With less than a week to go before Christmas, Salford Foodbank has set itself a rather unique donations target this year.
Salford Foodbank – part of the Freedom Central Manchester charity, and supported by local churches and the community to “work together towards stopping hunger in the local area” – is aiming to raise a whopping 1.5 tonnes of food donations for families in need across the region.
If you need something to put that into perspective, that’s the equivalent in weight of three whole camels.
And thanks to the kindness of local residents – including Keith Walker from Boothstown, who collected a staggering 600kg of donations from generous neighbours, friends and family – the foodbank has now already received over 1000kg of donations – or almost two camels.
Salford Foodbank – which is also part of The Trussell Trust’s network of more than 1,200 foodbank centres working to tackle food poverty and hunger across the UK – has distributed a record number of food parcels throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
However, with demand set to increase over Christmas and into the new year, they have vowed to keep the momentum going and reach the target.
In a bid to help with this mission, MediaCityUK-based design agency Carbon Creative has transformed a deluxe shed at the popular Box on the Docks open-air gallery and immersive art trail into a striking ‘Salford Foodbank Giftbox’ collection point.
Visitors to the trail and passers-by are being asked to drop off an item such as instant coffee, boil-in-a-bag rice and pasta, jars of jam and sauces, seasonal chocolate boxes, and toilet roll.
If you are not able to visit MediaCityUK though, but still wish to help Salford Foodbank “over the hump” of its donation goal, several community donation points have also been set up across Salford to support the campaign, including Moorside High School.
The ‘mini’ food giftbox locations are clearly marked its website, and is also filled with information, updated lists of items Salford Foodbank needs, and ways you can get involved.
Steve Mills – Assistant Headteacher at Moorside High School – said pupils have filled four wheelie bins full of food to donate to the appeal.
Mr Mills said: “As soon as we mentioned the appeal our students, their families and staff were eager to help.
“We had planned to use crates but had so many donations we had to borrow wheelie bins from Salford City Council to hold them all. I’m overwhelmed by their kindness, generosity and determination to make Christmas that little bit easier for people in need this year.
“We place great importance on community spirit as a school and they have done themselves and Salford proud.”
Iain Wight from Salford Foodbank added: “This year has seen an outpouring of local generosity, with communities coming together, such as Moorside School, MediaCityUK and through people like Keith who want to play their part in helping to support those who may be struggling.
“We have been blown away by people’s kindness and we can’t thank everyone enough – it means we can support even more families through unprecedented times of hardship.”
You can find more information about donations via the Salford Foodbank website here.
Ben Foster reveals he’s being paid ‘literally peanuts’ to play for Wrexham AFC
We refuse to believe any UK football fan didn’t let out a little smile upon hearing the news that Ben Foster came out of retirement to re-sign for Wrexham AFC nearly 20 years on from his first spell.
The 39-year-old goalkeeper called time on his playing days at the end of last season after slowly moving towards becoming a squad player-come-YouTuber over the past few years and having already enjoyed a long and successful career.
However, following a nudge from the coach and celebrity owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, he was convinced to lace up his boots once more and the former United, Stoke, West Brom and Watford man will now be playing between the sticks at the Racecourse Ground until the end of the season.
To make things even more wholesome, the Premier League veteran has confessed that transfer talks didn’t last long, confessing on his YouTube and Spotify show, the Fozcast: “To be honest, the negotiations took about five minutes”, adding that he’s been paid “literally peanuts”.
Nevertheless, Foster admitted that he doesn’t need much money after such a great career up and down the football pyramid and while “things changed a lot since [he] was last here”, he said, “it’s nice to be back” and labelled manager Phil Parkinson “top class”.
Parkinson, an EFL journeyman himself, had similarly complimentary words for the seasoned keeper, stating: “We’re delighted to welcome Ben to the club. With Rob Lainton getting injured at the weekend, it was important we had all bases covered going into the last part of the season, which this signing ensures.”
The ex-England international first played for Wrexham back in 2005 when he was loaned out by Stoke City and went on to win the EFL Trophy — his first-ever piece of silverware. Now he’s back to help them finally get out of the National League (currently three points clear at the top with a game in hand).
As for his expectations for the season, he said the goal is simple: “getting the team over the line and getting them promoted”, adding “I’m a very low-maintenance player. Just wheel me out, I’ll do a job.” Now that’s the kind of attitude we can get behind.
Speaking to talkSPORT after the sudden move, he revealed that the whole deal felt just as out of the blue for him too, detailing how he got a call from the manager after a bike ride one day and, before he knew it, he’d given them the thumbs up.
Shedding some light on his discussions with the Hollywood owners, he said that Reynolds “actually slid into [his] DMs” once the agreement had been confirmed, joking: “I’m buzzing I’ve got Ryan Reynolds in there, I ain’t even replied to him! I’ll leave him hanging for a bit!”
He went on to admit that he actually approached him first, messaging, “I used to play for Wrexham and if you’re ever available for a podcast I’d love you to come.” Thankfully, he finally responded, saying: “Mate, sorry I didn’t reply. I’ll definitely do the podcast with you, thank you for signing.”
That Deadpool episode is going to be a great watch… You can see him talking about the surprise transfer in full on his YouTube channel down below:
The GIANT £375 chocolate Easter egg that’s ‘too beautiful to eat’
One of the north’s most legendary hospitality businesses has created an Imperial Easter Egg, and the effort that goes into crafting it is wild.
Coming in at 10kg, 22 inches tall, and £375, Bettys enormous chocolate treat shows off a whole lot of artistry.
The iconic tearoom, which has sites across Yorkshire, has shared the behind-the-scenes video to its TikTok page, drumming up almost half a million views.
The mouth-watering video shows first milk chocolate being hand-painted onto a chocolate egg-shaped mould to create the Easter egg’s beautiful textured appearance, The Hoot reports.
Then layer after layer of melted chocolate is poured in from a chocolate tap, before being trimmed and tidied.
Bettys, which has tearooms across Harrogate, York, and Leeds, uses the finest Swiss Grand Cru chocolate for its imperial Easter egg, and every bit that’s trimmed away is melted down to reuse elsewhere.
Then a pastry chef at the tearoom will spend up to an hour PER EGG piping on the ornate decorations, carefully piping on coloured white chocolate stems and ferns.
Then colourful royal icing flowers are placed on its surface, each one again hand-piped by their cake decorators.
The end result is a whopping Spring-time masterpiece covered in shades of green, yellow and purple.
Bettys Imperial Easter Egg weighs in at a massive 10kg and stands at 22 inches tall.
Bettys says: “Celebrating the creativity and craft that makes Bettys unique, our handmade Imperial Easter eggs continue a tradition stretching back more than a century, when our founder Frederick Belmont designed eggs which were ornately embellished with hand-piped icing designs.
“Containing over five kilos of Grand Cru Swiss chocolate made from prized Venezuelan criollo cocoa beans, the Imperial Egg is a true work of art, showcasing the highest skills of our chocolatiers and cake decorators.
“Each Imperial Egg carries an array of delicate, individually crafted spring blooms and foliage including primroses, narcissi and pansies, with hand-piped stems as a final perfect touch.
“Our Imperial Easter Egg is made to order and is only available for collection from one of our Yorkshire shops.”