4:02 PM December 29, 2021
Another year filled with lockdowns and Covid disruption has been difficult for many.
However, 2021 has not been without well-being stories, especially in light of the uplifting Christmas miracle of the search dog Juno found after a week of disappearance at Fritton Woods.
Here are seven more positive stories that happened this year to put a smile on your face.
1. Broken car windshield
Automotive technician Kirk Bardsley decided to step in and help mum-of-two Becky Cunningham after her car’s windshield was destroyed by a rogue pebble on Barnby’s bends on the A146.
The boulder narrowly missed Ms Cunningham and her two children, a three-year-old and a nine-month-old, but shattered the glass windshield.
Mr Bardsley heard Ms Cunningham’s story and wanted to do the job for free as a token of goodwill.
“With Covid and Christmas, a lot of people don’t have any spare cash,” Mr Bardsley said.
“We need more kindness in the world right now and I wanted to make a small contribution.”
2. Stolen crown
A kind stranger presented a family with a wreath after theirs was stolen from their doorstep in Cabbell Road, Cromer, overnight.
Bertie Anderson-Haggart and her family had moved into the house four days before Christmas in 2020 and hadn’t had time to decorate, so they wanted to make it even more special this year.
Ms Anderson-Haggart brought it up on Love Cromer’s Facebook page to warn others and see if he had shown up at someone else’s door.
But the family’s sadness was short-lived as in the afternoon a kind stranger had left a handmade wreath with a handwritten letter on their porch, signed at the end with “M x”.
He said, “I saw someone on Facebook take your crown.
“I’m so sorry, but I wanted to make a replacement for you in case he didn’t come back.
“I’m not very good at making wreaths, but I hope it’s a good replacement and brings some joy and faith in the kindness of strangers.”
“I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a healthy New Year.”
3. A homemade winter wonderland
Hayden Moon, 49, spent 2021 transforming his Grove Way home, Newton Flotman, into a wonderland with 10,000 lights.
He was inspired after watching videos on YouTube of Christmas light footage in homes in America and he also enjoys films like the 1989 festive classic Christmas Vacation.
He has now created his own show and it is 30 minutes long and takes place four times a night between 5pm and 7pm each day until Sunday January 2nd.
It has lots of interactive elements and is set to Christmas and popular songs including The Polar Express and The Greatest Showman, with background music starting at 4pm as well.
4. A girl from Norwich gives gifts to the food bank
Maisie Furze, 9 years old saved all year to give gifts to a food bank for the kids to enjoy this Christmas.
Maisie and her mother Laura brought 50 gifts to the Silver Road Community Food Bank in Norwich along with goodies such as Lego and makeup kits.
Maisie’s mother Laura said: “She tries to do something every year. She knows how lucky she is and wants to help others. She normally gives away her old toys but now she is getting a little older, she don’t really play with toys anymore.
“Maisie has always been very kind and caring. I’m really proud of her.”
5. Norfolk Brewery Wins Award for Very First Lager
Cromer’s Poppyland Brewery received a bronze medal in the 2021 International Beer Challenge against competition from hundreds of brewers from 15 different countries around the world, including Germany, the United States and Japan.
The brewery, which was founded in 2012, had never brewed a lager until this year, when owner Dave Cornell brewed a lager from Vienna under the name Empress.
Mr Cornell said: “I am delighted that our very first attempt at making a lager in Poppyland was such a success.
“It was a unique beer, like most of our beers, but we’ll almost certainly be brewing it again next year after this win.”
6. Hethersett Academy Student wins a place in a prestigious music school
Earlier this year, Hethersett Academy student Rhiannon Roberts was offered an unconditional place in one of the UK’s most prestigious music schools.
After completing a series of tough video auditions, Grade 11 student Ms Roberts was secured a place at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester.
She said: “I was handed the confirmation letter while I was having dinner with the family on Christmas Eve and was in shock that Chetham’s had accepted me.
“After going through three auditions that involved hearing tests, having to send in four videos singing different genres and being asked a lot of questions, they gave no indication if they were going to accept me.
“I am really looking forward to joining the vocal department and doing my A levels in music, theater and theater at such a prestigious music school.”
7. First school in Norfolk to win a teaching award
Wymondham College became the first school in Norfolk never win an award at the National Teaching Awards.
The school was recognized at the National Teaching Awards for “Making a Difference” and was voted “High School of the Year”.
Nadhim Zahawi, Secretary of State for Education, said: “I would like to congratulate Wymondham College for this recognition of their incredible work and dedication to their students.
“Winning one of these awards is a tremendous achievement and a testament to their skills, commitment and passion for teaching. “