Manchester City Council has recruited the help of an uncanny Game of Thrones character lookalike to encourage residents to get their jabs ready for winter.
It’s not something you see everyday, or even at all – but a lookalike of one of the characters from the iconic and much-loved HBO fantasy drama series Game of Thrones stopped by the city last week to reminded locals that “Manchester’s Winter is coming”.
Have you guessed who it was? That’s right, Jon Snow was in town.
The lookalike legend was there to lend a hand to Manchester City Council with a campaign to boost local knowledge on COVID vaccines, boosters, and the flu jab, and all while encouraging residents to keep up with relevant testing.
The ‘King in the North’ was also keen to point out where they get help with all of this.
But, while ‘Jon’ was in the city, he was also sure to make the most of the walk-in vaccination site at Manchester Town Hall, so that he too could have his COVID vaccination.
James Martin – the actor who played the Jon Snow lookalike – explained: “I wanted to have the vaccine, so this was the perfect time and a case of life imitating art.
“It was quick and easy, and absolutely nothing to worry about.”
“This call-out to the city is so vital,” added Dr Manisha Kumar – Medical Director at Manchester Health and Care Commissioning.
“Please don’t put off having your vaccinations [as] early evidence suggests that people who get COVID and flu at the same time can be twice as likely to die [and] this can be prevented [so] we have to do everything we can so that people don’t face the prospect of serious illness, or even death.”
David Regan – Director of Public Health in Manchester – continued: “In our view, everyone is a hero who has the vaccine to look after themselves and others [as] there’s no doubt that this winter is going to be tough, with all the extra cold and respiratory viruses, flu and of course, COVID, as people are out of lockdown.”
“I thank everyone in advance for keeping on with all those key things that can keep the the whole city safe,” he concluded.
Councillor Joanna Midgley – Executive Member for Health and Care at Manchester City Council – was also quick to point out how appropriate it was that ‘Jon Snow’ stopped by to help with the campaign, as “in terms of medicine, there is another John Snow – who was a London physician, famous for his work on anaesthesia and finding the source of a cholera outbreak in the 1800s.”
What are the chances? It was meant to be.
For more information about the vaccines on offer this winter, check out the Manchester City Council website here.
Lee Rigby’s son is raising tens of thousands for charity in honour of his dad
Jack Rigby, the son of soldier Lee Rigby, is raising an absolutely huge amount of money for charity in memory of his father.
Rigby, a former Royal Fusilier who served in Afghanistan for three years, was tragically murdered by extremists Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale outside the Woolwich Barracks in May 2013 and now, over a decade after his death, his son is hoping to raise as much as possible in his honour.
His dad was 25 when he was killed and Jack himself was only two-years-old at the time. Now 13, the inspiring young man set out on his fundraising journey earlier this year, completing a marathon on behalf of Scotty’s Little Soldiers back in May, a military bereavement charity.
Setting himself the goal of reaching the ‘Scotty’s March’ £10k target — i.e. hoping to raise a £1,000 for each year since his passing — Jack and his family have been blown after the fundraiser has already amassed over £55k in donations.
With the goalposts now being moved to £60,000 after Jack and his mum Rebecca’s efforts have led to nearly £55k in contributions to the specialised bereavement organisation to support grieving military children and young people up to the age of 25.
Writing in his post when the fundraiser was first set up, Jack said, “This year marked the 10-year anniversary, it’s never easy but this year felt even harder for some reason. To help me through this year I have been concentrating on raising funds and awareness for Scotty’s Little Soldiers…
“This [has] really helped me to concentrate on something positive at a very difficult time while helping this amazing charity“, an intitiave he has been a part ever since he was a young child, adding that he named his dog Scotty in tribute to their important work for military families across the UK.
It was only earlier this year that the teenager spoke out about his father for the first time having already smashed his fundraising target before he had even run his marathon.
As for mum, she said: “Jack was so excited to see the amount grow and seeing how much each donation made him smile meant the world to me. He and I read all the messages of support and were thankful for them all. We honestly couldn’t believe how kind and generous people were being.”
Featured Image — Gov.uk/Jack Rigby (via Scotty’s Little Soldiers)
Greater Manchester’s volunteer police officers are now trained to deal with ‘high tension’ events
Dozens of volunteer police officers across Greater Manchester are now being given public order training to deal with “high tension” events.
In case you aren’t too familiar, Public Order Public Safety (POPS) is an arm of policing that covers a wide range of events and operations that could present instances of high or increased tension, according to Greater Manchester Police (GMP).
Some events of this nature include protests, festivals, sporting events, and disorder – basically, anywhere where there may be a risk to public safety.
In order to make sure there’s more hands on deck when these situations arise, GMP has now confirmed that it’s beginning the process of training up its volunteer workforce – formally known as Police Specials, of which there are currently about 200 employed to work 16-hours each month – to be able to work such events.
This is so they know how to correctly handle and manage potentially tension-filled situations.
GMP says that around 30 Police Specials completed their level two training over four days at the police force’s specialist training centre in Openshaw this week.
This means they can now be deployed at high-profile events.
Chief Superintendent Chris Hill, who is the strategic lead at GMP, say Police Specials play an “important role” for the police force, as they often join response teams or are put to good use by providing a link between local Greater Manchester communities and GMP.
“Special constables have the same powers and look the same as regular officers,” CS Hill explained, “but the difference is they are volunteers and can have regular jobs as well.
“The specials that completed the training are now highly-trained in tactics, as well as how to use equipment including helmets and shields, and can be deployed to high-profile football matches and events or demonstrations where there is an increase in tension.
“We hope this will make joining GMP as a special a more interesting and exciting prospect.”
Mike Walmsley, who is GMP’s Chief Officer and oversees the Special Constabulary, added how great it is to see a “continued investment” in the special constables.
He continued: “Having a team trained to public order level two allows us to further support our colleagues.
“[It will also] unlock more of the potential that the Special Constabulary has.
“We have already started to map out structured learning and supplied them with laptops and, coupled with further opportunities, this will allow our officers to develop further and support in existing and new areas.”