Positive news stories to smile about

We want to help you kick off May with a positive mindset, through our weekly scouring of the internet to find the best positive news stories of the week worth smiling about:

 

The environment is breathing a sigh of relief thanks to lockdown!

This week, cropping up across the internet, there have been hugely positive stories of the effect lockdown is having on the environment globally.

The UK has just set a record for coal-free power, with the National Grid reporting on 28 April that a combination of lockdown and the sunny weather has led to coal-fired industrial plants not contributing to the energy needed to power the UK for 18 days – the longest stretch since 1882!

In the same week, both Sweden and Austria closed their coal plants for good!

Air pollution has been reported to have dropped by 60% in some major cities across the globe – compared to 2019’s levels. Delhi has reported a 60% reduction and Seoul at 54%, among other countries whose levels have dropped over this period!

 

Six-year-old opens ‘joke stand’ from his driveway to bring bellyaching laughter to grateful passers-by

The adorable six-year-old, Callaghan McLaughlin, wanted to open a lemonade stand over the warmer months for his neighbourhood, but lockdown led to him redeveloping his business model to do something positive and free for his local community.

All it took was a children’s joke book, which he memorised gags from,  a respect for social distancing guidelines, and suddenly Callaghan is not only making his neighbours’ days brighter, but he’s become a bit of a famed star across America. Actor, Ryan Reynolds, has even got in touch to praise the youngster, but Callaghan isn’t letting fame go to his head. Have a read here for more news on perhaps the world’s youngest comedian.

 

Find taking the bins out boring? Watch how bins are going viral and how you get can be involved with some dress-up trash-disposing fun

The Bin Isolation Outing Facebook group was started by a group of friends in Australia for a bit of fun in this quarantine age. Why take part? Because people across the globe are taking the trash out in an array of weird and wonderful costumes and it’s going viral on social media.

You’ve got Princess Leia carefully recycling, Spiderman lounging on his stack of bins, a dinosaur disposing of his rubbish and a few ‘rubbish’ princesses thrown in for good measure. An isolation activity worth taking part in? We think so, too.

 

Leatherback turtles flock to Floridian and Thailand shores in population increase like never before, thanks to humans leaving beaches untouched

An incredible picture that’s been captured shows the sudden increase in leatherback turtles to beaches in Florida and Thailand thanks to the quarantine age leaving beautiful beaches untouched for wildlife. One marine specialist has been quoted saying, “Our world has changed, but these turtles have been doing this for millions of years and it’s just reassuring and gives us hope that the world is still going on.” Have a read – this is a heart-warming one.

 

A McDonalds’ branch Assistant Manager finds his purpose in life isn’t McNuggets after creating a magical video arcade for his toddler during lockdown

If you’re an avid gamer, this one’s for you. Steve Addison spent three weeks creating a two-player game machine for his toddler, and it cost less than £150 to make. Less than £150 for 500 retro video games for his son to play, including classics such as Pac-Man, Tetris, Mortal Kombat, Super Mario and Crash Bandicoot. The McDonalds’ employee set himself the task after being furloughed from his role as Assistant Manager at the restaurant branch, and the result is incredible.

Not an avid gamer? Have a read anyway, because his adorable toddler dressed as Mario is enough to bring a smile to your face.

 

NHS ready to be pampered thanks to kind donations in Milton Keynes

Hazel Scanlon decided to do her bit to offer NHS key workers something positive to smile about in these incredibly difficult times. Posting her idea of ‘pamper bags’ on social media groups in her local area, she became overwhelmed with kind donations of local people, filling 200 bags for staff at local hospitals.

These care packages include chocolate, beauty items, razors, toothbrushes, vouchers for local businesses, hand sanitiser, moisturiser, spare gloves and more, putting a smile on the faces of brave workers in the Milton Keynes area. A beautiful act of kindness for those who are working tirelessly to keep us safe. Read more here.

 

Warwickshire mum and daughter powerhouse cheer up their neighbourhood on daily walks by going to town on the fancy dress

Kitten Von Mew and her young daughter decided to raise the morale of their local community in weird and wonderful ways by throwing on new fancy dress costumes every day for their daily walk. Harry Potter has been wandering the village of Bearley in Warwickshire, along with Santa Claus and Halloween ghouls. Watch the video here for some fancy dress inspiration.

 

Katy Perry also tries her best at *handing* out the fancy-dress inspiration by adorning a massive hand sanitiser costume

Quarantine-appropriate it may be, but wacky it still certainly is. International star, Katy Perry, is famed for her wacky outfits, and she didn’t let lockdown stop her from expressing herself. In this video, she’s seen dressed as a hand sanitiser, in a video that is anything but casual.

 

The now Colonel Tom Moore celebrates his 100th birthday

Over the last couple of weeks, the now Colonel Tom Moore has not stolen only the hearts of the United Kingdom, but the world! To celebrate his birthday, Colonel Tom Moore wanted to raise £1000 for NHS Charities Together by walking 100 laps of his garden. Well, £31m later, we would say this is the definition of smashing your goals.

On Thursday Tom celebrated his birthday with over 125,000 cards including one from the Queen, an RAF flypast and a promotion to honorary colonel - we would say that is a birthday to remember.

We hope this week’s stories have brought a big smile to your face. The Students’ Union is here to support you – and you can continue to get in touch with us over this time on social media @TheSUatUWE, and the Advice Centre is still on hand to answer any of your queries by email at advice@uwe.ac.uk.