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Driving lessons and tests can officially restart again in England next month

Some good news!

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Learner drivers will be allowed to restart their lessons from July 4th in England as part of the new lockdown easing. 

Proposals are being set out to help driving instructors return to a life ‘as close to normal as possible’ according to Commons Leader, Jacob Rees-Mogg. 

It has now been confirmed that instructors will be able to restart their lessons from July 4th. 

Many people including those who have reached the age ready to take their driving test – a pretty big and exciting life moment – have had to wait due to the coronavirus lockdown causing driving lessons and tests to stop.  

Conservative MP Greg Smith asked the Government to ensure guidance is given to allow driving instructors to get back to work.

Bill Kasman/geograph

Rees-Mogg responded: “The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency’s (DVLA) chief executive (Gareth Llewellyn) will be writing to all approved driving instructors on June 25 setting out plans to restart driver testing and to help them to return to life that is as close to normal as possible, as quickly and as fairly as possible, in a way that avoids a second peak of infections.

“From July 4, I am happy to say that people will be able to take driving lessons on a motorcycle or in a car, lorry or bus and there will be a phased approach to resuming practical testing so learners have the opportunity to practise before taking a test.”

These rules are currently only for England with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland yet to set their own rules regarding driving lessons and tests. 

Managing director of AA Driving School, Sarah Rees, said the decision was a ‘welcome relief for the thousands of people in England’, and the start of the end of ‘an incredibly challenging time’ for instructors, many of whom are self-employed. 

Basher Eyre/Geograph

She said: “This will open the door for workers who need a safer way to commute and for the many who are forced to find new employment after lockdown.

“For driving instructors in England, it means the end is in sight to what has been an incredibly challenging time with high levels of uncertainty around their ability to earn a living.

“But driving instructors in other parts of the UK, who still do not have a date for when they can re-start their livelihood, are being left in limbo and we hope the devolved governments in the rest of the UK will soon follow suit.”

There are currently 10,000 people on The AA Driving School waiting list with a ‘huge demand for lessons’ this summer. 

Until now driving lessons have been suspended since March. There have been some exclusions, including some key workers being offered both lessons and the opportunity to apply for an emergency test with the DVSA. 

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Manchester woman given months to live told she is now cancer free

What an amazing story!

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Granada Reports / ITV News

A woman from Manchester has made a miraculous recovery from cancer after she was given just months to live.

Jasmin David says she feels ‘reborn’ following the incredible news that she is cancer free, after her previous devastating diagnosis.

Doctors told the 51-year-old from Fallowfield that she had less than a year to live after breast cancer spread to her lungs, lymph nodes and chest bone, as per Granada Reports.

However, after taking part in a clinical trial at Manchester’s The Christie Hospital, using experimental medicines, she’s been given the all clear.

Jasmin worked in a care home and was previously fit and healthy, but she became worried when she discovered a lump by her nipple in 2017 – it turned out to be an aggressive triple negative form of breast cancer.

After undergoing six gruelling months of chemotherapy and a mastectomy in April 2018, as well as 15 cycles of radiotherapy, her body was cleared of the cancer.

Sadly the cancer returned in October 2019, with scans showing multiple lesions throughout her body leading to a poor prognosis – following which she took part in the clinical trial, two months later.

Jasmin was given an experimental medicine at The Christie, combined with Atezolizumab – which is an immunotherapy drug – with doctors revealing she now shows no evidence of the disease.

Jasmin told Granada Reports: “At first I had many horrible side effects including headaches and spiking temperatures, so I was in hospital over Christmas and quite poorly. Then thankfully I started to respond well to the treatment.

“I celebrated my 50th birthday in February 2020 while still in the middle of treatment and not knowing what the future held.

“Two and a half years ago I thought it was the end and I now feel like I’ve been reborn.

“There is a change in my life after returning from India to see family in April and I have decided to take early retirement and to live my life in gratitude to God and to medical science.

“My family have been very supportive of this decision. I will be celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary in September. I have so much to look forward to.

“My Christian faith helped me a lot on this journey and the prayers and support from family and friends gave me strength to face the challenge.”

Gerald England / Geograph

Professor Fiona Thistlethwaite, Medical Oncologist and Clinical Director of Manchester CRF at The Christie, and is leading the study, added: “We are really pleased that Jasmin has had such a good outcome.

“At The Christie we are continually testing new drugs and therapies to see if they can benefit more people.”

Congratulations Jasmin, and all the best in the rest of your recovery!

 

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Charley Gadd died after ‘messing around’ with his parents in prank gone wrong

A heartbreaking update

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GMP

An inquest has heard that the university student who was found dead after going missing from The Warehouse Project had run away as a ‘prank’.

Tragically, Charley Gadd was found dead in the River Irwell near MediaCity on January 10th after a month-long search by police.

It’s now been reported that Charley had run away from his parents during a night out in a prank that turned tragic.

David Dixon / Geograph

While out with his parents, Jolyon and Kimberley Gadd, at The Warehouse Project on December 11th 2021 he ‘ran off’ while messing around, with Jolyon saying his son had ‘already run away once that night as a joke’.

He said: “I went chasing after him, running a couple of blocks. He fell over and I picked him up. He found it really funny that I was so unfit and we walked off arm in arm. Then we went to get something for him to eat, but he ran off again.”

According to his parents, the 20-year-old ran away while near the Spar Store in St Mary’s Gate at roughly 1.10am on Saturday December 11th – his last movements were seen on CCTV as he headed towards St Annes Street near the Royal Exchange Theatre around 1.15am.

His worried family reported him missing to GMP after spending hours trying to locate him.

Police Coroners Officer David Wood from GMP told Stockport Coroners Court that CCTV showed Charley walking towards St Mary’s parsonage, before being spotted in a car park overlooking the River Irwell.

According to Wood, at 1.18am Charley headed across the car park, which was bordered by a steep drop down into the Irwell, and he was not seen to leave on any camera footage – his body was tragically found several weeks later.

Addressing his parents, Senior Coroner Alison Mutch said: “There was nothing you could do to change what happened, it is one of those tragic accidents that sometimes life brings.”

She added: “This is such a very, very sad situation, particularly for Charley’s family who have lost a beloved son and a beloved brother. It’s clear that Charley was a very intelligent young man, with a very bright future in front of him.

“He was very close with his parents who had a very loving relationship, they had music in common and had been to various music venues together including Wembley, Brighton and then Manchester in December.

“It’s clear that on the night in question Charley was messing around and ran off and sadly became completely disorientated in a city that he was unfamiliar with. I can only imagine the anguish his parents felt that night looking for Charley and wondering what on earth to do.”

Warehouse Project

Mutch continued: “At that time of year it would have been very challenging to get out. I am satisfied it was a complete accident that happened due to a series of bad luck.

“The car park was dark and he would have been able to see the bright lights on the other side but would have had no idea there was a river between him and the bright lights.”

Jolyon said of his son, who lived in Sudbury, Suffolk: “He packed a huge amount into a tragically short life. I was hugely proud of him. I could not have been prouder.”

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Angela Rayner accuses Dominic Raab of ‘snobbery’ after he mocked her opera trip

The deputy prime minister took issue with Rayner’s recent outing to the opera

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Parliament TV

Angela Rayner has accused Dominic Raab of ‘snobbery’ after he mocked her recent trip to the opera during this week’s PMQs.

The deputy Labour leader, from Stockport, was pictured sipping champagne at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera last week, where she watched the Marriage of Figaro. 

Her outing took place on the same week the RMT rail strikes were taking place, causing severe travel disruption across the country. 

Raab asked MPs: “Where was she when the comrades were on the picket line last Thursday? Where was she when the Labour front bench were joining them rather than standing up for the public?

“She was at the Glyndebourne music festival sipping champagne, listening to opera. Champagne socialism is back in the Labour Party.”

Raab was also seen winking at Rayner following his remark, an action that has been met by confusion and disgust by many critics.

Read More: Angela Rayner responds to critics who slammed her Stockport accent

In response, Rayner said in a statement shortly afterwards: “My advice to the deputy prime minister is to cut out the snobbery and brush up on his opera.

“The Marriage of Figaro is the story of a working-class woman who gets the better of a privileged but dim-witted villain.

“Judging by his own performance today, Dominic Raab could learn a lesson about opening up the arts to everyone, whatever their background.”

Rayner later took to Twitter to share a photo of herself and one of the show’s violinists Tom Esiner at the event, writing: “Dominic Raab won’t approve but I did indeed go the opera last week (it cost me £62).

“Tom Eisner, a working-class lad from Buxton near where I grew up kindly invited me. He’s been playing violin at Glyndebourne for 36 years. Never let anyone tell you you’re not good enough.”

And in response to a social media user who said she feels ‘soiled’ after seeing Raab’s wink, Rayner simply responded: “Imagine how I feel!”.

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