Northern Soul

Good News: positive stories from across the North

May 26, 2020 Enterprise Comments Off on Good News: positive stories from across the North
Windermere Lake Cruises

Northern Soul and People’s Powerhouse are partnering to share good news stories about businesses, people and communities coming together in the North of England and showing us the best of humanity during the COVID-19 crisis. We’ve heard so many examples of people showing great kindness and compassion and we think that these stories deserve to be shared far and wide. Let’s bring a little sprinkle of joy to people’s news feed and show the world how great Northerners really are, especially in challenging times.

Food crisis and fundraising

There has been a considerable increase in demand for foodbanks during the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to the difficulties many people face, our region’s local organisations and individuals have come up with brilliant ways to provide support to the most vulnerable members of society.

Windermere Lake Cruises

Windermere Lake Cruises

Windermere Lake Cruises has donated more than 600 items of food and drink from its onboard and onshore shops and cafes to the Morecambe Bay Foodbank, after asking which local foodbank was in desperate need of more stock. Staff at the attraction emptied their shops of stock which would otherwise have gone to waste and delivered it to the Morecambe Bay team. Joanna Young, chair of trustees at the Morecambe Bay Foodbank, says: “There’s been a significant increase in demand for the foodbank during COVID-19. Before the crisis we were delivering to 70 homes, but this has now jumped to more than 700 across the Morecambe Bay area. Although there is a huge demand for a variety of products, it was great to receive some treats from Windermere Lake Cruises as many of the households have youngsters stuck at home.”

To donate to the Morecambe Bay Foodbank, people can drop off food parcels direct to the van at the Salt Ayre Sports Centre in Lancaster, Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm and Saturday 9am to 12 noon. 

Sarah Hobson

Sarah Hobson

Meanwhile, Sarah Hobson in Saddleworth has been making masks and donating profits to her local foodbank. Hobson says: “I am so pleased that together we have raised £127.50 towards Tameside foodbank. Thank you to all those who have bought masks and donated. If we all wear face coverings in the shops, we could protect one another.”

For the last two weeks, Harrogate Fire Station has been providing a free takeaway Sunday lunch for anyone financially affected by COVID-19.

George Action Together

George Action Together

And lastly, George in Ashton (pictured receiving his Action Together Volunteer ID badge when he dropped off his donations at Community Cutz CIC) has been collecting donations for his local foodbanks.


Liverpool-based Wellbeing Enterprises CIC has been distributing wellbeing packs and soft toys to its third sector partners in the Liverpool City Region. This has helped individuals and organisations such as The Heath School (pictured).

Well being enterprises

Well being enterprises

Walking With The Wounded, a leading military charity, has recently launched its new OP-REGEN volunteering project. Providing a vital platform for ex-military personnel and their families to reintegrate back into society, OP-REGEN will also have a meaningful impact on the communities and environment where they reside. As part of the OP-REGEN project, Walking With The Wounded is working with the Global Production Squad (GPS), providing ex-servicemen and women to work on the front lines to assist those affected by COVID-19.

Using the skills they acquired in the military – planning, logistics, coordination and communication – the ex-army involved with the project will work alongside local businesses, councils, schools and individuals to regenerate their communities thereby empowering them to regain their independence, thrive and contribute in our communities.

VideOdyssey, Andy delivering

VideOdyssey, Andy Johnson delivering

And lastly, fancy a bit of nostalgia? VideOdyssey is offering to deliver SOS Nostalgia Packs including classic movies and retro snacks to cheer people up in isolation. The Liverpool arts venue was dubbed ‘the UK’s last video shop’ by BBC Radio 4 and has amassed a VHS archive of more than 10,000 tapes. Owner Andy Johnson is offering a delivery service providing entertainment, food and essentials to people in self isolation.

With many classic films and TV shows not available on streaming services, the mountain of tapes at VideOdyssey are now being offered to rent to film fans across the North West. For anyone aged 70+ across the region, this is a free service. The VideOdyssey team will deliver a package with a VCR, 10 VHS tapes and retro snacks. VideOdyssey also have a range of vintage TVs that you can hire to go with the video-players.

The People's PowerhouseBy Emma Yates-Badley, Deputy Editor  

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