North West's mosques and churches provide safe haven from 'extreme' heat

Video report by ITV Granada Reports journalist, Zoe Muldoon.

Churches and mosques in the North West have opened their doors to provide a cool sanctuary for people to escape the heatwave.

It comes as the UK braces for extreme temperatures, with the UK Health Security Agency issuing a level 4 heat-health alert and Met Office issuing its first red extreme heat warning.

Both warnings are running from Monday, 18 July, to Wednesday, 20 July.

St Mary's Church, in Worsley, are using the usually chilly place of worship to their advantage by offering people of any faiths the opportunity to cool down there.

One local said: "If your church is open, go to it. Because these buildings with high ceilings and thick walls stay cool."

Meanwhile, Makki Masjid mosque, in Longsight, Manchester, is also welcoming people into its air-conditioned space to take a break from the heat.

They are also offering free bottled water on both Monday and Tuesday, from 1pm until 10pm, with designated areas for men and women to enjoy some time away from the scorching temperatures.

A spokesperson from the mosque said: "Being the hub of our community here in Longsight, we see it as our responsibility to look after our neighbours.

"Islam encourages and places great importance and emphasis in looking after neighbours, especially in such difficult times."

Temperatures have already been broken in the North West on Monday, with Nantwich, in Cheshire, reaching 37°C.

Emergency services have issued water safety advice after 16-year-old boy lost his life over the weekend trying to cool off in Salford Quays.

But despite the warnings, the cold water at the same spot proved too tempting for some, with many jumping into the quays on Monday.

Detective Inspector Joanne Johnston, from Greater Manchester Police, said: "We remind the public to avoid being tempted to cool off in reservoirs, rivers, canals or ponds.

"We all want to enjoy the warm weather; please make sure you do so in a safe way. Think of your family - look out for your friends."

Meanwhile, there has been substantial disruption to travel due to the heat, with the Bury tram line in Greater Manchester suspended due to damage to the overhead lines.

A spokesperson from MetroLink say tickets and passes are being accepted on the 97, 98, 135, 524 bus services.

Rail passengers in the region are being advised to plan ahead, with conditions expected to impact journeys for the duration of the heatwave.

Passengers are being urged to regularly check National Rail Enquiries before they set off on their journey.

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