It’s fair to say that 2021 hasn’t been a good year for the news.
Officially the Year of the Doom-scrolling, it often felt like one terrible title after another, with many people now avoiding the news altogether to protect their sanity.
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But it’s easy to forget that the news can also bring us stories of how brilliant human beings can be, from the smallest kind gestures to the big, daring acts of heroism that truly change people’s lives.
In Hull, we have seen acts of kindness from complete strangers, humans doing wonderful things to help others in need, and medical miracles.
So, out of all the sorrows of 2021, let’s celebrate the stories that have warmed our hearts and shown the best of humanity.
The mystery shopper’s gesture for the young bookworm
When one of Hull Waterstones’s young repeat customers made his first return to the store after the lockdown, he didn’t expect his enthusiasm to be greeted with a nice gesture from a complete stranger.
Waterstones staff member Chris Heale shared how upset he was when another customer bought a voucher for the youngster after hearing him tell the staff about his love of books.
The man told Chris that he “wanted to give it to the little boy who loves to read” because it is “very difficult to get boys to read and it was wonderful that he was so enthusiastic”.
You can read the full story here.
The retiree from Hull who drove a vintage tractor on the road 20 times a day
Mike Abram warmed the hearts of his neighbors in October when he drove a 1954 Fordson Major tractor down Littlefair Road in Hull twenty times a day, every day for a week.
The 77-year-old took up his challenge despite the weather to raise funds for Dove House Hospice.
The 60-year-old tractor is the one Mike has had most of his life, his daughter Julia said.
“He’s sent letters to everyone, he’s already garnered a lot of interest, sponsorship and donations,” she told Hull Live.
Vernon the llama has a little sister
The resident llamas of Sewerby Zoo welcomed a new member to the pack in September.
The pretty female cria (baby llama) was born on the morning of September 16 to mom Gladys, making a little sister for her other cria Vernon.
Gladys and Vernon, both named after Elvis Presley’s parents, both arrived at the East Yorkshire Zoo earlier this year.
He followed the birth of a baby Humboldt penguin chick at the zoo earlier this month, who was adorably named Pickle.
The stranger who helped send a message in the sand halfway around the world
When dog walker Donal O’Driscoll came across a message written in the sand on Hornsea Beach during a lockdown walk in February, he smiled and took a photo to post on his local Facebook group.
The post, which read “Happy 74th Birthday Clive. Much love, Colin and Pam”, ignored the post’s author of the post discovered that his camera was broken and therefore was unable to send the wish. anniversary to its recipients.
But after posting his snap on social media, Donal was approached by the post’s author, Colin Wilce, thanking him for allowing him to send it to his brother Clive living on the other side of the world.
Schoolchildren who formed a protective ring to save a stranded hedgehog
A terrified hedgehog got stranded in the middle of a road in East Hull in June and could easily have been killed without a nice gesture from a group of schoolchildren.
The children came to the creature’s rescue when they spotted it and rushed to form a ring of protection.
The act paid off when a group of nearby police spotted the youths on the road and came to see what was going on.
Due to their act, one of the officers picked up the stinging creature and transported it to safety to a nearby garden.
The boy who will spend his first Christmas at home after his last two hospital stays
Four-year-old Henry Waines has been unable to spend Christmas at home since he was a baby due to a rare heart condition that forced him to stay in hospital.
The Bridlington youngster has spent the last two festive seasons in intensive care at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London due to his condition, which means his left artery was wrapped around his windpipe.
But Santa really delivered this year after his Christmas wish came true and he was released.
Mum Shevonne said: “We hope Christmas 2021 will be the Christmas that Henry spends with the people who love and cherish him for the wonderful little boy he is.”
The stranger who kindly paid a mom’s toll on the Humber Bridge
Emma Agnew was moved to tears when she showed up at the Humber Bridge toll booths in October to find that her fare had been paid by a stranger.
The working mother was on her way to Hull for a family baby shower when she was surprised by the kind gesture of a man in a white van.
“I managed to catch up with him at the Hessle roundabout and yell ‘thank you’ from the car window, but I don’t think he heard me,” she said.
The schoolgirl who filled her rubber boots with baked beans to help a young boy battling cancer
Halle Caulfield decided she wanted to do something uncomfortable to sympathize with the son of a family friend who had been diagnosed with cancer earlier this year.
The youngster arranged for her rubber boots to be filled with cold baked beans
The Halle stunt was inspired by seeing 10-year-old Luca Foster who was battling cancer.
“I think it’s really important for her to understand what Luca is going through at just 10 years old,” said Halle’s mother Erica Adamson.
“She understands where the money is going and she wants to do something for Luca.”
The pet rabbit who returned to its grieving owner after a year
A woman from Hull was devastated when a rabbit arrived at her home in June – and she was sure it was her pet that had gone missing the year before.
The woman, who posted on Hull Live’s Hull Animal Lovers Facebook group, said the pet in her home had “skin and bones,” but said he felt “he had been here before “and that he” displayed similar personality traits “to his rabbit, Prince, who disappeared last April.
“Enjoying all the comforts of home that Prince once did,” said Hull’s mother.
“No one else has been able to get close enough to catch him at least for the past two weeks he has been seen wandering from what I read, within minutes he was in my arms. He also displays personality traits similar to my boy. “
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