Weekly good news round-up and things to cheer us up

Here’s our weekly compendium of positive news stories to cheer us up and lift the spirits 💪

We also want to flag up all the positive ways that our readers are finding to deal with the crisis, from good deeds to witty photographs. Please email [email protected] with any contributions.

1. 99 year old WWII veteran hits £14m with his NHS fundraiser

The World War II veteran Captain Tom Moore has now raised more than £14 million less for the NHS fundraiser. Set up on Just Giving less than a week ago with an initial goal of just £1000, the Captain Tom is aiming to walk a hundred lengths of his back garden (which is 25m in length) before he is 100 years old at the end of the month. The money being raised is for NHS staff, volunteers and patients impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Visit Captain Tom Moore’s 100th Birthday Walk for the NHS Just Giving page here.

2. NHS Nightingale in Manchester is ready to take patients after just 14 days

The hospital is equipped to receive up to 750 Covid-19 patients from across the region who do not need intensive care but still require some treatment. Construction began on Saturday 28th March in the 10,000 square metre main central hall in the former Manchester Central railway station. It will be staffed by consultants, junior doctors, nurses, healthcare support workers, physiotherapists, pharmacists, occupational therapists, social workers, and a huge range of non-clinical support workers and administrators.

3. #YouAreNotAlone campaign is launched to tackle domestic abuse during lockdown

On Easter Saturday, Home Secretary Priti Patel launched a campaign to help domestic abuse victims, after a national helpline reported a 120% increase in calls. The campaign which uses the hashtag #YouAreNotAlone, draws attention to the fact support services are still up and running to help those subjected to domestic abuse. From this week adverts raising awareness where people can seek help will run. The campaign will be publicising support available including the freephone, 24 hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline number – 0808 2000 247 – run by Refuge, and nationaldahelpline.org.uk.

4. Over 2000 Easter eggs were delivered to primary school children in Buxton over Easter weekend

Volunteer group Buxton by Street Street Covid-19 Support who are co-ordinating neighbour help right across the town for those self-isolating, vulnerable and elderly – organised a huge delivery of over 2000 Easter eggs to families across Buxton.

5. AstraZeneca launches fastest ever clinical trial to test immune response drug 

British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca are carrying out trials on the cancer drug Calquence, after some benefit was seen in intensive care patients in the USA. The leukaemia drug, said to work by suppressing the virus and preventing it from scarring the lungs, will now be rushed into a large clinical trial of 400 patients.

6. Intensive care nurse Kat Lamb has been giving patients and their loved ones matching fabric hearts

Hoping to bring people closer together, the hearts are quarantined for seven days before being delivered to avoid spreading infection.

7. Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro is lit up in as a doctor as tribute to healthcare workers

Brazil’s Christ the Redeemer statue was illuminated to look like a doctor on Easter Sunday, in a tribute to front-line healthcare workers battling the coronavirus pandemic around the world. The flags of several countries affected by the outbreak were also projected onto the monument, which towers over Rio de Janeiro. The city’s archbishop, Dom Orani Tempesta, performed a mass at the base of the statue during the light show, in which he paid tribute to medical workers.

8. Lady Gaga organises all-star concert – One World: Together At Home

Lady Gaga and the Global Citizen organisation has curated a live concert, One World: Together At Home on 18th April, featuring performances by herself, Lizzo, Billie Eilish, Stevie Wonder and many more which will streamed across the world on 18th April, with BBC One showing a highlights show in the UK the day after.

Both Gaga and the organisation have raised £35 million for the World Health Organisation. The concert will not appeal for donations due to those already raised by the singer, reports the BBC, and is more to raise spirits and morale and thank medical staff. It will be fronted by talk show hosts Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert and will also feature guest appearances from celebrities like Priyanka Chopra, John Legend and Kerry Washington.

9. In San Diego, Doctors wear photos of themselves smiling to ease patients

As medical staff across the world are wearing PPE (personal, protective equipment) such as masks and overalls to keep themselves safe as they treat patients with Covid-19, some have oped to put photos of themselves smiling, along with their name, on their gowns, to put worried patients at ease.

One emergency doctor from San Diego, California shared his photo on Instagram, writing that his patients can now ‘see a reassuring and comforting smile’.

10. Lockdown fitness trainer gives socially distanced lockdown classes – from the top of a shipping container

A personal trainer based in London has started a neighbourhood workout on her road in Fulham.  After noticing a green shipping container outside her house, Flo Dowler, came up with the idea to hold a 80s inspired aerobics workout to support of the NHS COVID-19 Appeal. She invited her neighbours by email to join her outside their houses on Monday evenings for a 30 minute class with energetic dance music. All donations raised from the classes will be given to the National Emergencies Trust.

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