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Parents warned over toxic plant that causes severe burns and blisters after it’s spotted in Greater Manchester

It’s been nicknamed ‘Britain’s most dangerous plant’ for a reason

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@phamap / Unsplash & Wikimedia Commons

As the summer months approach, parents across the region are being warned of the blister-inducing Hogweed plant.

The seemingly harmless plant, which can be found in public parks and green areas, is the most prevalent at this time of the year, and can pose a serious risk to unsuspecting children playing nearby.

Though it looks completely harmless with its long stems bearing large umbrellas of white flowers, the plant harbours a toxin-bearing sap that causes horrendous blistering burns, even from gentle contact.

@phamap / Unsplash

The effect of the sap is often not immediate, with blistering usually occurring within twenty-four to forty-eight hours after exposure.

The burns can last for several months and can leave the skin overly sensitive to UV light for many years. If near the eyes, it can even cause blindness.

Facebook community page, Bolton NEWT, recently revealed that Hogsweed had been found in Leverhulme Park, along the rivers Tonge and Croal and at Moses Gate Country Park, just a couple of years after a group of Bolton school children were left with severe burns from the plant.

A spokesman for Bolton NEWT said: “We strongly suggest taking a few minutes with your kids to show them these pictures, so that they can safely identify giant hogweed and not panic when you find native hogweed or cow parsley.”

Mini First Aid High Peak and Tameside issued a similar warning about the plant, saying: “Now is the season for ‘Britain’s most dangerous plant’ and with the lovely weather forecast in a couple of weeks time, this stuff will thrive and spread.”

In a Facebook post, they advised: “All parents, please warn your children not to touch the plant as the leaves, stems, roots, flowers and seeds all contain this terrible poisonous toxin.

“Any parts of the body that come into contact with the sap of a giant hogweed should be immediately washed with soap and cold water and seek medical advice. Further exposure to sunlight should be avoided for at least forty-eight hours.”

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Mum praises hero lorry driver who prevented her son jumping from M62 motorway bridge

The woman revealed how her son was ‘his normal self’ hours before the incident unfolded

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The mother of the young man pictured sitting on the railings of a bridge over the M62 last week has praised the actions of the heroic lorry driver who parked his vehicle below in a bid to prevent him from jumping.

A distressing image of the young man went viral last week after being shared by Vulnerable Citizen Support Leeds, a community that provides help and assistance to those struggling with mental health issues and homelessness.

The organisation wrote alongside the image: “This is a picture from the M62 Motorway Bridge – a passerby has posted it to raise awareness of the situation at hand.

“What people don’t understand is that to jump on the other side of any bridge indicates something drastically wrong with their mental health.

Vulnerable Citizen Support Leeds

“What a trucker – stopping on the hard shoulder and leaving his truck there – to ensure when he did jump – it wasn’t a longer distance to the floor.”

And now, after the picture went viral, the man’s mum, who wants to remain anonymous but is said to be from Manchester, has spoken out and has praised the quick thinking of the unidentified lorry driver on that fateful day.

She explained that she didn’t realise it was even her son until she saw the image circulating on social media, telling Yorkshire Live: “I kept looking at it and I thought, ‘I’m sure that is my son.’

“The picture got sent to me and it was circulated around and I could tell it was him by the way he was sat and the clothes he had on.”

She went on to explain that she had seen him earlier that day and that ‘he was his normal self.’ 

David Dixon / Geograph

She added: “Looking back, all I can think to myself is, ‘oh my God, that could’ve been the last I saw him. Before he left, he turned round to me and said, ‘see you mum, I love you’ and I said it back but that could’ve been the last time.”

Speaking of the lorry driver who parked under the bride, the woman said: “He saved his life.

“At the moment, my son has a lot of problems. He has a lot of worries and I’m just grateful that the driver’s stopped him from doing that and I can’t express how grateful that he did stop.”

She concluded by revealing that her son visited a doctor shortly after the incident and is now receiving help.

If you or anyone you know has been suffering with mental health issues, you can call the Samaritans at 116 123, or CALM at 0800 58 58 58. Alternatively, you can find local mental health services and more info here.

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Manchester Cathedral launches a new ‘listening post’ to tackle stigma around mental health and loneliness

What an amazing idea

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Manchester Cathedral has launched a new initiative that aims to tackle the stigma surrounding mental health and loneliness.

‘The Listening Post’ has been erected in its gardens, with members of the cathedral waiting to listen to those wanting to either talk, vent, offload their problems, or all three.

The cathedral announced the new initiative on Facebook this morning, writing: “Today we’ve launched #TheListeningPost. Throughout the summer, depending on the weather and availability, there’ll be someone to have a chat with outside Manchester Cathedral.

“Hours will vary but the warm welcome and compassionate listening won’t.”

The post was quick to garner a reaction online, with many social media users applauding the cathedral for the touching idea.

One Facebook user wrote: “Fabulous idea – get all churches to do it.”

Another noted: “What a fantastic idea, I may be popping along.”

Though this isn’t the first time Manchester Cathedral has made an effort to raise awareness for mental health amongst the community – once a year, they host the Manchester Sleepout, a giant sleepover to share the reality of homelessness in the city and to offer a glimpse into rough sleeping. 

@edwin.11 / Flickr

They also hosted an interfaith service to mark World Mental Health Day in October last year.

Describing the event, they wrote on their website: The World Mental Health Day Interfaith Service was born out a simple vision – for faith communities to collaborate with health and social agencies, to address the mental health inequalities that we increasingly recognise in our midst and in doing so to build a stronger society.”

Manchester Cathedral can be found on Victoria Street, Manchester, M3 1SX.

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There’s a new Looney Tunes street art trail with 11 characters hidden across Manchester

There are eleven fun new instalments hidden across the city

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Have you noticed an abundance of nostalgic Looney Tunes characters popping up around Manchester these last few weeks?

Well, it turns out that Warner Bros is behind the mayhem with their brand new cartoon trail.

Eleven beloved characters including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Tasmanian Devil have been installed by renowned street artist Captain Kris, and will be on display until the end of July.

@lynseyoxo1979 / Instagram

Both Mancs and visitors to the city have been loving the colourful new instalments, with social media simply teeming with photos from people who have stumbled across their favourite characters under the hashtag #looneytunesxmanchester.

The trail covers eleven different locations from the Northern Quarter to Spinningfields, Market Street to the Gay Village, Deansgate to Oxford Road, and the Printworks to Primark.

Warner Bros.

The perfect day out for families and keen street art photographers alike! 

On the fun new instalments around the city, Warner Bros said: “Appealing to both families and nostalgic hunting adults alike, the mischievous artwork will see Daffy Duck waiting for a tram at Exchange Square and Speedy Gonzalez sprinting through Spinningfields.

@weare_premer / Instagram

“Bugs Bunny is bursting out of Primark, Porky Pig is popping a pipe at Pen and Pencil, Wile E. Coyote chasing Road Runner around Circle Square, and the Looney Tunes gang is skateboarding through Deansgate Square.”

The artwork has come just before the release of Warner Bros’ second Space Jam film, Space Jam: A New Legacy, which will be released in cinemas across the UK on July 16th.

To stay up to date with the latest adventures of the Looney Tunes gang and for more fun animations and instalments, you can follow their Instagram account here.

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