Beat the Blues with Happy News: Uplifting tales from Manchester and Beyond – July 2021

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Featured Image: “Holding hands” by cchana (CC BY-SA 2.0)

aAh! Magazine columnist Kerry Power reflects on the highlights and positives in this month’s news

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”

Dalai Lama

Football fan runs to all 92 grounds to raise £8000 for charity

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Photograph courtesy of Nathan Richardson

Nathan Richardson from Manchester is the first person to have run to every single League ground in England and Wales. Richardson has so far raised almost £8000 for mental health charity MIND and the Joshua Wilson Brain Charity Foundation. The former soldier, who is now an engineer, set off from Old Trafford over a year ago, before needing to take a break due to the Covid Pandemic. After running through every type of weather and even getting to lift the FA Cup, Richardson fittingly completed the challenge at the ground of Rochdale FC, the team he supports, on 26th June 2021. What an incredible achievement. If you would like to support Mr Richardson or the charities, there’s still time to sponsor him.

Former Manchester Metropolitan student inspires online donations for school children

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Natasha Carter, a local class teacher and former student of Manchester Metropolitan University, didn’t want her primary school students to be at a disadvantage due to a lack of resources at home. Carter took to social media to appeal to The Manchester Students Facebook group for any unwanted tablets or laptops that would allow the children to access their learning from home. Incredibly, they received 18 donations including laptops, iPads and 3 brand new tablets!

A mother and son team feed Mumbai’s poorest people

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Since March 2020 a mother and son have given out more than 26,000 meals to those who have been affected by the pandemic. After initially closing their restaurant due to the health crisis, Harsh Mandavia and his mum were approached by local hospitals to provide food to patients and nurses. They began to supply the hospitals and also started delivering some basic meals to local people. During this period, they were contacted by one of their regular customers who wanted to feed 100 local poor people but was afraid of becoming infected by the then relatively unknown coronovirus, Covid19. He asked the Mandavias if they could help by cooking and delivering the food, which they were happy to do. After Harsh put up a post of gratitude on social media, they were flooded with donations from all over the world which has allowed them to continue this charitable act.

Sadly since the pandemic began, there are 75 million more people living in poverty in India than there were pre-pandemic. Almost $30,000 has been donated to the Mandavias to help them to continue to feed those in need, so far from 11 different countries. With hard work from the family, their staff and with the kindness of strangers (and a little social media magic!), thousands of local people living in poverty- as well as those who are ill and those caring for them, have been helped.

Thunderbirds are go!

A local hero who jumped into a river to save an 18-month-old child has been celebrated with a reward that children (and adults alike) dream of.

Johnathon Baeur jumped 25 feet into the Assawoman Bay River after a 5 car accident on the route 90 bridge and saved the drowning child. In order to honour their local hero, the US Airforce Thunderbirds acrobatic jet team offered Baeur a reward he would never forget- a flight strapped into the backseat of an F-16.

Altruism isn’t dead

It’s popular to be kind right now, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing! However, how many people carry out completely selfless acts of kindness without expecting any recognition? And yet last month, Jabari Richardson, a university student, thought nothing of pulling over his car to give many of his belongings to a homeless man who he thought could benefit from them.

Unbeknown to him, in the car behind him, somebody was filming the whole thing. The story, which the Observer shared to social media platform Tik-Tok, went viral with over 6 millions views. Richardson was later tracked down by a local news channel, he told them: “As I was growing up, my mom always taught me there’s a lot of people that are in need. Not everyone’s blessed as I am.”

A lakeside rescue

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On the 2nd June 2021, a Goldendoodle named Harley rescued a baby deer who was drowning in the middle of a lake near his home. Harley, a therapy dog who works with the elderly and children, didn’t hesitate to dive into the water when he saw the animal struggling. Once rescued, Harley continued to care for the fawn , staying close and licking it to ensure it was well. The next day, Harley’s owner, Ralf Dorn, noticed that he was restless and so opened the front door to let Harley out. He then noticed that the fawn had returned with its mother. The two animals met, greeted each other by touching noses and off they each went.

If you’ve enjoyed this month’s happy news column, keep an eye out for next month’s instalment. There is so much out there to find joy in! Feel free to share happy stories you have in the comments section and join the conversation over at @aAh_mag

About the author / 

Kerry Power

Kerry is studying an MA in creative writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. She has a degree in law, is a qualified Primary school teacher and is a mum of two boys.

1 Comment

  1. Cath Murphy 14th July 2021 at 9:17 am -  Reply

    Brilliant and uplifting stories to make me smile. As always Kerry Power certainly has the owner to make people smile , she is an inspiration writer.

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