The Stockport Spider-Man has raised a whopping £14,000 and counting for suicide prevention charities after tackling three marathons in 24 hours this past weekend.
We mean it both figuratively and literally when we say that that Jason Baird has become somewhat of a local superhero since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic first hit back in March of last year, as alongside his friend Andrew Baldock, he has proudly become one half of the now-famous Stockport Spider-Men and has been donning his spidey suit to weave a web of joy throughout the community while out on his daily jogs for the past 12 months.
The dad-of-two and martial arts instructor has backflipped his way through three lockdowns, and has earned himself international recognition and tens of thousands of fans in the process.
Spotting spidey on his travels has become a popular activity for the people of Stockport, with children making special ‘stop here’ signs for their front windows, dressing up in masks and spider suits themselves to join in on the fun, and just generally looking forward to his arrival.
While putting smiles on faces at a time when it’s needed more than ever has ultimately been Jason’s goal over this past year, the character’s most-famous quote has remained firmly in his mind.
“With great power comes great responsibility”.
It was these important words that inspired Jason to not just make a positive change through his actions, but to create a lasting legacy with them.
A lasting legacy that first saw him complete an ultramarathon – equivalent to 50 miles – by making his way across the entire Greater Manchester borough and raising over £8,000 in the process last month, before tackling his greatest mission yet over the weekend and attempting to complete four marathons / 105 miles in 24 hours.
And with a lot of training, a little help from his superhero friends along the way, and the support of the entire Stockport community behind him, Jason achieved what he set out to do.
While he ultimately made the decision to stop at just three marathons in the name of health and safety – after experiencing symptoms of exhaustion and dehydration – as well as adverse weather conditions, Jason still managed to complete an impressive 78 miles in the allotted time, and most-importantly, raise thousands of pounds for an extremely worthy cause.
This is all despite it admittedly being “the hardest thing [he’s] ever done”.
The organisation most-significantly benefitting from Jason’s achievements this past weekend is youth suicide prevention charity PAPYRUS – a cause that is very close to his heart, especially after admitting that he has struggled with his own mental health in recent months, and has sadly lost a friend to suicide during the first lockdown.
The charity says that suicide is the biggest killer of under 35’s in the UK, and it’s believed that around 200 school-aged children take their own lives each year.
Jason’s latest challenge has now seen his JustGiving fundraising page clock in at over £14,690 for PAPYRUS, and that’s on top of the £75,000+ he’s already raised for a collection of charities within the last 12 months alone.
The ultimate goal is to raise £100,000 for PAPYRUS – and Greater Manchester’s with him every step of the way.
If you’ve been inspired by Jason’s story and his outstanding achievements over this past year, you can show your support for an extremely worthy cause by contributing to the goal of raising £100,000 for PAPYRUS via his JustGiving page.
You can also follow along with the Stockport Spider-Men adventures here.
And don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled and stay tuned for more Stockport Spider-Men missions coming in 2021 too.
Question Time audience stunned as first-time buyer says mortgage quote DOUBLED
Thursday night’s Question Time audience could be heard audibly gasping after a fellow crowd member revealed that her mortgage quote had doubled followed the recent mini-budget.
Taping in Manchester on 29 September, the current events and politics programme was discussing property when would-be first-time buyer Rabia revealed that her mortgage offer had jumped from an initial amount of 4.5% interest to a shocking 10.5% in just a matter of days.
As you can see in the incredible clip, both the audience and the panel are taken aback at the revelation.
The Greater Manchester resident said she is desperate to know what the government’s plan for mortgages is as following the latest revision, she says she simply cannot afford to put the money down on her first home.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer weighed in on the social media reaction, quote tweeting the clip from his party’s own account and stating that “the Tories must get back to Parliament and reverse their kamikaze budget” as the current economic mess is being “paid for by working people”.
To make matters worse, Rabia was given no clarification from her lenders, only that they were pulling her offers. Conservative MP and Minister for Local Government, Faith and Communities, Paul Scully had little information to offer her either, simply stating it is a short-term effect and that the market will stabilise.
Scully was subject to an entirely different reaction from the audience as well after his blind attempts to defend Prime Minister Liz Truss and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng were met with laughter. Conversely, Richard Bacon was met with applause after he labelled the mini-budget “absurd”.
As if the anti-Tory sentiment wasn’t already at a high, the chancellor’s mini-budget – which saw the corporations, bankers and the generally wealthy benefit ahead of the working class – has seen fresh calls for a general election to be held as soon as possible.
Beyond declaring a so-called £2,500 limit on energy bills (which many have warned isn’t a guaranteed cap), there was seemingly very little in the way of policy that
For those still unclear as to what was announced in the divisive mini-budget, here is a quick summary:
Speaking in a speech at the Labour conference in Liverpool on Tuesday, Starmer said that the government “haven’t just failed to fix the roof, they’ve ripped out the foundations, smashed the windows and now they’ve blown the doors off for good measure.
First images of King Charles III on new coins revealed
The first images of King Charles III‘s likeness on the next 50p coin have been unveiled by the Royal Mint as the nation prepares to transition into a new form of currency.
Revealed on Friday, 30 September, the UK’s official coin maker unveiled the first piece of legal tender. The incoming 50p features Charles’ face in the classic profile position and a new design on the reverse that harks back to the design featured on Queen Elizabeth II‘s 1953 coronation coin.
As you can see, the new coin includes the four quarters of the Royal Arms depicted within a shield and in between each shield is an emblem of the home nations; a rose, a thistle, a shamrock and a leek.
Martin Jennings, Designer of His Majesty King Charles III’s effigy, said in a press release: “It is a privilege to sculpt the first official effigy of His Majesty and to receive his personal approval for the design.
“The portrait was sculpted from a photograph of The King, and was inspired by the iconic effigies that have graced Britain’s coins over the centuries. It is the smallest work I have created, but it is humbling to know it will be seen and held by people around the world for centuries to come.”
Jennings is also responsible for designing the new commemorative £5 coin, customary for marked occasions such as the change over of monarchs.
The limited edition £5 coin will form part of a wider memorial coin collection following the passing of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.
There is an estimated £4.5 billion worth of existing currency – approximately 27 billion coins of various denominations alone – thought to be in circulation, not to mention things like stamps, meaning that we will likely have to get used to carrying both old and new coins.
This isn’t the only significant change Britons can expect either, as earlier this week the Royal Family revealed the new King’s new cypher which will replace the Queen’s ‘EIIR’ seal across the UK, such as on the gates of Buckingham Palace and on postboxes.