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Marcus Rashford launches book club so ‘every child’ has the chance to read

Well done Marcus!

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MarcusRashford/Instagram & Josh Applegate/Unsplash

Marcus Rashford MBE has launched a book club which aims to encourage young disadvantaged children to read.

The United star will be helping to pick out books that will depict a diverse array of characters, which he hopes will appeal to the youngsters.

The books chosen will feature a stamp showing they are a part of the Marcus Rashford Book Club and he will also be mentioning them on his social media.

He said that his books ‘are, and always will be, for every child, even if I have to deliver them myself’, with partner charities giving away books to disadvantaged children.

The new scheme is in collaboration with Macmillan Children’s Books. In an interview with The Sun, Rashford said: “I just wish I was offered the opportunity to really engage with reading more as a child, but books were never a thing we could budget for as a family when we needed to put food on the table.”

He explained that it wasn’t until he was 17 when he started to love to read. 

As it stands, 380,000 children in the UK do not own a book. He wants the ‘escapism’ offered by a good book to be accessible ‘for all children. Not just those that can afford it.’ 

Rashford is even co-writing a non-fiction self-help book titled ‘YOU ARE A CHAMPION: Unlock Your Potential, Find Your Voice and Be the BEST You Can Be’.

The latest efforts by Rashford come just two weeks after Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed to provide free school meals over the winter holidays in a U-Turn after Rashford’s campaigning for months.

Johnson personally phoned Rashford earlier this month to alert him to the decision to give £170m extra funding for the measure. 

Rashford said he was ‘so proud’ of all those who had united his campaign and that he was ‘overwhelmed by the outpouring of empathy and understanding’, promising his supporters to ‘fight for the rest of my life’ to end child hunger in the UK.

In a statement earlier this month, he said: “Following the game today, I had a good conversation with the Prime Minister to better understand the proposed plan, and I very much welcome the steps that have been taken to combat child food poverty in the UK.

“There is still so much more to do, and my immediate concern is the approximate 1.7 million children who miss out on free school meals, holiday provision and Healthy Start vouchers because their family income isn’t quite low enough, but the intent the Government have shown today is nothing but positive and they should be recognised for that.

“The steps made today will improve the lives of near 1.7 million children in the UK over the next 12 months, and that can only be celebrated.”

The money will pay for the Covid Winter Grant Scheme that will support families while the Holiday Activities and Food programme will be extended to cover the Easter, summer and Christmas breaks in 2021, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced.

Healthy Start payments will also help expectant mothers and those with young children on low incomes on the receipt of benefits to buy fresh fruit and vegetable, and is set to rise from £3.10 a week to £4.25 from April next year.

Making the announcement, Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said: “We want to make sure vulnerable people feel cared for throughout this difficult time and, above all, no one should go hungry or be unable to pay their bills this winter.”

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Next announces closure of several stores in blow to high street

The store locations have not yet been revealed

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Next plc

Bosses at Next have announced it is to close 11 stores by the end of the year in the latest blow to the high street.

The retail giant said of the 11 stores set to close: six are not expected to hit their targets, two are down to their locations not being developed, and three are due to agreements not being reached with their current landlords.

However, the names and locations of the 11 stores have not yet been released. The news comes after the company closed its huge store inside Westfield Stratford City, in London.

Next plc

In a statement, Next Trading said: “We expect to close 11 mainline stores this year.

“Six closures are in locations where we forecast that the store would not achieve our target margin on almost any terms; two closures are due to the site being redeveloped; three further closures are as a result of being unable to agree acceptable new terms with landlords. 

“This last category includes one large store where the length of the lease proposed by the landlord, on a high fixed rent charge, was not something we could agree to.”

Next plc

Since the start of the year, a number of high street chains have announced closures across the UK, including New Look, Boots, Asda Living, Wilko and Iceland.

Some of the closures have been down to a decrease in sales, as more and more households rein in their spending during the cost-of-living crisis. Others were simply down to business decisions.

Boots revealed this year that it plans to shut 300 of its stores while Sainsbury’s, the owner of Lloyds Pharmacy, shared that it will shut its pharmacy sites located within its supermarkets.

Robert Wade (Wadey) / Flickr

Homeware brand Habitat announced it will be closing its last three remaining stand-alone sites while its owner, Sainsbury’s, confirmed its customers were increasingly making purchases online rather than in-store.

Elsewhere, frozen foods supermarket Iceland has closed 11 of its sites though it has not made any announcements to confirm the closures.

Wilko announced they had fallen into administration last month, and had around 400 stores with 12,500 staff before the company collapsed.

Mikey / Flickr

Wilko administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers tried to find a buyer for the company, but all deals fell through and it now has dates for 280 of its stores to close by early October, resulting in around 900 job losses.

The remaining 120 Wilko store closures and dates are yet to be announced.

Meanwhile, its rival stores B&M and Poundland have taken on a number of Wilko’s site to rebrand as their own. B&M has snapped up 51 sites and Poundland 71. The deals have not automatically saved Wilko staff working at these sites from job losses, though Poundland has said it will prioritise Wilko staff for job interviews.

Another competitor, The Range has also stepped in and bought the Wilko brand, website and intellectual property. This means it can now sell Wilko products within its stores but does not include any of its physical sites.

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Wetherspoons to close 11 more pubs across the country with 33 already gone

Is your local Spoons up for sale?

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JD Wetherspoon

After 33 closures already this year, Spoons have announced 11 more sites are to call last orders too.

The newest list of closures will affect a number of areas across the country including Todmorden, Moreton and Doncaster.

The budget pub chain previously announced it would be putting some of its pubs up for sale – that were in nearby locations to another existing site – due to the pressure of rising costs and inflation.

JD Wetherspoon

But punters don’t need to panic just yet, as the pubs won’t close until they have been sold.

Despite the closures Spoons has also opened branches, including The Square Peg in Birmingham and The Lord Palmerston in Southsea – after undergoing major refurbishments. The chain is also redeveloping pubs in Wakefield, central Cardiff and Glasgow, to the tune of around £8 million. 

Wetherspoons currently boasts around 822 branches across the UK and recently announced its busiest-ever Saturday was during the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

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The 11 Wetherspoons pubs now up for sale:

  • The Pontlottyn, Abertillery
  • The Ivor Davies, Cardiff
  • Spa Lane Vaults, Chesterfield
  • The Gate House, Doncaster
  • The Market Cross, Holywell
  • The Regent, Kirkby in Ashfield
  • The Mockbeggar Hall, Moreton
  • The Hain Line, St Ives
  • The Sir Norman Rae, Shipley
  • The Sir Daniel Arms, Swindon
  • The White Hart, Todmorden

These are just the Wetherspoon locations recently announced to be closing by the chain, but there are dozens more that have already closed this year.

JD Wetherspoon

The list of Wetherspoon locations that have closed are:

  • The John Masefield, New Ferry
  • Angel, Islington
  • The Silkstone Inn, Barnsley
  • The Billiard Hall, West Bromwich
  • Admiral Sir Lucius Curtis, Southampton
  • The Colombia Press, Watford
  • The Malthouse, Willenhall
  • The John Masefield, New Ferry
  • Thomas Leaper, Derby
  • Cliftonville, Hove
  • Tollgate, Harringay
  • Last Post, Loughton
  • Harvest Moon, Orpington
  • Alexander Bain, Wick
  • Chapel an Gansblydhen, Bodmin
  • Moon on the Square, Basildon
  • Coal Orchard, Taunton
  • Running Horse, Airside Doncaster Airport
  • Wild Rose, Bootle
  • Edmund Halley, Lee Green
  • The Willow Grove, Southport
  • Postal Order, Worcester
  • North and South Wales Bank, Wrexham
  • The Sir John Stirling Maxwell, Glasgow
  • The Knight’s Templar, London
  • Christopher Creeke, Bournemouth
  • The Water House, Durham
  • The Widow Frost, Mansfield
  • The Worlds Inn, Romford
  • Hudson Bay, Forest Gate
  • The Saltoun Inn, Fraserburgh
  • The Bankers Draft, Eltham, London
  • The Sir John Arderne, Newark

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Police issue update in search for missing grandad, 81, from Oldham

Officers are supporting Ronald’s family while they continue the search

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Greater Manchester Police

Greater Manchester Police have issued an update on Ronald Webster, 81, who went missing from Oldham last Thursday.

The news comes after Ronald’s grandchildren made an appeal to the public asking for help to find their beloved grandad and to ‘keep him safe’ until they, or the police can get there.

It was believed the last sightings of the grandfather-of-five were at 10.52 am on Walkers Road, in Limeside, Oldham and again at 3.45pm as he got off the 184 at Huddersfield Bus Station, on September 14th.

Family submit / ITV

However, police have confirmed a new sighting of the pensioner, known by loved ones as ‘Ronnie’, just minutes later at 3.53pm, as he entered Huddersfield Train Station.

It is believed he may have links to the Bridlington, Whitby and Scarborough areas, although officers have said they are ‘not ruling out that he may have travelled elsewhere’.

Ronald’s family shared that he had recently undergone a triple heart bypass and had medication for his heart and for epilepsy, but that he had not taken any of his medicine with him when he went missing.

His grandchildren said that this is the first time he has not come home.

At the time of his disappearance, Ronald was wearing a blue and black coat with grey trousers.

He is described as 4’11 ins with grey hair around the sides, bald on top, and uses a walking stick.

In an update, a spokesperson for GMP said: “Since Ronald was reported missing, officers have been working closely with his loved ones to understand where he might have travelled to. 

Greater Manchester Police

“It is believed he may have links to Bridlington, Whitby and Scarborough, although officers are not ruling out that he may have travelled elsewhere.

“Whilst officers are continuing to review CCTV from locations of significance, they are also working with colleagues from other forces to ensure everyone is on the lookout for Ronald so we can help him return to his family safe and well.”

Anyone with information about Ronald’s whereabouts should call 101 quoting 1013 of 16/09/2023.

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