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As the country heads into a winter of tough coronavirus restrictions, once again communities are coming together to help those in need and provide some much-needed joy in these challenging times.
Last wedding before lockdown
A man who flew to Sydney to declare his love has married in a last-minute ceremony before lockdown.
The Rev Richard Coles tweeted a picture of the happy couple, Eric and Lizzie, and the story of how they came to be together.
Coles said Eric came to him for advice after realising he loved Lizzie, who had just emigrated to Australia. “You know what to do,” Coles replied, and after flying to Sydney to explain his feelings, the couple were united.
Shrewsbury hotel reopens its doors to rough sleepers
A Tudor hotel in Shrewsbury is reopening its doors to rough sleepers, after hosting 57 people during the first lockdown.
Mike Matthews, manager of Prince Rupert hotel, said the cold weather during this lockdown means finding accommodation for homeless people is crucial and he’s urging other hotels to follow his example.
“It’s going to be harsh weather as we enter the winter, and hotels galore have empty bedrooms. There’s no logical reason for hotels not to offer their services,” he said.
Working closely with Shropshire council, Matthews said 14 people were moving into the 70-room hotel on Wednesday, and would have use of the hotel for as long as needed over the winter.
Of those who stayed in the hotel during the first lockdown, nine are still living there and one is now employed full-time in the hotel, while two-thirds moved into permanent homes.
“We’ve built up a strong bond with them, they’re part of the Prince Rupert family now,” said Matthews, who moved into the hotel full-time along with two colleagues to support the arrivals.
“It has been challenging and highly complex at times but ultimately our focus is to help them through a difficult period in their lives, and hopefully they come out of it in a much better place.”
Homelessness charities have urged the government to bring back the “Everyone In” scheme that provided emergency accommodation in hotels during the first lockdown.
Schools to hold monthly birthday parties for children who miss out due to Covid
A primary school in Walsall has announced it will hold monthly birthday parties for students who can’t celebrate their special days as normal because of coronavirus restrictions.
In a letter to parents, Goldsmith primary academy said: “We understand our children have already had so many challenges and had to adapt to new rules and regulations both at home and school, and their emotional wellbeing is something that is very important to us.”
The headteacher, Leanne Bridgwood, told BBC West Midlands: “We’ve been thinking about what we can give back and what children are missing out on and we realised there is a loophole in government guidance where we can provide a party for children even if their parents at home can’t.”
The parties will take place on the last Friday of each month, with games, snacks, banners and badges, and each child who had a birthday that month will receive a cake.
“The staff are as keen to start the parties as the children,” said Bridgwood. “It’s a time where can forget about Covid, and English and maths, for an hour and really enjoy ourselves. The other day, one child wrote: ‘Thank you for giving our birthday parties back’.”
104-year-old completes marathon walk for charity
A 104-year-old great-grandmother has completed a marathon walk for charity.
Inspired by NHS fundraiser Capt Tom Moore, Ruth Saunders, from Newbury, Berkshire, had originally set herself the goal of walking 104 laps of her block – about 21 miles (33.8km) – to match her age when she set off on the challenge on 8 September.
She extended her challenge to the length of a marathon and crossed the finish line of her 26.2-mile (42km) walk at Newbury Racecourse on Wednesday.
Her granddaughter, Kate Saunders, 50, said: “She definitely paces out her laps quite quickly. I kept telling her to slow it down.”
Saunders has so far raised more than £31,000 for Thames Valley Air Ambulance, surpassing her original target of £500.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Love in the time of Covid – from weddings to help for rough sleepers | World news