“[The experience] was all-consuming, but in the best possible way. I think sometimes when I was tired I'd remember that lots of people I was helping were having trouble [with their] well-being, and actually it was quite a privilege to have such a focus in such a difficult time, and in a time that's so unknown. Sometimes things would happen and [I’d] say, 'oh my God, that's so brilliant. We got that to happen.'
“And the response from the Hastings community was massive. In the first lockdown, we just overnight had hundreds and hundreds of people saying that they wanted to help… It stemmed from one comment for me saying, 'look everybody, I think this is going to be a really tough time. I think we need to organize ourselves and work out what we're going to do.' My friend and co-founder Alastair, who did the nomination, came straight round to me and said, 'yep, let's sort this out.' And very quickly we got all these people motivated and into it.”
“I didn't think that what I was setting up was going to become so big. So I'd say you can start small and you can make a difference. Then you can learn on the job—everything that we've done, we've had to learn.”
— Kim Batty
Nominated by Alastair Fairley:
“I’d like to nominate Kim Batty, the single mother who co-founded the amazing Hastings Emergency Action Resilience Team (HEART) in the historic UK town of Hastings. It touched a nerve locally and saw over 1,000 volunteers step up to help people in the town cope with the impacts of COVID-19 with food shopping, deliveries, driving keyworkers to NHS hospitals (free of charge), collecting medications – even dog-walking! ...Kim has been there every step of the way, writing volunteer guidelines, designing websites, helping develop databases...and much, much more.”
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