Charity heroes of 2020: Quizzes, haircuts and driveway marathons

PA

This year saw heroes emerge all over the UK as the coronavirus pandemic prompted all sorts of creative efforts to help those in need.

From endurance attempts to lockdown quizzes, here is a round-up of some of the best and most eye-catching charitable efforts in 2020.

– Co Tyrone man completes marathon in his driveway to raise money for NHS

Keith Clarke during his attempt to complete a full marathon in his driveway while pushing a wheelbarrow, to raise money for the NHS
Keith Clarke during his attempt to complete a full marathon in his driveway while pushing a wheelbarrow, to raise money for the NHS

Keith Clarke from Dungannon was one of the first to complete a home marathon during the pandemic, running 416 laps of his driveway over five-and-half-hours while pushing a wheelbarrow in March.

The personal trainer and kettle bell instructor was inspired to run the 26.2 miles up and down his driveway to raise money for the Intensive Care Society in its fight against Covid-19.

Days later, Mr Clarke completed another marathon in his driveway, this time while pushing a wheelie bin. After his second effort he estimated he had raised around £5,000.

– Couple who made thousands of face shields at home honoured

Lloyd Creaney and his wife Ruth, from Hillsborough in Co Down, with their children. The face shield manufacturer recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for turning his home into a production line said he was inundated during the pandemic
Lloyd Creaney and his wife Ruth, from Hillsborough in Co Down, with their children. The face shield manufacturer recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for turning his home into a production line said he was inundated during the pandemic

A face shield manufacturer recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for turning his home into a production line said he was inundated with requests during the pandemic.

Graphic designers Lloyd Creaney and his wife Ruth, from Hillsborough in Co Down, made around 4,000 clear plastic visors from their home amid the shortage of personal protective equipment in spring.

Staff at Craigavon Area Hospital and the liver unit at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast were among those to benefit – Mr Creaney felt it was not right to ask people to pay for the basic personal protective kit they needed.

– Boy has first ever haircut to make into wigs for children with cancer

In August a nine-year-old boy who had never previously had a haircut saw his long locks chopped off to be made into wigs for children with cancer.

Reilly Stancombe, of Little Clacton in Essex, donated his hair to the Little Princess Trust to be made into wigs.

He aimed to raise £100 for the charity, which also helps research projects focusing on finding less toxic treatments for paediatric cancers, but topped £6,000 on his GoFundMe page.

– Man spends hundreds of pounds buying shopping for NHS and elderly

Undated handout photo of some of the groceries that Dean Vine has purchased to produce food parcels for the elderly and vulnerable. The father-of-five has spent hundreds of pounds of his own money buying food parcels for the elderly and vulnerable after seeing a woman in tears because a shop had sold out of painkillers
Undated handout photo of some of the groceries that Dean Vine has purchased to produce food parcels for the elderly and vulnerable. The father-of-five has spent hundreds of pounds of his own money buying food parcels for the elderly and vulnerable after seeing a woman in tears because a shop had sold out of painkillers

A father-of-five spent hundreds of pounds of his own money buying food parcels for the elderly and vulnerable in May after seeing a woman in tears because a shop had sold out of painkillers.

Dean Vine found the elderly woman some aspirin at a local pharmacy then put out a message on Facebook urging people in need to contact him.

He and wife Natasha continued to spend their own money on more than 50 bags of shopping for dozens of people, starting a GoFundMe page to support the continuation of their work.

– Boy, five, with prosthetic legs raises £1 million for hospital in walking challenge

Tony Hudgell, who uses prosthetic legs, takes the final steps in his fundraising walk in West Malling Kent, with mum, Paula and dad Mark. Five-year-old Tony has raised more than �1,000,000 for the Evelina London Children’s Hospital, who have cared for him since he was four-months-old, by walking every day in June, covering a distance of 10 kilometres
Tony Hudgell, who uses prosthetic legs, takes the final steps in his fundraising walk in West Malling Kent, with mum, Paula and dad Mark. Five-year-old Tony has raised more than �1,000,000 for the Evelina London Children’s Hospital, who have cared for him since he was four-months-old, by walking every day in June, covering a distance of 10 kilometres

A five-year-old boy with two prosthetic legs completed a heroic walking challenge in June and raised more than £1 million for the NHS hospital that saved his life.

Tony Hudgell had to have both his legs amputated in 2017 as a result of abuse suffered at the hands of his birth parents.

He set out to raise £500 for the hospital that saved his life by walking 10km in 30 days, but his incredible efforts captured the hearts of tens of thousands of people, raising more than £1 million for Evelina London Children’s Hospital in just one month.

His efforts have now been recognised with a Pride Of Britain award, as he was given the Good Morning Britain Young Fundraiser prize.

– Nonagenarian honoured for fundraising ‘mountain climb’ on stairs

A 90-year-old woman raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity by climbing the equivalent of a mountain on her stairs, and was honoured by the Queen.

Margaret Payne started the challenge on Easter Sunday and finished on June 23 after climbing the stairs at her home in Ardvar, Sutherland, for the 282nd time.

Mrs Payne received a British Empire Medal for services to the community in Lochinver, Sutherland, after scaling the height of the 731-metre Suilven on her staircase.

She raised funds for the NHS, the Highland Hospice and the RNLI, and described the royal recognition as a “great honour” while thanking all those who made donations to her fundraising page.

– Virtual pub quiz on YouTube raises almost £175,000 for NHS

Jay Flynn, a former pub landlord from Darwen in Lancashire, raised thousands of pounds for the NHS after a small online quiz he planned went viral when he accidentally made a Facebook event publicising the event public.

Audiences reached 150,000 for a single quiz in spring, with those taking part submitting their scores to social media, then making an optional donation to the NHS or another chosen charity.

He also took a brief pause during each Thursday night event to observe the Clap for Carers tribute with his wife, an NHS worker.

“It’s the biggest thing I’ve ever done,” Mr Flynn told the PA news agency. He is to receive an MBE, awarded in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

– Captain Sir Tom Moore captures the nation’s hearts – and millions for charity

Piers Morgan’s Life Stories
Piers Morgan’s Life Stories

Undoubtedly the most famous of the lot, Captain Tom became known worldwide following his pledge to walk 100 laps of his home before his 100th birthday.

The remarkable effort prompted donations of £33 million, along with a knighthood from the Queen in an outdoor ceremony at Windsor Castle.

Sir Tom had only set out to raise £1,000 but his efforts struck a chord with national feeling at the beginning of the lockdown, and praise and donations flooded in.

His efforts also inspired many others to come up with their own challenges – including fellow 100-year-old Dabirul Islam Choudhury, who raised £420,000 for Covid-19 relief by walking 970 laps of his garden while fasting during Ramadan.

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