A local community in Rochdale has come together to donate hundreds of gift boxes to residents in the borough’s care homes ahead of the festive period.
The project is the brainchild of Heywood resident Richenda Mather and her 14-year-old son Ady.
Richenda – who works with her daughter as a hairdresser and was forced to temporarily close her business due to the second national lockdown – launched the heartfelt idea with a social media post earlier this month, and it has since resulted in thousands of pounds being raised, as well as almost 200 festive gift bags being distributed to care home residents, many of whom haven’t seen their families in months.
The pair said the festive gifts would simply cheer the care home residents up, and it doesn’t have to cost much to “make someone very happy”.
In true Greater Manchester spirit, the local community quickly rallied around the idea, and people were soon dropping gifts off at Richenda’s house, sending her money toward putting gift bags together, and one of her friends – who works as a train driver for Northern Rail – even managed to raise an impressive £1,000 in just 24 hours for the initiative.
Each bag contained a variety of pick-me-ups including chocolates, sweets, scarves, blankets and perfumes.
Richenda also asked a group of childminders if they would consider asking children to make homemade Christmas cards too and in total, the mother and son duo managed to pack around 180 gift bags, which they successfully delivered to four local care homes last week.
How brilliant is this?
Speaking to the MEN on the initiative, Richenda said: “We saw something on telly where there was a nursing home and nobody had seen their family since March [and] my son said, ‘why don’t we do some Christmas gift boxes for these people?’
“So we went and made one and I asked on Facebook whether anyone else wanted to get involved and it just went absolutely mad.”
Care homes to benefit from Richenda and Ady’s festive gifting project include Springfield Park Nursing Home, Springbank Nursing Home, Beech House, and Tudor Court, with staff sending their thanks for brightening the residents’ days and saying the community coming together in such a way to provide the donations “brought a tear to the eye”.
If that wasn’t incredible enough as it is, the pair even borrowed elf and penguin outfits to dress up in when dropping the gifts off, waving at residents through the window.
“I got a message from the nursing home and they said they are going to go out and buy an elf outfit for the residents as they loved it so much,” Richenda added.
Expressing his gratitude to the community for supporting residents, Michael Jones – Manager at Springfield Park Nursing Home – said: “I wanted to say thank you so much to her and her friends and colleagues who have donated to our residents at such a difficult time.
“They are missing out on family and friends visiting and this will be such a great boost for them. It was a massive surprise [and] we weren’t expecting it at all.
“It has put a smile on their faces.
“There are handmade cards from children in the local area too – they are so heartwarming [and] it brings a tear to the eye. It’s amazing to know that they are not forgotten and that people are thinking about them at this time.”
It wasn’t just festive gift bags and boxes donated though.
Enough money was even raised to be able to buy a tablet device for one home, so that residents could stay connected with their families, and staff at the homes also had a surprise too as Richenda said: “At the end of it all, I think we had about £50 left, so we got the staff a bottle of vodka each and some chocolate and thank you cards, as we thought we can’t leave them out,”
After all their hard work, Richenda and Ady have said they would like to send their thanks to anyone who has donated to the successful initiative. She said: “It wasn’t just me who’s been doing this – everyone in Heywood has been contributing,
“One woman dropped six gift bags off – it really has been madness.”
“It was so worth doing – it was a stressful week but we managed to do it all… I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone [as] I couldn’t have done it without everyone else.”
She continued: “Usually this is my biggest time of the year, so I don’t know if I’d have been able to do it otherwise, but I am thinking about trying it again next year as I have really enjoyed it,
“But with a bit more help dropping them off.”
From everyone here at The Manc, to Richenda, Ady and the local Heywood community who played a crucial part in contributing at a time when it is truly needed most, we take our hats off to you.
Thank you for helping to keep Greater Manchester great.
Manchester City fan gets treble tattoo before Champions League final
We’ve seen plenty of tattoos gone wrong down the years and even more football fans getting ahead themselves, but it must have taken a special kind of confidence for this Manchester City fan to get the treble tattooed on his body before the Champions League final has even been played.
Nevertheless, after yet another stellar domestic season and with two-time UCL winner Pep Guardiola at the helm, most fans, rivals and neutrals alike all think this is the year they’re going to lift their first Champions League — in fact, this man is certain of it.
The diehard City fan, simply known as Stuart on TikTok, shared multiple clips on his account on Tuesday, the first of which showed the treble tattoo in progress and has already had nearly 200,000 views in less than 24 hours.
Naturally, the comments underneath the videos are as you’d expect, with people remarking, “you’ve just made Inter win”, “he’s gonna regret that”, “RIP bro”, “pov: 2021” — the last CL final they qualified for and lost to Chelsea despite being heavy favourites — and so on.
However, responding to haters in the comments, Cityzen Stuart’s confidence looks to be unshakable, stating that it’s now “impossible” for them to lose and there’s “not a chance” Pep goes another yet without winning another Champions League.
Having already flown over to Turkey for the final in Istanbul this weekend, he shared a more recent video showing the tattoo in more detail, complete with full colour and shading.
Football fans are often superstitious (it’s such an unpredictable sport that it’s hard not to be) but it’s fair to say a lot of people are now worried he might have jinxed it, not to mention every single Red hoping that he has. For his sake, he better hope the footballing gods don’t take this kind of stuff into account.
This year’s final kicks off at 8pm on Saturday, 10 June and City fans everywhere will be hoping to Pep and co. lift the Champions League trophy in the club’s history and win a historic treble in the process.
They are already going to go down as one of the best squads ever assembled but, for many, this could see them held up there as the greatest of all time. The question is, can they take that final step?
Featured Image — @stuart1308 (via TikTok)/Comedy Central/UEFA
Nando’s launches new Fully Loaded Chips as part of limited-edition summer menu
Nando’s has launched a new limited-edition summer menu, and there’s one long-awaited side dish that seems to be the star of the show.
After taking to social media over the last week to tease that a handful of new and returning favourites would be forming part of a menu refresh as summer nears closer, Nando’s has finally confirmed what foodie fans have been waiting for.
Fully Loaded Chips are actually a thing, and you can now order them at restaurants across the UK.
Fans of the Portuguese-inspired restaurant chain on TikTok are known for sharing their own ‘Nando’s hack’ recreations of classic Nando’s dishes at home, as well as giving others some handy and budget-friendly tips and tricks for how to give their usual meals a bit of Nando’s flare.
Videos showing fans’ fully-loaded versions of the restaurant’s popular PERI-Salted Chips have often gone viral, and
But now, it’s no longer just a viral make-at-home concept, as the restaurant has revealed that its brand-new sharer is available to order as the ideal side dish to accompany any Nando’s meal out with your mates.
Nando’s has even admitted it’s “inspired by fans and Nandocas making their own on TikTok”.
The new Fully Loaded Chips is a big sharing portion of the chain’s legendary PERi-Salted Chips topped with pulled chicken, melted cheddar cheese, spring onions, PERi-Tamer sauce, and a creamy dressing.
Currently only available to order as an ‘Eat In’ dish at Nando’s restaurants in England, Scotland, and Wales, the new dish is described as being “the ultimate sharer” that combines “all your Nando’s favourites into one”.