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Friendly Faces competition: Winners announced!

14th December 2020

Friendly faces winners

Last month we launched our Friendly Faces competition, where we asked people across the UK to nominate a special someone in their community who has done something amazing or thoughtful during the nationwide lockdown earlier in the year.

We received so many brilliant entries throughout the competition - from community members making others smile through their windows, to kind-hearted individuals leaving essential goods on doorsteps for those in need - we’ve been absolutely blown away by the heart-warming things people have been doing over the course of the year, and we’re so excited to announce our three winners!

As a way of saying a big thank you to them for all the kindness they’ve so selflessly shown in their communities, we’re congratulating each of our winners with a £250 Love2shop voucher to treat themselves to something lovely!

So without further ado, meet our amazing three winners...

Congratulations to Annmarie Quinn from Glasgow:

Annmarie Quinn from Glasgow

Sharon from Cardowan Stepps nominated Annmarie Quinn for her amazing commitment to making sure everyone in her community didn’t go hungry over the lockdown, delivering essentials to the elderly and teaming up with the local Co-op to ensure no food went to waste.

“Annemarie is our local hero. She helped form the Cardowan Community Meadow and during lockdown, she and her team helped in delivering fruit to people in the community every Wednesday - which then led to her team delivering soup bread and homemade smoothies to the elderly in the community to ensure each one had something to eat during tough times. She arranged for butter, bread, milk and eggs to be delivered to the elderly on a Tuesday to ensure they had essentials. Annemarie didn’t stop there, she teamed up with the local Co-op with food that was going past its sell-by date to be delivered in the back of the van to everyone in the community at night to go out to see if they could use anything to ensure no one in the community had gone without at such hard times.

“Annemarie and her team truly deserve some recognition for this during lockdown as she brought her local community together through tough times also organising a small club for the local kids over the summer holidays - something I have never seen in the community over the years. So please let this community give something back to Annemarie and her team as a small token of our appreciation to them during very hard and trying times and I’m sure I speak on behalf of everyone in the Cardowan Community Meadow”

Annmarie was blown away by Sharon’s nomination and gave a special shoutout to her peers at Cardowan Community Meadow for their collective efforts in keeping their community safe.

“How heartwarming that Sharon has taken the time to nominate me, I am truly honored. We are a small community group set up to save precious green space from housing developments, and to promote health and wellbeing connecting with nature. Due to the pandemic, we had to evolve very quickly to tend to those in need of that extra support, helped by youth volunteers that brought not only the deliveries but vital human connections and a friendly smiling face.

“None of this would have been possible without community donations and local business support, and the many many hours given freely by the volunteers. It has been an absolute pleasure to connect with our community and to help others in what has been a difficult year for all. We at Cardowan Community Meadow will continue to do all we can for the betterment of all.”

Congratulations to Chris Kelly from Liverpool:

Chris Kelly from Liverpool

Lynn from Liverpool was eager to nominate Chris Kelly for our Friendly Faces competition, speaking highly of the ways he’s helped keep their community together over the course of this year.

“Chris has brought our whole community together and during the last lockdown and this, he is finding ways for people to keep in touch with each other, helping each other, looking out for each other and finding ways to brighten up our local children's day whilst they are stuck at home. Before Covid, he was also bringing people together to brighten up our local area, litter picking etc.

“He is also always the first to offer to help if someone is in trouble or organise the community to rally around when someone needs help. He is amazing. He recently brought the community together to help a young mum who was run over getting out of the hospital by getting the equipment needed to make her home comfortable as the hospital would not let her home without this. He also raised money for the young mum and her family.

“He is a community superstar that binds us all together into a cohesive, caring, sharing community. During lockdown, he has organised a group of people to dress up as Peppa pig and Toy Story characters and walk around the streets waving at the children who watch though their windows, and he goes out of his way to arrange birthday surprises for the young children who can not celebrate their birthdays with their friends because of Covid. He is amazing.”

Chris was taken aback by how his efforts have touched the community so much, from what started out as his own mission to now having so much support.

“I would like to say that it's fantastic to find out I have won this competition, it's been amazing to see how one person stepping up, can get the support of so many others who want to get involved and keep our communities safe.

“Community events started with dressing up as easter bunnies at the beginning of lockdown and delivering over 900 easter eggs to doorsteps of local children. We continued with the dressing up most weekends just to see the joy on people’s faces and then went on to get over 15 local streets involved in street bingo, street exercise, clean ups and VE day celebrations. The list of things we did as a community is truly endless, including organising food bank donations and free packed lunches for local kids right through the holidays.”

Congratulations to Dawn Hitchen from Bolton:

Dawn Hitchen from Bolton

Dawn was nominated by Carol who has been blown away with the sheer dedication she has shown to making people smile.

“By her very nature, Dawn is one of the sunniest people you will ever meet. Throughout lockdown, she has been incredibly generous with her time. A ray of joy in what has otherwise been a challenging and often depressing time.

“We can’t fathom how she fits it all in, but here are some of the things we appreciate about Dawn; as a member of our local Church, Dawn writes and distributes a weekly newsletter - but we know for a fact she goes above and beyond in this typically administrative duty. More like a magazine, Dawn spends hours carefully crafting content that she knows the readers will love and appreciate. She also has a huge list of people that she calls regularly for a chat, and even if we can’t all be together in person, Dawn helps us all to feel connected.

“If you’re unable to walk your dog, Dawn will do it. If you need a hearty meal, Dawn will make it and deliver it to your doorstep (she’s an excellent cook on top of everything else)! If you’ve got a hospital appointment and not sure how to get there, Dawn will organise safe transport. If you need groceries but are unable to make it to the supermarket, Dawn will deliver what you need.

“This lady stops at nothing to make sure those in our local area are loved, safe and fed. In addition to this (yes, there’s more!) Dawn is incredibly kind and thoughtful. She’s always surprising people with cards and gifts, sometimes for no reason at all other than to brighten up someone’s day. A beautiful person inside and out, Dawn has worked tirelessly throughout the year to help others. She won’t see it that way, but we wanted her to be recognised for all her hard work and for making our local community a brighter place.”

Dawn was thrilled to be a successful nominee for the competition, expressing how important it has been to make people smile, especially throughout hard times.

“I am honoured to have been nominated for this award and am delighted, and a little taken aback, to have been selected as a finalist for this wonderful accolade. It is really important for me to try to have a positive attitude to life and show kindness to everyone I see or speak to. I feel humbled that my attempt, and that of others around me, to spread a little happiness, a dose of good cheer, and to share our faith, our hope and our love with our community, has been recognised in this way. Thank you.”

Thank you!

We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate somebody in their lives, and most importantly, to those who have worked so hard to make people in their local community feel safe and happy over the last year!

It has been incredible to hear the lengths these special individuals have gone to in making sure their community survives through the daily struggles that have been thrown at them - it certainly hasn't gone unnoticed.

That being said, unfortunately, not everyone has been so lucky to have someone brighten up their day; with many people sadly experiencing feelings of loneliness throughout lockdown. Therefore, as part of this campaign, we will also be donating £2,500 to a charity that offers support to anyone who needs to talk, in order to show our appreciation and raise awareness.

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