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.
Manchester music store Forsyth is giving away free music lessons
Manchester music store Forsyth is giving away a host of free music lessons next month in a bid to inspire people to learn a new instrument, or pick up an old one.
The store is giving new and returning musicians a chance to receive a 10–15-minute free music taster session as part of its Music for All Learn to Play ’22 event.
Taking place across 8 and 9 October between 10am-5pm (8 October) and 1130am-30pm (9 October),short taster music lessons will allow all ages and abilities to have a musical experience that could turn into a lifetime of enjoyment, or even a new career.
Speaking on the free music lesson initiative, Emma from Forsyths said: “The past two years have shown how important music is to all our lives and how it can bring people together even in the most difficult of circumstances.
“We aim to help as many people as possible understand the unique joys and benefits of learning an instrument (or taking part in a choir).
“Anyone interested in learning to play an instrument or looking to pick it up again, should come and join us for this two-day celebration of music making.
“We’re delighted to be part of Music for All’s Learn to Play ’22 event, and we can’t wait to get started.”
OBE Jools Holland, Patron of Music for All, said: “Making music is very important to me. It’s my work, my pleasure, my friend, companion and therapist.
The charity Music for All believes passionately in the unique power of music to change lives and that is why it runs Learn to Play.
Music for All believes everyone should have equal access to music making.
The charity supports disadvantaged music makers by providing cash grants for tuition and instruments and by donating instruments directly.
Celebrated author Dame Hilary Mantel has died ‘suddenly yet peacefully’ aged 70
Dame Hilary Mantel has died aged 70.
The unexpected passing of the critically-acclaimed author whose celebrated career spans nearly five decades has just been announced by her agents 4th Estate Books and her publishing team at HarperCollins in two separate statements released this morning – who confirmed that she died “suddenly yet peacefully”.
The Glossop-born writer was famed for historical fiction work, and was most-known for being the author of the beloved Wolf Hall trilogy.
The statement by her agents confirming her passing reads: “We are heartbroken at the death of our beloved author, Dame Hilary Mantel, and our thoughts are with her friends and family, especially her husband, Gerald.
“This is a devastating loss and we can only be grateful she left us with such a magnificent body of work.”
Mantel’s publishers HarperCollins called her “one of the greatest English novelists of this century”.
The company’s statement reads: “It is with great sadness that AM Heath and HarperCollins announce that bestselling author Dame Hilary Mantel DBE died suddenly yet peacefully yesterday, surrounded by close family and friends, aged 70.
“Hilary Mantel was one of the greatest English novelists of this century and her beloved works are considered modern classics.
Mantel has twice been awarded the Booker Prize, the first time for the 2009 novel Wolf Hall, a fictional account of Thomas Cromwell’s rise to power in the court of Henry VIII, and secondly for the 2012 novel Bring Up the Bodies, the second instalment of the Cromwell trilogy.
She was the first woman, and fourth person, to receive the award twice.