Long periods of isolation have damaged the self-confidence of some of Trafford’s most medically-vulnerable residents during lockdown. But the Council has come up with a unique plan to get them out and about and enjoying the outdoors again: Alpacas.
Members of Supported Living Service – a scheme designed to help local people retain their independence – have been taking Trafford’s residents on walks with these friendly, furry animals as the country around them reopens.
The idea of the alpaca strolls is to help people build up their self-confidence now that restrictions have lifted, with participants able to chat amongst one another and find new friends.
Residents got to go on their first walk with the alpacas in the Calderdale countryside last month.
“Many of the people we help through Supported Living have been particularly vulnerable during the COVID pandemic and so haven’t really been able to go out due to the shielding restrictions,” said Leesa Banks, organiser and Team Leader at Trafford Council.
“I thought this would be a great way for them to get used to being outdoors and socialising with people again.”
While Leesa admits that recruiting alpacas is a somewhat strange and unconventional technique, she said it “brought a smile to people’s faces”.
“It will be a great talking point for them,” she added.
The alpacas come from a family-run business near Hollingworth Lake that specialises in “alpaca walking” just to the north of the borough of Rochdale, but the native South American animals aren’t just limited to the local countryside.
“For people with mobility problems, they can even bring the Alpacas to care homes and can be led into residents’ rooms,” Leesa continues.
“It’s sure to be beneficial for wellbeing since the isolation of lockdown.”
Cllr Jo Harding – Executive Member for Adult Services at Trafford Council – added: “During the pandemic, our priority has been to protect vulnerable people.
“Even with vaccinations and restrictions easing, we still have to be careful but we also have to focus on people’s mental health needs as well [and] this is a brilliant way of doing that, while enjoying the great countryside.”
Featured Image – Trafford Council
Peter Kay issues heartfelt thanks to Manchester fans and teases ANOTHER big announcement
Peter Kay has sent a lovely message to fans in Manchester after making his triumphant return to the live scene last weekend.
The Bolton comedian has just ticked off the first two nights of a mammoth run at the AO Arena, which includes 42 Manchester shows between now and 2025.
On his opening night – his first real venture into the spotlight since he largely stepped away from the public eye 12 years ago – he was moved to tears by the standing ovation he received before he’d even started the show.
And now Peter has issued a heartfelt thank you message.
He said in a statement: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who came to the first shows in Manchester.
“It was incredible to be part of such a happy experience.
“Everybody deserves a bit of joy. Here’s to a lot more in the shows to come!!”
And that’s not all – his post also hinted that there’s yet another announcement to come (because apparently more than 100 tour dates and breaking the internet with ticket demand wasn’t enough).
The late monarch – who celebrated her Platinum Jubliee back in June 2022, before sadly passing away in September – the word guessing game that took the world by storm, and the disgraced Manchester United footballer are just three of the topics that have peaked the interest of Brits enough to search for them on Google this year.
Wordle took the top spot on the 2022 list, after gamers nationwide presumably used the search engine to figure out the answers each day.
The puzzle game beat out the 2022 World Cup – which is currently underway in Qatar with the Three Lions set to face France in the Quarter Finals – which came in second place, followed by Ukraine and Lateral Flow Tests (LFTs) rounding out the top five.
As well as Ukraine, the country of Russia has also made its way into the top 10 most-searched topics, thanks to the latter’s invasion of the former.
Likely the most familiar name on the list to Mancunians will be that of Manchester United footballer Mason Greenwood – who is due to face trial next year after being charged in 2022 with attempted rape, assault, and controlling and coercive behaviour relating to the same woman.
Wordle is not alone on the list when it comes to games either, as its more difficult counterpart Quordle – which tasks hardcore players with guessing four words in just nine tries – ranked in eighth place on the list.
Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who was the subject of a new Netflix series starring Evan Peters in 2022, and actor Johnny Depp, who was at the forefront of a highly-publicised libel trial between him and his ex-wife Amber Heard for a considerable chunk of the year, are the last two searches to round out the top 10.