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The UK gets ready to celebrate the historic Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

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People on the streets takes photos with a Queen Elizabeth II's installation in Chelsea, London
Celebration: More than 16,000 street parties are expected to be held over the Queen’s platinum jubilee bank holiday weekend | Photo: Marcio Delgado

In 2022, Her Majesty The Queen will become the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee after 70 years of service. And from street parties and ‘Big Jubilee Lunches’ happening across the UK, to London’s Trooping the Colour, Service of Thanksgiving, concert and pageant, the nation and commonwealth will come together over four days to mark The Queen Elizabeth II’s record-breaking reign.

The Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend in the United Kingdom begins on Thursday 2 June with Trooping the Colour, which sees more than 1,500 soldiers and musicians, around 240 horses and the Irish Guards mascot, Turlough Mor the Irish Wolfhound, coming together for the traditional Queen’s birthday parade.

Around 7,000 members of the public will watch the ceremony as they return to Horse Guards Parade for the first time since the pandemic. Beacons will be lit throughout the UK and the Commonwealth in the evening.

On Friday 3 June, a Service of Thanksgiving for The Queen’s 70-year reign will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral. The service will include Bible readings, anthems, prayers and congregational hymns to express thanks for Her Majesty’s reign, faith and service.

On Saturday 4 June, a number of stars will take part in the Platinum Party at the Palace. Hosted by Scottish television and radio presenter Kirsty Young and English radio host Roman Kemp, the celebration will see famous faces from the world of entertainment brought together to perform for a night of musical tributes to celebrate the Jubilee, with Alicia Keys, Ella Eyre, Craig David, and George Ezra sharing a three-stage set up with the likes of Duran Duran, Andrea Bocelli, Sam Ryder, Celeste, Nile Rodgers and DJ and music producer Sigala. 22,000 people are expected to attend the event including 10,000 allocated in a public ballot and 5,000 tickets for key workers.

“No other British monarch has reached this milestone and we will celebrate it with tradition, pomp and circumstance. I hope that people and communities across the country will come together to pay tribute to Her Majesty – whether that be to watch on big screens or toasting Her Majesty at a Big Jubilee Lunch with their neighbours or coming together in their local village hall.” – says Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries.

The celebrations will conclude on Sunday 5 June with the Platinum Jubilee Pageant, when thousands of performers from across the country and Commonwealth will process down The Mall to showcase the story of The Queen’s 70-year reign.

More than 8.5 million people took part in the Big Jubilee Lunch for the Diamond Jubilee in 2012. This year, more than 70,000 Big Jubilee Lunches are planned in the four UK nations over the weekend and across the Commonwealth and the rest of the world, more than 600 Big Jubilee Lunches are planned in more than 70 countries – from Greenland to New Zealand.

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London exhibition portraying unfairly censored communities is open until Friday

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Visitors at the Unseen exhibition in London
Female body and race are amongst the content being censored on social media platforms

An exhibition in the United Kingdom is showcasing images of 13 communities censored and silenced on social media platforms.

Unseen’, part of an online community project aiming to open the discussion around digital censorship, is now a public exhibition featuring posts and several stories submitted by people and small businesses who experienced their content and social media accounts being removed or shadow banned. Created by British photographer Rankin, the initiative is on display at Quantus Gallery in Shoreditch, East London.

“Censorship is a necessary tool to prevent fake news, protect children, and more. But it is often used inadvertently to silence marginalised voices,” says creative founder, Rankin. “We have had an incredible response so far, and we’re just getting started. This is an important issue, and those affected deserve to have a voice in the policies that affect them on the platforms they love and build their businesses on.” – defends the photographer known for his portraits of a variety of celebrities, from Kate Moss, Madonna and David Bowie to Queen Elizabeth II and Britney Spears.

Brands, content creators, and body-positive activists and artists have been clashing with social media networks over overly restrictive publishing guidelines for a while, with platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok regularly banning content posted worldwide.

“It is a continuous, frustrating game of whack-a-mole with platforms, so much so that I have ended up blending my Ph.D. in the moderation of online abuse with my experiences of censorship,” – Says Dr. Carolina Are, a visiting lecturer at the City University of London whom recent work focused on finding frameworks to effectively moderate social media without affecting freedom of expression, and on platforms’ moderation and censorship of nudity and sexuality.

The exhibition ‘Unseen’ will run until June 24th at Quantus Gallery 11-29 Fashion Street, London, E1 6PX.

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One in five UK adults has started a ‘side hustle’ since March 2020

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38% of people surveyed used the money they earnt from a side hustle to pay for rent, clothes and even food | Photo: Jonathan Borba

One in five (19%) adults in the UK have started a ‘side hustle’ since March 2020 and, almost one in six (16%) claim to earn upwards of £1,000 a month from their new venture, according to new research from insurance provider, Aviva, conducted by Censuswide over 10 days in May, 2022.

However, only two thirds of those who started a side hustle over the past two years are still pursuing them today. 37% have returned to their day jobs being their main source of income now that lockdowns are over, and some companies expect employees to return to the office or work from home only partially.

The most popular ‘side hustle’ people chose to pursue was to ‘sell handcrafted products’ (23%), a phenomenon that saw online marketplaces for crafts and vintage items such as Etsy growing exponentially in 2020 and 2021. One in nine (11%) looking for an extra income turned to art, 9% to photography, while a similar number (10%) tried their hand at being a social media influencer – a popular choice with those aged 16-24 (13%). Other income boosters included becoming a courier (6%), driving a taxi (4%), and offering nutritional advice (4%).

When asked what their original motivation was to start a side hustle in addition to their normal, full-time job during the pandemic, most say it was financially motivated. Two in five (39%) people said they did it because they saw an opportunity to turn a hobby into an income; others to ‘make ends meet’ (30%); become financially independent (21%) or to pay off debts (18%).  Over a quarter (27%) started their new vocation to empower themselves/ gain confidence and improve their mental health, while 16% just wanted to practice the skills they had attained (i.e. photography, counseling, etc.).

“The pandemic has transformed how we relate to work. Aviva’s research reveals two sides to this story. For some, the pandemic has brought greater work-life flexibility. This appears to have fuelled a boom in ‘side hustles’. For others, the pandemic has brought greater financial strain, and this appears to have fuelled a need to look elsewhere to make ends meet.” – says Alistair McQueen, Head of Savings & Retirement at Aviva.

On average, side hustlers make around £497 a month from their secondary income, with more than one in four (28%) earning more than £500 a month.

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Young people increasingly struggling to get on the UK property ladder

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Feeling the pinch: 19% of young people living in Cardiff needed to find additional employment to pay their bills, a survey has revealed | Photo: Karolina Grabowska

Despite a property market boom across the UK in recent years, the average age of a first-time buyer is up by almost two years, meaning the average Briton, now, will be 34 years old by the time they purchase their first home. 20 years ago, the average age of a first-time buyer was 31, while in the 1990s it was approximately 29, according to market analysis by Which.

And a recent survey released by independent finance broker KIS Finance has found that over 22% of 18 to 35-year-olds have been forced to take on an additional job as the cost of living crisis deepens, making home ownership out of reach for an increasing number of people.

Last week the Government’s announced a range of steps to try to help more people onto the property ladder. However, exactly how the proposed schemes will work in practice remains to be seen.

The proposal to extend the existing Right to Buy Scheme to include housing association properties could help large numbers onto the property ladder, who thought that home ownership was beyond their reach. This amendment to the original scheme, which was introduced by Margaret Thatcher in 1980 and allowed people to buy their council house at a discounted rate, could see up to 3 million low paid workers buy their own homes.

“Whilst the announcement of measures to help first-time buyers onto the housing ladder will be welcomed, it remains to be seen how the proposals will work in practice. Accepting housing benefit payments toward a mortgage will be a significant change for mortgage providers and it may take some time for the details to be worked through. However, any steps to help support young people to escape from the trap of rented accommodation will be positive and the industry needs to be ready to adapt to support the proposed changes” – says Holly Andrews, MD at KIS Finance.

Key statistics from KIS Finance’s survey also found that 22% of those aged 18 to 35 have taken on an additional job to help them afford basic items such as rent, heating, and food, and a staggering 57% of young British workers reported they are already struggling financially and expect things to get significantly worse in the near future.

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