Steve Pound backs calls to oppose wildlife crime

Steve Pound is backing calls by the League Against Cruel Sports to oppose wildlife crime across the UK.

He joined representatives from the League at its annual reception at the Houses of Parliament last week.

Steve said “I am proud to join the League in standing against all wildlife crime. All animals deserve protection from abuse so it’s essential that we act to stop horrific ‘sports’ such as fox hunting and badger baiting.

“The public, police and politicians all have a vital role to play in truly consigning cruel ‘sports’ to the history books.”

Interim League Against Cruel Sports Chief Executive Andrew Knott MBE spoke at the event about it being the most promising time ever for animal welfare with a raft of new proposals attracting cross party support.

Andrew Knott MBE, Interim League Against Cruel Sports Chief Executive, said:

“Draft legislation to increase prison sentences for animal abusers, animal sentience being recognised in principle, and an extension to the ivory ban, are all examples of how we are creating a kinder society in respect to how we treat animals.

“People want an end to animal cruelty and so they look to people they know and respect to do this – calls to the League’s Animal Crimewatch have increased five-fold this year. Whether its dog fighting or fox hunting, we’re getting a large number of reports of illegal activity, and the public are clear they want this to stop.

“People are waking up to the reality of animal abuse and our politicians and police can help us to prevent animal cruelty in the name of ‘sport’.”

The League Against Cruel Sports runs Animal Crimewatch, a confidential hotline where you can report cruelty to animals in the name of ‘sport’ by phone, email or online form. Call 01483 361108 or email crimewatch@league.org.uk

Animal Crimewatch helps League investigators to bring people involved in animal cruelty to justice and supports the charity’s campaigning work calling for changes to the law to improve the lives of animals.

Steve supports Summer Reading Challenge

Steve Pound is supporting a campaign run by charity The Reading Agency to encourage all primary school children to take part in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, which launches across England and Wales on Saturday 14 July (although regional variations may apply).
Research shows that reading for pleasure is a more powerful factor in life achievement than socio-economic background and that children who use libraries are twice as likely to be above average readers. The Summer Reading Challenge builds confidence and independent reading, while helping to prevent the dip in children’s reading levels during the long summer break from school.
The Summer Reading Challenge, a unique partnership between The Reading Agency and public libraries across the UK, last year got over three quarters of a million children borrowing, reading and talking about their favourite books.
This year’s Summer Reading Challenge is Mischief Makers; celebrating the 80th anniversary of the much-loved comic, Beano.
To take part in the Mischief Makers Summer Reading Challenge, all children need to do is to head to their local library where they will be given a colourful collector’s map of Beanotown to keep a record of their reading journey. As children read at least six library books over the summer, they will collect stickers which will help them crack the clues and help Dennis, Gnasher and friends find the buried treasure!

Steve Pound said: “I hope parents, grandparents and carers in Ealing North will take their children to the library over the summer to sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge.  It’s free, inclusive and, most importantly, makes reading fun. Last year 2377 children in Ealing took part. I hope we can increase that number this year and remind local libraries what a valuable asset they are to us and our community.”

Children can use the special website mischief-makers.org.uk to create a profile, chat about books, and get help on what to read next, via the digital Book Sorter which already offers over 600,000 peer to peer children’s book recommendations in child-friendly categories.
The Summer Reading Challenge reaches children and young people of all ages. For pre-schoolers there is a mini-challenge while young people (aged 13 to 24) can volunteer and support younger children taking part, as part of The Reading Agency’s Reading Hack programme. Volunteering provides a quality workplace experience for young people in libraries, inspires them to think about their future career and increases their employability as they gain useful life skills and confidence. Last year over 7,500 young people across the UK volunteered.
Sue Wilkinson, CEO of The Reading Agency said: “At The Reading Agency, we believe that everything changes when we read and we know from our research how much fun families and children have when taking part in the Challenge. Mischief Makers offers intergenerational appeal and we hope this family friendly, accessible theme will inspire more children than ever to read over the holidays and make use of their local library throughout the summer and beyond.”

Mark Freeman, President of Libraries Connected, said: “The Summer Reading Challenge is one of the highlights of the year in libraries. Encouraging children to read over the summer holidays helps them to see reading as a fun way to spend their time and now they can get tips on creating a bit of mischief too! Just as exciting is giving young people the opportunity to volunteer and support the challenge in libraries. We are so pleased at Libraries Connected to continue our partnership with The Reading Agency and look forward to welcoming even more children into our libraries this summer.”

For more information on the Summer Reading Challenge including how to get involved and resources for schools, go to www.readingagency.org.uk/summerreadingchallenge
Follow the Summer Reading Challenge at www.facebook.com/SummerReadingChallengeUK and on Twitter @readingagency #summerreadingchallenge