6 everyday heroes: Going above and beyond in the pandemic
This is a chance to highlight the efforts of military personnel throughout the pandemic who have done things beyond their required job. Click on the highlighted names to read more about their achievements:
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
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
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.