London Film Festival: A quarter of films directed by women

Female directors account for a quarter of the films that will be shown at this year’s London Film Festival.

A total of 242 feature films will be shown during the 12-day event, with 60 of those coming from women film-makers.

“Strong women is obviously still a key focus for us,” said Festival Director Clare Stewart.

The announcement comes a day after the start of the Venice Film Festival, which has been criticised for a lack of work from women in the film industry.  More

This is Phoebe Schecter, Britain’s first female NFL coach


When you meet Phoebe Schecter, the thought “bone-crunching American Football linebacker” may not enter your mind.

She’s 1.62m (5ft 4in) and weighs around 63kg (10 st) but appearances can be deceptive.

She captains Great Britain’s women’s American Football team, leading them to the final of the 2015 European Championships.

Now she’s achieved something few women have – she’s coached in the NFL.  More

First black Shakespearean actor Ira Aldridge honoured

The UK’s first black Shakespearean actor is to be honoured with the unveiling of a blue plaque in Coventry.

Ira Aldridge was given the job of manager at Coventry Theatre after impressing the people of the city with his acting during a tour in 1828.

The impression he made during his time there is credited with inspiring Coventry’s petition to Parliament for the abolition of slavery.

His life, 150 years after his death, is described as “unbelievable but true”.  More

Older women poorer after pension age change, says IFS

More than a million women in their early 60s have become poorer as a result of delays to their state pensions, according to a new study.

Researchers at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) found that, on average, household income of women aged between 60 and 62 was now £32 a week lower.

As a result poverty rates among that group have risen sharply, it said.

But the IFS also said the savings, and extra tax from working women, meant the state was £5.1bn a year better off.  More

Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month – August 2017

International Youth Day is on 12 August and as 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) we have chosen them as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the month for their with the local community and programmes for young people.

The community programme was established in 1992 and became Charlton Athletic Community Trust in 2003. Known as CACT, it is famed for its work in its local communities and has scooped numerous prestigious industry awards over recent years.

The community initiative began when the football club returned to The Valley in 1992. It started with just one member of staff, a bag of footballs and a telephone and has now grown into an organisation that employs 100 permanent staff, has a pool of over 100 casual coaches and engages with thousands of people on a weekly basis.

CACT uses the power of football and sport to engage, empower and provide positive opportunities and activities for young people.

The trust delivers successful community programmes is the following areas:

  • Education
  • Social Action and Enterprise
  • Early Help And Prevention
  • Equality, Diversity And Inclusion
  • Football And Sports Development
  • Youth Services
  • Health Improvement

 As well as young people the trust has many other initiatives in the community, with their work on mental health in the over 65 age group, recently being nominated for a national award.

The university has strong connections with the football club and continue to be a patron following a three year period as the shirt sponsor.  Our LGBT+ staff network have continued links with Proud Valiants, Charlton’s LGBT+ fans’ group and the trust have often attended university events, particularly in relation to their stop smoking campaign.

To find out more about CACT and the excellent work that they do go to their website at

Follow them on twitter at