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News Report Page 15 of 19
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Cost of living rises force 90% of people to stop taking part in sports or fitness classes

THE cost of living rises are forcing 90% of under 34's to stop taking part in hobbies including:- fitness classes and grass roots sports, according to brand new research.

Used car buying service,, conducted a new study into how the cost of living increases, including high fuel prices, are impacting the lives of drivers in the UK. The results proved that many people are having to choose not to drive in order to continue to afford to live, meaning that many of their usual activities can no longer take place.

Shockingly, 58% of UK residents admitted that they will no longer be able to take part in their hobbies, such as fitness classes and grassroots sport. This jumped to a whopping 90% in the under 34s age group, who are arguably the most affected by crippling fuel and energy bills.

This is particularly worrying in the context of the proven impact sports and fitness has on mental health in young people. It has been well documented that mental health problems in younger people; particularly men; have seen a huge increase in the past few years.

The research showed that where you lived had a strong impact on how many people felt they could no longer afford to take part in sports. The study showed that:-

     74% of people in Scotland would be forced to cut back on hobbies and sports.

     Glasgow was the most affected City, with a total of 79% across all age ranges admitting they can't afford to continue hobbies and sports.

     Cardiff was the second most affected City, with a total of 68%.

     90% of under 34s, 58% of 34-55s, and 35% of over 55s would be forced to stop.

The research also showed shocking stats on families cutting back on their children's hobbies. Seventy percent of parents said they would have to cut back on their children's activities such as grassroots sports, because they can no longer afford the fuel costs and fees.

The study showed that:-

     70% of parents may have to cut back on driving their kids to sport clubs or hobbies.

     Young parents are most affected, with 90% considering cutting back.

     Regionally Scotland showed the highest impact , with Edinburgh showing 86% cutting back, Glasgow close behind at 83%.

     Birmingham was also hugely affected with 81%, Newcastle 80%, Leeds 73%, London 76%, Nottingham 76% and Manchester 65%.

1 such parent is Buckinghamshire based Beth Jones, a Mum of 3, whose son Charlie played football for Grendon Rangers. Beth has been forced to cancel Charlie's training sessions due to the extra petrol she would need to use. "The high price of fuel has affected everything, especially as we live in a rural area. A couple of weeks ago, I didn't have the money to put fuel in my car, but luckily another parent offered a lift to my son. I now have to think about what fuel I need and make a call. Do I have enough to get to work and football? My fuel is rarely out of the red zone as I just don't have the money to go and fill it up. My money is now focused on bills and food. I want to give opportunities to my kids, especially with sports, as it helps to keep them fit and healthy. Since joining the Grendon Rangers FC team, Charlie's School work has improved as he's happy he is part of the team. The expenses can be a lot though; luckily has sponsored the kit so we didn't have to buy that, plus the club has paid the training fees this season. Without this, I don't think I would have been able to pay for my son to do football. I work 2 jobs, and my partner works 3 jobs, but it still doesn't feel like enough right now to live. When is it ever going to stop?"

Founder of, Nick Zapolski, said that the research is heartbreaking. "It is clear that the spiralling costs of living are forcing people to choose between running their car and eating; it's really a case of Drive or Survive. It's terrible to see the impact this is having on everyday people. Staying active and playing sports is so important to both the physical and mental health of many young people. It's really devastating to discover that so many people; nearly all those who were asked; will not be able to carry on doing these activities. The cost of living crisis and the still too high fuel costs are having repercussions far beyond people cutting back on luxuries; having to choose between driving and surviving. That's why feels compelled to sponsor some young people's teams, to try and help in some small way. We'd encourage sports teams to get in touch with us if we can help." are also looking for more sponsorship opportunities and clubs in need of new kit should apply now online.

NICEIC advice for lighting up your home this winter

AS we move away from summer for another year, the desire to cosy up in a dimly lit room is building within us all. But faced with the cost of living crisis, many of us are looking for smart ways to keep cosy this winter whilst minimising our electricity bills. Happily, creating a comforting atmosphere in the home can be easily achieved, all whilst considering using less energy and thus saving yourself some money this winter.

The end of daylight saving time is the perfect opportunity to start creating a tranquil and cosy retreat and using the right lighting can help you achieve this. With warm colours and atmospheric settings, you can create a welcoming sanctuary that's perfect for relaxing and unwinding during the evenings. Here are some of our tips on making energy-efficient choices when getting your home winter-ready this season:

LED lamps (bulbs) We all know a cosy evening at home isn't complete without the warm golden hue of a lamp in the corner of the room. Swapping to LED gives you the ability to choose softer, warmer and golden tones to your lighting, making your atmosphere even cosier and more relaxing. They are also much more energy efficient than traditional incandescent light bulbs, making them a great choice for the upcoming winter season. In fact, LED products can consume from 25% to 80% less electricity than more dated incandescent lamps; and replacing the 5 most frequently used bulbs within your home can save up to £70 a year on electricity (TheGreenAge).

     Dimmer switches... If lamps aren't your thing when attempting to create a warm and relaxing evening environment, then a dimmer switch might be the best choice for you. A standard overhead pendant can often create a bright and bold light, which isn't always the ambience you want for a winter's evening. Dimmer switches will allow you to continue use of your main overhead pendant or spots, but with the ability to alter the level of illumination you want. An added bonus is that a dimmer setting will also use less energy, thus saving you money as well as creating the perfect winter evening atmosphere.

     Electrical safety... Darker winter nights will, no doubt, result in more lamps and Christmas lights being plugged in across all homes, and thus this means more problems could arise; specially where socket outlets have not been in use for some time, and may have fallen into disrepair.

Paul Collins, Head of Technical Services for the UK's leading body for certified electrical businesses, NICEIC, comments:- "Faulty electrics within the home have the potential to be highly dangerous and are responsible for a significant number of house fires every year."

Check plugs and socket outlets aren't damaged or scorched:-

     Check all leads and cables for signs of damage or fraying.

     Ensure there is no visible damage on lights.

Check socket outlets aren't overloaded Calculators can be found online to determine the output certain household products and how pairing them together how they can result in overloading a socket.... See free guidance.

Check that the consumer unit / fuse board has Residual Current Devices (RCD) protection fitted as this will instantly break the electric circuit in the event of certain electrical faults

Paul adds:- "Crucially, where any electrical work is needed in the home, look to appoint a qualified, certified professional - such as those certified by the NICEIC - as even the seemingly simplest of jobs can be incredibly dangerous if not undertaken correctly."

For more information or to search for a NICEIC certified contractor in your area, visit:- NICEIC.Com.

£2m to help tackle housing crisis with 262 homes on industrial land

A further 262 homes are set to be built on former industrial land in St Helens thanks to almost £2m funding from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. The funding enables the third phase of a project which will eventually see 900 homes on the 94 acre Moss Nook site South of the Town Centre. A total of £1,954,000 from the Combined Authority will be used to support the remediation and infrastructure work necessary for development of 112 properties for sale, 50 affordable homes and 100 for rent. The funding has been awarded to Harworth Estates Investments Ltd, experts in preparing complex:- "brownfield" sites for onward sale for construction by housing developers. This follows an initial £2m awarded to the company in 2020, which prepared the ground for the 1st 240 homes, at Moss Nook.

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:- "New homes are an investment in all our futures. They give families the opportunity to realise their home ownership ambitions; attract new funding into our Towns and Cities, and help us to retain the very best talent to fuel our economy. We know that our journey to building a strong, prosperous community starts at home, which is why we are helping thousands of families across the Liverpool City Region to invest in good quality, genuinely affordable, and accessible houses. By specifically targeting brownfield sites, we are helping to turn once forgotten areas back into thriving communities; and help to protect more of our green spaces. We've already made great strides to achieve this ambition, having committed £20 million to build nearly 2000 new homes across the Region, including these much-needed new properties at Moss Nook."

Councillor Graham Morgan, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Portfolio Holder for Housing and Spatial Framework, said:- "Moss Nook is a great example of our brownfield 1st policy in action, where our investment has enabled a formerly derelict site to be developed, creating hundreds of decent homes for local people. We have work under way at sites across the City Region and a further pipeline of projects ready to come on stream and we are well on our way to enabling the creation of thousands of new homes."

Councillor David Baines, Leader of St Helens Council added:- "This plot of land, which is located between Sutton, Parr and Bold, was derelict for a number of years and had been plagued by anti social behaviour. So it is great to see this site cleaned up and turned into a place for families to live. This latest funding will help make more of the site a suitable spot for development in the future and has the potential to unlock new housing and additional facilities in the area. We are committed to putting these eyesore brownfield sites back into use and funding like this is vital in helping us to make sure that can happen."

Matt Whiteley, Associate Development Director at Harworth, commented:- "Within just a few years, Harworth has transformed a piece of derelict brownfield land into a thriving new community in St Helens, providing new infrastructure, amenities and green space for local people. We are grateful to St Helens Council and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority for their continued support in helping us to deliver on our vision, and it is a privilege to be able to show them our progress on site today."

In July 2020, the Liverpool City Region was allocated £45m from the Government's Brownfield Land Fund to deliver previously developed or brownfield, land suitable for at least 3,000 homes. Then, in March 2022 it was awarded an additional £15m which will enable a further 1,000 homes to be built on previously developed sites in the Liverpool City Region. So far, the Combined Authority (CA) has supported 9 projects across the Liverpool City Region with more than £19.5m invested to deliver 1,670 homes. Plans are in the pipeline for a further 21 projects which could lead to 2,723 additional homes. In total, 700 brownfield sites have been identified across the 6 local authorities of the Liverpool City Region. The updated brownfield register identifies 1,813 acres of brownfield sites which could provide space for more than 42,000 homes, if remediated.

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