A young girl from Oldham has successfully completed a five-mile scooter ride this week to raise money for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.
Freya McKechnie wanted to do something to thank “the place that took Millie’s tubes away”.
After her “special new friend” Millie was transferred to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool shortly after being born to receive life-saving treatment, the five-year-old from Delph in Saddleworth decided she wanted to say thank you in her own special way.
So she set out on a mission to ride her scooter for five miles – one mile for every year of her age.
With a little help from her mum Jenny – who is the best friend of Millie’s mum – Freya first put out an appeal for donations to her charity scooter ride on social media, with a beautifully hand-written poster reading: “I am raising money for Alder Hey who looked after my friend Millie. I’m going to ride my scooter for five miles on 22nd December.
“Please, please can you give me some money.”
“Miracle baby” Millie – who was born at North Manchester Hospital – is now nine weeks old and is spending Christmas at home with her family in Middleton.
Her mother Jenni Burrows-Maynard relived the unfolding drama after her baby’s birth, explaining: “Millie was struggling to breathe. I then haemorrhaged and lost over a litre of blood [so] she was taken to ICU and was intubated, but despite [staff] doing all they could, they didn’t have the facilities to help Millie and she had had limited oxygen for a prolonged period, which could impact on her neurological functionality.
“Her only option was ECMO – extracorpóreal membrane oxygenation – also known as extracorporeal life support (ECLS).
“It is an extracorporeal technique of providing prolonged cardiac and respiratory support to persons whose heart and lungs are unable to provide an adequate amount of gas exchange or perfusion to sustain life.
“Eight hours hours after Millie was born she was transported to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool and was on ECMO for six days. Once she was weaned off ECMO and stable she was then transferred Royal Oldham Hospital where she spent three weeks in their neonatal intensive care unit and then their nursery.
“She was discharged initially with a feeding tube, but now she is a healthy and chatty baby.”
Freya’s mum Jenny McKechnie added: “Freya’s not daft, she knew something was wrong and she’s followed all my texts and calls with Millie’s mum.
“When she found out people had been raising money on Millie behalf, she wanted to do the same.”
After being inspired to help, Freya admitted she’d “quite like to raise one hundred million pennies” for hospital staff, but her mum said they would be “eternally grateful” to anyone who is able to donate “a couple of quid”.
Jenny set up a PayPal account to securely accept donations, as well as taking personal contributions from people they knew.
Her friends and family also chipped in by holding raffles and fundraisers.
And so this past Tuesday, Freya set off on her scooter from her home in Delph to Uppermill, riding past her school and then back home again – a distance of around five miles – and has managed to raise a whopping £800 and counting for the worthy cause.
Millie’s mother said: “Freya is an amazing little girl and a wonderful friend to Millie already – what she is doing is wonderful.”
This is just brilliant.
If you would like to donate to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital via Freya’s fundraiser, you can do so here.
Manchester band M60 are tagging Gary Neville every day until he listens to their music — let’s help make it happen
Nearly half a year ago, Manchester band M60 began a social media campaign to start tagging Manchester United legend turned pundit Gary Neville every single day until he listens to their music.
And, you know, since we’re all about supporting local artists, we thought we’d do our bit by pecking his head in too.
We’ve seen the Manc indie outfit live a couple of times now — including their headline set at Gorilla back in 2023 (at the time their biggest gig to date) — and they’ve never disappointed, be it the performance or their ever-growing cult following of loyal fans.
That being said, we feel we’re only doing Gary Neville and all of you lot a public service by joining them in their efforts to get their name out there. Plus, we’re enjoying all the different ways they’re managing to keep things interesting:
If you’ve never come across them before either, the four-piece is made up of a bunch of mates from various towns around the region and is fronted by vocalist and lead guitarist Matthew Morton. Alliterative names always make us think of superheroes and their tunes often make us feel like that too.
Playing together since their high school days and named after the massive Greater Manchester motorway from 2015 onwards, they’re best known for tunes like ‘I Don’t Mind’, ‘Honey’, ‘Darling’; ‘Fade Away’, ‘Kool-Aid’ and plenty more.
They also recently released their latest debut EP, How Did You Get There? and trust us, it’s a belter. Morton once described their sound as ‘Sweet Mancunian indie rock‘ and we couldn’t sum it up any better ourselves. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Which is exactly why we want ‘r Gary to get on them too.
Also, we’ve found the whole journey very funny up until this point, so long may it continue — not too long though; we actually really want him to become M60’s newest and biggest fan through sheer persistence and pestering by the local band and yours truly. And by all means, feel free to join us in the good fight.
The local lads themselves have joked about becoming more well-known simply by embracing themselves as the “Gary Neville meme band” as the days pass, but the strategy is still kind of working nonetheless and with more new music on the way, why stop now?
We want to see Gary’s phone blowing up non-stop, right up to the point that he gets more annoyed than he did in that infamous clip of somebody passing his phone number and simply has to see what all the fuss is about it.
Featured Images — Press Image/Sky Sports (via screenshot)
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.