Uplifting news: A surprise birthday party and a sighting of a giant panda cub

A doctor who had to miss his daughter’s first birthday because of the pandemic was surprised with a party to celebrate, and a giant panda cub made its first appearance at a Dutch zoo in Tuesday’s news.

These are some of the more uplifting stories you might have missed.

– Colleagues surprise doctor forced to miss daughter’s first birthday

A doctor forced to miss his daughter’s first birthday due to the coronavirus pandemic said he was “blown away” by the support of his colleagues after they surprised him with a party at a Manchester hospital.

Rory Nolan, 29, has not seen his wife Catriona, 26, and daughter Francesca for more than two months after they made the decision to temporarily live apart so he could continue working on the front line of the pandemic.

Dr Nolan told the PA news agency: “My biggest fear when the girls moved out was missing her birthday. I didn’t allow myself to think about it until a couple of weeks ago when it was clear we would be apart.

“Knowing we were having a Skype birthday lunch, the night before, a colleague brought in a professionally made, custom cake for me to have at the same time as Francesca had hers.

“But it didn’t stop there. I arrived into work to balloons, banners, personalised ‘Francesca’ bunting, cards, presents and so much love and kindness from my A&E colleagues and others from all around the hospital.”

– Tiny panda cub makes appearance

The tiny cub of a giant panda made its first appearance at a Dutch zoo.

Ouwehands Zoo, where the cub was born on May 1, distributed the first pictures and video from the maternity den where mother Wu Wen cuddled, embraced and fed the fast-growing youngster.

“Its well-filled belly is prominent and the distinctive colouring is very finely starting to appear,” the zoo said in a statement.

The new cub’s gender will not be known until it leaves the maternity den, probably in a few months, with its mother.

– Man spends nearly £2,000 buying shopping for NHS and elderly

A father of five has spent hundreds of pounds of his own money buying food parcels for the elderly and vulnerable after seeing a woman in tears because a shop had sold out of painkillers.

Dean Vine, 33, found the elderly woman some aspirin at a local pharmacy in Northfleet, Kent, then put out a message on Facebook urging people in need to contact him.

He and wife Natasha have since spent £1,700 of their own money on more than 50 bags of shopping for dozens of people.

Mr Vine said: “I had a few other shops to go to and managed to get some aspirin for her at a pharmacy. She was so grateful it was like an epiphany moment.

“I feel like we’re doing our bit to help, and if we can inspire others to do the same in their own towns and villages, then even better.”

– Man launches blue hearts for NHS campaign in tribute to ‘inspirational’ wife

Man launches campaign to get blue NHS hearts in windows
Man launches campaign to get blue NHS hearts in windows

A man is campaigning for people to display blue hearts for the NHS in tribute to his “inspirational” wife Sally, who works as a nurse.

Andy Williams, from Guildford, is raising money for the NHS by asking people to display blue “thank you” hearts in their windows.

“After a long, uncomfortable shift wearing PPE, Sally comes home exhausted but determined to do her bit… to come home from a shift and see entire rows of houses with a blue heart would be something special.

“I thought it would be great if people could buy something to decorate their own home to show support, and to raise money for NHS Charities Together at the same time.

“There are 25 million houses in the UK, so if just 10% bought a heart, we could raise millions.”

– Captain Tom Moore honoured in City of London’s first virtual ceremony

Captain Tom Moore said it was a “great honour” to receive the freedom of the City of London in a virtual ceremony.

The ancient tradition is believed to date back to 1237 and Tuesday’s ceremony was the first to be conducted by video-link.

Second World War veteran Captain Tom was nominated for the honour after raising almost £33 million for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday, which was on April 30.

He sat beside his daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore at home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, for the ceremony, which was streamed on YouTube.

Captain Tom will be presented with a framed certificate when he visits the City of London in person.