COVID-19 has proved to be an incredible challenge and restrictions during lockdowns have been particularly difficult for some people.
With families separated and freedoms restricted, thousands of people struggled to adjust to a life in isolation. But, despite these challenges, a number of special individuals across the country selflessly worked to help their communities through the crisis and played a huge role in ensuring that thousands were able to maintain their mental and physical health during lockdown.
A UK biography service, StoryTerrace, is set to publish a book to celebrate dozens of individuals across the country; dubbed the ‘Unsung Heroes’; who have been nominated for their incredible feats of kindness and selflessness in their communities.
The heroes include:
- The Bounce Bhangra Brothers: Brothers Vik and Manu, the dynamic duo behind the Bounce Bhangra team, hosted free online Bhangra fitness and dance classes every single weeknight throughout the entire lockdown.
- The woman who founded “Letters For The NHS”: Soumya set up a not-for-profit project writing and sending letters of support to key workers. After enlisting hundreds of volunteers early in the pandemic, the project has branched out to send letters and maintain correspondence with those isolated and lonely during the pandemic.
- The London bus driver who kept the capital moving: London bus Driver Moe set up Facebook and WhatsApp chat groups to help other bus drivers in London communicate safety problems, report passenger needs and pass information on workers rights.
- A Team GB canoeist who became an NHS support worker: Chloe was set to compete at the 2020 Olympic Games as a canoeist for Team GB. When the games were postponed due to coronavirus, Chloe signed up to become an NHS support worker.
- The former chef-turned social entrepreneur: Former chef, Leon Aarts, started a kitchen making meals for NHS Heroes in London at the beginning of the pandemic. With his team of volunteers, he made over 150,000 meals for NHS staff, key workers and people in need.
- Paul Wilkie – the selfless veteran delivering vital medicine: A 22-year veteran with the Royal Engineers, Paul suffers from severe PTSD, and has formed an incredible bond with his service dog, Irma, who helps him to cope with his condition. Despite his symptoms, Paul and Irma pick up vital medication for elderly or unwell people in his local community, and deliver the prescriptions on a daily basis to help those who are unable to leave their homes during the pandemic
- The 19 year old who recovered from an attack to become a frontline carer: Erin was the victim of an attack two years ago, which was filmed and went viral across social media. Erin struggled to recover from the trauma, but was introduced to boxing by a local coach who helped her to rebuild her confidence. She went on to become a frontline carer, and spent almost all of lockdown in the care home looking after people in need of support during the pandemic.
Rutger Bruining, CEO and Founder of StoryTerrace, said:
“If there’s one thing that myself and the team at StoryTerrace have learned in the lockdown, it’s that a very small group of amazing people have been able to have an incredible effect on the mental and physical wellbeing of hundreds, if not thousands of people around them.”