Little Lockdown Angel
1843. Heather Bryson
Heather Bryson, aged 9, from North Lanarkshire, has been holding regular virtual lockdown exercise classes for over 200 care homes across the UK and internationally, alongside a variety of other community drives to help residents and older people feel less isolated during the pandemic.
At the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, Heather began making recycled ‘Little Lockdown Angels’ from broken necklaces which she sold to raise money for dementia services. She then started making videos for her gran who was living in a care home to help her with gentle exercise, which quickly became popular with other residents and soon spread to other care homes. Heather has now had viewers from the USA and Australia, and has been working with NHS physiotherapists to produce chair exercise videos. Heather was recently named a Good Morning Britain One Million Minutes Young Champion, announced by fellow Point of Light and lockdown fitness legend Joe Wicks.
In a personal letter to Heather, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I was inspired to learn about how the fitness videos you started for your grandmother in her care home went viral across the world. You have brought joy to so many older people, from here in the UK to as far as Australia!”
Deborah and Gary Bryson, Heather’s parents, said:
“We are extremely proud of our little girl. She’s come such a long way, winning awards from the Evening Times, Anderson Maguire Funeral Directors, Good Morning Britain and now this honour, all in the space of six weeks. This will hopefully give hope to others. Heather struggled with lockdown, found focus recycling preloved cups and saucers into bird-feeders and broken necklaces into Little Lockdown Angels. She sells these to raise money for Dementia services. Her Facebook and Instagram pages, Lockdown Crafts By H., gives an overview of her creations.
“She went through a rough time, changing schools, a fractured arm (second one in a matter of months) and two close family bereavements. The response to her project lifted her spirits and encouraged her through the low times. This ‘feel good story’ encouraged the local community to pull together and share in her endeavours to make little changes that have a positive impact on the environment and wildlife.
“She volunteers her time for various community and global projects and even decided to give up her Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and most of her festive time off school to deliver food and gifts to vulnerable and isolated people. She did this dressed as Heather the Christmas Elf.
“The bottom line of everything she does is hopefully to achieve positivity. Her catchphrase is ‘Thumbs Up and Spread Some Smiles’.”