A plan to get rough sleepers off the streets of Manchester and into temporary accommodation this winter has been published.
Manchester City Council has confirmed it will be working with local partners and health services to set-out an action plan that makes sure no one experiencing street homelessness Greater Manchester is left out in the cold this winter.
While there is year-round provision at Etrop Grange Hotel in Wythenshawe – which is funded by the Council, with support from Greater Manchester Combined Authority(GMCA) – that’s dedicated to moving homeless people off the streets and into accommodation, with teams routinely walking around and connecting those in need with help, the winter brings increased challenges.
So, as the nights draw in, and the temperatures plummet, the Council has revealed that efforts will be “stepped-up even further” to encourage people sleeping rough to “come inside and access the wider support available”.
During periods of severe cold, the Council’s outreach team, together with Manchester Homelessness Partnership members, will be out and about from midnight to 4am, on top of their routine daytime outreach.
Councils across the UK are known to put cold weather plans in place each year, with the national benchmark for them to come into force being when temperatures are forecast to drop to zero or below for three or more consecutive nights – but here in Manchester, the temperature only needs to be forecast to drop below freezing for a single night for the plans to be activated.
When this is the case, emergency accommodation and assistance will be provided for anyone who is found sleeping rough on our city’s streets.
As mentioned, accommodation for will predominantly be at Etrop Grange – a 74-space facility that can accommodate dogs, which a key consideration for some people sleeping rough.
Several agencies will be on-hand at the facility tp provide drop-in services for those staying there, including specialist mental health support from Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust, and support with drugs and alcohol issues from Change Grow Live, while Urban Medical Village will, once again, provide flu and COVID vaccinations for those who need and want them.
The publishing of the Council’s rough sleeping winter plan comes after recent data has revealed that Manchester sadly ranks as third-highest in the country for homelessness per capita – with around 7,407 people experiencing homelessness.
This is believed to be equivalent to one in 74 people.
Cllr Joanna Midgley, who is the Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, admitted that the Counil has taken “learning lessons from previous years” while devising and setting-out its rough sleeping winter plan this year, adding that volunteers will be seeking out people “where they are bedded down rather than asking them to report to day centres or other provision”.
She continued: “It’s important to stress that we are working all year round to help people get off the streets and access support to help them build a future for themselves.
“But we know that during periods of particularly cold weather, some people sleeping rough who might normally be reluctant to accept help are more receptive to it – and this is an important opportunity to reach them.”
Featured Image – Giving Compass
Sir David Jason set for TV return in Only Fools and Horses documentary Christmas special
In a surprise bit of festive news, the only and only Sir David Jason is returning for an Only Fools and Horses Christmas special this December. Lovely jubbly!
The best-loved and most-watched British comedy of all time will be back on our screens in documentary form this festive season, with Del Boy himself David Jason revisiting the iconic comedy character after 20 years he last played him on screen.
While the legendary sitcom was broadcast on BBC back in the day, the highly-anticipated Only Fools doc will be airing on Channel 5 right before Christmas as a special one-off programme.
Looking back on the show’s incredible run on UK screens over seven series and the several ‘Christmas Cracker’ specials, specifically, the latest Only Fools and Horses documentary will see Jason and a number of other guests appearing to chat about the legendary show.
While it’s still unclear how many of the original cast will be appearing, Jason’s on-screen wife Tessa Peake-Jones (Raquel) is confirmed to be appearing along with other special guests including newscaster Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Bendiorm‘s Sherrie Hewson.
Sadly, a full theatrical reunion just isn’t on the cards following the deaths of Roger Lloyd Pack (Trigger), Kenneth MacDonald (Mike the Landlord) and Buster Merryfield (Uncle Albert) in the 30 years since the show ended its run.
Only Fools writer John Sullivan also sadly passed away aged 64 in 2011 and fellow co-star Nicholas Lyndhurst, a.k.a. Rodney Trotter, told Metro: “We can’t. John is no longer with us. John was the driving force of the show and we have also lost quite a few cast members now.
“I don’t think I could do it without them and I certainly couldn’t do it without John. At the risk of depressing everyone, I think the last two times I’ve seen David has been at funerals.”
Simply entitled, ‘The Story Of Only Fools And Horses At Christmas’, the 90-minute special is yet to have its broadcast date fully confirmed but you best keep your eyes peeled on the TV guide — we’ll let you know as soon we do.
Jason, 81, has only just recovered from hip surgery earlier this year, so it’ll be nice to see his familiar grin back on our screens.
Right, we’re off to binge a whole series on UK Gold.
Habas restaurant in Manchester announces shock closure – with huge closing-down discount
Habas, the Middle Eastern restaurant launched by the team behind El Gato Negro, has announced its shock closure.
The subterranean restaurant will be going out with a bang though, promising one last knees-up with a big discount.
Habas will be doing 25% off its entire food and drink menu this New Year’s Eve so that fans of the eatery can raise a glass to the Manchester restaurant.
They’re also hoping that Mancs will raise a glass to new beginnings, teasing a brand new concept.
Habas is located at Brown Street in Manchester city centre and has been serving up its Middle Eastern menu since 2021.
It comes from Mills Hill Developments Limited, the company also responsible for El Gato Negro and Canto, fronted by celebrated chef Simon Shaw.
Habas has stressed that its closure ‘is not forever’ as it announces details of its New Year’s Eve closing down party.
You can ring in the new year with a selection of mezze dishes, sharing platters and small plates, feasting on chicken tagine and traditional tzatziki, all 25% off on Sunday 31 December.
Drinks, too, like the cranberry elderflower martini, blackberry ginger smash and clementine daquiri will be with 25% off.
Simon Shaw, Chef Parton at Mills Hill Developments Limited, said: “As of January 2024, we have made the decision to close the doors of Habas Bar & Restaurant, however we are thrilled to announce that our Brown Street venue has an exciting new concept on the way.
“Throughout December, Habas, will continue serving up the city’s best middle-eastern cuisine, so make sure you pop in and see us. AND on New Year’s Eve, Habas, will be hosting an unforgettable celebration with 25% off food and drinks. We want to rejoice with all of our customers, with one final hurrah!
“We would like to thank all of our guests and reassure Habas fans that this is not the end of Habas Bar & Restaurant forever, simply a farewell from Brown Street for now.
“We look forward to welcoming you to our new exciting concept in Q1 of 2024.”