Rave it up in your living room in a show of solidarity, hope and optimism

If you’re anything like us, you may’ve been missing a rave or three over recent months.

But fear not, because if Cinderella can’t go to the ball, the ball will come to her. Or rather, come to you!

Rave king David Guetta is on a mission to connect people all over the world in a show of solidarity, hope and optimism by live-streaming a dance extravaganza into your living room.

His performance, guaranteed to raise your energy (and heart rate!), will take place on the helipad of the spectacular Burj Al Arab Jumeirah on February 6.

The Burj Al Arab Jumeirah is Dubai’s most iconic hotel, with the shape of its structure designed to resemble the sail of a ship, and boasts luxury rooms costing a cool £1.3k per night.

Their helipad is no stranger to hitting headlines, having previously transformed into the world’s highest tennis court back in 2005 when it hosted Andre Agassi and Roger Federer’s warm-up ahead of the Dubai Duty Free Men’s Open.

[Credit: Mohammad Wasim / Unsplash]

Now, it will be revamped once again for the world’s top DJ to headline an online concert and raise cash for charity – notably UNICEF and Education Uninterrupted, a local Dubai campaign tackling the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on young people.

Not only will you be able to listen to infectious tracks and let loose, you’ll also witness a stunning backdrop of the sunset before fireworks light up the sky.

Chatting about the unique location, David said he can’t wait to start spinning his decks.

The Grammy Award winner said: “After Miami, New York and the Louvre in Paris, I am very proud to announce that we’re heading to the top of the iconic Burj Al Arab Jumeirah for another United At Home show, this time in a city that is dear to my heart: Dubai.”

[Credit: David Guetta]

David continued: “So far, we raised more than £1.1 million and counting… In these difficult times, we hope to bring comfort, joy, and support through the power of music and emotions.

“We have supported many charities and helped make a real difference in people’s lives during the pandemic. We continue in this direction today.”

Guess we’ll see you on the (virtual) dance floor, then!

To tune into the livestream, click here: David Guetta.

Nurture your innate talents with these awesome virtual classes

If you vowed to learn sign-language at the beginning of lockdown number one and got as far as remembering the vowels (#confession), then you may want a skill that’s a little easier.

Yet in a virtual world so saturated with workshops and tutorials and TED talks, it can be hard to find that needle in a haystack to suit you.

Fortunately, our pals over at Time Out have stifled through that haystack for us and devised a list of the best offerings out there in cyberspace to try something new.

Check out the ideas below of the top virtual classes to take from the comfort of your own sofa.

[Credit: Hoopla]

Become the funniest friend in your friendship group

Ever watched Michael McIntyre or Peter Kay and thought, ‘I could do that!’

Well, now you can.

Thanks to the good folk over at Hoopla, they are hosting fun and friendly improvisation classes to help budding comics finesse their skills.

Best of all, you don’t need an ounce of experience in comedy or acting as beginners are welcome.

With an eclectic selection of improv classes, sketch comedy courses, stand-up classes, shows, online parties and socials, it’s the perfect antidote for those looking to let go.

Classes starts from £10 a class, with beginner and advanced options available.

Nurture your arty genes

If you have an innate flair for creativity, then this is for. If you also coo over animals, then this is doubly for you.

Wild Life Drawing are offering Zoom and Instagram sessions to sketch a variety of cuddly creatures, from wolf puppies to baby chimps to rescue dogs.

They had us as wolf puppies, tbh.

Pre-lockdown, these guys visited farms and parks across London to draw, now they’ll be live-streaming different species into your living room while you capture them on paper.

Classes start from £10, with 50% going to an animal conservation charity.

[Credit: Tom Aikens]

Channel your inner MasterChef

If you’ve exhausted your recipe books or just struggle to follow them, then kick back and let a Michelin star chef take the lead.

Tom Aikens, who has worked with some of the world’s greatest including Joël Robuchon, is hosting cookery lessons on Instagram – offering both live and pre-recorded sessions.

The detailed, step-by-step classes are designed for you to improve your skills, expand your recipe collection, and have dinner ready to be served to the family by the end of the lesson!

Classes are £20 per month for an ongoing subscription, or £60 for six classes.

[Credit: The Goodlife Centre]

Become your own DIY expert

Last but not least, The Goodlife Centre are helping people tap into their handiwork skills.

Not only will you learn valuable and practical life lessons, you can save your pennies as you may never have to call the ‘man with a van’ again.

Think woodwork, upholstery, upcyling, and sewing. You’ll also learn basic drill skills and how to put up blinds without wanting to cry or smash things.

Classes are £55 or £66 for one action-packed session.

Cleaning lady gifted penthouse as residents club together to pay her rent

There is a sanctuary of golden moments on YouTube, from pandas sneezing to skateboard stunts to cats playing the piano.

However, we’ve just found our favourite clip to trump all of those.

In the sweetest video of all time, a cleaning lady gets the surprise of her life as she’s given a free apartment by the residents of the building that she has cleaned for the past 20 years.

[Credit: u/AristonD]

Not only was this the perfect altruistic gift, but it couldn’t have come at a better time as the woman, known only as Rosa, lost her job during the global pandemic.

As a result, she also lost her home and had been staying with her sister.

Now, she has a roof over her head all of her own in the glorious Big Apple, complete with an outdoor terrace to catch some rays and watch the world go by.

The beautiful moment was all captured on camera as an estate agent took Rosa inside the penthouse under the pretence of showing her around so that she could clean it.    

However, once she had been given the tour, the salesman dropped the bombshell.

He said: “I’ve heard a lot about your contribution to the building and a lot of people here love you very much. You’re kind of a celebrity here!

“I think you made an impact on the people as they just wanted to give something back, so I have here a little contract for a two-year lease on this unit that some of your fans in the building clubbed together and they’re taking care of it. All you need to do is sign.”

[Credit: u/AristonD]

Needless to say, Rosa was a little overwhelmed and broke down in tears.

In shock, she even thought she might be subject of a prank and had to ask: “Is this for real?”

Fortunately, the joke was not on her and the stunning, sunny four-bedroom penthouse has been paid for on her behalf and is ready for her to move into and take the keys.

[Credit: u/AristonD]

Doctor gifts FREE surgery to those in need as they repay by volunteering

Imagine living in a world where money didn’t exist. Sounds like a fantasy, right?

Wrong!

One doctor has made this dream a reality by creating transactions that exchange goodwill rather than dollar.

Instead of charging patients for operations, Dr Demetrio Aguila encourages them to repay their debt by volunteering with organisations so that they can give back to the community instead.

This is a revolutionary move in the American healthcare system where medicine costs thousands of dollars and those on low-income have little to no access to treatment.

[Credit: Helping Hands Nebraska]

The cherry on the cake is that this movement could go global and surpass the local Norfolk area of Nebraska where its currently taking place, as fellow doctors have reached out to ask how they can set up a similar system in their neighbourhoods too.

Speaking about the initiative, named The M25 Program, Dr Aguila says he has been honoured by the national and international attention his idea has received.

Dr Aguila said: “One of the things that I’ve found really surprising is the enquiries from doctors and nurses who want to know how they can do this where they live.

“What I’m really hoping to do is inspire other doctors to think outside the box to try and find solutions that fit their community.”

Chatting to a local TV channel, Dr Aguila continued: “As we continue to expand and grow, what I’m hoping for is that other charitable organisations can partner with us and that other healthcare providers can think outside the box and offer similar solutions to their communities.

“That way we can form a network of people that can offer solutions to patients so they can get the care they need without incurring a huge financial burden.”

Prior to surgery, Dr Aguila makes sure every patient is aware of the full cost of their procedure so that they are then able to choose whether they pay in one lump sum, installments, or volunteering.

[Credit: News Channel Nebraska]

For those who choose community service work, for example, if they had surgery on the ulnar nerve in their arm, that would amount to $5,000 (£3.6k) and the patient would donate 250 hours to pay.

Taking spiritual inspiration from Bible verse Matthew 25:40 – ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me’ – the core mission is to offer world-class healthcare in a compassionate, innovative, and forward-thinking way.

Dr Aguila also hopes that by keeping medicine affordable and fair, it narrows the divide between rich and poor while keeping the focus on individuals’ health rather than a monetary transaction.

For more information, click here: M25 Program.

Discover how these awesome toys are changing the ways kids think

Teaching resources usually come in the guise of story books, text books, or TV shows if you’re lucky. But what about if they came as toys?

One mum has realised the power of mish-mashing education with stuffed animals and created the brilliant Crafting Characters series.

Using cuddly ladybirds, chicks, eagles and even trees, Dani LaBriola has devised a two-week programme that she promises will give kids a pivot in thinking to master new habits.

These habits can range from gaining a clearer sense of self to liking and appreciating another person to boosting traits such as thoughtfulness, kindness, and empathy.

[Credit: Crafting Characters]

But how does it work?

Each toy (known as a ‘plushie’) comes with an illustrated book and 14 foam accessories. As kids begin to read the story, they will be encouraged to plan and carry out specific daily acts and record them on the accessories which can then be attached to their animal day by day.

The accessories are unique to each plushie, so on the ladybird they are its spots, while on the tree they make up its leaves, and on the chick they are decorative feathers.

By the end of the two weeks, each spot, leaf or feather will have a declaration of a daily act that has been completed by its owner.

[Credit: Crafting Characters]

Dani – who is mum to 11-year-old twins – says it can be helpful to give little ones choice in their random acts of kindness as this encourages autonomy going forward; so this could be letting friends go ahead of them in the queue, making a short call to grandparents to say hello, or helping mum or dad cook the dinner one night to lighten the load.

Once the fortnight is completed, the plushie is plump with gratitude sentiments or acts of kindness that Dani says help young people form new habits that will stay with them forever.

Dani explained: “While we find that 14 days is the right amount of time for kids to begin to form the habit with their new character trait, character development is a life-long commitment. It takes practice, and like anything else in life, if you stop doing it, you will lose the habit you have created.”

[Credit: Crafting Characters]

Dani continued: “Once you complete the two weeks and your plushie has collected all of its accessories, you can and should continue to practice.

“Continue to ask kids about any intentional acts they are going to complete that day. These sets are meant to be used over and over. They require love, attention, and use.”

While the toys are aimed at age 4-10, we kinda fancy the ladybird to help with our self-care plan.

To grab a plushie, click here: Crafting Characters.

Restoring tranquility to the world: Tribe regains control of forest land

With the destruction of rainforests and troubling mass of plastic in our oceans, the world as we once knew it is undergoing a huge shift.

Yet now the brakes have been slammed to prevent further damage.

In a landmark court ruling, a tribe have regained control of their land and won the rights to take care of their ancestral territory that includes two national reserves.

[Credit: Yale Environment 360]

Consequently, this means the Naso people of northwest Panama will manage some of Central America’s largest forests while nurturing it with environmentally-friendly crops.

Speaking about the ruling, King of the Naso community, Reynaldo Santana, said it was an act of justice that will restore tranquillity and allow the land to flourish again.

Santana said: “We will be able to continue what we know best and what our culture and way of life represents; taking care of our mother earth, conserving a majestic forest, and protecting the country and the planet from the effects of climate change.”

[Credit: Yale Environment 360]

With the indigenous people now in control, they will be able to protect the conservation areas from being targeted by cattle ranchers and palm oil planters.

The palm oil industry is proving to have a devastating impact as demand in Western culture soars – where it is used in food or beauty products – as cultivating it destroys rainforests, displaces indigenous tribes, spews carbon into the atmosphere, and threatens orangutans toward extinction.

The ruling will also put an end to drug traffickers and militias who target the grounds and create further suffering to the planet.

In addition to safeguarding the environment, the tribe will also shield local wildlife from further crisis such as endangered jaguars, peccarys [pig-like mammal], and harpy eagles.

[Credit: Yale Environment 360]

To put into the scale the severity of previous threat, the Naso people were forced to battle a large cattle ranching company back in 2009 who seized a chunk of their ancestral land and burned houses, a school, a church, and a cultural centre.

By 2014, they were still fighting, this time trying to prevent the government building a dam in their territory that blocked fish migrations and destroyed a large part of the fish population.

Now, with the indigenous people in control of their 400,000 acres of land, the earth has a chance to heal with their focus on regenerating trees, plants and animals.

Free money does exist! P Diddy gifts cash to locals struggling in lockdown

While applying for loans or mortgage relief can ease some of the financial burden, sometimes you just need actual cash in the palm of your hand.

And P Diddy made that a reality for people affected by the global pandemic.

Hitting the streets of Miami, the I’ll Be Missing You legend rocked up with a wad of cash and a whole lotta generosity and began gifting locals with $50 bills.

[Credit: Miami Herald]

As word got around, crowds began to descend onto the streets before 1,200 people were soon swarming around itching to reach the top of the queue and get their dollar.

“Christmas is over, we want to spread a little love to provide disenfranchised families with a bit of relief.”

P Diddy

In addition to this, Diddy – real name Sean Combs – also doled out gift cards and gift bags carrying essential products such as sanitiser, bottled water, toothpaste, and toothbrushes.

The Grammy Winner even donated rent relief assistance to a lucky 175 families.

[Credit: Miami Herald]

Speaking about the gifting, Diddy said: “Christmas is over, we want to spread a little love to provide disenfranchised families with a bit of relief.”

Diddy is no stranger to spreading his philanthropic wings to help vulnerable people.

His core motivators are supporting education and disadvantaged youth, having recently given a $1million gift to Howard University in Washington D.C. to launch a scholarship fund.

Meanwhile, back in 2003 he ran the New York Marathon and raised a whopping $2m for schools and children suffering from HIV and AIDS.

We wonder if any UK celebs might take inspiration from Diddy’s latest altruism? Perhaps Victoria Beckham handing out £50s in Camden…

[Credit: Miami Herald]

Female empowerment: Garment workers become college graduates

Many of us will have heard of the appalling conditions that garment workers must endure in order to earn a tiny wage from long hours in factories.

Notably, a factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh made global headlines in 2003 after collapsing and killing more than 1,100 people, while UK brand Boohoo also fell under the microscope last year for treating workers like ‘modern day slaves’ and paying them as little as £3.50 an hour – far below the minimum wage of £8.72.

Now, it’s no longer a case of out of sight out of mind, as one organisation is offering these workers a lifeline with a college education to help improve their job prospects.

[Credit: Asian University for Women]

The brilliant brains at Pathways for Promise have created a project that funds not only the cost of going to university, but also the preparation coursework required before enrolling.

In particular, the team are on a mission to help first-generation college students and currently work with young women from 18 countries in Asia and the Middle East.

Many of these young women had previously been destined to a life in the factory so their wages could support low-income families, yet the Pathways for Promise funding pays participants a monthly sum while studying to offset the loss of wages from not working a garment job.

[Credit: Asian University for Women]

Speaking about the initiative, founder of the Asian University for Women, Kamal Ahmad, said he is elated at the cultural shift taking place and why it is so important for female empowerment.

Mr Ahmad said: “The impact they can have on being an example in the community and propelling others to follow suit is much more impressive and persuasive.

“Being the first one has a way of altering the pathways of the family.”

He continued: “Even if this young woman wants to come to this university, the family is dependent on her wages, so they won’t let her go if they don’t have the income.”

[Credit: Asian University for Women]

So far, nearly 500 students have enrolled into higher education on the Pathways for Promise project since it began in 2016, with the first class of 25 graduating last May.

One student, Sabina Yeasmin, says the course has made it possible for her to aspire to create change and educate women and girls on menstrual hygiene.

The 23-year-old, due to graduate next year, plans to start her own line of products one day and make them more affordable in Bangladesh.

Hero-in-the-making Sabina also hopes to make the garment sector “a better place” to work.

Woman reunites with first love after 70 years apart as they finally say ‘I do’

Any lovebirds out there will know how hard it can be to be separated from your other half for a night, a day, or even an hour.

Let alone seven decades!

Yet high school sweethearts Fred Paul and Florence Harvey lost touch as teenagers before they reunited nearly 70 years later to pick up their romance from where they left off.

It all began in Wandsworth, a small town in Canada, when the couple met as teens and spent every moment they could together for two years before life somehow got in the way.

[Credit: Fred Paul and Florence Harvey]

Reflecting on their romance in an interview about their unlikely reunion, Fred revealed just what an impact Florence made on him all those years ago.

Chatting to CNN, Fred said: “She was my first love. My first girlfriend and my first true love.”

Yet when Fred turned 18, he moved to Toronto and it was au revoir to Flo, who was just 15.

Despite returning home a year later, this time it was his former flame who had bid farewell to the town and Fred failed to track her down.

Needless to say, in a pre-wifi world, he couldn’t just drop her a WhatsApp and they both married other people and started families.

[Credit: Hermes Rivera / Unsplash]

Yet Cupid was not done with them yet.

Fast-forward to 2017, Florence became widowed after her husband Len died of cancer while Fred also found himself single again as wife Helen passed away from various health complications.

This time around, they were able to connect much more easily and began speaking over the phone, helping one another heal from the shared grief over losing their spouses.

Florence, now 81, said: “I never thought it would go past that. But we went from talking once a week, to twice, to three times, to every day for hours.”

She added: “We had really reconnected even though we hadn’t seen each other in all those years. I knew this was it.”

As they began to rekindle their love story, Florence decided to surprise Fred on his birthday by visiting Toronto where they were finally reunited. A month later, they were married.

[Credit: Jamie Street / Unsplash]

Fred, 84, added: “When I found out she was in town and was coming to me, it was 10.30pm.

“I ran out of bed and got dressed and wrote ‘Welcome Florence’ in chalk on the driveway and when she arrived, I walked to the car, gave her a hug and a kiss on the cheek, and I held her hand and I knew right away that she had taken my heart.”

Even the lead minister at the church where they held the ceremony said he couldn’t believe how powerful the love was between the star-crossed lovers.

Minister Paul Ivany, who has conducted more than 500 weddings in his career, said: “The ceremony was one of the most moving, most profound services I have been part of.”

The world may have lost Britney and Justin, but we’ll always have Fred and Florence.

Feeling lonely working from home? Then THIS secret haven is for you

While freelancers know the isolation that can go hand-in-hand with the freedom of working from home, the pandemic has enlightened the rest of us to it also.

And with ongoing lockdowns, it looks like pyjamas at the ‘office’ in the kitchen are here to stay for a little while longer.

But if all this time alone is taking its toll, then The Co-Working Club has your name all over it.

[Credit: The Co-Working Club / Instagram]

In a bid to banish the loneliness that comes with colleague-free zones, they offer a supportive community for females who want to work for themselves not by themselves.

It’s like having a whole network of staff you can check in with to lift each other up.

“It’s so easy to forget what it’s like to work alongside other people when you’re self-employed but I honestly can’t recommend it enough.”

Jessica Berry, The Co-Working Club founder

Despite having started in a pre-Covid world in 2019, the group’s ethos could not resonate more than in today’s world as they aim to connect like-minded people seeking support.

Chatting about her initiative, founder Jessica Berry says the inspiration came about after discovering that working from home wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

[Credit: The Co-Working Club / Instagram]

Jessica said: “It might sound cheesy to say that The Co-Working Club has changed my life but in so many ways it’s true.

“Before it I felt lost and alone, constantly wondering if I’d made the right decision taking the leap into the world of self-employment.

“Since kickstarting the meet-ups they’ve given my week structure, motivation and a big old dose of community.”

[Credit: The Co-Working Club / Instagram]

Jessica also believes that being surrounded by a group of creative women fuels her to experiment more within her own business and helps push her through the difficult times.

She added: “It’s so easy to forget what it’s like to work alongside other people when you’re self-employed but I honestly can’t recommend it enough.”

The club offers a variety of olive branches to anyone in need, including chat groups so that people can share advice; weekly video calls to spur on networking opportunities; wellness check-ins hosted by mental health experts; and buddy systems to help newbies settle in.

There is also an online ‘Friday Fizz’ get-together, which tbh is enough to peak our interest.

To join the party, click here: The Co-Working Club.