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Trains and buses packed as people return to work but ignore social distancing

There has been a lot of confusion.

Proper Manchester

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El Pollock / Geograph

Last night the Prime Minister addressed the nation, giving an update on England’s path out of lockdown, with some measures set to begin this week.

While it was meant to clear things up, it has caused a great deal of confusion, with Mr Johnson telling certain workers they needed to go back to work if they can, but without using public transport, if possible.

As a result, trains and buses have been ‘packed’ this morning, with people seen ignoring social distancing guidelines and not wearing face masks.

The Prime Minister stated that anyone in England who cannot work from home – like those in construction and manufacturing – should now be ‘actively encouraged’ to return to work. However, they must avoid public transport if possible.

After facing a backlash over the confusion, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has now said that the government’s advice was actually meant to come into effect from Wednesday, not today.

He told LBC: “The advice is that those people who can work from home should continue to work from home.

“Where you can’t work from home, construction, manufacturing, those big economically valuable sectors, from Wednesday people should go back.

“And we’ve done a lot of work, employers have done a lot of work to make sure they can do so in what we’re calling Covid-secure settings. So the distancing, the hygiene, the other precaution measures are in place.”

People took to social media to highlight how ‘packed’ and unsafe they feel on public transport today, with one tweeting TFL to say: “Train is packed with construction workers and NOBODY is wearing a mask and NO social distancing as if there’s no danger.”

Another added: “The platform is packed, train every 20mins. I feel extremely uncomfortable on a packed train heading to work at a hospital with vulnerability patients”.

Up here in Manchester there were reports of buses being busy and people ignoring social distancing, while the number of passengers at Piccadilly Station has ‘noticeably risen’ this morning.

Sky News North of England correspondent Tom Parmenter tweeted: “One of the station managers for one of the train operators at Manchester Piccadilly tells me passenger numbers have noticeably risen this morning and there’s more people travelling with big suitcases compared to recent weeks (not key workers)”.

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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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