Golden Oldie to Exceptional Pet — we reveal our Hail Your Heroes award winners

AS Covid-19 battered the country this year, we have all pulled together to help each other in the most extraordinary ways.

Every week, The Sun on Sunday asked you to Hail Your Heroes and share stories of kindness and helpfulness that deserved special thanks.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

PM Boris Johnson backed our campaign and said he too had been moved by the actions of the public, from NHS heroes and care-home staff to selfless neighbours and bin men.

Today we reveal winners of our Hail Your Heroes awards, who get £500 each.

We also congratulate every one of you who helped make the nation proud.

MOST CARING CHILD

ENERGETIC Clarissa Greenfield, six, devoted herself to delivering colourful bundles of happiness to neighbours.

She posted more than 600 handmade pom-pom key rings through letterboxes near her home in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leics. Clarissa told The Sun on Sunday: “I felt sad because people couldn’t see their families.”

Mum Felicity added: “Each pom-pom was delivered with a handwritten message, like ‘Rainbows come after the storm’. I’m so proud of her for winning this award.”

EXCEPTIONAL PET

FORMER children’s nurse Katie Lloyd and her blind therapy cat Carrots gave cuddles to hospice patients.

Katie, 41, from Bradford, has run a cat rescue centre for 14 years and saved Carrots in 2016 while enduring brain tumour treatment.

She said: “Connecting to those patients in the hospice was more valuable than ever.

“To feel alone when you’re terminally ill must be awful. People ask how Carrots can see without eyes, and I say, ‘He sees with his heart’.”

Katie is using her prize money to feed the 80 cats she rescued during lockdown at Bradford Cat Watch.
She added: “I’m so grateful to The Sun on Sunday for this fantastic award. The prize will keep the rescue centre afloat.”

CARE HOME WORKERS

FIFTEEN angels moved to a care home to protect its 25 vulnerable residents, aged between 79 and 98.

Manager Diane Vale, 54, and her staff lived in caravans and attic rooms at The Old Hall, Spilsby, Lincs, until the peak of the pandemic’s first wave passed.

Diane said: “Hearing about deaths in care homes fright-ened us. We think of our residents like our parents or grandparents. It was the very least we could do for them.

“We converted a lounge into a pub and had constant parties with the residents. And we stayed Covid-free. It’s amazing to be recognised for this award. We’ll spend the prize money on another party.”

MILITARY MIGHT

FORMER Royal Engineers Sapper Tim Wright led a team of 20 ex-soldiers to build a free onsite super-market for NHS staff at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals in London. Tim, 30, is part of charity RE:ACT, a volunteer task force that usually heads into disaster zones around the world.

When hospitals were in- undated with food donations, they struggled to cope. Tim, of Southampton, said: “We repurposed a marquee to organise donations and allow staff to pick up parcels to save them having to shop.

“Their jobs were really taking their toll, so it was fantastic to provide support. The team was predominantly military veterans. It’s great to have our work recognised by The Sun on Sunday.”

SCHOOL SUPERSTAR

PRIMARY school assistant head Zane Powles, 48, walked more than 550 miles, at nearly seven miles every day, so pupils got their free meals. Many would not have had a decent meal without his efforts, and he also gave out homework and checked in on the most vulnerable.

He delivered 7,500 meals to kids in Grimsby, carrying rucksacks on both his back and front, and strapping bin bags to his sides so crisps were not crushed.

Zane, who has been awarded an MBE, said: “They were waiting at the windows for me and would get really excited. I’m thrilled to win this award. The money will go towards more food for hungry kids.”

GOLDEN OLDIE

A 91-year-old gran did her bit by clapping truckers as they kept the country moving.

Eva Bowers, from Brigg, North Lincs, used her daily exercise to walk to a bridge over the M180, where she applauded and waved at hauliers as a way of saying thank you.

Eva, a Land Girl during World War Two, said: “I got fresh air and gave joy to truckers as they went past.

“They’d hoot and wave. It made my day.”

Eva’s granddaughter, Sarah Bowers, said: “She liked to go and wave as she couldn’t see any friends or family. She never expected to win an award, so this is great.”

SEWING BEES

PROMPTED by the national campaign For The Love Of Scrubs, which called on sewing enthusiasts to make PPE for NHS frontline staff, seamstresses Abi Crowley and Sarah Fletcher organised their own team of volunteers.

Between them they sourced 2,000 metres of cloth, 140 kilometres of thread and 500 metres of waistband tape to produce more than 500 sets of theatre scrubs, 99 head-bands and 277 laundry bags.

Sarah, 42, from Bedford, said: “It was a full-time job, from March until July. I feel proud of all our hard work.”

SUPER NURSE

RONA CORONEL was nominated by her new in-laws. They were impressed after Rona, 32, cut short her honeymoon to go back to work on the Florence Nightingale respiratory ward at Basildon Hospital, Essex, after marrying Matthew, 34, a finance manager, in March.

Rona said: “I’ve worked as a ward sister for six years so I knew that lockdown would be very challenging on the front line.

“We didn’t know what we were dealing with. I feel genuinely happy to be appreciated by The Sun on Sunday in these awards. It’s a great honour.”

TOP DOC

Dr Mayank Agarwal was advised to shield during the initial Covid lockdown as he has a lung condition.

But he risked his own health to help his most vulnerable patients at Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, South London.

His wife Chandni and their children Ayaan, 14, and Aadi, ten, begged him to stay home but the 47-year-old insisted on using his medical skills to save lives.

He told The Sun on Sunday: “My team needed me. I wanted to do some-thing meaningful so decided to tackle it head on.” His father died at the height of the pandemic’s first wave but he was unable to travel to India and had to watch his dad’s struggles on FaceTime from his home in Tadworth, Surrey. He added: “My father was a GP and was still seeing patients who turned up at his door two days before he died.

“Although it was a huge personal loss, he inspired me to keep helping others.

“I will share this Hail Your Heroes honour with the whole team.”

MASK MAKER

Finn Yore, 12, was the youngest of an army of 3D home printer owners who created vital PPE from their bedrooms.

Finn, of Lissarda, Cork, had a factory line making masks for key workers. He would produce around 15 sets a day. Dad Bernard, 45, bought Finn a 3D printer last Christmas to share his passion for engineering.

Finn said: “I was part of a group of 250 volunteers printing masks. They were all doing a good thing, not just me. It felt good to make other people happy.

“Winning a Hail Your Heroes Award was a shock.”

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