Uplifting news: Group raises thousands and artist unveils mural in Birmingham

Fundraisers are walking, running and swimming nearly 7,000 miles to help the families of Filipino frontline workers who have died of coronavirus, while an artist has unveiled a mural dedicated to Covid-19 in Birmingham, in Friday’s news.

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

– Fundraisers walk 11,000km for families of bereaved Filipino health workers

Fundraisers are walking, running and swimming nearly 7,000 miles to raise money for the families of Filipino frontline workers who have died from Covid-19 in the UK.

There has been a disproportionately high number of deaths among Filipinos working in the NHS and care services during the coronavirus pandemic, with claims that Filipinos have the highest death rate of staff in the sector.

Bianca Hanbury-Morris, who is half British and half Filipino, launched a fundraising effort, Balik Bayani, to help the families of those who have died by gathering a team of people to collectively walk the distance from the UK to the Philippines.

She told the PA news agency: “People really love to gang together and help, it’s not just the Filipino spirit but the human spirit.

“It’s been an overwhelming response and we’ve had people say, I had no idea Filipinos make up so much of the health system here, so that’s a great byproduct – increasing the awareness of what Filipinos mean to the UK.”

– Street artist creates Covid-19 mural in Birmingham

A mural titled Forward in Unity by street artist Gent 48 has been unveiled in Digbeth, Birmingham.

The piece, aiming to immortalise the return of community spirit in Birmingham during the coronavirus pandemic, is situated on Meriden Street and is designed to inspire continued fundraising efforts through organisers Art for Charity.

“It’s more about representing Birmingham. Everyone in Birmingham coming together as the coronavirus has affected everyone in all sorts of ways, big or small,” the artist said.

“I think we just wanted to show that we were thinking about everyone.”

– Former nurse Joan’s 102 laps of the park to raise funds for the NHS

A 101-year-old retired nurse has raised thousands of pounds for the NHS as she aims to walk 102 laps of her local park before she turns 102.

Following in Captain Sir Thomas Moore’s footsteps, former auxiliary nurse and Second World War veteran Joan Rich aims to raise as much money as possible for the service she worked in for much of her life.

She has already completed 34 laps of Allenby Park in Felixstowe, Suffolk, and aims to complete the challenge by her birthday on September 11.

Mrs Rich said she was inspired to complete the challenge after seeing “NHS” mowed into the lawn of the park.

“Even behind a mask, NHS staff always make you smile,” she said.

– Baby pangolin named Hope nursed back to health after being found on road

(ZSL Mahidol University/PA)

A baby pangolin has been given a “precious second chance”, as zookeepers nursed him back to health after he was found on a road.

The pangolin was cared for in Thailand by conservation charity the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) after he was found alone last month by a villager.

Named Hope by his rescuers, the pangolin, thought to be just a month old, was at first not expected to survive but he has now gained weight, is snacking on ant eggs, and has been practising his climbing skills in his temporary home.

Dr Eileen Larney, a ZSL conservationist, said: “It’s been an anxious few weeks for the ZSL team taking care of Hope.

“After being given this precious second chance, something many of his species do not, we’re now assessing whether Hope can be released into the wild.”

– Duke of Westminster donates £1 million to Covid-19 mental health research

The majority of the Duke’s £10m donation will be made immediately available to #NHS for respite, rehabilitation & mental health assistance to NHS staff and their families who are doing such an incredible job for us all. pic.twitter.com/0BgaZE7y8C

— Westminster Foundation (@WestminsterFdn) April 15, 2020

Oxford University’s research into the impact of Covid-19 on the mental health of the nation has been boosted by a £1 million donation from the Duke of Westminster.

The funds are part of £10 million donated earlier in the pandemic by the duke – billionaire landowner Hugh Grosvenor – with the majority of the money earmarked to support the health service through NHS Charities Together.

The million pound grant will help the work of the University’s Department of Psychiatry which is examining the pandemic’s effect on a range of areas from anxiety and stress, to individuals being disconnected from their social, family and work lives.

The duke, who is Prince George’s godfather, said: “Mental health can affect anyone, anywhere.

“This crisis presents new and difficult challenges to so many people; whether that’s clinicians and key workers on the front line, grieving families, children struggling to understand social isolation, or anyone already suffering from anxiety or other mental health issues.”

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