City of Trees marks Volunteers' Week 2019

City of Trees is aiming to plant 3 million trees, one for every person across the Greater Manchester region, as well as bringing under-used woodland back into use.

As part of the Citizen Forester programme, City of Trees runs events where volunteers can help to improve their local green spaces for both people and wildlife. 

Research has shown that contact with nature has positive benefits for both mental and physical health and this has also been attributed to increased physical activity and reduced stress levels.

Volunteer sessions are open to all and Citizen Foresters will help City of Trees to achieve their vision of bringing more woodland back into positive management. The next session in Wythenshawe is on 6 June from 10am to 3pm, and will focus on managing the woodland, and improving the biodiversity and habitat for wildlife. 

All tools and equipment are provided but volunteers should wear appropriate footwear and clothing. Light refreshments are provided.

Location: Sandilands Wood, off Carrswood Road, Wythenshawe, M23 9HQ

Contact Andy Long: or call 0161 872 1660

Where are they now? - Sarah McNair

Sarah McNair left Manchester Health Academy (MHA) in 2008.  She is now fully qualified as a solicitor and works at Myerson Solicitors in Altrincham.

After leaving MHA, Sarah studied at college for two years and then studied law at university, graduating in 2013 with a law degree.

She then spent one year studying for her Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice (a requirement for those wanting to become a solicitor), graduating again in 2014. She went on to work as a paralegal in a law firm for two years, before securing a training contract at Myerson, which she completed this year.

Looking back at her school days, Sarah said: “I have lots of great memories from high school, but some of the best are remembering the amazing teachers who taught me and helped me to obtain the GCSEs that I did, the variety of subjects I studied, making each day different and interesting. I loved going on residentials, playing sports and of course making life-long friends!”

Sarah’s advice to students: “It’s crucial to realise and understand while at school, the importance of obtaining strong GCSEs in order to set you up in good stead for the future.  It is even more important not to forget your time at school as these will be some of the best days and bring some of the best experiences of your life. 

“If you have an ambition or goal stay focused, motivated and believe in yourself, and one day your ambitions will become a reality.”

In recent years, all four Wythenshawe high schools have been extensively rebuilt to modern learning environments in projects costing tens of millions. Both Manchester Enterprise Academy and Manchester Health Academy received additional investment in 2017/18 to create new teaching spaces, also all-weather multi-sports provision for use by the school and community. Whether you’re a parent looking for a school, or keen to get some career advice for yourself, take a look at the Real Opportunities section.


Baguley Hall's American connection

Baguley Hall was recently visited by Jon Blind, a deputy from the Pierce County Sheriff's department in Washington state, 30 miles south of Seattle. Jon is a Marine Corps veteran and says he has always had a sense of service to others.

Jon tells his story after discovering, through an online ancestry service, that his 18th great grandfather, Sir William de Baguley, had built Baguley Hall.

"After a visit to Ellis Island in New York, I started wondering about my heritage more. I assumed I had Swedish (Swanson was my mother’s maiden name) and German (Lawver) in my DNA, and that's all I knew.

"Following a DNA test, my heritage was shown to be 87% British, so I had to figure out why.

"I spent over 80 hours writing down each link, verifying it with documentation via birth and baptism records from the family tree data.

"I found the Bigelows in my tree on the American side. I had a Revolutionary war soldier, but before that there were Bigelows that served in the King's army in the colonies."

The name Bigelow was a transformation from the original name of Baguley. John Baguley moved to the colonies during the British Civil War and changed his surname to Bigelow.


Verastar goes green with business electricity

Northenden-based utilities and telecoms specialist Verastar has made the switch to green electricity. As of 1 September 2018, 100% of its electricity comes from renewable energy sources, which makes business electricity from its brands kinex and Clear Business, green and clean.

Recent research from USwitch in August, showed that 1 in 4 people think that green tariffs are more expensive. Verastar is working on dispelling that myth by giving green and clean energy to its customers as no extra cost to the usual tariff.

The switch forms part of a business focus for Verastar to sustain and protect the environment, through reducing the carbon footprint of its customer base of more than 90,000 small businesses. This same month, news has broken that the cost of power generation from gas has spiked above coal – which could see other operators revert to coal plant generation.

On the switch, CEO Chris Earle (pictured) says: "The switch to green was an easy decision for us to make as a business. Our customer base covers a wide range of sectors, from health and beauty to farming, and no matter what industry they’re in they'll now be reducing their carbon footprint which is a really positive step."

Verastar, through brands kinex and Clear Business, provides telecoms, broadband, mobile, energy and water services on a unique one bill solution.


The new emergency department at Wythenshawe Hospital

The £17 million emergency department (ED) expansion of Wythenshawe Hospital, which will significantly enhance patient experience and care, has been designed to improve the patient environment with larger colour-coded treatment rooms and cubicles, as well as more comfortable facilities for patients and their families from across south Manchester and Trafford.

The two-storey building will also house two additional resuscitation bays, two new X-ray rooms and the children’s emergency department will be improved and expanded – as part of further redevelopment work.

Improvements in this first stage include 25 new majors cubicles for patients with more serious injuries, plus a new reception and waiting area with improved triage and ambulance bays. There will also be two dedicated rooms for mental health patients and three new staff bases.

ED Matron Joanna Jarvis commented; "Designed with the patient at its centre, this new development will ensure that our clinical teams can deliver enhanced, high quality, emergency treatment in an improved environment, with state-of-the-art facilities."

This major expansion project is being delivered in three phases. The second phase is an internal refurbishment to the existing department to provide a new resuscitation area, Children’s Emergency Department and X-ray facilities, which is set to be completed in late 2018. The third phase concentrates on refurbishment works to provide relative’s facilities, offices and seminar rooms, due to finish in early 2019.


Real Lives

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