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Our Key Worker Heroes

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Last year, millions of us took to our doorsteps every Thursday at 8pm armed with whistles, bells, pots and pans. This was, of course, in aid of ‘Clap for Carers’ – a nationwide gesture of appreciation for all NHS staff and key workers. Check out our very own Clap for Carers video.

The coronavirus pandemic rocked the world in 2020, and amid continued uncertainty, we believe it’s important to keep on saying thank you to those who are working tirelessly to help others.

We launched our Key Worker Hero competition in December and asked the public to nominate somebody who has gone above and beyond over the last year. We were inundated with responses and every single person nominated had an amazing story – we encourage you to thank any key workers you know and give them a virtual hug.

You can read the stories of our five winners below. We said thank you by sending them all a luxury Fortnum and Mason hamper worth £200.

James

Consultant Anaesthetist James wearing his red Air Ambulance jacket and smiles at the camera. .

James lives in the Midlands and works for the NHS and Air Ambulance service as a Consultant Anaesthetist. His range of different responsibilities include: operating in theatre, caring for coronavirus patients and an Air Ambulance doctor, rescuing people from major accidents.

Unfortunately, his wife is a sufferer of long-lasting Covid-19 symptoms, so James also cares for her after returning from long shifts. The life-saving care he gives both loved ones and members of the public is definitely something to recognise and reward. Thank you James for your hard work and determination!

Fred

74 year old Fred wears glasses and a black and white striped polo top whilst smiling at the camera.

Despite being high-risk himself, 74-year-old Fred makes sure people shielding in his local area are stocked up on anything they might need. Fred is a taxi driver and, since March, has been delivering groceries, medication and other essentials to vulnerable people who cannot get them themselves.

Fred voluntarily puts himself at risk every day to help others, without receiving a penny in return. It’s easy to see why people in his community see Fred as an extra special person and want to thank him for his efforts. Thank you, Fred!

Harriet

Harriet is a young woman dressed in a white jumper, denim skirt and black tights with boots. She sits on a bench in front of a lake with two boats in the background.

Harriet’s teaching journey only started relatively recently, when she was thrown in the deep end with the closure of schools due to the pandemic. With the option of doing all or nothing, like so many of our amazing key workers, Harriet chose all. She continues to spend her time putting in hard work and dedication just to benefit others.

Harriet has spent hours outside of the classroom making videos and resources for virtual platforms to help her Year Two class progress. She has worked tirelessly to ensure their education has not been affected and that they were safe when they returned to school. The children are happy and continue to produce outstanding work thanks to Harriet and her colleagues. Not content with just taking care of her class and team at school, she has also kept in close contact with parents to offer extra support. Harriet has shown unwavering resilience, compassion and commitment during this scary time. Thank you, Harriet!

Karen

78-year-old Karen smiles widely at the camera as she sits down in a grey and gold matching jacket and skirt suit.

Lots of people have been working hard to protect those in their 70s, but Karen, aged 78, chooses to put others before herself instead. Karen has worked through the pandemic as a carer in a residential care home. When the pandemic hit and most people sheltered at home, she valiantly carried on working and caring for others. When we asked why, she answered that the people she cares for still need her, and that if she could make their lives even slightly better, then her work was worthwhile.

Karen’s strength and determination is admirable and her choice to put others before herself is truly incredible. Thank you, Karen!

Jane

Jane unpacks a car, wearing a pink cardigan over a white t-shirt with the Craigshill Good Neighbour Network logo.

Jane is the manager of Craigshill Good Neighbour Network – a charity that offers outreach support to the local community. The organisation aims to provide practical help and ease social isolation and loneliness. Prior to the pandemic, Jane had been steadily creating clubs and activities to bring people together.

As the pandemic hit, Jane immediately began working with the Youth Action Project to deliver two course meals daily to vulnerable people who found themselves shielding. Jane also set up a be-friending ‘call centre’, sent out home baking kits, activity packs and even provided computers and internet to those without. It’s safe to say that residents of Craigshill in West Lothian are better off with Jane around. Thank you, Jane!

Once again, we want to thank everybody who entered the competition. We can’t wait to welcome our customers back onto our network again - our virtual tour of Britain may inspire your next trip when lockdown restrictions ease. Until then, stay safe, and continue to be kind and thank those around you who are doing brilliant things.

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