Last week, a handful of AO employees helped raise thousands of pounds for Kidney Research UK by embarking on a charity walk from the company’s main office in Bolton all the way to the AO Arena.
Setting out on the nearly 30-kilometre walk — 17.6 miles to be exact — nine AO staff members embarked on their journey from the online electrical suppliers’ headquarters over in Bolton to the city centre’s internationally renowned music, entertainment and sporting venue.
Taking them a total of five hours to complete the charity walk, including a short break to stop for ice cream in the hot weather (has to be done, doesn’t it?), they eventually reached their destination and smashed their initial fundraising target of £1,500 in the process.
All told the team of trekkers ended up raising more than £2,600 for Kidney Research, the UK’s leading kidney disease charity, and were treated to a congratulatory glass of champagne upon arriving at the AO Arena’s Electric Lounge. Well deserved.
One of those people is AO affiliate manager, Graham Murray, who spent a number of years on dialysis before his mother donated one of her kidneys to him two years ago and he thankfully underwent a successful transplant.
Having received plenty of support from the organisation in recent years, it was a no-brainer to choose them for the sponsored walk, and both he and his team were delighted to be able to give something back on one of their biannual ‘Make a Difference’ days, where they swap time at their desk for charity and/or community work
Still relying on immunosuppression to keep his transplanted kidney healthy, Graham explained how “Kidney Research UK have been very involved in all of [his] treatments so being able to raise so much money for them made the walk more than worth it.”
As for the charity itself, community and events manager Ronan-Peate said: “It is always fantastic to see co-workers come together to take on a great challenge and raise money for charity particularly when it’s one that’s so close to their colleague’s heart.
“The AO employees have completed an amazing achievement and subsequently raised far more than their initial target and we are incredibly grateful for their determination and generosity.
“The money that they have raised will go to supporting research to help more people like Graham by transforming treatments and helping us to one day live in a world without kidney disease.” Hear, hear.
It’s brilliant to see AO continuing its incredible charity work in and around Greater Manchester. The AO Smile Foundation is making a huge impact in the community and it doesn’t go unnoticed.
The Irish star, who just landed his first UK number one album, wants to make customers ‘feel like a big deal’, apparently.
And seeing as he shot to fame with his viral flashmob stunts, he seems like a good choice to be popping up from behind Amazon lockers as people pick up their online shop.
Cian Ducrot comments: “My flash mob performances are all about spreading joy and music, and I loved helping shoppers feel like a big deal at the Amazon Lockers.”
Amazon’s Prime Big Deal Day sales event, which is taking place on 10 and 11 October 2023, will also see the brand hide hundreds of items in Amazon Lockers around the UK.
Over those two days, Prime members who are collecting shopping will be given the opportunity to pick a code, which will open a locker containing a free item to take away.
Surprise locker locations will be in London, Cardiff, Liverpool, Newcastle, Belfast, Glasgow, Birmingham and Manchester on 10 and 11 October.
The giveaway runs alongside a Prime member exclusive shopping event, featuring deals on everything Prime members need for Autumn, from making an early start to festive shopping, to stocking up on seasonal essentials.
Council Tax in Manchester could be raised to support the city’s ‘poorest households’
Manchester City Council has laid out plans to potentially raise residents’ Council Tax to help support the “poorest households” in the city.
Councillors are proposing that, under the city’s current Council Tax Support scheme, the amount owed by a household is reduced by up to 100% for pension-age residents with the lowest incomes, and up to 82.5% for working-age residents with the lowest incomes from April 2024 – with the maximum reduction for working-age residents increased by 2.5% to 85%.
This means the maximum that those eligible for support would have to pay is just 15% of the bill, according to Manchester City Council.
At the same time, it’s being proposed that rules allowing reductions to be backdated, in instances where someone “has a good reason not to have claimed sooner”, are extended to allow up to a year’s back payments, rather than up to six months as is currently the case.
With the proposals all laid out, a consultation has been opened and residents living in the Manchester borough are now being asked for their views.
The Council Tax Support scheme currently provides around one fifth of Manchester households with help paying their Council Tax, but it’s estimated that these proposed changes would cost the Council around £770,000 in 2024/25.
This proposed raising of Council Tax also comes after the Council revealed earlier last month that £50 million in funding will go towards upgrading and improving social housing in Manchester over the next two years – with thousands of tenants living in social housing and Council-owned residential complexes across the city and wider borough set to benefit.
Residents in these properties are set receive what is being dubbed “transformational investment” to their homes before 2026.
“We are acutely aware that some residents are really struggling due to cost of living pressures,” admitted Cllr Rabnawaz Akbar, who is the Executive Member for Finance at Manchester City Council on the proposals, “and this is why we’ve already introduced a range of measures to help people access food, advice and support.
“As part of this wider response, we want to go even further to help the poorest households in Manchester with their Council Tax, and that’s what these proposals are all about.
“We’re keen to hear your views on what we’re suggesting before we make a final decision.”