Choo Choo

Good news for railway lovers (and Sam) the gov has confirmed the heritage railways will continue running throughout October. This means the steam railway, MER and Snaefell Mountain Railway will operate five days a week.

Director of Transport Services Ian Longworth said: ‘Thank you for supporting the railways over the summer – we have been pleased by the number of locals and tourists that have enjoyed them so far and want to remind everyone that our services continue, including the popular dining car events and Transport Festival. Bookings are also open for our exclusive dining car and Santa experiences over the Christmas period, which include a host of old favourites and some exciting new events. These feature in the timetable, with more detail available from next week.’

Digital Literacy

Digital Isle of Man, an Executive Agency of the DfE, has announced its partnership with Readynez, a digital training provider, to offer 300 free spaces on its First Steps Digital Literacy course, which is initially aimed at supporting the development of beginner to intermediate digital skills for island residents.

The beginner’s course will cover various aspects of digital literacy including how to use search engines, how to protect devices and data, and the basics of the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Outlook, Excel and PowerPoint). Participants will then have the option to progress on to an intermediate level course which will provide them with higher level use of the Office Suite, tips on how to communicate socially and professionally, and how to apply digital skills in a business context.

The courses are free and will be accessed through Readynez’s Online Learning Platform.  In order to register your interest please visit www.digitalisleofman.com/firststeps, contact: digital-skills@gov.im, or call Sarah on 687258 or Lorna on 0330 8087529.

Commonwealth Games

The Commonwealth Games Association of the Isle of Man (CGA) has announced the names of the athletes who have been provisionally selected to represent Team Isle of Man at the 2022 Commonwealth Games being held in Birmingham, England.

Twelve athletes have been selected as Tier 1 selections, across four sports. These are: Aquatics: Laura Kinley and Joel Watterson, Athletics: Sarah Astin and Ollie Lockley, Cycling: Anna Christian, Lizzie Holden, Amelia Sharpe, Matt Bostock, Sam Brand, Mark Christian, Max Walker and the Manx Missile Mark Cavendish.

A total of 30 athletes will make up Team Isle of Man, with the final team to be confirmed in April 2022.

Assisted Dying

A big move in the UK today as the British Medical Association (BMA) has dropped its opposition to assisted dying and adopted a neutral stance on the issue.

The Guardian is reporting that The doctors’ union, which represents about 150,000 medics, voted to change its official position​ following a debate by members at its annual representative meeting in London. It had opposed legalising assisted dying since 2006.

A BMA survey in 2020 found for the first time that doctors in support of a law change outnumbered those against.

Winter Planning

The UK’s Health Secretary has unveiled the government’s plan for tackling Covid during autumn and winter in England.  Sajid Javid said it included offering booster jabs to those most at risk from the virus and maximising uptake among those who have not yet had the vaccine.  Ministers have also prepared a ‘Plan B’ if measures are needed to prevent “unsustainable pressure” on the NHS. This could include compulsory face coverings in certain settings and asking people to work from home.

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