22nd May 2020

Good news round-up part 8

View all Coronavirus

Delivery by drone

A company in Ireland has started using its fleet of drones to delivery medication and essential supplies to older people who are currently isolating due to COVID-19.

Manna Aero had initially planned to use its drones to deliver takeaways to students but is now trialling a different kind of delivery service in the small village of Moneygall, carrying goods from pharmacies and shops to nearby homes.

Speaking to Reuters, Bobby Healy, the chief executive of Manna Aero, said:

“We wanted to do something small but meaningful that would be representative of what the future might look like either in an extended lockdown or a repeated lockdown in the future.”

Your own series of Gogglebox

One of the hardest things about the pandemic is being away from our family and friends. However, the BBC has now launched a new tool to help bridge this void, if only a little.

The BBC Together tool will allow small groups of friends and family, colleagues and classmates to watch TV shows together from separate households. Viewers will be able to play, pause and rewind shows for all those watching at the time.

Users simply paste a link to a show from BBC iPlayer or BBC Sounds. This will then generate another link for the host to share with whom they choose.

BBC Together is still in the testing stage, but has been made available on Taster, the broadcaster’s website for experimental tools.

Tip top tapping

We are super excited for our national tapathon this Sunday. Over 1,700 people will be taking part and, collectively, they’ve already raised in excess of £10,000.

One of those taking part is Rebecca Lambert who broke the mass tap-dancing world record with Roy Castle outside BBC Television Centre. Now, 43 years on, she’s dancing in memory of her husband, David.

“The tapathon has brought back many memories taking part of the tapathon. Not just for me, but for my family and friends too. They are really looking forward to seeing a video of me performing on Sunday.

The routine is coming along well, and I should be more than ready to the big day on Sunday. It’s been really good to have this to focus on in lockdown and raising money for such an important charity, with whom it feels like I have many connections, from my personal losses to the disease and ever since that 1977 world record. It’s almost like coming full circle.”

The National Tapathon will be streamed on our Facebook page on Sunday 24th May, with The Greatest Dancer finalist, Harrison Vaughan leading the routine.

Good luck to everyone taking part.

The wheels of opportunity

As awful as the coronavirus pandemic is, there are some good things to have come out of it. One of those is its positive impact on air pollution.

Reports from Scotland this week showed air pollution has more than halved on one of Perth’s busiest streets as a result of the lockdown.

Given that air pollution causes around 8 per cent of lung cancer cases, this is something we are keen continues and support Cycle UK in its campaign for UK towns and cities to be made more cycling-friendly to help commuters change their habits once lockdown is lifted.

Some cities are already moving forward with plans:

-Birmingham and Leicester are adding new cycle lanes

-Portsmouth is looking to make some roads into the south more cycle friendly during lockdown

-There are temporary plans in Newcastle city centre to remove benches and other street furniture and add new cycle lanes

-Bristol is proposing to turn part of the A259 into cycle lanes

-Transport for London is adding new cycleways between Kensington and Olympia and Brentford as well as Tower Hill and Greenwich. It is also widening some pavements in North London.

The UK’s oldest identical twins

Did you see Lil and Doris on Good Morning Britain this week? The 95-year-olds are Britain’s oldest identical twins. They are currently self-isolating together in Lil’s daughter’s house.

They had presenters Piers Morgan and Suzanna Reid in fits of laughter, as well as millions of people around the country as they shared their thoughts on lockdown, the secret to a long life and why they’re ruling out a romance with fundraising hero, Captain Tom Moore.

With so much anxiety and sadness at the minute, these two wonders will put a much-needed smile on your face.