Good News Column, Week Three: Jesus welfare chocolate, Churchill Virtual Talent Show, and CU ‘Prayer and Chat’

An abundance of wholesome news

Feeling glum about lockdown life in a time of coronavirus? Moaning to your mates about your sorry state of affairs? Missing the buzz of Cambridge?

Sounds to me like your weekly dose of good news is very much in order! You’ll be pleased to hear that the virtual Cambridge student community is still very much alive and kicking. Here are some of the things Cambridge students have been getting up to over this week which will re-spark your faith in humanity!

Last week we saw virtual marriage formals, learnt that it is in fact (maybe) possible for animals to matriculate, and marvelled at beautiful quarantined cake creations.

This week, settle down for The Tab’s selection of another lovely flood of positivity to brighten up your locked-down day!

‘Virtual talent show’ at Churchill

Churchill decided to pool the best of their college talent this week in a ‘virtual talent show’. The talent entries were second-to-none, with best entries including someone inhaling a crème caramel, someone else splitting an apple in half with their hands, a group dance to the Macarena over Zoom, and a girl playing the bagpipes. As if that wasn’t wholesome enough, college members were allowed to vote for the winner, who received £50 to donate to their chosen charity. I’m particularly gutted I missed the inhalation of the crème caramel…

Photo credit: Sophie Adam

Cambridge Christian Union introduce ‘Prayer and Chat’ scheme and launch new magazine

The Cambridge Inter-Collegiate Christian Union have launched a scheme called ‘Prayer and Chat’ to help students who are struggling during the coronavirus pandemic. Tabby Dickson, Vice-President said, “These are strange times, and we wanted to find a way to love and care for Cambridge students. We think a great way of doing that is to offer a bit of our time to those who are feeling a bit lonely and want to chat, or who would like someone to pray for them.” You can find the sign-up link here.

The society has also just launched an online magazine, Zeteo, with articles written by its members. Zeteo comes from Greek meaning “to seek” and it encompasses a search for intellectual, emotional and holistic needs. It’s a space where the writers share what they’ve found out really matters in life. The articles are designed to provide comfort and hope to students struggling during the Coronavirus period, and can be viewed here.

Photo Credit: Iona Stewart

Jesus Welfare Team start ‘Weekly Welfare Giveaway’

With Jesus students feeling a bit glum, the Welfare officers decided to introduce this fun scheme. Every Sunday, the Jesus Welfare Officers randomly select 10 people from the whole College chat and send them some chocolate!

“There’s nothing quite like a parcel in the post for dispelling a bit of lockdown blues,” Honor Abery, Jesus Welfare Officer, told The Tab, “to spread this joy far and wide, and show Jesus students we’re still thinking of them, we decided to put together a weekly giveaway”. They even send face masks if you’re not feeling the chocolate vibe and vegan alternatives!

I’m totally not (I totally am) suddenly feeling very sad I don’t go to Jesus…

Photo credit: Honor Abery

‘Freddie the Fox’ Spotted at Christ’s!

It seems that Jesus is not the only college to be graced with the presence of friendly foxes. Whilst all the colleges may be devoid of students, our trusty friend, ‘Freddie’, has been sighted at Christ’s! Apparently he’s not a fan of the ‘no walking on the grass’ rule…

Cambridge University Library lights up blue in tribute to NHS Staff

As you bang your pots and pans on a Thursday evening, it’s great to see that the University is participating in thanking our NHS Staff workers too. On 7th May, the UL was lit up in blue, joining in with the national #clapforcarers.

‘Lockdown Scrapbook’ created by Girton

When days feel insignificant and numberless in this lockdown period, Girton is creating a college ‘scrapbook’ to help! This is going to document the individual experiences of college members during lockdown, and help to make the Coronavirus period of Girton College life more memorable.

Fellows, staff and alumni are invited to submit a story and a photo to create their lockdown scrapbook. “We are interested in every aspect of the way coronavirus has impacted on our Girton community: home working and schooling, being furloughed, online activities, business ventures, family life, friendships, exercise routines and more,” the website explains.

St John’s College Art Society produces ‘Quaranzine’

When their photography and art competition was cancelled due to Covid-19, the SJC Art Society decided to put together a “zine” to showcase the lockdown creativity of the Johnians. The ideas is to “bring the community together using visual media”. The magazine is planned to be published in early June and all displays of creativity from the lockdown period are encouraged to be submitted, from poetry to photography to playlists!

Pembroke Porters Give ‘Virtual Tour’ of Pembroke

As students start to miss the familiar sights and sounds of their colleges, the wonderful Pembroke porters have come up with the perfect virtual solution! Each week, they are giving a tour of the college to show their students how lockdown life is looking for their college. They even go and say hi to the catering staff! What’s not to love?

Peterhouse introduces ‘Welfare Fund’

Peterhouse has created a new welfare fund through which students can get funding to buy things that will improve their wellbeing. Yoga mats, subscriptions to Audible and painting supplies are now available for any students struggling during the lockdown period.

Marina Mateo, a student at Peterhouse, said to The Tab, “They’re basically buying us books and yoga mats and baking material so that we’re happy!” My question is this: what’s the catch? Apparently there is none…

Trinity showcase ‘mugshots’ from members of college using #TriniTea on Instagram

In a bid to celebrate the good old cup of tea (how very British!) and to bring together the isolated community, Trinity have started sharing ‘mugshots’ by posting photos of favourite mugs or cups of the College students, staff, fellows and alumni during their coffee and tea breaks. They have used the hashtag #TriniTea to get the trend started! With a vivid image of Trinity College made entirely from tea-bags now existing in my mind, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to cycle past #TriniTea College in the same way again when I get back to Cambridge.


View this post on Instagram

#TriniTea with John, a Fellow: The wonders of technology are enabling us to stay in touch with family and loved ones in the midst of lockdown. The anniversary of VE day makes me reflect on the very different way that families were separated and reunited in May 1945. In September 1944 my grandfather sent me to a boarding Preparatory School in the Sussex Weald. I was just seven years old. Earlier that year, before D Day, I had returned to England on an aircraft carrier after four years in the USA, sent there as a refugee by grandparents who thought me too great a responsibility, my mother being dead and my father taken prisoner by the Germans in May 1940. Looking back, it must have been the night of Monday 7th May 1945. My dormitory of half a dozen seven-year olds was having a pillow fight, pushing around the floor in wicker laundry-baskets. Hearing matron’s minatory footsteps in the corridor we tumbled back into our beds. She opened the door: “Lonsdale, you’re wanted in the headmaster’s study.” “Why only me?” was my obvious thought. We went downstairs. Standing next to the headmaster was a man who said he was my father. I think we shook hands. He had been liberated a day or two earlier in north Germany. I have no idea how we spent the next day, VE day. I suppose my father had gone off to see his own father, my grandfather, who had fought in the Ashanti Relief Expedition in West Africa, in 1896. #veday #veday75 #stayhomesavelives For more TriniTea breaks click on the link in our bio

A post shared by Trinity College, Cambridge (@trincollcam) on May 8, 2020 at 7:15am PDT

Stay tuned for more good news next week!

Featured image: Pixabay.