6 everyday heroes: Going above and beyond in the pandemic

1. Corporal Pardeep: a patio marathon

Inspired by Captain Sir Thomas Moore, Cpl Pardeep ran a marathon in her 6 metre patio to raise money for the NHS during lockdown. She managed this feat in 6 hours and 21 minutes (58,104 steps and 5,715 laps of the garden) and raised £1320 for the NHS East Ambulance Service. Her friends and family cheered her on via social media since they couldn’t be there in person.

She works as an Army Chef and has many hobbies in addition to this, representing the Armed Forces by doing virtual live cooking sessions with celebrity chefs from India, and a MasterChef semi-finalist and finalist from the UK, in her spare time. She is also a Youtube Blogger for cooking and fitness, and has recently launched a cookbook and training for a charity triathlon!

2. Warrant Officer Scott ‘Barney’: making 10,000 masks

Warrant Officer Scott ‘Barney’ Barnett
Warrant Officer Scott ‘Barney’ Barnett

Created at least 10,000 PPE visors using 3D printing machines, with his daughter, 13, sewing 100 fabric face masks. He was inspired by the machine at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose and set one up at home to make masks and ask others to do the same, forming a group with other 3D printing enthusiasts. The group handed out the visors to doctor’s surgeries, pharmacies, care homes and charities across Cornwall.

3. Major Dal: providing pharmacy and vaccines to the homeless

A pharmacist by trade, Major Dal is currently doing a Staff Officer Role at Aldershot. Out of hours he is helping a healthcare group to support the homeless, giving out medical and hygiene equipment in London for common illnesses. Every Thursday night they drive an Ambulance out onto the Strand and give out wet wipes, toothbrushes, and other ideas.

They have also been giving out masks during COVID. As a pharmacist Major Dal has been giving over the counter medicines, continuing the service throughout the pandemic. He was chosen to lead this voluntary project because of his military leadership skills.

On top of this, Major Dal was a key organiser in a programme vaccinating over 50 homeless/vulnerable people, with support from Westminster council and the NHS.

He is also the Chair of the Defence Sikh Network.

4. Sergeant Shiv: keeping the faith

Organised online events for faith communities, for example, Diwali and Raksha Bandhan, to maintain community and solidarity for faith groups during the pandemic. Has been in the RAF for over 34 years.

5. Surgeon Lieutenant Commander Mike: supporting LGBTQ+ charities

Despite being immunosuppressed and shielding for the duration of the pandemic, but, wanting to help, he has been volunteering for the LGBT foundation. They moved all their services online, including counselling services, mental health support, sexual health and supporting victims of domestic abuse.

6. Lt Cdr Ruth: helping Santa

Lt Cdr Ruth Fleming
Lieutenant Commander Ruth Fleming

A data scientist and a Royal Navy Reservist, Ruth volunteered at the earliest opportunity to support the response to COVID.

When her eldest asked why she was working so much over Christmas, she told him she was working on a plan to make sure Santa Claus could visit all the children in the world without catching the virus.




DefenceHQ is the official corporate news channel of the UK Ministry of Defence.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

If Teeth Were Eyes, You’d Be Blind

From Illegal to Essential: Top Reasons Cannabis Should Be Essential During Pandemic


Testosterone Treatments Make Traders Even Crazier

I Apologize, This Is My First Pandemic


Challenges in understanding dengue burden: an anecdotal experience in Burkina Faso

Rheumatologist Respite: An empathetic break from Crohn’s Disease

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Ministry of Defence

Ministry of Defence

DefenceHQ is the official corporate news channel of the UK Ministry of Defence.

More from Medium

I have a bag for the other bags in my house!

A plastic bag, hanging from my kitchen doorknob,  containing all the other bags in the house.

What does it mean?

In the 2021 Social Progress Index, Mexico ranked 68th out of 168 countries.

Highlights from Reporting on Science Skepticism