What’s Going on with Gangs and Stabbings?

suffolk gangs

A few weeks ago, they Steggalls enjoyed a weekend away for Dad’s birthday. As we were packing up our stuff to leave, my sister and her boyfriend were hunched over their phones.

It turned out there had been a stabbing of a 17 year old boy, a friend of a friend of theirs. It happened in broad daylight in Ipswich, Suffolk. By a few grown men.

They explained that it was gang-related, that Ipswich is torn in two between rival gangs; the J Block and the Q Block.

I couldn’t believe it. Gang stabbings are something that happen in London – they don’t come near us.

How wrong I was. [Read more…]

Young People’s Biggest Fear? Failure

One of the towns I work in recently surveyed the employers about skills and young people in the town. Reading through the findings, employers were keen to stress that they sought soft skills in their young staff. Things like resilience and communication skills…but also, there were a couple of comments regarding a fear of failure.

They said that they find it hard to get good people to work for them because fear of failure prevents young people from trying new things, from stretching themselves and from putting themselves out there. If everyone stays in their comfort zones, progressive work simply doesn’t get done. [Read more…]

Why We Need to Fight for WH Smith


According to Which? readers, WH Smith has been voted the worst shop on the high street.

When describing Haverhill, the working-class town I grew up in, I often say that it had no bookshop, it didn’t even have a WH Smith. However, in many similar towns, WH Smith is the only place people can have access to cheap books.

I once had an argument with a German friend about cheap books. I had commented to him that in Germany books are much more expensive and that they don’t ever have deals (like buy two, get one free) like we do in the UK. [Read more…]

From Emojis to Clocks – Do We Need to Change for Gen Z?

Students Cant Tell Time

In the past few weeks I’ve seen two alarmist news stories going around about Generation Z and people changing to fit around them.

The first was that, apparently, Gen Z can’t read analog clocks since they mostly read the time via their phones or laptops, which display the time in digital format. It seems that in some schools, teachers are replacing regular clocks with digital ones in exam halls, to help students understand how much time they have left. [Read more…]

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