Over the last month, we’ve seen the Simple Life community come together virtually to engage with our Health & Wellbeing series of videos, encouraging people to try something new, whether it be cooking, fitness, or fashion. But we also saw an incredible outpouring of support for friends, partners and neighbours through our Peace of Mind Month 2020 Competition.
We asked Simple Life residents to nominate someone they felt deserved a little extra peace of mind at this time – made all the more poignant by the changing circumstances we find ourselves in. We received over 50 entries, all of which were unique and moving in their own right.
Needless to say, we had a task ahead of us to choose our winners – initially setting out to reward just three, we made the decision to gift 8 incredible nominees with not only a spa break voucher, but also a bespoke prize worth up to £500 to suit them.
From shopping vouchers to vamp up that new wardrobe or refresh their homes, to motorbike lessons, to holidays, to DJ equipment, the prizes highlighted the personalities of those nominated, and we hope will bring a little extra joy at this time.
Our 8 winners and their nominations are detailed below.
I feel she is deserving of this as she lost both of her grandparents in the space of two weeks recently and went through a very troubling time personally.
During this time she continued to work and always had a smile on her face and looked at the positives. Plus she has turned our new Simple Life house into a beautiful home.
She has been working as a care worker in the community during the Covid19 pandemic and always puts elderly customers first, ensuring they are washed and fed on a daily basis.
She hardly ever has a day off work and I would love it if she was rewarded with something to show she is appreciated.
Myself and Dan were very excited to move in to our new home on Friday 27th March with our daughter and a baby due to arrive 28th April.
Unfortunately on 26th March as we were getting our daughter ready for bed so we could get packing I was rushed to hospital by ambulance where I will now stay until both myself and our impending arrival are well enough to leave.
Due to coronavirus Dan has been left with the task of caring for our 2 year old single handedly whilst packing and moving all of our worldly possessions completely alone while the country remains in lockdown.
Save for the actually birth Dan is not allowed to visit myself in hospital and regardless of any complications that may occur when our baby is delivered three weeks early by Caesarean section he will not get to see his new daughter until we are discharged home.
This has been an incredibly difficult time for us both but Dan has dealt amazing with both the move, being the sole carer for our 2 year old and keeping me up to date and stress free.
Dionne has had a really difficult year this year. She is a 24 year old Psychology graduate and Clinical Cognitive Neuroscience Masters Graduate. Dionne has been looking for jobs relentlessly in her field for over a year and finally gained a job and two teaching assistant agencies where she has been working since September. Dionne has been loving her work with special needs and educationally and behaviourally challenged children but as this pandemic has unfolded Dionne has had to put her work on pause because she has severe asthma and is having to self isolate for twelve weeks, regrettably without any pay from either agency.
I wanted to nominate Dionne not only because she has had a difficult year which has been topped off by this pandemic but because she never stops caring for others. Myself and Dionne are both currently raising a puppy to be a support dog for either children with autism or to be an epilepsy seizure alert dog. In the time Dionne has struggled for work and has had to take off work she has worked tirelessly with our pup to train her to do tasks. All of this is voluntary and she gives all of her free time to the charity as well as raising one of their dogs.
4 weeks after moving house she found a lump and 4 weeks later had tests that showed a Grade 3 Invasive breast cancer which doesn’t respond to any treatment except chemotherapy. She cut her long hair and donated it to the Little Princess Trust raising over £1000 for their charity. Due to Covid19 she has been unable to have chemotherapy and instead underwent a mastectomy coming home the same day.
She hasn’t once moaned or lost her smile and counts herself as really lucky.
I am an A&E doctor based in your development in Prescot and would like to submit a self-nomination if you would allow this. I currently live on my own and unfortunately don’t know my neighbours well enough yet, so I don’t have anyone that can nominate on my behalf.
I’d already been in self isolation for almost 3 months before the Coronavirus outbreak. I was studying for my exams to be a Consultant in Emergency Medicine (A&E), a very intense and exhausting task when already working full time. As a treat for finishing my exams I had booked a weekend away with friends and a holiday at the end of May, and my family from Essex were also coming to visit me for the first time in almost a year. It was these things that kept me going whilst I worked my way through this period, and then the Coronavirus pandemic hit. As the outbreak worsened, work became very stressful and then my exams were cancelled only 4 days before I was due to take them, meaning 3 months of solitude, expense and round-the-clock studying had all been for nothing. Shortly after this we were placed into lockdown, so my isolation continued and the things I was looking forward to were cancelled one by one. Undoubtedly there are people going through much worse right now, but on a personal level it was still incredibly disappointing.
As an A&E doctor on the frontline of this pandemic I have witnessed some extremely upsetting scenes, young patients dying, work colleagues becoming seriously ill, and I have had to be involved in heartbreaking decisions that I would never normally have to make. On top of this, I face a daily and very real risk of catching the virus myself. Most colleagues have families of their own or housemates for support and distraction from work, but I live alone and 250 miles away from my family, so unfortunately this has not been an option. With the lockdown rules as they are, I don’t have any human interaction outside of work, and can’t do any of the things that I’d normally do to unwind. The psychological impact of all of this has been immense and, for the foreseeable future at least, is set to continue and get worse.
I know there will be many residents out there who will be facing even more difficult circumstances, so I appreciate even being considered. To be selected would be a very touching reward and a silver lining to what has been a very tough and distressing period. I’ve never been to a Spa before and would love to take my best friend (who also works in A&E), as some relaxation like this could not be more needed right now. For the Peace of Mind prize, I would use it as an opportunity to do something completely different. Music is one of my biggest passions outside of medicine, and I have always had a secret desire to learn how to DJ. The equipment is very expensive however so this would be a great head start, and with the money I’ve been saving up so far, would enable me to buy everything I need. I will be learning entirely from scratch so it will be a perfect form of escapism, the start of a lifelong hobby and something I can immerse myself into during these stressful and solitary times.
I would like to nominate my neighbours. They are a family of 4. They are absolutely great neighbours! They are both nurses and have been working around the clock throughout these Times of corona virus. They work opposite shifts one on nights & the other on days! With their teenage children at home.
Not only are they working -mid April they were meant to be going on a holiday of a lifetime to Australia that’s been cancelled! They told me they have been saving for 4 years for this & are absolutely gutted! But they still go to work everyday bubbly & smiley!
They always take out my dustbins! & we have a good laugh. I hadn’t known them that long & knew they were both nurses! I’m a single mum actually widowed with a 3 year old I live alone & I needed help with my son as he was unwell.. I knocked on their door – Mary came rushing round & checked him over telling me to take him to A&E which I did. They also brought my son a voucher round for his birthday! They are lovely.
I have nominated Jake because this has been his first year as a newly qualified teacher or ‘NQT’. He qualified with the highest distinction as an outstanding teacher and has grown from strength to strength as a history teacher in Bolton. He has worked long hours and before moving into our apartment, commuted for an hour everyday to work.
As schools shut, Jake has taken great care to support pupils at home. He has also been preparing and planning the lessons for as soon as school reopens so that everyone can hit the ground running. Before school closed, his senior colleague fell ill and was rushed to hospital and could not return, leaving Jake as the only history teacher in school. He has supported senior management by taking responsibility for the history curriculum during his seniors absence which is an amazing accomplishment for someone so early on in their career. A few months ago Jake would never have expected to have been trusted to take on such important projects or realised he would be capable of doing them to a high standard.
Jake is a great teacher and his pupils are incredibly fond of him, particularly because of his calm nature. Jake can be shy and requires a confidence boost from time to time to remind him that he is doing a great job.
I’d like to nominate my good friend Michelle. We both rent together after finding ourselves in similar situations last year and not wanting to buy yet. She helped me during a time when I wasn’t in the best place and was unsure what to do, even though she was going through a difficult time herself.
She’s proved to be a great friend and support to me and deserves a huge thank you. We love the house and the whole development and feel so lucky to of found it. We’re also on lock down together and not working for the next 3 months, so she also deserves a medal for having to be stuck in with me during that time.
It would be an amazing way of me saying thank you for all she has done for me.