Quadriplegic former rugby player climbs Everest on his staircase and NYC to serve 500,000 free halal meals during Ramadan

Today’s #FourForApril is full of inspiration and true kindness. A former rugby player who is now quadriplegic is doing an inspiring challenge of completing a climb the equivalent distance of Everest on his staircase, while New York has announced it will serve 500,000 free halal meals during Ramadan.

In other good news, Open Kitchen MCR is making good use of food that was going to go to waste, and a community in Wales came together after a doctor’s car part was stolen.

I hope these stories add a little piece of warmth to your day. Stay safe 💚

Quadriplegic former rugby player climbs Everest on his staircase

An ex-rugby player who is quadriplegic is climbing Everest on his stairs to raise money for charity. (Alexander Zvir, Pexels)

Former Bath Rugby player Ed Jackson is hauling himself up and down his stairs for 12 hours a day in a bid to raise money for charity.

Ed is determined to one day be the first quadriplegic to climb Mount Everest and with that goal firmly off the table during the coronavirus lockdown, he has decided to do the distance in another way.

Ed has been lugging himself up and down his staircase at home as he bids to climb the equivalent of that peak on his staircase.

He is even living like he would had the challenge gone ahead by camping at the bottom of his stairs each day.

The distance is the equivalent of climbing his stairs 2,783 times and he believes this will be good practice for the kind of mental resolve he will need.

The former Bath and Wasps flanker suffered spinal cord injuries in a diving accident in 2017, and was warned he might never walk again.

But, through sheer hard work and determination, Ed defied that prognosis to the point that he can walk with the aid of braces.

After climbing Mount Snowdon for charity in 2018, he set the goal of becoming the first quadriplegic to climb Everest.

His lockdown challenge is raising money for the Royal United Hospital Bath’s Forever Friends Appeal, Neverest Orthopaedics and Wings for Life, the spinal cord research foundation.

The former flanker started his climb of 8,848 metres (89,056 steps) on Tuesday and expects to complete the distance today.

Ed told PA: “Last week I was just watching the news and obviously Captain Tom Moore was pretty inspiring.

“It’s a journey into the unknown both physically and mentally because it’s unbelievably tedious.”

Ed’s target of £30,000 was smashed this morning, but you can keep supporting his fantastic cause here.

You can also read more about Ed’s inspiring challenge here.

NYC to serve 500,000 free halal meals during Ramadan

New York City is planning to serve 500,000 free halal meals during Ramadan. (Ela Olsson)

New York City is planning to serve a half-million halal meals during Ramadan.

About 400,000 halal meals will be distributed at 32 Department of Education buildings and another 100,000 will be served through community organisations during the month.

The Mayor of New York Bill de Blasio told reporters at a news conference: “One of Ramadan’s most noble callings is to feed the hungry.”

“To remember to be there for those in need. And that is now harder than ever now that people can’t go to their mosques.”

New York has a history of kindness. The city also provides kosher meals for Jews.

That program has served at least 10 million grab-and-go meals at 435 sites and via taxi to housebound New Yorkers.

The Mayor also said city officials expect to provide at least 10 million meals this month, and are prepared to serve 15 million next month.

He added: “No New Yorker will go hungry. Your city will provide.”

You can read more about this wonderful deed here.

Millions of rescued airline meals saved in Manchester

Open Kitchen MCR are helping to feed people in Manchester by making sure that no food goes to waste. (Keegan Evans, Pexels)

A Manchester not-for-profit organisation has ensured over a million frozen airline meals have been saved from going to waste.

Plans have been announced to distribute them to people in need across Greater Manchester.

The meals labelled as “waste” were preserved by Open Kitchen MCR after the cancellation of flights due to the lockdown.

Cold storage company Lineage Logistics stepped in to help store the frozen meals in a large freezer.

Open Kitchen MCR has been stepping up its usual efforts – where it operates as a catering company using food waste – to help those affected by the social distancing and self-isolation protocols that have come with the coronavirus outbreak.

They found that food waste has increased sharply with the cancellation of many events and businesses temporarily closing down and is now turning the surplus food waste into healthy, microwaveable meals for anyone who is struggling.

As well as meals, they are soon hoping to deliver groceries to those in need.

You can read more about the great work of Open Kitchen here and help support their cause by visiting their website.

Community steps in to fix doctor’s car for free after parts stolen

The community of Newport stepped in to help a doctor after a car part of his was stolen while he was at work. (Pexels)

A doctor working on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic has said he is “incredibly grateful” after his car was fixed for free after a part was stolen.

Tom Rontree-Carey, 28, had just finished a shift at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport when he found his Toyota Prius was not working properly.

A mechanic told him the car’s catalytic converter was missing and had likely been stolen while he was working at the hospital that day.

After a Facebook post from his father, support poured in and the part was replaced for free.

Tom told the BBC: “He (the mechanic) jacked it up and said ‘the catalytic converter has been stolen’. He told me it had definitely been stolen while I was at work as I couldn’t have driven there without it.”

Tom’s father posted about what had happened on Facebook, and soon after an offer for free parts came in from Fast Parts Wales in Cwmbran.

The part was then fitted, also for free, by AJ Garage Services in Caerleon, Newport.

Tom added: “That did make me feel very disappointed in people, but it was the complete opposite of that when it got fixed for free.

“I was just incredibly grateful. It was a nice feeling. I dropped off some beers at the garages to say thank you.”

You can read more about this lovely community spirit in Wales here.

Bonus positive

This lovely outcome from a simple human mistake 👏💚

Every day in April, we will be sharing four positive news stories in one post under the hashtag #FourForApril. Got any kindness stories? Send them in! We’d love the world to hear about these good deeds by good people 🙂

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