The 209 (The Manchester Artillery) Battery, 103rd Regiment Royal Artillery has been given the Freedom of the City award – the highest honour that Manchester can bestow.
The Freedom of the City award, which is only bestowed on very rare occasions, is being given for its extensive and valuable service to Manchester for over 216 years.
Previous recipients of the honour include broadcaster Tony Wilson, the GB Olympic and Paralympic Cycling Team, Sir Bobby Charlton, The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, 207 (Manchester) Field Hospital (Volunteers), Professor Sir Andre Geim and Professor Sir Konstantin Novoselov.
The decision to award the Freedom of the City to the 209 (The Manchester Artillery) Battery, 103rd Regiment Royal Artillery was moved by the Lord Mayor at a Special Meeting on 25 November 2020 at the Town Hall.
The 209 (The Manchester Artillery) Battery, 103rd Regiment Royal Artillery has served in the Boer War, WW1, Gallipoli, Sinai and, on the Western Front since its formation over 216 years ago.
Following the prestigious award ceremony, the 209 will march through the city with colours flying, drums beating, and bayonets fixed.
The public will have the rare opportunity to watch them in action, as the parade departs from St Peter’s Square past the Cenotaph, then onto Princess Street, then Cross Street, onto St Mary’s Gate, Deansgate, Peter Street and finally left back to its starting point.
There will be barriers in place so that the parade can be enjoyed safely and people are encouraged to follow the parade and to celebrate alongside the 209 (The Manchester Artillery) Battery, 103rd Regiment Royal Artillery.
Following a short Service of Blessings performed by Regimental Padre Rev. M.W. Johnstone CF. and an inspection of the Regiment, the Chief Executive Joanne Roney OBE will read the Resolution of Council conferring the Honorary Freedom of the City upon 209 (The Manchester Artillery) Battery, 103rd Regiment Royal Artillery.
Speaking on the decision to bestow the award on the 209, the Lord Mayor of Manchester Councillor Tommy Judge said: “It is a great privilege to award the 209 (The Manchester Artillery) Battery, 103rd Regiment Royal Artillery the Freedom of Manchester.
“I would like to congratulate and thank them for their hard work and commitment to the people of Manchester over such a long period of time.
“The regiment has a long and illustrious history with the city. the Lord Mayor of Manchester Tommy Judge said: “The significance of their work is integral to the history and indeed, the future of Manchester.
“It is a very proud moment as Mayor, and as an ex-serviceman to honour the 209 (The Manchester Artillery) Battery, 103rd Regiment Royal Artillery and, to watch the parade.
Lieutenant Colonel Taylor-Jane Fox added, “209 (The Manchester Artillery) Battery are part of history today. Being awarded the Freedom of the City of Manchester is a great honour; to have the Battery written into the history books of this great city is a huge privilege and every soldier on parade is proud to be part of this significant event.”
The current 209 (The Manchester Artillery) Battery, 103rd Regiment Royal Artillery continues to recruit and train Manchester citizens in readiness for the defence of the country at home and abroad.
The ceremony will be attended by The Lord Mayor Councillor Tommy Judge, accompanied by the Lady Mayoress, Carole Judge; the Leader of the City Council, Sir Richard Leese; the Chief Executive of the City Council Joanne Roney OBE; the Master Gunner St James’s Park, Lieutenant General Sir Andrew Gregory KBE CB; Honorary Colonel, 103rd Regiment Royal Artillery, Brigadier Bill Kingdon; and Commanding Officer, 103rd Regiment Royal Artillery, Lieutenant Colonel Taylor-Jayne-Fox.
Feature image – 209 Battery 103 Regt RA via Facebook
Manchester secures £5.2m funding to build ‘supported accommodation’ for rough sleepers
Manchester has secured a whopping £5.2 million in funding to build new ‘supported accommodation’ designed to house rough sleepers.
After an application submitted to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme (SHAP) has been approved this week, Manchester City Council says it’s eager to help the former homeless “rebuild their lives”.
This means that, by working in partnership with housing and support providers Humankind, Jigsaw, and Great Places, the Council will oversee the creation of 42 units of supported housing across three different schemes.
The schemes are for single people with a history of rough sleeping and longer-term support needs.
According to the Council, these people will stay in this accommodation and receive personalised support until they are ready to “take the next step to independent living”.
This new £5.2 million funding allocation from the Government covers both the cost of creating the accommodation – which must be completed by March 2025 at the latest – and revenue funding to help run it for its first three years of opening.
“We are working with a range of partners to tackle the homelessness challenge on all fronts, from prevention in the first place to helping people into permanent, settled homes,” explained Cllr Joanna Midgley, who is the Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council.
“Securing this £5.2m funding for the city will help us create much-needed extra accommodation for those being helped off the streets who need significant long-term support before they are ready to live independently.
“It’s only part of a wider response but it will be a welcome addition to the accommodation and support available.”
The news of the successful application comes after the Council published its plan to get rough sleepers off the streets of Manchester and into temporary accommodation this winter back in early November.
With temperatures expected to reach as low as -5C by Friday, 29 November, the Met Office and UKHSA pushed out an amber heat-health alert on Wednesday, with the elderly, clinically vulnerable and the health sector in general said to be those most at risk.
Although the freezing weather obviously has the potential to affect everyone — with the likes of the North East and Northern Ireland having already been given a yellow weather warning as well — amber heat-health warnings are deemed to require an ‘enhanced response‘ as they are likely to significantly impact “across the whole health service” and possibly other sectors too.
Under the relatively new CHA (cold-health alert) system, anything beyond a yellow level alert means that it is expected that there will be increased use of healthcare services by vulnerable populations and an increase in risk to health to individuals over the age of 65, those with pre-existing health conditions, including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and other vulnerable groups like rough sleepers.
As well as the Met Office offering their verdict, the UKHSA’s Head of Extreme Events and Health Protection, Dr Agostinho Sousa, said: “With a risk of widespread overnight frosts and some snow across the country this week, it’s important to check in on the wellbeing of those most vulnerable to the cold.
“Cold weather can have a serious impact on health, particularly older people, and those with pre-existing health conditions, as it increases the risks of heart attacks, strokes and chest infections.
“If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over the age of 65, it is important to try and heat the rooms where you spend most of your time in[doors], such as your living room or bedroom.”
For those considered to be at risk during this cold snap and amber-heat health warning, the official government-sanctioned advice is that if you can’t heat all the rooms in your home, it is important to heat the rooms you spend the (i.e. living room in the day and bedroom before going to sleep) to at least 18 degrees if possible.
They also recommend wearing a few thin layers instead of one thick layer, as the former is better at trapping heat than just one big jumper etc.
Other advice on how to stay safe during these colder periods includes stocking up on food and medicine, keeping windows closed and reducing draughts at home, as well as getting vaccinated against flu and COVID-19.
If you or someone you know is in need of help, you can get in touch with the NHS on 111 and if it is an emergency please call 999 immediately.