A Celebration of Our Unsung Local Heroes
The Proviz Local Heroes Competition
Last month we ran a competition on our Facebook page to celebrate the courage, empathy and hard work of ordinary people who are going above and beyond to help people at this difficult time. The response we received was an incredible out-pouring of gratitude for everything from grand gestures to small yet significant acts of support. These people may not make a history book or a news headline, but we thought we’d give a few of them a mention on our blog, so that they know that what they do is appreciated.
Getting to Know Some of the Carers we Clap
“This Key Working Hero works tirelessly in a pharmacy & has been under increased pressure during this awful time, as well as being a wonderful full-time mummy.” - Michelle Louise, nominating her friend Nikki Drysdale
Since the early stages of the coronavirus crisis, we have been going out on a Thursday evening and clapping our hands numb and banging our finest saucepans in support of the NHS staff working to save lives on the front line. We knew that a lot of the entries to our competition would be from proud spouses, parents, children and friends of frontline NHS workers. What we weren’t really expecting was the perspective that so many name checks gives to what we are all doing on a Thursday evening, when we go out and cheer and whoop on our doorsteps. Clapping a concept is one thing; having a whole list of names of NHS workers and reading their individual stories is quite another.
From emergency paramedic Oliver Coffey and Channelle Amber Gowland (above), working on the heart and lung transplant retrieval team at Freeman Hospital, to radiographer Declan Fearon and ICU nurse Mary Meade in Drogheda, so many healthcare workers were recognised by their nearest and dearest and celebrated on our page.
The Unsung Heroes in Our Community
But NHS workers were not the only ones getting nominated for their hard work. Supermarket workers (such as Tracey Roberts’ daughter, Chloe Jade, nominated above), delivery drivers, over-worked post men and women and charity volunteers working with the vulnerable all featured in this roll call of normal people who are working tirelessly to maintain the basic infrastructure of the country while we stay at home to flatten the curve of coronavirus infections. Even those of us confined to our homes can be heroic, as all the shout outs to mums acing home schooling proved.
This crisis is providing an unprecedented opportunity for ordinary people and businesses to do good things for others in quiet yet significant ways. Food companies as large and Dominoes Pizza and as small as your local bakery are giving free food to NHS workers, neighbours are stepping up to help the vulnerable in their communities and teachers (such as Samantha Glenn) are going above and beyond to support their students at home.
It Takes a Village…
All over the country, local heroes of lockdown are being recognised in print and online media. The winner selected for our competition, Andrew Neill, represents a group of people who are often over-looked in our celebrations of lockdown heroes; the family and friend support networks of our frontline workers, without whom they would not be able to get up and do what they do every day. Andrew is married to NHS pharmacist, Mhairi, who nominated him for the little things he regularly does, such as run her a post-work bath, cook her dinner and go running with her, which help her get up each day to face the crazy world of pharmacy.
Stay-at-Home Heroes of Lockdown
We think it is also worth giving a bit of respect to everyone who is abiding by government social distancing rules and staying home in an attempt to keep all our hospitals from getting overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases. We are not standing on the frontline and putting ourselves in danger each day, but just sitting on the sofa and catching up on a few box sets is actually helping to facilitate the valuable efforts of our key workers. If we didn’t, we would risk our heroes becoming martyrs unnecessarily and our daily death toll would far, far higher than it is currently. So well done for taking the opportunity watching every series of Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones – we salute that sofa-based heroism too!
Thank You For Making Us Smile
We would also like to say a big thank you everyone who is channelling their comedy genius into making us laugh during lockdown. From the person who aced social distancing and went to Waitrose in a zorb ball, to Scottish schoolboy Campbell Smith’s poem about the challenges of being stuck at home indefinitely, these snippets of humour make our eternal Sundays feel that bit more enjoyable.
Sporting Heroes Great and Small
And finally, as a sports company, we’d like to recognise the efforts of all the fitness professionals who have taken their classes online to help us stay active during lockdown – Joe Wicks is not the only person breaking a sweat to camera to help us workout in the great indoors! We are also inspired all the professional athletes who cannot compete at the moment and who are impressing us, either with the innovative ways they are continuing their training or by taking on crazy challenges to raise money for charitable causes.
No one would have chosen the situation we find ourselves in, but by applauding the optimism, resilience and determination shown by so many, we can fend off the fear and anxiety and start to see a bit of light at the end of the lockdown tunnel.
Don’t Miss Our FB Lives
Keep an eye out for our FB lives with some of our competition entrants over the bank holiday weekend – they will give you a real insight into the personalities behind the posts.