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Young couple sell everything to buy van and travel around Europe with their daughter

This is amazing!

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this_mother_life/Instagram

Family of three sold their house and all their furniture to go travel around Europe!

Meg and Josh sold all of their possession to buy a van and travel around Europe with their four-year-old daughter, Marlowe.

It was just months ago when she and her partner Josh sold their house and furniture. We are essentially living in a bathroom” says Meg Ward.

They packed up ‘13 years of family life’ into storage and headed off to tick off a bucket list dream. 

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Our new driver ✌🏼🚐

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Attracted to the sense of freedom that van life provides – Meg says it was also an opportunity to give daughter Marlowe new experiences.

“It’s quite daunting, selling all your things. But it’s exhilarating, the sense of freedom you get from it, it’s brilliant.”

Already huge in the USA and Australia, the trend has become increasingly popular in the UK, the pandemic possibly provided a boost!

According to Auto Trader the demand for commercial vehicles is up 57% year on year. In its recent survey, the advertising website found more than half of new van buyers said they wanted a van for personal use such as hobbies, traveling and converting.

The hashtag #vanlife on Instagram brings up more than 8 million posts, showcasing some of the trendiest, luxurious converted vans parked up in some breath-taking locations.

“There are two main customer bases,” says Emily Cotgrove, who runs Vanlife Conversions in Essex with her partner Oli, an Army veteran.

Present the couple with a commercial van and they will convert it for you for upwards of £28,000.

“One [market] is like the 25 to 35s, maybe they work remotely and want to travel while they work. They might see they can now work from anywhere. And the other target market are the older generation who
would have looked at motorhomes in the past.”

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Glad we booked the room with a view 🌊😜

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Emily believes that coronavirus has had a huge impact on the demand for recent van conversions as staycations and remote working boom. She says “Before Covid we had a 6-8 month waiting list, now we are fully booked up for 18 months.”

For many people paying for a conversion is simply unaffordable. Loads of people are choosing taking up the project themselves and convert them on a low budget.

As the UK prepares to face a winter of being cooped up indoors amid lockdown restrictions, the thought of spending any time in a even smaller space might not sound too attractive.

But on the flip side, perhaps van life chimes well with that shift to simpler living that many saw during the national lockdown? “It’s a nice exercise to live in a van and live with less,” says Meg. “I would definitely recommend it.”

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‘Raging’ Boris Johnson pushes for university ban on unvaccinated students

From September, university students could need to be fully vaccinated in order to attend lectures and live in halls of residence

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Unvaccinated students could be banned from attending lectures and living in halls of residence under new plans pushed by Boris Johnson.

The prime minister is said to have been ‘raging’ in regards to the comparatively low vaccine uptake amongst younger people and has decided to use pressure to get those individuals vaccinated, The Times reported today.

During video conferences with colleagues from his isolation at Chequers – which comes to an end today – Johnson allegedly said that students in larger and additional schooling settings ought to face obligatory vaccination.

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However, The Times also reported that the Department for Education has reservations in regards to the legality and practicability of the plans with regards to the fact that universities are impartial.

However, the move has been supported by The University and College Union (UCU), who wrote to the education secretary Gavin Williamson last week, warning that the Covid chaos seen in universities last year will be repeated unless strict measures are in place to protect staff and students.

According to The Guardian, the union wants all students to be double vaccinated before the start of term in September.

@cwojo / Unsplash

Just last week, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi announced that Covid certificates (received upon getting the second jab), will be compulsory for entry to nightclubs and other ‘crowded’ venues from September.

The government had previously opposed the compulsory use of coronavirus certificates – which involve customers using the NHS app to show their vaccination status, or prove they have had a negative test result.

But now, the government has urged venues such as clubs and sports stadiums to introduce them as a matter of ‘social responsibility.’

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Legendary Manchester metal pub Grand Central is sadly closing down

Manchester’s alternative music scene has lost a real gem

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Grand Central / Facebook

The city’s staple metal music and gig venue, Grand Central, will be permanently closing its doors, it was announced today. 

The Oxford Street haunt confirmed rumours that it wouldn’t be reopening – at least not ‘the way it was’ – on Facebook this morning.

Alongside a photo of smiling staff members, the post read: “The stories are true, Grand Central won’t be reopening the way it was. All the now former staff want to thank Tom for everything he has done for us and for giving the alternative scene a home for the last 20+ years. 

Grand Central / Facebook

“I’m sure everyone has stories connected to the little pub, share them and don’t let the memory of the GRAND F***ING CENTRAL die.

“Thank you to everyone for the custom over the years, we will miss you.”

The venue’s manager Danny Daemon also wrote on Facebook: “The regulars made the place and you know who you are. You embraced me as the new manager and I couldn’t of asked for a better group of people.”

Explaining the reason for the shock closure, he explained: “I know all this is a shock to you all, but this had been in the works from before lockdown. Stonegate own some pretty cool places and whilst no, it won’t be GC as we know it, there’s still a chance they’ll embrace it as an alternative hot spot. They might even do food.”

Social media users were understandably devastated to hear the news, with one writing: “So sad. In my eyes Manchester has just lost a main part of its culture. I will never forget this place and everyone I have either served or had the pleasure to have a drink with.”

Another wrote: “We always had a friendly welcome and met some truly awesome and unique people in there. Really going to miss it. Where do we go from here?”

Grand Central opened over twenty years ago and became a firm favourite among rock, metal and alternative music fans. Several bands also played there over the years, with local metal band 4GEN7 saying it was ‘a second home for most of us at one point or another.’

According to a number of posts circulating on social media, the venue has been acquired by the Stonegate Pubs group, though plans for the site are yet to be confirmed.

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Marcus Rashford is the UK’s largest charitable donor having given away 125% of his net worth

He’s also the youngest charitable donor to top the Sunday Times Giving List

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@marcusrashford / Instagram

Startling new figures have shown that Marcus Rashford is the UK’s most generous charitable donor, having given away a massive 125% of his net worth to charity.

He is also the youngest person to ever top the Sunday Times Giving List, a system that ranks philanthropists by comparing the sums they’ve raised for charity against their net worth on the Sunday Times Rich List.

​​With a personal worth of £16million, Rashford managed to raise a staggering 125% of his net worth over the past year, ultimately helping charity FareShare distribute 4 million meals to disadvantaged children.

FareShare chief executive Lindsay Boswell said the footballer’s commitment to tackling child hunger ‘has simply been incredible.’

She told Metro: “His own experience of relying on free school meals to eat brings authenticity and compassion to his campaigning, and his status as a Premier League footballer means people and politicians sit up and take notice.”

The Manchester United forward was first recognised for his charitability last year when he was able to change the course of the UK Government’s decision to provide free meals for underprivileged children during the summer school holidays.

Rashford, who received free school meals himself as a child, was made an MBE in the delayed 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

More recently, however, the footballer was forced to defend himself after it was suggested he had profited from his charitable efforts. 

He tweeted that The Spectator Magazine wanted to run the story as he defended his off-field partnerships with brands, asking his followers: “Why can’t we just do the right thing?”

He went on to explain: “Last summer, 1.3M children had access to food support, through my relationship with Burberry children have a safe place to be after school where they will be fed, following the November investment vulnerable children have safe places to go this summer holiday, and due to my relationship with Macmillan 80,000 children now have a book to call their own.”

This comes just over a week on from England’s Euros 2020 loss to Italy, which saw Rashford and other black players inundated with racist abuse. 

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