Uplifting news: Half-price chocolate for NHS staff and elderly use social media

By PA reporters

NHS workers are being offered half-price chocolate while care home residents play Hungry Hungry Hippos to keep themselves entertained.

Here is a look at some of the day’s more uplifting news stories that you might have missed.

– Cheap chocolate for NHS staff

Hotel Chocolat is offering a 50% discount to NHS staff (Philip Toscano/PA)

Hotel Chocolat is offering every NHS worker a 50% discount on its products in store, as a “thank you” for their work during the coronavirus outbreak.

It follows similar moves from Pret, McDonald’s and hotel chains, which are offering discounts, free drinks and accommodation for key workers.

Chief executive Angus Thirlwell said: “Our locations are so close to so many major hospitals, it made sense for us to do something.

“That’s why any NHS worker can get a 50% discount in our stores with presentation of their pass. We hope when the day’s over they can have a chocolate or two to relax.”

– Spider-Man sends messages to kids

Jake Johnson has offered to record audio messages for quarantined children in character as Peter Parker from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

The New Girl star voiced the older Parker in the Oscar-winning animated film and said lots of children have been revisiting it while they are isolated at home due to the coronavirus outbreak.

He wrote on Instagram: “If your child is home from school and wants a quick encouraging message from Peter B Peter, then send me an email with their name and I’ll try and send over a short voice note.”

He asked parents to send their requests to peterbparkersayshi@gmail.com.

– Care home residents take Facebook by storm

St Vincent’s Retirement Home is currently closed to visitors (St Vincent’s Retirement Home/PA)

Residents at a care home for the elderly which is under Covid-19 lockdown have sent messages to their loved ones combining old-fashioned pen and paper with social media.

Staff at St Vincent’s Retirement Home for ex-service personnel in Ryde, Isle of Wight, came up with the plan to take photographs of their residents holding messages for their loved ones which were emailed and posted on Facebook.

Acting manager Jessica McGovern said that the home’s 21 residents wanted to do something positive and show they were coping amid the crisis which has caused the home to be in lockdown since Saturday March 14.

– Principal uses Toy Story in letter to schoolchildren

Mr Baine’s letter to the schoolchildren at St Colman’s Primary School in Lambeg, and Mr Baine with a pupil (Stephen Baine/PA)

The principal of a primary school in Northern Ireland has written to pupils explaining the impact of coronavirus using Toy Story.

Stephen Baine, who runs St Colman’s Primary School in Lambeg, County Antrim, sent the letter to pupils on Thursday to explain school closures, signing off his letter as “Mr Baine (Sheriff Woody)” having written that he would “miss you guys to ‘infinity and beyond’!”

“Over the past number of weeks we have been writing letter after letter to parents informing them of the school closure procedure,” Mr Baine told the PA news agency.

“I wanted to make sure children understood in their terms what a school closure meant.”

– Care home residents play life-size Hungry Hungry Hippos

Residents really enjoyed playing a new game today Hungry Hippos. Lots of laughter to lift morale of the team and residents! 🦛😀❤️

Posted by Bryn Celyn Care Home on Friday, March 20, 2020

A care home in Wales employed novel tactics to keep their residents in high spirits, engaging them in a life-size game of Hungry Hungry Hippos.

The residents at Bryn Celyn Care Home in Maesteg were wheeled back and forth while attempting to grab multicoloured balls with baskets in a video that has been viewed almost 500,000 times on Facebook.

“Residents really enjoyed playing a new game today Hungry Hippos,” the care home wrote. “Lots of laughter to lift morale of the team and residents!”