This week's positive news stories to smile about

Today, we’re again bringing you the positive news stories for this week! We’ve got everything from personal Geography lessons with Sir David Attenborough (we know you want in) and adorable therapy dogs, to the elusive secret recipe for IKEA’s meatballs and how to turn lockdown into a second Christmas to keep the positive vibes growing!


Today, we’re again bringing you the positive news stories for this week!  We’ve got everything from personal Geography lessons with Sir David Attenborough (we know you want in) and adorable therapy dogs, to the elusive secret recipe for IKEA’s meatballs and how to turn lockdown into a second Christmas to keep the positive vibes growing! Just read on for all the goss.


Tumblr-worthy quotes on pegs in Leicestershire wood bring inspiration and hope

A man inspired by his own battle with anxiety has left inspirational pegs in a wood near his home in Leicestershire for passers-by to pick up and keep, to help support others’ mental health at this challenging time. The pegs say adorable messages such as: ‘when you feel you’ve got no-one to turn to, I will be there for you’. The perfect lockdown pick-me-up on your daily stroll.


Our no. 1 favourite, Captain Tom Moore, has now raised more than £23 million for the NHS

We introduced you to Captain Tom Moore in last week’s positive news blog, but this week, we’re reporting that the star walker has now raised over £23 million for the NHS. Captain Tom aimed to raise £1,000 for NHS Charities Together by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday, but instead, the ex-army veteran has received widespread media attention and has been dubbed by The Duke of Cambridge as a ‘one-man fundraising machine’. You can read more about his journey here – and grab a tissue whilst you’re at it because this one’s a happy-tears-inducing one.


A mother from Shropshire transforms lockdown into second Christmas for her adorable child

The adorable 3-year-old Thomas from Shropshire loves Christmas as much as any toddler does, but unfortunately, he spent last Christmas Day in hospital after being diagnosed with mastoiditis. Seeing as the world has slowed down over recent weeks and families have more time to spend together at home, his mother, Susie, decided to treat Thomas to a second Christmas.

Second-hand presents were donated by family and friends, Susie decked the house out with a Christmas tree and after letting locals know she’d be creating a ‘second Christmas’ on a WhatsApp chat, the whole neighbourhood pitched in to help.

Watch this video to see the adorable moment the family take their daily walk outside and Thomas realises the whole neighbourhood has decked their houses out with Christmas lights to surprise him – it’ll bring a smile to your face and might give you some ideas of how to spend this weekend, lockdown Christmas-style.


IKEA has published their secret meatball recipe – we repeat, IKEA has published their secret meatball recipe!

We all love IKEA for many reasons, but one absolutely massive reason is due to their cracking in-house cafes. It’s universally agreed that IKEA meatballs are the superior meatballs, and many fans of IKEA are undoubtedly missing their delicious food over this crazy period. But IKEA’s only gone and surprised us all with releasing the secret recipe for their meatballs to make our tummies very happy throughout lockdown. Read here for exactly how you can cook up an IKEA-inspired storm in your kitchen.


15-year-old takes lockdown productivity to new levels and turns her bedroom wall into an 8-foot rock climbing wall

Erin Sloan has been rock climbing as an instructor at her local climbing facility for the last four years – and just as we’re all missing our favourite things at this time, she was too. So she decided to bring rock climbing home with her. She set out to transform one side of her bedroom into an 8-foot climbing wall structure, entirely on her own, which took her just one week. There was a lot of drilling involved and wooden boards, but the result is incredible.


Hospitals play out recovered Covid-19 patients with the Rocky theme song on discharge

Three hospitals in the US have niftily created the codeword, #CodeRocky, to alert each other to the discharge of a recovered Covid-19 patient, to bring the patient some much-needed positivity and a well-deserved celebration for fighting off the deadly virus. On the announcement of #CodeRocky, healthcare workers line the hallways to offer a round of applause for the recovered patient, who is wheeled out of the hospital by a happy staff member, to, indeed, the theme song of Rocky. Watch the video here – it’s such a heart-warming, beautiful watch.  


89-year-old grandmother knits 600 face masks – whilst listening to The Beatles to keep her motivation levels up

Grandma Terry is up there now with our list of favourite people. The 89-year-old from Chicago, who’s isolated in her own home, has worked incredibly tirelessly to produce 600 face masks for residents of her care home! What started out as a lovely gift for family and friends that she mailed across the country, a group of her fellow care home residents also got involved to help her produce the 600 masks needed for everyone in the nursing home.

Wonder what kept her going over this challenge? Her granddaughter, Amy, has filmed the absolute champ working away and listening to a soundtrack of The Beatles, to which her granddaughter exclaimed, “She just likes The Beatles, who doesn’t!”. Watch the video here and watch Grandma Terry give you a big wave.


American musician hosts drive-by gig to bring some big smiles to his neighbours

This one might just be our favourite watch of the week. Tanner Howe, a musician from California, wanted to do something with his family to cheer up his neighbourhood, so they put together a gig setlist, decorated their pick-up truck with quarantine-related decorations, bought cameras to record the reactions of delighted neighbours, and played a drive-by gig - all at a socially-distant distance. The video is wonderful to watch – and you can’t help but smile at the neighbours dancing along to Tanner’s rendition of ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’. 


Therapy ‘dogtor’ supports healthcare workers by bringing a woof and some positivity to their lives

Loki the Rottweiler is proving to bust his scary stereotype to be a compassionate, loving and supportive therapy dog to healthcare workers across the US. His owner, Caroline Benzel, made it their mission to raise funds to create ‘hero healing kits’ that include skin lotions to treat healthcare workers’ rashes from PPE, boxes of tea, moisturiser and more to deliver to healthcare workers on the frontline to bring a smile to their faces. What’s equally wonderful to know is Loki is dressed up in full ‘dogtor’ gear when he delivers the treats, which we’d argue is another beautiful gift for the hospital staff. Have a read here to meet the adorable Loki.


BBC Bitesize to help GCSE students through revision period by offering personal lessons from the stars

Fancy learning a spot of Geography from the people’s favourite, Sir David Attenborough? Want a science lesson led by Professor Brian Cox? Or how about a Spanish lesson thanks to star footballer, Sergio Ageuro? All this is possible thanks to BBC Bitesize, who have made it their mission to create inspiring and exciting remote lessons for GCSE students over this challenging period. You may not be a GCSE student, but these lessons are available online if you want your knowledge to be shipped into shape by the stars. Read more here!


Another week, and another set of hugely inspiring, positive stories. It’s wonderful to see people pulling together in these times and making the best of every situation. We’ve started a new series on Instagram this week, Little Wins, where The Students’ Union staff are sharing what’s making their days brighter at the moment – and we’d love to hear yours, too. Please get in touch @TheSUatUWE and let us know what your little wins are!

As always, we’re here for you – please get in touch on social media or give our Advice Centre an email at – your Students’ Union is here for you.