, men or women, swipe left or right.

While the user experience of a dating or hook-up app should definitely be fun, we shouldn’t need to reduce ourselves in order to have a good time.

Sexuality is nuanced and I’m glad Tinder has recognised that. Who knows, maybe I’ll even download it again.

MORE: Tinder’s new Orientation feature lets people select multiple sexual identities

MORE: Love, Or Something Like It: What 15k Tinder matches has taught me about true love

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How much sign language do you know?

An interpreter signs 'Why?' in British Sign Language (BSL)
Why the hell not?! British Sign Language (BSL) might be a lot easier to learn than you think (Picture: CityLit)

You might have considered learning French or Spanish as a second language, but what about British Sign Language (BSL)?

There are 11 million people with hearing loss in the UK, yet new research has revealed that a staggering 94% of Brits admit that they do not know more than two words of British Sign Language (BSL).

The research, conducted by adult-education college City Lit reveals that over a quarter of us (27%) feel embarrassed that we cannot communicate with people with hearing loss, with 59% calling for sign language to be made part of the National Curriculum.

It’s time to get a-learning.

A interpreter signs 'Yes please' in British Sign Language (BSL)
Who wouldn’t want to learn some basic BSL? (Picture: CityLit)

It is especially pertinent when you consider there are an estimated 24,000 people across the UK who use BSL as their primary language, and 61% of us feel that those who are deaf or suffering with hearing loss are marginalised from society because not enough people know how to communicate with them.

Research by the NHS has shown that almost three quarters of deaf people (74%) felt that their employment opportunities were limited because of their hearing loss, and over two thirds (68%) have felt isolated at work.

But, apparently, while 50% of people admit they don’t know any sign language at all, 60% would like to learn to communicate better with people with hearing loss.

A sign interpreter signs 'What time is it? in British Sign Language (BSL)
What time is it? Learning time! (Picture: CityLit)

British Sign Language interpreter Rachael Davies, who has grown up around deaf family members, says: ‘I have witnessed the communication barriers deaf people have to face every day. In some instances, family members have had to write on a piece of paper to be able to communicate. But English isn’t a deaf person’s first language – sign language is.’

To test the nation’s sign language knowledge, City Lit has created an online quiz designed to test how much sign language we actually know.

It’s time to put those hands to good use.

Take the full quiz here. For those who would like to learn more, check out the courses at City Lit.

What is the fifth industrial revolution and how will it change the world?

Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi speaks during Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California on June 3, 2019. (Photo by Brittany Hosea-Small / AFP)        (Photo credit should read BRITTANY HOSEA-SMALL/AFP/Getty Images)
New technology is just the tip of the fifth industrial revolution iceberg (Picture: Brittany Hosea-Small/AFP/Getty Images)

There were nearly two centuries between the first and second industrial revolutions.

We’re now living in either the third or fourth industrial revolution (also known as Industry 4.0), depending on who you talk to, and we’re ‘on the cusp’ of the fifth one.

With the third only fully getting underway in 2012, according to the Economist, that’s a lot of industrial revolutions for a decade.

The first mechanised the textile industry, the second created the means for mass production and the third is around the introduction of the web and vastly improved communication technology. The fourth is all about smart technologies and how everything will be automated and connected.

The Fifth Industrial Revolution (5IR) is so new that experts across the world are scrambling to define exactly what it will be:

  • Futurist George Muir argues it will be the AI revolution (though this is pretty much what Industry 4.0 is)
  • MEP Eva Kaili thinks that it’s all to do with the potential of quantum computing (yup, still 4.0)
  • Genpact believes that it’s the moment when humans and machines combine in the workplace

But the most likely definition can be best summed up by Salesforce founder and co-CEO Marc Benioff:

‘I see a crisis of trust in technology,’ he told the World Economic Forum.

‘In the Fifth Industrial Revolution, we’re going to have to have… a chief ethical and humane use officer.

‘Are we using these technologies for the good of the world?

‘You can’t do business in the Fourth Industrial Revolution without the trust of your employees and your customers and partners.’

The Fourth Industrial Revolution might be taking humans out of industry but the fifth wants to put them back in.

This 5IR asks the question: How can you make the world ‘better’ rather than just ‘more efficient’ or ‘more productive’?

The fourth and fifth industrial revolutions will work in parallel, with the 5IR defining the ethics and impact of the technology developed in the fourth.

It will not only affect how machines are used to create products but how we live in general.

We’re already getting used to the idea of a ‘digital native’ throwing out the rulebooks of 9-to-5 employment but this is likely to expand even further.

Regardless of whether your company is based in Bangladesh or Bournemouth, you can work from where you live and your employer can monitor your performance and keep in touch (which could be both good and bad).

The average person would be able to work whenever they wanted with products completely tailored to them and all of their menial ‘life admin’ delegated to machines.

Whether their actual jobs would be delegated like this remains to be seen.

Over half of jobs in the US – equivalent to around $15 trillion in wages (£11.8tn) – have the potential to be automated, The McKinsey Institute reports, and similar reports from the UK suggest the nature of work will change.

This could create a world with far less work done by humans, which could either be brilliant or devastating for the workforce.

Industry 5.0 will potentially be a gradual process, with it having to react to the impact of 4.0 changing the way we live our lives.

It’s possible that the fourth ‘has been occurring since the middle of the last century’, Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman, of the World Economic Forum (WEF), has said, but we’re now at a tipping point.

Key shifts in technologies considered the ‘world of tomorrow’ will be happening in the next decade, WEF has said.

It says implantable technologies will be widespread by 2023, 3D printing will see a tipping point in 2022, AI changing white collar jobs will be in 2025 and AI being responsible for decision making by 2026.

McKinsey believes it may be 2055 before we see half of all current work automated.

It’s unlikely to be one specific piece of tech that dramatically alters our lives but a series of inventions that require us to alter how we function as people and as a society.

These changes are exciting in terms of productivity but real people will only see a benefit if those who own companies make changes to how they treat staff.

Government legislation will also be vital in protecting human rights.

Previous industrial revolutions brought about huge leaps in GDP but real wages stagnated for around 50 years during the first.

This is known as the Engels’ pause, which describes the gap between technology improving and people benefitting personally.

When robots will essentially be able to replace humans – both in blue and white collar jobs – there needs to be a safety net to stop companies being able to hoard wealth while working class people slide into poverty.

Solutions touted have included a Universal Basic Income, which would, in theory, mean that everybody has enough to live regardless of whether they’re in work. It has been trialled in countries with varying results.

‘We should start thinking seriously about decoupling income from wages so that everyone in society can participate and contribute to social life without the fear of stigma and destitution that often comes with unemployment,’ says Kyle Lewis of the thinktank Autonomy.

What will work look like when everything is automated? Computer Future of Everything tech business work office relax man money phone texting socks economy trade Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk
Office work could become a distant memory (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk

US economist Robert Reich claimed in 2016 that ‘a universal basic income will almost certainly be part of the answer’ when it comes to our changing economy.

But the question is who controls the automation and how much will that increase or decrease people’s employment and income?

If the 5IR is all about ‘trust’ and ‘humanity’, what chance does it have when goods and services will be cheaper than ever before?

It is thought that robots will displace 75 million jobs in the next four years but 133 million new ones will be created – a ‘net positive’ of nearly 60 million jobs – but it is unclear how incomes will be impacted.

This is one of the key questions experts are trying to answer but it is argued that increasing minimum wages quickens the pace of automation in business.

Another important question is whether the 5IR will be global or just in certain countries.

Around 44% of the world’s population has no internet access at all, a study found, which would make participating in the next step of the digital revolution quite difficult.

While some companies are training workers for the future, Foxconn Technology Group, the world’s largest electronics assembler, cut its workforce by 30% when it introduced robots into the production process.

It will all depend on the way these things are handled by those at the top and the balance between investing in people or technology.

‘The main upside of for employees and employers is that AI is most likely to take away the highly repeatable and mundane tasks, which should free us, the humans, up to do more meaningful work that involves creativity, curiosity, empathy, and judgement,’ Dominic Price, global work futurist at Atlassian, tells Metro.co.uk.

‘To achieve this, companies need to open up their ways of communicating, experimenting, sharing context, and evolving.’

Price says that employers need to understand that ‘most of us have grown up in a world where work was 9-to-5 and Monday to Friday’ and that just ‘because we can be on 24/7, doesn’t mean we should’.

That requires businesses to trust their workers, unlearn old habits and make sure businesses work with their workers rather than against them.

Rather than there being nearly two centuries between revolutions, it’s likely that we’re about to experience two industrial revolutions at once.

And if it comes down to ‘trust’, it’s whether businesses back machines or human workers that will matter most.

The Future Of Everything

Future Of Everything

This piece is part of Metro.co.uk's series The Future Of Everything.

From OBEs to CEOs, professors to futurologists, economists to social theorists, politicians to multi-award winning academics, we think we've got the future covered, away from the doom mongering or easy Minority Report references.

Every weekday, we're explaining what's likely (or not likely) to happen.

Talk to us using the hashtag #futureofeverything  If you think you can predict the future better than we can or you think there's something we should cover we might have missed, get in touch: hey@metro.co.uk or Alex.Hudson@metro.co.uk

Read every Future Of Everything story so far

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Portraits of children with diseases show they are more than their illnesses

Poppy and her sister smiling at one another
Poppy and her sister, Ffion, both have Marfan syndrome (Picture: Ceridwen Huges)

An author and photographer plans to launch a book celebrating the personalities of children with rare diseases, to showcase that they are so much more than their illnesses.

Ceridwen Hughes is currently fundraising the launch of Celebrating Difference – ‘a rare disease journey’ consisting a series of images showing the personalities of sick children.

According to Ceridwen, the emphasis of each image is on the child, in hopes of bringing out their ‘personality and positivity’ rather than focusing on their condition.

The images within the book are absolutely stunning. Ceridwen captures the happiness and determination of each child in striking photographs.

She wrote on BoredPanda: ‘With this book, we aim to make people more aware of what it means to be affected by a rare disease whilst giving them a stronger voice in their community.

‘Using powerful portraits to capture the person behind the condition and sharing as many stories as possible, we can make people think and look beyond their first impressions.

‘The joy and happiness of each child shines through whilst their families discuss their own personal rare disease experience.’

Ceridwen adds that she is a parent to a child with a rare disease. She was inspired to create the book after understanding the ‘isolation you can feel’ through having a child with a long-term condition, and she wants to help others understand they’re not alone.

She added: ‘We can’t take away the devastation that you feel on getting a diagnosis but perhaps we can show that there is light to be found in the dark days.’

Take a look at some of the stunning photographs below.

Izzy suffered a stroke

Izzy showing her affectionate personality for the camera
Izzy is a very happy and affectionate little lady (Picture: Ceridwen Huges)

Izzy suffered a stroke and experienced extensive brain injury which has left her permanently disabled.

She suffers from multifocal epilepsy, hemiplegia with her left side being weaker, hearing impairment, auditory processing disorder, communication difficulty, development delay and has also been diagnosed with autism.

Ceridwen says: ‘Izzy is a very happy and affectionate little lady who loves to spend time with her parents, sisters, and pets. She is a huge fan of Disney films and watches them every day along with her dolls that match each film.

‘She is strong-willed and independent, she is absolutely perfect in our eyes and the sunshine in our lives!’

Jacob has X-linked Hypohidrotic Ectodermal Dysplasia

Jacob showing his happy side
Jacob is a ‘lively little boy’ (Picture: Ceridwen Huges)

Jacob has X-linked Hypohidrotic Ectodermal Dysplasia. It affects his ectodermal layer which means he can’t sweat and so it is hard for him to regulate his body temperature.

Ceridwen says he is a ‘happy, lively little boy who loves being involved with everything’.

April has Hurlers Syndrome

April is 'brave and determined'
April showing her affectionate side (Picture: Ceridwen Huges)

April has Hurlers Syndrome, a genetic condition which affects one in 100,000 people and causes skeletal abnormalities and cognitive impairments.

She is a ‘brave and determined’ little girl, who is ‘friendly and quirky’ and ‘charms everyone who meets her’.

Charlie was diagnosed with MECP2 Duplication Syndrome when he was 15 months old

Little Charlie, looking a bit dubious of the camera
Little Charlie is so cute (Picture: Ceridwen Huges)

Charlie was diagnosed with MECP2 Duplication Syndrome when he was 15 months old. This is a duplication of the MECP2 protein/gene and it’s located on the XY chromosome.

Those affected by this condition usually have global developmental delay, are non-verbal and can be prone to seizures later in life due to the build-up of protein.

Ceridwen says: ‘All I want is for people to see Charlie as the little boy he is and hopefully treat him the same as every other child.’

Ryley has Cystinosis

Ryley smiling for the camera
Ryley has Cystinosis (Picture: Ceridwen Huges)

Ryley has Cystinosis which means that his organs store the amino acid crystal rather than break it down like most people.

This means that because his body does not break it down, his organs get damaged. This can affect the kidneys, the brain, the eyes and the muscles.

He has medication every six hours to help him prolong his life.

Ceridwen describes him as being a ‘strong and determined little boy’.

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How to spot and prevent skin cancer in dogs

A Jack Russell relaxing in the grass
Look after your dog this summer (Picture: Getty)

Summer is just around the corner, and one thing that’s very important to remember when the hot weather approaches is to look after your dog.

The sun can be very harmful to dogs, causing skin damage and even cancer.

Richard Setterwall, general manager at Rover.com, a dog walking and sitting service, says that over the last couple of decades dog owners are starting to become more aware of pup sun protection – with more people buying doggy suncream.

Richard said: ‘From using sun-screen wipes to knowing the early signs of sun damage, it’s important for owners to be clued up on how to properly protect their dogs.

‘What’s more, overheating can also cause heat stroke in dogs – a state of extreme hyperthermia – so it’s really important to make sure you’re taking the proper precautions whilst your dog’s enjoying the sun.’

So, how can we go about protecting our lovely fur babies?

An owner walking their dog in the park
Check their skin for signs and symptoms (Picture: Getty)

Well, Richard recommends using a mist or similar to protect your dogs, paying extra attention to vulnerable areas like their ears, belly and nose – where they have less fur.

You should also minimise the number of hours your pup spends in the sun. Of course it’s lovely to take them to the park, but don’t let them get over-heated.

It’s also important to create shaded spaces so that they can cool down and escape the rays.

Richard adds: ‘There are some fantastic sun protection products available in stores across the UK and online, all specially made for our pooches – you can visit B&M, Amazon and Pets At Home for sun-screen wipes, sun cream and even sun hats.’

Worried your dog might already be suffering? There are a few ways to spot the signs of skin damage and skin cancer in your dog.

Check your dog’s skin to see if it looks red or tender, especially if they are scratching or whimpering, as this means they may be suffering with sunburn.

Like humans, unexplained lumps and bumps can be a sign of something more sinister.

Make sure you’re regularly checking your dog and even if it turns out to just be a skin tag, if it is causing you concern, speak to your vet.

You should also keep an eye out for lesions and scabs – as it can be something you might want to chat to your vet about.

So, make sure you’re looking after your dog.

Do take them out, let them run around and have fun, but monitor their sun exposure, ensure you are checking their skin regularly throughout the heat and make sure they have some cooler spots for them to relax in.

MORE: 3 easy changes to your diet that will help save the planet

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Waitrose is launching ‘Gin O’ Clock’– a gin tasting session delivered to your home

Pictures of gin
You can now have a gin event at home(Picture: Getty)

We love a good gin-tasting event, but sometimes we just want to drink our favourite tipple in the comfort of our own homes.

There’s nothing quite like getting snuggled up in your pyjamas and binge-watching Netflix with a nice G&T in hand.

Now you can combine gin tasting and binge-watching, as Waitrose has launched an at-home event where you can enjoy five different gins without living your sofa.

Waitrose Wine Tasting at Home has launched ‘Gin O’ Clock’, a two-hour informative experience led by one of their specialists, either hosted in your home, hired accommodation, office or event space.

The Waitrose & Partner specialist will bring all the gins straight to your door, so that you don’t even have to get out of your pjs.

The tasting includes five types of gin, including a pink pepper and sloe gin, paired with a variety of Fever-Tree tonics.

You won’t just be drinking, either. The specialist will take you through the history of each gin and will also show you how to make the perfect G&T.

If you’re going to take up the experience, it might be an idea to invite some of your mates round to create the perfect party vibe – unless you fancy trying it solo, of course.

All of the gins will be served straight at first, so that you can ‘appreciate the aromas’, and then some tonic will be added.

Cold lemon drink with rosemary, ice and tonic, on rustic wooden table
You might want to invite your friends over (Picture: Getty)

After the tasting, any remaining gin will be left for you to enjoy and each guest will receive their own Fever-Tree Dartington crystal glass.

The service is available across the majority of Britain and bookings can be made from the 1st May, with pre-booking available now.

The experience is priced at £400 and can be for 6-10 people.

So, if you have nine friends to invite round, you can spend a night in drinking gin for £40 each. That’s probably preferable, because let’s face it – who wants to spend £400 on drinking alone?

Andrew Riding, Drinks Experience Manager at Waitrose Wine Tasting at Home said: ‘The Waitrose Wine Tasting at Home Gin O’ Clock experience is a fun and relaxed way for you and your guests to find out more about various gin flavour profiles.

‘From knowing how much ice to use, to which glass choice is best, our experience will help hone your gin and tonic making skills.

‘Britain is having a great love affair with gin at the moment and we are excited to either teach fans more about their favourite drink or introduce the world of gin to newcomers.’

If gin isn’t your thing, Waitrose Wine Tasting at Home offers wines and sparkling wine experiences.

Newly launched ‘Fizz Fancy’, which costs £50 per person, includes prosecco, cava, cremant, English sparkling wine and champagne.

If you are looking for something a bit less bubbly. A standard wine experience starts at £30 per person.

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