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Silk Elephant

1434. Zoe Holland

Zoe Holland, from Manchester, is the founder of ‘Silk Elephant’ and the #GiftofaHeart campaign, spreading kindness across the UK during COVID-19 by donating over 16,000 handmade hearts to bereaved families, Intensive Care Unit patients and care home residents.

Zoe Holland

Zoe found comfort from receiving a handmade heart during her father’s cancer journey in 2018, and was inspired to share this further with others who are grieving or whose loved ones are critically ill, particularly during the pandemic with family members unable to make normal visits. Over 600 creative volunteers across the country are helping to make and distribute the hearts, which come in pairs for those in hospital, with one delivered to the patient, and the other to the family members, or come singly for families who have lost a loved one.

In a personal letter to Zoe, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“I want to thank you for the thousands of handmade hearts you have gifted to bereaved families, patients in intensive care units and those in care homes during our battle against Coronavirus.

“Your gestures of kindness have brought comfort to many in some of the toughest moments and I am lost in admiration for all that you have achieved with your wonderful #GiftofaHeart campaign.

“Your empathy and compassion epitomises the very best of our country and so I am delighted to be able to recognise your service to others by naming you as the UK’s 1434th Point of Light.”

Zoe said:

“I feel humbled to receive a Points of Light Award. I want to thank all of our Creative Volunteers and Kindness Ambassadors across the UK who have supported the charity. What our charity has achieved during lockdown would not have been possible without them.”

Pictured above: Zoe with her father

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The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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