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Chelsea: Eddie Heath abuse victim Gary Johnson says he's shocked at report numbers
Former Chelsea youngster Gary Johnson, who was abused by Eddie Heath, says he is shocked at the level of abuse that has been uncovered in an investigation into the club's ex-chief scout.

Brigade concerns over lack of sprinklers in schools

Firefighters have not attended a single school or college fire in London this year where sprinklers were fitted, new figures have revealed.

London Fire Brigade said of the 57 educational establishments in London which had fires up until 25 July, none had automatic fire suppression systems (AFSS) fitted.

Between 2014 and July this year, only 2.3% - 13 - of the 565 so-called "school fires" had sprinklers.

The statistics cover blazes attended by fire crews at preschools and nurseries, infant and primary schools, secondary schools, colleges and universities, the brigade said.

It said it wanted sprinklers to be mandatory in all new school builds and for others to be fitted with them during major refurbishments.

Firefighter with a sprinkler
PA Media

Its deputy assistant commissioner for fire safety Charlie Pugsley said: "Sprinklers are the only fire safety system that detects a fire, suppresses a fire and can raise the alarm."

He added: "Millions of pounds are wasted every year repairing fire damage in London's schools when sprinklers could have prevented the spread of fire.

"This is not just about saving money; when a school is closed it disrupts a child's education, impacts on the local community and affects parents by closing breakfast and after school clubs."

The fire service said that sprinklers are especially important during the summer holidays when buildings are empty and fires can smolder undetected, causing "extensive and expensive" damage.

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Dan Roan and Patrick Nathanson

BBC Sport

Young Chelsea footballers were targeted for years by a "prolific and manipulative sexual abuser" who was able to operate "unchallenged", says a damning report.

Read more

Ex-homeless man paints pictures of rough sleepers

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Andrew Mcleay
Andrew Mcleay

An ex-homeless man who paints rough sleepers on the streets has started selling his portraits, and using the proceeds to fund the soup kitchen he runs.

Andrew Mcleay found himself on the street in March 2008 after arriving from Australia.

Just over a decade later, he now organises the Ealing Soup Kitchen, and uses his love of painting to help fund his endeavours.

So far he has sold three of his portraits, getting £80-130 for each.

That might not sound like a huge amount, but it pays for about a month’s worth of supplies for the kitchen.

Each portrait has been bought by members of the public, and Andrew said using the money for anything other than supporting the homeless would feel wrong.

Andrew Mcleay

“I wouldn’t want to benefit from anyone’s dire situation, so I think it’s important that any proceeds I get from the paintings go back into the soup kitchen. The homeless are great because they’re generally happy to have their photos taken, and I just paint from that. As a painter generally it’s about trying to capture something that people don’t always see. It’s like trying to tell a story without any words."

Andrew Mcleay

#GreaterLondoner: Rakhia Ismil

BBC London

Rakhia Ismil

The first time I put the robe on, it was awesome.

All my family and friends were there, it was one of the best moments.

I grew up as an exile in the UAE because of my family’s politics and business.

My father believed in fairness and justice.

I became a refugee in the UK and worked as a bilingual teacher.

When you become a community activist, you start asking questions to decision-makers, and I realised that my questions were not being answered.

I saw lots of people in the community were not being listened to, so I would challenge politicians. I was elected as a councillor and then the mayor.

It actually goes back to my upbringing. As a young child, I grew up in a family where fairness and justice implemented were at the heart of it.

My priority is supporting mental health charities. I believe that mental illness is a huge barrier in the UK. I’ve also started campaigning against knife crime.

As the first female Somali mayor in the UK, I hope it opens the eyes of other women from ethnic minorities and shows what we can achieve.

If I can be in this great office, I don’t see why the next generation of black British young people cannot.

Rakhia Ismil, Age, Islington

#GreaterLondoner #Islington #Mayor #Somali #Empowering #BBCLondon

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