The year has almost come to an end but, if you have been jaded by negative news stories these past 12 months, Bill Gates should cheer you up.

The Microsoft co-founder and billionaire has collated a series of inspirational stories and tweets of things that happened in 2017 to end the year on a positive note. He said: "There's no denying that 2017 was a really tough year... but it also delivered some amazing moments of hope and progress."

Gates began by sharing the story of Edwardo Sanchez, who tweeted in May that he was the first person to graduate from college, with a photo of himself in his graduation robes. Gates said: "Congratulations, Edwardo!"

Next, he shared a news story from The Express Tribune in Pakistan heralding the fact that Bollywood was putting a spotlight on India's sanitation challenge with a new film called Toilet, a Love Story. Gates praised the fact it had educated audiences on the crisis, which sees one in 10 deaths in India linked to poor hygiene.

In June, the World Health Organisation confirmed that Bhutan and Maldives had both officially eliminated measles. They were the first countries in their region of south east Asia to totally eliminate the highly infectious disease, one of the leading causes of child deaths around the world, after introducing effective immunisation programmes around 40 years ago.

Gates also praised this year's winner of the World Food Prize, Dr. Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina, who said he would use his prize money to establish a fund providing grants to African youths involved in agriculture.

Adesina said: "The World Food Prize gives me greater zeal to feed Africa and end hunger in our world. No resting until we succeed!"

Next on Gates' inspirational list was a New York Times report about research showing "doing good for others helps those who give as well as those who receive". The piece, written in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey flooding parts of Texas, Hurricanes Irma and Maria causing destruction in the Caribbean and wildfires ripping through northern California, looked at the positive effects of people coming together after such disasters.

Ichiro Kawachi, a professor of social epidemiology at Harvard's School of Public Health, said: "Voluntarism is good for the health of people who receive social support, but also good for the health of people who offer their help."

Finally, Gates looked at the new "sport" of extreme reading in England, a movement that got reluctant children reading. He shared a tweet congratulating a six-year-old who won an extreme reading competition with a photo of himself reading a book underwater, and even a picture of himself kissing a sea lion with a book balanced on his lap.

Gates concluded by saying: "These tweets made me feel better about 2017 and more optimistic about the new year. I hope they make you feel more hopeful, too."

Many thanked him for creating the list; one Twitter user said: "It's good to see the positive instead of only focusing on the bad things. Really appreciate."

See the full heartwarming Twitter thread here: