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Arson attacks wrecks Changing Lives’ minibus

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The charity Changing Lives’ minibus has been burnt beyond repair in an especially cruel act of vandalism.

Project workers discovered their valuable minibus had been irreparably destroyed by a fire on Monday.

The Changing Lives’ minibus was an incredibly important asset for the Girls Are Proud / Male Action Project.

The GAP/ MAP, based in the West End of Newcastle at St Margaret’s Church, offers support to those involved in sex work or at risk of being sexually exploited over the age of 17.

Luisa Alvarez, who works for the GAP project, discussed the crucial work the Changing Lives’ minibus helped with on a daily basis: “The mini bus is used for extensive purposes including facilitating outreach sessions where the team reach out to the most vulnerable people in our communities.

“This also includes providing people with essential items and offering support to ensure they are safe. The bus is also used for day trips to the beach, retreat centres, country walks which create positive experiences and memories to people who are experiencing hardship.

“The bus played a key role in ensuring the people we support are included in various activities, more recently our annual Christmas gathering.

“We have previously supported people who are fleeing abuse to relocate to a place of safety which has included moving their belongings.”

The organisation are “devastated” by the unprovoked attack, which police have described as an aggravated arson attack.

Credit: Changing Lives

The charity purchased the Changing Lives’ minibus 13 years ago, with a donation from Brunswick Church.

Due to the attack, the team won’t be able to conduct outreach, produce transport or daily activities, having a “huge impact” on the charity’s work.

Luisa Alvarez added: “The bus has been our lifeline for the day to day running of our service. We are passionate about the support we offer, giving people the chance to live a life worth living, free from harm, and the bus enabled us to reach out to some of the cities darkest corners.”

More information about the essential work Changing Lives carries out can be found here.

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Saudi Arabia wants its investors to own Manchester United

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North East Updates - Breaking News

Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal revealed the country’s latest sporting ambitions in an interview with Sky News – with the sovereign wealth fund already owning Newcastle and now funding a breakaway golf series.

 

Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal revealed the country’s latest sporting ambitions in an interview with Sky News – with the sovereign wealth fund already owning Newcastle and now funding a breakaway golf series.

 

It follows the Manchester United board announcing that they are open to a sale of the club.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisalstated he would be keen on Ronaldo signing for a Saudi Pro League after the World Cup, with the 37-year-old a free agent following a controversial interview and exit to Manchester United earlier this week..

 

“Who wouldn’t want him to play in their league?” “He’s a role model to a lot of young players – him and Messi.”

 

Sky news are reporting – It is the availability of United – after the Glazers announced plans for a potential sale – and Ronaldo that is interesting Prince Abdulaziz.

 

What are your thoughts on this – join the conversation on our Facebook page.

 

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Entertainment

Sunday for Sammy Concert Cancelled For 2023 Due To Cost of Living

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A popular charity concert will not be held in 2023 due to the cost of living crisis.

Sunday for Sammy, which is held in memory of North East actor Sammy Johnson, is a biennial event aimed at benefitting young performers.

The long-running event has featured the likes of Joe McElderry, Johnny Vegas, Brenda Blethyn, Denise Welch, AC/DC’s Brian Johnson and Mark Knopfler, Jill Halfpenny and Ant and Dec.

Tim Healy, who hosts Sunday for Sammy, said: “We’ve had lots of enquiries over the recent months asking when the next Sunday for Sammy will take place.

“We are very much aware at the moment that people are struggling with day-to-day living costs and are watching their pennies. Everything is becoming more and more expensive and that includes the cost of putting on a show the size of ours.”

He added: “We can’t in good conscious put on a show that we aren’t sure people can afford to be tickets for. It would be wrong to risk your money you have generously given us.

“So sadly we have decided that there won’t be a show in 2023. We’re going to wait until the time is right.”

Often dubbed The Geordie Command Performance, the shows, which have been running for more than 20 years, are held in memory of Geordie actor Sammy Johnson, who died in 1999.

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STACK Newcastle Bosses Scrap Plans For Christmas Pop-Up Venue

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The owners of STACK have confirmed that there won’t be a pop-up version in Newcastle this Christmas, as plans have been shelved.

At the end of September it was reported that STACK’s owner, Danieli Group, were hoping to bring the brand back to the heart of Newcastle after its Pilgrim Street site was demolished earlier this year, after becoming a firm favourite with locals and visitors since 2018. The pop-up, close to the Crowne Plaza hotel in the Stephenson Quarter, looked set to be a massive draw before STACK makes its permanent return to the city next year, was planned to feature a number of shipping container bars, a new take on its famous Hadrian’s Tipi, street food vans, a stage and large screen, all on one level.

But, it has now been announced that the proposed STACK festive pop-up won’t be happening anymore. Confirming the decision, Neill Winch, CEO of Danieli Group said that while it was sad news that the pop-up would no longer take place, it meant the company can forge ahead with the Worswick Chambers plan.

He commented: “We know how much people miss not having a STACK in Newcastle so we are concentrating our efforts on creating what will become a flagship site back where STACK first began,” he said.

“Work is well underway on the scheme with a view to being open in winter 2023.”

In recent weeks it has announced new developments in Lincoln, Durham, Bishop Auckland and Carlisle.

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