Tired of bad news? So are we. Here's some good stuff...
The news can be pretty doom and gloom can’t it? Whether it’s a business closure or a violent crime, a lack of funding or another unpleasant Brexit development, so much of what gets reported is negative and depressing.
While we’re not ones to dismiss the importance of facing up to the harsh realities of life in a city, we do think there’s space to celebrate the small wins in life too.
So, in a brand new feature, we bring you ten pieces of local news that made us smile this month.
Temple Coffee launch the Piers Morgan donut
Fancy munching on Piers Morgan’s face? Temple Coffee and Donuts have made it possible to do just that with their new charity vegan bake. With all proceeds going straight to Unicef, the tasty green treat comes topped with Morgan’s smug face, in direct response to his criticisms surrounding a vegan lifestyle. Just let us have our cake, Piers.
Leeds to get it’s first black Lord Mayor
Chapel Allerton’s Eileen Taylor has become Leeds first-ever black Lord Major. A child of the Windrush generation, Labour councilor Taylor worked as a learning disability and mental health councillor until 2012 when she left to focus on local politics. She will become the city's 126th Lord Mayor officially at the Council Annual General Meeting on May 23rd.
Emmerdale wins big at the NTAs
Battling off competition from the likes of Eastenders and Coronation Street, our local soap took home the statue for Best Serial Drama at the National Television Awards for the third year running - solid proof that Yorkshire is DEFINITELY better than Lancashire. Newcomer James Moore also took home the prize for Best Newcomer, taking the opportunity to commend the soap for championing diversity by taking on an actor with cerebral palsy in his acceptance speech.
Leeds achieves commendation for loneliness care
In a new report commissioned by the Care Quality Commission, health chiefs in Leeds have been ranked amongst the best of the best for their provision of care to those at risk of social isolation and loneliness. Although the report also highlighted issues in wait times at our city hospitals, it showed a significant improvement in collaboration between the authorities that will hopefully improve communication between GP’s and Hospital services.
Yorkshire’s oldest ballerina is a hit on ITV’S The Greatest Dancer
Proof that you are never too old to follow your dreams, Barbara Peters of nearby Halifax proved a massive hit when she appeared on the open auditions of new ITV talent show The Greatest Dancer, going through to the next round with 75% of the vote. At 81 years of age, Peters has been dancing since the age of two and even ran a dance school in Huddersfield for over 50 years, but only recently received her grade Eight certificate from the Royal Academy on the same day as her 11-year old granddaughter, Mia.
New café offers employment to teens with Down’s Syndrome
Following a successful trial last Spring, the Sunshine & Smiles charity café has secured a six-month lease in Headingley. Named 21 Co., the café and gallery offers 16-24 year olds with Down’s Syndrome a chance to gain experience in employment, developing their skills at coffee making and customer service relations. The initiative came about as a direct challenge to the national statistic that sees only 17% of adults with learning disabilities in paid employment Visit seven days a week at Headingley Cental , Otley Road, LS6 2UE.
Leeds City Council plan further open space development
If you live or work in the city centre, your grass may just be about to get greener. In the recently drafted ‘Our Spaces Strategy’ report, local officials have pledged to improve the quality of parks, footpaths and landscaping. The biggest project within this will be the pedestrianisation of Greek Street, with new lighting and greenery set to be in place by early summer.
£29m approved for Clean Air Scheme
In further developments, Leeds City Council have been given final approval and £29m in funding to aid its plans to improve local air quality. Although the upcoming charges to taxis and businesses may not be a massive win, it should encourage more mindful traffic into the city centre, leading to shorter wait times for public transport, less risk of pedestrian injury and yes, less polluted air.
Sean Bean spotted filming in Leeds
Morley residents keep your eyes peeled – cinematic icon Sean Bean has been spotted locally on set for a new BBC Drama. Cast alongside Lesley Manville and Inbetweeners star Blake Harrison, World On Fire will include scenes shot at the Braime’s Pressing Factory, which has also featured in Peaky Blinders and Agatha Chritie’s The ABC Murders.
University receives £2.5m of cancer research funding
A research team based out of University of Leeds have received £2.5 million of funding from cancer research to aid their work exploring the interaction between gut bacteria and bowel cancer. The money will help to pay for more staff as part of a £20m awarded globally to boost research.
Next month: more good news, we just don't know what it is yet.