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. Chancellor Rishi Sunak announces £750m package to keep struggling charities afloat during the coronavirus pandemic
The move follows concern that some charities are facing collapse, with income shrinking because of enforced shop closures. Bigger charities such as Oxfam and Age UK have furloughed two-thirds of staff. The measures involve cash grants direct to charities providing key services during the crisis. As part of the scheme, £360m will be directly allocated by government departments to those charities. Another £370m will go to small local charities, including those delivering food and essential medicines and providing financial advice.
2. An 11 year old school girl starts ‘blue heart’ campaign for the NHS
An 11-year-old girl has started a campaign to “show the NHS how proud we are” by displaying blue hearts in windows. Tamara McAuley, from Newmarket, in Suffolk, “loves art” and designed the hearts in the health service’s colour.
3. Cadbury’s donated 13,000 Easter eggs to NHS workers
Cadbury’s donated 13,000 Easter eggs to the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton this week.
4. Founder of Twitter, is donating more than a quarter of all his wealth
Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter is donating more than a quarter if his fortune to “disarm this pandemic”. The $1 billion donation ranks as the biggest single contribution to fighting the virus.
5. Cambridge University is setting up a new Covid-19 testing laboratory
The laboratory will help the Government meet its target of 100,000 tests a day.
6. The NHS has launched a free mental health hotline for health workers
The hotline will offer support to hundreds of thousands of health workers on the frontline in the fight against coronavirus. More than 1,500 volunteers have been trained to respond to calls or texts. The phone number is 0300 131 7000 while staff can text FRONTLINE to 85258.
7. A charity founded by HRH The Prince of Wales is helping local organisations
Local organisations are receiving support from big businesses through a charity founded by HRH The Prince of Wales. Business in the Community has launched a microsite where local organisations, charities and councils can ask for support during the pandemic. Last week the charity matched furloughed call centre employees at an IT company, BigChange, with a local Befriender group, South Seacroft Friends & Neighbours, in order to make ‘befriending’ calls for those in isolation
8. Games developers are helping to fight Covid-19.
Plenty of people are spending lockdown in the company of their consoles. From this week, several games will be carrying messages reminding gamers of their part they can play to fight Covid-19. Dirt Rally 2.0 on Playstation will be adding ‘Stay Home, Save Lives’ banners to their game.
9. Penguin Books (Penguin Random House UK) is sending free books to communities facing hardship
Books will sent to those most affected by the crisis including families on low incomes and older people facing isolation. By getting thousands of books into the hands of people who face particular hardship or distress during the coming weeks, their aim is to ‘provide mental stimulation, company and comfort at a time when people will need the power of books more than ever’.
10. Virtual Day at Chester Zoo, part 3 – this Friday!
It’s back! Once again Chester Zoo bring us live footage of our favourite animals. It’s brilliant and really informative and both adults and kids can enjoy it. There’s a whole day of animal antics with a timed schedule. This week includes Asiatic Lions, Penguin chicks and Komodo dragons. Check their Facebook event for all the information including tips on how best to watch.
Stay up to date with key developments including government announcements with latest coronavirus news and resources for locals (including useful links).