EX-GAMBLING ADDICT PLEADS: ‘ASK FOR HELP’ AT THE HEART OF ALL THINGS SALFORD
Wednesday 4 December 2019
Recovering Salford gambling addict warns: ‘It was fun in the beginning. But before I knew it I had spent £2,000 to £3,000’
Community group battling against pollution
Friends of Light Oaks Park community group plant trees this weekend Read more on page 4
SIX musical returns to the Lowry
The smash-hit musical has returned to The Lowry and has taken the city by storm Read more on page 6
Raising awareness for disability sports Image: James Hoskison
By Thomas Bowen A Salford resident has spoken out about addiction after shocking new figures show the extent of gambling in the UK.
A recovering gambling addict, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “It was just a bit of fun in the beginning, it made watching the football more interesting. But then my parents sat me down as I didn’t realise how much I had spent. “It was fun in the beginning, you win some, you lose some. But be-
fore I knew it I had already spent £2,000 or £3,000.” When asked what advice he would give to those struggling with a gambling addiction, he said:“If you feel like you’ve got a problem, speak to someone because it helps.” Fifty-three per cent of adults in the UK are gamblers, an NHS study reveals. The 2018 Health Survey identifies the biggest group of gamblers were men aged 25-34, with 64 per cent having gambled in the past 12 months.
NHS boss Simon Stevens said: ‘These new stats are a stark reminder of how common gambling is in our society, and how easy it is to become addicted, particularly with the aggressive push into online gambling.” Online betting apps and websites have made gambling more accessible than before. Salford is not short of bookies, there are six in the Salford Shopping City alone. With interactive games and attractive sign-up bonuses, the appeal of gambling is
undeniably alluring. The issue of gambling is being recognised in politics, and some are calling on the current Gambling Act to be reformed. If re-elected, the Conservative Party will review the Gambling Act, focusing on tackling issues around credit card misuse and loot boxes. The Labour Party has pledged to introduce a brand new Gambling Act ‘fit for the digital age’. They, like the Conservative Party, have recognised that the 2005 Act is not up-to-date with modern practices.
. disability basketball New sessions offered in Salford Read more on page 4
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WEDNESDAY 4 DECEMBER 2019
Salford charity appeals for toys this Christmas
By Nicholas Brien A Salford-based charity has appealed for toy donations to help terminally ill children this Christmas. Wipe Your Tears, which also supports children who are subject to domestic abuse, explained that this time of year, which brings joy to many, can often be the hardest for some. Chief executive Wendy Hutchins said: “The impact for a child in need to receive a toy on Christmas Day which they would not have received without our support is phenomenal.” “Children who are terminally or seriously ill are sometimes unable to focus or play with the actual gifts due to their weakness, they are though extremely grateful of their gifts.” Wendy continued to explain that the charity also offers a service which provides gifts to those suffering from domestic abuse, and a safehouse which takes an ‘overwhelming’ number of occupants during the festive season. She added: “We often see these children arriving and it is heart breaking to see that they have nothing or very little on most occasions.” So far, the charity has enjoyed great generosity to their cause, with donations from mountain expeditions and proceeds from a new Christmas album all going towards the grand total. However, despite their best efforts, Wendy only expects the demand in future years to grow. She said: “Each Christmas sadly the need for our appeal grows and what should be and is for most a happy time of year, for the children we support it is often the saddest. We supported 2,000 children last Christmas across the North West, this number will grow this year. “Donations vary year on year with a combination of individuals, businesses and Mission Christmas, we have to date been able to support all applications, we hope this will continue through the generosity of so many once again.”
42nd Street is providing a new online support platform for young people
New online service offers mental health advice for young people
By Ellis Clarke
A new online service to provide mental health support for young people in Salford has been launched. The platform is being offered by 42nd Street for anyone aged 13-25 living in Salford. It offers expert advice and practical tips on a range of mental health conditions. Users of the service have access to self-help materials and peer-to-peer support from the comfort of their own home. 42nd Street works with young peo-
ple across Greater Manchester aged 11-25 to support their emotional webeing and mental health. The charity provides lots of opportunities for young people to get involved with so that they can learn new skills, grow, and reach their full potential. Scott Ford, Online Services Manager at 42nd street, said: “People came to use and said they really wanted to be able to access material online. “For students, it’s turned out really popular.” The aim of the new online service is to provide support for young people at a time that is right for them.
Scott said: “With the online service you can message whenever you want and a worker will get back to you at some point in the week.” “But it’s entirely up to you when you pick that up, which fits in well with chaotic study schedules.” Newly released figures report that 1 in 9 children aged 5-15 experience a mental health disorder, according to NHS digital 2017. Despite this, only 1 in 4 young people reported that they were accessing mental health services. Scott said: “Usually the big hitters tend to be anxiety and depression, especially at the start of an academ-
ic year if you’ve moved away from home for the first time.” According to the survey, young people aged 14-19 who identified as LGBT were more than twice as likely to experience a mental health condition. Scott said: “40% of those who log on to the service are LGBT because it really helps with the anonymity it offers people.” It is hoped that the launch of this new digital service will make mental health support more accessible to people. The aim is to break down the stigma that prevents so many from getting the help they need early.
Three months without mail for residents of Buckingham Road after vicious dog attack
Residents of Buckingham Road in Swinton have not been receiving postal deliveries from Royal Mail for the past three months after a postman was attacked by a dog The postman was seriously injured after an altercation with one of the residents pets whilst delivering mail to the address, and delivery has not resumed since the incident. Terry Smith, 85, one of the residents living on Buckingham Road affected by the issue said: “It’s unusual to stop delivering for the whole street because of one flat and a dog. Why not just don’t deliver to that block of flats or even put a postbox on the other side of the railings. “There’s a solution to everything if you think about it. I didn’t propose this but somebody up there in Royal Mail, somebody’s got t have a bit of brain about them, haven’t they? Why didn’t they think of something like that?” “It’s gone on for nearly 3 months. Then we were told, to collect our post, I would have to have gone to Worsley industrial estate. “Well I don’t have transport, I’m 85 my wife is 80 odd, how the hell do we
get down there, other than a taxi. And you have to go yourself because you have to show proof of identity. “The Royal Mail are under contract to deliver post because people pay to have that mail delivered with a stamp and they’re not honouring that contract to deliver mail – they’re being paid for somebody else to deliver it for them.” Residents were forced to travel 45 minutes on foot or a 15 minute drive to collect their mail. A Royal Mail Spokesperson said: “Royal Mail can confirm that there is a delivery suspension in place on Buckingham Road due to concerns over the safety of postmen and postwomen following a recent dog attack. We have notified all impacted residents of the suspension and have made arrangements for impacted customers to collect their mail from the local Post Office should they require. The police have also been informed. Daily assessments and observations are taking place with a view to resuming normal deliveries as soon as we can do so safely. A leaflet at the local Royal Mail depot in Worsley provided further guidance to pet owners:
“Recently your postie has encountered difficulties delivering mail to your area. This is due to dogs roaming the streets menacing and in some cases attacking our people. “There are many dog attacks involving postmen and women every month. Sometimes these involve serious injuries to our people, which require medical attention, and even time lost from work “Royal Mail treats all dog attacks on our postmen and women very seriously, and our first priority as an employer is to ensure the welfare and safety of our people who provide a valuable service to our customers. It is very distressing when one of our people is attacked by a dog while carrying out their job. “Suspending deliveries is often a last resort, as we recognise the vast majority of dog owners are very responsible and keep their pets under control. We continue to appeal to dog owners and their families to help reduce the numbers of attacks, particularly at the door and in the garden.” “Please help us to deliver your mail by keeping dogs under control and off the street when your postman or postwoman calls.”
WEDNESDAY 4 DECEMBER 2019
Officers seize illegal cigarettes
Salford Crescent station.
Image: Megan Dooley
Salford’s underfunded trains affects transport quality
By James Burr In a recent study by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) North, the north of England, including Salford, is receiving £527 less per person than in the south. The analysis, based on HM Treasury figures for 2018-19, showed that investment had fallen in the past year. In the North West, spending per person has dropped by £78 (16%). Arianna Giovannini, director of IPPR North, said: “There has been a long trend of underinvestment, this
is because decisions about how investment in transport is allocated are made in Whitehall. “As a result of that, there are parts of the country like the North West that are missing out because the decisions are made further away, by leaders and politicians who do not have a clear understanding of the issues on the ground.” She added that the north is being neglected. She said: “For a long time there has been underinvestment in the north, which means the quality of transport
affects the quality of life. “This is very bad for the people who need the transport to travel to work or who have to trust the services which are bad. This shows that there is a need for decisions to be shifted, so that the north can actually make decisions directly for how transport investment is allocated.” Giovannini has reservations regarding the success of HS2 in the north. She added: “There are doubts about whether HS2 is going to be up north or not. We think that HS2 should start from the north itself and then we have
the infrastructure that is needed in the north. This can provide a basis for improving infrastructure for transport across the north.” According to Salford City Council, buses account for 80% of public transport trips in Greater Manchester, and trams and trains make up the rest. Salford City Council is currently working on plans with Transport for Greater Manchester to create a new tram line running from the Trafford Centre all the way to Eccles, with an ambition of minimising car trips. This project is called ‘Salford 2025’.
Pic courtesy of Marco Vetch professional photographer and speaker
By Rhys Blanchard Officers across Salford have seized illegal cigarettes worth £18,000 from six local shops. The raids were carried out by members of Trading Standards from Salford City Council. They targeted shops which had been identified to them by tip-offs from the public. The use of sniffer dogs allowed the team to recover more than 26,800 cigarettes, which were falsely branded as legitimate cigarettes from companies such as Marlboro, Rothmans and Benson and Hedges. Salford Trading Standards also seized 247 pouches of hand rolling tobacco and more than £1,600 cash under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. During the raids they also found that some cigarettes had been imported illegally, meaning the buyers didn’t have to pay duty, a tax which legally has to be paid on certain products when entering the country. The raids were carried our simultaneously this morning across Broughton, Swinton, Irlam and Little Hulton. Salford City Council have been contacted for comment.
Emmaus homeless charity turned rough sleeper’s life around By Rhiannon Hayman A social supermarket has opened in Pendleton as part of the Emmaus homelessness charity shop and has turned Pat Etkin’s life around. Pat Etkins is an Emmaus Employee who was homeless before she found a new life working for Emmaus. Pat initially worked in the Emmaus Salford shops, organising donations and cooking meals in the community kitchen. The idea of Lucie’s Pantry Salford stemmed off the amount of homeless or low-income families that were coming into Emmaus charity in Salford in the need of serious help, with Pat being one of them. Launching Lucie’s Pantry, Pat initially worked three days a week, helping stock the pantry and serve its customers, also helping Pat earn some money and get off the streets. Previously being homeless herself, Pat explains how Lucie’s Pantry has really changed her life, “I got the job in Lucie’s Pantry, which then got me off the streets, so now I don’t live here anymore I live in my own flat. “I owe a lot to Emmaus for the help they’ve given me, Emmaus will always be in my heart.” Pat has become passionate about helping people get off the streets, she says she not only loves helping keep them fed, but also helping them find
work and a home so they can move onto the next, and hopefully happier, chapter in their life. The shop helps by working through a membership scheme, allowing the members to have ten items for £2.50, which can be worth up to £15 every day. The pantry stocks essential household items for low income or homeless people to help make each day a little bit easier. Starting with 20 members, Lucie’s Pantry Salford now has 150 members who come in the shop regularly, which Pat says illustrates just how high the demand for food banks in Salford is. With new refurbishments coming soon, Pat is hopeful that she will now be able to help other people get their lives back on track in the same way Lucie’s Pantry helped her. Pat explained: “This is my pride and joy, its everything to me, I’ve known some of my customers for two years now and I know everything about them. I’m not just here to give food out to them, it’s a friendly place here as well.” Striving to make the shop a social supermarket, Pat wants to create a community within the shop and its customers. She says many of the customers now come in just for a chat and to see a friendly face, as a lot of them are
extremely lonely. Pat also has a lot of customers that struggle with depression and anxiety, she says she is here even if they just want to pop in for a chat. Helping people find jobs and change their live is also a passion of Pat’s she said, “A lot of mine have left now because I’ve got them doing voluntary work somewhere else or part-time and full-time jobs.” With Christmas around the corner, Pat also has help from the CAB, helping her get nappies and school uniforms in stock. They’ve even put her in touch with Wood Street Mission, to ensure the children in her community get Christmas presents this Christmas as well. Pat strongly feels that the pantry is “not just for food” as it’s a community as well. Recycling is the next step, Pat is going to provide a bottle for just one pound filled with what the customer needs, and then they can bring the bottle back and get it filled up for free. Helping the environment is also a big part of Pat’s work. Recipe cards are also going to be made, to provide more support and help people and families start eating the right foods instead of just using the microwavable meals Pat says her “Door is always open” and the support she gives people will never stop.
Pat Etkins turned her life around with Emmaus. Image: Rhiannon Hayman
WEDNESDAY 4 DECEMBER 2019
Raising awareness of disability sport in Salford By Ellis Clarke
New disability basketball sessions are being offered in Salford to help encourage disabled people into sport. The sessions, led by DO Sport UK, aims to raise awareness of disability in sport. They want to show residents with a range of conditions the activities available in their area Jacob Meaton, from DO Sport UK, said: “It’s all about getting people active and moving. “To try and engage people and make those with disabilities enjoy sport.” It is hoped the sessions make sport more accessible for those living with a physical and learning disability. The club offers a wide range of sporting sessions and activities for people to get involved with. From wheelchair basketball to boccia to suit various disabilities from autism to Down’s syndrome – the hope is to offer something for everyone. Currently, there are 11.5 million disabled people living in the UK. Sport England say that disabled people are twice as likely to be physically inactive than non-disabled people.
Wheelchair users enjoy a game of basketball Furthermore, the NHS recommends adults should do 60-150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week to stay fit and healthy. Jacob hopes to remove barriers standing in the way for disabled people to get involved in sport. He said: “People know about it,
people see it, people get excited by it. “But the truth is there’s not a lot out there for these guys to get involved in”. Do Sport UK also works alongside Basketball England and the Special Olympics and hopes to create pathways for people to go on and experi-
ence competition at all levels. He said: “Some people still don’t know about the special Olympics. “The world games, numbers-wise, is the biggest multi-sports event in the world yet still so many people don’t realise this is going on”. However, the main aim of the club
is to encourage people to take part and have fun. The club is open to all ages and abilities and runs a number of activities to suit both adults and children. Jacob added: “We have a massive range of ages and abilities that turn up so anyone can come down.”
Blackfriars Road reaping rewards of litter pick
the friends of Light Oaks park community group planting trees this weekend
Litter picking on Blackfriars Road
By Roisin Delaney Blackfriars Road, one of the major roads running from Manchester city center into Salford, is reaping the rewards of a major litter pick that took place over the weekend. Four volunteers from Salford Litter heroes spent over three hours on the road on Saturday, collecting 21 bin bags full of rubbish in total. The volunteers work is obvious to those who frequent the route. The empty beer cans and takeaway packaging that once lined the road are now gone, as is the mess of a few smashed bottles and glasses. A spokesperson for Salford Litter Heroes said: ‘Interestingly, we were picking next to fencing and somehow litter managed to get on top of the fence. ‘Most of it had been there for years and was frozen into the ground because of the weather, but we tried our best. ‘The most common thing I found was plastic bottle, beer cans and herons foods bags which is located across the bridge.
‘We also found three brollies, a new package of Polyurethane Resin and a construction sign. ‘One of the group even found a computer.’ But Salford Litter Heroes were quick to tell us of their struggles in maintaining the environment. ‘A guy who volunteers for Salford Ranger Team helped cut the bushes on a pathway to access the litter, but some couldn’t be accessed due to too much dog poo. ‘A passerby said thanks and told us that the bushes were only maybe cut once a year. ‘Someone else actually thanked us as we walked past, which isn’t very often. ‘People always seem to think we either work for the council and are on community payback. ‘So we have to regularly explain that we are volunteers and people are shocked when we say we aren’t getting paid.’ Police have the ability to issue fixed penalty notices up to £150 to any person caught dropping litter in the street.
Community group battling against pollution By Claudia Burns The Friends of Light Oaks Park community group planted trees this weekend as part of its Big Climate Fightback. Salford City Council Ranger Alistair Cook worked with Manchester and District Walkers and local residents, who volunteered to help plant trees, daffodil and crocus bulbs. More than 40 people attended the event, with more than 100 trees planted. Tim Moore, a member of the Friends of Light Oaks Park, said: “Today throughout the UK a lot of people are getting involved with climate change so we’re planting loads of trees and bulbs and hopefully we are all doing our little bit towards the climate change fight.” The aim of the tree planting is not only to make the area greener, but also to help slow down the effects of climate change.” Salford city council recently re-
vealed that 4.5 per cent of Salford’s 2017 mortality rate was caused by human made pollution, higher than the North West average of 4.1 per cent, yet still lower than the 5.1 per cent average for England. Mr Moore said of the day: “It’s very important. It’s very much to do with
the climate change and it’s a thing that everybody is beginning to look at now more seriously.” In partnership with the Woodland Trust, the Friends of Light Oaks Park is just one of the many organisations in Greater Manchester battling against climate change.
WEDNESDAY 4 DECEMBER 2019
Christmas day swim for foodbank By Ellis Clarke
Water returns to Middlewood Lock after pump vandalised Middlewood Locks filling with water again, but not yet open to navigation
By Joseph Wilmot Water is back to normal levels in Middlewood Locks, but the canal will not be open to navigation until further notice, the Canal and River Trust has announced. The Ordsall waterway had been left dry for several days after the pumps further down the river appeared to have been vandalised. Water started flowing back in the
lock yesterday afternoon. Officials were not able to say when the canal would be reopened to navigation. Canal and River Trust agents were working hard throughout the day yesterday to rescue fish and wildlife from the small puddles left inside the dock, but a substantial number died. According to residents, it is alleged that the water pumping station further down the River Irwell was broken
into and had copper cables stolen, rendering it useless and stopping water from reaching the lock. A man who lives near the lock said that two replacement pumps were sourced and installed within the last couple of days but had also been broken. In a statement, a spokesperson for the Canal and River Trust said: “We are currently investigating why the water has drained from Middlewood
Image: Claudia Burns
Locks on the Manchester, Bolton & Bury Canal.” They added that their fisheries team had carried out a fish rescue. The Middlewood Dock has been rebuilt and regenerated over the past few years to make way for a brand new multi-million pound development, Middlewood Locks. additional reporting by Laura Joffre
A woman from Salford is braving icy sea waters on Christmas day to raise money for Salford foodbank. Lizzie Adams, senior nurse practitioner at Ramsgate House, will be kicking off her festive celebrations with a splash. She plans to donate all the money she raises to help the foodbank keep its doors open. Lizzie said: “The Salford branch provides food to people I look after with severe mental health illnesses and they would be lost without it.” The annual Christmas swim event, organised by Sentinel Leisure Trust, sees hundreds of people strip off and help raise funds for charity. Last year’s event raised more than £10,000 for local charities. This year will see the swim in its 42nd year and organisers are hoping even more local heroes get involved and brave the North Sea. With temperatures in the water expected to be a mere 5 degrees, swimmers will only have festive cheer keeping them warm. Salford Foodbank is on the brink of closing due to a funding crisis. Last year, it provided over 57,000 meals to residents. Lizzie said: “It’s really worrying for the local community because these meals won’t be provided anymore.” It means new premises will need to be found by early 2020 for the food bank to ensure its survival. She added: “Every year they need £65,000 to run the service and the money they know they are getting each year is £20,000 – so there’s a massive shortfall.” The event takes places on Tuesday 25th December at 10am at Claremont Pier, Lowerstoft.
Monton Unitarian church becomes accessible to all visitors By Niki Charalambous Accessibility works are coming to an end at the Monton Unitarian Church in Salford. The Monton Unitarian Church is being renovated to allow the easy access of disabled persons in the premises. The renovations made are also part of the process of preserving the building which is going to be 150 years in the next five years. Reverend Anna Jarvis has taken over the accessibility project and mentions that: “The whole ethos of Unitarianism is openness and inclusivity and welcoming everybody; which we do very well as a congregation”. She continued to say that “if you’re able-bodied you’d have no problem walking in. Getting in in a wheelchair was a nightmare. We had an old metal ramp that you could put into position, but it was not very nice-looking and not very safe to walk up so we said right, we’re going to fix it.” Anna elaborates on the procedure of the accessibility works that have been taking place over the past 18 months: “What we’ve done at the front is level everything, move the pews back a bit- so that we now have a lot more space. It will eventually all be carpeted, and everybody will be able to get all the way across”.
Monton Church. Photo Nikki Charalambous She mentions that during service, to their family or friends and be part people with disabilities were unable of the congregation”. to be seated within the crowd and alA disabled toilet had to be created in ways had to be sat behind the pews, the entrance of the church as the toilet so they created space for two wheel- currently available is inaccessible to chairs between the pews “so that peo- people with disabilities and could not ple in a wheelchair can sit and be next be modified. The toilet also offers a
baby-changing station. The heating in the church has also been updated, and helps preserve the fabric of the building. As part of the accessibility works, a ramp is also being built, however, it needs more time than the other works.
“We’re actually building out the whole of the front steps so that we can then run the ramp along the front of the church towards the carpark”. Anna wants to turn the church into a community centre like the Monton Memorial Hall and utilise its premises to host community events. “This building is very underused, and we want it to be as much of a community centre for Salford as that building. The other benefit of having cleared the space at the front is it makes it much more suitable for concerts, play readings, art displays – all sorts of things can now happen in here that couldn’t.” Anna says that she has been working on the project for roughly 18 months now and is excited to see the works coming to an end. She said: “It’s really exciting actually, it seemed to take forever to get all the permissions in place and all the red tape that had to be got through, and then when the building works started, for weeks it felt like nothing was happening. “And then, all of a sudden, thing just suddenly started appearing around the place which was really exciting.” The accessibility works, apart from the ramp, will be finished by the end of this week. The ramp will be finished in the near future, but the exact date is still unconfirmed.
WEDNESDAY 4 DECEMBER 2019
Salford University alumni wins big at BAFTA Children’s Awards By Ellie Shannon
Award-winning Salford editor Martin O’Byrne provided the voice over for Play Your Pets Right which won Best Entertainment Show at the BAFTA Children’s awards. The award show, which took place on Sunday night, saw Play Your Pets Right beat children’s entertainment duo Sam and Mark to the win. Speaking about the win, Mr O’Byrne, a former Salford student, said: “We never expected the BAFTA... Sam and Mark were nominated and they’re great.” Mr O’Byrne has done voice over work before but it was a coincidence that he landed the role for Play Your
Pets Right. He said: “Right place, right time. I would love to do more of it, hopefully the BAFTA will help!” Play Your Pets Right is a children’s TV series where the nation’s pets battle against each other in a series of games and challenges. He studied media production at Salford University and has worked as a freelance editor and director for nearly 20 years. Looking back fondly on his studies, he recalls: “I enjoyed the course and made some lifelong friends. Including one of my best friends, Simon Dean who is currently creative director for Cartoon Network.” Initially, Mr O’Byrne dreamed of
being a cameraman. However, after exploring a variety of production roles at university, he found a love for editing. Since then he has found great success and worked on shows including ‘The Voice’, ‘I’m a Celebrity...’ and ‘Big Brother’. “Throw yourself into everything” is the advice he gives to students who are in a similar position that he was in. Mr O’Byrne recently moved back to Manchester after 15 years living and working in London. He adds: “I am very happy to be working up here with the tremendous talent we have in the North West. And coming from a proud Leeds lad, that says a lot.”
Salford choir boosts mental health in song
By Piotr Mielczarek
A Salford choir is inviting new members to join to improve their health and wellbeing. The Ferry Warblers launched with a taster day in September with 25 people joining the group. Since that time, the choir has grown to have 33 members. The group meets every Monday at the Cadishead Band Room on the corner of Ferry Hill road. In the session, the participants engage in breathing and vocal activities. The group is co-lead by Julie Parker and Kathleen Hesford, who both have studied at the Royal Northern College of Music. Hesford is the accompanist and Parker is the musical director of the Ferry Warblers. Parker said: “We were very keen when we advertised the choir that people did not think they had to be able to read music or be great singers. “We want to encourage people to come to the session and have a go.” There is no audition to join the Ferry Warblers and anyone is welcome to be a part of the group. Parker also said: “Sometimes people do not join choirs as they think they have to be a certain standard, but that is not the case, everyone is good enough.” The choir is also designed to help with mental and physical well-being as singing is a natural anti-depressant. Parker said: “Singing benefits your mind; as it helps with your memory; it also triggers emotion within you, and singing can help with the grieving process. “Singing helps a lot with breathing, people often shallow breathe throughout the day, but we do a lot of deep breathing in singing which gets more oxygen into the body.” Brian Davenport, 81, joined the choir in September, and he describes how singing is beneficial to him as he suffers from COPD. Alec Hughes and his wife Maureen have been part of various choirs for more than 12 years, as they claim that it benefits their mental health. Mr Hughes said: “Singing is good, as sometimes I feel a bit down when I come in and all of the sudden when I am singing I become happy.” The Ferry Warblers are practising for a concert, on Monday, December 16 in a sheltered accommodation where one of the members lives.
Image Credit: The Lowry Theatre
SIX justifies extended Lowry run By Megan Chapman
Smash-hit musical SIX has taken the city by storm once again as it returns to the Lowry. The venue has already added extra dates which has extended its run until January 11. SIX re-writes history and the wives of Henry finally tell their own stories of life with the ferocious king. Sassy, classy and absolutely hilarious, the queens exceeded all expectations with their phenomenal performance. Whether they were singing as a sextet or individual solos, each one shone with their own personality. The lively music had the crowd singing, dancing and up on their feet in no time Catherine of Aragon, played by the amazing Lauren Drew, (Heathers, Kinky Boots) stole the show. Her hysterical facial expressions and sensational singing voice made her stand out above the crowd. She had the most command on the stage – just as the first queen should. The second wife, even though she overlapped the first, is Anne Boleyn played by the fabulous Maddison Bullyment (The Bridges of Madison
County, Company). Her cheek and dry humor made the crowd roar with laughter. The relationship between her and Aragon was played up-to the max which made it very entertaining to watch. The third, and one he truly loved, is Jane Seymour played by Lauren Byrne (Into the Woods, Our House). A contrast to the others, Seymour brought sweetness and serenity into the show which added an extra layer of emotion. Even though it would have been easy for her to disappear, she held her own and stayed in the limelight. The fourth and fifth wives, Anna of Cleves and Katherine Howard embodied the very essence of female spirit. Cleves showed self-love in her upbeat solo whilst Howard vocalized the importance of female independence and sexuality. Shekinah McFarlane (Little Shop of Horrors, Sweet Charity) and Jodie Steele (Wicked, The War of the Worlds) played the fierce queens perfectly. Finally, the one who survived. Catherine Parr is usually played by Athena
Collins (Bad Girls, Bare- a Pop Opera) but Harriet Watson (Early Birds, Closer Than Ever) took the stage instead and she excelled. As one of the original feminists, who published books under her own name and fought for female education, she is still fighting; now she’s live in concert. All six queens were astonishing and earned the well-deserved standing ovation at the end of performance. The band, or more fondly known as the ladies in waiting, joined the queens on stage and definitely deserved it too. The music is cleaver, thought provoking and fantastic and it wouldn’t be possible without those ladies Not only did the show sound amazing, it looked it too. The costumes were outstanding and the set, which was a traditional Tudor church with a modern twist, really complimented the scenes. The use of Tinder when Henry chooses Anne Cleves was a particular favourite for the crowd. The musical is uplifting, feel-good and full of feminist flair. It truly is a must-see for all ages and is a spectacular modern showing of British history and theatre at its finest.
WEDNESDAY 4 DECEMBER 2019
Transgender Salford freerunner pushing boundaries of parkour By Cari Morris
Salford-born 18-year-old Amy Harcourt gives a whole new meaning to the phrase jumping for joy. To her the city and neighbouring Manchester are urban playgrounds with endless possibilities waiting to be explored. Because she is a devotee of parkour a sport for adrenaline junkies, training in high-risk environments as they jump, flip and slide around any obstacle put in front of them. Salford-born free runner Amy has been honing her parkour skills for the past six years. She said: “What I’ve learnt is talent doesn’t come naturally. You have to work at something to be good at it.”
Despite feeling that society is looking down upon the sport, Amy is eager to end the stigma. “I think the general public look at it as something really weird. It’s got a negative reputation, but I think this community really proves that we are just a bunch of young people wanting to have fun.” The self-proclaimed parkour addict explained how the local free running group Northern Parkour has played a huge role in her growth as an athlete. She said: “Being surrounded by people who have the same interests as you is supportive, because otherwise you can feel alone.” As a transgender athlete, Amy has felt held-back at times: “I’ve been more scared to succeed. It’s quite
terrifying – the thought of winning a competition or getting my name out there, because there is a lot of backlash.” However the open-mindedness of the free running community has allowed her to feel accepted. She said: “That is why the parkour community is so great; because it kind of surrounds me with like-minded people so I feel like I’m less of an outsider.” Amy is hoping to push the boundaries further and encourage more people from the LGBTQ+ community to find the confidence that she has found within herself as a result of practising parkour. Amy said: “I want to inspire other people to get involved.”
Amy’s idea of ‘risk’ is very different to your ordinary person
Shirt signed by rugby league legend up for Alexander praises squad auction for Red Devils Image: Salford City FC
after comprehensive win By Charlie Gregory
Manager Graham Alexander has praised his Salford City side after they progressed to the Third Round of the Leasing.com Trophy with a 3-0 defeat of Wolverhampton Wanderers. The Ammies coasted to a comprehensive 3-0 victory, with ‘keeper Kyle Letheren only forced into one save by the Wolves youngsters in front of 505 at a mild Peninsula Stadium. The Midlands outfit had the first attempt of note shortly before the halfhour mark when Elliot Watt set his sights from 30 yards with a free-kick, but Letheren was untroubled. With two minutes until the interval, Salford took the lead when Luke Armstrong converted on the rebound when Andreas Sondergaard parried Jake Jervis’ strike. The Ammies tightened their grip on the tie soon after the restart; Armstrong and Jervis combining again as the former stooped to head home the latter’s cross and double his account for the evening in the process. As the game opened up, Salford advanced in search of a third goal and their domination was rewarded when Richie Towell topped off an impressive performance with an emphatic volley with three minutes to go. A buoyed Alexander said: “To be honest, looking at how the team played and how we wanted them to play, they carried it off to the tee, I thought they were superb. “Their intensity, pressing and discipline in the shape was excellent off the ball, and with the ball we created some good opportunities, played at a good pace and didn’t overcomplicate things.
“I’m delighted to go through to the next round. I saw Wolves play against Blackpool a few weeks ago and they were really good. “They move the ball well, they’ve got fast, strong players with a lot of technique, but I thought we managed their threats really well and deservedly won the game.” Alexander paid tribute to forward Armstrong, whose double on the evening took his tally for the club to three since his summer arrival from Middlesbrough. He said: “I was delighted for Luke to get a brace, he works exceptionally hard on the training pitch and in the games, possibly too much sometimes, you want to calm him down and do his bit for the team and not try and do everything. “But two quality finishes and topped off with Richie’s strike from outside the box, which was a really great controlled volley, so I thought there were some strong performances from everyone and when you get that from the majority of your team, the team plays well.” Salford will learn their opponent in the next stage on Thursday evening, with only three victories needed to progress through the Northern Section and reach the Final at Wembley. But Alexander remained coy on looking too far into the future. “The aim is to get into the next round and then compete as well as we did and try and win the next game. Every competition we enter, we try and win the game. “It’s not a switch you can flick on and off when you go out to compete and you’re representing your club and the people of Salford. You have to go out there to try and win the game.”
By Daniel Cox
A replica shirt signed by the Salford-born NRL winner Adrian Morley is up for auction to help raise money for the new Salford Red Devils reserve side. Morley was plying his trade for Australian side Sydney Roosters when he was victorious in the 2002 NRL Grand Final, with a 30-8 win over New Zealand Warriors. The entire winning side from that day, including relative of the legendary Jonah Lomu, Andrew Lomu, signed a replica shirt which will raise money for the Red Devils reserve side forming in the new year. First reserved at £70, the shirt will be made available for bids this week with the current price at £100, as seller James Hoskison has found it difficult to get those high bids. He said: “To be honest I would expect it to go for a lot more but its limited where I can advertise it. “A lot of people ask for a certificate of authenticity, whereas the only authenticity I have got is that Adrian Morley handed it to the person that bought it in an auction.” James will continue fundraising throughout the year as the club will require a yearly income of £40,000 to keep afloat. It was announced today that the great efforts have raised £6,500 so far, with many more items still up for auction. He added: “I’ve been helping to raise funds for the club for a while. So originally I had a Facebook page that I didn’t use, which I just sold a few bits and bobs on. “It was September time and the supporters trust approached me to help out the new reserve side in any way I can. “I thought I may as well reopen the page and I asked for donations from anybody who’s willing to donate
Image: James Hoskison anything from programmes, scarfs, shirts and autographs, and I just auction them off for anything I can get.” Administered by the RFL, the inaugural reserve grade competition will include all ten English Betfred Super League clubs, as well as category 1 funded clubs outside of the top division. Danny Barton & John Blackburn will together take the reigns as head of youth & reserve team head coach and team manager of the Red Devils side. Morley enjoyed a stellar career making over 450 senior appearances for six different clubs, spanning 20
years. He represented Leeds Rhinos, Warrington Wolves, Salford Red Devils as well as Sydney Roosters in that time. The tough forward made over 50 international appearances for Great Britain and England, scoring a total of four tries. His career lasting two decades came to an end in 2015 in a one-off exhibition match where he returned to his debut club Leeds in a game against New Zealand. Other items which have recently been auctioned for the fundraiser include a signed 2003 Red Devils home shirt and a replica 1992 Manchester United away top.
AT THE HEART OF ALL THINGS SALFORD
Wednesday 4 December 2019
SALFORD DEVILS SIGN YOUNG TRIO
One of a trio of new signings, Connor Aspey, joins training with his new squad
By Eoin Togher Salford Red Devils have signed a trio of new young players - Connor Aspey, Luis Roberts and Jamie Abram. Aspey and Roberts have been an integral part of the Salford Red Devils Foundation’s Development Academy side. Abram made his way through the ranks as a Salford Scholarship player. Aspey, who made his debut for the club last January against Swinton Lions, was delighted with the contract with the Red Devils, He said:“It’s a great place to be. It is a really tight bond, I know quite a
lot of the people around and I just feel really comfortable here and I am really happy to see where it goes from here.” Following the Red Devils’ successful season, where they reached the Super League Grand Final in their return season, Aspey mentioned how this motivates the youth and how Salford get written off quite a lot. He said: “A lot of people write Salford off as a club, to do what they did last year they worked hard as a team, they didn’t have the best squad on paper, but they worked hard and they got there. It gives you a lot of motivation to where you could go in the future.”
Aspey spoke about how he prepares for games. He said: “I eat a lot of food and take on water, but then it’s about preparing mentally. “Just getting ready thinking about what you are going doing in the game, thinking about different situations and trying to get in the right mindset and when you get on the field it should all go well if you are in the right state of mind.” Aspey is playing for the college’s team today against Wakefield. “Playing on the AJ Bell main pitch in front of quite a lot of fans it is a big difference and I was very nervous when I went onto the field,” he said.
Pic by Eoin Togher Aspey was very happy about being offered the contract alongside Roberts and Abram. He said: “I think it’s good for Salford, you always see the big clubs like Wigan, Warrington and St Helens bringing through youth all the time and over the last few years it’s never really happened in Salford. “Signing young players again is definitely a step in the right direction.” Aspey’s goal for this time next year is to have a first-team contract and be a regular feature for the Red Devils in the Superleague, he is hoping to impress a lot of people on his way to a first-team contract.
City progress in EFL Trophy
By Harry Dunnett Salford City comfortably progressed into the third round of the Leasing.com Trophy as a brace from Luke Armstrong (pictured above) helped them to a 3-0 win against Wolves U-21. Salford City took the lead in the 43rd minute through Luke Armstrong and they doubled their advantage in the 46th minute, Luke Armstrong scoring his second of the game. Richie Towell added Salford’s third and final goal of the game in the 87th minute. Graham Alexander made 7 changes from the side that drew 0-0 at home to Macclesfield last week despite not having a league game at the weekend. The opening 25 minutes were quiet and cagey with Wolves controlling the early possession and looking the more threatening. The game’s opening goal came from a Salford corner which was headed towards goal by Carl Piergianni. His header was parried and Armstrong was the quickest to react, scoring from close range. The first half was largely uneventful but Salford looked a constant threat from corners and were able to utilise that strength to take the lead just before the break. Salford’s second goal of the game came early in the second half as Jake Jervis’ delightful cross was dispatched by Luke Armstrong whose diving header found the bottom corner. Salford had a chance to go 3-0 up when Danny Lloyd cut in past a Wolves defender but he was unable to get his shot on target. Just two minutes later Salford created another opening as a deflected shot fell to midfielder Joey Jones. His long range shot was well saved by Wolves’ young keeper Sondergaard. In the 82nd minute, Richie Towell got on the end of a dangerous cross and forced a dramatic diving save from Sondergaard. The win was sealed late on as a Salford City’s corner was only cleared as far as Richie Towell. He made no mistake and smashed his effort from the edge of the area into the roof of the net. Salford return to league action on Saturday as they travel to 10th place Colchester United.
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A community newspaper produced by Salford University BA Journalism students