A woman from Grimsby has reached the final in a national competition to find young adults who have helped in their communities during the 2020 pandemic.
Emily Vickers, 23, was nominated for Urban Jungle’s Heroes 2020 by her mum, Jacqui Vickers, who said: “Emily collected outgrown school uniforms and handed them out to children who were struggling.
“She also collected baby clothes and made up packs to hand out to new mums who were finding it hard, as well as children’s coats, handing those out where needed.”
Emily, who studied at Giles Academy and lives in Wellow, said: “It feels fantastic to be on the shortlist of Urban Jungle’s Heroes.
“I own a photography business called ‘Our Magical Memories’. We do children and family photography, working with children with additional needs and families on lower incomes. I am the lead photographer.
“During the pandemic, I was no longer able to run my business, so I decided to find something to fill the time.
“I knew if I, myself, had not been able to work, that many other families would be in the same situation. While I am very lucky with what I have, I understand that with young children, especially, times are tough.
“So, I set up the Grimsby Uniform Exchange to try to help out. During lockdown, hundreds of children were off school and, in most cases, never got full use out of new or nearly new uniform before it was outgrown.
“Instead of all of that going to waste, we recycle it and gift it to other families who maybe would not be able to afford yet another new uniform at the moment.
“The winter coats was started by chance after I was donated a bag of coats in one of the uniform donation boxes.
“I donated them to a local school and the families worker was telling me about how many children did not have a suitable winter coat, which broke my heart.
“The packs of other baby clothes was actually sparked by a request from a lady who had just gone into labour and she did not even know she was pregnant. I scrambled together a few clothes for her and then, from there, I realised how big the need in the community was.
“My local church gave me a room to store the uniform and are helping me in any way they can, which is fantastic.
“I’m honestly just a regular person helping people who have fallen on hard times, it could happen to any one of us at any point in our lives.
“I hope the publicity from this will really spread the word about what I am doing in the local area and let people know that I am here to help if I can.”
Jimmy Williams is CEO of Urban Jungle, the company which is running the competition. He said: “We think young adults have had to endure a lot in 2020 and want to do our bit to say ‘thank you’.
“We want to meet the people, hear the stories and give thanks and recognition to those who have helped us all through.
“Perhaps they went shopping for an ill neighbour, took up the slack at work when others couldn’t or have been on the front line. We want to hear your nomination.”
Nominations for heroes for 2020 are open until January 7th, 2021. Nominees could receive a £250 Amazon voucher and become Urban Jungle’s 2020 Hero.