There are so many people across Gloucestershire doing amazing things for their community – and SoGlos is celebrating as many as we possibly can through our #GlosHeroes campaign.
From an octogenarian wing walker to a bus driver making meals for key workers, we’re celebrating another 10 handpicked #GlosHeroes this June 2021.
Plus, each one of our #GlosHeroes will receive a treat from Brasserie Blanc in Cheltenham, to say a big ‘thank you’ for everything they’re doing.
About the sponsor – St. James’s Place Wealth Management
St. James’s Place Wealth Management is proud to be a #GlosHeroes sponsor. Based in Cirencester and trusted worldwide, St. James’s Place offers an innovative investment management approach, as well as award-winning advice on a broad range of financial matters, from tax planning to retirement.
For more information about St. James’s Place, visit sjp.co.uk.
About the sponsor – Gloucestershire County Council
#GlosHeroes is also proudly supported by Gloucestershire County Council which continues to work hard to help keep the county safe during the pandemic. It is urging everyone to get both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine as soon as its offered and to carry on with regular testing to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus. It has also made Covid-19 testing even easier by distributing test kits to local pharmacies, as well as providing information on how to get them delivered to your door on its website.
For more information about Gloucestershire County Council, visit gloucestershire.gov.uk.
1. Bel Cornwell
Despite losing the ability to walk and talk due to Motor Neurone Disease six years ago, Bel Cornwell has raised over £7,000 for Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice in the last year, battling snow, ice, freezing temperatures and tightening lockdown restrictions to clock up over 100 miles in her powered wheelchair.
Bel has also inspired her son Joby to take on the National Three Peaks Challenge to raise even more money for the Leckhampton Hospice that supports their family. What an inspirational lady!
2. Ismail Bodiyat
Stagecoach West bus driver, Ismail Bodiyat, has brought joy and nourishment to his colleagues and hospital staff during the pandemic – keeping keyworkers going throughout this tough time.
As well as keeping his co-workers fed with home cooked meals while they ferried frontline staff to and from work, Ismail and his wife also delivered meals to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital and ran a collection for Gloucester Food Bank at Christmas too – and donated a huge box of food himself.
3. Jack Wright
King’s School Gloucester pupil, Jack Wright, has made an incredible effort for his community, volunteering with the Gloucestershire Youth Support Team, the Food Shelter and Holiday Hunger Scheme every week.
Over the last year, he has volunteered 110 hours of his time, on top of managing his GCSE coursework and adapting to remote learning. He was awarded the King’s Citizenship Award to recognise his efforts for the community – with staff and pupils at the school being so proud of him that they nominated him as one of our #GlosHeroes!
4 & 5. Lottie Keble-Wyatt and Alexandra Davison
The pair behind Cheltenham Wellbeing Festival had a huge task on their hands in 2020 when the pandemic stopped the event in its tracks. Despite having to postpone the festival itself, Lottie and Alex were determined to provide an online wellbeing event when people needed it most.
Offering free tickets to NHS staff, frontline workers, teachers, students and those whose incomes had been affected by the pandemic, The Live Life Well Weekender Cheltenham and Gloucestershire provided advice on surviving life in lockdown with talks from high-profile speakers. They donated all the profits to Covid-19 charities too. Neither Alex nor Lottie consider themselves heroes, but we certainly do.
6. Simon Dean
As head of the catering team at Cheltenham-based National Star, Simon Dean has made sure the staff and students at the college have been fed throughout the pandemic, always with a smile on his face!
Despite the extra challenges he, his team and the disabled people they work with have faced during the pandemic, Simon has been chosen as one of our #GlosHeroes for the extra mile he’s gone to.
7. Johanna Hamer
Inspirational 80-year-old Johanna Hamer from Cheltenham celebrated her birthday in style this June 2021, by completing a thrilling wing walk in aid of Sue Ryder Leckhampton Hospice, Linc Charity and the Air Ambulance Service.
Johanna has had a pilot’s license for most of her life, but her daring feat is the first time she’s ever taken to the sky on the outside of an aircraft. She’s also foregoing presents for her big birthday and asking friends and family to donate to her chosen charities instead. Happy birthday Johanna!
8. Suzanne Hall-Gibbins
When lockdown hit, Suzanne Hall-Gibbins of Staverton-based Circle2Success rallied her network of business contacts to help people in need.
She collected car-loads of food parcels and delivered them to Cheltenham charity Caring for Communities and People, to help feed families struggling to get through the pandemic.
9. Jonty Leigh
Jonty Leigh was nominated for helping to set up the Severn Vale Community Kitchen in response to the pandemic – providing wholesome, home-cooked meals to people in need for free.
Alongside delivering meals and food boxes with local charity GL11 in Dursley, the team has also been running community cookery lessons too. Jonty said he was humbled to receive a nomination and wanted to recognise the whole team at the community kitchen for their efforts.
10. Michael Birnie
Fairford-based Michael Birnie completed a 160-mile bike ride for World Bicycle Relief this June 2021.
Facing rain, sun and sweltering heat, he rode around Gloucestershire and the surrounding counties for over nine hours, raising £675 for the charity – 270 per cent of his original target – to provide bicycles to people in need.
If you know someone special who deserves to be recognised as one of our #GlosHeroes, please complete the nomination form.