An “inspirational” schoolboy is currently walking 50-miles to Manchester United’s home ground Old Trafford.
And it’s all to raise worthy funds for foodbanks across the UK.
Within just days of embarking on his charity challenge by setting off from his hometown of Larne in Northern Ireland to Old Trafford, Ben Dickinson has already smashed his 50,000-meal fundraising target in aid of food poverty charity FareShare.
The monumental milestone – which equates to £12,500 in donations – comes just six days into his ten-day ‘Ben’s Miles for Meals’ trek, and already goes a long way to helping FareShare to tackle hunger in the most vulnerable communities by distributing food packages to charities and foodbanks up and down the country.
Ben was inspired to take on the challenge by Manchester United and England star, and food poverty relief campaigner Marcus Rashford MBE – who he calls his “hero”.
“I set myself a target of 50,000 meals for FareShare, and I can’t believe I have reached that milestone this early in my campaign,” Ben said.
“Everyone has been so generous in supporting me so far, and with four more days left until I reach my final destination of Old Trafford, I’m excited to push on and raise even more money for Marcus’ charity, FareShare.”
Proud dad Andrew Dickinson, who has been accompanying Ben every step of the way, added: “I am immensely proud of Ben for taking on this tough challenge and setting himself such a huge target as well [and] as a family, we are so grateful for everyone who has supported him to date and helped him reach the 50,000-meal mark so quickly.
“We can’t wait to see what his final fundraising total will be.”
Although Ben’s charity trek is impressive enough as it is, that’s not all he’s doing, as after already exceeding the original target, his fundraising tally is set to increase even further with an online auction that’s offering football fans the chance to get their hands on signed memorabilia from some of the world’s best players, including George Best, Wayne Rooney, David Beckham, and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ben’s charity walk will culminate with a hero’s welcome at Old Trafford on Saturday 12 March as Manchester United take on Tottenham Hotspur in a Premier League clash.
The auction will then be hosted after the match by Hotel Football.
“We simply couldn’t do what we do without kind community fundraisers like Ben supporting us and helping raise the vital funds we need year after year,” said James Persad from FareShare UK, congratulating Ben on his achievements so far.
“50,000 meals is an incredible figure and Ben’s selfless efforts will undoubtedly change the lives of thousands of people across the UK for the better.
“We look forward to cheering him over the finishing line at Old Trafford.”
You can donate to Ben fundraiser for FareShare on his website here, and follow along on his journey via social media.
Featured Image – Supplied
Cheadle care home asks locals to take their dogs to its ‘Canine Café’ next week to cheer up residents
A Greater Manchester care home is calling on locals to take their dogs down to its ‘Canine Café’ next week to help cheer up the residents.
After recent studies have shown that introducing dogs into care home settings can help lift people’s mood and increase social interaction among the community, Abney Court Care Home in the Trafford town of Cheadle – which sits within the picturesque grounds of Abney Hall Park – has decided to host its very-own ‘Canine Café’ next week.
But in a bid to make sure there’s enough canine cuddles for all the residents, staff at the home are asking the public to bring their own four-legged friends down to the party.
Abney Court created the canine-themed event after being inspired by the positive impact previous animal visits have had on residents’ wellbeing in the past, and after hearing how much they missed the company of their own pets from their younger years.
Taking place next Friday 8 March from 11am-12pm, Abney Court’s ‘Canine Café’ gives attendees the chance to enjoy loads of tasty puppy-themed treats and drinks, all while being in the company of furry friends.
Of course, all four-legged guests will be taken good care of too.
Not only will the pups be able to enjoy plenty of fuss from the home’s residents, but they’ll also get the opportunity to play with the other pooches, and be treated to their very-own ‘pup cake’ too.
There’ll also be lots of garden games and a raffle too, so everyone has a shot a winning a whole host of goodies to take home.
Inviting the Greater Manchester public down to the party next week, Amcia Hara, who is the Home Manager at Abney Court, said: “We are looking forward to inviting the local community to our Canine Café, as atudies have shown that introducing dogs into care homes can help lift people’s mood and increase social interaction.
“The human-animal bond is powerful in promoting self-esteem and wellbeing, which is exactly why we feel our Canine Café is set to be a brilliant event.
“Whether you have your own dog or simply an animal lover, we’d encourage you to come along to our event.”
Abney Court Care Home’s Canine Café is happening next Friday 8 March from 11am-12pm.
Featured Image – Abney Court (via Facebook)
Jason Manford is joining the cast of Waterloo Road as the new headteacher
The BBC has announced that Jason Manford will be joining the cast of Waterloo Road, and he’s got himself a starring role in it too.
The famous Manc may be more known for his stand-up comedy, screen presenting work, and on-stage musicaltheatre gigs – but now, he’s giving TV acting a go, and will be stepping into the role of the fictional school’s new headteacher in the next series of the show that’s set to air later this year.
Manford will play Steve Savage – or Mr Savage, to the kids – who goes on to have a big impact on the staff and pupils at Waterloo Road, but not before he ruffles a few feathers along the way.
While the BBC has teased that Manford’s new role as headteacher will leave people questioning how the future looks for current headteacher Kim Campbell, viewers will apparently just have to “wait and see” how the storyline plays out.
Manford has admitted it’s an “absolute treat” to have joined the cast of the popular show.
Speaking on his new role as the casting was announced on the official BBC social media platforms yesterday, Manford said: “What an absolute treat it is to join the cast and crew of Waterloo Road, right here in my home city of Manchester.
“My kids and I binged the show during lockdown.
“It’s such a brilliant and iconic show, so I’m dead proud to now be part of its history. Growing up, I always wanted to be a teacher, and now becoming a headteacher, I know I would have been terrible.”
Alongside Manford in his new role, the BBC has also announced that a whole host of other new characters are being thrown into the mix for the next series too – including Saira Choudhry as Nisha Chandra, the school’s newest maths teacher, and a gaggle of new students played by Olly Rhodes, Nathan Wood, Sonya Nisa, Miya Ocego, Danny Murphy, and Matthew Khan.
Jason Manford is joining the cast of Waterloo Road as the new headteacher / Credit: BBC
Fellow famous Mancs Adam Thomas and Kym Marsh are also set to return, alongside the rest of the current teaching staff and plenty of the same students.
Waterloo Road has continued to remain as popular as ever since its long-awaited return to TV screens last year, with the latest reboot series having been watched weekly on BBC One by audiences in their millions.
It’s also cemented its position as one of the top shows on BBC iPlayer for viewers under 35 too.