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Activism

Public invited to thank local heroes with celebrity-designed charity pins

Stars like Keira Knightley, Emeli Sandé and Ringo Starr designed the tokens of thanks to help spread some gratitude and get cash to good causes

Some of the UK’s biggest music, sport and screen stars have tried their hand at designing for a new volunteer-driven campaign recognising the unsung heroes of the Covid-19 lockdown.

#PinYourThanks sees a range of pin badges dubbed the ‘people’s medal’ created for the public to buy and gift to people who did their bit for others during the crisis, with all profits going to charity.

Superstar actor Keira Knightley designed a badge along with Beatles legend Ringo Starr, cyclist Sarah Storey and comic Joe Lycett are among those who helped create the badges which are being sold for £5 to benefit NHS Charities Together and Volunteering Matters.

The initiative was created out of a South London community project which saw neighbours come together to support each other with shopping, prescription deliveries and support during lockdown.

Clive Little, one of the co-founders, said: “The last few months have been tough, really tough, but there are tens of thousands of people out there who have made life better for many of us.

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“#PinYourThanks is a small token to say a big thank you to everyone who has gone above and beyond – whether that’s delivery drivers, supermarket workers, postmen and women, local shopkeepers, friends, family, neighbours as well as our NHS heroes.”

Anyone who buys a badge to give as a gift can leave a message for the recipient explaining why their efforts meant so much as the country navigated the early stages of the pandemic.

The team behind the initiative also launched a competition for kids aged 4-11 years old to design a special pin badge to be made and sold as part of the project, set to be judged by actor Hugh Bonneville and ex-England goalkeeper David James.

Lycett, who designed one of the pin badges said: “I was honoured and delighted to be asked to design a badge for the #PinYourThanks initiative. I was particularly thrilled I could bring a bit of Birmingham into my design, as I am so thankful to so many of the citizens of my home city for their extraordinary efforts in this time. It’s a wonderful idea which provides a simple and meaningful way to say thank you.”

The Big Issue has been recognising the selfless people and groups pulling together to help people in need during the crisis, detailing some of our Covid Crusaders every week since lockdown began.

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