Celebrating our Covid heroes

The real stories of the heroes of Brighton & Hove who did so much to help others during the pandemic have been recognised by the city council. 

During summer 2021 the honorary Freedom of the City was given by the city council to all those who helped during the pandemic.  

Since then, people in Brighton & Hove and council staff were asked to nominate and share stories of people who they think were Covid heroes. 

“Best of Brighton & Hove”

Councillor Alan Robins, Mayor of the City of Brighton & Hove said: “I wish to pay tribute and celebrate the everyday heroes in this city who went above and beyond to help others, support their community or keep the city running during an unprecedented chapter in our city’s and our country’s history. 

“Over two years ago the global pandemic turned the world upside down. For many people this was a time of fear and uncertainty and it will continue to have an impact on Brighton & Hove and indeed the world for many years to come. 

“However, just as life got very hard for so many, there were individual people, organisations and public services who did everything they could to help others in need and give hope, kindness and support to our city during a time of crisis.

“These people represent some of the best of Brighton & Hove and their stories demonstrate humanity at its best. 

“I look forward to hearing and sharing more stories at future sessions of council.”

At the meeting the Mayor briefly gave recognition to stories of charities, NHS staff, council staff and individual residents who were true Covid heroes.

University Hospitals Sussex palliative care team 

The University Hospitals Sussex palliative care team were nominated for the care and support they gave to families and individual residents at their end of live during the lockdowns. The team used iPads to ensure that families could speak to their loved ones when they were not able to say goodbye. 

Special message of thanks from the nominator:

“I am so proud of what we did with such limited resources you went above and beyond the job and kept supporting and promoting good end of life care and compassion and excellent communication.”

Olivia Davison, paramedic

Olivia had recently completed her training as a paramedic in 2019 just before the pandemic hit, finding herself working on the front line of health services.

Special message of thanks from the nominator:

“Olivia, you're my hero in every way, not only the most dedicated human to caring for the community, but a beautiful friend too. Thank you.”

Together Co charity 

Together Co is a befriending charity that helps tackle loneliness. At the very start of the pandemic and looming lockdown, Together Co staff and established volunteers, made rapid arrangements to advertise for and recruit hundreds of extra volunteers to provide shopping, medicines collection and in some cases dog walking duties for many scheme members needing to isolate due to their health or age vulnerabilities. 

Together Co volunteers and staff have continued to work hard, maintaining the support and contact so vital to those already feeling lonely and isolated.

Special message of thanks from the nominator:

"Well done to everyone involved with Together Co, providing admin and practical contact and support to vulnerable scheme members throughout the Covid pandemic. Despite a dwindling income from normal sources and fundraising, everyone stepped up to help in numerous ways.

“We should be proud of our achievements together."

Brighton & Hove City Council’s Community Hub

The Community Hub was set up at the beginning of the first lockdown. People were bought together from many different services within the Council. With rapid training, they were answering calls from Brighton & Hove residents to help those in need during the Covid pandemic. 

The Community Hub staff went above and beyond to help people who had no food, collecting medicines, were lonely and struggling with self-isolation. They continued to come into the office each day to help run this vital frontline service, working tirelessly to support the vulnerable; even though many were new to that role, they did not let that phase them.

Special message of thanks from the nominator:

"Everyone who has been part of the Community Hub over the last 18 months has shown how committed they are to helping to support the residents of Brighton & Hove through a difficult unknown time. A massive thank you to you all for being so amazing.” 

Ryan Cooper, City Parks grave digger

Ryan, who works for the council’s City Parks team, is one of the team of grave diggers that provide a grave digging and cemetery maintenance service for Bereavement Services.  This is an essential service for people in their most difficult of times, burying their loved ones during the extra pressures and restrictions of a pandemic.
Special message of thanks from the nominator:

"Ryan, thank you so much for caring about the service that we offer to families and funeral directors and remaining motivated during this most difficult time.

“You don't realize the difference that you make to both your colleagues and the families attending burials or visiting graves. It is huge, so thank you."

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