In our weekly ‘good news round-up’, we feature three positive stories from across the week that showcase incredible innovation, significant breakthroughs, and exciting progress within the realms of healthcare, climate and sustainability, equity and inclusion, workplace wellbeing, social impact and more.

Here are our favourite positive stories of the week, 6 to 12 May, 2024.

1.  A growing number of people in the UK are equipped with CPR skills to help save lives in the event of cardiac arrest — thanks to a groundbreaking campaign called ‘Re-Starting 11‘ which has seen some exciting results.

The initiative, a collaboration between the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Sky Bet, features an inspiring line-up of 11 well-known footballers who’ve been brought back to life after their hearts stopped.

The campaign has received major media attention and resulted in a 500% increase in daily usage of ‘RevivR‘ – a digital training program by company Laerdal Medical, which has so far helped educate over 400,000 individuals in the UK alone.

This initiative will help to further that by engaging 270,000 people (the equivalent of three Wembley stadiums) in the next year, in learning lifesaving CPR.   #everyminutematters

Read more of the story here.

Former international stars Graeme Souness, David Ginola and Glenn Hoddle are all part of the campaign, alongside Luton Town captain Tom Lockyer (pictured).

RELATED: Learn more about innovations in heart disease care and treatments in our upcoming programme, In a Heartbeat.

 

2. An 18-month-old girl from the UK who was born deaf can now hear unaided, following an innovative gene-therapy treatment.

Opal Sandy received treatment just before she turned one, and within only six months, has started to hear sounds as soft as a whisper and is now beginning to talk.

The therapy is given as an infusion, replacing faulty DNA which causes her type of inherited deafness. Her five-year-old sister Nora, has the same type of deafness, which she manages through wearing an electrical cochlear implant. Opal is the first to test this new treatment.

Deafness is the third most common disability in the world; in the UK there are an estimated 9 million people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Read more of the story here.

RELATED: Learn more about innovations and advancements in healthcare, in our upcoming programme Advancing Healthcare.

 

3. A Dutch city is piloting a radical approach to helping address poverty; cancelling debt for poor families — with no strings attached.

Arnhem in the Netherlands has pledged to cancel the debts of some of the poorest local families, in a bid to give people a fresh start.

Arnhem city at dusk. (Image: wallpaper.mob.org)

In the Netherlands, councils are responsible for social security and helping indebted families, but the current model isn’t working, according to Mark Lauriks, the councillor in Arnhem who is leading the scheme.

“We have a system in place, but it doesn’t work for the people that need it most. And the entire system costs us billions and billions more than the initial debt,” he said.

It’s hoped 40-60 families will sign up to the two-year pilot project, which will pay off their debts for nothing in return. Families with children are being prioritised for participation in the scheme, and factors such as the duration and size of their debt, and number of creditors – are being taken into account.

Read more of the story here.

Explore the cities of the future in our ‘Urban Evolution’ 2024 programme

Populations within cities are growing at an alarming rate, with urban growth driving environmental change, but inequalities remain. This oncoming age of climate breakdown alongside rapid urbanisation means urban transformation is essential if cities are to address these challenges ahead and meet global climate and development goals.

Urban Evolution: Our Future Cities will shine a light on the organisations leading the way when it comes to creating more resilient, affordable and accessible cities, and innovative initiatives to promote good mental, physical and social health.

There are commercial opportunities for leading organisations to be featured in the programme and spearhead their own news item. If your organisation wants to share what you stand for and be part of this important conversation about the future of our cities, please contact our ITN Business Programming Directors, Jeff Blackmore or Tamsin Luck.