Vital intervention needed to address food poverty

first_imgAdvertisement Linkedin More than 1,000 children looked for help from Limerick homeless agency WhatsApp THERE are more than 70 families homeless in Limerick with the number continuing to rise, according to voluntary agency Novas.And they also maintain that many more are hidden homeless or at risk, with many of these families living in emergency B&B accommodation with no cooking facilities.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Novas, who are the largest provider of homeless services in the Mid-West, point out that the traumas of being homeless are multi-faceted and enduring. Head of Policy and Communications with the voluntary service provider, Una Burns explained that for those living in commercial B&Bs, access to basic nutritious food is a challenge.“Families often rely on takeaway food for weeks and months on end. It is eaten on laps, sitting on beds, in one room. Parents report that their children are putting on weight, they lack concentration in school and their physical wellbeing is being compromised.“Due to the expensive nature of this food provision, families are finding it impossible to save for the expense of moving to a long-term home, thus protracting the length of time they are homeless,” Ms Burns told the Limerick Post.However, there is an alternative, she insists.Novas has arranged for families to have a nutritious and hearty meal in a community café in Our Lady of Lourdes each evening. A family has the opportunity to eat good food, sitting around a table together. It allows a family a break away from one room, in which they play out their lives. It is one less thing to worry about.Ms Burns describes the initiative as a “vital intervention” to support families who are experiencing homelessness.“It helps to bring some normality to an extraordinarily difficult time for families and affords families the opportunity to save in preparation of a move to more permanent accommodation, a home of their own. Some 80 per cent of families are homeless due to economic factors. This is one burden we can help with. However, we need the support of the public to do this,”An evening meal in the community café costs €4 per child and €4.50 per adult. Text NOVAS to 50300 to donate €4. Alternatively, you can log onto www.novas.ie/donate/ to donate more. You can also set up a monthly direct debit to support Novas on an ongoing basis. A monthly direct debit of €28 will provide a hearty meal for a child for a week. NewsHousingVital intervention needed to address food povertyBy Alan Jacques – May 29, 2018 1176 Homeless children living in hotels have difficulty chewing and swallowing Getting a second chance at life Print Facebookcenter_img Previous article2 Limerick primary schools amongst finalists for Eco Ranger awardsNext articleWinners of HOMS Solicitors Company Challenge presented with their trophies Alan Jacqueshttp://www.limerickpost.ie RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR 163 children homeless in Limerick and Clare as Christmas approaches Twitter Politicians should work together to end homeless crisis Email Limerick’s Will O’Donoghue to take part in Novas Christmas Sleep-Out TAGSfamilyhomelesshomelessnessNovasNovas Initiativesnutrition last_img read more

Neuroengineering program is focus

first_imgHarvard Medical School (HMS) and Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have established a joint research and education program thanks to a contribution from the Bertarelli Foundation. The Bertarelli Program in Translational Neuroscience and Neuroengineering is a collaborative exchange aimed at improving quality of life for people with neurological disabilities.The agreement was presented today (Oct. 29) by Bertarelli Foundation Co-President Ernesto Bertarelli, Dean of Harvard Medical School Jeffrey S. Flier, and EPFL President Patrick Aebischer, in the presence of Didier Burkhalter, the head of Swiss Federal Department of Home Affairs and minister of health, science and culture.The initial $9 million donation also includes an endowment of the Bertarelli Professorship in Translational Medical Science. The inaugural incumbent will be William Chin, currently executive dean for research at Harvard Medical School. Chin will oversee the development of the new joint program, which creates a pathway from device design at EPFL to clinical testing at HMS and builds a bidirectional exchange for students and researchers from the two institutions.Flier applauded this new partnership: “Thanks to the Bertarelli family’s tremendous generosity and vision, we will be exploring an area of cutting-edge science that will lead to exciting discoveries, particularly in the field of neurotechnology, for both our institutions. I look forward to working with the Bertarelli Foundation and our Swiss partners in this new venture.”EPFL and HMS already collaborate on translational neurobiological research, notably on the visualization and simulation of the brain, headed by the EPFL Signal Processing Laboratory. In collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard and EPFL have recently published results in a joint paper in PNAS about the structure of the brain in children between 2 and 18 years of age.“This is a great scientific opportunity to translate our bioengineering advances in neuroprosthetics into clinical studies,” said Aebischer.Bertarelli, who is a Swiss entrepreneur and philanthropist and two-time winner of America’s Cup with his team Alinghi, has already funded significant research in translational neurosciences at EPFL’s Neuroprosthetics Center within the Institute of Bioengineering. There, research in cortical and spinal implants is envisioned, while noninvasive man-machine interfaces and neural coding devices to aid in movement and machine control are already under way. EPFL scientists also hope to explore optogenetics — the use of light as a biological switch for gene expression — to create second-generation implants for the hearing-impaired.To further future collaboration, a Bertarelli Grant program will be established in 2011 for research projects at the forefront of neuroscience and neuroengineering by students and scientists from the two faculties. Results from novel coursework and research will be shared at a joint symposium to be held annually in Boston and Lausanne, alternatively.“Since studying at Harvard, I have remained involved with the School and I also have close ties with EPFL,” said Bertarelli. “I thought it would be an interesting idea to bring both faculties together to join forces in common projects, where each entity could contribute with its own core competences, the neuroengineering developments for EPFL and the experience in medical application to patients for HMS. This project once again shows that Europe and America can collaborate to have a very competitive impact in the advancement of science,” he added.last_img read more