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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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Free festivals coming to Freight Island for ‘most electrifying season yet’

Get ready for a festival season of great food, drink and music at Freight Island!

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Freight Island

Freight Island is gearing up for an epic free festival series throughout the spring and summer months, which promises to be its ‘most electrifying season yet’.

Back open in full swing on Easter weekend, Freight Island is set to re-open fully on Friday, March 29th featuring world-renowned DJs and the city’s finest talents to present top tier entertainment.

All free to attend, this year’s epic series is set to welcome some of the music scene’s most revered talents such as David Rodigan, Greg Wilson, Norman Jay, Luke Una and his special É Soul Cultura, Crazy P (DJ Set), Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip), Mr Wilson’s Second Liners, and many more.

Freight Island

Supporting acts include some of Manchester’s most celebrated DJs and collectives, including the likes of Sit N Bun, Supernature Disco, SK1 Records, Me Gusta Collective, Semi Skimmed Edits, Ghosts of Garage, and more.

In addition to the sensational spring/summer programming, Freight Island also hosts regular events including the famous pop club night Cherrybomb, mass karaoke, creative workshops, and more. 

Continuing to champion independent traders from the North West, Freight Island will see a new addition to this year’s festival season with Liverpool institution Pattersons.

Freight Island

Guests can tuck into the North West spot’s famous mouth-watering fried chicken, which is brined for over 24 hours in Pattersons’ special mix of herbs and spices and dusted in secret recipe flour.

Hungry guests can also expect all of Freight Island’s amazing traders to be back open, including the premium smashed burgers from Burgerism, giant 22” pizza and slices from Voodoo Ray’s, slab shack from Lazy Tony’s Lasagnaria, and Indian and Nepalese street food from Payal.

As well as Greek street food from Mega Gyros, Venezuelan cuisine from Mia’s Arepas, pan-Asian cuisine from Fuku, open fire cooking from Smoking Coal, and cheesecake on a stick from Oh My Cheesecake.

Freight Island

Foodie programme resumes with Seconds carvery every Sunday, featuring quality roast meats and unlimited access to all the trimmings.

To book your FREE tickets for the Freight Island festivals, click HERE.

Freight Island opens for its epic spring/summer festival from Friday March 29th. Opening hours are Thursday from 4pm until 11pm, Friday from 4pm until 12am, Saturday from 12pm until 12am, and Sunday from 12pm until 10pm.

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Chester Zoo letting school children visit for FREE to ‘inspire new generation of conservationists’

More than 35,000 of the free educational visit tickets are up for grabs

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Chester Zoo & @chesterzoo / Instagram

Chester Zoo is inviting children in education to visit for free as part of its aim to inspire a new generation of conservationists.

Pupils from nurseries, primary, secondary schools, and colleges can take advantage of the free places, which gives them the chance to explore conservation up close at the charity’s 128-acre zoological gardens.

Running since 2017, the zoo’s free ticket scheme has already seen more than 100,000 children and young people experience the wonders the zoo has to offer. This year, more than 35,000 of the free educational visit tickets are up for grabs.

Chester Zoo

This time round, the zoo is also opening the initiative to nurseries, schools and colleges that haven’t benefited from the scheme within the last three years.

Every school participating in the programme will receive a free resource pack to help maximise the educational impact of their zoo visit.

Charlotte Smith, director of conservation education and engagement at Chester Zoo, said: “Every one of us is a custodian of our natural world but it’s the next generation of conservationists – children and young people today – who are fundamentally important to overcoming the environmental and biodiversity challenges our planet is facing.

Chester Zoo

“They are inspiring and they give us hope, which is why we’re so keen to connect them with the awe and wonder of nature and help to nurture their passion and desire to make a difference.

“It’s proven that a visit to the zoo can significantly enhance people’s understanding of the huge efforts that go into conserving highly threatened species, while also bringing physical and mental health benefits, too.

“That’s why we particularly want to reach youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds and ensure they are the primary beneficiaries of the initiative – so we can provide them with the skills and know-how to go on and make a real, positive difference to wildlife in their everyday lives.”

@chesterzoo / Instagram

Chester Zoo’s free educational visits are for between November 2024 and February 2025. 

To apply you will need to fill out an application form and submit it online. The deadline is March 22nd.

To apply for a free educational visit to Chester Zoo, click HERE.

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LS Lowry’s Sunday Afternoon painting to go on public display for first time in 57 years

It will go on display for the first time in 57 years before it goes to auction

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Christie's

LS Lowry’s painting Sunday Afternoon is to go on public display for the first time in 57 years.

The painting, worth more than £4 million will go on display in Christie’s London on March 13th before it goes to auction on March 20th.

Lowry, who was born in Stretford in 1887, painted industrial districts in Greater Manchester and around the North West. He mainly depicted Salford in his works.

Christie’s

Laurence Stephen Lowry’s Sunday Afternoon illustrates a densely populated industrial landscape, which shows what Lowry described as the ‘battle of life’. 

Before his death in 1976 at the age of 88, Lowry produced more than 1,000 artworks.

Auctioneers expect the painting to go for between £4 million and £6 million at the Modern British and Irish Art Evening Sale on March 20th.

Wally Gobetz / Flickr

The artwork was previously sold at the Christies in 1967 for a ‘record price’ and was obtained from the collection of Keith Showering, who was a former chief executive of Europe’s biggest drinks business Allied Breweries.

Phillip Harley, senior director at Christie’s, said: “Sunday Afternoon by LS Lowry will return to the public eye at Christie’s for the first time since it was last seen here 57 years ago.

“This important painting has remained in the collection of Sir Keith and Lady Showering since 1967, offering a once-in-a-generation opportunity to acquire a work of this magnitude and scale.

Gerald England / Geograph

“The composition represents the wonder the artist felt as he recorded his many observations of the evolving society around him.

“We are thrilled to bring Sunday Afternoon back to auction in the Modern British and Irish Art Evening Sale. We look forward to welcoming our clients and visitors alike to view the painting when it goes on free display in London on 13 March.”

LS Lowry’s Sunday Afternoon will go on public display at the Christie’s London from March 13th to 20th.

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