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Soft play centre has officially opened its doors to dogs

Good idea?

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Pipsqueak Play Cafe / Facebook

A soft play centre has made the very important decision to welcome dogs following its reopening after the pandemic.

Pipsqueaks Play Cafe in Wigan now allows families to bring their four-legged friends onto the premises, where they can sit and socialise in the newly-launched ‘dog-friendly’ area.

Parents can socialise their dogs while their children play in the soft play area – sadly, dogs aren’t currently allowed in this part of the centre due to hygiene reasons, but Pipsqueaks owner, Wendy Unsworth, is planning on allowing it ahead of the next deep clean.

Pipsqueaks Play Cafe / Facebook

She told the Manchester Evening News: “We first became dog friendly last summer, as we have some lovely walks around the centre and lots of free parking, so it made sense to section off an area of the cafe for dog walkers.

“This is totally separate from the soft play. The rationale behind the exclusive dog-friendly play sessions is that adults and children have missed out on so much social contact and by allowing dogs, particularly lockdown pups, to come along, we remove a barrier to visiting soft play – lots of people don’t want to leave their dogs or would need to arrange for someone to pop in and check on them.

“It’s not just for puppies either – we had some older dogs in September who don’t walk much now and their owners said it was perfect socialisation for them too.”

She added: “The cafe part now always has a dog-friendly seating area, except for a couple of times a week when classes are taking place in there.”

Pipsqueak Play Cafe / Facebook

As for the doggy soft play sessions, there’s no set date yet, but Wendy is hopeful that the idea can soon become a reality.

She said: “The next idea is that before we next have a professional deep clean, we will hand the centre over to the dogs for a play session… Apparently swimming pools do it before they are emptied and refilled and also Chill Factore before they replace all their equipment. The dogs would love it.”

Pipsqueak has also launched a ‘newborn baby’ section reserved exclusively for parents and their newborns – the space is aimed at babies who can sit and roll, featuring lots of lights and high contrast monochrome images to complement early vision development.

For more information and bookings, visit the Pipsqueak Play Cafe here.

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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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