Welcome to January! A time of new beginnings, and resolutions for change, but which, in the midst of a pandemic in which everything has been about change recently, perhaps a different kind of January.
We will be sharing, as usual, commemorative and awareness-raising events that apply to the current calendar period, beginning with the current decade.
The United Nations declares decades of certain things, which means that there will be prominence in the national media around those topics, at least in the short term, and perhaps more research or information around that topic during the rest of the decade. If any of these topics relate to your organisation, this is a big bandwagon to jump on to raise awareness.
- United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration – resolution, information page
- United Nations Decade on Ocean Science for Sustainable Development – resolution, press release about ocean damage report, more information.
- United Nations Decade of Healthy Ageing – resolution, WHO information
Year of 2021
The United Nations also designates years of certain things, which can be useful bandwagons, as above.
- United Nations Year of Peace and Trust – resolution, very little further information is available, but some may surface in due course.
- United Nations Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development – resolution, information, initial press release (Nov 2019) but not a lot of other information available.
- United Nations Year of Fruits and Vegetables – resolution, information
- United Nations Year for the Elimination of Child Labour – resolution, initial press release, not a lot of other information.
Whole of January
Dry January, helping people cut out alcohol for a month. 86% of participants save money, 70% of participants have better sleep and 66% have more energy. Alcohol Change offers an app to help and encourage participants to get on top of their alcohol consumption.
Veganuary, encouraging people to try going vegan for a month. Going vegan for even one month reduces the environmental impact of farming for meat, and protects the planet.
Big Energy Saving Winter campaign, ongoing from November to the end of January, helping people to cut their energy bills while still keeping warm, and ensuring people are aware of the financial support they are entitled to.
National Obesity Week raising awareness of the health problems that come from obesity, plus prevention and correction support. 1 out of every 4 adults in the UK is now classified ‘very overweight’ or ‘obese’, so this is a national health concern.
Big Energy Saving Week, normally at this time of year, has become a 3-month campaign across the winter, see above.
National Sugar Awareness Week, also normally now, has moved to 10-16 May.
Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, ensuring all women and people with a cervix know how cervical cancer can be prevented. This means:
- Attending cervical screening when invited
- Knowing the symptoms of cervical cancer and seeking medical advice if experiencing any
- Taking up the HPV vaccination if aged 11-18
- Knowing where to find support and further information
World Braille Day, from the United Nations, raising awareness of the needs of people who read Braille.
Blue Monday, the third Monday in January, is allegedly the most miserable day of the year, with bad weather, Christmas celebrations well behind us, and the summer too distant to be a source of much hope. The Samaritans have co-opted the day into Brew Monday, suggesting people get together (virtually) for a cuppa and a chat, to help break the blue mood. A good day to connect with people and be aware of mental health.
Holocaust Memorial Day encouraging remembrance in a world scarred by genocide. 27 January marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp, but Holocaust Memorial Day also remembers those who were killed in the genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. The theme this year is ‘Be the light in the darkness’. Activities, photo competitions and more information are available on the website.
Cornwall Faith Forum always marks Holocaust Memorial Day, and while this year might look slightly different, there are still activities and projects taking place. Full details will be listed on the Cornwall Faith Forum website, including two animated films showing the story of a lady called Blanka.