Northern Ireland Headlines: Retail warning, health service pressures and walking group

Retail warning

The body which represents retailers here has warned that the high street is facing its toughest challenge yet. Retail NI says expensive business rates and rising energy prices are to blame. They have said restoring devolution at Stormont must now be a priority and has called on Ministers to pull out all the stops to help retailers.

Health Service pressures

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine has expressed serious concerns over the current situation in the health service. Dr Paul Kerr said the pressures in emergency departments are getting worse every week. It comes as the Northern Trust urgently appealed for staff to come in and help over night and today at Antrim Area and Causeway Hospital.

Rise in respiratory illnesses in coming weeks

The Public Health Agency has warned that flu and respiratory illnesses are likely to increase in the coming weeks. They are urging all people including children eligible for the flu and Covid-19 vaccines to come forward.

Walking group

A north Belfast walking group which featured on UTV says more men than ever have reached out, asking to join. The group which tackles Cave Hill every week started during the summer and gives men the opportunity to talk openly about their mental health.

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