The Good News Digest: Feb 2017

There’s still some good news out there. You just have to hunt for it. Here are four heart-warming news stories from this month.

Good news

1. An egg-xellent campaign for young hen keeper

The family of a six-year-old girl who fell fowl to a series of ‘smash and grab’ raids on her egg stand have been overwhelmed by the success an online fundraising campaign.

Primary school pupil Laila Henry, from Suffolk, England, sells ‘Laila’s Very Free Range Eggs’ from her parents’ farm, getting up up early every morning to feed and clean her chickens before going to school, putting the eggs out and then tending to the brood upon returning home. But the entrepreneurial youngster was distraught to discover that up to 30 eggs were being taken daily without any money being left in her honesty box – and then things got worse as someone started to smash all 30 eggs each day.

Laila’s mother, writing about the incident, wrote: “I bring my daughter up learning about the real world. Learning you only get out what you put in but also with a knowing and understanding where food comes from. How you only get out what you put in. To value life and be thank you for its rewards … it’s a sad sad day when [your] daughter’s life lesson is about dishonest people.”

A family friend launched an online campaign to help Laila to cover her losses, buy food and also install a polytunnel to protect her stock from bird flu. The goal of £200 was smashed, and currently sits at over £1,500.

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2. An act of kindness for Valentine’s couple

Heartfelt thanks have been sent to a mystery man who paid for the flowers of a couple who got married in a hospice on Valentine’s Day.

Emma Davies wed Paul Bruce, a terminal cancer patient at Mary Stevens Hospice in Stourbridge, England, on February 14th. The hospice organised the couple’s special day with just 24 hours’ notice, with nurses visiting nearby Websters Florists in Wollaston to collect flowers for the occasion.

Claire Towns, Matron at the hospice, told the BBC that she was in the florist when “[A] gentleman in the shop overheard me say that I was from the local hospice and he stepped in and said that he’d like to pay for the flowers for the couple getting married.”

Florist Diane Webster was “speechless” at the selfless gesture, with the two dozen red roses making the perfect bouquet.

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3. Down’s syndrome model conquers catwalk

Madeline Stuart, a model with Down’s syndrome, made her runway debut at New York Fashion Week this month with a collection of sporty leggings, crop tops and skirts.

The Australian-born model has been praised in the past for the role she has played in challenging perceptions about people with Down’s syndrome, and her new fashion label – launched at NYFW – looks to take this to the next level.

Named 21 Reasons Why, the collection’s name is a reference to the model turning 21 this year, and also to the extra copy of chromosome 21 that is characteristic of Down’s syndrome.

“It really does represent who she is,” said Roseanne Stuart, her mother, manager and design collaborator. “Madeline has never had the concept that she can’t achieve anything.”

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4. Say hello to the parkour pensioners

George Jackson is not your average 88-year-old. Far from it. This incredibly spritely pensioner is in fact part of a group of ‘young at heart’ pensioners who have taken to free running in order to improve their mobility.

Well and truly out of their comfort zone, George and his friends have been using parkour to bolster their balance and reduce the chance of falls.

Speaking to the BBC, George explains: “As you get older you get lazy … it has [given me a new lease of life] again.”

Have any other nice news stories caught your eye this month, leaving you with that warm, fuzzy feeling? Tweet me@benvealwrites and I’ll be happy to share it far and wide. Because, let’s face it, we need all the good news we can get at the moment.