Search is on for region's Covid heroes

Nominations are being sought for those who have gone above and beyond during the coronavirus pandemic.

Monday, 20th September 2021, 8:00 am
Amanda Healy, chair of the Association of Directors of Public Health North East and Director of Public Health for County Durham.

BeatCovidNE has launched the Covid Acts of Kindness Community Award celebrating outstanding individuals in local communities across the region.

Residents can submit a nomination to shine a light on those who have raised money, donated time, or rallied communities to recognise their acts of kindness and to say ‘thank you’.

The Covid Acts of Kindness Community Award will be awarded to one outstanding individual in each of the seven North East local authority areas.

Holly Turner, a sister on the respiratory support unit at Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital, will be one of the judges.

The awards coincide with a new regional campaign, launched this week on TV and radio, encouraging North Easterners to keep doing all they can to protect each other from Covid as the winter months approach and NHS pressures mount.

Amanda Healy, chair of the Association of Directors of Public Health North East and Director of Public Health for County Durham, said: “Every single person across the region has been affected by Covid in some way.

"From living through lockdowns to working on the frontline, it’s been challenging for everyone.

“We want to celebrate and thank the people of the North East who truly embody the region’s renowned goodwill.

Amii Stewart, a Neighbourhood Beat Manager with Northumbria Police, will be a judge.

"Those who have gone above and beyond to help others with compassionate acts of kindness throughout the pandemic.

"It’s thanks to those Covid heroes in each community that the region has been able to move forward.

“Perhaps you know of someone who walked dogs or did pet-sitting. Picked up shopping and prescriptions. Entertained and inspired young people. Encouraged or ran online education or exercise online. Offered companionship and care.

"There are hundreds of small ways North Easterners have helped each other and we want to hear from you.

“With your help, we can shine a light on the wonderful acts of Covid kindness local people have carried out during the pandemic; supporting neighbours, families, friends and communities

”The new campaign and awards also remind us that Covid is still circulating in our communities and in some cases those who are catching it are becoming seriously ill, or developing long-term health problems such as Long Covid.

"It’s important we remember these small acts of kindness – such as wearing face coverings in crowded places and isolating if we test positive – to protect each other and those at risk.”

Amanda Healy is joined on the judging panel by the Reverend Canon Michael Everitt, at Durham Cathedral plus Holly Turner, a sister on the respiratory support unit at Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital, and, Amii Stewart, a Neighbourhood Beat Manager with Northumbria Police.

Amii said: “I’m delighted to be part of the Covid Acts of Kindness Awards. It’s my pleasure to read about the amazing acts of selflessness and heartfelt support we know so many in our communities have been part of.

“Submitting a nomination is quick and easy. All it takes is 15 minutes and 250 words for North Easterners to celebrate the person they think is most deserving of recognition – and they can be of any age. Don’t miss your chance to celebrate and say ‘thank you’ to your Covid hero.”

Nominations are open until midnight, on October 1 and winners will be announced that month.

To submit a nomination visit, www.beatcovidne.co.uk and use the hashtag #NECovidKindnes to spread the word.