Four Feel-Good News Stories to Kick-off August
August has officially arrived! With many of us mourning cancelled holidays, and wondering just how much longer we’ve got left before the pubs potentially shut again, these feel-good news stories are sure to bring a smile back to your summer.
1. CYCLING – On your bike
💷 Save cost of car parking
↔️ Keep a social distance
😃 Have fun!
There are plenty of reasons to choose cycling to make your way to the train station. Head to our website for advice on riding there, as well as how to keep your bike safe.
— Cycling UK (@WeAreCyclingUK) August 3, 2020
BALANCE will be honest. We like the feel-good idea of cycling into work, but probably wouldn’t do it as it can feel a little, well, dangerous. Have you seen how people drive in London?!
Well, it seems we’re not alone: one in five Britons say they’re considering cycling to work, but are put off by busy roads and worries over their bike getting stolen.
However, thanks to the ol’ Global Panny D, roads are obviously not as busy as they were, which makes cycling a more tantalising prospect. It’s why Network Rail and Cycling UK have buddied up to launch a partnership to help aspiring cyclists with safer routes to and from work, as well as tips on safe bike storage.
As Jenny Box, Head of Behaviour Change – England, Cycling UK, says: “Cycling is one of the best ways to make your short essential journeys, such as riding to the station or shops. It’s fun, free, good for you and an easy way to maintain social distancing while still getting out and about. Together with Network Rail, Cycling UK wants to encourage more people to discover the simple joy of riding a bike and give them the skills to keep on cycling.”
And Cycling Minister Chris Heaton-Harris says: “We have set out a revolutionary plan to transform attitudes around cycling, focused on creating a healthier and more active country.
“This important partnership will provide practical support and guidance, as well as confidence that they can safely store their bikes at stations, helping people make a positive change.”
David Biggs, Managing Director, Network Rail Property, adds: “With more people taking up cycling and considering using it as part of their journey back to the workplace, we wanted to let them know that our stations offer lots of convenient storage space for them to leave their bikes.
“We’re working with Cycling UK to help promote sustainable, healthy travel, by offering useful and practical advice to new cyclists and help overcome some of the common barriers to cycling.”
2. APPEAL – Bloody good
The #NHS is calling on people who have recovered from #COVID19 to donate their blood plasma as it may contain antibodies that help fight the infection.@NHSBT chief medical officer tells @skynewsniall how the clinical trials are going so far.#KayBurley: https://t.co/JPeKLQeKI3 pic.twitter.com/Lq5gYL2EqQ
— SkyNews (@SkyNews) July 27, 2020
We at BALANCE want the weekly Good News wrap to be a feel-good, uplifting, and inspiring read. But then, every now and then, a story comes along that means you, dear reader, could personally have a positive impact.
That’s because there is an urgent NHS appeal for plasma from Covid-19 survivors as we Britons brace ourselves for that potential second wave (did the first wave ever actually go away?!).
As Dr Gail Miflin, NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT)’s chief medical officer explains: “We need people to offer to donate now so we are ready to potentially provide an additional line of protection during any second wave.
“The number of new infections has declined greatly, which is fantastic news. Fewer people are getting Covid-19. This does mean we need to work harder to recruit new donors and we urgently need as many people as possible who have recovered to donate, to help us make as much progress as possible now.”
People can offer to donate by calling 0300 123 23 23 or visiting the NHSBT website.
3. ENTERTAINMENT – We need to talk
— Forbes (@Forbes) August 3, 2020
There was a time when talking about someone’s poor behaviour would be seen as gossip. It’s essentially the mindset of: “Well, we would call them out, but it’s simply not our place to say.”
But in the US, more and more people have come out to address hit TV show Ellen, fronted by the famous, feel-good comedian Ellen DeGeneres. Rumours have swirled for years about the host’s alleged antics, which appear to be in contrast with her on-screen demeanour. Actor Brad Garrett recently took to social media to say: “Sorry but it comes from the top. Know more than one who were treated horribly by her. Common knowledge.” Back To The Future star Lea Thompson joined in, adding: “True story. It is.”
This comes hot on the heels of around a dozen former employees describing the workplace environment as “toxic”, which inspired Ellen to write to her staff. She says: “On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ would be a place of happiness — no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect. Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case.
“I could not have the success I’ve had without all of your contributions. My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that. Alongside Warner Bros., we immediately began an internal investigation and we are taking steps, together, to correct the issues. As we’ve grown exponentially, I’ve not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done. Clearly some didn’t. That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.”
So how is this “good news”? Well, the impact could be far-reaching. Poor behaviour is something that has been tolerated across almost every industry. But, following on from the #MeToo movement, more people have the courage to speak out. What’s more, on lockdown, it seems more of us have had time to process what is and isn’t important. And, given we spend around a third of our waking lives at work, it is inspiring to hear other people say: “This is not OK.”
4. FOOTBALL – Keep on keeping on
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) August 1, 2020
If you’re the sort of person who is convinced you always get passed over for promotions or that big break, despite your best efforts, then take heart from this feel-good moment from goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.
The Argentine shot-stopper has been with Premier League club Arsenal for a decade, yet has never managed to make the breakthrough – until now.
Since joining the club in 2010, Martinez has been loaned out to Oxford, Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham, Wolves, Getafe and Reading. And, as any football fan will tell you, the portents don’t look good once you’re sent from club to club.
However, an injury to first-choice Arsenal keeper Bernd Leno has seen Martinez finally gifted that opportunity. And he’s grabbed his chance with both gloves, putting in an impressive display against Chelsea on Saturday, helping the Gunners to a 14th FA Cup triumph.
Martinez says of his background: “I was living in Buenos Aires and playing for Independiente and I would only see my family twice a month because they couldn’t afford the petrol to drive from their home in Mar Del Plata. So when Arsenal offered to buy me, I had to be brave. I was 17-years-old and I said ‘yes’ for my parents. We came from a poor, poor family and for them to see me winning a trophy and getting a medal would be something special.”
Martinez tried to speak after the match, but broke down in tears, the magnitude of his achievements were and the reward for his achievements were simply too much. “I can’t really talk,” he wept. And, if you thought you couldn’t love him any more, some incredibly feel-good tunnel footage has emerged of him being overheard saying to an Arsenal staff member how he doesn’t care about the money.
Got a good news story? Email James on firstname.lastname@example.org