Whether it’s helping a neighbour or a friend in need, Brits love doing kind things for others and the embracing the sense of community spirit that comes with it.
The coronavirus pandemic has been a challenge for everyone, but one thing we can be proud of is the relentlessness of our key workers and the people who have done all they can to be there for others.
In celebration of raising nearly £450,000 for its charity partner 52 Lives, Gala Bingo has launched a competition to highlight the kind things that people have been doing for their friends, family or even strangers.
52 Lives is a kindness charity that changes someone’s life for the better every single week of the year, whether that’s paying for medical equipment or supporting local communities.
After four years of donations and special charity games, the bingo site decided they wanted to celebrate acts of kindness across the UK.
The nationwide competition, which closes on Friday May 28, will crown a lucky winner with a £100 Love2Shop voucher.
Here are some of the loveliest stories that have been entered so far:
Julie Garrett, from Sheerness
As well as donating food to those in need, Julie was a surrogate for her cousin.
“My cousin and her husband couldn’t conceive themselves, so I was a surrogate for them. I have done many things over the years, but this is the kindest thing I have ever done,” Julie said.
Anthony Green, from Chester nominated his wife, Marie
Marie looks after her elderly parents and Anthony wanted to celebrate her dedication in doing so.
“Despite working full time, Marie visits her parents every day to get them up and ready, preps their meals and then returns after work in the evening and does it all with a smile on her face and a spring in her step,” says Anthony.
“She even shops for their elderly neighbour – we all love how selfless she is.”
Aruni Yapa, from London
Aruni organised a free professional photoshoot to cheer up a friend.
“My friend is going through a stressful divorce, so I decided to cheer her up by doing a photoshoot with her, her family and their dog” Aruni explains.
“We went to the local woods and had an amazing time. It really lifted her spirits and got her out of her shell, and it was heart-warming to see her beautiful smile again.”
Cheryl Price, from the Isle of Man, entered for her mum
Cheryl entered her mum who has been raising money for Cancer Research for over 20 years.
“My mum had a full mastectomy and is still going through chemotherapy. She is the strongest, most amazing woman I know. She is always smiling and making others smile and is known in my hometown as the queen of hearts,” says Cheryl.
“She’s always raising money for cancer research and has done that for over 20 years by opening her house for tea, cakes and raffles with donations from businesses and people from all over the island.”
Tamsin Pritchard, from Bristol
Tasmin has been baking gingerbread biscuits in the shape of police officers for her partner to take to work.
She says: “My partner is a response police officer and works with 16 other people who all enjoy the gingerbread biscuits with a cuppa during a long shift!”
Martin Wood, from Truro
Martin worked with a youth club for people with learning difficulties .
Martin said: “I recruited a volunteer football coach who could work with those who liked the sport. This then turned into a whole disabled football team affiliated with a local semi-professional club. It’s one of my proudest things to be part of.”
Allan Fullarton, from Washington, Tyne and Wear
Since the pandemic started, Allan has has been walking his vulnerable neighbour’s dog.
“My neighbour is scared to leave the house at this present time, so I’ve been helping out by walking his dog,” Allan said.
Hayley Mcglasson, from Merseyside
Hayley decided she wanted to help someone else start a family by freezing her embryos.
“I gave up the chance to expand my family and donated my remaining frozen embryos to a couple who couldn’t conceive,” she said.
Tracey Ashburn, from London
Tracey who has won multiple prizes including for theatre and meals has been giving her prizes to her friends and family.
“I won prizes for theatres, shows and meals, I was able to send one friend to Chelsea Flower show, and another to the theatre. It’s such a great feeling giving someone a surprise,” Tracey said.
Laura Shepherd, from Dundee
Laura decided to offer her services to help the NHS last year.
“I was furloughed so did some part time work for the NHS. As I wasn’t working, I thought why not do something helpful to everyone and I loved every minute of it,” Laura said.
Karina Adrian, Head of Brand Marketing and Partnerships at Gala Bingo, said: “It is so nice and heartwarming to hear such positive stories of how people are helping others and making the lives of their friends, colleagues, neighbours and even strangers that little bit better.
“It is even more uplifting to see so many entrants nominating others for the prize – it really shows a community spirit.
“Though most of these people deserve rewards for their lovely acts and kindness, there can only be one winner, so don’t miss the chance to tell your story and enter the competition!”
To learn more, and for a chance to win a £100 Love2Shop voucher, you can share your stories of kindness on Gala’s competition website.
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