From creative projects that are giving young people of colour a voice, to footballers with a conscience and the therapeutic benefits of farm work, the October–December issue of Positive News reports on the good things that are happening in a fast-changing world
When I was little, my favourite books were the Meg and Mog series. I loved them so much that when my little brother was born, he arrived bearing two new tomes in order to win me over. As I got older, I graduated to the works of Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton.
Pretty much any book I picked had characters that looked like me. Though things are changing, it is a privilege not readily afforded to black children or their parents, when hunting for reading material that contains families that look like theirs.
This is part of the reason why Samantha Williams, one of three cover stars for the new issue of Positive News magazine, began her venture, This is Book Love. Williams brings inclusive books into schools and community centres, so that no matter where children, their parents or grandparents hail from, they can see themselves reflected in books’ pages.
Alongside Williams, we spoke to artist Kay Rufai whose projects subvert the narrative of violence that all too often becomes a reality for young black men in urban areas. And we asked award-winning poet Theresa Lola how the art form is helping young people tell their own stories.
Another figure featured in this issue, who is trying to give children a better start, is Manchester United star Marcus Rashford. Maybe you heard about his efforts over the summer: forcing the UK government to backtrack on plans to scrap the free school meal programme over the holidays. We explore how a new generation of footballers has positive social change among their goals.
Back down to earth from sporting stardom, in our feature about the UK’s care farms, we discover how getting your hands dirty can be a valuable form of therapy. Care farms work with disadvantaged teens and adults, from people with dementia to those struggling with addiction and other mental health disorders.
The world remains a bewildering place – we hope that this new issue reminds you of how much positive change continues
And for something a little different, there is our fascinating interview with Patricia Wiltshire. She uses her encyclopaedic knowledge of plants, plus an eagle eye for microscopic detail, to solve crimes. In an impressive and unique career, she has helped bring about justice in some of the UK’s highest-profile criminal cases, with a helping hand from the natural world.
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, the world remains a bewildering place. We hope that this new issue reminds you of how much positive change continues, too.