Monday, 6 April 2020

Country and Townhouse Good News newsletters

In the latest of my new blog post series, good news from Country and Townhouse:


Good News You Need Right Now
In these strange and unusual times, we all need a little positivity in our lives, so we’re picking out the good news stories to come out amidst the coronavirus pandemic reporting for some light relief and hope for brighter times to come.

Stay safe, and please share any stories you think we might like to share with our readers on Twitter 
@countryandtown or send them to intern@countryandtownhouse.co.uk. This too shall pass.


THE BIGGEST NIGHT OF THE WEEK? BIN NIGHT

Missing the chance to get dressed up and let your hair down? Australians aren’t letting lockdown spoil the party and have found a way to bring some extra fun into their week for one of the only legitimate reasons to leave your house. Aussies across the country are getting dressed up to put their bins out, streaming their efforts on social media. From dinosaurs to black tie attire, bin night is the new Friday. Source: BBC



Above: Andy Warhol, Marilyn Diptych 

TOUR THE TATE MODERN'S WARHOL EXHIBITION

Missed the opportunity to tour the Tate Modern’s headline Andy Warhol exhibition before the gallery was forced to close? Fear not. Tate has announced the release of two new films giving access to the gallery’s latest exhibitions from the comfort and safety of home. A free online tour of Andy Warhol at Tate Modern launches on 6 April with a curator-led video tour with Gregor Muir, Director of Tate’s Collection of International Art, and Fiontán Moran, Assistant Curator. tate.org.uk


SECOND CLAP FOR CARERS TRIBUTE

Last night saw the second ‘Clap for Carers’ tribute across the UK, with people taking to their doorsteps, balconies and windows to show support for those working on the front line through the Covid-19 crisis. People beat pots and pans with wooden spoons for extra noise and the editor writing this took the opportunity to hand a large piece of chocolate cake (wrapped after washing hands at least a dozen times) to an elderly neighbour who came out to show solidarity from isolation. Source: BBC


GAIL'S, RAPLH LAUREN AND THE CONDUIT CLUB FEED THE NHS

GAIL’s bakery has produced almost 2,000 meals and baked over 2,000 loaves of bread which have already been delivered to frontline NHS health workers and is continuing efforts alongside coordination from The Conduit club to deliver end-of-day meals to NHS workers. Ralph Lauren is a long term partner of The Conduit and has donated funds to support the cause. Globally, Ralph Lauren has donated $10million to Covid-19 relief.



Above: Christian Wagner on Unsplash

HARRY POTTER AT HOME HUB

JK Rowling is doing her bit to keep the nation entertained with a brand new resource for fans called Harry Potter at Home. The hub gives teachers an open license to read all seven books aloud for their classes on virtual lessons, and makes the first Potter audiobook free for all. The site also has crosswords, puzzles, word searches, guides, quizzes and videos. Source: Good Housekeeping


CHEFS IN SCHOOLS

Charity Chefs in Schools, that works to improve the health of children through better food and food education in schools, is bringing together volunteers, schools and chefs to support vulnerable children through the coronavirus crisis. Chefs involved, including co-founder Nicole Pisani (ex NOPI / Ottolenghi) are making hot and healthy meals to be distributed to children who need them through their ‘Lunch Box Scheme’. indigoeight.com


ROYAL ACADEMY FROM HOME

The Royal Academy of Arts might be closed for the foreseeable, but it has announced that it will continue to share video tours, interviews and exhibition highlights to encourage the nation to keep creativity alive from home. royalacademy.org.uk


PRIVATE JETS PROVIDE SUPPORT

The travel industry might be on hiatus right now, but jets are still very much involved in the fight against Covid-19. From medical evacuation and air ambulances to the repatriation of British and foreign nationals across the globe, on-demand air charter service Victor is supporting individuals, families and government officials all over the world to reach home or medical assistance safely and rapidly, where the airlines cannot.


WEE GRANNY SPEAKS FOR THE NATION

“I hope you’re all keeping well and doing what you’re told. Keep to the rules and yous’ll all be fine. It’ll all pass.” Twitter user @islaanee1 shared a video of her 93-year-old Granny and we just couldn’t have put it better ourselves. View at twitter.com

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Good News You Need Right Now
In these strange and unusual times, we all need a little positivity in our lives, so we’re picking out the good news stories to come out amidst the coronavirus pandemic reporting for some light relief and hope for brighter times to come.

Stay safe, and please share any stories you think we might like to share with our readers on Twitter 
@countryandtown or send them to intern@countryandtownhouse.co.uk. This too shall pass.


DUKE & DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE BOOST MORALE

What does WFH look like as a Duke and Duchess? William and Kate are conducting royal duties from home amidst the coronavirus lockdown and have been speaking to staff on the frontline on the phone. The Duke and Duchess spoke to staff at University Hospital Monklands in Scotland and Queen’s Hospital Burton in the Midlands. The royal family has been fulfilling duties by telephone and video conferencing. Source: Evening Standard


NEW CANCER TEST COULD SAVE MILLIONS

Away from Covid-19 news, researchers have developed a blood test that can detect more than 50 types of cancer before symptoms develop. The technology is also able to identify the tissue in which the disease originated, and could be particularly helpful in detecting ovarian, bladder, oesophageal and pancreatic cancers. Source: iNews



Above: Dipankar Gogoi on Unsplash

HOUSE SPARROW NUMBERS RISING

Something to tweet about: the decline of the house sparrow in British gardens appears to be reversing. A survey by the RSPB also showed a rise in long-tailed tits, wrens and coal tits. Nearly half a million people took part in the survey and counted eight million birds. Source: Guardian


THE SHOW MUST GO ON

With theatres currently closed across the country, Andrew Lloyd Webber is launching a free musical theatre streaming channel to help those having withdrawal symptoms from the real thing. The YouTube Channel will provide theatre lovers with a West End and Broadway experience at home, making a selection of Webber’s beloved musicals available to stream online. The channel will launch on Friday 3 April at 7pm with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. youtube.com/theshowsmustgoon


SPURS DONATE USE OF STADIUM TO FOOD APPEAL

Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium has opened as the first community hub of the Evening Standard and The Felix Project’s Food for London Now campaign, with a total of £850,000 raised for the project so far. The initiative aims to deliver surplus food to vulnerable Londoners, including fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, milk, bread, pasta, soups and ready meals. The food parcels will be delivered to the doorsteps of poor, elderly and vulnerable residents. Source: Evening Standard



Above: GettyImages

IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO SAVE OUR OCEANS

Hope is not lost when it comes to saving our oceans from environmental damage. A new scientific review reports that the glory of the world’s oceans could be restored within a generation. The report cites rebounding sea life from humpback whales in Australia to elephant seals in the US. The measures needed include protecting large swathes of ocean, pollution control and sustainable fishing. Source: Guardian


FIVE-STAR SERVICE FOR FRENCH HOSPITAL

THIS is how the French do charity food appeals. The 5-star Hôtel Chais Monnet in Cognac, which has been forced to close due to the Covid-19 crisis, is doing its bit for the community by preparing and delivering 365 freshly cooked meals to the town’s central hospital. Chefs Isabelle Bovy and Camille Roché created a menu including a starter of quinoa salad, followed by a main course of beef and Grenailles potatoes and finally a sweet and sticky lemon cake. The community outreach is part of a wider movement established across France called ‘Chefs with Caregivers’.


FINE ART FEVER

Fancy watching a masterpiece being created live every Thursday? Renowned painter and National Portrait Gallery exhibitor Paul Wright is creating masterpieces for the NHS and the NSPCC. The paintings will be created live online on YouTube and auctioned, with funds raised going to support the NHS and other frontline workers from the NSPCC. Paul’s gallery is McKay Williamson. The gallery’s founder, Richard Williamson says: “Paul is a national treasure, and what he does with a blank canvas in one hour is magical to watch. These weekly live feeds on YouTube are a chance to watch a virtuoso in his prime.” Visit youtube.com every Thursday at 10am.

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Good News You Need Right Now
In these strange and unusual times, we all need a little positivity in our lives, so we’re picking out the good news stories to come out amidst the coronavirus pandemic reporting for some light relief and hope for brighter times to come.

Stay safe, and please share any stories you think we might like to share with our readers on Twitter 
@countryandtown or send them to intern@countryandtownhouse.co.uk. This too shall pass.


A NATIONWIDE SINGALONG

Just as we saw the Italians singing from their balconies, Brits have decided it’s time for a good old-fashioned singalong to lift our spirits. Five BBC stations will join up tomorrow, 2 April, for a broadcast aimed to get the nation singing through the lockdown. The Great British Singalong will see DJs from Radios 1, 2, 1Xtra, 6 Music and Asian Network take turns in playing a listener-suggested song, with presenters joining forces from different studios. Source: BBC


CLOSED FASHION GROUP DONATES SERVICES

YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP might have closed its distribution centre throughout the Covid-19 crisis, but it is putting its available courier services to good use. The group has donated its Premier Delivery Service fleet to charity to support vulnerable and socially isolated communities. The fleet will now serve as volunteered vehicles for seven local Age UK charities in London.



Above: GettyImages

WEDDINGS IN THE AGE OF LOCKDOWN

Weddings might be cancelled up and down the country, but one couple decided they just couldn’t wait to tie the knot, so they invited friends and family to join them online at a virtual wedding. School sweethearts Ben Jackson and Sophie Austin tied the knot on Saturday 28 March, streaming the service for friends and family on Zoom. “It was amazing. It was absolutely amazing. I think it really drew back the sparkliness and extra stuff of a wedding and made it really obvious what was important: the two of us saying the vows to each other.” Source: Evening Standard


TEA VS LONELINESS

One community is pulling together to battle the loneliness epidemic existing alongside the fight against Covid-19. A whole street in Hebden Bridge took their chairs outside and had a (socially distanced) cup of tea and a chat after one resident expressed that she was struggling with loneliness. “Our neighbour said she was feeling very low – she lives alone and her dog died in October, so she’s really feeling very alone. So I said, well why don’t we just have a cup of tea? We won’t be next to each other but we can wave to each other and catch up,” said Kirsty Newton. Source: The Guardian


COFFEE FOR NHS WORKERS AND VULNERABLE GROUPS

The Roasting Shed in Hackney Wick has launched a new coffee subscription service and for every customer that signs up to a weekly or fortnightly delivery of small batch hand roasted coffee, The Roasting Shed will send a free bag of beans to an NHS worker or vulnerable person. Groups to benefit will be volunteers, NHS staff, teachers, self-isolating parents or at-risk groups and others feeling the effects of the ongoing crisis.



Above: Jean Wimmerlin on Unsplash

SAFARI FROM YOUR SOFA

If lockdown has you feeling like your wings are clipped, many travel companies are helping us to see the wonders of the world from our living rooms. On the agenda this month? A luxury safari, of course. Experiential travel company andBeyond and wildlife broadcasting experts WildEarth have teamed up to stream twice daily game drives for the month of April. With chances to spot the Big Five in real-time, viewers will be able to join up to two live safaris a day, each of which will last approximately three hours and will be able to interact with their safari hosts. You can book a free session here wildearth.tv or visit andbeyond.com for the schedule.


BOOTS TO DONATE 200,000 ESSENTIALS

Boots UK and The Hygiene Bank have teamed up to help support the NHS staff working in hospitals across the country. Boots is donating 200,000 toiletries with the help of FareShare for distribution, with donations to include shower gel, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner as well as hand and body lotions. Hospital trusts who would like to benefit can contact The Hygiene Bank at covid19@thehygienebank.com and donations can be made online to support people in hygiene poverty in the UK at thehygienebank.com.


MATCH OF THE (YESTER)DAY

Missing Match of the Day? Saturday nights will once again be a source of footballing entertainment, as the show relaunches temporarily as a showcase of classic games. This Saturday, following a chat between Gary Lineker, Ian Wright and Alan Shearer about the best goalkeepers, the BBC will show ‘Match of Their Day’ as Shearer picks three classic matches. Tune in at 11pm. Source: Evening Standard


BUSINESSES DOING THEIR BEST

Fashion Brand Theory's parent company Fast Retailing is working with manufacturing partners in China to donate 10 million masks to high-priority medical facilities around the world. Meanwhile, smaller businesses are also playing their part in the fight against Covid-19. West London Shooting School (which is currently closed due to the pandemic) has announced a donation of 200 pairs of protective glasses to be used by NHS Staff.

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Copyright © 2019 Country & Town House, All rights reserved. 


Our mailing address is:
Country & Town House
Studio 2
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United Kingdom

 




Good News You Need Right Now
In these strange and unusual times, we all need a little positivity in our lives, so we’re picking out the good news stories to come out amidst the coronavirus pandemic reporting for some light relief and hope for brighter times to come.

Stay safe, and please share any stories you think we might like to share with our readers on Twitter 
@countryandtown or send them to intern@countryandtownhouse.co.uk. This too shall pass.


FOOD VOUCHERS FOR HARD-HIT FAMILIES

Families whose children are usually eligible for free school meals in England will now be able to claim weekly shopping vouchers while schools are closed. The scheme will allow schools to issue vouchers worth £15 a week, to help those struggling to feed their children due to the closures. Schools will be able to order the voucher codes online from Tuesday, and parents may start receiving them immediately. Source: BBC



Above: GettyImages

2 FOR 1 HOLIDAY OFFER FOR MEDICS

As the world hits pause to tackle the global coronavirus pandemic, the travel and tourism industry is being hard hit by the crisis. Once this all ends, nobody will need a holiday more than the medics working at the front line, so some hotels are looking to the future. Blue Apple Beach on the island of Tierra Bomba off the coast of Cartagena is offering 25% off for guests who book a (time unlimited) voucher for a future stay, and will be offering medics two nights for the price of one once travel restrictions lift.


102-YEAR-OLD BEATS CORONAVIRUS 

A 102-year-old Italian woman has recovered from Covid-19 after spending more than 20 days in hospital. She was admitted due to mild failure and tested positive for the virus, but has overcome both to recover. “We nicknamed her ‘Highlander’ – the immortal,” said doctor Vera Sicbaldi. Source: CNN


ALL HAIL TOAD OF TOAD HALL

Bad news for runners is good news for local wildlife. The cancellation of a cross-country running series in West Yorkshire due to the coronavirus will reportedly save hundreds of toads from being squashed underfoot. The races were scheduled to take place close to the pond where the toads mate, so the lack of runners is good news for toad-kind. Source: Guardian


LEON & CO RAISE £500K TO FEED NHS WORKERS

Saving the nation is hungry work, and there seems to be no shortage of people willing to do their bit to help. In a campaign by Damian Lewis, Helen Mccrory and Matt Lucus in partnership with LEON, the goal is to raise £1million to “deliver food to our heroic workers”. Alongside LEON, Wasabi, Tortilla, Peach Pubs, Rosa Thai, Hop, Pizza Pilgrims, Franco Manca, Farmer J, Tossed, Haché, Abokado, Dishoom and Nusa Kitchen have all signed up to help. You can donate at justgiving.com



Above: Fachry Zella Devandra on Unsplash

FOOTBALLERS TAKE PAY CUT TO SUPPORT STAFF

Barcleona players have announced that they will take a 70% pay cut throughout the coronavirus pandemic and make further contributions to protect the wages of non-sporting club staff. Juventus players and manager Maurizio Sarri have also agreed to a wage freeze while German teams Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have also agreed to take pay cuts. Source: BBC


HELP DRESS MEDICS

The costume department for the TV series His Dark Materials (HDM) has banded together to try and raise money to make extra scrubs for medics dealing with the Covid-19 crisis. The group is organising local teams of volunteers to supply hospitals nearby, as the demand for extra scrubs increases. gofundme.com


NHS NURSE GETS BOOST FROM NEIGHBOURS

One thing doctors and nurses don’t need right now? Trouble finding a parking spot. One Wigan nurse no longer has to worry after her neighbours painted her a reserved space “for our NHS worker” this weekend. The nurse lives on a busy terraced street where parking is hard to come by, and the new space is accompanied by a sign that reads: “space reserved: polite notice, please respect the sign and give our NHS worker a chance”. Source: Evening Standard

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Copyright © 2019 Country & Town House, All rights reserved. 
.

Our mailing address is:
Country & Town House
Studio 2
Chelsea Gate Studios
London, SW6 4QL
United Kingdom



Good News You Need Right Now
In these strange and unusual times, we all need a little positivity in our lives, so we’re picking out the good news stories to come out amidst the coronavirus pandemic reporting for some light relief and hope for brighter times to come.

Stay safe, and please share any stories you think we might like to share with our readers on Twitter 
@countryandtown or send them to intern@countryandtownhouse.co.uk. This too shall pass.


FEEDING THE NHS: VOLUNTEERS DOING GOOD

There has never been a more stressful time to be working on the front line of the NHS: and it isn’t possible to do it on an empty stomach. Networks of volunteers up and down the country are working together to make sure that NHS staff are getting well fed and know how appreciated they are. Meals for the NHS has raised more than £200,000 and set up a network to deliver to 17 hospitals in London, providing free hot meals to NHS staff, from doctors and nurses to security guards and cleaning staff. Meanwhile, in Wembley mother-of-three Daksha Varsani has set up the Covid-19 Response Kitchen to make Indian meals and sandwiches to send to hospitals in London with the help of her local community. Other efforts are taking place all around the country. Source: BBC

In addition, Lidl has announced it will be donating thousands of its fresh fruit and vegetable bags to NHS staff across Great Britain in partnership with Royal Voluntary Service.



Above: GettyImages

SWAN LAKE FROM THE ENGLISH NATIONAL BALLET PHILHARMONIC

English National Ballet Philharmonic are keeping music alive through the lockdown with a virtual rendition of Swan Lake. Thirty-eight members of the orchestra came together online to perform an extract from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake under the virtual baton of English National Ballet’s Music Director, Gavin Sutherland. Each of the musicians recorded their part at home, and Gavin collated them into a film. He said: “In these uncertain times the wish of an orchestra and its musicians is just to be together and play together. I hoped that providing a platform for our orchestra to work together at a distance would show that music will always unite and bring warmth and happiness even at the most difficult of times.” Source: YouTube


F1 TEAM & CLINICIANS CREATE BREATHING AID

University College London, UCLH clinicians and the Mercedes Formula One team has created a breathing aid that can help to keep coronavirus patients out of intensive care. The Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices were created in under a week and 40 of the new devices have been delivered to ULCH and to three other London hospitals. Following trials, up to 1,000 of the CPAP machines will be produced per day by Mercedes-AMG-HPP, with production to start in a week’s time. Elsewhere a VentilatorChallengeUK consortium of industrial, technology and engineering businesses in the UK will, pending approval, begin production of 10,000 ventilators next week. Source: BBC


COURIER OFFERING FOR VITAL SUPPLIES

Boutique menswear brand Sirplus might have temporarily closed its five London stores due to the Covid-19 crisis, but they’re putting the extra time on their hands to good use. In a time where delivery services are busier than ever, they are offering the use of their business courier services to those needing to deliver food, medicine or support packages.You can call their customer services on 0207 7127 4213 for more information.



Above: Leighton House Museum. Image courtesy of Will Pryce.

FREE ART TALKS ONLINE

All the culture vultures out there are probably starting to adjust to the new world of virtual art and entertainment emerging out of this coronavirus crisis. Artscapes UK, a boutique cultural tours company, has created a series of free online art talks to keep culture vultures immersed in the art world from the comfort and safety of their own homes. Expect explorations in art and architecture masterpieces with a team of art historians and experts. Source: YouTube


MR MOTIVATOR IS BACK

Move aside Joe Wicks, the king has returned. Mr Motivator is returning to the nation’s televisions in a new BBC One programme to keep the nation fit through the lockdown. The 1990s GMTV icon is known for his eye-catching lycra outfits and upbeat persona and, at 67 years old, is ready to return to his throne. Speaking to the Guardian he said: “Motivator – you mention my name, and everybody knows Motivator. Walk down the road right now – well, not right now – and they know Motivator.” We do indeed, sir. Source: Guardian


THANK YOU NHS

The M25 bridge known for its famous ‘Give peas a chance’ graffiti until it was painted over in 2018, has been given a makeover with the slogan ‘Thank You NHS’. Source: BBC

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United Kingdom