Uplifting stories of 2022: Hollywood star in supermarket and origami masterpiece

Here is a look at some of the most uplifting stories of the year.

Danielle Desouza
Sunday 25 December 2022 00:01 GMT
Juho Konkkola with his origami creation (Juho Konkkola/PA)
Juho Konkkola with his origami creation (Juho Konkkola/PA) (PA Media)

There were several uplifting moments in 2022, ranging from a Hollywood star seen “mooching around” the biscuit aisle of a British supermarket to an origami masterpiece made with one sheet of paper.

Here is a look at some of the PA news agency’s top picks from across the year.

– Finnish origami artist creates masterpiece using one sheet of paper

Juho Konkkola, from Jyvaskyla, completed a two-year project in January after 109 hours of folding to create a piece depicting two sword-wielding knights engaged in battle.

The masterpiece was folded from September 2021 to January 2022 and required 5,377 individual creases.

The finished work had no cuts or tears. If it were unfolded, it would revert to a square piece of paper.

Mr Konkkola described the process as “very therapeutic” and added that it was a “delight to see people show their interest or appreciation”.

“It motivates me to keep on going,” he said.

John Travolta stuns shoppers in Morrisons

Grease star John Travolta surprised shoppers in a Norfolk supermarket in April when he was spotted casually “mooching around the digestive biscuits”.

Sam Frary and her husband Kevin were “just going about (their) normal shop” at the Morrisons in Fakenham when she turned to see Travolta, who was thought to be filming a short movie in West Raynham.

“I looked and said, ‘That’s … John Travolta!’, but (Kevin) didn’t believe me,” Ms Frary, a customer service adviser from Sculthorpe, Norfolk, told PA.

“He was just mooching around the digestive biscuits and most shoppers didn’t have a clue who they were standing next to.”

She added that he was “so approachable and friendly”.

– Man who has attended every Glastonbury since 1978 recalls his fondest memories

Some people have locations that will always hold a special place in their hearts, which seems to be the case for HGV driver Ben Rogers, who has attended every Glastonbury Festival since 1978.

Mr Rogers still lives just seven miles from the site, in Wells, Somerset, and attended the event in June this year with his son Harry and daughter Grace, both of whom have gone annually since they were born.

“I think it’s a tradition that will stay in my family forever,” he told PA.

One of Mr Rogers’s earliest memories includes lasers emitting from the Pyramid Stage, and he said the best performance was David Bowie in 2000.

“It was just stunning, (it’s) hard to put into words,” he said.

– Ukrainian refugees get a taste of their previous lives thanks to bike charity

The Bike Project takes second-hand or abandoned cycles, mends them and gives them to refugees and asylum seekers living in London and Birmingham. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, many Ukrainians who fled to the UK benefited from the charity’s work.

Kateryna Herych, who fled Kyiv on April 26 with her daughter Daniella Googe, told PA that the Bike Project had given them the chance to “have a taste of our previous life”.

“We cycled every weekend just for fun (in Ukraine) and I usually used a bike to commute to my job, so when we came here we missed that time and the Bike Project gave us the opportunity to have a taste of our previous life,” she said.

– Man hopes to become professional footballer through UK migrants team

The Euros and World Cup have dominated much of the news this year, with many speaking about how much football means to them – including Ussri Badawi, who fled the war in Sudan and came to the UK in 2018.

In August, he spoke to PA about his hopes of becoming a professional footballer, spurred on by his involvement in a migrant football team.

Mr Badawi said he “faced dangerous situations” getting to the UK, including sitting between the wheels of a travelling lorry, before seeking support from Changing Lives FC – a football team comprised of refugees and migrants.

“I just came across to train because I didn’t know of any football teams that I could train with, and I have been here for three years now,” he said.

“The team really means a lot because it has multicultural players from different countries.

“We all know ourselves we don’t have perfect English, so we can communicate well and that might not happen with other teams, and it makes you think you could become a professional footballer.”

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