Sunday, January 20, 2019
Safety Matters

MORE than 700 people previously sleeping rough in Greater Manchester have been helped into warm, safe and supported accommodation since November, thanks to the ground-breaking A Bed Every Night scheme.

Greater Manchester is the only region in the United Kingdom pledging this level of support this winter for those sleeping on the streets. A Bed Every Night is a concerted and co-ordinated drive across all 10 boroughs to accommodate every individual who wants and needs to come indoors.

Since A Bed Every Night accommodation opened across Greater Manchester at the start of November last year, 707 people have accessed services with 183 people indoors on the first Sunday night of 2019.

The Mayor of Greater Manchester said: “The fact that more than 700 people have been assisted into A Bed Every Night accommodation in a little over two months shows both the scale of the crisis we face but also the effectiveness of scheme.

“The numbers of people facing or experiencing rough sleeping in our city-region are simply unacceptable – it is a humanitarian crisis on our streets and something we have chosen to face full-on with A Bed Every Night.

“I want to pay particular tribute to all the organisations, staff and volunteers in the teams across all boroughs of our city-region who are working every single day and night to deliver on the ground. Without this level of commitment an ambitious campaign such as A Bed Every Night would simply not succeed – the people of Greater Manchester care for each other, as our progress here demonstrates.”

In addition to the 707 former rough sleepers helped indoors, the scheme is designed to act as a springboard for people into more secure and long-term supported accommodation. A Bed Every Night is the intended first step for many on a journey to a life permanently off the streets, and since its introduction 154 people have been assisted through the scheme and into their own living arrangements.

The number of beds available through A Bed Every Night and the variety of support on offer continues to grow. In Crumpsall a former children’s home has been repurposed with 30 spaces available in single and shared rooms.

Residents also have access to shared communal spaces and a kitchen where, alongside staff, they are encouraged to develop cookery skills and help feed others living in the building.

A Bed Every Night runs until the end of March. The public and business can continue to support by donating to the Mayor of Greater Manchester’s Charity via Monies raised through the Charity will be directed towards A Bed Every Night until the campaign’s end.

A fantastic Christmas present arrived for Blood Bikes Manchester in the shape of a brand new Mercedes Vito van.

The van has been kindly purchased and donated by Dave Mylett, one of Blood Bikes new volunteers. This donation will complete their fleet and put the volunteer group in the best position ever to assist the NHS with their transportation needs. The van, working alongside the 5 motorcycles and 2 cars will not only be call out ready for larger consignments or bad weather, but will enable them to tow their display trailer to events in and around the Northwest to further promote the work they do whilst raising valuable funds.

Dave is no stranger when it comes to donating vehicles to Blood Bikes, having previously owned Manchester Medical Services which operated a fleet of ambulances and response vehicles, he donated in the past a couple of vehicles that were no longer required to his business.

A delighted Paul Redfern, Chairman of Blood Bikes Manchester, said , “I can’t believe that Dave has bought this vehicle for us which will help us out immensely in the future, an unbelievable act of kindness so close to Christmas and I really can’t express my thanks to him enough.”

Paul explained that, ‘Fundraising has now started to try to raise £1500 which will pay for a tow-bar, the vehicle livery and call out ready equipment. We are hoping to put the van in full service by the end of February 2019. The vehicle is operational now; and will be utilized for emergencies in case we have really bad weather over the winter period.’

Over the festive period, Blood Bikes Manchester volunteers operated a 24 hour service to the NHS and Hospices; all done completely free of charge, enabling funds saved in transportation costs to be used elsewhere, for example patient care or the purchase of specialist equipment.




Don’t forget if you would like to donate to Blood Bikes Manchester, just use the Facebook donate button, the QR Code on the front page of the website, Just Giving or direct to PayPal at

If we could get 1500 people all donating £1 then the van will be completely funded and ready to go.


Waterloo Primary pupils donned high-viz jackets to take to the streets around their school to encourage safer parking in the area.

Head teacher at the Ashton school, Angela Goodman, explained that they had been working alongside local PCSOs and Greater Manchester Police to launch the initiative, which has seen a team of Junior PCSOs established.

They joined their adult counterparts in their bright yellow jackets and hats to patrol streets near the school to help ease parking problems around the school, based off Taunton Road.

The youngsters were on patrol early in the mornings and at going home time as they encouraged parents and carers to park safely and also to promote walking to school as an alternative.

Local PCSOs said a big thank you to all the pupils who helped in the Safer School initiative.

“We’re really grateful to our local police force for helping launch this initiative for us,” said Angela.

“Hopefully our pro-active approach will encourage people to be more considerate. Thanks to all involved and especially the children.”

The message to drivers to be polite and considerate to others and drive safely for the New Year remains very much the same added Angela, adding that co-operation was appreciated.

THE MAYOR of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has published the latest in a series of blog posts on homelessness and rough sleeping.

In the latest edition, Andy addresses:

  • The deaths of two men, believed to have been sleeping rough, in Manchester city centre over the weekend
  • Developing a comprehensive commitment in Greater Manchester to recording, investigating and learning from all homeless deaths
  • The launch of A Bed Every Night, a commitment to specialist overnight provision for people sleeping rough every night this winter
  • The latest on the innovative Social Impact Bond and Housing First schemes, and how they are making a tangible difference in the city-region
  • A call for a “whole-society” approach, appealing for contributions and support from across all sectors of Greater Manchester society – public, private, voluntary and faith – as part of the same single strategy

The Mayor writes: “The difficult news over the weekend should serve to strengthen our resolve to make A Bed Every Night a reality. This tragic loss of life should not be happening on UK streets in 2018.

“More positively, I hope that this blog shows that real progress is being made. While I wish we could move even faster, I can assure you that a lot of people across Greater Manchester are working flat out to improve things and I can confidently say that our city-region is way ahead the rest of the country.

“Two weeks ago, on World Homeless Day, I did my regular early-morning walk around the city centre with Cllr Sue Murphy, who leads on homelessness for Manchester City Council, and colleagues from Riverside Housing. We all agreed that the situation was better than it was a year ago.

“We are making a difference. But it is not yet good enough. There are still too many people forced to sleep rough and we won’t rest until we have given everyone somewhere to go every night.”

The Mayor’s full blog can be viewed on the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) website.

FUNDING has been secured to recruit an extra 150 staff to work in clubs and venues across Greater Manchester to support the welfare and wellbeing of young people on a night out.

Drinkaware Crew staff have been successfully operating in Bolton since 2016 and work is currently taking place to extend it into Altrincham.

Now though, Greater Manchester’s Night-Time adviser Sacha Lord has secured the funding to train an additional 150 staff across Greater Manchester with Drinkaware.

Working in pairs, Drinkaware Crew mingle with customers in bars and clubs to promote a positive social atmosphere and help those who may be vulnerable as a result of drinking too much alcohol.

They can reunite lost customers with friends, help people into taxis or just provide a valuable shoulder to cry on.

Sacha said: “We all know that a night out in Greater Manchester is one of the best in the world and we want to ensure that all our residents and visitors have chance to enjoy themselves, safely.

“Drinkaware are the perfect partners to work with on this and we are delighted they have committed to extend their crew training and e-learning programmes to all of the boroughs across Greater Manchester. We look forward to rolling out these fantastic initiatives in 2019.”

Drinkaware Crew currently operates across the country, including in Nottingham, Exeter, Plymouth and Cheltenham.

Benefits include smoother, more efficient running of venues in the night-time economy, positioning venues as a responsible outlet with an active interest in customer, and most importantly – keeping people safe.

Rommel Moseley, Director of Business Development and Partnerships at Drinkaware said: “Drinkaware is delighted to be expanding our successful Drinkaware Crew and Vulnerability training across Greater Manchester to support the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the Night Time Adviser in keeping people safe on a night out whilst promoting a vibrant night time economy.

“We are also pleased to be extending our work to Altrincham whilst continuing to support Bolton and are looking forward to working with other boroughs across Greater Manchester in 2019.

“It is great to see the recognition that Drinkaware Crew training and our vulnerability e-learning delivers for customers, operators, their team members and the business overall.”

Any clubs and venues interested in getting involved can message Sacha directly on Twitter @Sacha_Lord or email


Fire chiefs are calling for people to stay safe this bonfire period, and only use fireworks safely and responsibly.

The calls come following what could have been a very dangerous incident in Ashton-under-Lyne on Sunday, October 14. Crews were called to the incident in the St Peters Area of Ashton at 20.41, and on arrival found smoke coming from an upstairs bedroom.

When they reached the bedroom, firefighters quickly realised a firework had come in through the window and burnt the bed. They used a hose reel to make sure the fire was completely out, and that there was no danger of it spreading.

Group Manager for Stockport and Tameside, Phil Nelson, said: “This is an incident that could have been easily avoided if people weren’t being irresponsible and firing fireworks at each other. Fireworks are explosive devices, not toys, and should be treated as such.

“On this occasion no one was hurt, but, that doesn’t take away from how serious this could have been. A family was inside that house, with small children and they were needlessly put in harm’s way.

“Luckily the house had working smoke alarms so the occupants were quickly alerted to the fire, and were able to get out the house.

“We want everyone to enjoy this period of the year, but please, do it safely. We don’t want any injuries, or needless fires, and this sort of behaviour will quickly lead to them.”

For more safety information, please visit the safe4autumn website and if fireworks are a nuisance in your area phone crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

WITH just three weeks left until Bonfire Night, Firefighters are asking members of the public to go to organised fireworks displays to enjoy a safe and fun Guy Fawkes Night.

The plea comes as Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and its partners, launch the 2018 Treacle campaign to keep people safe from fires and injuries, and prevent anti-social behaviour.

To mark the launch of the campaign, Elton Primary School were invited to the Bury Safety Centre and given a special, Guy Fawkes Night focused tour.

Following their tour the school children got to speak to a real fire safety expert in Watch Manager Steve Wilcock, from Bury Fire Station. Time quickly passed as the children fired a volley of questions at Steve, ranging from the best way to dispose of sparklers to whether all firefighters had to be bald – needless to say they left the centre with smiling faces and bags of knowledge.

Paul Etches, Fire Service Head of Prevention and Protection, said: “We want everyone to stay safe and have a fun Guy Fawkes Night, which is what this time of year is all about.

“However, it’s also around during the autumn months that we typically see an increase in deliberate fires, firework injuries and anti-social behaviour. That’s why we’re working with partners across Greater Manchester to try to get our safety messages out there.

“We want everyone to enjoy this time of year, but more importantly, to enjoy it safely. We are working hard to prevent all of these incidents and accidents and, so I would urge everyone to go to our safe4autumn website and read our advice on how to stay safe and share this information with your children.”

Inspector Natasha Evans, GMP Force Lead for the Treacle Campaign, said: “We want people to have fun and enjoy themselves on Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night, but we are urging them to behave responsibly and respect others, as inconsiderate actions carry consequences.

“If behaviour gets out of hand and causes distress to anyone then we will take firm action. We treat all incidents seriously and I would remind people to report any antisocial behaviour during this period via our LiveChat facility on the GMP website or by calling 101 if they don’t have internet access.”

North West Ambulance Services Sector Manager for Greater Manchester, Pat McFadden said: “Bonfire Night is a huge highlight in the year, it’s a chance for everyone to get together, have lots of fun and enjoy the fireworks.

“Unfortunately, the evening also brings lots of dangers and it’s important to look out for these and make sure that you don’t end up needing help from us or our emergency service colleagues.

“We advise people to attend organised events where possible as these are often safer, not to mention less expensive (and they usually have the best displays!).

“If you are using your own fireworks, just take some time to think about safety – be sure to follow the instructions and if you’re in charge of the fireworks, it’s best to lay off the alcohol until after they’ve finished.

“More often than not, the firework related injuries we see at this time of year can be easily avoided by taking a little bit of extra care.”

The Treacle Campaign is multi-agency initiative which runs from October 15, the day fireworks legally go on sale in the UK, and is aimed at preventing, tackling and protecting against anti-social behaviour, criminal damage and harm reduction during the Halloween and Bonfire period across the region. The Treacle period is the busiest time of the year for GMFRS who responded to over 2323 incidents in the three-week period last year.

Every year as part of the Treacle campaign GMFRS also run a fireworks amnesty which allows anyone to safely give up or report a firework which could be dangerous. If you have or know of a dangerous firework, call the firework amnesty on 0800 555 815 and GMFRS will arrange for someone to collect the firework for you.

For more information about the Treacle Campaign and to find your local organised fireworks display visit the Safe4Autumn website –

Hairy Biker Dave Myers encourages people in the North West to have their eyes tested more regularly 

With record numbers of older people in employment in the North West, elderly workers are being urged to make their eye health a priority as pension entitlement ages increase. Hyde Specsavers are campaigning during National Eye Health Week to raise awareness.

Official figures show that there are 110,000 Brits over the age of 65 working in the North West with a further 30,000 expected to be in employment by 2030, as people continue to live longer and healthier lives.

However one in four of them are not getting their eyes tested regularly, making them more susceptible to glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts, which could have an impact on their life and work. That is why Specsavers is teaming up with sight loss charity, the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), to urge Britain’s ageing workforce to take their eye health seriously.

Diane Wood, retail director of Hyde Specsavers, is in agreement and says: ‘It is so important residents in Hyde look after their eyes and have regular eye tests for the detections of these conditions. Our eyes are so important for our jobs and early detection means we can manage and do something about these conditions so that people can keep their jobs.’

Research shows there are already 575,870 people with preventable sight loss conditions of AMD, cataract, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy in the North West and as the figures show this is a number which is expected to climb.

Celebrity chef and Hairy Bikers star Dave Myers, 61, is backing the campaign ahead of National Eye Health Week, after discovering that he had a serious eye condition that could have had a huge impact on his career.

Dave says: ‘I was shocked when I found out that I’d developed glaucoma when I was just 54. Thankfully it was spotted during a routine eye test before it was too late but if it had gone unnoticed, I could have gone blind, and that would have had a huge impact on how I do the job I love so much.

‘I expect many people in Hyde know that they should have regular eye tests but our lives are so busy with work and family that it’s not surprising how making an appointment at your opticians can slip. But do take heed of my story.

‘If you want to avoid unnecessary sight loss as you get older, and continue working and going about your everyday life without barriers then you need to make that very important appointment with your optometrist once every two years. Many UK high streets have an optician, and there are 121 Specsavers stores in the North West, so there’s no excuse!’



Fundraising vehicle ‘Tackle4MCR’ will see Vincent, ‘born in Belgium, made in Manchester’, make use of the momentum generated by his Manchester City Testimonial season to help the Mayor tackle homelessness and rough sleeping in Greater Manchester.

Vincent Kompany and Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham have teamed up to launch an unprecedented campaign that will tackle rough sleeping in their city-region.

Tackle4MCR, a fundraising vehicle, has been set up by the pair in a bid to create a social movement.

With Vincent currently celebrating his Testimonial season at Manchester City, he has pledged to make use of the momentum generated by this to assist the Mayor with one of his top priorities.

Last night members of Manchester’s business community, along with Tackle4MCR media partner the Manchester Evening News, gathered in the city to signal the launch of a campaign.

During the event at Manchester House both Andy Burnham and Vincent described ‘Tackle4MCR’ as a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to influence social change at a time when it is most needed.

And they urged those ‘with a big heart for Manchester and the means to make a difference’ to become Gold or Platinum Partners of Tackle4MCR.

Businesses and individuals have already expressed interest in becoming part of the Tackle4MCR movement.

Those who do sign up to Tackle4MCR will follow a considered approach spanning the full length of the football season, incorporating a unique gala dinner, a participative city-wide #FootballFriday campaign, with an important awareness element around rough sleeping aimed at schools, culminating in a rare testimonial gala match at the Etihad Stadium following the close of the 2018/19 season and courtesy of Manchester City.

Funding raised for Tackle4MCR – a special fundraising vehicle with a social purpose that has been set up in the form of a limited company for one year by Andy and Vincent – will go to the Mayor of Greater Manchester’s Homelessness Fund.

The Mayor’s Fund is turning all of its efforts towards ensuring that every rough sleeper has a bed every night of the week over this coming winter.  The funds raised by Tackle4MCR will play a key part in delivering this ambition.

Vincent and Andy are now hoping ‘Initial Partners’ will join them in tackling the problem of rough-sleeping and be part of their team from the very beginning.

Speaking after the Tackle4MCR launch event at Manchester House Vincent said: “I’ve received much from Manchester: a great career at the highest level, unconditional support from the fans through thick and thin, a lovely family and so much more to be grateful for.

“Over the past decade I’ve been lucky to have witnessed and played a part in Manchester City’s rise as a club and a brand. This has also run parallel alongside the rise of a whole region.

“However, with this spectacular rise, comes a very visible downside: more and more people are left out of and have no access to the benefits of the rapid development, often leaving them no choice but to end up on the streets.”

He added: “And this is why our Mayor Andy Burnham and I have launched Tackle4MCR, a movement that will stand on its own feet and one that can be successful if everyone plays a part.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham has pledged to end the need for rough sleeping in the city-region by 2020. The Mayor’s Homelessness Fund was set up on his first day in office and plays a key role in Greater Manchester’s efforts to tackle homelessness.  The Mayor kick-started the fund by donating 15% of his own salary and continues to do so every month.

Alongside the fund, the Mayor established the Greater Manchester Homeless Action Network which brings together local authorities, charities, voluntary, social enterprise, faith and community organisations from across the city-region.  Together they have set out their ‘A Bed Every Night’ action plan that will be rolled out over the coming weeks and the funds raised by Tackle4MCR will bring this plan to life.

Andy said: “I’m very proud to have launched Tackle4MCR alongside Vincent Kompany.

“After an outstanding decade where he has led Manchester City to the heights of the footballing world, Vincent has now decided to dedicate his testimonial year to helping those most at need in our city.

“In Greater Manchester we want to provide a bed for every rough sleeper every night of the week over this coming winter. This will not be an easy task but we believe this is the best way to help people off the streets and crucially, also give people access to the support they need. This unprecedented scheme will come at a significant extra cost and Tackle4MCR can play a huge part in making this plan in to a reality – but only with the generosity and support of people from across Greater Manchester.

“In his famous poem, Tony Walsh told us that ‘Some are born here, some drawn here, but all call it home’. Those words are personified by Vincent Kompany and his desire, through Tackle4MCR, to give back to this city that he now calls home.”

Tackle4MCR pledges to keep its running cost under 25% of all money collected during the campaign.

Every penny of Tackle4MCR charity funds will be managed by the Mayor of Greater Manchester’s Homelessness Fund.  The Fund will utilise the money raised efficiently and transparently to support the ‘A Bed Every Night’ action plan.

NEW and returning students to Greater Manchester are being urged to take care while cooking by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service.

Greater Manchester’s fire and rescue service has been called out to 62 cooking related fires at student accommodation since June 2013.

To help stop these numbers increasing, GMFRS is advising students to:

  • Never cook after drinking
  • Get a takeaway if hungry after a night out
  • Always stand by your pan – don’t leave your cooking unattended
  • Keep your oven, hob and grill clean – fat and grease can easily catch fire
  • Don’t put metal objects like tin cans in the microwave
  • Keep toasters clean and away from curtains and kitchen rolls

Paul Etches, GMFRS Head of Prevention, said: “Moving to a new place to start or return to university is an exciting time, but unfortunately accidents do happen which can at best ruin this excitement or at worse become a life or death situation.

“We go to roughly 10 cooking related fires a year at student accommodation and while this number may seem relatively low, any fire is extremely dangerous and needs to be avoided at all costs.

“Keep your appliances clean, always take care when cooking and if you’ve had a drink it’s simply much safer to just get a takeaway.”

If your kitchen does catch fire:

  • Don’t panic and don’t take risks
  • If it’s safe to do so, turn off the heat but don’t lean over the pan
  • Never use water or a water extinguisher on a hot fat fire
  • Leave the kitchen, close the door, tell everyone else to get out and don’t go back in
  • Call 999

Paul added: “A working smoke alarm can make all the difference if the worst does happen. Make sure your landlord has fitted them in your house or flat and checked that they work.

“We don’t want to stop anyone’s fun; we just want you to be safe.”

Students can follow GMFRS on social media or visit our website for more safety information.