The pride of Edinburgh and Liverpool: The unsung heroes shortlisted to be named as ‘Local Legends’

9 September 2020

  • Ten unsung heroes across Edinburgh and Liverpool have been shortlisted in Virgin Media’s Local Legends competition
  • They have been nominated as the people and groups which have made a significant contribution to their communities during the Covid-19 pandemic
  • A panel of judges including the nation’s hero, Captain Sir Tom Moore, and TV presenter, Konnie Huq will select a winner from Edinburgh and from Liverpool
  • Each winner will receive a tech-makeover worth up to £10,000 including Virgin Media’s Gig1 broadband for two years

Virgin Media is revealing the people and organisations across Edinburgh and Liverpool who have been nominated as unsung heroes for supporting their communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The shortlist includes key workers, community groups, a shopkeeper and a teenager who are in the running to win Virgin Media’s Local Legends competition - which is recognising those who have made a significant contribution to their communities during the crisis.

A panel of judges including the nation’s hero, 100-year-old Captain Sir Tom Moore, his daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore, and TV presenter and author, Konnie Huq, will help select a winner from Edinburgh and from Liverpool.

Each winner will receive a personalised technology makeover worth up to £10,000 – including Virgin Media’s blisteringly-fast Gig1 broadband for two years.

The competition was launched in both cities following the switch on of next-generation gigabit connectivity where people can now take Virgin Media’s Gig1 broadband offering average download speeds of 1,140Mbps – which is 17 times faster Edinburgh’s average and 20 times faster than Liverpool’s average.

Captain Sir Tom Moore, a member of Virgin Media’s Local Legends judging panel, said:

“It is so heartening to read about the acts of kindness and selflessness which have been carried out across Edinburgh and Liverpool these past few months.  

“These nominees have gone above and beyond for their communities during the pandemic and all deserve to be praised for their efforts.

“It is going to be difficult to choose an overall winner, but I am looking forward to being part of the judging panel along with my daughter, Hannah, to help select Edinburgh’s and Liverpool’s Local Legends.”

Konnie Huq, a member of Virgin Media’s Local Legends judging panel, added:

“It is truly inspiring to read about these individuals and community groups who have gone the extra mile and made a difference to other people’s lives across Edinburgh and Liverpool.

“All the nominees are very strong contenders for the Local Legends prize – a tech makeover worth £10,000 including Gig1 broadband, and I can’t wait to discuss the entries with the other members of the judging panels to help find our winners.”

Edinburgh and Liverpool’s Local Legends

Virgin Media asked people across Edinburgh and Liverpool to nominate the people or non-for-profit groups which had supported their community during these challenging months.

The five nominees for Edinburgh are:

1.  Tariq Rasheed

Tariq has been nominated by his wife, Shafkit.  The entry reads:

“I nominate my husband. What a hero, during the Covid-19 pandemic, my husband who suffers from severe Type 2 diabetes, and who should've stayed home to protect himself against the virus, went out against all odds to save his community from the devastating impact by this disease.

“My husband runs a grocery store in the heart of a multicultural community in Edinburgh.  Throughout this pandemic he went to work every day ensuring that no-one in his community was left in need.

“He worked round the clock to help the community he loves and cares for.”

2. Leah McManus

Leah has been nominated by her mum, Denise.  The entry reads:

“Leah is 19-years-old and from the very first day of the pandemic she has been a lifeline for many elderly, families and young people.

“Leah has gone shopping for many of her elderly shielding neighbours, shopped for her grandparents and volunteered every single week with ‘Edinburgh Helping Hands’ a community group working with families in deprived areas in Edinburgh.

“Leah has collected, sorted and delivered emergency food parcels and manned the food drop off area taking donations off individuals thanking them as if they were feeding her.  She has also put together a weekly online workout suitable for all ages. This has been posted on social media to get people active during lockdown helping to maintain a healthy body and mind.

“Leah has certainly gone the extra mile for people she does not know and has never met but she has done so with a smile. “

3.  Goodtress Neighbourhood Centre

Goodtress Neighbourhood Centre has been nominated by a fellow community worker.  The entry reads:

“Throughout lockdown these guys have been out and about collections donations from stores all over town to deliver to families who are in need, lots of families shielding unable to get out.

“So many young teenagers helping out. So many things done over the year to help the local community. Absolutely amazing.”

4.  Anna Rose

Anna has been nominated by her father, John.  The entry reads:

“Anna works as a physiotherapist, specialising in geriatric care in a local care home. During the crisis she voluntarily cared for residents way beyond just their physio needs, including primary care giving, feeding and end-of-life care.”

5. Wardieburn Community Centre

The nomination for Wardieburn Community Centre is based on the work of Allan Hossey who works at the centre. The nomination is from Allan’s sister-in-law, Marion and it reads:

“Allan and a team of volunteers have worked in North Edinburgh throughout the whole Covid lockdown period providing over 8,000 meals per week to adults and children in dire need through no fault of their own.  Allan manages a number of local community centres…and is responsible for co-ordinating the process, including ensuring everyone who needs it gets at least three meals per day, ensuring there are enough volunteers to support the delivery and working with local business and social work dealing with emergency situations.  This tech-makeover would help tremendously.”

The five nominees for Liverpool are:

1. Elizabeth Smith

Elizabeth has been nominated by her daughter, Kerrie.   The nomination reads:

“I would love to nominate my mum who has worked all the way through Covid-19. She is a mental health team leader, and even though she could have worked from home, she took her time to get up and do her shifts to ensure that her service users had support through the pandemic. My mum is a hero and always puts people before herself.”

2. Amie Waggott

The nomination for Amie reads:

“During COVID, Amie had worked extremely hard as a pharmacy dispenser. She has been mentally and physically tired. She had abuse from the public when prescriptions were not stocked but remained professional at all times. She is my hero.”

3.Mary Stephenson

Mary has been nominated by her husband, Phillip.  The nomination for Mary reads:

“For helping and supporting elderly friends, family and neighbours in our community during this terrible time of Covid-19. This includes shopping, collecting prescriptions and generally looking out for those who are at greater risk and more vulnerable than herself.”

4. Kenneth Ludbrook

The nomination for Kenneth reads:

“I am housebound and he has been helping me and many others daily both before and throughout the pandemic…[and] he still comes through for all of us… I think that this will help him immensely.”

5.  Ester Markey

Ester has been nominated by her daughter, Elizabeth.  The nomination for Ester reads:

“Ester is my mum so obviously I am bias in my opinion.  However, throughout the Covid-19 pandemic she has continued to put everyone else first as usual.

“I had to isolate with my family and she did essential shopping drop offs on the doorstep for us and other members of the community who had to shield for months. She has also continued to work fulltime as a keyworker, cancelling her holidays and supporting all her team throughout.

“An inspiration. A role model.”

The winners will be announced soon.


Notes to Editors:

There will be individual judging panels for Edinburgh and for Liverpool. They will each select a winner by scoring each nominee on criteria which includes the significant contribution the nominee has made to their community, as well as the impact the technology makeover will have on their lives.

The judging panel for Liverpool:

The judging panel includes Captain Sir Tom Moore, accompanied by his daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore, Konnie Huq,  Grace Wager, Virgin Media’s Head of Build for the North West, Councillor Laura Robertson-Collins from Liverpool City Council, and Amanda Follit, Senior Manager, EPAM, and an adviser at BIMA.

The judging panel for Edinburgh:

The judging panel includes Captain Sir Tom Moore, accompanied by his daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore, Konnie Huq, Colin Brown, Virgin Media’s Regional Director for Scotland, Heather Robb, Chief Digital Officer, and Nicola Harvey, Head of Customer and Digital Services – both from The City of Edinburgh Council.

Information on Virgin Media’s Gig1 broadband can be found here.

The announcement of Virgin Media’s gigabit speeds being switched on in Edinburgh and Liverpool can be found here.