Coronavirus positive: good news round-up – a portable priest and two newborn babies

Harriet Barber
·5-min read
Tina and Mick Hickman pose with 'Just Married' sign behind motorcycle - Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Facebook page
Tina and Mick Hickman pose with 'Just Married' sign behind motorcycle - Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Facebook page

Let’s kick off with the best kind of news – chocolate-related. In Belgium a chocolate feast is still on the cards this weekend after the country's famous chocolate-makers have donated 10 million Easter eggs and chocolates to care home residents and workers who look after young and vulnerable people.

In the UK, Cadbury’s has also donated 13,000 Easter eggs to NHS workers at the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton. How eggciting (apologies all round). 

Keeping on the theme of the Easter celebrations, a “portable priest” who goes by the name Pat Allerton is spreading some Easter joy by visiting residential streets in London and delivering a 10-minute prayer and hymn through a speaker.

The 41-year-old vicar at Notting Hill’s St Peter’s Church said he is following social distancing rules and would stop if the police told him to do so. 

"Come to your window or your doorway and join in the singing, be part of your neighbourhood and community for that brief moment," he said. 

Vicar Pat Allerton stands at lectern - Caitlyn MacDonell /PA
Vicar Pat Allerton stands at lectern - Caitlyn MacDonell /PA

And who can resist a love story in the time of coronavirus? We’ve already seen weddings on balconies, on the streets and online. Then last week the Archbishop of Canterbury gave one couple special permission to tie the knot.

The pair, Tina, 53, and Mick Hickton, 52, planned to get married later this year but had to cancel following the coronavirus outbreak. Tina is undergoing cancer treatment at Dorset County Hospital and so staff at the hospital asked the resident chaplain Ron Martin for some help. 

Mr Martin contacted Justin Welby, the Archbishop, who agreed that the ceremony could take place in hospital. Healthcare workers watched the service with glee – and there was even a cake, donated by a local supermarket.

Tina said:"The whole experience has been so overwhelming. We are so grateful for everyone's support at the hospital. From the moment we arrived the whole thing was just surreal. We were so taken back by how far they had gone to support us.

"Staff were clapping and wishing us well as we went into the chapel and they even gave us flowers, champagne and a cake.”

On returning to their home in Dorset, the pair were delighted to see their neighbours had decorated their own homes to celebrate.

Tine added: “It really was the perfect day. We all sat in our separate gardens and had tea and cake to celebrate. "We've also asked Ron to come and do a blessing in our garden when the pandemic has passed so we can celebrate our marriage with all our family and friends who couldn't be here."

Congratulations to the happy couple.

Here’s what else is happening around the world:

  • Two pregnant women diagnosed with the new coronavirus in Peru have given birth to babies who have tested negative for the disease. Both mothers are in good health though still receiving treatment.

  • Former University of St Andrews students who are now based in China have donated 11,000 face masks to the University to protect Scottish health workers this week. Testing kits and infrared thermography equipment has also been offered by the alumni in a show of solidarity.

  • Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter, is donating more than a quarter of all his wealth to “disarm this pandemic”. The $1 billion donation ranks as the biggest single contribution to fighting the virus.

  • The NHS has launched a free mental health hotline to offer support to hundreds of thousands of health workers on the frontline in the fight against coronavirus. More than 1,500 volunteers have been trained to respond to calls or texts. The phone number is 0300 131 7000 while staff can text FRONTLINE to 85258.

  • Cambridge University is setting up a new Covid-19 testing laboratory to help the Government meet its target of 100,000 tests a day.

  • Local organisations are receiving support from big businesses through a charity founded by HRH The Prince of Wales. Business in the Community has launched a microsite where local organisations, charities and councils can ask for support during the pandemic. Last week the charity  matched furloughed call centre employees at an IT company, BigChange, with a local Befriender group, South Seacroft Friends & Neighbours, in order to make ‘befriending' calls for those in isolation.

  • Scout volunteers are producing personal protective equipment for NHS staff using 3D printers. They’ve already supplied over 100 visors to local hospitals, doctors’ surgeries, and care homes in the South West. Bear Grylls Chief Scout said: “I could not be more proud of all the Scout volunteers helping to support the fight against COVID-19. Volunteers share their skills with young people in Scout Groups around the country, and now those skills are supporting our amazing NHS heroes.”


Three pleasant things to put into your head 


A new friendship between a five-year-old and a 93-year-old.


A London-based couple spent about four hours crafting a miniature art gallery for the enjoyment of their nine-month-old gerbils.

A gerbil looks at a painting in a miniature art gallery
A gerbil looks at a painting in a miniature art gallery


Little Ralph brings joy on his one-walk-a-day.

  • Do you have some good news to share? What's made you happier in the past 24 hours? Have you seen a pleasing picture of a large dog? Please send it all our way, either by commenting below or emailing

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