Featured posts


The Royal British Legion is the UK’s leading Armed Forces charity.

We provide practical, emotional and financial support to all members of the British Armed Forces past and present, and their families.

We actively campaign to improve their lives and safeguard the Military Covenant between the nation and its Armed Forces.

We also organise the Poppy Appeal, run one of the UK’s largest membership organisations and are recognised as the nation’s custodian of Remembrance.

via The Royal British Legion.


In 1991 a group of prominent Southampton businessmen urged a group of scientists working for the University of Southampton to launch a charity to support some of the excellent work in the field of asthma and allergy that was being produced by the research group who were located at Southampton General Hospital. This group led by Professor Stephen Holgate (CBE) have since then become arguably one of the world’s leading centres of excellence in the field of asthma, allergy and all related conditions of the respiratory system. This has recently resulted in recognition as The World Centre of Excellence in Allergic Disease. The award will run for 3 years. The group now have considered experts in all aspects of respiratory medicine and with both national and international recognition, the Southampton Group have become the group for young scientist from most countries in the world, to work with. We currently have at any time some 20 nationalities working as students or research personnel. The current chairperson is Professor Donna Davies who co-ordinates the decision making of a group of some 12 Trustees. This group is made up of scientists and external professional lay persons with a mix of sex and ethnicity. Funding for this activity comes from every source imaginable from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Medical Research Council (MRC), to the League of Friends at Southampton General Hospital and of course AAIR. The Asthma, Allergy and Inflammation Research Trust (AAIR) works with these scientists allowing them to purchase pieces of vital equipment, to fund studentships and to support programmes of work with consumable cost. In the past 23 years AAIR has contributed some £6M to assist with developing new drugs, to improve treatment and to further understand the mechanisms that present patients with the debilitating effects of asthma and allergic disease. The success of the Southampton Research group has resulted in a state of the art rebuild of a Bio-medical Research Unit (BRU) which combined with the Welcome Clinical Research Facility provides Southampton arguably with the largest most successful clinical research unit of its type in the UK.

via The Asthma, Allergy and Inflammation Research Trust (AAIR).

With education high on the list when choosing where to live it’s not only quantity that’s important but quality. Winchester schools deliver on both

School location has always been top of the hitlist for family homebuyers and in Winchester homebuyers are literally spoilt for choice by the number of Winchester schools. Both the sheer scale and quality of schooling in the area is becoming a major reason for London commuters with families to move out of town and choose Winchester as their new base.


The Hampshire city is served by 36 Winchester schools in all. These include 29 primary schools, 11 secondary schools and 6 schools for pupils aged 16 to 18. Of these 14 are community schools, 12 are voluntary controlled or aided (ie affiliated with a foundation or trust) and seven are independent schools with three further education colleges completing the mix.

..and quality

But it’s not just the quantity that wins buyers over but quality too. The concentration of schooling in the city has led to intense competition and as a result standards that exceed the average. Last year alone the top Winchester schools continued to outperform the national average of 59.2% for pupils achieving five or more A* to C grades at GSCE according to school performance tables produced by the Department for Education.

How individual schools rank

St Swithun’s

For independent girls day and boarding school St Swithun’s 100% of pupils achieved five or more A* to C GCSEs or equivalent, including English and Maths in 2013 – and have done so since 2010 at least. 100% also achieved at least 2 A levels at grades A* to E last year whilst more than three quarters (78%) achieved 3 A levels at grades AAB or higher in at least two facilitating subjects.

Winchester College

Although figures are not available through Department for Education’s school performance tables for 2013 for Winchester College the independent boys school has also performed strongly over recent years – with 98% of pupils achieving five or more A* to C grades in 2010, 99% in 2011 and 94% in 2012. For older pupils 79% achieved D3 or above – the equivalent of grade A at A level in 2013 and 45 leavers went to Oxbridge in the same year.

The Westgate School

The Westgate school, a mixed comprehensive community school in Winchester which is also Hampshire’s first 4 to 16 all through school, achieved 84% of pupils getting five or more A* to C grades at GCSE or equivalent level in 2013, up 10% on the year before. The 2013 results put it in the top three of similar schools in England with an average grade of B+.

King’s School

The school is followed closely behind by Kings’ School – another state funded mixed comprehensive school in Winchester where 83% of pupils achieved five or more A* to C grades at GCSE level or equivalent. The school, which serves 11 to 16 year olds and has more than 1600 pupils, has also been judged as outstanding by OFSTED on four consecutive occasions.

Percentage of pupils achieving five or more A* to C grades at GCSE level in 2013

Source: The Department of Education School Performance Tables


School Name Type % 5+ A*-C GCSE (inc Eng & Maths)
St Swithun’s School Independent School 100%
The Westgate School Community School 84%
Kings’ School Community School 83%



    In the next decade the UK could have exited the European Union and interest rates may even have finally gone up, but you could still be paying the same cheap fixed rate mortgage. Nationwide has unveiled ten-year fixed rate mortgages offering borrowers a decade of certainty in repayments and protection from interest rate rises.It has big deposit deals starting at 3.49 per cent, and is also offering ten-year products for deposits as low as 15 per cent.

    via Nationwide releases ten-year fixed rate mortgage at 3.49% | This is Money.


      The mortgage market has come back to life with fixed rates cut to competitive levels.Borrowers are being spoilt for choice with a rush of fixed mortgage deals, as lenders try to meet their end of year targets and the prospect of an imminent interest rate rise fades.Those who have been biding their time on standard variable rates have been encouraged to consider fixing at low rates while they can – with a move offering the potential to save thousands of pounds and provide some security.

      via Homeowners sat on old mortgages urged to switch and save money now as rates are cut | This is Money.


        London’s property market is showing no signs of slowing down after an alleyway sold for £260,000.

        The space between a charity shop and a Starbucks on Northcote Road in Battersea was snapped up for almost five times its original guide price of £55,000.

        The buyer now has the option of developing the passageway into a residential or artist’s studio as it comes with planning permission.

        via London property market shows no signs of slowing down as alleyway sells for £260,000 – London – News – London Evening Standard.

        People searching for Spanish bargain properties can still find them in places such as Gran Canaria where a two-bedroom village house can be bought...