Leading biographer, StoryTerrace, reveals some of the UK’s ‘Unsung Heroes’ helping communities to cope
As the UK comes out of lockdown, StoryTerrace reflects on the heroes who helped us through – from the fundraisers to the frontliners of Covid-19.
In the past two months countless stories of everyday heroism and unselfish acts have not only lifted the spirits of the nation but kept communities going through some extraordinarily tough times. Unsung Heroes aims to bring to light the everyday acts of kindness that have characterised this lockdown, from saving lives to feeding a neighbour’s cat whilst communities recover
Nearly 300 nominations have revealed some truly inspiring stories from every facet of society; countless frontline workers, an MP delivering PPE, a professional chef feeding teachers and children at a local primary school and small business owners that have shifted production to PPE and scrubs for medical workers.
StoryTerrace, has launched its ‘Unsung Heroes’ campaign to motivate community members to share the stories of heroes of the COVID-19 crisis.
The national biography-writing service will be creating a book, compiling the nation’s everyday heroes and their unique stories of selflessness, and creating a website to showcase all those nominated at storyterrace.com/unsung-heroes.
Of the submissions, 25 amazing Unsung Heroes will be gifted with the final book, within which, their stories will be captured as part of a national keepsake. The submissions will use an image of the nominee alongside a small paragraph of text explaining their story posted to social media, accompanied by the hashtag #unsungheroes and collated by StoryTerrace.
The campaign allows anyone to nominate someone in their life who has gone above and beyond to help others– these could be nurses, doctors or even simply good Samaritans.
The young helper
Eight-year-old Caitlyn came up with the idea of making and selling bracelets to buy treats for keyworkers. She sold the bracelets for £1.50 and has so far raised £250 to buy 50 tulips for nurses at a memory clinic, a big box of sweets and treats for her local paramedic’s station. Throughout the lockdown, Caitlyn and her brother James walk around their village daily checking in on neighbours, picking up prescriptions and food.
Please see Caitlyn’s nomination here.
The vibrant person behind the PPE
Ali Harris is a frontline nurse from Hertfordshire who initially worked in the day surgery unit to help anaesthetise patients before being moved to the ITU during the epidemic. Since the beginning of the lockdown, she has never missed shift – cancelling holiday plans and continuing to serve patients despite having lost loved ones herself to the virus. She said that she sees her role as a nurse during this period as ‘more than just a nurse’, because ‘Covid-19 nurses become the patients’ family’, and regularly reads her patients letters from family to provide some comfort.
Please see Ali’s nomination here.
The war veteran & his dog delivering supplies to his local community
Paul Wilkie of Perth, Scotland is a decorated war hero, who served in her majesty’s armed forces for 22 years in bomb disposal and clinic warfare. He suffers from a severe post-traumatic stress disorder and other injuries from his time in the army. Paul is a volunteer for the Scone community council, and alongside his PTSD service dog, Irma, he goes out in the community daily to deliver much-needed medication and food to neighbours who are in the at-risk group. He was nominated by his carer.
See Paul’s nomination here.
The NHS volunteer paying it forward
Asif Shakoor is a volunteer with active Newham and received a recommendation from David Cameron for outstanding volunteer work during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games. After a year-long recovery from a serious car accident in 2019, Asif has become an NHS volunteer responder during the COVID-19 pandemic. He believes that he owes it to the NHS paramedics that saved his life to help them save the vulnerable during this period.
Please see Asif’s nomination here.
The charity founder helping vulnerable Londoners year-round
Andrew Faris works tirelessly to ensure that vulnerable Londoners have enough food. He is the founder of the charity, Rhythms of Life – which delivers essential supplies. Whether it is Christmas Day or the middle of a global pandemic, Andrew works tirelessly to support his community.
Please see Andrew’s nomination here.
How it Works
Anyone can nominate a hero on StoryTerrace’s website: storyterrace.com/unsung-heroes or by posting on their Instagram, Facebook or Twitter by using the #unsungheroes hashtag and @storyterrace handle. The campaign is open for entries until June 15th, and StoryTerrace will announce the selected nominees before the end of June. All the entries can be found on the website.
Rutger Bruining, CEO and Founder of StoryTerrace comments:
“As millions around the globe are currently stuck at home, many of us are feeling nostalgic and reminiscing – and at StoryTerrace, we believe that sharing stories can be one of the most therapeutic ways for us to connect in this difficult time.”
“Through StoryTerrace, I have learned that above all, that a sense of community is vital for our mental health and wellbeing—and preserving and reminiscing on our own life stories is so important to our happiness. Documenting memories and the emotions attached to them allow us to share and reminisce on our personal tales – and everyone has a story worth sharing.”
StoryTerrace has previously made the first part of their service (a tailored questionnaire) available for anyone stuck at home who would like to get started on their life story for free. But having been overwhelmed by the acts of kindness and selflessness from around the country during this time, they have decided to pay tribute to these heroes through the ‘Unsung Heroes’ campaign.
StoryTerrace is a company which connects everyday people with professional ghost-writers, meaning that everyone can have their life story, or the life stories of their loved ones, documented in a professionally curated autobiography, biography or series of memoirs. They have a network of 600 professional writers worldwide, many of whom are critically acclaimed, and provide a range of packages to suit each individual life story.