Foodbank volunteers were left unable to deliver supplies to vulnerable residents this morning when it was discovered that vandals had glued its locks shut.
Mobile foodbank charity Humans MCR was set up in 2019 to bring dignity to people who require help with supplying themselves and their families with food.
With a team of around 35 volunteers, packages are delivered directly to clients homes in Manchester, Salford and Bury – saving what can sometimes be a long journey to their nearest foodbank.
But operations temporarily ground to a halt when volunteers realised a glue like substance in the locks was stopping their entry to the building – for the second time in two months.
Humans MCR founder Lewey Hellewell said: “I can’t, and don’t want to believe that this could be targeted.
“I have to believe it was someone who is bored out of their brain, trying to find entertainment, who doesn’t know our operation.”
Yorkshireman Lewey, 40, co-founded the Bury-based charity in 2019 after his own experience of using foodbanks when he struggled to find work.
He said: “I wanted to create an organisation that delivers food support with dignity and kindness.
“Using foodbanks can also have a huge impact on mental and physical health as well, so we want to do anything we can to ease the pressure.
“We don’t expect people to have to travel to get their food.”
After just a few hours, kind donors on social media have bought a CCTV camera, which the charity hopes will act as a deterrent to stop a similar thing happening again.
And the locksmith was able to quickly help volunteers to get access to the building, allowing volunteers to get on with their deliveries.
Lewey, who has worked previously in different hospitality and retail jobs across Manchester, recalls walking miles to his nearest foodbank, only to get back to find out fragile items were crumpled at the bottom of the bag.
“A packet of crisps was sometimes your only treat,” he added.
In an ideal world, Lewey hopes that one day there will no longer be a need for the charity to exist.
However, figures released two days ago by the Office of National Statistics revealed that the UK unemployment rate is at its highest since 2016, meaning pressure on foodbanks is mounting with so many people out of work.
Those interested in becoming a volunteer or making a donation to the cause can contact Humans MCR on their website, or through the charity’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
‘Sad news’ – the world’s only Vagina Museum has been forced to close
There’s a museum for just about everything these days (we all remember trips to the Stockport Hat Works museum) – but the world’s only space dedicated to vaginas has been forced to close again.
The world-first Vagina Museum announced this week that it’s had to vacate its premises and has once again been left ‘homeless’.
The museum, which welcomed 40,000 visitors in the 10 months it was open, was founded to raise awareness of the gynaecological anatomy and health, erase stigma, and act as a forum for feminism.
Inside, visitors could browse everything from educational materials to art pieces inspired by vaginas and vulvas – including giant tampons decorated in red sequins.
The Vagina Museum said it was ‘disappointed’ that it has been asked to leave its space, adding that it will continue to operate digitally until it finds a new base.
They wrote in a heartfelt statement on social media that they were ‘incredibly proud’ of the museum’s achievements.
Fans of the space queued down the street for its final few days in Bethnal Green, before its eventual closure on Wednesday 1 February.
Their statement said: “Sad news. We’ve received notice to vacate our premises at Bethnal Green by the end of this week. As a property guardianship, we’ve always been aware that we may be asked to leave with very short notice. We’re disappointed that it has come so soon.
“@Enter_theVenue the creative hub with whom we share our space, have also been asked to leave. The Vagina Museum will continue to operate in the digital world as we search for a new home.”
The message continued: “We’re sad about this development, but incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished in the ten months we’ve been at our Bethnal Green premises. We’ve welcomed more than 40,000 visitors through our doors, and received so much love and positive feedback.
“In our time at Bethnal Green, we’ve once again demonstrated just how much the world needs and wants a Vagina Museum.
“Times are, once again, uncertain for us, but we’ve been through this before and risen stronger than ever. With a community like you supporting us, we know we can get through this too.
“We’re actively searching for a new home, and if you know of any vacant spaces (or have one yourself!) please don’t hesitate to reach out. In our home in Bethnal Green, we and ENTER demonstrated that we can transform an empty, unused building into a thriving heart of a community.
“If you don’t have a building, you can still help! Please consider making a donation; a donation of any size makes a huge difference and will help us to weather this storm, just as we’ve weathered storms before.”
The Vagina Museum concluded its thread with: “We’ve made it through a pandemic and a period of temporary homelessness before. With you, together, we can make it through this too.”
Gary Neville addresses ‘clumsy like’ on Tweet about Mason Greenwood ￼
Gary Neville has said that his liking of a tweet about Mason Greenwood has been ‘misinterpreted’.
The former Manchester United legend and football pundit set off a Twitter storm last night after he ‘liked’ two tweets by Nazir Afzal, and briefly retweeted one.
The tweets in question said that Greenwood was an ‘innocent man’ and added that ‘you are innocent until PROVEN guilty’.
Mason Greenwood had all criminal charges against him dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.
He had faced allegations of rape, controlling and coercive behaviour, and assault, all against the same woman.
The CPS said that Greenwood case had been stopped because of ‘the withdrawal of key witnesses and new material that came to light’, adding that there was no longer a ‘realistic prospect of conviction’.
Several people noticed that Neville had liked a tweet about Greenwood’s ‘innocence’ and quickly challenged him on it.
One person shared a screenshot and wrote: “You have a massive platform and you’re liking bulls**t like this just because the monster plays for a team you support. you’re disgusting @GNev2.”
He posted: “I liked a tweet relating to the Mason Greenwood news this afternoon from Nazir Afzal. ( the former director of public prosecutions ).
“This like is being misinterpreted. It was a clumsy like as I obviously condemn any violence against women.”
Greenwood issued a short statement yesterday, writing: “I am relieved that this matter is now over and I would like to thank my family, loved ones and friends for their support. There will be no further comment at this time.”
Featured image: Instagram, @garyneville2 / publicity picture