18 November 2020
A community hero from Knowsley, Liverpool, has been crowned as the city’s ‘Local Legend’ by a prestigious judging panel, including Captain Sir Tom Moore, for his selfless efforts during lockdown in 2020.
Kenneth Ludbrook, aged 64, was nominated for Virgin Media’s Local Legends competition – which recognises those who have made a significant contribution to their communities during the Covid-19 pandemic – by neighbour Marlene Lewis, 81, who praised him for everything that he did for her in the initial lockdown in March.
This included regular lifts to church and hospital appointments, as well as delivering her weekly shopping.
Mr Ludbrook said: “Marlene is such a sweet lady and has had a real hard time over the past few years. She is two and a half years in remission from breast cancer and sadly lost her husband two years ago so she doesn’t have many people around to look in on her. My daughter wasn’t able to take her to church one weekend so I stepped in and I’ve been helping her out ever since.”
The judges commended Mr Ludbrook for his selflessness, particularly after learning of his challenging personal situation. He said: “I’ve been unable to work for two years due to an injury that I suffered after a road accident. I’ve had a back operation and it’s really hard for me to move around. I currently rely on universal credit and day-to-day is very tough.”
The winners of Virgin Media’s Local Legends competition, which launched to celebrate the switch-on of gigabit broadband services in the city, are awarded a tech makeover to the tune of £10,000 as well as Gig1 broadband for two years.
Captain Sir Tom Moore, a member of Virgin Media’s Local Legends judging panel, said:
“Liverpool had so many worthy nominations and it was such a shame that we couldn’t name them all as winners. However, Kenneth’s contribution and efforts really stood out as he really made a difference to Marlene’s life over the past year. I wish him all the best and hope what he has done inspires more people to do similar across the UK.
Konnie Huq, broadcaster, children’s author and a member of Virgin Media’s Local Legends judging panel, added:
“Kenneth epitomises everything that Virgin Media’s Local Legends competition is all about. His selfless efforts to help someone in need in his community, despite his own troubles, is hugely inspiring and he is a worthy winner and someone Liverpool should be immensely proud of.”
On hearing the news that he had been nominated and won the Local Legends competition in Liverpool, Mr Ludbrook said he was ”gobsmacked”. He added: “I was so shocked to be nominated, let alone win. I was only doing what anyone would do that in that situation.”
In further evidence of his selfless nature, Mr Ludbrook has decided to share his tech prizes of TV’s, laptops, games consoles, tablets and smart speakers with friends, family and, of course, Marlene.
He said: “With another lockdown and Christmas on the way, these prizes couldn’t have come at a better time. Faster broadband will allow me to stay in touch virtually with family on video calls and my grandchildren will be over the moon with the games consoles. Marlene loves listening to the radio so a brand new radio will keep her entertained at home.”
Mr Ludbrook has called on others to be mindful of those around them with another lockdown in force in the UK. He said: “It’s important that we all look after one another and keep a lookout for those nearby that may be lonely and in need of support during this tough time. There are so many people like Marlene in the UK that need our help so help out in any way that you can.”
Kenneth was voted the winner for Liverpool by a prestigious judging panel made up of Sir Captain Tom Moore, TV presenter and children’s author Konnie Huq, members from Liverpool City Council and a Virgin Media representative.
Virgin Media’s Local Legends competition has also been running in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Leeds with future locations set to be announced in the near future.