Updated: May 25, 2020
In a world that is filled with negativity, disease and just plain nasty things, the Good News for Giving Back blog post will be a weekly roundup of some great things that have happened around the world. It will highlight stories where people have gone out of their way to just do something good to make the world a better place.
John Marquis - The footballer who saved a life, and my faith in football
I used to love football, but recently, I'd fallen out of love with it partly because of the on-pitch histrionics from overpaid premier league idiots, partly because some of those same idiots have been constantly flouting lockdown, and partly because I'm a Bristol Rovers fan so I don't often have much to be cheerful about.
That was, until John Marquis of Portsmouth FC became my new hero.
He'd heard that Pompey fan George had been struggling with his mental health, so he reached out, phoned him up and just listened to what George was going through. He then shared with George his mental health issues and the coping mechanisms he uses to get through his struggles. This took courage on John's part as he was willing to share some really personal details with a complete stranger to achieve just one goal: to help someone else who is struggling. My heart melted.
Gemma Lundy - Cut the BS
I was so pleased when my sister Suzy sent me this article from the Weston Mercury. We grew up in Weston-super-Mare and used to go to sixth form with Gemma Lundy, and only recently we were wondering how she was doing so it's great to see that she's alright. It turns out that she still has the same leopard print hair (which she does herself) and is now a hairdresser, running a business called Cut the BS (Weston sits in the Bristol postcode). Unsurprisingly, she specialises in quirky looks and bright colours which, quite frankly, Weston could do with. Once lockdown finishes, she will be offering haircuts for donations to the NHS, as well as free haircuts to people who work for the NHS. I wonder if she still has the Jilted John cassette me and Suzy lent her back in the day...
Furlonteer - the group matching furloughed workers with volunteering opportunities
I saw this article on the Evening Standard about a group of people who are encouraging others to volunteer their skills whilst on furlough. I imagine being on furlough was great at first for a lot of people, although the novelty must have worn off after a couple of weeks (as it did with me after a week once I'd cleaned the house thoroughly). There are roughly 7.5 million furloughed employees which means that there are 7.5 million potential new volunteers who can start using their skills to help others, and even find a new passion along the way!
I absolutely LOVE this idea and have been in touch to offer my services (which you'll probably read about somewhere here). You can find out more by clicking HERE - what a fabulous way to find some new opportunities.
Hannah Ford - Organ Donor and Lifesaver
Back in 2017, Hannah Ford, a final year veterinary student from Yorkshire gave the left lobe of her liver so that a newborn baby might have it, after she'd overheard in an Italian restaurant that someone needed it and you could donate a part of your liver while still alive.
The risks are reasonably high (with a mortality rate of about one in 500 people) but as a young and healthy woman, Hannah put herself forward and would do it again if she could.
According to latest NHS figures, about 15-20% of patients on the transplant list die or are removed each year whilst waiting for an organ, and more than 3,500 people are currently on the waiting list.
Truly amazing and selfless - you can read more about her here
If you are interested in becoming a living donor, you can find out more here