Kindness shown during Covid crisis

The cover of the Covid Kindness book.

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Inspired by Shakespeare’s ‘and so shines a good deed in a weary world’, an author has donated her time to produce a commemorative book celebrating the hard work and kindness seen across the UK during the Covid pandemic.

Anna James spent more than six months interviewing key workers, everyday heroes and familiar faces as well as charities and organisations and collating the stories and photos of their ‘good deeds’.

She has self-published the 350-plus-page coffee-table-style book to celebrate their efforts and to raise money for the NHS and other good causes.

Among many others, the book includes contributions from NHS workers, refuse collection men, cleaners and farmers; home-schooling families, isolating couples and Covid survivors; Her Majesty the Queen, Captain Tom Moore, Ian Broudie, Banksy and Charlie Mackesy; Fareshare, Samaritans, NSPCC and Age UK; M&S, The Royal Mint, Chester Zoo and even a loo roll manufacturer.

Arran also features in the book with a page dedicated to the island’s own Co-op pandemic hero Liz Mclean, manager of the Brodick Co-op stores, listed with her new British Empire Medal (BEM) title and the Banner photo of Liz.

The book also features hundreds of photos of some of the things everyone has been seeing and experiencing over the past 12 months.

Anna, who lives in Somerset, said: ‘I desperately wanted to do something to help but didn’t know how to be useful – I’m a bit squeamish with anything medical and always get lost, even with satnav, so I’d have been no good at volunteering to help people or deliver things.

‘After a few sleepless nights, I decided to stick with what I’m good at and to create a special compilation of this most unusual moment in our history. I would make one of my commemorative books as my small gift to the national effort.

‘Last year was an unprecedented year with monumental challenges and heart-breaking sadnesses but, amongst that, there was also exceptional hard work, adaptability and kindness.

‘Our humanity and community spirit shone in the darkness and I thought it was important to celebrate that, so we’ve got something to look back on and be proud of.

‘I am humbled to have become the caretaker of this most amazing collection of stories from all these everyday heroes who share what they did to help the country and each other, which are heart-warming and heart-wrenching in equal measures.’

Covid Kindness: UK 2020 is available to order at…/dp/1527275825 to help remember and reflect on the past 12 months. All profits go to NHS Charities Together and other good causes.