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Greater Manchester house transformed into incredible festive ‘winter wonderland’

This is amazing!

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Mike Denaro/Facebook/Hindley Residents Association

A house in Wigan has gone viral on social media due to its epic winter wonderland transformation.

I’d say it’s officially the time of year where it’s not too early to be putting up your Christmas tree – especially not this year. 

One family have taken that one step further and turned the front of their house into a massive display of Christmas decs that competes with Housing Units amazing display. 

On Fairman Drive in Hindley, Wigan, Mike Denaro has decorated his house in the name of charity and festive cheer.

Mike Denaro/Facebook/Hindley Residents Association

The stunning display has taken weeks to put together, starting just after Bonfire Night and costing in total ‘a good couple of thousand pounds’. 

The house near Leigh is decorated with eight cherry trees covered in at least a thousand lights plus spruce trees scattered around the garden.

There’s also lasers, giant snowflakes and even a snowy garden path complete with half a dozen acrylic figures and a snow machine to top it all off.

The house is also covered with a festive snow blanket. 

Mike Denaro/Facebook/Hindley Residents Association

Mr Denaro says all the time, effort and cost for doing the display was worth it to see the ‘amazing’ response he’s had online.

He told the MEN: “It’s totally worth it to see the smiles on kids faces and their parents as well – everyone loves it.

“It looks like such a nice little winter wonderland, especially when it’s just going dark with all the lights and snow.

“I always do a lot for Christmas as I’m ex-forces so it was always the one time I got to come home and see family – so I’ve always had a Christmas village inside.

“The outdoor display started with a few decorated cherry trees and has since grown with acrylic figures, lights and a snow machine. It gets bigger and bigger every year.”

He added: “We thought we’d start it earlier this year to spread some cheer this year, we could do with some nice things like this at the moment.

“All the neighbours were asking when we were going to put it up – everyone’s been really excited.”

Mike is collecting money for a charity very close to his heart, Wigan and Leigh Hospice. 

He said: “My grandad went there and I know some family friends who have been there – it’s just a lovely place to raise money for.

“They’ve struggled a lot with PPE during the pandemic so anything we can do for them will go a long way.

Mike Denaro/Facebook/Hindley Residents Association

“It’s a really big cause that means a lot to the local community. They are nice caring people and I’m more than happy to support them.”

The show-stopping snow machine will be on every Friday and Saturday night at 6:30pm to help Mike save on costs.

The self-employed graphic designer continued: “I’m amazed how well it’s taken off, there’s loads of community spirit around here and people have been 100% behind it.

“It was just something that I enjoy doing and I do because I love Christmas and it’s great that it makes other people as happy as I am with it.

“I’ve had so many shares and likes online and everyone’s asking where I am so they can come and look at it.”

There is set to be a few more additions to the display including more figures and a picket fence. 

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Primark confirms what date it will be reopening after lockdown

The news Primark fans have been waiting for

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Mikey / Flickr

With the details of the ‘roadmap out of lockdown’ revealed yesterday by the prime minister, non-essential retail has been given the chance to start planning its reopening.

Non-essential retailers can reopen during the second stage of restriction easing, which will happen no earlier than April 12th.

Retailers which don’t sell ‘essential’ items have been closed since January 4th, and were only able to open sporadically throughout last year.

If the data let’s stage two go ahead on its planned date, then the high street should once again come to life on Monday April 12th.

Gerald England / Geograph

That includes Primark, who has now confirmed that it will be opening stores on April 12th if the government allows it.

A Primark spokesperson told The Sun: “Primark welcomes the news that we have a provisional opening date of April 12th for our stores in England.

“We know our customers will be thrilled and we can’t wait to welcome them back into our stores.

“Our priority will be to do that safely, building on all the lessons we have learnt across our European operations in the past year.”

Joining Primark in reopening on the 12th will be John Lewis, Dunelm, H&M and JD Sport, who all plan to let customers enter stores on the first day it is allowed.

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Bored dad and 8-year-old daughter create new game in lockdown that’s now worth £125k

Can’t wait to play CoraQuest!

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CoraQuest/Kickstarter

A mental health nurse and his daughter developed a family-friendly fantasy game to have a fun break from homeschooling, and the product is now worth £125,000.

Eight-year-old Cora Hughes and dad, Dan from Huddersfield first began developing the game at the start of Covid back in spring 2020, at the kitchen table between home school lessons. 

CoraQuest is a family-friendly dungeon game that sees heroes fight their way through quests, rescuing people and collecting treasures along the way. It features the likes of Wizard Woman, Crossbow Dude, Sword Girl, as well as a host of grumpy goblins, gremlins and orcs. 

Dan shared the game on Facebook and eventually Gary King, a professional artist, got involved, colouring the pictures that Cora drew.

CoraQuest/Kickstarter

The post gathered big support and children added their own drawings, making Dan realise it could be a game others could enjoy. 

Dan told Yorkshire Live: “Within weeks the project snowballed.

“Videos and play-testing happened online and over twenty kids from Britain, the USA, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Canada and Australia contributed artwork which has now been made into gorgeous looking prototypes.

“When the game launched on Kickstarter on February 1st, it unexpectedly smashed through its £12,060 target in 45 minutes and has gone from strength to strength.

“Now Cora and I are now looking forward to getting the game manufactured later this year.”

Cora said: “Dad got bored of learning about the Romans every day, so we did something different.

“We wanted to make a dungeon crawling game we could both enjoy. And then we realised that it was actually really good so we started to make it into a real board game.

“We really want it to be a fun thing for families to be part of creating themselves, so we’ve set it up so you can create your own characters and artwork, or you can play with ours straight out of the box.”

CoraQuest/Kickstarter

Dan added: “It all just started as a bit of a fun home learning project- some creative writing, a bit about probability with dice rolls, lots of art and a bit of IT.

“A friend, Gary King, made a joke box cover on Facebook in August and since then the whole thing has just gathered pace with loads of people jumping in wanting to be part of it. 

“As we began receiving kids’ drawings of monsters and putting them up on our gallery, they were just so adorable.

“I’m not a soppy man, but to feel the support and enthusiasm of the community supporting us in this very special way, my heart is pretty much exploding.”

CoraQuest/Kickstarter

The pair are super excited about the opportunities creating CoraQuest will bring.

Cora said: “I can’t believe it! It’s amazing. I can’t believe so many people want to play our game.”

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Aldi is hiring across Greater Manchester with salaries up to £47k

Good news for job hunters!

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Alan Stanton/Flickr & Aldi UK/LinkedIn

Many Aldi stores are hiring across Greater Manchester, with some jobs offering salaries of £47k.

Aldi is looking for people of all levels of experience to join the team and work for the UK’s joint cheapest supermarket

There’s a huge range of jobs on offer, from caretakers and cleaners to store managers and plenty in between.

The Manchester Arndale, Ancoats, Fallowfield and Salford stores are just some of the sites looking for new store assistants 

While Gorton, Clayton, Stretford and Eccles among others are looking for caretakers/cleaners with wages of £9.50/hour.

Gorton, Stretford and Clayton are looking for deputy managers with wages ranging between £10.55-£11.57 per hour. 

Aldi is also looking for graduates who want to start their careers in retail management, or for those people looking to start a brand new career path.

Management recruits go through extensive training and will manage and maintain their branch once qualified.

Store Managers will earn a starting salary of £47,080, while Assistant Store Managers will earn £32,830.

Know someone who is looking for a new job? Let them know! See all the jobs here.

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