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Good Samaritans buy everything in toy shop to give to kids without presents this Christmas

The true spirit of Christmas

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Ryan Powell / Facebook

A couple of Good Samaritans purchased everything in a toy shop to give to kids who don’t have presents this Christmas.

A business owner and his partner in Wales have encapsulated the true spirit of Christmas, by making sure families in need don’t go without presents this year.

Ryan Powell, who owns a company called Brecongate Projects, bought all the contents of local toy shop D.Emlyn Lloyd in Ystrad Mynach, following the announcement by the Welsh government that non-essential retailers have to close their doors.

Ryan Powell / Facebook

Ryan and his business partner Paul Jones decided to purchase the toys to help struggling families that were waiting for their last wage before buying presents, only for nearly all shops in the country to close.

He told WalesOnline: “I am an employer, we employ around 80 people. I know that many people are reliant on their last wage before Christmas to go shopping.

“I know there are people waiting for their Universal Credit and last wage who I thought will be struggling. Me and my wife were thinking of what we could do to help when we saw D.Emlyn Lloyds post that they have lots of toys left for sale. I got in touch with them and said I will buy them all.”

The businessman bought the toys at cost price before posting on Facebook to ask families who might be struggling to get in touch to arrange drop off.

The post quickly gained thousands of shares and interactions, and the response has been hugely positive. 

Ryan added: “Trying to read through all the messages to sort out who could get what, I was doing it with a lump in my throat and tear in my eyes, knowing the struggle people have been through this year.

“I just wish I had did it sooner. The response I had is nothing like I expected.

“The people that messaged me were waiting for their final pay and benefits. There are single parents who haven’t wanted to risk taking their children out shopping. I am just sorry I didn’t start this earlier.”

All-in-all Ryan bought around 80 toys, which has managed to help 25 families and about 70 children, and he’s now on the lookout for other ways he can help people this festive season.

Well done Ryan and friends, we need more people like you in the world!

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Oasis tribute band and 50 customers trapped in pub for three days by Storm Arwen blizzard

You could say they were trapped behind a Wonderwall of snow…

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The Tan Hill Inn / Facebook

In what could be one of the most peculiar situations ever, an Oasis tribute band and fifty customers wound up trapped in a pub by a snow blizzard for three days. 

The Tan Hill Inn, Britain’s ‘highest pub’ up in the Yorkshire Dales, became buried by around 5ft of snow on Friday night, trapping fifty customers and Oasis tribute band, ‘Noasis’, who were billed for the evening’s entertainment. 

However, at around 9pm it became apparent that nobody would be able to leave, with both customers’ cars and the country roads leading up to the pub becoming fully blocked by snow and fallen power cables.

The Tan Hill Inn / Facebook

 

The Tan Hill Inn / Facebook

The snow drifted so high that, at one point, staff and customers had to dig a tunnel from the front door.

In total, sixty-one people were stranded in the pub for the whole weekend, with guests being forced to camp down and sleep on makeshift beds by the bar. 

Despite the peculiar scenario, however, the punters, band and staff all rallied together ‘like a big family’ to make the best of a sticky situation. They enjoyed a pub quiz, movie night, karaoke and even a traditional Sunday lunch

The Tan Hill Inn / Facebook

 

The Tan Hill Inn / Facebook

The pub’s general manager Nicola Townsend told The Guardian: “They’ve formed quite a friendship. Like a big family is the best way I can describe it.

“One lady actually said ‘I don’t want to leave.'”

Noasis were also posting regular updates on Twitter, writing on Saturday November 27th: “Sorry to announce we’re stranded @tanhillinn Yorkshire.”

The band then added the following night on November 28th: “Oh it’s a lovely war! Stranded for a third night – hope it rains tomorrow.”

@noasis_oasistributeband / Instagram

While punters are now gradually making their way home, The Tan Hill Inn wrote on Facebook: “We will ALWAYS remember this group of amazing people who came together, and hopefully, in challenging circumstances, enjoyed what we all think was a life – changing experience.

“IF YOU are one of those people in the crowd, you could honour us by saying a few words in review and tag us in. I know as owners we are incredibly proud of our staff – each and everyone.”

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Asda is trialling selling pints of draught beer in supermarkets

The motive behind the trial is to help boost recycling and sustainability

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Asda & @benceboros / Unsplash

Asda customers may soon be able to stock up on fresh draught beer if a new experiment rolled out in the supermarket is successful. 

The experiment has launched at one of the Milton Keynes stores, and enables the sale of refillable one and two litre containers of beer and cider.

Staff are using pub-style beer pumps located at the end of the alcohol aisles to pour drinks into refillable glass containers that can be kept and used – alternatively, the containers can be brought back to the store to be refilled again or returned for good.

@benceboros / Unsplash

There are twelve different types of brewski for shoppers to choose from including a Pornstar Martini IPA from Redchurch Brewery and Chew Chew Salted Caramel Milkstout from Fallen Brewing, as well as a selection of low alcohol and non-alcoholic alternatives.

A litre of beer of cider will cost from £5.90 to £8.20 – that’s £2.95 to £4.10 per 500ml (for reference, a pint is 568ml).

The motive behind the trial is to boost recycling and sustainability, along with working alongside smaller and local breweries – the supermarket has already had similar refillable schemes for dry goods, such as pasta, grains and rice.

Asda senior Director of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships Matt Harrison said on the trial: “The refillable element of the trial gives customers the chance to pick up a new tipple and make a small change to help them shop more sustainably in our Milton Keynes store.”

Josh Olalde / Unsplash

Craig Bell, co-founder of Craft on Draft who has reportedly teamed up with the supermarket, added: “We’re passionate about craft beers and ciders and aim to showcase the best small batch brews to bring something new and different to Asda customers.

“Although if they want to try them they’ll need to be quick, as there will be a limited number of serves available and once it’s gone, it’s gone.”

If the trial is successful in Milton Keynes, Asda plans to roll out the scheme to more stores across the country next year.

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Nine-year-old schoolboy creates app to help non-verbal autistic children communicate

Sean wanted to create an app that would help non-verbal children like his little brother

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ITV

A nine-year-old schoolboy has created a groundbreaking app that helps non-verbal autistic children to communicate.

Sean Porter, from Southport, came up with the idea for the app after he was asked to create a game for a school project. However, he decided to go one step further and design something that could help his six-year-old brother Adam communicate.

Adam was diagnosed as autistic at the age of two and has always struggled with his speech and communication – but now, thanks to his brother’s app, he can communicate a number of basic messages with just the tap of a picture.

Speaking to ITV News about his app, Sean said: “I knew that if I didn’t develop this app, then I don’t know anyone who would think of it.

ITV`

“It feels absolutely amazing – I feel wonderful.

“People generally don’t think about other people. They think ‘if I make this amazing invention I am going to be epic and famous and have loads of money.’

“But they don’t focus on anyone else and how it affects them.”

Sean and Adam’s father Liam Porter said the app has helped Adam’s speech and communication skills to develop faster, saying: “Him asking for food, telling us he was hurt, asking to go to the toilet, it was basically guess work.

ITV

“This app has opened up more choice for Adam after we created the app he has asked for more things and is developing faster.”

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, the boys’ mum Kirsty added that Sean wants to work more on the app and eventually make it user specific for each individual child. 

She said: “At the minute it’s just ‘I want a drink’, ‘I want some food’, ‘I need the toilet’ and in order to make it more specific. Children with autism have specific drinks they want, you can’t just say to them ‘what drink’ they want that drink they are used to having.”

According to Autismspeaks.org, an estimated 40% of people with autism are nonverbal, meaning they may never speak more than just a few words. 

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