February 2nd, 2012

Hidden Danger warning as temperatures fall

With temperatures continuing to fall during the week, the Highways Agency is reminding all road users across the North West to take extra care.

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January 31st, 2012

North West celebrities back new NHS organ donor campaign

   NORTH WEST CELEBRITIES BACK NEW CAMPAIGN TO URGE GREATER MANCHESTER’S BLACK AND ASIAN COMMUNITIES TO JOIN THE NHS ORGAN DONOR REGISTER   - Oldham woman who donated kidney to husband and Bury man awaiting second kidney transplant support the campaign -   North West celebrities Shobna Gulati, of Coronation Street, Tony Morris, of ITV Granada Reports, and Ricky Whittle, of Hollyoaks, are backing NHS Blood and Transplant’s (NHSBT) new campaign to urge more Black and Asian people to join the NHS Organ Donor Register (ODR).   Currently, 26%[1] of patients awaiting organ transplants in Greater Manchester are from Black and Asian communities, yet these communities account for less than 2%2 of people who have signed the ODR.   As part of the campaign, NHSBT will host a special stand at the Halle Square, Manchester Arndale Centre, on Saturday, 4 February, 10.00am-5.30pm, where passers-by can find out more about organ donation and join the Register.   Joining the team will be Shahnaz Ahmed, 50, of Oldham, who donated her left kidney to her husband Alias; and Wajid Iqbal, 33, of Bury, who has been on the waiting list for a new kidney since 2006. Jane Monks, Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation at NHSBT, said: “It is vital that more Black and Asian people join the NHS Organ Donor Register. The message is quite simple – more Black and Asian patients will have the opportunity to receive a life-saving transplant if more people from those communities join the Register. “Transplants can be carried out between people from different ethnic groups, but an organ is more likely to be a close match, and as a result a transplant is much more likely to be successful, if the donor and recipient have the same ethnic origin. Becoming an organ donor means that you could help save or enhance up to nine lives.”   In July 2011 Shahnaz Ahmed, 50, of Oldham, donated her left kidney to her husband Alias, who had lived with kidney failure for over five years.   Alias, 53, was receiving dialysis and had been on the waiting list for a new kidney for four-and-a-half years when Shahnaz and Alias's son Afzal decided to see if one of them could donate a kidney, so he wouldn’t have to wait any longer.   Shahnaz says: “It was very hard to see my husband’s health deteriorating while he was waiting for a new kidney and it got to the point where I wanted to step in and see if I could donate one of mine.   “Afzal and I went for tests at Salford Royal Hospital to see if we were a match with Alias and unbelievably we both were. I read stories online about other kidney donors who were leading normal, full lives with just one kidney and decided to go for it.”   Some friends and family were concerned that Shahnaz was putting herself at risk, while others were worried that there may be religious issues around organ donation. Shahnaz consulted with several religious scholars who confirmed that there were no problems with donating, and admired her actions. The operation took place last summer and was a success. Alias, a taxi driver, is making a good recovery and working again. Shahnaz, a part-time tutor of Urdu and English as a second language, is also in good health. Shahnaz adds: “Ours is an unusual story and not many people donate an organ while they’re alive. I would say my husband and I have an even closer bond with each other now and I don’t regret for one second having donated a kidney to him. “Unfortunately there are lots more poorly patients on the waiting list for new organs and I’d encourage people to sign the Organ Donor Register so that one day they can help save a life too. There’s a particular need for more people to sign up from the South Asian community.” Wajid Iqbal, 33, of Bury, has had kidney failure since the age of six. “Nobody knows why I got ill – it’s just one of those things,” said Wajid. “I went on home dialysis when I was 13 and juggled school with my treatment which I had to have three or four times a day. “Then, when I was 17 I contracted an infection in my stomach and needed to have haemodialysis, which meant travelling to hospital three times a week for four years. I carried on going to college and trained for an NVQ as long as I could, until it became too difficult to manage.” Wajid received a kidney transplant in 2001 and all was well for over five years, when sadly the kidney started to fail. His body was producing too many antibodies, and he became dehydrated, meaning the kidney was no longer functioning properly. The donated kidney was removed and Wajid has been back on dialysis and waiting for another kidney since 2006. Despite his experience, he is an optimistic, positive person keen to make the best of the situation. He said: “I’m getting on with life and trying not to let my condition affect me too much. I’ve started a course in counselling at Salford University and am on the hospital’s kidney patient committee, supporting other patients by sharing my experiences and acting as a representative with staff. “Not enough people from the South Asian community are signed up to the Organ Donor Register, even though they’re three times more likely to need a transplant than someone who’s white. It’s a delicate subject but I’ve worked with Muslim Scholars and transplant coordinators to try and tackle some of the religious misconceptions about organ donation.” Wajid met his wife Shakeela (29) after his transplant and was in better health, and admits that she sometimes struggles to cope with the new situation. However the pair have been greatly helped by a strong circle of family and friends who have offered vital support. “I was really sporty before my condition got worse and loved swimming, cycling and going to the gym. However now my condition means I can’t do much sport any more, and cycling is completely off the agenda,” he said. “If you feel that you want to do a good deed then signing the Organ Donor Register is the best thing you can do. Thousands of people out there are waiting for a transplant and are quite unwell. If you sign the Register and tell your family of your wishes, you’ll make a real difference to humanity and that’s the best gift you can give.” A host of other celebrities including chef Ainsley Harriott, The Apprentice star Tim Campbell, actor Riz Ahemed and actress Pooja Shah are getting behind the campaign, which has seen roadshows held in city centres across the country to highlight the need for more organ donors. The roadshows have already taken place in London, Birmingham, Leeds and Bradford before moving onto Manchester and Leicester. Teams will be visiting shopping centres, churches, temples and supermarkets in a bid to boost Black and Asian numbers on the ODR. North West Celebrities back new campaign to urge Greater Manchester’s Black and Asian communities to join NHS Organ Donor Register.

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January 16th, 2012

£28m Bioinnovation centre to attract 5,000 science jobs in Liverpool

Plans have been submitted to Liverpool City Council for the first phase of a 2 million sg ft project for a new Bioinovation Centre.

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January 3rd, 2012

The great british breakfast of the future

A new report on what we eat to start the day has just been released from cereal giant Kellogg’s.

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December 21st, 2011

Top tips on preventing fire in the home over Christmas

Take extra care over the Christmas and New Year break. Check and make sure your home is safe from fire risks.

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October 27th, 2011

Child Road Safety Campaign launches in Bury

A new child safety campaign has been launched in Bury, ahead of the clocks going back this weekend.

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August 31st, 2011

Motorists in the North West urged to drive safely through roadworks

Motorists in the North West are urged to drive safely through roadworks to cut death and injury toll. More..

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August 23rd, 2011

Cottam Hall community consulted on masterplan

Refreshed plans for the future development at Cottam Hall, Preston have been given the ‘thumbs up’ following consultation with local residents. More..

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August 2nd, 2011

Extra funding for mountain rescue services announced

Additional funding announced to further support mountain resuce services across the UK. More..

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July 21st, 2011

Northwest 2012 conference celebrates one year to go

A conference hosted last friday marked the opening of the London 2012 Weekend in the Northwest. More..

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