The Happy List - Independent on Sunday

I loved The Independent on Sunday’s Happy List 2014 (NOT the Rich List): The full list of people who make life better for others.  The list seems to be a great reaction against the annual rich lists which are published at this time of year.  The list celebrates those who instead of focussing on themselves give back and help others:

This year, the Happy List includes: a 93-year-old who has raised more than £100,000 for Age UK by dressing as a bee; a teacher who donated a kidney to one of his pupils; the world’s oldest barmaid; the limbless Plymouth man who founded a charity to help other amputees; the London woman who founded a pop-up restaurant that employs only refugees and migrants; a couple who set up a bereavement service for parents who have lost a baby; and the heroic lollipop lady of Rhoose. In addition 10 well-known names have been highlighted for their efforts. People like Tom Daley, a role model for other young people wanting to announce they are in a same-sex relationship, and Charlie Webster, the sports presenter who ran 250 miles in seven days for charity.

And this year, for only the second time, we’ve included a posthumous entry. The remarkable Stephen Sutton was on our list but died just as it was being finalised. We have kept him in – our tribute to a hugely impressive young man. These 100 entries are the result of much rewarding research. The big thrill for us was the almost overwhelming number of nominations from readers. The Happy List is now very much a joint venture between the paper’s journalists and readers. Our desire to show a cross-section of talents and locations meant some worthy nominees had to be left out. The chosen 100 will now be invited to a party in their honour. This will provide the opportunity to meet – and celebrate their contribution to making Britain happier.

It’s great to see some friends and inspirations to me in my ministry and youth work featured:

Ben Bell, an amazing urban youth worker from London who has led Urban Hope for nearly 20 years helping young, underprivileged people in Islington and Hackney.  The charity today offers a range of activities to 150 disadvantaged youngsters every week.

Zoe Clark-Coates, a passionate campaigner, she suffered five miscarriages within three-and-a-half years. The trauma she underwent, and the realisation that no support for people in her position existed, motivated her and husband Andy to set up the brilliant charity Saying Goodbye, to help grieving parents.

Married to the amazing Sarah and raising Jakey, Daniel, Amelia, Josh & Jonah in our blended family. Passionate for Jesus, social work & sport.

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