Good news alerts! 6 positive things that happened this week

climate change protesters

6 positive things that happened this week Leonardo Patrizi – Getty Images

A little bit of good news goes a long way in cutting through less encouraging headlines and lifting our spirits. Here, we round-up six good things that have happened this week (from Monday 27th March), to make you smile, laugh and feel hopeful…

Scientists developing “wellbeing blueprint” for UK gardens

garden blueprints

Jacky Parker – Getty Images

We all know how good gardening is for the soul, but now scientists are developing a “wellbeing blueprint” to enhance the health benefits of green spaces.

An experiment has begun at RHS garden Wisley, Surrey, which involves splitting the space into different sections with a focus on scent (such as pine and rosemary), and colour. The RHS says this aims to promote ‘health, social and cultural values ​​of green spaces’.

Dr Lauriane Chalmin-Pui, a scientist at the RHS in charge of wellbeing, told The Guardian: “For someone who is anxious, maybe they do need something as calming as possible. But actually, sometimes if you’re feeling depressed, you probably don’t need that, maybe you need something to uplift you.

“We are looking at the whole human range of emotions. So it’s really about gardens being a place for that diversity and to be able to process the diversity of emotions.”

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UK barristers supported climate action

climate change protesters

Leonardo Patrizi – Getty Images

More than 120 barristers have signed a declaration saying they will not prosecute climate protesters — or act for companies pursuing fossil fuel projects.

“We should not be forced to work for the law’s wrong ends by helping deliver new fossil fuel projects,” said Jo Maugham, director of the Good Law Project, who defended the decision. “We should not be forced to prosecute our brave friends whose conduct, protesting against the destruction of the planet, the law wrongly criminalises.”

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RHS to offer £1 tickets to low income households

rhs harlow carr in harrogate

Chris Gorman – Getty Images

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) will offer low income households £1 entry to its five gardens, as part of a new Access For All scheme.

From Saturday 1st April 2023, households who receive Universal or Pension Credit will be able to visit RHS Bridgewater, RHS Harlow Carr, RHS Hyde Hall, RHS Rosemoor and RHS Wisely for the reduced ticket price of just £1.

“One in ten people don’t have a garden or access to one and many can’t afford to visit a public garden, yet green spaces are an important lifeline for so many of us,” Helena Pettit, RHS Director of Shows and Gardens , says.

“We believe it is vital that everyone should have access to a garden or green space, which is why we have launched our ‘Access for All’ scheme and we hope that many people who might have never thought of visiting an RHS Garden before will take advantage of it.”

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Boots launches free health MOT for anyone over 40

pharmacy boots

Matthew Horwood – Getty Images

Boots is offering anyone over 40-years-old a free 15-minute health check across 1,000 branches.

Running until the end of June, the scheme will help address issues such as high blood pressure. Appointments will also include guidance on exercise, nutrition, sleep, mental wellbeing, and weight circumference measurements.

Claire Nevinson, superintendent pharmacist at Boots, said: “The Free Health MOT at Boots is intended to help people gain greater insight into their health and take the steps they need to improve it.

“As we get older, we become more vulnerable to conditions like high blood pressure, so it’s important that we take steps to help stay healthy.

“The checks done during the MOT and the advice provided not only helps individual patients lead healthier lives but also reduces pressure on the NHS by offering accessible care in pharmacies at the heart of communities.”

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Women garden designers outweigh men for the first time ever at the Chelsea Flower Show

landform garden at the chelsea flower show 2021

Brian Whar

According to reports by The Times, women will make up 58% of the garden designers competing for a gold medal at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023. In 2013, women made up just 27% of garden designers.

The RHS says this shift has been attributed to the introduction of new categories of balcony and container gardens, which proved popular with women during lockdown.

Fiona Davison, the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) head of libraries, says these categories have been “really impactful” as it opens up to a wider pool of designers at an earlier stage of their career.

It costs an average of £1,300 to £1,600 per square meter to display a garden at Chelsea, meaning the cost is much lower to create a smaller space (balcony gardens measure five meters by two, while container gardens are four meters by three).

“We set up the balcony and containers category to attract designers who’ve never exhibited at Chelsea to the world’s best flower show,” said Helena Pettit, RHS director of shows and gardens.

“While all gardens are selected on the basis of their designs rather than who the designer is, we are delighted that this category has received more women designers, from a range of backgrounds and different ages, making their debut at this year’s show.”

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Airbnb launches bonus incentive ahead of King Charles’ Coronation

royalty free stock photo of union jack flags bunting in local street partysee

kamel ADJENEF – Getty Images

Airbnb will reward London homeowners with a £100 travel coupon if they host their first guest during King Charles III’s Coronation.

Available to new hosts only, the bonus initiative encourages locals to make the most of the increased demand for holiday accommodation from 5th — 8th May 2023, while also giving them the chance to generate additional revenue.

“When it comes to significant events this year, it doesn’t get bigger than King Charles’ coronation. As celebrations sweep across the UK and families visit loved ones over the additional bank holiday, Airbnb offers a unique opportunity for locals to benefit by opening their homes,” says Amanda Cupples, General Manager for Northern Europe, at Airbnb.

“Home sharing helps cities use existing space to scale up their capacity, welcome visitors during peak demand, and empower locals to provide sustainable and affordable accommodation, benefiting the local economy.”

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