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As we get ever closer to 2019, we asked our team for their feel-good news stories of 2018.  Here’s what they came up with.

 Phillipa Holland:

I’m certain I’ve come across many news stories over the year that could be classified as ‘feel good’, however when pressed to think of a specific story for the purpose of this article, I found it incredibly difficult to bring just one to mind. Those that know me, and many of those that don’t for that matter, will be aware of my love of cats. So, it would make sense to make them the focus of my chosen story, because is it really a ‘feel good’ story if it doesn’t feature some form of fluffy animal (or perhaps a small child)? My story focuses on a particular cat trait; their stubbornness and persistence to get what they want (a trait that one may also attribute to the author of this piece!). In order to set the scene, let me take you to an art museum in Japan. The cat (or cats) in question have been trying to get into said museum, the Hiroshima Onomichi City Museum of Art, for a number of years, ever since the installation of an exhibit featuring feline centric photography. The cats have tried with such determination that the security guards now have the regular task of refusing their entry and thwarting their attempts to sneak in through the automatic doors (but always ensuring they give them a little cuddle beforehand).  The cats’ exploits have also resulted in an increase in visitors to the museum and the gift shop has introduced souvenirs featuring the famous duo.  

Pete Fellows:

For me it was an easy choice.  I like well organised pranks particularly those with a positive message and this one was bordering on a mini-heist followed by everyone coming out better for it.

When two students, Jevh Maravilla and Christian Toledo went into McDonald’s they found that typical restaurant marketing was devoid of Asian representation.  They decided to take action by recreating a McDonald’s poster featuring them and hang it in a store to redress the balance.  The plan involved a disguise as a McDonald’s employee, sneaking around so they could covertly hang the poster, some pretty nifty photo editing skills and success beyond their wildest expectations.  The poster hung for months unnoticed and the net result was a YouTube video that went viral, leading to an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show and eventually recognition from McDonald’s itself.  Rather than punish the guys McDonald’s essentially acknowledged that they had a point and are featuring them in a future marketing campaign as well as rewarding them with checks for $25,000 each.  As much as social media receives a great deal of consternation at times it can really be a force for good too and this is a super example. 

I am slightly worried though that my choices for best good news stories of the year always feature fast food restaurants.  The stand out for me for 2017 was ‘Nugss for Carter’ featuring Wendy’s, all round decent chap Carter Wilkerson and chicken nuggets.

Rebecca Wood:

Like Philippa, I found it difficult to decide on my favourite ‘feel good’ story of the year. I usually enjoy stories based around the strange and funny things that kids do. I probably shouldn’t admit this but I also enjoy stories about other peoples’ misfortunes. Despite this, I found an article that really made me giggle and decided that this one was my favourite. Two sisters (Emily & Chloe) with similar toothbrushes had a row when one sister mistakenly packed the wrong toothbrush for her trip to London. Chloe, who was now without a toothbrush, was ‘fuming’ when she realised. Her anger fueled the torment in her sibling, resulting in further ‘prankster’ antics. Before long the toothbrush had been photographed on an entire fun day out in London with all the famous landmarks including Carnaby Street, Harrods and Piccadilly Gardens. It also made it in to the hands of a shop mannequin. Joker Emily says that she loves hiding her sister’s stuff but taking the toothbrush was genuine mistake. Despite being initially frustrated by the toothbrush’s day out, Chloe soon saw the funny side of the joke when her tweet received 54,000 likes and retweets. She is hoping to get her revenge this Christmas.  

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