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Government minister makes big rule of six Christmas ‘promise’

Fingers crossed…

Alex Watson

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A government minister has ‘promised’ the ‘rule of six will not ‘cancel Christmas’.

Following the introduction of the latest lockdown measures that make it illegal to meet in groups over six, many people were concerned about what it would mean for Christmas celebrations. 

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland has now denied that the restriction will ‘cancel Christmas’.

Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby expressed concerns that the rule is ‘damaging’ and ‘impacts on family life’.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4 the Cabinet minister said: “Archbishop Justin (Welby) makes an important contribution to this debate and he is right to point to the huge spiritual and social significance of Christmas.

“I don’t think any of us in government want to be Oliver Cromwell-esque about this – we want to see families celebrate Christmas in a safe and happy way and we want to see our churches and indeed our other places of worship joining in that celebration.”

Mr Buckland added: “We are not going to cancel Christmas but the ‘rule of six’ is something that is clear and important and I do think we’ve committed to that and we need to stick to it.”

The law, which includes children under 12, has also raised concerns in the House of Commons on Tuesday. 

Health Secretary, Matt Hancock was pressed on whether it would be lifted ahead of Christmas.

Hancock said: “We will keep the rule of six in place only as long as it is absolutely necessary for health reasons, and the vaccines and treatments I spoke about, the mass testing regime, all of these are important to try to find a way through this virus with the minimal impact on the economy, education and people’s social lives.”

Hancock also added that children do transmit the virus and the rule in place is ‘as simple as possible’. 

Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has also called for the public to ‘call the police’ on neighbours if you see them breaking the rules. 

Those found in groups of seven or more face on the spot fines of £100, which double on each repeat offence, to a maximum of £3,200. 

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McDonald’s pledge £1m worth of free meals joining Rashford’s calls to feed kids over half term

Amazing!!

Alex Watson

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FareShareUK/Twitter

McDonald’s have joined Manchester United hero, Marcus Rashford, in the fight to feed families in desperate help this half term.

If you head over Rashford’s Twitter you’ll see the amount of support he’s received this past week, with restaurants up and down the country offering free meals to those in need.

McDonald’s, the world’s largest fast-food restaurant, are among the many out there supporting this campaign. Providing funding to FareShare to urgently redistribute food to families who need it most.

McDonald’s tweeted: “Our funding will enable the urgent redistribution of meals across the next couple those in greatest need.”

It’s not the first time McDonald’s have worked with FareShare, they have previously donated over 400 tonnes of food and 100,000 litres of milk through FareShare and other organisations.

FareShare is a charity aimed at relieving food in poverty across the UK which the star striker has already raised a huge £20million for.

The FareShare CEO says: “The funding will enable the equivalent of 1 million meals to be redistributed to our charity network very swiftly, and we are very grateful for their urgent support.”

The announcement comes days after Rashford said kids were made to feel like they “don’t matter” – after he lost his bid to get the nation’s most vulnerable youngsters free school meals this winter.

Earlier this week MPs rejected a motion to extend free school meals over the school holidays until Easter 2021.

Despite this Rashford pleaded with the government to re address talks on the issue on Wednesday night adding: “A significant number of children are going to bed tonight not only hungry but feeling like they do not matter.”

The striker is keeping an up to date list of restaurants cafes and bars offering free meals to schools, stating he was ‘blown away’ by the amount of small businesses offering their help.

They include Bolton, Liverpool, Wirral, Sheffield, Wigan, Bristol and Devon, Whitley Bay, Staffordshire, Nottingham, Stevenage, Teesdale , Anglesey, Whitehaven, Watford and County Durham.

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Toy donations urgently needed for this year’s Wood Street Mission Christmas Appeal

They need donations!

Alex Watson

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Wood Street Mission/Facebook

The Manchester charity, Wood Street Mission, is in urgent need of toys and gifts for the children of Manchester. 

The Manchester and Salford children’s charity, Wood Street Mission, has been providing Christmas support to low-income families in the region for over 150 years.

Ensuring that every child, no matter what their circumstances, wakes up on Christmas day with something special to open and a huge smile on their face.

In 2019 Wood Street was able to provide over 11,000 toys to 4000 children thanks to the generosity of local people and businesses

Wood Street Mission

Through the 150 years of operating, Wood Street Mission has never failed to fulfil its Christmas appeal. However, the COVID-19 crisis has completely thrown the project into doubt for the first time this year.

Wood Street Mission faces the unthinkable: thousands of children across Manchester and Salford waking up on Christmas Day without a single gift.

Thanks to building awareness on social media, great Northern Warehouse have stepped in to lead the drop off point and provide the space and resources needed to house the gifts. Helping over 1500 families this festive season.

Wood Street Mission

At this difficult time the charity is issuing an urgent call for donations of new and packed toys for all children.

The Great Northern Gift Hub will open November 10th and donations can be made today to Wood Street Mission HQ!

Those not local to Manchester can order donations via Amazon Wishlist that will deliver the toys directly to the charity. The toys on the wishlists are separated by age category plus one full of family basics like pencils and nappies. 

Mark Schofield, Centre Director at Great Northern Warehouse added: “We are so pleased to be able to offer space at Great Northern and support the incredible work that Wood Street Mission are doing with local families this Christmas.

“Our team will be doing everything we can to support this essential project and bring some happiness at this incredibly challenging time.”

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Marcus Rashford and his mum help out at FareShare food bank

Well done Marcus.

Alex Watson

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FareShareGtrM/Twitter

Marcus and his mum, Melanie have been helping out at FareShare this morning.

It comes following the vote on the extension of the free school meal scheme being defeated in the House of Commons this week.

Rashford has been an ambassador for the national food redistribution charity, FareShare since March this year.

The charity says they’ve seen a huge soar in demand for food since the outbreak of Covid-19 and now find themselves distributing double the amount since before lockdown.

The charity is delivering enough food for two million meals a week.

The charity has taken on additional warehouse space to allow for more food redistribution in the region. 

The new warehouse is named after Rashford’s mum, Melanie Maynard House. The charity have launched a £300,000 fundraising appeal to fund it.

Rashford said: “The real superstars in this country can be found in the heart of most cities, towns and villages, working tirelessly to support our most vulnerable across the UK.

“As FareShare and other food-related charities approach one of the toughest Winters on record, with demand higher than ever before, it is important that I stay connected and lend my support wherever it is needed.

“When we stumble, there will always be a community to wrap their arms around us and pick us back up. For many of us, that is FareShare or the local food bank.

“Food banks who are staffed with selfless volunteers, dedicating their lives to protecting those most vulnerable, those who, in many cases, have fallen into unforeseen circumstances due to illness, personal loss and unemployment.

“It should be noted that a lot of these volunteers have themselves suffered unemployment as a result of the pandemic, yet they still strive to help others less fortunate.

“That to me is the greatest example of what we can do, and the difference we can make, when we just work together.”

FareShare is now delivering more than 80 tonnes of food a week in Greater Manchester alone, equating to 200,000 meals.

Lindsay Boswell, chief executive of FareShare UK, added: “We are disappointed with the outcome of the vote, which would have been the first step on the road to providing some peace of mind to the millions of struggling UK families.

“FareShare continues to provide over two million meals each week to vulnerable communities across the UK and we stand ready to provide all the food we can obtain, so we can continue supporting those families and children that seek help to access good, healthy food.”

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