Uplifting news: Lego scenes teach social distancing and zoo raises £1m

A mother is using Lego to teach her children about social distancing and a zoo has raised money as it fights for its future in Thursday’s news.

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

– Scenes made from Lego help teach children about social distancing

Undated handout photo issued by Catherine Cook of Lego creations, she is using Lego to teach her children about social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic
(Catherine Cook/PA)

A mother is using Lego to teach her children about social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Cat Cook, 42, had been recreating movie scenes with Lego as a project with her son – who is seven and has a history of severe respiratory problems – and her daughter, four, during lockdown.

When restrictions started to be eased, she began using the same method to help talk to them about how social distancing will work when they go out of the house.

“They’ve been living a very sheltered life in our safe little bubble these past few months, without a care in the world,” Ms Cook, who lives in Surrey, told the PA news agency.

“But if and when we start going out again, it’s important that they understand the importance of social distancing as my son is high risk.”

Among the images Ms Cook has created are a child inside a glass jar looking out at an elderly person, two people sat on separate benches chatting and six people in a queue separated out by striped markers.

– #TakeTheKnee: Thousands across the UK join peaceful protest against Floyd death

Handout photo taken with permission from the Twitter feed of @marisolly of Marisol Grandon, 41, and her son Oran Keith, 12, in Hackney, London who were among thousands of people across the UK to take a knee at 6pm on Wednesday evening in peaceful protest following the death of George Floyd
(Iona Keith/PA)

Thousands of people across the UK took a knee at 6pm on Wednesday evening in peaceful protest following the death of George Floyd.

The display, organised by the charity Stand Up To Racism, is the latest from the Black Lives Matter movement since the black 46-year-old died in US police custody on May 25.

Rev Alan Green told the PA news agency he knelt outside his Church of St John in Bethnal Green, east London, in “solidarity and commitment” to defeating racism in society.

“By standing together, across ethnicities, cultures and identities, we affirm our common opposition to racists and prevent fragmentation between different sections of our communities,” Mr Green added.

Along with demonstrations in public spaces, some of which occurred as part of marches in London, Belfast and other cities, many of those taking part knelt on their front doorstep.

– Floral display pays tribute to NHS workers and wartime veterans

(clockwise from top) Iain Tait, Kyle Storrie, Rory Armatage, Scott Rowan, Johnn Stevens, Dave Brunton and Bruce Collins, from East Lothian Council’s Amenity Services stand alongside the floral display they created acknowledging the 75th anniversary of VE Day and thanking the NHS during the current Covid-19 pandemic in the Lodge Grounds at North Berwick
(Jane Barlow/PA)

A floral display in North Berwick has been designed to celebrate both the 75th anniversary of VE Day and the NHS staff who have been on the front line during the Covid-19 pandemic.

East Lothian Council’s amenity service took around 60 hours to plant the new tribute in the Lodge Grounds.

The original design, which only included the VE tribute, was created in October last year, with the NHS tribute added when it was time to plant the garden.

Johnn Stevens, local amenity officer, said: “When the time came for planting we were now working during the pandemic and thought it appropriate to add our thanks to the NHS so I designed a display to combine both themes.

“With the help of Angus Campbell in the council’s plant nursery I managed to source enough plants for this display.”

Approximately 3,500 plants were used in the design.

– Save Our Zoo campaign raises more than £1m

Social distancing measures at Chester Zoo after the attraction launched a campaign to raise money to help keep the zoo running and the animals cared for following the government’s confirmation that the zoo may have to stay closed indefinitely
(Peter Byrne/PA Wire)

More than £1 million has been raised for one of the UK’s largest zoos after it revealed it was fighting for its future due to an indefinite closure.

Chester Zoo bosses launched the Save Our Zoo campaign on Wednesday and revealed the attraction was “at risk of extinction” and could end the year £24 million in debt as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Social-distancing measures have been put in place at the 128-acre site, but the Government has yet to give zoos the green light to reopen.

By Thursday, a JustGiving page set up by the zoo had raised more than £1 million.

Jamie Christon, the zoo’s chief operating officer, said: “Not being able to open, despite being a huge outdoor site with all the necessary safety measures in place, is having a devastating impact on the future survival of this much-loved charity zoo.

“We’re heading towards debt in excess of £24 million by the end of 2020 – this will financially cripple us.”

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