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Manchester College names new building after much-loved former student, Kirsty Howard

DSC_0201The Manchester College  named their Wythenshawe site Howard House in an official VIP naming ceremony earlier today (23 March), in honour of former student and prolific fundraiser Kirsty Howard.

 Kirsty’s family were VIP guests at the ceremony and unveiled the plaque announcing the new name of the recently-refurbished site to guests from the community, staff and local MP Mike Kane.

 At the ceremony, Francis House Children’s Hospice was named the Group’s charity partner of the year in honour of Kirsty and was presented with a cheque for £5,000 to kick-start their fundraising efforts.

 

Phil Taylor, Director of the Kirsty Club and speaking on behalf of Francis House, said: “Thank you to the LTE Group for its very generous donation which will have a huge impact on the charity. Naming the building Howard House and fund-raising for Kirsty’s charity of choice is a wonderful tribute to her memory.”

 The LTE Group has recently invested over £1.5m in upgrading the facilities at Howard House, which first opened in 2010, to house over 160 staff from the Finance, Health and Safety, HR, IT Services and Marketing and External Relations teams. The move has helped to consolidate group operations teams and promote closer collaborative working.

 Wythenshawe and Sale East MP Mike Kane attended and spoke with the family, staff and students. The Labour Shadow Schools Minister said: “I’m delighted to have been invited here today. LTE Group’s investment in Howard House, and the surrounding site occupied by The Manchester College, represents a significant investment in Wythenshawe.

 Today has also been an opportunity to remember and celebrate the life of Kirsty Howard. Speaking to Kirsty’s mum and dad I know they are very proud of their daughter’s achievements, not only as an unbelievable charity fundraiser but as a student at The Manchester College. Naming this building ‘Howard House’ will serve as a fitting and long-lasting tribute to Kirsty.”

 The investment forms a key part of the Group’s estates strategy and its vision to transform the way it delivers leading post-16 education, training and skills.

 John Thornhill, Chief Executive of the LTE Group said: “The Manchester College is incredibly proud to have supported Kirsty in her studies and we’re honoured to name the building Howard House, to reflect her connection to us and the local area.

 “We will also be using the occasion – and other events throughout the year – to raise money for Francis House in her memory, including entering a team of LTE group runners in this year’s 10k Great Manchester Run on Sunday 20 May.

 “Kirsty was, and continues to be, an inspiration to many in Manchester and she remains a fantastic example of the values which we encourage in our colleagues, students and learners.”

 To learn more about LTE Group and The Manchester College, visit their respective websites:www.ltegroup.co.ukwww.tmc.ac.uk.

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This Vibrant Thing festival comes to Wythenshawe Library

8GOLD RINGS_1A free festival featuring musicians, hip-hop artists and spoken word performers in coming to Wythenshawe Library tomorrow (Saturday March 17).

The This Vibrant Thing festival is taking place at two other libraries across Manchester – Longsight and North City in Harpurhey as well as Wythenshawe.

Bringing some of the UK’s most vital rising talents,  artists including hip-hop collective, 8 Gold Rings, critically-acclaimed singer-songwriter, Mica Miller and acclaimed hip-hop explorer, Abnormal Sleepz will perform.

Staged as part of Creative Spaces, a cultural initiative of Manchester Libraries, in partnership with creative change makers, Platform Mcr, THIS VIBRANT THING will see libraries transformed through music, poetry, spoken word, installations, visual art and more, featuring a line-up of rising stars, renowned artists and local talent.

Hands-on experiences, including yoga and art workshops, will give audiences the chance to test both their physical and creative flexibility.

 

 

 

 

 

Wythenshawe cancer charity set to help more families after centre’s £338m facelift

Macmillan Cancer Research Centre in Wythenshawe is undergoing a major extension to support more people whose lives are blighted by the disease.

The centre is based in the grounds of Wythenshawe Hospital and is a vital service to individuals and their families who are living with cancer.

The new-look centre in the grounds of Wythenshawe Hospital  will provide a much larger activity space and an additional therapy/meeting room, when the £338million refurbishment is complete.

The Macmillan team will be able to offer more counselling, complementary therapies, cancer survivorship programmes and benefits and financial advice sessions.

Debbie Smith, Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre Manager at Wythenshawe Hospital, said:” This investment is a fantastic opportunity to expand the centre and, more importantly, help us enhance the service we provide to meet the needs, not just physical and clinical, but also financial, emotional and psychological, of even more people affected by cancer in South Manchester.”

In 2017 the centre supported nearly 27,000 people in various ways from supplying leaflets, CDs, books, activity support groups and counselling.  They also provided over 800 grants totaling to £178K, helping with heating and travel costs, clothing, new appliances for people living with cancer.

The charity urgently need schools, community groups and businesses to organise a fundraising event to help support this vital service for local people living with cancer.

For more information and fundraising ideas or to make a donation please contact cjenkinson@macmillan.org.uk. 

And anyone requiring  support from the centre can call the team on 0161 291 4876.

Horrors of the Holocaust shared with Wythenshawe pupils

IMG_7069 - CopyA group of students from Saint Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester took part in a special event at the Home in Manchester to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

Holocaust Memorial Day is the international day of remembrance for the victims and the survivors of the Holocaust and other genocides. Each year there is a national theme, set by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, which provides a focus to the event; this year’s theme is the power of words.  Read More…

Damning report reveals scandal of more than a third of children living in poverty in Wythenshawe

ECPMore than a third of children in Wythenshawe are living in poverty according to a report published by a leading charity this week.

Figures revealed by the End Child Poverty coalition  shows that in the five local authority wards in Wythenshawe around 34 per  cent of youngsters are in poverty after housing costs are taken into account.

The campaign blames the shockingly high levels of poverty in the most deprived areas of the country on  benefits policy and price rises and is calling on the public to lobby MPs to urge the government to lift the freeze on benefits for children – currently in place until the end of the decade – so that families no longer see living standards squeezed as prices rise.

In Wythenshawe, 6.728 children are in poverty – defined as in families living on less than the median household income – with the highest concentration, 36 per cent in Woodhouse Park where 1,333 youngsters are below the breadline. The largest number of children in poverty in the town is in Sharston, 1,604, representing 35 per cent.

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wp-1478947269179.jpegWythenshawe’s MP, Mike Kane has called on the Government to take immediate action to tackle poverty. He told the Reporter:  “Statistics published by the End Child Poverty Coalition this week on the levels of children living in poverty are a scandal.

“They are the result of this Conservative Government’s flawed policy of cuts and changes to the welfare system. My advice surgery is regularly attended by families who are struggling to make ends meet. It is a disgrace that in 2018 we have a growing need for food bank provision in Wythenshawe.

 “As Wythenshawe’s MP I have called for a pause and rethink from the Government on the roll out of Universal Credit which is causing unnecessary suffering and hardship.  It is becoming increasing clear that progress on tackling poverty has begun to unravel with falling state support and increasing in-work poverty. I believe this is completely unacceptable and the Government needs to act now.”

The research was carried out on behalf of End Child Poverty by the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University, led by Professor Donald Hirsch, and paints an even bleaker picture for other parts of Greater Manchester, with 62% of children in Coldhurst ward in Oldham living in poverty.

In Manchester’s Gorton and Central constituencies nearly half of the children there, 48 per cent, are below the poverty, with the figures for Rusholme and Moss Side both at 56 per cent. In Withington there are 34 per cent of children in poverty with the highest concentration in the Old Moat ward.

Since the introduction of the benefit freeze, the coalition of charities, faith groups and unions has warned that as prices rise, low income families would find it increasingly hard to pay for the same basic essentials.

‘It is scandalous that a child born in some parts of the UK now has a greater chance of growing up in poverty, than being in a family above the breadline’, said Sam Royston, Chair of End Child Poverty and Director of Policy and Research at the Children’s Society. ‘There can be little doubt that the Government’s policy of maintaining the benefits freeze despite rising prices is a major contributor to the emerging child poverty crisis.’

The coalition is also concerned that the impact of poverty may be exacerbated by a poverty premium – which means that low income families can face paying as much as £1700 per year more than better off families, to buy the same essential goods and services. A major contributor to this is the high cost of credit for low income families, and the coalition wants to see the Government address this by providing better access to interest free credit.

Sam Royston said ‘No family in modern Britain should be struggling to put food on the table, heat their homes and clothe their children.  End Child Poverty is calling on the Chancellor to end the freeze on children’s benefits, and to invest in interest free credit for low income families, to ensure that poverty doesn’t result in spiralling debt.’

A Government spokesman said: “The best route out of poverty is through employment, and since 2010 an extra three million more people are now in work and 600,000 fewer children are living in workless households.

“But we recognise that budgets are tight, and that’s why we’re helping families keep more of what they earn. We’ve doubled free childcare – worth £5,000 per child each year – while our £2.5 billion pupil premium programme is supporting two million disadvantaged schoolchildren across the country.”

 

Citizens Advice Manchester helps people to slash the cost of energy bills

Citizens Advice Manchester is hosting an event in Wythenshawe to help take the sting out of people’s fuel bills.

The event will take place tomorrow (Thursday January 25) in the Civic Centre as part of Big Energy Saving Week – a national campaign run by Citizens Advice, Citizens Advice Scotland, Energy Saving Trust (EST) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). It is one of eight events across the city.

Everyone is invited to attend the free events where they’ll be shown how to reduce their energy costs using a three-step rule of check, switch, save:

Check their meter and bills regularly to make sure they’re paying the right amount.

Switch to a different tariff or supplier that’s better value for money by using Citizens Advice’s energy comparison tool.

Save energy by turning appliances off and making sure walls and lofts are well insulated. They should also make sure their boiler is in good working order.

People will be guided through Citizen Advice’s energy comparison tool at the events so they can switch supplier there and then and start making immediate savings.

Advisers will also suggest further cost-cutting measures people can adopt, depending on their circumstances. This could include making sure their home is well insulated so it’s energy efficient, or checking if they’re entitled to benefits, grants or discounts like the Warm Home Discount – a £140 rebate from their supplier.

Those who can’t make the event can use Citizen Advice’s energy comparison tool at home, contact their nearest Citizens Advice at a different time, or call the Consumer Service Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 for advice on reducing their energy costs.

Andy Brown, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Manchester, said:“Big Energy Saving Week is a fantastic opportunity to get expert advice on a range of ways you can reduce your energy costs.

“Switching your tariff or supplier is normally the quickest and most effective way to bring your costs down, but you can also modify your home and change your habits.

“It’s important for us to be taking part in Big Energy Saving Week as it’s older people and those on the lowest incomes who are likely to be paying over the odds for their energy as they’re least likely to switch.

“We encourage as many people as possible to attend the events or to use our energy comparison tool to check for savings.”

Mystery business invests in Wythenshawe

wp-1478947269179.jpegA mystery shopping company has invested  thousands in its new head office base in Wythenshawe.

Storecheckers, which has been in business for over 25 years, has expanded its operation, signing a five-year lease for its new head office in the town and employing extra staff.

The  customer service improvement and market research experts will share their new office building with Wythenshawe MP, Mike Kane, who cut the ribbon at the official opening of their new base.

Mr Kane said: “I am delighted that Storecheckers have opened their new offices in Wythenshawe and are employing local people in their expansion programme.

“Wythenshawe is a great place to do business and I wish Storecheckers continued success.”

Storecheckers has an expanding team of full time head office staff supporting over 1000 researchers nationwide, many of whom are from the Greater Manchester area. Managing Director and customer service guru, Jeff Caplan, said: “It was a privilege to see our local MP formally open our new offices. He was an absolute gentleman and clearly cares a great deal about the town.

“We are really happy to have made the decision to stay in Wythenshawe and to have moved into our newly fitted out head office, which gives us more room to expand. The town is well-located and has excellent road and tram links, as well as great people and a willing workforce.

“It is a tough time for businesses with bricks and mortar which simply cannot afford to be turning away potential customers and tempting them to shop online through poor service. But this means that there is plenty of opportunity for businesses to invest in their customer experience and drive increased trade and consumer loyalty.

“This coupled with the fact that we have had long-standing relationships with northwest locations and businesses such as Timpson and Pets at Home, mean that investing in a bigger base in Wythenshawe and looking to expand our business makes perfect sense”.

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