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Kind-hearted Mancunians thanked after charity receives huge donations for Afghan refugees

£40,000 has also been raised for those fleeing Afghanistan

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Helen Banks / Twitter

The kind-hearted people of Manchester have been thanked after a local refugee charity received a wave of donations for those fleeing Afghanistan.

Following the Taliban’s take over of the country earlier this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that over 20,000 Afghans will be eligible to be resettled in Britain, with women and girls given priority status.

The first evacuation flight from the war-torn country arrived in the UK on Sunday, with the second touching down late on Tuesday night, and another landing early on Wednesday morning.

In response to the news that a number of refugees will be housed in hotels near Manchester Airport before being placed in more permanent accommodation, local charities have been appealing for donations from the public.

And, when the charity Care 4 Calais issued an urgent appeal for donations of men’s clothes and other items such as shoes, basic toiletries, stationery, and phone chargers, the people of Manchester responded remarkably.

The charity has since received dozens and dozens of bags and boxes of donations, which were delivered throughout the day from people across the city at one of their numerous drop-off points, one of which is at Beetham Tower down Deansgate.

A huge sum of money has also been donated, with the charity surpassing their initial £30,000 target for the ‘Afghan Welcome Packs’ with £40,000 in donations.

Founder Clare Moseley, who set up the charity in 2015, said on the efforts: “It’s just been fantastic.

“I’m a Northerner myself and we’re really proud of Manchester for responding in this way. We’ve had numerous locations accepting donations for us and I believe they are pretty full. We have had people bringing car loads and van loads of stuff.”

Clare added: “I think the North is always welcoming and it’s just fantastic to see communities coming together like this.”

For more information on how you can help the refugees fleeing Afghanistan, visit the following links:

British Red Cross
UNICEF
AllWeCan.org
United Nation Refugee Agency 
Refugee Council

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Woman sparks outrage after advertising cans of petrol for sale on Stockport Facebook group

As people queue for miles for fuel, one woman decided to cash in on the crisis

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A woman sparked was met with a wave of backlash this morning after she advertised two cans of petrol for sale in a local Facebook group.

The controversial advert was posted in the Marple, Romiley & Bredbury Community Facebook group this morning, where two cans of petrol were being flogged for £50 or the nearest offer.

The ad read: “10L e10 petrol. Collection from Romiley. £50 Ono. Cans not included but can fill up on collection.”

The post, which has since been deleted, instantly racked up a number of angry reactions, with one social media user asking, “Is this a wind up?”

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The woman’s attempt at cashing in on the ongoing ‘fuel shortage’ crisis comes shortly after the government urged people to not stock up on fuel, explaining that there is no shortage.

Chairman Brian Madderson said the shortages were actually down to ‘panic buying, pure and simple’ as he slammed whoever leaked BP’s original supply concerns to the media following a meeting with Government earlier this month.

Madderson added: “Whoever leaked it to a main broadcaster must have known the chaos that would ensue as soon as it hit newspapers, and that’s what we’ve had.”

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North West residents urged to cut back on water as reservoirs run low

United Utilities has suggested a number of ways in which residents can cut back on their water usage

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Andres Siimon / Unsplash & Pixabay

United Utilities has issued a water usage warning for North West residents as reservoir levels plummet. 

While reporting that the region’s supply of tap water is ‘less than half what it should be’ at this time of the year, the water supplier has offered an array of suggestions as to how residents can lower their water usage.

In an email to customers, United Utilities said: “To keep precious water in the reservoirs until they have a chance to recover and help protect local wildlife, save water and only use what you need.

Jorge Franganillo / Flickr

“We can do this with very little impact on our usual routine and every drop is precious, so swap a bath for a four minute shower, use the washing machine once less each week and re-use water where you can.”

The water supply across the North West comes from Haweswater and Thirlmere reservoirs in the Lake District, which are both only 36% full – usual levels in September would be around 70%, according to ITV News.

The shortage comes as a result of an unusually dry summer; although there were plenty of wetter days in North West cities and towns and even flooding in some areas, it has been the driest June to September in over 130 years in the Lake District.

Harry Grout / Unsplash

There has also been extra demand on water being used as a result of more people staying at home and taking holidays in the north west during the pandemic.

Over on their website, the supplier also suggests a number of methods to lower water usage, such as turning off the tap while brushing your teeth, using a washing up bowl when washing the dishes, and refraining from overfilling the kettle by only boiling what you need.

For those with a garden, United Utilities also suggests investing in a butt, a device which collects rainwater to be used in the house, and to fully ditch the hosepipe while watering plants and washing cars, noting that using a watering can for your plants and a bucket and sponge for your car will not only save water, but will do wonders for the environment.

See their full list of tips here. 

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More than 10,000 foreign workers to be handed UK visas amid HGV driver shortages

The workers will be given the right to work in the UK up until Christmas Eve

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John Carver / Geograph & John Cameron / Unsplash

Over 10,000 foreign workers will be given temporary UK visas in the government’s bid to tackle the ongoing supply issues experienced across the country.

The temporary scheme will be offered to around 5,000 HGV drivers and 5,500 poultry workers, who will be granted employment in the UK until Christmas Eve.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has confirmed that the visas will be made available from next month and will ‘ensure preparations remain on track’ for the festive season.

Oast House Archive / Wikimedia Commons

He said: “This package of measures builds on the important work we have already done to ease this global crisis in the UK, and this Government continues to do everything we can to help the haulage and food industries contend with the HGV driver shortage.

“We are acting now but the industries must also play their part, with working conditions continuing to improve and the deserved salary increases continuing to be maintained in order for companies to retain new drivers.

“After a very difficult eighteen months, I know how important this Christmas is for all of us and that’s why we’re taking these steps at the earliest opportunity to ensure preparations remain on track.”

As a result of the worker shortage, supermarkets across the country and major restaurant chains such as Nando’s, KFC and McDonald’s have been experiencing major supply issues.

 Various retailers have also been warning that a solution must be found within days to avoid ‘significant disruption’ in the run-up to Christmas.

The exact cause of the labour shortages remain unclear, though it is believed to be a result of both the Covid-19 pandemic, Brexit and the cost of training and pay. 

According to Sky News, the RHA claims around 20,000 European drivers have left the UK for ‘Brexit reasons’. They added that the pandemic saw many foreign HGV drivers return to their home countries, with the ‘vast majority’ not returning. There has also been a large backlog in HGV driver tests due to the pandemic, meaning tens of thousands of potential new drivers have been unable to join the industry.

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