Monday, 4 June 2007

Hiccup and press release

Minor hiccup last night ( well- as it turned out to be). Ended up in hospital with possibility of a DVT but in the end probably turned out to be too much walking going for my leg which has the pin in it. So on the scale of things not a major issue and always best for us to err on the side of caution.

I also promised sometime ago to let you know about something else I was working on and which didn't involve climbing ladders and installing solar panels etc! Today a press release went out announcing the establishment of a new Centre at the University of the Highlands and Islands Millenium Institute. I've been working on this some time with a colleague there and also have an honorary position there as well. We have now established a UHI Centre on Rural Childhood so again I point out that the myeloma and my various treatments including the Lenalidomide haven't brought other aspects of my life to a halt. Unfortunately my timing was impeccable as I did an interview on mobile phone when I was in hospital- not the best of contexts! Release went generally as the following extract ( I'll spare you the picture!)

UHI to launch research centre for rural childhood

UHI Millennium Institute is to launch a new research centre later this year which is expected to make a major contribution to the lives of children and young people in rural areas.

The UHI Centre for Rural Childhood, to be based at Perth College UHI, will influence the development of policy and practice on all aspects of life for children born into or brought up in the country. Many current issues will determine the main areas of interest, including health, education, crime, drugs, and the experiences of immigrant children now moving to the more rural parts of Scotland.

Professor Stewart Asquith, an honorary professor with UHI, will be the centre’s acting director. He is bringing the project to fruition with Dr Sheila Lodge, the UHI dean of arts, humanities and social sciences. Professor Asquith says it will establish UHI as a major site of local, national and international significance in the field of rural childhood.

He believes that much of the focus to date on children’s issues has largely been on children with an urban upbringing. “The UHI centre will play a major role in addressing that imbalance by emphasising the very different experiences of rural children and the implications this has for their growth and development and for effective service provision,” he explained.

“This will be achieved through research, consultancy, teaching and training, and the work of the centre will be of major interest to policymakers, practitioners and those generally charged with the responsibility of caring for children in a rural context.”

Professor Asquith, who was one of the first external examiners for the BA (hons) child and youth studies programme at UHI, said: “I am delighted the centre is coming to fruition and can think of no better place for it to be located than at UHI. I firmly believe that better understanding of the life experiences of children in our rural and remote communities will mean that we can better improve the nature of those experiences for many children.”

Formerly the head of social policy and social work at the University of Glasgow, most of Professor Asquith’s research and consultancy work has involved monitoring the extent to which the rights of children have been implemented in reference to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

His work has focused on two main areas, children and the law, and combating the sexual exploitation and trafficking of children, and has taken him to most countries in central and Eastern Europe as well as Africa and the Caribbean. Much of his work has been for UNICEF, other UN agencies and for the Council of Europe.

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