Take heart from We Can Do It award winners

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Newspapers are often castigated for concentrating on bad news, and for ignoring the good.

As a matter of fact, we’d dispute that – crime aside, each time we have looked through a subject such as, say, health, we’ve found that there is plenty of balance between the positive and the negative. And we would add that, editorial decisions notwithstanding, everything that we print is, as far as we can establish, true.

But what’s clear is that ‘bad’ news sticks in the mind. And living as we do in a relatively well-off, peaceful country, ‘bad’ news is also unusual – we should perhaps be thankful that a murder is still a front-page story, rather than a run-of-the-mill occurrence.

But that said, there are days when we unashamedly bring you good news, and today is one of them. Our We Can Do It awards have now been around for a decade and a half, and in that time have proved a wonderful vehicle for turning the spotlight on small but vital acts of kindness, hard work that does not look for praise, and a neighbourly dedication to society.

Today is no different. Read the story of nine-year-old Maisie, who after spending in time in hospital with a broken arm decided to save for Christmas presents for those youngsters who had to spend longer in QA than she did, and we defy you not to be inspired.

And there are many such stories, such as that of Shaun Coughlan, who helps his elderly neighbours, which we will profile in more detail in the coming days.

It’s an event filled with joy and so it should be, as it’s a reason to look around and celebrate the more noble things in life. And so we hope that by highlighting kindness, compassion and consideration, we can help inspire more people to look out for their neighbours and their neighbourhood, and strive to make this area as pleasant a place to live and work as it can be.

Because there will always be bad news, for sure. There will always be reasons to despair. But there will also, always, be reasons to look at ourselves and say ‘We Can Do It’, because we can. Today’s subjects have proved this; they have gone out and done it.