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These Sisters Have Created A Positive News Letter And The Community Is Thriving

"While we are not out there saving lives, we wanted to do our own little bit and make a few people smile."

Meet Bethan and Holly Botterill, sisters from Northamptonshire who are using their time during the coronavirus lockdown to create a positive news community with a curated newsletter.

Bethan Botterill

Holly, 22, a student on a marketing graduate scheme, told BuzzFeed News: "The news recently has been very negative and focused on one thing, and although it is important to hear about, it can really start getting you down. We both came back home after unis and workplaces were closed and decided that we wanted to do something to cheer other people, as well as ourselves, up.

"We found that generally, in the news and on social media, it’s all doom and gloom, and we wanted to bring attention to the positive things that are still going on every day."

Their community started with a tweet sent out by Bethan, calling for anyone interested in getting good news directly to their inbox. It was featured in a BuzzFeed News roundup of lovely things people are doing during this time.

PLEASE email us @ heressomegoodnews@gmail.com !

The 19-year-old is one of the many university students who has returned home to be with family during the lock down.

She said: "At the moment, more than ever, it is really easy to focus on the negatives, especially as we are all spending so much time at home, on social media and in front of the news. It can start to have an impact on your mental health very quickly, and we wanted to help bring people out of the rut of constantly scrolling through the negative news.

"We chose to send the emails directly, rather than posting the stories on a website or social media, as we thought it would be good for people to take time out of their day to read it and specifically focus on something positive."

Their mailing list has surged in popularity in a short space of time, with hundreds of subscribers who look forward to five cheerful news stories, such as the penguins that were allowed to roam free in their aquarium.

Bethan Boterill

Holly explained: "We always include five positive stories, and we aim to send the email out at about 7pm (BST) each weeknight. Bethan also creates a positive quote each day to put at the top of the email, which brings some colour into it. We give a brief overview of the stories, along with links to their original source if people want to read more."

Much to their surprise, there is an appetite for feel-good news stories.

"The response so far has been amazing. We thought we would get about 10 people who just signed up because they knew us, but we have had people from all over the world subscribe," they said in a statement.

"A lot of people have sent us messages saying that they really enjoy reading the emails every evening, and everyone has been really supportive, which makes us think that we are doing something that people genuinely want to see. It’s been quite overwhelming really."

Alongside producing the newsletter day to day, the pair are using the time to reconnect as a family and have found various ways to occupy themselves.

Bethan Botterill

They said: "The massive pros are that we are safe and healthy, and we also get to spend time as a family which we haven’t done since before we went to uni.

"Bethan is quickly getting through Animal Crossing and fitting uni work in between, and Holly is trying to read a lot more books while completing every workout on YouTube. This newsletter is also providing a distraction and keeping us really busy, which is great, and it has definitely been cheering us up."

Like most of us, the sisters expressed admiration for key workers and NHS staff who are on the front line.

Bethan Botterill

"We are in awe of the NHS and all of the key workers that are putting themselves at risk for the rest of us," said Bethan.

"While we are not out there saving lives, we wanted to do our own little bit and make a few people smile. There are so many people making a difference in their communities and we hope that we are doing so too for at least someone."

You can join the mailing list by dropping a message to heressomegoodnews@gmail.com.

Giphy / Via giphy.com

Ade Onibada is a junior reporter at BuzzFeed and is based in London.

Contact Ade Onibada at ade.onibada@buzzfeed.com.

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