Manchester has always been a city that takes pride in its charitable spirit — we band together around here, especially in tough times — so when we came across the incredible work children’s organisation Destination Florida have been doing for over three decades.
Created all the way back in 1988, Destination Florida is a children’s charity, based out of Manchester, that has been taking children with medical problems on what they rightly call the “trip of a lifetime” for more than 35 years now.
Starting out as Destination Disney, the charity was created by Dr David Evans and Sister Alex Shaw, the idea was inspired by when a group of northern-based children were nominated to go on a trip to Florida through a London-based charity but were sadly left unselected.
As a result, the founders wanted to make sure they could provide the same incredible opportunity to those with life-threatening illnesses and conditions in the North, and so Destination Florida was born.
Similar to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the charity organises a team of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and non-medical volunteers to take over 70 children to Florida to enjoy the likes of Universal and Disney World and more, all while providing for their full medical needs.
Taking kids aged between 7-16 years old, whose medical conditions can vary from acute or chronic to life-limiting, the annual trip runs for seven weeks, with their dedicated parents and full-time carers also being rewarded a well-earned break whilst safe in the knowledge that they’re in the best of hands.
Since they have fully qualified medical professionals with them, not to mention a hard-working team of fully vetted volunteers, Destination Florida are able to deliver all manner of therapies while over in the States.
In 2020, the Manchester charity was honoured with the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and held two huge fundraisers, generating crucial funds both for the trips and the children’s families.
Starting out with a group of just 25 children more than 30 years ago, Destination Florida has gone on to provide this wonderful opportunity to hundreds of children who might have otherwise not had the chance.
Now fully back up and running after the uncertainty of the pandemic, this year’s trip takes place from 8-15 September and you already know the destination.
If you would like to invite you to nominate any child that you feel may be appropriate for the trip, you can do so via the website, and the same goes for if you want to donate or volunteer.
It’s a truly wonderful cause that we’re proud to say comes from Manchester.
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.”