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Positive Nottingham News from 2020

18 April 20 words: The LeftLion Team

We don’t want you to get too bogged down in the doom and gloom of it all without keeping one eye on the light at the end of the tunnel. There’s no doubt that 2020 has been a bit of a shocker, but it’s not all bad. Here are the positive news stories Nottingham has seen so far this year… 

Nottingham Playhouse’s In House Theatre Group Awarded £40k of Funding

The Playhouse’s In House theatre group – which supports those who have experienced homelessness, substance abuse and mental health issues has been awarded £40,000 of funding to enable it to run over the next three years. The group, which formed in 2016, gives people the opportunity to learn more about performing arts while building confidence and supporting their overall wellbeing.

Residents Put Up Christmas Lights to Spread Cheer

Across the country, folk stuck at home have raided their lofts for twinkling lights, fur trees and other Christmas decorations to help bring some cheer back into their lives and living rooms. One family in Sutton-in-Ashfield said their decision to bring back Yuletide was inspired by their determination to stay positive in this time of anxiety and illness. Fair play. 

Rabbit Found in Rubbish Pile in Southwell is Re-homed

A malnourished rabbit was discovered “cowering and shivering” under an old mattress by an off-duty police officer back in February. Insp Marcus Oldroyd took the bunny to the vet for recovery, and the RSPCA are happy to report they’ve found a permanent home for the fluff-ball. Insp Marcus is said to be delighted by the news.

Local Comedy Star Live Streams A Stand-Up Gig with Mega Success

The Yorkshire-born lad based in Beeston, Scott Bennett, has been on our ‘ones to watch’ list for a while now, and it’s great to see him making the best of a bad situation. His first live-streamed thirty-minute stand-up routine was performed from his garden shed to an audience of nearly 14,000 people, all with the hope of putting a smile back on their faces.

Beat the Streets Festival Raises £75,000 for Framework

Through the combination of ticket sales, merchandise, a tombola, donation buckets and bar takings, this year’s Beat the Streets festival raised enough money for the homeless charity to employ two mental health workers, with the aim of supporting rough sleepers with complex needs. Big up to any of you who got involved and contributed to the success. 

Hand Sanitiser Donated to Vulnerable People by Local Gym Boss

Businessman Luke Willmott found himself with over 1,000 bottles of hand sanitizer spare bought from a manufacturing mate after the closure of his gym. Instead of letting them go to waste, he’s now working to distribute them to homeless charities, churches and soup kitchens throughout the county, and will also send some on to elderly members of the community who may not be able to find them in shops. 

CRS Gets a New Lick of Paint and an Expansion Thanks to Nick Knowles

Popular renovation show DIY SOS will be filming its BBC Children in Need episode in Nottingham at the Community Recording Studio. Based at the Russell Youth Centre in St Ann’s, founder Trevor Rose and team have worked for 28 years to keep young people away from knife crime and gang violence, and we’re made up for them. A well-deserved reward. 

Housing Estate Named After Beloved Village Cat

Wilbur the Cat is loved by the people of Ruddington, and is frequently seen prowling around the local pubs, cafes and shops, attracting food and attention from residents. Not only has the “King of Ruddington” stolen their hearts, he’s also the name-sake behind the new housing development, Wilbur Chase. While some think it’s an attempt by authorities to get locals to warm to the controversial build, we’re just happy Wilbur’s finally been given the recognition he deserves. 

Bus Driver Saves School Girl from Choking on an Apple

Bus driver Mark Dawson has been driving around these parts for ten years now, but showed an act of bravery when picking up passengers in Wollaton in February. After he noticed a young girl was struggling to breathe, he quickly stopped the bus, ran down the aisle and began to perform the back blows that eventually dislodged the fruit and, potentially, saved her life. 

Do Nothing’s Stolen Equipment Found After Facebook Appeal

Nottingham’s music scene rallied around local quartet Do Nothing at the beginning of February after they took to Facebook to ask fans to keep an eye out for instruments and equipment that had been stolen from a city centre car park. Guy Elderfield, a local music producer, saw the post and, by chance, later spotted the items in a Cash Generator store, and restored faith in Do Nothing’s “cold dead hearts”. 

Vertical Farm Crops Donated to Help Feed the Homeless

Nottingham Trent University has donated all the produce from its vertical farm to help feed the homeless during the pandemic. From the two vertical gardens – run by Professor Chungui Lu and colleagues at the University’s School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences – they’ve put together boxes of pak choi, spinach, lettuce, basil and other greens and given them to Tracy’s Street Kitchen, a team of chefs who make and distribute food to people living on the streets.

Cobbler’s Thumb Replaced with his Big Toe After Industrial Accident

This is a good thing, we promise. After cutting through his right thumb while trimming the heel of a shoe at his shop, David Lee underwent a ten hour procedure to amputate his big toe and have it attached to his hand to replace the damaged digit. Our David’s overjoyed with the result, as it’s enabled him to carry on with his job, and doing what he loves. 

Nottingham Chippy Named Best in UK 

Despite our eighty-mile distance from the coast, The Cods Scallops in Wollaton has been named the UK’s best chippy thanks to its menu, which boasts more than twenty species of fish as well as healthier, baked options. But it’s not just the scran that bagged them the award – they also came up tops on their sustainability and ability to cater for dietary requirements. 

Nottingham MP to Return to Care Role to Support the Fight Against COVID-19

As if we didn’t have enough reasons to love her already, Nadia Whittome will return to her old job at Nottingham's ExtraCare as an act of solidarity. The MP, who was elected for Nottingham East in the latest election will juggle the extra shifts with her normal duties, and will be donating her salary to charities supporting COVID-19 relief. 

New Robin Hood Fund Raises £10K in Thirty Hours to Help Elderly and Vulnerable 

Launched in response to COVID-19, the Robin Hood Fund vowed to support the city’s most in-need by providing food packages and financial relief to those affected. After backing from the city council, Nottingham Forest and other charities, they threw it out to the public, and you lot responded by chucking more than a few quid their way. The community spirit in this city really is humbling. 

Over-Enthusiastic Cocker Spaniel Joins Police Force After Being Dubbed ‘Too Energetic’ for a Home

Two-year old Cooper has finally found his forever home as part of Nottinghamshire Police Dog’s section, after he was deemed a bit too boisterous for a family environment. After his previous owners realised his energy could be put to better use, Cooper has now been trained in finding cash, drugs and firearms, and is more than excited to get stuck into his new role. 

Nottingham Trent University Installs an LGBT+ Rainbow Crossing on Clifton Campus

Following in the steps of Broad Street, the University has painted the crossing to celebrate the institution's inclusive culture and hopes it will increase LGBT+ students’ sense of community. And the students seem dead chuffed with it too – it’s great to see such an important and omnipresent institution in the city celebrating its diversity.