A cohort of telecoms firms have come together to provide faster broadband in care homes with slow internet connections.

Internet and mobile companies, including EE, Sky, Vodafone and BT, are working with NHS England to improve connectivity in homes with limited or no coverage.

It is one of a host of measures confirmed today by the government to help those working in key services.

Under the new commitments, NHS frontline workers are being offered unlimited data to help them stay connected during shifts.

It will lift caps on data and voice minutes for critical NHS workers who are increasingly depending on personal devices to help Covid-19 patients.

NHS workers signed up with EE are now entitled to free unlimited mobile data until October 9 as a thank you for their work during the coronavirus outbreak.

Oliver Dowden, the Digital Secretary, said: ” These welcome commitments will mean frontline NHS staff can use personal phones for work purposes without limits or extra charges, allow GPs to carry out consultations and transfer large files from home, and help vulnerable people who depend most on the NHS for care.

I applaud the NHS for its continued fight to save lives, and mobile and broadband companies who have stepped up yet again to help in the national effort.”

Here’s Yohannes with the rest of today’s good news:

  • A Sainsburys store manager has donated 100 easter eggs to a catering company which is helping feed NHS staff during the coronavirus for free. Nick Mead, the Managing Director of Eden Caterers, stopped off at the Richmond branch last night to set aside the eggs for the NHS’s lunches that he was delivering to when the manager refused to accept payment. In an instagram post, Eden Caterers said: “This lovely gesture means so much right now and we can’t wait to put a smile on some faces today so thank you again.”

  • More than two million pounds has been given to struggling Oxford businesses to help them stay afloat during the government lockdown period. Oxford City Council is paying out up to £1 million every day in Government cash to help fund small business owners. Oxford is one of the first councils to start distributing the funds.
  • A Shropshire gas company has pledged to pay its staff to volunteer throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Cadent Gas is offering employees two days of paid volunteer leave each month to support charities, such as food banks or medical supply delivery schemes, during working hours. Steve Fraser, its chief executive, said the initiative has the potential to offer up to 8000 volunteers every month.
  • Choir members of the Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust virtually recorded a version of This is Me from The Greatest Showman to motivate colleagues and remind the public to remain indoors. Over 54,000 people have viewed the four minute song- titled ‘Stay at home’- on social media.
  • A housing development in Helmsley, North Yorkshire, has received generous donations from businesses in the community to help the fight against coronavirus. Bransdale View, which offers care for over 55’s as well as independent living arrangements, also said staff are volunteering to work for free on their days off because it is so busy. Direct Imaging, from Malton, donated over 300 toilet rolls after hearing there was not enough, while Thomas The Baker delivered freshly-baked bread and scones to residents.
  • A newsagent from Gwent is helping older and vulnerable residents isolated in lockdown to stay connected by delivering newspapers to their doorstep. Jon Powell said he has seen a surge in orders over the past few weeks and has increased his coverage to include the areas of Cwmbran, Risca, Crosskeys and St Brides. Him and his colleagues have partnered with a local milkman to help with the deliveries each morning.
  • A nurse from Norfolk has begun to pay tribute to local NHS workers by painting the county’s “health heroes”. Wendy Kimberley, a self taught artist who works at Wymondham Health Centre, has completed acrylic paintings of staff at the James Paget University Hospital, Gorleston. She has now received many more pictures and says she wants to paint as much as possible for key workers and those going the “extra mile”.
  • The ‘Anti covid-19 team’, a group of volunteers of local families and students in Madrid, are using 3D printers to make face shields and ventilator parts to help medical staff. They assemble 20 masks per hour, delivering 200 shields to doctors and nurses at hospitals and health centres most in need. The project, launched by Prof Fabrício Santos from the Francisco De Vitoria University, was set up after reports emerged of nurses using plastic bags to protect themselves.
  • A six week old baby boy has reportedly been released from hospital after being diagnosed with coronavirus last week. Baby Aubrey was brought home from a hospital in Collier County to his house in Southwest Florida. His parents were initially unable to be by his side while he was treated for covid-19 because they had also contracted the virus.
  • Plasma from a cruise ship passenger from Ventura County, California, has been used to help a critically ill coronavirus patient. Dwight Everett, from Camarillo, tested positive for covid-19 in early March after returning from a voyage on the Grand Princess cruise ship. He recovered within a month. In an experimental operation designed to increase antibodies that fight the virus, enough plasma was taken from his blood to be used for the patient at St John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital.
  • LinkedIn has started to connect essential businesses, such as hospitals, with qualified workers and volunteers for no charge.  The company, which helps people find jobs, has 100 employees currently recruiting for 540 hospitals.
  • Sandra Bullock, 55, has donated 6000 N95 masks to help healthcare workers stay protected from infection in Los Angeles. Bryan Randall, the actress’ boyfriend, shared a photo of the masks they donated to Adventist White Memorial and Childrens Hospital Los Angeles on Thursday. The idea to donate the masks came from her children Louis, 10, and Laila, 8.

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 bird? Please send it all our way, either by commenting below or emailing [email protected]

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