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Community coronavirus: Our feel good stories of the week

Eight-year-old Harry Morgan's climbing his stairs nearly 4,000 times to raise money for the NHS and SSAFA. Picture credits: Nicki Morgan

We are finally starting to see our way out of lockdown, with Government restrictions gradually starting to ease, but that's not stopped some people in our region going above and beyond to help others during the pandemic.

We've compiled this community feel-good list highlighting some of those who are making a big impact in our communities:

1. Eight-year-old boy from Basingstoke 'climbs Mount Everest' for charity

We start off with eight-year-old Harry Morgan from Basingstoke, who decided to climb his stairs to commemorate the first ever ascent to the top of Mount Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953.

Harry - along with two of his friends - are climbing the stairs a whopping 3,871 times and are expected to complete the challenge at 11.30am on Friday 29 May - the same time and date Sir Hillary and Norgay completed the ground-breaking feat 67 years ago.

After setting a fundraising goal of what initially seems like a meagre £300, Harry and his friends Lily and Zach have completely smashed that target, having quadrupled it at the time of writing.

As it stands they've raised just shy of £1,400, with all proceeds going towards the NHS and the hospitals they were born in: Royal Berkshire Hospital and the Royal Hampshire Hospital. Money is also going towards the SSAFA: The Armed Forces Charity.

You can see Harry's mother Nicki talking about the challenge below:

You can help their fundraising efforts continue to grow by clicking here.

2. North Hampshire mental health festival to go digital

While we've become accustomed to festivals being cancelled or postponed left, right and centre at the moment, it's refreshing to see one still go ahead as planned, but adapted to meet social distancing guidelines.

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, the All in the Mind Festival in Basingstoke announced they'll be staging the event virtually instead.

It'll see acts perform in 'live time' and multiple performances taking place at the same time, with viewers able to choose their favourite one - just like at a live festival.

The festival is looking ahead to its fifth event, after launching in 2016 and features music, dance and theatre acts that all centre around the positive message of mental-wellbeing.

You can hear from the event's director, Leigh Johnstone in the video below:

It takes place on 12 September 2020.

3. Hampshire man cycling around the world stuck in lockdown in Argentina

Craig Buckland, who's 34 and from Odiham, left the UK to cycle around the world and raise money for charity in September 2018.

Since then he's cycled over 20,000km through 31 countries, spent 623 days on the road and climbed 187,000 metres (the equivalent of 21 summits of Mt.Everest).

But two months ago while starting the second leg of his trip in South America, Covid-19 hit and Craig found himself in compulsory quarantine in Argentina.

He sent us this video explaining what it's like there at the moment.

Craig hasn't just been doing this for fun, so far he's raised nearly a thousand pounds for two charities: Re-Cycle and Cyclists Fighting for Cancer.

You can find out more about this story here.

4. Reading FC reach out to young people in the community

To stave off boredom and talk about life in lockdown, a project's been launched inviting young people to have a game of FIFA as well as a chat.

Reading FC's Community Trust started their "Royals Cast Chat" for anyone who '"loves gaming and loves the Royals", as well as to discuss life in isolation with one of the Trust's qualified mentors.

They're asking anyone who's aged between 12 and 18 to register their details on an online survey, which you can do so by clicking here.

We'll be bringing your our community feel-good stories every Friday, so if you've got a story you think is worth sharing, please get in touch.

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