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Mental wellbeing app offering free lifetime access to those involved in trial



Credit: Thrive: Mental Wellbeing

Anyone involved in the trial testing the effectiveness of the Thrive: Mental Wellbeing app will be granted lifetime access to the app and integrated therapy services free of charge.

The trial is looking to discover how successful the app, which has 25 Cognitive Behavioural Therapy modules, is in helping people with anxiety and depression.

Thrive is encouraging people aged 18 or over in full-time employment who feel like they could do with some support for their mental wellbeing to take part in the 10-week study.

Participants will be offered support with their wellbeing by the award winning mental health service.

Marnie Merrilees, counsellor at Thrive: Mental Wellbeing, explained: “Thrive want people to join the study and at the end of the study, everybody who participated will have access to the app and the therapy service for as long as they need it, which is absolutely amazing because this is free of charge.

“People will have access to the app and the therapy free of charge by simply participating in the study and following all the instructions that are required.”

Credit: Thrive: Mental Wellbeing

The company was launched back in 2012 “as the first scalable solution” to the UK’s mental health crisis by Dr Andres Fonseca, consultant psychiatrist, and Dr Adam Huxley, consultant clinical & forensic psychologist.

Since then, the business has followed in the footsteps of its name and thrived, gaining NHS approval in 2018.

Companies, charities, insurers and other organisations can partner with the app to offer the services to their employees.

It aims to provide the “whole organisation with the right level of mental health support at the time they need it.”

The app offers cognitive behaviour therapy, mood meter and mindfulness tools as well as an in-app chat so users can seek immediate support.

Marnie, who is a Sport and Exercise Psychologist (CPsychol in training) MBPsP, MSc, PGcert, BSc.Hons, suggests there is increasingly more anecdotal evidence of cold water therapy as a method of improving anxiety and depression.

She said: “Cold water therapy is a fantastic form of exercise and there is significant evidence that exercise is beneficial for reducing the symptoms of depression and anxiety.

“However, we don’t know for certain yet if the benefits of cold water therapy are above and beyond those of exercise in general as more research is needed in this area.”

Credit: Thrive: Mental Wellbeing

Marnie has been working alongside former special forces officer Sol Turk to raise awareness of the advantages of cold water therapy.

Go here to meet Sol Turk – the man who braved a 100-day dip in the North Sea

Marnie added: “[A] benefit of cold water therapy is being able to train your vagus nerve, which is linked to the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the calming part of your nervous system. Training it can help you face stressful situations more adequately.

“Anxiety is a mental health condition that causes excessive fears and worries, and while intermittent bouts of anxiety are natural, anxiety disorders make it difficult to participate in life in a normal way. So when you want to get rid of your anxious thoughts, exposure to cold is a great way to relieve the anxiety symptoms naturally.”

Marnie Merrilees experiencing cold water therapy at Tynemouth beach.

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Saudi Arabia wants its investors to own Manchester United



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



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



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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