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Leaving care - one teenager's disturbing story

In a powerful interview a teenager has described what it's like living and coping alone.

Zahra was in foster care and describes how when she was 18 she had to move out and build a home for herself.

The government says councils have a duty to allow care leavers to stay with their former foster carers until they are 21, but that doesn't happen in the majority of cases.

There are currently 8,600 children living with foster carers in the in North West.

Less than a quarter of young people who turn 18 stay with their foster carers, despite legislation and improved financial support

Zahra's been telling Elaine Willcox she 'often feels completely alone'.

Bolton Council, the authority responsible for Zahra's care said young people leaving care have access to a social worker until they are 25 if they are still in education or training.

"It can be particularly difficult for young people reaching the age of 18 having to consider all the challenges of adult life.

We work closely with other agencies including health, education, accommodation providers and DWP to make this transition a smoother one wherever possible.

We have high aspirations for our care leavers and do all we can to support them into adulthood."

– Bolton Council statement

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  1. Ed Tyler

Appeal to find missing, Brian, 73

Brian Barrett, 73, was reported missing on Monday Credit: Greater Manchester Police

Police are searching for a man who has been missing from his home in Chesham, Bury.

Brian Barrett, 73, was reported missing on Monday and was last seen on CCTV at Bury interchange at 7.35am on Tuesday.

He has been described by police as being white and of heavy build with grey hair.

Mr Barrett was last seen wearing a grey/ black winter coat, dark trousers and brown shoes.

Inspector David Ryecroft from GMP’s Bury borough said they are desperately seeking information on Mr Barrett’s whereabouts.

Anyone with any information is urged to contact police on 101.

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North West Ambulance Service 'requires improvement'

The North West Ambulance Service has been told it 'requires improvement' in a new report by health watchdogs.

The trust say there are plans to continue to recruit paramedics from abroad to fill vacancies. Credit: Press Association

The report by the Care Quality Commission says the trust struggled with staffing levels, and expressed concerns the service couldn't meet the needs of patients. The trust say there are plans to continue to recruit paramedics from abroad to fill vacancies.

Nicola Kemp is from the Care Quality Commission and Derek Cartwright is Chief Executive of the North West Ambulance Service.

  1. Tim Scott, ITV News

Brewing up a storm - the North West beers proving a real hit

The region's at the centre of an independent brewery boom. Credit: ITV News

We've heard our region described as the northern powerhouse but now it's being called the brewing powerhouse.

A revolution in the making and selling of beer is well underway, with a dramatic rise in the number of so-called micro breweries and the sales of craft beer.

And that success is beng celebrated at Manchester's beer and cider festival which gets underway tonight.

Our reporters formed an orderly queue - and Tim Scott managed to push himself to the front of it to bring us this report.

Man arrested after woman's ear bitten during attack as she waited in taxi office

Map shows location of Bluestar Taxis in Wigan. Credit: Google Maps.

A man has been arrested after a woman was bitten on the ear in a taxi booking office.

Police had released CCTV footage of the offender who approached his 21-year-old victim inside Bluestar Taxis in Wigan, Greater Manchester, and grabbed and bit her before fleeing.

The woman suffered minor injuries in the incident, which happened at about 7.10pm on Tuesday November 29 last year.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: "Following a CCTV appeal, a 24-year-old man presented himself at Wigan police station and was arrested on suspicion of assault.

"He has been bailed until 16 February."

Police investigate care home over sex abuse allegations

Greater Manchester Police HQ Credit: Press Association.

Police have launched an investigation following a report of sexual abuse at a former care home in Stockport.

The report relates to boys who were residents at Belmont House, also known as Belmont Assessment Centre, on Baker Street in Heaton Norris around 1989/1990.

The care home has since closed down.

The investigation team is now appealing for anybody who may have information that can assist to come forward, particularly anyone who might have worked or lived at the home around 1989/1990.

“We are still in the early stages of our investigation but have made extensive enquiries since this report was made.

“Although many years have passed since it took place, we take all reports of sexual offences seriously, no matter how long ago they may have happened.

“Given the time that has passed, people who were previously residents or members of staff at the home may have moved to different areas of the country, or even abroad, but we are keen to speak to anyone who was involved with the home around the time the abuse took place.

“It is possible that these people may hold key information and I would ask that any of them who see or hear about this appeal please come forward.”

– Detective Constable Karen Wileman of Greater Manchester Police’s Public Protection Division
  • Anybody with information should contact police on 0161 856 7974 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
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