Discover the good news behind the headlines as we all pull together at this diffult time
It's not all bad news out there you know. In times of crisis amazing stories rise from adversity, and there are plenty here in Wales and the Borders to warm the heart.
From individuals and community groups to local businesses, we're proving there's good reason to keep faith in humanity. Scroll down to see what we mean. We're adding stories as the weeks go by.
If you're you're self-isolating or simply keeping your social distance and are looking for services or initiatives you can access from home, click here. Or for inspiration in beating the boredom during the lockdown, click here
WARM GLOW: Herefordshire kiln-dried log specialists Certainly Wood have teamed up with a number of businesses to provide some great prizes for front-line workers come the victory over COVID-19. Click here for full story
HELP YOUR LOCAL BOOKSHOP: While reading is increasing in popularity to help us beat the boredom of lockdown, unfortunately most independent bookshops aren't benefitting, as they've been forced to close. Publishers Graffeg, however, are helping these small independents by offering a great new initiative to keep these valuable high-street assets alive. Any purchase made on www.graffeg.com for books, cards, posters or gifts triggers a 25 percent trade commission payment to a bookshop. All customers have to do is let Graffeg know the name of their local bookshop when they place their order and they'll pay a quarter of the value of their order to that bookshop.
FRIENDLY FOLK: With no festival happening this year, the team at Shrewsbury Folk Festival have donated the leftover goodies from their backstage Artists' Reception to The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust. They'll be used in a special wellbeing room at The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital that's been set up for staff where they can go and relax if they need to take some time out during a shift.
HELPING HAND: Carmarthenshire gin geniuses Jin Talog are doing their bit by utilising their skills and facilities to manufacture hand sanitiser. After sourcing the necessary ingredients specified by the World Health Organisation, Carmarthenshire’s only dedicated gin distillery are now distributing their hand sanitiser free of charge to local shops, care homes and NHS facilities for adults with learning difficulties. And don't worry gin fans. Jin Talog are continuing to make and deliver their gin to online customers as well. For more information, visit www.jintalog.wales
BLUE SKY THINKING: We've been sent a poem by reader Maxine Burton, who says: "Thought you might consider it appropriate at this time. I've written from the perspective of my elderly neighbour. Take care everyone..."
Am I alone in this feeling?
It certainly feels like it.
Crazy things have happened this year.
And we all have taken a hit.
I can remember the war years.
And as bad as they really were
I don't remember that people
We're so selfish not to share.
Food has disappeared from shelves.
Are the making pasta pies?
And what is it with toilet rolls?
Trollies filled and stacked up high.
We are all in it together.
And I hope we can survive.
Remember us single people
Who need fresh food to thrive.
The future can look bleak but then
There have been worse things and I
Can tell you now that there is hope
There is some blue in the sky.
LOVE STILL IN THE AIR: Idyllic wedding venue Garthymyl Hall is making it known that it's postponing, not cancelling its weddings affected by the closure brought about by the lockdown. Click here for the full story
BEAR NECESSITIES: The oldest teddy bear manufacturer in the UK is donating proceeds to the NHS coronavirus fund with the sale of a very special addition. Click here for full story
BACK TO SCHOOL FOR KEYWORKERS: Rydal Penrhos in Colwyn Bay is offering frontline keyworkers free accommodation during the pandemic after a local firefighter (also a former pupil) requested help when he was unable to return home as he didn’t want to risk infecting an elderly relative. “It's our duty to provide the community with whatever they need to help them during these unprecedented times,” says executive principal John Waszek. “Our critical frontline workers are doing such a fabulous job throughout the region, they deserve our help and gratitude.” Other charitable initiatives at the school include offering free childcare to keyworkers, while the design and technology department is making protective masks for NHS staff at Ysbyty Gwynedd hospital and other care facilities across the region. Anyone requiring accommodation can email Liaison Officer Sarah James at SJames@rydalpenrhos.com or for more information about other projects visit www.rydalpenrhos.com
HOLIDAYS FOR HEROES: A Pembrokeshire cottage letting agency is offering free holidays to our brave NHS staff. Click here for full story
A LOTTA BOTTLE: Care workers in a Herefordshire nursing home will enjoy a refreshing drink after all their hard work, thanks to Radnor Hills Water who have donated 1600 bottles of mixed fruit water to staff. The generous donation came about after the mid-Wales based water company contacted Lynhales Hall Nursing Home to enquire if a donation of water would be useful. “As many of us know, staying hydrated is an absolutely essential part of maintaining our health and well-being,” says John Fennell, CEO of Rotherwood Healthcare, who own and operate Lynhales Hall Nursing Home. “I believe that Radnor Hills Water recognised that our staff are working in very challenging times indeed and wanted to help. I cannot thank them enough for their extremely generous donation which I know our staff will enjoy and make great use of.”
SCHOOL'S NOT OUT: Myddleton College are utilising the world wide web to keep in touch with pupils from all over the world. Click here for full story
FROM GIN TO HAND SANITISER: Henstone Distillery has commenced deliver of its all-new product to key workers. And no, it's not gin. Part of the Stonehouse Brewery set-up in Oswestry, Henstone recognised that the distillery was perfect for creating hand sanitiser, given its main ingredient is alcohol. "When we first mooted the idea of using our distillery we had interest from two local hospitals," says Stonehouse director Alison Parr. In addition to hospitals, the distillery has a list of key workers in need of the product. Gin production may have been suspended by there's still some in stock, together with beer of course. "We're working as a skeleton staff delivering our beer and other products to supermarkets and to individual customers as well as operating a drive through collection here at the brewery," Alison adds. www.stonehousebrewery.co.uk
WALKING THE DOGS: "My nine year old and I have been regularly walking two little dogs for our elderly neighbours who haven’t been able to get out," says Abigail Barker, who works in Shrewsbury. "We have also taken part in the rainbow displays." Well done both - how blissfully ignorant the dogs look!
PUTTING A LID ON IT: Residents of St Martins in Shropshire are taking to art to thank their local bin workers with messages of support adorning their bin lids. “We’ve found a way to come together during this crisis,” says Bryony Evans, who set up a community WhatsApp group. It was Rob and Rosie Dorse who came up with the idea to thank bin workers. “We’re so grateful to our NHS workers," says Rosie, "but we also wanted to recognise the role bin workers are playing to keep the country going too and send a message of thanks.” The residents are hoping their messages make the waste collection team at Shropshire Council “wheelie smile”. Meanwhile fellow residents Emma and Keith Allum have set up a temporary foodbank in the village with a drop-off point at their house.
If you know of an individual, community group or local business that's going the extra mile to help people during the coronavirus crisis, let us give them a big shout out by emailing details to firstname.lastname@example.org
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