First-timer to take on the London Marathon to raise funds for Francis House Children’s Hospice
First-timer to take on the London Marathon to raise funds for Francis House Children’s Hospice
Alistair Orr is gearing up to run the London Marathon this Sunday to raise vital funds for Francis House Children’s Hospice.

Alistair, from Leeds, is hoping that months of training will be enough to get him across the finish line, as Alistair has never run a marathon before.

Francis House provides care and support to the families of children and young people with life-limiting conditions from its base in Didsbury, Manchester.

In preparation for the marathon event, Alistair has been pounding the streets of Leeds and running circuits over the Humber Bridge to his hometown of Hull.

The 33-year-old runner said: “I used to enjoy sprinting at school but have only taken up longer distances over the past five to six years, taking part in parkruns, and a variety of 10K’s and Half Marathon’s.

“Over lockdown, I managed to complete a 15 miler which was the first time I thought a marathon might be possible, and since getting a place to run the London Marathon, I have built up the mileage progressively.

“The longest I’ve run to-date is 22 miles so I’m hoping the crowd on the day will help to keep me going for the remaining miles.”

The mass participation event returns to the streets of London on Sunday, October 3, with more than 40,000 runners expected to take part.

Alistair said: “I have always wanted to attempt it – it’s an amazing event to watch as a spectator and certainly one that’s been on my bucket list for many years. To be able to soak in the support from the crowds around the entire course and pass all of its iconic landmarks will be something special.”

Alistair’s fiancée Emma Stanbury is expecting the couple’s first baby in December and will be in the crowd to cheer him on.

“Emma is the reason why I started running longer distances, she’s supported me throughout my training, and always believed that I could one day do a marathon so I’m hoping to make her proud with a good time.”

Running has also given Alistair an excuse to get outside after two years of working from home.

“Friends got me onto Strava which has been a great tool to keep track of my training and encouraging me to go out on those lazy days when I would love to put my feet up and watch TV instead.

“Running is so accessible – you can open the front door and just run. Doing long distances lets you see more of the city and the changes that are going on around it over time.”

In 2018, Alistair ran the Manchester Half Marathon for Francis House and when the invite came through to apply for one of the hospice’s marathon places, he jumped at the chance.

“It’s great to be supporting a local northern charity who are doing some fantastic work in helping support vulnerable children and families going through extremely difficult times.

“I’m hoping to come in sub 3hrs 30 minutes, but I think on the day I’ll be happy just to make it across the finish line.”

Julie Williams fundraising officer at Francis House said: “We wish Alistair good luck on Sunday and would like to thank him for choosing to support Francis House and hospice care. We rely heavily on the generosity of the public, it’s an uphill struggle to raise the £4.2 million in running costs that we need every year, and we are very grateful to everyone who has sponsored Alistair.”

To support Alistair and his fundraising for Francis House click here

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Francis House Children’s Hospice, on Wednesday 29 September, 2021. For more information subscribe and follow

Local air ambulance charity to hold recruitment event
Local air ambulance charity to hold recruitment event
For the first time, local life-saving charity, Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT), is holding a recruitment open evening to showcase the wide range of exciting job opportunities they currently have available.

The event, which will take place on Monday 4th October between 5pm and 8pm at their North Weald Airbase, 10 minutes from junction 7 on the M11, is free to attend and open to anyone that may be looking to take the next step, in their career.

Caroline Beresford, Head of HR at EHAAT explained the reason behind the event. “EHAAT is a charity that provides a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service for the critically ill and injured of Essex, Hertfordshire and the surrounding areas. We operate out of our airbases at North Weald and Earls Colne. Our charity team consists of around 60 people, working across the three main functions: fundraising, clinical and operational.

“Due to new innovations, promotions and career development, we have several vacancies that have opened up, so we have decided to open our doors and we are asking people to come along – armed with their CV – to talk to us about joining us in our mission to save lives!”

Almost entirely funded by public donations, EHAAT attended 2,366 life-saving missions last year across Essex and Hertfordshire and it forms an important part of the emergency services supporting the NHS.

Those wishing to come along on the 4th October should visit for more details including directions, along with viewing the current list of vacancies available.

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Essex & Herts Air Ambulance, on Wednesday 29 September, 2021. For more information subscribe and follow

Scientists explain why some dinosaurs have shrunk
Scientists explain why some dinosaurs have shrunk

In a new study, scientists found that alvaressaurs quickly shrank to the size of chickens. It turned out that it was all about their diet: at some point, dinosaurs only ate ants.

Alvaressaurs lived in many parts of the world – they inhabited China, Mongolia and South America. This dinosaur species lived in the period from the Late Jurassic to the Upper Cretaceous (from 160 to 70 million years ago). They were slender bipedal predators who spent most of their time on Earth feeding on lizards, the first mammals, and the offspring of other dinosaurs.

“Competition with other dinosaurs probably intensified in the Cretaceous. The Cretaceous period was an era of rapidly evolving ecosystems, and the biggest change was the gradual conquest of land by flowering plants. They changed the nature of the landscape and led to the active growth of various species of insects, for example, ants. Dinosaurs didn’t eat new plants, but they did eat ants, ”said Professor Michael Benton.

Initially, alvaressaurs were not small in size and were not even anteaters. Their ancestors, such as Haplocheirus, were relatively large dinosaurs, about the size of a small ostrich, with sharp teeth, flexible forelimbs, and large eyes. All of this suggests that before the dinosaurs began to consume only ants, their diet was mixed.

Scientists’ calculations have shown that the body weight of alvaressaurs has decreased from 30-40 kg to 5 kg in 95 million years. Also, due to the diet, the shape of their claws has changed.

6 ways to deal with a very sensitive child
6 ways to deal with a very sensitive child

About 15-20% of children born each year are described as highly sensitive. This means that they are extremely aware of their surroundings and react immediately to a variety of situations. Although this is not a bad thing, it requires great effort and patience on the part of the parents to maintain the mental stability of the child (and their own). Here’s how to deal with a child’s sensitive emotions.

1. Be empathetic and talk to him

If your child has emotional outbursts in public, do not try to suppress his feelings by telling him to stop whining. Accept these emotions and talk to your child about them. Sit next to him and try to understand why he feels that way, but don’t try to offer a quick solution. What you can do is teach him how to work with his emotions when he is in a public place so as not to create awkward situations.

2. Tell him that having feelings is normal

Many parents start dragging their children somewhere as soon as they start crying and creating scenes. In doing so, the child feels that his emotions are not important and that he is doing something bad and wrong. Try to connect with the child and show that you support him, instead of behaving the way people think is right.

3. Show what it looks like from the side

Highly sensitive children can repel other children with their expressions without even realizing it. That’s why it’s important for parents to demonstrate what this expression looks like. Your child needs to know what it looks like when someone is upset or annoyed. This can be annoying at first, but it can have great results over time.

The second step would be for parents to suggest alternative reactions. Let him know that if another child annoys him, he may walk away and take a deep breath. Counting to 10 can also help.

4. Be patient and offer independent time

Many parents rush to take their children to a number of activities after entering kindergarten. However, the sensitive child does not like large crowds and active activities and prefers to stay longer at home. You can spend time together reading and playing some games that bring him happiness.

5. Slowly help him overcome his fears

Doing something outside the comfort zone is a way for the child to overcome his fears. However, this is a very delicate process that must be carried out gradually and with great sensitivity. It is amazing how quickly children overcome their fears after using the right method. However, you must make sure that the child does not feel that this is a punishment because he has done something wrong.

6. A pet can help a lot

Pets have been shown to be ideal companions for highly sensitive children. This is because pets are usually just as sensitive and compassionate as they are. For them, the relationship with an animal can offer the understanding they need in a world that seems very strange, confused and rude.

Warning of monstrous goldfish in the United States
Warning of monstrous goldfish in the United States

Goldfish raised in a home aquarium usually grow to about 5 cm

A city in the US state of Minnesota has warned people not to release their unwanted domestic fish into the wild after finding giant goldfish in a nearby lake.

The small shiny fish in aquariums become many times larger when released. Thus, they cause serious disturbances in local ecosystems.

Burnsville City Council shared photos showing several monstrous goldfish caught in Lake Keller.

Goldfish are omnivorous. They feed on other fish, plankton, insect larvae and plants.

In Minnesota, goldfish are a regulated invasive species, which means that it is illegal to release them into public waters.

Goldfish raised in a home aquarium usually grow to about 5 cm.

But in the wild it becomes much larger, reproduces rapidly, prevails over native species and is extremely difficult to eliminate.

These little golden creatures look like a fairy tale when you see them swimming in your aquarium, but if you release them in nature, they are capable of destroying entire ecosystems.

It all started in the Australian river Vas nearly 20 years ago

A handful of specimens released into a smaller tributary of the river find their way downstream. They soon disperse, covering the entire river, and engulf its ecosystem.

Last year, the province of Alberta, Canada, ran a campaign entitled “Don’t Release Them.” The campaign aimed to get citizens to stop releasing the fish that struck Australia.

Similar reports of endangered ecosystems have been obtained in Bangor, Maine, and Lake Tahoe, Nevada in the United States.

In nature, goldfish mutate and multiply rapidly

When the owners of decorative creatures make the humane decision to “release” them, they most often release them into nearby lakes or rivers. The problem, however, is that the animals not only adapt to the new environment, but take it over.

Decades before the invasion of goldfish in the Vas River and before the species became generally dangerous, the Chinese domesticated it and adapted it to the home environment of an ancient species of carp. In the 19th century, the species made its way to the United States, where it is a common pet.

Due to their abundance, low cost and use for decoration, it is common practice for goldfish owners to release them as soon as they get tired of caring for them.

However, people do not realize that this is completely wrong and very dangerous. If a domestic species finds itself in a new environment, whether it is a small sweet goldfish, it can cause serious damage to nature in its attempt to adapt.

In the aquarium the size is limited, but in nature it is not. In the new environment, the domestic goldfish changes its size and can reach up to 40 cm in length. As they grow large enough, they change color from golden orange to yellow or brown.

Of course, fish do not mutate overnight. The changes take place over time due to the diversity in the aquatic environment – algae, a variety of foods and eggs of other species.

In the natural environment, fish reproduce at an exceptional rate

In the wild, females can produce up to 40,000 eggs a day, and if there are no natural predators, there are not many things that can hinder the species.

The more goldfish swim on the water floor, the faster the vegetation is destroyed, which can lead to serious pollution of water bodies and the appearance of harmful plants or parasites in the water.

Scientists note that domestic fish released into the wild are extremely fast swimmers that migrate in a flash to breed. Once researchers can find the breeding grounds for small eco-terrorists, they hope to be able to take them out of the wild.

For now, however, scientists are asking people to find out what harm their beautiful pets do when they find themselves in the wild, and to explore better options to get rid of them instead of “releasing” them.

Turkey collects 2,700 smuggled artifacts from abroad
Turkey collects 2,700 smuggled artifacts from abroad

Called the “cradle of civilizations”, Turkey is home to a diverse heritage, which has also made it a good target for smugglers for decades. Foreigners have looted everything – from precious treasures to pieces of mosque tiles – sometimes authorities have allowed thefts in the past. Nowadays, the authorities have a new policy of hunting for artifacts that adorn the collections of museums and private collectors around the world. In the last decade, Turkey has managed to return 2,712 artifacts, from small statues to sarcophagi.

Yahya Koshkun, deputy director of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s General Directorate of Cultural Property and Museums, says smuggling is as old as human history, but it increased between the 17th and 19th centuries. “In ancient times, the conquering countries allowed themselves to seize valuables in the places they conquered, as a sign of their victories. Later, this form of smuggling developed. Artifact smuggling has flourished in Anatolia since the 17th century, he told the Anatolian Agency (AA).

“Today, the dark history of smuggling lies in the history of the world’s largest museums. We often see there a collection of artifacts smuggled from our country. “Sometimes they appear at auctions, in private collections,” he said.

 “We monitor auctions around the world. “We examine all the auction catalogs to find any artifacts smuggled in from here,” Koshkun said. Every time an artifact related to Turkey appears at auction, the country’s authorities take legal action to stop the sale.

Koshkun boasts that traders are now much more cautious thanks to their efforts. “They know that Turkey will come after them and will have legal problems if they put such an artifact on sale,” he said.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism is also pursuing smuggled artifacts. Efforts are being coordinated with the Interior Ministry and Interpol. This year, the ministry has 70 cases working on the extraction of artifacts. Some of these cases involve hundreds of artifacts, from coins to figurines. Recently in March, 413 pieces were brought to Turkey from Hungary, with which the country enjoys close ties.

Authorities also recently signed a deal with the United States to return artifacts smuggled from Turkey. The agreement, which entered into force on March 24th, is expected to ensure the return of a number of artifacts originating in Turkey.

Authorities also plan to finalize a deal with Switzerland soon to return artifacts smuggled from Turkey.