Manchester City Council has confirmed that the Christmas lights in the city centre are to finally be switched on by NHS keyworkers tomorrow.
As England’s second national lockdown comes to an end this week and the country returns to the regional tiered system, Manchester is still set to welcome the festive season with a little help from NHS and social care heroes across the region.
The annual Christmas Light Switch-on event is usually one of the biggest parties of the year, attracting thousands of people into the city to start the season with a bang.
But of course, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has meant the usual celebrations had to be cancelled this year, so three NHS heroes will have the honour of pushing the button on this year’s lights instead.
They will also be joined by some of Manchester’s frontline health and social care workers.
The small and socially-distanced event will take place at Manchester Cathedral on Wednesday 2nd December at 6.45pm, and will be live on BBC Radio Manchester, BBC North West Tonight and live streamed on social media for people to enjoy safely from home.
Interviews with the NHS staff chosen to switch on this year’s lights will also appear on BBC Breakfast and on social media.
Manchester’s 12-metre high, selfie-loving Santa – which returned for the second year to St Peter’s Square this week – will be joined once again by a trail of large-scale light sculptures across the city in Piccadilly Gardens, St Peter’s Square, and New Cathedral Street.
There will also be the traditional crib in St Ann’s Square, and a Christmas tree by the Cathedral.
Speaking on this year’s special, socially-distanced switch-on, Cllr Pat Karney – Christmas spokesperson for Manchester City Council – said: “Christmas will finally arrive in Manchester this week after a slightly longer wait than usual.
“Although the festive season will feel a bit different this year, we still can’t wait to push the button on our Christmas lights with the help of our NHS and social care heroes.
“The Christmas Lights switch-on has always marked the start of Christmas in Manchester and this year will be more important than ever. Christmas is a really important time for the city’s businesses and we will be doing everything we can to ensure people can visit the city centre safely and give businesses the support they need.”
You can find more information via the Manchester City Council website here.
BBC is looking for Mancs to take part in next series of Race Across the World
Are you a fan of travelling? Got yourself a bit of a competitive streak in your nature? This might just be your calling then.
The BBC is currently casting for the next series of Race Across the World.
The broadcaster has announced that the BAFTA-winning hit show is set to return to our TV screens for a third series later this year, and producers are now on the look-out for “intrepid duos” of all ages who reckon they’re ready to take a step into the unknown, and embark on an epic race across land and sea – and that includes Greater Manchester residents.
With applications for the next series of the massively-popular show now open, nomadic Mancs are being encouraged to take part.
On a limited budget and away from the luxuries of modern technology and conveniences, those lucky applicants selected to take part in the next series will get the chance to experience life in some of the world’s most beautiful and remote locations.
Navigating their way across thousands of miles, they’ll travel through spectacular scenery and dynamic cities, visit ancient wonders, learn local customs, and take part in time-honoured traditions.
But, as producers are keen to point out, “the physical journey is only half of the story”.
That’s because, as the contestants take on the challenge of travelling across the world, the greatest thing they’ll discover along the way could actually be about themselves and one another.
Putting out a UK-wide casting call on the BBC website this week, producers Studio Lambert wrote: “We are now accepting applications for the next series of Race Across the World. This experience is open to all, whether you’re a seasoned traveller or total novice.
“We want to hear what undertaking a trip like this would mean to you, and with a cash prize at stake, what lengths you would go to to win.
Applications for the massively-popular show are now open / Credit: BBC
“Maybe you’re looking to change something in your life? Or are keen to share the journey with someone special like a family member, best friend, or someone you’ve lost touch with. You may even have a very personal reason for wanting to travel at this time in your life or explore a particular part of the world.”
Fancy it then?
Applications for the third series of Race Across the World are now open for anyone over 18 years of age, with a deadline date of Friday 19 April 2024, and you can find out more information and apply via the BBC website.
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 Stockport 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.
Cheadle care home asks locals to take their dogs to its ‘Canine Café’ next week to cheer up residents / Credit: Care UK (via Facebook)
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.”