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Now Liverpool ONE has decided it’s time to shine a spotlight on them and say a big thanks for all their efforts.
It asked shoppers to nominate the people who have made a difference in their community, their street or anywhere it’s really been needed.
So many heart-warming stories were highlighted, including neighbours who delivered groceries to people struggling in lockdown, those who helped young mums with new babies, and others who found creative ways to fundraise for charity.
“It’s been an unusual and challenging year, but the community spirit has been shining brighter than ever,” says Silvia Morelli at Liverpool ONE. “The nominations we received are proof of the big hearts of the people of Liverpool.”
Here are just some of the Community Heroes who have proved what a big heart our city has …
Harry, who has William’s Syndrome, was nominated by Rhiannon. As an active member of Comics Youth creative community and Alder Hey Patient Forum, Harry has been involved in creating a newspaper team focused on highlighting the rights of children, and had an input on key initiatives at Alder Hey including developing and designing hand washing, outpatient support, and flu campaigns.
“He is passionate about making positive changes in the NHS to better support children like him,” says Rhiannon. “He has a wonderful heart.”
Harry wanted to make sure other kids have a good experience at the hospital and, because he likes writing, help those with a learning disability to have their voice heard. He says spending time with people and being there for them is key to lighting up Christmas. “Ask your family and friends how they are coping in lockdown and really listen to what they say. Also asking “Alexa” to play ‘fart music’ will make people laugh!”
Denise, who has worked as a Community Development Officer in Norris Green for nearly 13 years, was nominated by Hannah and Jo. She has been organising food parcels for Norris Green and surrounding areas as well as running activities for local children and pensioners. She also arranges the Norris Green carnival and firework display each year.
“This lady does so much for the community and other organisations but doesn’t shout it from the rooftops,” say Hannah and Jo. “We think she deserves a medal.”
Since March 2020, Denise has been involved in putting together food packs/parcels for the most vulnerable families, children and adults living in Norris Green, and helping with deliveries.
With the usual Shoebox of Love appeal unable to go ahead due to Covid, Denise is now getting together Christmas donations for families and children in need. “People’s faces just light up, they are so grateful it’s humbling,” she says.
Colin set up Liverpool Football Therapy in 2019, with the aim of using football to help people experiencing poor mental health. From originally running one session per week, he expanded this to three after the first lockdown and now supports nearly 70 participants alongside managing his own bipolar and anxiety.
“He is there for all those that attend Liverpool FT, pretty much 24/7,” says Michelle, who nominated him.
Colin first got involved in volunteering back in 2012, with Everton in the Community’s Imagine Your Goals programme, because he felt he was ready to give back to the community. Since he launched LFT, the team has played at home and across Europe and Colin says he’s been inspired by everyone taking part. “They are all on a mental ill health journey and I want to do all I can to support them through playing football as well as creating an opportunity to improve their social and emotional wellbeing,” he adds.
Charlie is the Musical Director of St Edmund’s Choir in Waterloo (SEMusic) – a fantastic free choir with no auditions, and 60 members! He was nominated by Rachel who says he’s helped to bring the local community together, keeping them connected and allowing them to access music which is free, fun and for everyone.
During lockdown, Charlie broadcast weekly on Facebook, keeping members in touch, and organised virtual performances which raised money for the NHS.
“When the pandemic hit, we had events planned and had to cancel them,” he says. “I knew there were a group of people who were missing music making, and their motivation to do something inspired me to create a video series, music resources for children and virtual rehearsals and performances.
“I might be the person nominated as a hero, but the choir are all heroes for inspiring me to keep the music flowing.”
To read more Liverpool ONE Community Heroes stories, go to the website: https://www.liverpool-one.com/community-heroes-stories/
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