A newsagent from Tyldsley has raised a whopping £10,000 for St Ann’s Hospice after falling seriously ill and recovering from coronavirus (COVID-19).
Stan Taylor admits he is “lucky to be alive” after testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) earlier this year shortly after the country was placed into lockdown and his family feared that he would not reach his 60th birthday in June.
Stan – who runs Little Hulton News and Booze with his brother-in-law Mike Fisher – was put into an induced coma and spent a week on a ventilator. At one point, his loved ones were warned that he may not make it, but thankfully he pulled through and he is now back at work part-time.
Reflecting back on the past few months, Stan said: “I was very poorly and my wife Jane and our family were warned that I might not make it. There was obviously a lot of love out there for me… apparently, there were 38,000 likes for me on social media and the goodwill messages included one from Manchester United.
“Fortunately, I managed to pull through.
“I still struggle to breathe and have fluid on my left lung but I’m much better.
“My birthday bucket list was meant to include a visit to New York, but I’m just glad to be here and the illness has changed my perception on life.
Following his miraculous recovery, Stan and Mike were delighted to receive a letter from St Ann’s Hospice informing them that the shop – known locally as Stan’s – has raised an a total £10,000 for the charity. The donations accumulated over several years and came from loyal customers who have been putting loose change into a collection box in the shop.
The newsagents on Hulton Avenue is round the corner from the St Ann’s Hospice site in Little Hulton and has been run by Mike and Stan for the last 20 years.
Mike, who is married to Stan’s sister Janet, added: “We both grew up around here so know what St Ann’s means to the community. We’ve thanked our customers for their generous donations on our Facebook page and to be honest, most of the money has come from schoolchildren who’ve been putting the odd bit of change in the box.”
Eamonn O’Neill – Chief Executive of St Ann’s Hospice – said: “We can’t thank Stan, Mike and all of their amazing customers enough for their support – what a phenomenal amount raised for our patients.
“We’re so pleased that Stan is starting to feel better and grateful that despite his own health and what he’s been through, that he still thinks about others in the local community like this is incredible. Collection tins like the one in Little Hulton News and Booze make such a difference and the funds raised – however big or small – really do help us to continue providing care to the thousands of people we support every year.
“We’d love to hear from anyone who has an organisation or business where they think they could have a tin too, as we’re on the look-out for new locations for them, especially as many of our fundraising events and other activities have had to be postponed or cancelled due to the pandemic.”
To contact St Ann’s Hospice about raising money, or having your own collection tin to support local patients, please call 0161 498 3631 or email [email protected].
‘Significant risk’ of UK gas shortages this winter, regulator warns
Energy regulator Ofgem has warned that the UK faces a ‘significant risk’ of gas shortages this winter.
According to reports in The Times, the regulator has unveiled concerns that the country could face blackouts over the coming months thanks to an undersupply of gas to Europe caused by Russia’s war with Ukraine.
Warning that a “gas supply emergency” could be looming ahead, the energy regulator has said that some gas-fired power plants could see their supplies cut off, which in turn would stop generators from producing electricity.
The alert comes just days before an expected update from the National Grid on the likelihood of countrywide power cuts this winter.
Responsing to arequest from SSE, which owns several gas power stations, Ofgem outlined what is set to be a huge issue of concern given that the UK relies on large gas plants to produce the biggest share of its electricity supply.
The regulator also pointed to rules that could see power plants penalised as a result of shortages, warning of a worst-case scenario that would see the “potential insolvency of gas-fired generators” caused by rules that require plants to pay huge charges if they fail to deliver on promised quotas.
Adding that the issue must be addressed to prevent a “significant impact on the safety and security of the electricity and/or gas systems”, the regulator echoed concerns now widespread in Europe as its comments followed a similar statement made by the International Energy Agency (IEA) this morning.
Europeans are already being told they must lower their thermostats and boilers in preparation in case gas supplies are cut off, with Paris-based agency IEA warning today that the EU must focus on getting underground gas reserve levels to 90% of capacity in case of a complete Russian supply shut-off.
Preparation are already being made in Europe with the German government having approved a set of energy-saving measures for the winter to limit use in public buildings. In France, meanwhile, companies have already been warned they may face energy rationing this winter.
Whilst the UK government is yet to announce any energey saving measures, Ofgem has said that it expect s“this winter to be more challenging than last year” and that it is taking “reasonable regulatory steps to mitigate and reduce the risks”.