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S r e A v r i e 2nd April 2010 9 ury detsr

Toolkit for healthier staff
EMPLOYERS across the county are being urged by NHS Surrey to use a new toolkit to help their staff to become healthier. The downloadable pack, which includes an employer’s guide, posters, suggestions for challenges and Swap It, Don’t Stop It leaflets, has been launched by Change4Life, a national health campaign run by the government. The aim of the toolkit is to make it easier for staff to make healthy choices at work, which it is believed could lead to better productivity and fewer days of absence due to ill health. Julie Nelson, public health dietician at NHS Surrey, said: “The link between obesity and preventable illnesses, such as diabetes, coronary heart disease, cancer and mental illness, is undeniable. “When someone becomes unwell with one of these illnesses, it also affects the people around them, including their workmates. If they have to take time off sick or for treatment, then this can affect their employer too.” She added: “We spend a lot of time at work. Making good choices about how we get there and what we eat during the day can have a huge impact on our health and well-being. “I’d encourage all employers to have a look at the toolkit and see if there is more they can do to help their staff become healthier, happier and – potentially – more productive too.” The employer’s toolkit can be downloaded from the Partners and Supporters area of the website at: www.nhs.uk/change4life or ordered by ringing 0300 123 1502.

Mini satellite’s mission ... to keep us all safe
by Melanie Hall
NEW satellite technology, pioneered by University of Surrey scientists to clear dangerous clouds of debris orbiting the Earth, was unveiled on Friday. Researchers at Stag Hill have devised a 3kg miniature satellite, or ‘nanosatellite’, to help deal with the 5,500 tonnes of debris believed to be cluttering space around the planet as a result of 50 years of abandoning spacecraft. The debris poses the risk of colliding with manned or unmanned spacecraft, the destruction of hugely expensive technology and the threat of sending large debris plummeting back to Earth. The build-up of debris – expected to grow at a rate of 5% a year – is also believed to obstruct satellite television and other communications signals. Surrey Space Centre, said: “The launch of this innovative new technology is very timely. “This week’s announcement of the creation of the UK’s space agency is evidence of the commitment to space initiatives and their huge potential for creating growth in the UK economy. “At the same time, this exciting future is increasingly dependent on finding a sustainable approach to launching and disposing safely of spacecraft. “Innovation in this area is crucial, and we’re keen that a centre like ours, able to give firms early experience of new space technologies at low cost, is central to the growing UK space industry.” Conservative MP David Willetts, the Shadow Universities and Skills Secretary, attended the satellite unveiling and praised the centre as an exceptional example of British engineering in a key space technology. He said: “I’m a layman, and space is one of the most important ways of getting people interested in science, technology and engineering. “We are obviously very keen for as many young people to study sciences and go on to do science at university and there are many young people who don’t realise the range of opportunities on offer.” Mr Willetts also discussed the Tory pledge to fund 10,000 more university places this year, which would be spent on teaching. “It’s very important that they get high quality teaching,” he said. “One of the issues is that parents are not sure that they get the teaching they need. “Here at the University of Surrey, you get the lecturing and the research link. “You can get space technology as a graduate course here today, where there are real satellites being constructed.”

21st century Space technology pioneered in Guildford. The CubeSail is a device that can be fitted to satellites or launch vehicle upper stages that are sent into orbit and can then be deployed to take out of orbit equipment that has reached the end of its mission. A deployable ‘solar sail’ is being developed to fit in a 10cm x 10cm x 30cm nanosatellite. It will be used in a demonstration mission to be launched in late 2011. CubeSail, whose development was funded by the European space company Astrium, is due to be ready for launch on new satellites next year. It is expected to be available for shifting existing debris from 2013. Dr Craig Underwood, deputy director and reader in Spacecraft Engineering at the

David Willetts MP, Dr Vaios Lappas and Prof Christopher Snowden admire the CubeSail ‘nanostaellite’ at the Surrey Satellite Technology Centre at Surrey University, Guildford.

Darkness comes for Earth Hour
HOMES, pubs and council buildings across Surrey switched off their lights to mark the worldwide green event Earth Hour. At 8.30pm on Saturday environmentally minded neighbours and landlords used candles instead of electricity to represent their views about climate change. They were among millions across the world who embraced the fourth Earth Hour event, which aims to encourage world leaders to do more to combat global warming. Among those turning their lights off were the proprietors of the Keystone bar in Portsmouth Road, Guildford, which was lit entirely by candlelight. Customers were entertained by musicians playing acoustic blues music. Proprietor Mark Eleveld said: “Earth Hour’s been growing every year. We’ve started doing more environmental recycling, turning all the power off, setting timers, so when we heard about Earth Hour last year we thought it’s in keeping with what we’re trying to do. “We also thought it’s a good business opportunity to do something a little bit different. “It was lovely, with the candles. It looked a little bit like it was Christmas.” He added: “People seemed to think what we were doing was really nice. We were really surprised that most people came in and knew immediately that it was Earth Hour. I think a lot more people will be doing it next year.” The Red Lion in Godalming also took part, inviting acoustic musicians to enhance the mellow mood. Landlady Magda Makowiecka said: “We turned the lights off everywhere. “It was very good. People were shocked that we were actually doing it as a business. It went down so well, people asked us to leave the lights off for the whole night, so we did.” Mole Valley District Council turned off the external floodlights around the Pippbrook council building for an hour. It also signed the Nottingham Declaration on climate change and made a commitment to reduce its carbon footprint by 35%. Cllr Chris Reynolds said: “Our participation in Earth Hour is demonstration of our commitment to raise awareness of climate change and take steps to further reduce our carbon emissions.” Lights illuminating the outside of county hall in Kingston, including the bell tower clock face, were kept off on Saturday and they will not be turned on at weekends throughout the summer. However, Guildford Cathedral, which lost its glow in honour of Earth Hour for the previous two years, kept its lights on this time. Cathedral administrator Tony Lyddon said: “We had a concert and we rely on the lighting for pedestrian traffic making their way from town to the university. “We are having new pedestrian lighting installed, so we will be able to turn the lights off for Earth Hour again next year.” Earth Hour, organised by conservation charity WWF, started in Sydney in 2007, with approximately 2.2 million households and businesses turning off their lights.

Be a superhero for Surrey Care Trust
RUNNERS are being urged to take part in Surrey Care Trust’s annual 5k fun run on Sunday, June 13. Participants will get the chance to dress up in superhero costumes at the event in Greenwich Park and raise £100 for the charity. The Surrey Care Trust also has an additional six places up for grabs in the British 10k London Run on July 11. People taking part should aim to raise £250 in sponsorship. Anybody interested in taking part can contact Vicky Nash on 01483 412751, or visit www.surreycaretrust.org.uk

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F1 route to recovery
NHS Surrey is hoping to save £10-20 million a year by using Formula One technology in a move set to revolutionise healthcare. It is hoping to start using the system, originally created at the McLaren factory near Woking for world champion Jensen Button’s car, by the end of the year. The McLaren team receive live information, such as the heart rate of the driver, from the car during the race. It is sent in 300 data streams via miniaturised sensors. This same technology can be used to help doctors keep track of a heart attack patient by sending information via wireless sensors the size of sticking plasters, with details such as heart rate and electrocardiogram. When the heart rate goes above or below a certain level, it can alert the doctor with an email or text message. This will free up hospital beds by allowing doctors to observe those patients remotely.

Mark and Kath Eleveld of the Keystone bar in Guildford.

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