This year we realised, more than ever, that heroes and heroines truly live among us right now; they are the ones leaving children and partners at home to staff hospitals and maintain essential services, for us.

In response to their bravery in Spring, we launched a very special holiday fund for our heroes and heroines and asked you to nominate who you thought deserved to win a holiday.

We were overwhelmed with your support in donating to the fund as we cycled for 24 hours around the Cotswolds, socially distanced of course and held our very own client quiz nights, online of course. We were even more overwhelmed with the sheer number of nominations, and continually touched reading stories about your loved ones putting our health and safety, before their own.

We are pleased to announce that after much deliberation we have chosen a winner.

Our winner:

Alison B
(full name not disclosed for privacy)

Alison was previously working as Head of Nursing at a London Trust, and has gone back to support them during the COVID-19 pandemic. She helped organise the new Nightingale centre in London and has gone back in to support staff training etc. She has a wife and child at home but says despite her own fears, its what the NHS family do, they just get on with it. She is an amazing person, caring, intelligent and so very capable, and her and her family have been through a lot in the last year, so she/they thoroughly deserve a break, when the time comes.

Carolyn’s nomination for Alison

Our team is now in contact with Alison to arrange her holiday to be taken in 2021.

Some of our other nominations for heroes and heroines

My wife returned to the front line having retired from nursing last year. She was one of the first to volunteer to go back and although she had never worked in ICU before and was a paediatric nurse, she was determined to be right on the front line and treat the sickest patients in our local Gloucester hospital. Her determination to get back to work was in spite of having had an operation on her ankle some two months before and also in spite of her constant back pain that she suffers having had major surgery some time ago.
I was in awe of her working 12 and a half hour shifts with little by way of breaks, working in full PPE equipment and unable to leave her work station for up to 4 hours at a time.

I would like to nominate my friend Sarah who is a support worker at The Grange, Liss, Hampshire. She works with adults who have learning and physical disabilities, caring for their everyday needs. She works long shifts and continues to be a positive and happy person even when working with adults with suspected coronavirus. She also works for the Rose Road Association, recently raising money for the charity by completing a sky dive. The Rose Road Association is a charity that provides services for over 300 children and adults with disabilities in Hampshire. However she is unable to continue for work for the charity at present due to suspected coronavirus cases at The Grange. For a young person, she is so selfless and always willing to do whatever is needed for other people.

“Jordan has spent all winter dealing with the usual pressure they encounter every year and has now been faced with the toughest thing of her career so far. She works 12 hour shifts at a hospital in Bristol, wearing PPE that bruises her face and make her feel very hot and faint. Jordan doesn’t live in the same town as her family, so even after really bad days at work she doesn’t get to see them. Working in such a busy hospital in a major UK city and risking her health in less than ideal conditions, just to help so many people is why i would like to nominate her.”

“I would love to nominate Karen (Kazza), my Mother. My mum is a District carer in Devon. All my life I’ve never known my mum not to be working whether that working in care-homes, working as a carer on behalf on the NHS (present job), childminding in her time off or just raising an enormous Youens family that continues to grow at a rapid rate with all the grandkids (theres 7 at this current time). She’s a wonder woman, a mother and carer in every possible sense of the word. I would love for my well deserving mum to take a break. She’d no doubt try to refuse it and offer it to someone “more deserving” else before reluctantly obliging. She’s a hero in my eyes along with every other key worker right now!”

Thank you to everyone who has donated to the fund and for all the many wonderful nominations.

We hope you stay safe this Christmas and New Year and look forward to a brighter 2021.

Thanks for reading

Nadia Hussain, Kenya

Author: Steppes Travel