FIRS & BROMFORD NEIGHBOURS TOGETHER

Local people working together to invest £1 million of Lottery Community Fund money over 10 years, to make Firs & Bromford, Birmingham, a better place to live, now and in the future.

 

** Covid-19 Unsung Heroes Event **

In Firs, Bromford, and Hodge Hill a diverse range of people stepped up in so many wonderful ways during the Covid-19 pandemic. We wanted to celebrate our amazing neighbours and stories from our wonderful, diverse neighbourhoods.


We encouraged nominations that included all the different kinds of diversity that we find in our communities. No matter how big or small, we wanted to celebrate every act of kindness that made life that bit better. We had over 150 nominations, identifying 96 different people or groups who stepped up to make a difference. This included people who set-up food distribution networks, knocked doors to see if people were doing ok, put on performances that kept people entertained, used social media to promote wellbeing, set up Covid safe events and trails, and so much more!

On March 31st, Firs & Bromford Neighbours Together & Hodge Hill Church hosted a celebration event to give awards to all who had been nominated. The event was co-funded by Big Local and Near Neighbours. 

 

Over 100 people gathered at Firs Primary School. It was a wonderful uplifting evening listening to each individual story. Awards were received in 4 categories: Celebrating Community, Growing & Sharing Food, Supporting Wellbeing, and Children Young People and Families. We spent time remembering that the pandemic was a time of suffering and loss. We specifically remembered 4 community members we had past away, and also Revd Al Barrett led a moving minutes silence to remember all we had lost.  The evening culminated in a Young People's special recognition award for Jess Elliot, who had made a huge difference, and a lifetime achievement award for Phyllis Lloyd who has been a resident in Bromford since it was built in 1967, and has been an active member of the community ever since. Phyllis received a warm standing ovation for all she has contributed to the life of our community. 

 

"The pandemic really took its toll on everyone and usually in crisis you hear of one or two or even a 5 individuals who step up to make a difference. Tonight we had a whole room full of over 50 unsung heroes and showing that love and appreciation goes a long way and was very inspiring for a community.
The moment that touched me the most was the minute silence when Al remembered those who were no longer with us and lit the candle in memory... pin drop moment which pulled at everyone's heart strings"
(Nazmeen Tugwell, Project Leader, Knowing Me, Knowing You)

 

"During the pandemic there was so many bad things going on we wanted to focus on the good things going on in our neighbourhood.  People stepping up to help each other, we felt it was time to celebrate these residents and put a face to those who had gone out of their way to help their neighbours. So, we decided to hold an unsung hero's event to thank each and every one of them. Listening to the stories of how they helped those who needed help made us realise what a great community we have."

(Florence Parkes, Chair, Firs and Bromford Neighbours Together)

 

"When Hodge Hill Church brought together the very first Hodge Hill Unsung Heroes event in 2012, we discovered an abundance of stories and people, passions and gifts in our local communities — countless small acts of kindness that mostly went ‘under the radar’. Our vision since then has been ‘growing loving community... with all our neighbours, across Hodge Hill’, and it’s been amazing to see what has grown and flourished over the last 10 years — even through the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the hardest of times, the treasure in our communities has sparkled!"

(Revd Al Barrett, Vicar, Hodge Hill Church)

 

"It's a cliché to say it, but the pandemic was the best of times and the worst of times. I witnessed a community that came together to support each other, to laugh, to cry, and to make the most of what we have got. We witnessed so much generosity, creativity compassion and love for friends, family and strangers. The unsung heroes awards was a moment to stop and reflect on the stories, and our way to say thank you."

(Paul Wright, co-compere and one of the organisers of the event)  

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