T3 Ping Pong launches pink table for Cancer Research UK

T3 Ping Pong launches a new PINK Indoor/Outdoor 3-a-side table in support of Cancer Research UK’s ‘Pink Pong’ at Hackney Half Marathon on Sunday 8th May 2016

Be one of the first to have a go and play alongside some of the UK’s top table tennis super stars

This limited edition table has been kindly donated by T3 Ping Pong and their Kent based outdoor table manufacturer, Sign 2000 Ltd.

Liz May, Founder of Pink Pong said “We wanted a table that could really draw in the crowds – and this certainly does that. Its round shape makes it so much more inviting than a traditional table tennis table. T3 3-a-side table tennis is such a fun game to play and the great thing is, anyone can take part. It’s been really well received already just from the picture. And after launch, we’ve just heard it will be included in the opening of the Ping London’s 2016 Summer campaign at the end of June, which is excellent news!”

Pink Pong International Table Tennis stars featured on this unique table are Josh Band, Sean Doherty, Will Bayley, Amanda Mogey, Corinna Whitaker, Ryan Jenkins, Charlotte Carey, David Wetherill, Kelly Sibley and Liz May.

Date for the Diary: Launch Day – Hackney Half Marathon, (London)

The T3 Pink Pong Table will be launched at the Hackney Half Marathon on Sunday 8th May at the Cancer Research UK marquee in the Race Village.

To find us follow signs to Hackney Marshes, on Homerton Road, Hackney, E9 5PF

The ribbon will be cut at 10am followed by an exhibition T3 match between our top international players.

Join us and show your support by being one of the first to have a game on our new table.
(Come on your own or as a triples team.) Open to all ages and abilities! We’ve even got spot prizes for the most fun players!

What is T3?
T3 Ping Pong is three or six-a-side table tennis. It follows similar rules to the traditional game, but it is played on a circular table with three or six players on each team. The distinctive circular design and specially constructed net are the foundations of a game which offers a greater range of shots increasing the scope for some spectacular rallies.

Launched in 2013, this unique British made and designed product, is being described as the biggest game changer in over 100 years of table tennis! And it’s obvious why!

T3 ping pong also caught the attention of the International sports community at ISPO in January, where it was awarded ‘FINALIST’ in the ISPO 2016/17 Brand New Awards held in Munich, Germany.

“We first met Liz of PINK PONG last year at the World Championships of Ping Pong when she approached us about making a pink T3! I could see it straight away, as could my 5 year old daughter who now wants to know why all our tables aren’t pink! The end result is even better and it features all the table tennis stars who support Pink Pong and Cancer Research UK.’
Digi Berry, Director, T3 Ping Pong

Annabel Coakley of Cancer Research UK said “At Cancer Research UK we hold and support many events each year but rarely do we come across something as unique as 3-a-side ping pong especially on a bright pink table! I think it will be a great addition to our fund rising equipment and we hope lots of people will come along and have a go.

We are absolutely delighted that T3 have decided to support Cancer Research UK and are extremely grateful for their kind donation! Although we have come a long way in the fight against cancer in the past 40 years there is still so much to do, and we can’t fund our vital lifesaving research without the generosity and dedication of our supporters and volunteers.’

The game is all about team, fun and inclusivity.

Elton John

Sir Elton John renews his Patronage of STARS

The monumental career of international singer-songwriter and performer Sir Elton John has spanned more than five decades. He is one of the top-selling solo artists of all time, with thirty- five Gold and twenty- five Platinum albums and twenty-nine consecutive Top 40 hits. He has sold more than 250 million records worldwide. Elton holds the record for the biggest-selling single of all time, “Candle in the Wind,” which sold 37 million copies. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences has awarded Elton five Grammys, the Grammy Legend Award, and honoured him with the MusiCares Person of the Year Award. Elton was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. Additionally, he was the first artist honoured by the Billboard Touring Conference with its Legend of Live Award, which recognises those in the concert business who have made a significant and lasting impact on the industry. And in September 2013, Elton was honoured as the first recipient of the prestigious BRITs Icon Award. He continues to tour all over the world.

The smash-hit stage production of Billy Elliot, for which Elton composed the music, was nominated for a record nine Olivier Awards, winning Best Musical, among others. It was nominated for a record-tying fifteen Tony Awards and won ten, including Best Musical.

Elton received an Academy Award for The Lion King, and Tony Awards for both The Lion King and Aida. He served as the Executive Producer for the hugely successful animated feature Gnomeo & Juliet, which opened in February 2011.


Elton John


In 1992, Elton established the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF), which today is one of the leading non-profit HIV/AIDS organisations. EJAF has raised more than £220m ($349) million to date to support hundreds of HIV/AIDS prevention, service, and advocacy programs around the globe. In 1998, The Queen of England knighted him Sir Elton John, CBE. In 2004, he received Kennedy Center Honors for his lifetime contributions to American culture and excellence through the performing arts.

In 2012, Elton published Love Is the Cure, a book about his personal connection to the AIDS epidemic and the work of EJAF, which became a national best seller in the United States. In 2013, in recognition of his philanthropic and humanitarian efforts through EJAF, Elton received the Harvard
School of Public Health AIDS Initiative Leadership Award and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Lifetime
Achievement Award.

Elton said: “I am pleased to offer my continued support to STARS, to Heart Rhythm Week – 6-12 June 2016: www.heartrhythmweek.org and to the Arrhythmia Alliance’s ‘Now Is the Time’ Manifesto: http://bit.ly/1m688yD. Early detection and diagnosis of arrhythmias, and any unexplained loss of consciousness are vital to ensure that those affected can have access to vital knowledge and ensure they are receiving the appropriate treatment which may prove to be life-saving. “STARS has taken a lead in raising awareness of unexplained loss of consciousness, and offers invaluable support and advice to those in need. I am delighted to offer my continued support to STARS for its important work.


Kenny Johnston’s journey through mental illness and suicide inspiring millions

Mental health awareness week means different things to different people and organisations. For Kenny Johnston, it’s an opportunity to show the stigma can be overcome and inspire people suffering in silence.

Four years and half years ago, Kenny was focused on one thing; ending his life from the mental illness nightmare he was enduring due to depression. He woke up on Tuesday October 12th determined to end his life and after two attempts, he realised it wasn’t meant to be. As he lay alone on the floor in his shed he decided that this was the lowest point of his life and he never was going to allow himself or anyone else he knew to enter the place where suicide became the only option.

On Saturday 16th May, CLASP Charity hosts their 2nd ‘Walking out of Darkness’ event to end the stigma surrounding mental health and increase suicide prevention. The 10 mile walk takes place during ‘Mental Health Awareness Week’ to inspire people across the country and open minds about mental health and address the stigma surrounding mental illness. The event has particular significance to Kenny, as he is the Founder and CEO of CLASP Charity.

Motivated by his own ordeal, he has obtained support from NHS England, Time to Change, Rethink Mental Illness, Legal & General, Pure Gym, Wandsworth Council plus several other London Councils as well as a host of other businesses and services across the country to reach out to the millions of people across the UK who struggle with their mental health and offer support. The event also marks the beginning of a partnership between CLASP and the NHS to launch a new mental health wellbeing and suicide prevention helpline service.




The ‘Walking out of Darkness’ event is supported by the Department of Health, Bank of England, Financial Ombudsman Service, plus others and has also been commended by Norman Lamb, former Department of Health and Care Minister and Mayor of London Boris Johnson who stated, “Those struggling with mental ill health often go unnoticed and unsupported. Yet, there is much we are doing to improve our mental health and prevent suicides, and I applaud CLASP’s work to help Londoners who are struggling in this way”

Mark Winstanley, CEO of Rethink Mental Illness, said: “Mental illness affects all of us in some way, but the stigma around it can make it hard for people to open up about what they’re going through and get the help they need. We hope this event can make a real difference by raising awareness of mental health among Londoners, as well as raising money for charities like Rethink Mental Illness which directly support people affected by mental health problems.”

Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change, the national mental health anti-stigma campaign, who will be attending the event said: “We need to have more conversations taking place about mental health problems to bring the issue out from the shadows and make it less of a taboo subject. The Walking out of Darkness event, as well as hundreds of other events taking place across the country, offers people a chance to join the movement and show that it’s time to break the silence that surrounds mental health.”

Registration is only £10 and participants can fundraise for any UK mental health charity they want or walk for the cause. Starting in Bernie Spain Gardens by the OXO Tower in London at 10am participants will set off along the Thames Path and take in some of London’s most iconic landmarks including Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and the Houses of Parliament before an afternoon of entertaining attractions and a variety of mental wellbeing advice in Battersea Park.

CLASP invites everybody willing to walk out of the darkness of the stigma surrounding mental illness to come along and support the 1 in 4 suffering in silence at this unforgettable event.

For more information and details on how to register, visit the CLASP website www.claspcharity.com

If you are concerned about mental illness or suicide call the NHS 111 Helpline or speak to your GP immediately

Life Changes Trust £90,000 prize for dementia ‘Bright Ideas’ competition

A competition to find the best ‘Bright Ideas’ to create a better life for people affected by dementia in Scotland has been launched today.

The competition is being run by the Life Changes Trust, an independent charity set up with a Big Lottery Fund endowment of £50 million to improve the lives of two key groups in Scotland: people affected by dementia and care experienced young people.

The challenge is to come up with a new and innovative approach or idea for something that would improve the lives of people who have dementia and/or those who care for them.

The competition is open to anyone – people living with dementia or their carers, students, academics, health professionals, designers, engineers, gardeners – anyone with a Bright Idea that can be turned into a working reality for people affected by dementia.

The idea could be related to mobility, to inclusion, to learning or to healthy living. It could be based around safety and security, housing or even just having fun.

Six applications will be shortlisted by a panel of people with dementia and carers who will score the applications on the extent to which they are:

• practical

• have potential to transform the lives of people with dementia and/or carers

• have potential to be sustainable in the long term

There will be three grant prizes, awarded at an event in November 2015: The first prize is £50,000, the second prize is £25,000 and the third prize is £15,000.

Chief Executive of the Life Changes Trust Maddy Halliday said, ‘The Trust believes that, as a society, we need to find and invest in new and innovative ways of helping people living with dementia and their carers so they feel valued, included and supported. The Trust is already funding a wide range of activities to support people affected by dementia and today we are delighted to announce our first, annual Bright Ideas competition. We hope to receive many exciting and innovative ideas and look forward to funding those that have the potential to provide the biggest benefit to people affected by dementia in Scotland.’

In Scotland:

• It is estimated that around 90,000 people have dementia in Scotland

• The number of people with dementia in Scotland is increasing because the population is getting older. Based on current dementia prevalence rates, the number of people with dementia in Scotland is projected to double by 2038*.

• Much of the care and financial burden of dementia falls on family carers and friends, who may also experience social isolation, exhaustion and health problems associated with the demands of caring.

• Dementia costs the country more than cancer, heart disease and stroke put together.

For more information on how to develop or submit your ‘Bright Idea’, go to the Life Changes Trust website

Actress Ronni Ancona Backing Brain Tumour Campaign

ACTRESS Ronni Ancona is backing a drive to raise brain tumour awareness after a young family friend lost his life to the disease.


Ronnie Ancona

Ronnie Ancona


Ronni – best-known to TV audiences for her celebrity impressions and her role in BBC drama Last Tango in Halifax – is urging people to don a specially-designed bandana and Wear it out! on 6 March, Bandanas for Brain Tumours Day.

The event is organised annually by The Brain Tumour Charity as part of Brain Tumour Awareness Month.

Ronni witnessed first-hand the devastation caused by brain tumours after the nephew of a close friend was diagnosed with a highly aggressive form of the disease.

Eleven-year-old Silas Pullen died in December 2013 at his family home in Kent, 17 months after he was diagnosed with an incurable high-grade glioma.


Silas Pullen

Silas Pullen


Ronni, who has two young daughters, met Silas in the summer before his death when her family and the Pullens spent the day together.

Silas’s parents, Ben and Sarah, knew at that stage he had only a few months left but wanted to make life as normal as possible for their cricket-mad son.


Silas Pullen family

Silas Pullen family


Ronni – former star of TV show The Big Impression – said: “Silas was an incredibly brave, strong and kind boy. It was almost impossible to believe when I watched him playing with my girls that day that he was fighting a brain tumour, and that there was nothing anyone could do.

“When Ben and Sarah asked if I would help The Brain Tumour Charity raise awareness of the disease – and the need for more research to save children like Silas in the future – I didn’t have to think about it.

“Wearing a bandana on 6 March is a simple way for anyone to show their support for such an important cause.”


Silas Pullen at Olympics

Silas Pullen at Olympics


Ronni has made a video encouraging people to Wear it out! on Bandana Day, which can be seen at www.thebraintumourcharity.org/bandanas-for-brain-tumours

Ben Pullen said his family’s day with Ronni and her daughters was a precious one.

“It was just a great family day, mucking around in the garden at my sister’s house.

“Ronni’s younger daughter took a shine to Silas,” he said. “Silas was always very good with younger children and he spent a lot of time with her.

“When we asked Ronni if she would help by supporting The Brain Tumour Charity’s Bandanas for Brain Tumours Day, she didn’t hesitate. She said she would do whatever she could.”

Since Silas died, the Pullens – who have three other sons aged 15, 14 and ten – have vowed to do as much as possible to spare other families similar heartbreak.


Silas Pullen at the Beach


The Silas Pullen Fund has already raised more than £175,000 for The Brain Tumour Charity, all of which will go towards research into more effective treatments for childhood brain tumours.

Sarah said: “ We don’t want other parents to hear the same words as we did when Silas was first diagnosed: “There is nothing we can do – your son will die in 12-18 months.

“We want them to be given some hope however small.”

Sarah Lindsell, chief executive of The Brain Tumour Charity, said: “We are immensely grateful to Ronni Ancona for her support.

“Brain tumours kill more children and adults under 40 in the UK than any other cancer but receive relatively little public attention or research funding.

“To have Ronni backing Bandanas for Brain Tumours Day will make a real difference to the campaign and what we can achieve in terms of raising awareness of the disease.”

BBC Radio DJ Sara Cox and Teapot Trust Founder

BBC Radio 2 DJ Sara Cox, a supporter of Scottish charity the Teapot Trust, visited Great Ormond Street Hospital on Thursday 29 January, to meet the charity’s founder Laura Young.


Sara Cox with Teapot Trust founder Laura Young

Sara Cox with Teapot Trust founder Laura Young


The Teapot Trust was founded by Laura Young and her husband John in 2010, after seeing the gaps in the care of their daughter Verity, who suffered from Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) and also cancer before her tragic death in 2009, aged just eight years old.

Since then, they have provided art therapy to hospitals throughout Scotland. In November 2014, the Teapot Trust was invited to start providing art therapy to children in the Rheumatology Ward at Great Ormond Street Hospital, London – the first time that the charity has worked outside of Scotland.

Since it began its work at Great Ormond Street Hospital, the Teapot Trust appears to have had a positive impact on the lives of many of the children on this ward who have taken part in the therapy.


Laura Young meets a child who has taken part in art therapy

Laura Young meets a child who has taken part in art therapy


Dr Clarissa Pilkington, Lead Rheumatology Consultant at GOSH and President of the British Society of Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology (BSPAR) said, “We have been delighted with the input of the Teapot Trust’s art therapist in our clinics.

“Rheumatology is one of the least well-known of the hospital’s specialisms, and is often side-lined in service provision by better-known diseases.

“Our patients are often on very strong drugs with lifelong and sometimes life-limiting conditions.

“The art therapy has been a great support for the children and their families, giving an alternative focus to their visit to hospital so it’s not just about seeing me, having blood tests and their treatment regime.”

Since its inception the Trust has grown rapidly, and now provides art therapy to children in five Scottish hospitals – Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Aberdeen, Dundee and one hospice at Kinross, as well as Great Ormond Street Hospital.


Art therapy at Great Ormond Street Hospital

Art therapy at Great Ormond Street Hospital


Sara Cox, speaking about her support of the Teapot Trust, said, “I first met Laura when I judged Tesco Mum of the Year, and was delighted that she won the Tesco Charitable Mum of the Year award.

“Laura really is an inspirational person – there’s a huge amount of sadness in her story, but also a lot of optimism because she has turned her adversity into an advantage for others.

“Art therapy is so valuable because it proves a great distraction and something else to remember from hospital apart from their appointments, and pictures they can show off and talk about.”

“I know that Laura and the team will continue to provide this vital service, and I’ll continue to support them in their work.”


Laura Young with Lead Reumatology Consultant Dr Clarissa Pilkington

Laura Young with Lead Reumatology Consultant Dr Clarissa Pilkington


Laura Young, who lives in East Lothian, Scotland with husband John and daughters Nina and Isla, said, “I have to thank Sara for her ongoing support of the Teapot Trust, as well as Dr Pilkington for her very kind words and collaboration with our art therapist.

“In 2015, we are reaching out to as many sick children as we can, so we’re going to need all the help we can get.”

The Teapot Trust needs £250,000 each year to run all of its services. It employs over a dozen sessional staff and has an administrator, all of whom Laura leads to fulfil the charity’s objectives.

Key links:

The Teapot Trust: http://www.teapot-trust.org/

Great Ormond Street Hospital: http://www.gosh.nhs.uk/

British Society of Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology (BSPAR) http://www.bspar.org.uk/

Film of Sara Cox meeting Laura Young from the Teapot Trust:

Drug development takes animal testing for granted

In spite of an ongoing and increasing public outcry about laboratory use of animals for drug research, and in spite of growing evidence that animal test data is not valid for humans, the practice goes on in at least a third of all drug development in the EU.

Dr. Marlous Kooijman of Utrecht University’s Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development in The Netherlands has published an article in the  journal  Perspectives in Laboratory Animal Science (PiLAS) that explains in part why this is still going on, and offers some suggestions about how it can be stopped or drastically reduced.She says: “The value of animal studies to predict risks for humans has never been extensively established. In fact, many studies indicate that the value of animal studies is often limited.”

European law (Directive 86/609/EEC) requires that alternatives to animals must be used where they are available. In spite of the development of many new techniques since the Directive was implemented, only a minority have replaced animal testing.Dr Koojiman’s review revealed that animal studies are locked-in to research, because they are embedded in a well-aligned set of regulations, norms and values that are taken for granted, normatively endorsed, and backed up by regulatory authorities.

She has made a series of recommendations to try to overcome the reluctance to change:
a) Governments should create incentives for the pharmaceutical industry to develop and use methods that can substitute animal studies; incentives could be created by rewarding the use of innovative methods and discouraging the use of animal studies.

b) The acceptance of patented innovative methods in regulation will accelerate the innovation process; the patenting of new methods will enable the costs of the development and validation to be recovered.

c) The revision of the validation process will contribute to the implementation of innovative methods; humane endpoints should be used as the reference for validation.

d) ‘Smart’ regulation, enabling science-driven drug development will contribute to the reduction of animal studies; smart regulation provides the opportunity to deviate from the drug development requirements, and thereby enables the use of innovative methods that are not validated.

e) Research on the predictive value of animal studies will increase the innovation process; if more research shows that the predictive value of animal studies is limited, then the legitimacy to use animals as models for humans will decrease, and this will provide opportunities for the implementation of innovative methods.

For further information see the full article at http://pilas.org.uk/why-animal-studies-are-still-being-used-in-drug-development/

Perspectives in Laboratory Animal Science (PiLAS) is published by the Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments as part of its scientific journal ATLA ( Alternatives to Laboratory Animals )


Cleanliness in the NHS

Cleanliness is a matter of utmost importance when it comes to our health. From in our homes to shared public facilities, hygiene standards are expected to be met for our own wellbeing. In medical clinics, the very institutions that deal with our health, the significance of cleanliness increases manifold. This is especially so considering that clinics also contain much bacteria and viruses that are particularly harmful to our health.

The Superbug

Ever since the turn of the millennium, with the infamous outbreaks of MRSA and other antibiotic-resistant diseases, the British public have taken more and more of an interest in clinic cleanliness. Such interest mainly came in the form of criticisms, fuelled further by external frustrations like waiting lists.

Antibiotic-resistant diseases – referred to as “superbugs” – were discovered as contributing factors to hundreds of deaths and the question of whether our health clinics were clean enough to maintain health standards hit the forefront of the news and public debate.

In 2005 a report concluded that a staggering two-thirds of NHS hospitals failed to meet the highest standards of cleanliness. The report also found that the hygiene in mental health clinics were of particularly poor levels as it became clear just how unclean our medical institutions were.

Is This a New Problem?

The question was then whether or not our clinics were always this insanitary; had such large numbers always fell prey to unhygienic medical conditions, simply beyond our notice and consequently concern? It could have been that such superbugs were always prevalent but due to our ignorance of their existence, few would even think to file clinical negligence claims for these diseases’ effects.

Two main theories emerged and both concluded the outbreak of these antibiotic-resistant diseases was a new phenomenon. The first claimed the superbugs to have been the result of an increased use of powerful disinfectants and antibiotics. The logic was that this strengthened the resistance of bacteria. The second theory supposed that the NHS’s use of private cleaning contractors was to blame.

Deep Clean Response

The Department of Health’s response was £50million deep clean of Britain’s hospitals. However, this very response subsequently also came under fire by both the cleaning companies involved and NHS managers. The NHS was accused of incorrectly attempting to combat the dilemma of superbugs by opting to carry out deep cleans, instead of funding day-to-day cleaning properly. It was further alleged that the deep cleans were having little to no impact at all.

Clinical Negligence or Insufficient Funding?

The health institutions of other countries such as Dubai and Spain are of better conditions than what we have here in the NHS. However, this is of course due to the hospitals being financed more. The NHS model, based on the taxpayers’ money was always going to have its limitations. The question is, whether poorer hygiene conditions needs to be one of these limitations. Surely, the inability to adhere to hygiene standards is a matter of negligence, rather than limited funding?

It is most likely to be a combination of both negligence and insufficient funding. Both are inexcusable.