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Social media influencers who jetted off to Dubai to escape lockdown are now banned under new rules

Don’t think there’s gonna be much sympathy…

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yazminoukhellou & jameslock__ / Instagram

Social media personalities who jetted off to Dubai in the pandemic will now be banned from flying to the country in new rules.

The government has added the UAE to the ‘red list’ of banned countries, which will probably come as a blow to celebrities who have been travelling in their dozens to the country to work from there. 

It comes after Priti Patel slammed influencers who were flouting the rules claiming essential work reasons to travel to places like Dubai, to share photos and workout videos via their social media channels.

Last week, fitness influencer Sheridan Mordew was interviewed by Holly and Phil on This Morning, describing her trip to Dubai as ‘essential travel’ as she needed to ‘motivate’ her followers.

Mordew said: “The main reason was for my own self, mental health. During the second lockdown, I was really struggling and being a motivator myself, a lot of my clients rely on me to bring them their motivation and happiness.

“I’m not going to start something new by just sitting in the house. And I had this idea and I could not be bothered. With my own self struggles, the only way I’m going to get out of this is find an opportunity to get on a plane for essential travel and get out to Dubai.”

Other influencers have also been in Dubai over recent weeks including TOWIE stars James Lock and Yazmin Oukhellou and Love Island contestants Gabby Allen and Georgia Harrison. 

Fellow influencer and Love Island contestant Olivia Attwood has hit out at influencers who think they need to travel abroad for their work during the pandemic. 

The new restrictions came into force from last Friday, January 29th, at 1pm and aims to stop the spread of the South African variant. 

Government guidance states that international travel is banned unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so.

Foreign international arrivals will be banned from entering Britain and any UK nationals coming to the country will have to enter a strict 10-day isolation period with their whole household. 

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Boy, 9, delivers letter to Prime Minister pleading for medicinal cannabis prescription for epileptic brother

Thomas wrote to the Prime Minister in a bid to get his little brother, Eddie, a prescription for the treatment

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The brother of a severely epileptic boy penned an emotional letter to the Prime Minister in his plea for a medicinal cannabis prescription.

Nine year old Thomas Braun, from Farndon, Cheshire, told Boris Johnson that his parents should not have the ‘added worry of having to find lots of money to pay for his medicine,’ according to the BBC.

His younger brother Eddie can suffer up to 100 seizures a day, and his family currently spend around £800 a month on his medicinal cannabis treatment, which they say is ‘life changing.’

Thomas, who said his brother means ‘everything’ to him, asked the prime minister to help his parents ‘and the other mums and dads’ who have to fundraise each month to meet the medical bills.

Ilmarie Braun / Facebook

He wrote: “My mum and dad love us both, and they have to help Eddie a lot and sometimes I have to help too.

“They have the added worry of having to find lots of money to pay for his medicine. Lots of our friends help. But getting the medicine from the government without having to do lots of things to find the money would help them a lot.”

Thomas admitted that he ‘felt nervous’ delivering the letter to Downing Street but he said ‘it was also very exciting, because this is my chance to actually help change my brother’s life and my family’s life.’

Medicinal cannabis can be prescribed on the NHS but only in ‘exceptional’ cases.

Ilmarie Braun / Facebook

The treatment was made legal with a prescription in 2018 for those with an ‘exceptional clinical need.’ But since then, only three NHS prescriptions have been issued, forcing families to spend thousands of pounds on private treatments.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Social Care said licensed cannabis-based medicines were ‘funded by the NHS where there is clear evidence of their safety and clinical effectiveness.’

She said specialist doctors could now prescribe ‘unlicensed cannabis-based products for medicinal use where it is clinically appropriate and in the best interests of patients.’

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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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