In case you missed the news, the government has ordered Chester Zoo to stay closed indefinitely, throwing the future of the much-loved zoo into doubt.
To help save the zoo from closure, a fundraising campaign was launched and as we reported yesterday it had raised more than £800,000 in less than a day.
Things haven’t slowed down either, and today we’re happy to report that the Save Our Zoo campaign has raised its monthly target of £1.6m in just over 24 hours – at the time of writing, the total stands at £1,651,254.
Chester Zoo is the UK’s biggest and most popular charity zoo that provides conservation to many endangered species.
Throughout lockdown, the zoo has taken to social media to provide virtual days around the zoo. The virtual days lasted for hours at a time and included an array of animals, educational pieces and the chance to watch feedings.
The zoo took to its Facebook again this week, but this time with a message titled ‘Save Our Zoo’.
The post revealed that the staff had received the devastating news that they would have to remain closed despite putting safety measures in place and ensuring they are COVID secure.
The statement says: “We’ve tried to stay positive during this pandemic, we’ve planned for our opening, we’ve cut no corners in terms of care for our animals and commitment to our conservation work, we’ve looked forward to welcoming You back soon.
“But we have now received the devastating news that the government has ordered us to ‘stay closed indefinitely’ despite being ‘COVID secure’ and able to safely manage numbers and social distancing.
“While other ticketed gardens open this week our 128 acres must stay closed. This has thrown the future of the zoo into doubt.”
The zoo recently released pictures of the new safety measures it had put in place, hoping it would be able to reopen the doors in July.
The statement addresses the issue of the public ‘piling onto’ beauty spots where there is ‘no way of controlling numbers’, stating that the zoo is able to guarantee people keep socially distanced and can easily control numbers.
The charity now needs to raise £1.6m a month to save it.
In an update yesterday, council environmental health officers have given Chester Zoo the green light to reopen with safeguards in place, now the zoo just needs the government to grant permission.
Cheshire West and Chester Council leader Cllr Louise Gittins said in a statement: “The council’s environmental health officers have been involved in Chester Zoo’s preparations for a safe opening and we are confident that the measures being taken will enable the zoo to operate safely, with significant public health measures in place.
“We fully support the campaign launched today by Chester Zoo, and call on government to apply more consistency and evidence in its plans for safe re-opening, with the support of local public health teams.”
The zoo is urging people to make a donation here, adopt an animal from your favourite species here, become a member of the zoo here, or if you already do, keep paying your membership fees.
Aldi launches new ‘bargain hour’ where prices are slashed by 75%
All 912 Aldi stores across the UK will take part in the scheme
Aldi has announced it’s introducing a special ‘bargain hour’, where shoppers will be able to save 75% on certain goods.
Aldi customers will be able to grab a proper bargain on things like bread, meat and fruit, the supermarket confirmed.
All 912 Aldi stores across the UK will take part in the scheme, marking down perishable products such as fruit, vegetables and meat on their last day of life, just before stores close.
The retailer is doing this to stop fresh produce from going to waste, and it’s part of their wider pledge to halve food waste by 2030.
While at the moment Aldi does reduce the price on certain products when they reach their best-before or use-by dates, it will now be offering bigger savings on products marked with a red sticker.
Julie Ashfield, Managing Director of Buying at Aldi, said: “Aldi is already known for its low prices, but these discounts will help some shoppers to cut their grocery bills even further – all while helping us reduce food waste.
“Customers should look out for the red stickers when shopping at Aldi, but shoppers need to be quick as I’m sure the products will prove popular.”
It’s worth remembering that items will be reduced at different times at different stores, and of course reduced produce is sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
Meanwhile, Aldi has teamed up with Marcus Rashford to launch a brand new campaign to help feed hungry kids across the UK.
Marcus has been busy over the past year, highlighting the shocking food inequalities in our country and holding the government to account, and he’s been doing a fantastic job.
And while one in five children in the UK currently live in food poverty, the Man United star – who experienced food poverty when he was a kid – won’t stop on his mission to help end this tragedy.
To help tackle the issue of child food poverty, Aldi has confirmed that it will donate 10 million meals to feed families in need across the UK during 2021.
The supermarket has also released a short animation that personifies ‘hunger’ through a child’s eyes, to mark the collaboration with Marcus, with the footballer narrating the emotional poem that accompanies the short film.
The video explores a young kid’s relationship with hunger, using a poem by Giles Andreae, with illustrator Lisa Stickley bringing the story to life via the animation.
MP calls for teachers to be given the vaccine next so schools can reopen
He’s called on Matt Hancock to give teachers increased priority
An MP has called for teachers to be given the Covid-19 vaccine so kids can get back to school.
Richard Graham MP is asking Matt Hancock to vaccinate teachers, following the news that Education Secretary Gavin Williamson can’t guarantee schools will reopen after the February half term as was originally planned.
Mr Graham said vaccination was the only way forward, confirming that he has asked the government to make sure teachers are included in the next round of vaccinations, once the 13 million most vulnerable have had their jabs.
He told GloucestershireLive: “If we want to give teachers, parents, pupils, families real certainty on schools, I think there’s only one way to do it, to vaccinate all the teachers.
“That way schools will know their staff will not have to go off and self-isolate, and are not going to catch the virus.
“Parents will also know their pupils are not going to be either infected by teachers or infect them.
“That would be a huge step forward. It doesn’t rule out all the risks. Pupils can still spread it amongst themselves and then back to their parents at home.”
A teacher from Derbyshire has created a petition asking for teachers, school and childcare staff to be prioritised for the coronavirus vaccine.
Charlotte Appleyard’s petition has already gained more than 470,000 signatures, which meant it was discussed in parliament on Monday.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s emotional message to Marcus Rashford as he’s honoured for his charity work
The footballer was honoured at the Football Writers’ Association annual tribute awards
Marcus Rashford has been in the news a lot over the past year for his valiant efforts in fighting child food poverty in the UK.
The Manchester United star has now been honoured again for his efforts, becoming the youngest person ever to receive an award at the Football Writers’ Association annual tribute awards.
Sir Alex Ferguson sent the 23-year-old an emotional message after he was honoured in recognition of his hard work tackling child poverty during the Covid-19 crisis, praising the ‘wonderful person’ he had become.
Marcus has been busy highlighting the shocking food inequalities in our country and holding the government to account, and he’s been doing a fantastic job.
And while one in five children in the UK currently live in food poverty, the striker – who experienced food poverty when he was a kid – won’t stop on his mission to help end this tragedy.
The footballer campaigned for free school meals to be extended during holidays, and more recently has raised awareness of the ‘woefully inadequate’ meal parcels some families have been receiving this week.
Marcus has been working with charity FareShare to help deliver food to hungry kids who are no longer getting free school meals, and yesterday it was reported that he’d teamed up with Aldi to donate 10 million meals to families in need.
Sir Alex said: “I would like to congratulate Marcus on his achievement and presentation (of the FWA Tribute Award) tonight.
“I have known him since being a kid of 7 years of age, and seen him develop through the ranks of Manchester United into a truly wonderful person.
“Apart from his football life, what he has achieved in the last few months is quite astonishing, how he has helped the people in need is a truly amazing achievement.
“I would like to congratulate him on that. He has shown to young people in particular there is a different way of dealing with life.
“He has shown great humility, he has shown courage to do what he did, so this achievement is well deserved and should be recognised with what he has done.
“So Marcus, well done on a fantastic achievement.”
Marcus responded by thanking the legendary United manager, saying: “He has always, from the beginning really, backed me with what I am doing.
“Probably when other people in sports were telling me not to do it and just focus on football, he said if I believed in that, and I believe it is the right thing to do, then he is behind it.
“Those words from him are an amazing feeling to hear that.”