Richard and his wife - both long standing volunteers at Fulwell Community Library - created comprehensive Covid support plans to help those in need within their local community. At the beginning of lockdown, they both fell seriously ill with the virus and Richard lost his wife to Covid. Despite his loss, he continued to lead the team of volunteers at Fulwell Community Library - the heart of the local community - determined to deliver the Covid support the couple had planned together.
Throughout lockdown, Christine became the heart of her local community. Every day, she took time out to support those in need within her community. From picking up and delivering shopping to taking calls from those who felt lonely and just needed to chat. To help cheer everyone up, Christine posted about her daily walks on Facebook and was always offering ways to help others. Her energy, drive and commitment to supporting others is truly inspiring. Thanks to her daily acts of kindness, which still continue today, she brought the community together and helped spread some positivity.
MD Mominul Hamid
MD Mominul Hamid - an asylum seeker, studying Law in a Scholarship at Northumbria University - set up MD's Little help Food Bank at the beginning of the pandemic. Alongside other volunteers, MD delivered essentials on his bike to vulnerable asylum seekers across the West End of Newcastle throughout lockdown. Today he continues to volunteer at Covid vaccination clinics and play an instrumental role in encouraging others from the refugee and asylum seeker community, and the Bangladeshi community, to get vaccinated. He is a truly inspirational community champion who has and continues to give so much to communities right across Newcastle.
North Tyneside’s Winner
When the pandemic hit, Pamela created a Covid informational comms hub for her church group. She sent out daily emails covering the latest local news, Covid updates and community events. Today her Covid hub mailing list includes over 120 members and counting. Determined to continue helping people however she could, Pamela also set up a mobile bookshop. She turned her whole house into a warehouse of books. Anyone could request a book in exchange for a small donation which was passed onto the local church. She now makes around 50 house calls per week whilst being the carer for her husband. Pamela is a kind and inspirational woman who has touched the lives of many within her local community.
South Tyneside’s Winner
A pub landlord at Perth Avenue’s, Red Hackle, Lee was forced to close the doors in March 2020. Overnight he went from pulling pints to preparing home-cooked meals and delivering them to vulnerable residents in his local community - all free of charge. When a local food bank needed premises, Lee welcomed the volunteers to use his pub as their base. Despite the challenges his business faced he was committed to ensuring he could do all he could to continue to support his local community.
County Durham’s Winner
During lockdown, Alfie used money that he’d saved for his birthday to buy supplies to create coronavirus “survival packs” - full of chocolate, colouring pages and other helpful items which he delivered to youngsters across County Durham.
Known locally as ‘Alf the Kid’, he handed out over 1,000 packs during the pandemic by using his weekly pocket money to keep the project going, and thanks to donations from the local community. The Academy at Shotton Hall pupil also created special VE Day bags for care home residents and to this day is continuing to do all he can to support others. Through his many acts of kindness, Alfie has shown that no matter what your age, you can make a difference.
At the beginning of lockdown, the mum of two created a Facebook Covid support group for the four villages around Ellington. The group is still running today and has over 700 members. With Kischa at its engine, the group shared local and Covid updates, initiated psychological and home education support as well as delivering shopping and food parcels to vulnerable residents by joining up with existing local initiatives.
Even though there can be only seven winners - one from each local authority area - the below nominees are all inspirational people. Thank you for your acts of kindness.