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, 17 to 23 June, 2024.

1. Europe’s Nature Restoration Law gets the green light

The EU’s Nature Restoration Law has finally been approved after months of deliberations, in a positive step towards boosting biodiversity across Europe. It’s the first comprehensive, continent-wide law of its kind, which aims to restore Europe’s damaged ecosystems.

“There is no time for a break in protecting our environment,” said Alain Maron, environment minister for the Brussels region, on June 17. “Today, the Council of the EU is choosing to restore nature in Europe, thereby protecting its biodiversity and the living environment of European citizens.”

It has been the subject of much debate since its proposal in June 2022, with initial resistance from farmers groups and conservative parties in Europe. However, the European Commission, climate scientists and commercial players have argued that the law is essential to the long-term viability of European industry.

The Nature Restoration Law aims to restore at least 20% of the EU’s land and sea areas by 2030, and all degraded ecosystems by 2050, including wetlands, forests, rivers, grasslands, and urban and marine ecosystems.

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2. Polycystic ovary syndrome could be treated with a malaria drug

A medication that’s already being used to treat malaria could also work as a treatment for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a new report has revealed.

In a small trial of 19 women with PCOS, the widely-used drug artemisinin improved the regularity of their menstrual cycles and lowered their levels of testosterone, which tends to be excessive in people suffering with the condition.

While the exact causes of PCOS are unknown, the syndrome involves imbalances in several hormones, including too much testosterone being made by the ovaries. This can lead to irregular menstrual cycles and infertility, as well as acne and excess body hair, among other symptoms. Treatment of PCOS generally involves addressing the symptoms, with a range of different medications being used.

RELATED: Listen to our podcast, Women’s Health: The Future We Deserve

As a further example of drugs serving multiple conditions, another new study out this week suggests that drugs commonly used to treat enlarged prostate may also decrease the risk for Lewy Bodies Dementia (LBD). The new findings were published online on June 19, 2024, in Neurology. Read more here.

Listen to our Living with Lewy podcast.

3. Nationwide partners with charities to support young people and strengthen communities

The world’s biggest building society, Nationwide, has partnered with three new charities to deliver a three-year programme designed to tackle some of the biggest issues affecting society. The British building society has partnered with:

  • Centrepoint to support young people struggling with housing;
  • Action for Children to tackle child poverty;
  • Dementia UK to help families of those affected by dementia.

Each year Nationwide commits 1% of its pre-tax profits to charities; last year it committed £15.5 million.

“Nationwide is committed to improving lives and strengthening communities. Our new Fairer Futures social impact programme will support even more people who have been dealt an unfair hand,” said Nationwide CEO, Debbie Crosbie.

Explore our upcoming programme: Prioritising Children’s Health