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  • Mishti Ali

Communities in the North of England

During the current crisis, it can be difficult to feel a part of a community, especially with the current lockdown measures. Community action is more important in such moments than ever, which is why we have rounded up the following stories from around the North of England.

Schools making PPE

This sixth form in Leeds have been using school workshops to make hundreds of PPE masks to go to care workers. Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form have been churning out over 150 masks a day, all made by teacher, Ian Granger who is head of product design and has been at the school 16 years, product design teacher Carol Sheward and technician Shane Dolan. A school spokesman said: ‘Ian has said he will be busy for the next few weeks and the school is really proud of them for the work they are doing.’ Find out more.

Manchester Food and Drink Festival

Many small businesses, especially in hospitality, have suffered as a result of COVID-19, with many of them joining efforts of food banks to help their local communities. The Manchester Food and Drink Festival is building an online portal to promote these businesses and the initiatives that they have launched or supported. Find out more.

Liverpool Woman Helping Refugees

One Liverpudlian decided to spend her time furloughed from her job travelling to Calais and delivering aid to refugees. NGOs have largely been forced to pull out of the camps as a result of COVID19, so her aid was much-needed. Heidi Henders, 23, said: ‘If it wasn’t for us the refugees couldn’t even go out to buy food because there are French Police on every street who demand to see papers before they let you into a shop. The refugees have no home address so they can’t get the correct paperwork to allow them to buy food. The conditions in Calais were just completely dire. We were the only ones there delivering aid.’ Find out more.

Newcastle Nurse’s Hen Party

An intensive care nurse whose wedding and hen party weekend were cancelled was surprised by her friends, who reached out to local businesses and arranged for them to receive a five-course meal with wine, cocktails, beer and a temporary hot tub. Melissa Hood and her fiance, Mat Park, originally planned to hold their wedding in Tuscany. Bridesmaid, Ana Gardner, said: ‘Melissa is working so hard on the front line as a doctor, with her annual leave for the time being postponed, and all of her wedding dreams turned upside down. We wanted to show them both how much we love them and appreciate everything Melissa is doing for the NHS.’ Find out more.

Sunderland Teacher’s Homeschooling Efforts

As schools have been closed since the lockdown began, teacher Tom Biggins,  from Sunderland, created an online weekly timetable with classes in all main subjects to help families struggling with continuing the learning process at school. His schedule even includes a disco on Fridays. When asked about his classes, Tom said: ‘I’m loving the sense of community in the country at the minute, but I want people to remember that, because health and education workers do these things day in, day out. I hope when this is over that people remember it wasn’t the film stars and sports stars who kept us going – it was normal people doing the normal jobs they do every day.’ Find out more.


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