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Regions Distress Numbers Reach All Time High



The region’s fire and rescue service has called on people to look out for each other this Christmas after revealing they have been called to help more than 100 people in distress – in just six months.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) have made the plea as we enter a festive period that can be a difficult time for many members of the community.

Group Manager Steven Thomas heads up the Prevention and Education team at TWFRS but his role also includes raising awareness of mental health in the Service and across the region.

He has today (Wednesday) explained how firefighters are often among the first responders to reports of people in crisis on a bridge or on the cliff edge.

For those who do fall into the water, it is the TWFRS boat that rushes to their aid and rescues them from the river or sea.

The Service work closely with Northumbria Police, and the region’s mental health leads, to help ensure those individuals get the support they need.

But now GM Thomas has called on the community to do their bit to look after vulnerable members of the community – as he reveals TWFRS have been called to 105 incidents of people in distress in the last six months.

He said: “Over the nearly two years of this pandemic, many of us have struggled with the challenges of lockdown and social isolation but it’s important to remember you are never alone. Even as we enter the tough period of Christmas, when it’s darker, the weather isn’t great and money is tight, it’s easy to feel bogged down.

We know we will be called to people in distress this winter and we have had more than a 105 call outs to such incidents in just six months. That shows the scale of the issue. We need to be working together every day as a society to keep each other safe so please do check in on your friends, family and neighbours to see if they are okay.

We will continue to work in collaboration with our key partners across the region to help increase awareness of the support that is out there.But if people do need our help in a crisis, we will be there to try and keep you safe.”

 Since 2017, TWFRS have been working closely with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RLNI) on the Community Responder Throwline Programme. The life-saving joint scheme saw TWFRS work together with both the RNLI and Northumbria Police to deliver throwline training to riverside businesses. It was launched in response to a steady increase in the number of individuals who found themselves in trouble in the water.

Businesses across Tyne and Wear can also receive training so they can help respond to anyone who is in distress in the water. Find out more information on the TWFRS website.

Remember, it’s okay to not be okay. Call Samaritans anytime for free on 116 123


Raoul Moat Drama Coming Soon To ITV



It looks set to be one of ITV’s biggest dramas this year and The Hunt for Raoul Moat is being brought to screen by the same people responsible for smash hit shows Line of Duty, Bodyguard and Vigil.

It was confirmed last April that production on the series had commenced, nearly 12 years after Moat gunman shot ex girlfriend Samantha Stobbart and her new boyfriend Christopher Brown, with Brown dying from his injuries. After fleeing Samantha’s home in Birtley, Moat, who had been released from prison just days earlier, went on the run, shooting on duty policeman PC David Rathband in the face as he sat in a patrol car on the outskirts of Newcastle and leaving him blind.

From there, Moat headed for Northumberland, forcing the quiet village of Rothbury into a lockdown as police launched a frantic search for him. The hunt for Moat reached its conclusion with a tense stand-off between the killer and the police on a riverbank, with Moat eventually shooting himself and dying from his injuries as he was rushed to Newcastle General Hospital.

ITV announced three parter The Hunt for Raoul Moat almost a year ago, as filming got underway in Yorkshire, with a cast including ex Bodyguard star Matt Stokoe as Moat and Inspector George Gently actor Lee Ingeleby as police chief Neil Adamson.

ITV have yet to officially announce an release date for The Hunt for Raoul Moat, but is expected to be form part of the channel’s spring programming.

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Peter Kay halts Newcastle show and ‘rushes off stage to help as fans fall ill’



Peter Kay Newcastle upon Tyne

Peter Kay’s Newcastle show was thrown into chaos when three audience members fell ill.

According to the Sun the Phoenix Nights star halted his latest show and rushed to assist when he spotted a fan on the front row had become unwell and needed assistance.

Minutes later, a member of the audience was escorted out of the venue in a wheelchair.

An onlooker told the Sun: People near the front started shouting for an ambulance.

‘Peter asked if they were being serious, then he asked for the big lights to go on and stewards ran over to see what was going on.

‘He then went off stage for around 10/15 mins and one person was seen getting wheel-chaired out.’

After the situation was under control he got on with his show, but two more audience members then reportedly become unwell.

Were you there – did you witness it? Let us know on our Facebook page –

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International Women’s Day – The North East’s Most Influential Women – North East Updates



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On this International Women’s Day, March 8, we highlight the extraordinary contributions made by women in the North East throughout history and the present. For hundreds of years, the women of the North East have shaped our world, and without them, things wouldn’t be the same.


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