Belfast Telegraph

Cheer up folks! It’s not all doom and gloom

Continental market’s back ... It’s show time in the city ....Happiness makes you healthy

By Amanda Poole

They say every cloud has a silver lining... we want you to spread a little happiness.

With the endless headlines about economic meltdown and the big winter chill on the way it is easy to think that there is nothing but bad news on the horizon. Check out the gallery above for headlines which may bring tears of a different kind to your eyes.

It’s heartening to hear of individuals, businesses and organisations with a positive message to share.

Amid all the doom and gloom of recent times, in the spirit of public service the Belfast Telegraph has unearthed tales of good news throughout Northern Ireland.

In the run-up to Christmas, fundraising efforts are ongoing across the province and there is festive cheer in Belfast as the City Hall Continental Market brings a smile to faces.

A leading mental health expert has also underlined the beneficial effects that simply being happy has on our health and wellbeing.

The Northern Ireland Association for Mental Health has recently appointed a new chief executive, Peter McBride.

He said we should focus on taking care of ourselves and the best way to do this is to think positively.

“At times like these we all need to mobilise all our psychological resources to cope with the challenges that we’re facing.

“Because of this it is more important now than ever that we take special care of our mental health and wellbeing. Just as with physical health, our mental health requires us to be vigilant about symptoms, especially if we start to feel down or start to feel as if we are not coping.

Always look on the bright side of life..

“When we start to experience any of these things it is important that we take action.

“This might be talking to a friend or to a counsellor, it may mean going to speak with a doctor, or it may simply mean that we consciously start to relax and take better care of ourselves.

“The more we look after our mental health, the more able we will be to meet the difficult challenges around.”

The Public Health Agency is also promoting the importance of good mental health and the virtues of a positive attitude.

So tell us about something that put a smile on your face by using the comment box below - and we will print the best in the Belfast Telegraph

Now for something completely different ... some good news stories

We are surrounded by it. Doom and gloom that is. But is there anything else? In a spirit of public service, Belfast Telegraph reporters went on a hunt. Tell us your good news, they told their contacts, and we’ll put it in the paper...

Ian’s amazing success

A Limavady student has been named Northern Ireland's top young entrepreneur.

Iain Lee, a student at North West College, beat off stiff opposition to win the overall prize at this year’s Future Students of Business Awards.

The £1,000 award aims to give young entrepreneurs the chance to develop business skills, knowledge of industry and commercial understanding. Iain won the prize after setting up his own property development business and a manufacturing business making fishing lures.

Now in their seventh year, the awards encourage students at further education colleges to be the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

Tuned In For Success

The Ulster Orchestra’s education project, Rain Falling Up, by associate composer for 2009 Brian Irvine has been shortlisted for a British Composer Award.

It involved a choir of 210 children from nine schools, the full orchestra and residents of a Holywood care home — all of whom performed in front of a 1,500-strong audience at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall.

A Brighter Bushmills

The people of Bushmills came together with police officers to paint the outside of the local police station, which has brightened up Main Street in the town.

The initiative came about so that the PSNI could play their part in the rejuvenation of Bushmills village, in keeping with residents and shop owners who were giving the village a face-lift.

During the summer months the local neighbourhood policing team had worked hard with the local youths in the area, in conjunction with youth worker Jill Young.

Funding was sourced by Jill and a large number of local youths agreed to give up their time in their Halloween holidays to assist in the painting of the |station. Sergeant Lorraine Connor of the policing team said that community relations with police in the village had never been better.

The best market around

Belfast's historic St George’s Market has been named runner-up in the Best Food Market category at the annual BBC Food and Farming Awards.

The popular market that attracts thousands of visitors every week was up against 800 nominations but came in the top two.

The announcement was made at the BBC Good Food Show in Birmingham yesterday afternoon.

Conor Maskey, chairman of Belfast City Council’s development committee, said it was a great achievement.

“This is a great accolade for the market and a fitting tribute to all the hard work put in by the traders and the council to make it such a success,” he said.

Stroud Farmers’ Market won the category, with Stoke Newington Market in third place.

Researchers up for prize

Life-saving research from Queen’s University has been shortlisted for a national award.

Dr Bhaskar Sen Gupta and colleagues in the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering have been shortlisted for the Times Higher Education Outstanding Engineering Research Team of the Year title.

The awards ceremony will take place in London tonight.

The accolade recognises the team’s work in tackling the world’s worst case of ongoing mass poisoning and creating the first chemical free arsenic removal plant in India.

Antrim goes Fairtrade

Antrim locals will enjoy an ethical Christmas — their borough has become the first in Northern Ireland to be awarded Fairtrade status.

A festive Fairtrade market will take place this Friday at Antrim’s civic centre to celebrate the announcement.

Councillor John Smith, chair of the Antrim Borough Fairtrade Committee, said the council was delighted to be receiving the award.

“We really appreciate the hard work, dedication and commitment given by everyone. We encourage everyone involved to continue supporting Fairtrade and help farmers and workers across the world obtain a fair return for their produce,” Mr Smith said.

The celebrations continue on December 3 when John Daly of Fairtrade Ireland will present the borough with the Fairtrade certificate. Minister for Justice David Ford and Minister for the Environment Edwin Poots also will be in attendance.

Our world-class skaters

Belfast is fast becoming a world class hub for skateboarding and BMX biking.

Northern Ireland’s first Urban Sports Conference will take place in the city’s Titanic Quarter today.

Belfast Urban Sports chairman Matt Gillespie said: “Few people know it but Northern Ireland has world class urban sports athletes — its something this country can be very proud of.

“Our skaters and riders are known worldwide and the scene in Northern Ireland is really taking off,” said Mr Gillespie, who is known in urban sports circles as Captain Scott G.

“Our aim is simple, we want people to get involved with the sports and the lifestyle. We’re not exclusive, more inclusive. Urban sports are for everyone,” he said.

Mr Gillespie claimed urban sports create and provide healthy lifestyle opportunities in every community.

Jackson’s great tradition

John Jackson, from Jackson’s Butchers, is the sixth generation of his family to butcher meat in Ballynure since 1850. He is delighted with the family business’ recent success at the Neighbourhood Retailers Awards.

It won Butcher Shop of the Year for Northern Ireland at a ceremony in Belfast.

“We were over the Moon to be finalists and then delighted to find out we had won,” he said.

“We were judged by mystery shoppers who said they would recommend and rave about the shop. It’s very satisfying to get some recognition and customer confidence increases.”

Green teachers honoured

Environment Minister Edwin Poots yesterday congratulated Northern Ireland’s Green Teachers of the Year 2010.

The Green Teacher of the Year award is organised by Action Renewables and Belfast Harbour to highlight and reward outstanding environmental teaching in Northern Ireland primary schools.

Mr Stevenson from Loughview Primary School in Co Antrim and Mrs McGauley from Blessed Patrick O’Loughran Primary School in Co Tyrone were crowned this year’s winners.

Second place was awarded to Mrs Murray from St Anne’s Primary in Londonderry and joint third was Mrs Toner from St Columba’s Primary in Londonderry and Mrs Kenny from Edenderry Primary in Co Down.

Duke’s Special CD

Duke Special is getting ready to launch a CD of songs by legendary 1950s singer Ruby Murray.

Ruby Murray hailed from the Donegall Road in Belfast and in 1955, aged 19, she held five songs in the Top 20 music charts.

All proceeds from the album will go to the charity De Paul Ireland, who work with the homeless and people with chronic alcohol problems.

Duke Special has just completed presenting a documentary on Ruby Murray and is currently in the US performing.

Irish centre gets going

THE first sod of the £1.7m refurbishment to Belfast’s Irish language and cultural centre will be turned today.

When completed next July, Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich will provide visual arts spaces and an interpretative area which will chart the development of the Irish language in Belfast.

Gearóid Ó Caireallainn, chairman of Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich, said: “The refurbished Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich will be the landmark building on the Falls Road and as the gateway to the Gaeltacht quarter will revitalise the whole of west Belfast.

“It will also serve as a beacon towards the development of the Irish language.”

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph