Take a Manchester Moment - as city opens its arms to a virtual hug

Social distancing is here to stay - and that 2m metre rule is more important than ever.

And while Manchester needs to keep that physical distance in place - it can, however, help with reducing an emotional gap, with the launch today of its own virtual hug.

Dubbed the ‘Manchester Moment’ the bespoke virtual hug - made by the council creative team - has been designed so that anyone can send it with a message to those they feel could benefit from a sign of appreciation, or even just a little TLC.

It is also aimed at reducing the loneliness that some people will be experiencing during the Covid pandemic.

Councillor Bev Craig, Manchester’s Executive Member for Adult Health and Wellbeing at Manchester City Council, said: “Manchester people are well known for their warmth and kindness - this is simply giving them a virtual way of showing it!

“It’s also poignant because we know that many people are feeling isolated and anxious during the Covid outbreak. Even as talk of coming out of this crisis becomes more common, this is something we must all keep in mind, and look out for one another because the mental and physical effects of loneliness can be devastating.

“I'll be sharing a Manchester Moment with people I care about, as just one of many ways we can keep reaching out to each other."

Prior to the pandemic it was estimated that one in five people who went to see their GP in Manchester was also feeling the effects of loneliness.

The Manchester hug and other materials will all be on a website called welcomebackmanchester.com which offers a whole range of information as lockdown measures gradually start to lift including mental health support and contact details.

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