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This Manchester meditation event is helping boost mental wellbeing during lockdown

Meditation can reduces stress, frustration, depression and pain while increasing happiness

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Manchester Let’s Meditate is a new online community event and fundraising initiative, and it’s open to everyone to help support people during these difficult times of lockdown.

It’s set to take place over seven days, starting Monday February 8th, and was created and developed by Forever Manchester supporter, Liane Grimshaw – a local small business owner who found meditation helped to overcome her own depression and anxiety. 

Forever Manchester is a charity that raises money to fund and support community activity across Greater Manchester. They believe that connected communities make stronger, happier communities, and love to promote any activity that brings people together.



We all know of the increased stresses and strains of these uncertain times and more people  are suffering with stress, anxiety, sleep problems, and generally worrying about the future. 

Most of us are stuck at home, working from home while juggling added pressures of  childcare and isolation from our loved ones.

As such, you’re not alone if you find yourself struggling with negative thoughts and feelings.

But when everything seems out of our control and the uncertainty seems unbearable, there  are tools which can help you cope, like meditation, an act which enables us to slow down, let our mind unwind and our body let go of stress. 

There’s lots of benefits to meditation, including:

  • Calms your busy mind and helps you find a greater sense of peace 
  • Reduces stress, frustration, depression and pain while increasing happiness 
  • Heightens levels of acceptance and compassion 
  • Develops strength and confidence to deal with anything life throws at you 
  • Helps you learn how to let go of the things that no longer serve you 
  • Improves both the quantity and quality of your sleep 
  • Improves personal relationships 
  • Gives you greater control over emotional reactions to people and situations 
  • Reduces the physical and mental symptoms of stress and anxiety 
  • Improves memory, focus and concentration 
  • Helps you become more present and less distracted
  • Helps you develop a greater sense of enjoyment in life

Liane, the host and curator of Manchester Let’s Meditate, said: “I lead a busy life with many challenges, and I can honestly say that meditation has saved my mind and improved my experience of life.

“I am bringing many outstanding teachers, who have given their time  and energy for free to support this event.”

Vicky Procter, Assistant Marketing Manager at Forever Manchester, added: “Manchester Let’s Meditate encapsulates the essence of what fundraising for Forever Manchester is all about – helping local people do extraordinary things together.

“It’s a tough time for everyone and  Manchester Let’s Meditate is all about developing skills to improve our mental wellbeing, learn about mindfulness and generally bring our community together for something positive albeit online. We encourage everyone to book a session and donate however much or little  as you can.”

So whether you’re already an expert in meditation or simply wanting to try something new for 2021, Manchester Let’s Meditate is the perfect event to learn skills for both body and mind to last a lifetime, all while raising money for Forever Manchester to fund and support our local communities across Greater Manchester.

Meditation is a skill anyone can develop and it’s a way of training the mind, exactly like you  train your body in the gym – the more you do it, the greater the benefits you will enjoy.

Meditation costs nothing, can be done anywhere, by anyone, with no special equipment  needed. You don’t have to be religious or into spirituality and science has proved its  beneficial effect on our health, both physically and mentally.

You can find more info, view sessions, book online and make a donation by visiting the website here.

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Manchester Arena Attack: Here’s how the city will commemorate the fifth anniversary this weekend

A number of events will be taking place in the city centre throughout the day

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pdjohnson / Flickr & @ranj82 / Instagram

Manchester is preparing for a day of remembrance this weekend to mark five years since the devastating Manchester Arena attack.

On May 22nd 2017, twenty-two innocent people lost their lives in the UK’s worst terrorist attack since the 7/7 bombings.

Today, the date stands as one of Manchester’s darkest days and, to mark five years since the tragedy, the city is preparing for a full line of up of remembrance events to remember those who lost their lives as well as those continuing to live with the disaster today.

Here is the full list of events outlined by Manchester City Council for the fifth anniversary commemoration this Sunday:

pdjohnson / Flickr

Glade of Light Memorial

The Glade of Light memorial, which was officially opened by Prince William and Kate Middleton last week, will offer people a place to pay their respects.

On the white marble ‘halo’ of the memorial, the names of the twenty-two victims of the attack are engraved, while personalised ‘memory capsules’ with letters and messages written by the bereaved families are embedded beneath.

Candlelit vigils at Manchester Cathedral

Manchester Cathedral will be hosting a number of sessions throughout the day, all of which include prayers, moments of silence and candle lighting.

The Lord Mayor of Manchester will attend the 5.30pm prayers and will lay flowers on the Glade of Light afterwards on behalf of the city.

Sessions will take place at 8.45am, 10.30am and 5.30pm, while bells will ring at 10.31pm to mark the exact moment the bombing took place.

‘A Manchester Story’ at Everyman Cinema

Everyman St John’s Cinema near Spinningfields will be showing the newly released A Manchester Story, a docu-film charting the aftermath of the Manchester Arena bombing.

A Manchester Story, directed by Anton Arenko documents the ‘untold stories’ that happened following the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017. The film follows a variety of stories from people across the city and beyond.

All proceeds from the screening will go to the charity We Love MCR, which raises money and awareness for causes across Greater Manchester. Get your tickets here.

Wikimedia Commons

Tributes at Victoria Station

Tributes will be taking place at Victoria Station below the foyer, where the attack took place five years ago.

People will be given the chance to lay flowers and sign a memory book to commemorate the day with any thoughts, feelings or memories of the event.

Moments of silence will be held at 12pm and 10.31pm, while the station announcer will read out the names of those who lost their lives. The railway chaplain will also read a number of prayers.

The Great Manchester Run

This year’s Great Manchester Run has landed on the day of the anniversary, and will include a one-minute applause at the start of each wave of the run in remembrance of the twenty-two who lost their lives in the attack.

Councillor Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “22nd May 2017 is one of the darkest days in this city’s history. It’s hard to believe that five years has passed since those terrible events.

“We will never forget those whose lives were so cruelly taken, or those whose lives were changed forever that day.

“But nor should we forget the remarkable spirit shown in the aftermath of the attack as the city came together in solidarity, compassion and a refusal to give in to hatred and fear. Love proved stronger.”

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Hocus Pocus in Concert is coming to Manchester this year with a live orchestra

The Sanderson sisters are back…

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Disney & Kian Zhang / Unsplash

Fans of the Halloween classic Hocus Pocus will be able to enjoy the magic live in concert for the first time with the arrival of Hocus Pocus in Concert.

Billed as the ‘perfect Halloween treat’, the unique live show will be arriving at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall this autumn as part of its nationwide tour.

Hocus Pocus in Concert will feature a screening of the 1993 film along with a live performance by Emmy-winning composer John Debney’s musical score.

Disney+

The film tells the tale of the Sanderson sisters – played by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy – a trio of witches who are accidentally brought back to life in Salem on Halloween night.

Following their revival, the sisters then attempt to steal the life essence from all of the town’s children so they can have eternal life.

However, they are outwitted by a young boy Max Dennison, his young sister, Dani, and his girlfriend, Allison, who are aided by Thackery Binx, a child who had been changed into a cat for trying to interfere with the witches centuries earlier.

Nearly two decades on from its release, Hocus Pocus is beloved by Halloween fans far and wide, and its latest musical instalment looks to fare no differently.

Ticketmaster

The tour will kick off in Glasgow on October 23rd, with other dates scheduled for Birmingham Symphony Hall on October 25th, London’s Eventim Apollo on October 26th and Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall on October 28th.

The show’s second performance will be at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall on October 24th.

Pre-sale tickets are available from Disney Tickets today, while general sale will begin on Ticketmaster from 10am on Friday, May 20th.

Get your tickets here.

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N-Dubz are reuniting with new music and a huge Manchester gig

Nearly a decade on, N-Dubz are back…

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N-Dubz

N-Dubz are making a much-awaited comeback ten years after their split with a new single and nationwide arena tour.

The trio rose to fame in 2007 with hits like ‘I Need You’, ‘Ouch’ and ‘Playing With Fire’, but announced their split just a few years later in 2011, with singer Tulisa Contostavlos blaming bandmate Dappy for being the reason of the break up.

But now, over a decade on, it has been announced that the band are making their comeback with their new single ‘Charmer’, set to be premiered on BBC 1 Xtra on Thursday evening.

A spokesperson for the band said: “‘Charmer’ is instantly recognisable as an N-Dubz song, featuring their trademark storytelling via the slick raps of Dappy and Fazer, alongside the sassy vocals of Tulisa.”

And along with the news of their new single, it has also been announced that N-Dubz will be embarking upon a nationwide arena tour, with them scheduled to play ten shows across the UK, including at Manchester’s AO Arena.

Speaking of the tour, a source close to the band told The Sun: “It’s going to be massive. They have seen all the success other groups have enjoyed coming back and want a piece of the action.

“They have been trying things out in the studio for ages but finally things have fallen into place.”

The Back To The Future tour will begin on November 7th in Newcastle, and finish in Manchester on Saturday November 19th. 

Other locations during the tour include Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham and Glasgow.

Tickets will go on sale from 10am on Friday May 20th. Get yours here.

N-Dubz consists of rappers Dappy, real name Costadinos Contostavlos, his cousin Tulisa Contostavlos and Fazer, real name Richard Rawson.

The band have won four Mobo awards, including best newcomer in 2007, Best Album and Best Act in 2009 and Best Song in 2010 and were nominated for the Brit award for Best British Single in 2010.

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