BT today revealed the inspirational stories uncovered in its search to find the UK’s everyday ‘Unbreakable’ heroes. The entries follow a call to action to the public to nominate those individuals who used the power of the internet to make a difference during a unique and challenging year, as BT marks the roll out of the UK’s first unbreakable home wi-fi service backed up by EE, the UK’s most reliable mobile network.
Sophie Ellis-Bextor, who teamed up with BT to help find these unsung heroes of lockdown, delivered the news via video call to the hero ‘Unbreakables’, unveiled today as Kerry Irving from Keswick, England, Laura Llewelyn Jones from Pembrokeshire, Wales and Chris Jowsey from Balmaclellan in Scotland, who were highlighted for their unique use of the power of the internet to keep people going during lockdown.
Sophie, whose own iconic live-streamed Kitchen Discos were a constant source of fun and escapism for millions, used the calls to learn more about the inspirational stories of connection behind each Unbreakable hero and thank the trio for their commitment to helping others.
Kerry Irving, from Keswick
Kerry used social media to livestream daily walks with his springer spaniels Max, Paddy and Harry, into thousands of homes, twice daily throughout the past year. Since he started his daily streams, Kerry has amassed over 200,000 loyal followers, and kept his new fans positive throughout the constant challenges of the last year by showcasing the picturesque walks that he and his dogs have embarked on each day, allowing people to experience the great outdoors from their homes, using the magic of the internet.
Laura Llewelyn Jones, from Pembrokeshire
Laura, who co-founded The West End of Wales Orchestra with her partner Iestyn, harnessed the power of the internet to support out of work Welsh musicians throughout the pandemic, with virtual performances and educating and mentoring young musicians - in the most challenging of times. An online celebration of Wales for St David’s day gwlad! streamed to over 1200 households, with the pair collaborating from a distance of over 100 miles, bringing together musicians based all over the UK in the finest of virtual music making, raising over to £25,000 in the process.
Chris Jowsey, from Balmaclellan
Chris hosted a weekly online pub quiz, every week since lockdown began, which quickly became a highlight for family and friends from all over the country. Chris’ nomination story stated that the quizzes were a fantastic opportunity to see each other's faces, using the internet to help people stay connected and kept everyone's spirits high, during some very difficult times.
To commemorate the achievements of these unsung heroes, Sophie will perform in BT’s Unbreakable Disco on Thursday 3rd June 2021 at 6:30pm, in a one-off live-streamed performance, powered by BT’s Hybrid Broadband, the UK’s first unbreakable home wi-fi that’s backed up by EE award-winning mobile network. During the show, the Murder on the Dancefloor songstress will perform her favourite tunes, dedicated to the newly crowned Unbreakables, as well as share special shout-outs to some of the nation’s nominated heroes.
Kerry, Laura and Chris were amongst a host of unsung members of the public nominated for harnessing the power of the internet to help people stay connected and motivated in their own unique way during lockdown.
BT’s Unbreakable virtual gallery - a dedicated online gallery space featuring the nation’s nominations - showcased hundreds of individuals over the past month, who used the power of the internet to make a difference during a unique and challenging year.
In addition to the stories of Kerry, Laura and Chris being celebrated today, some other Unbreakable highlights included:
· Rowland Jones, Manchester, who ran a live-stream talk show, Talking Songs over the past 12 months, connecting songwriters around the world through the power of the internet
· Ryan Cartledge, Warrington, who hosted virtual training sessions for the girl’s rugby club in his town
· Steve Cotterell, Bromley, who ran online meetings of the Croft Poetry Club during the lockdowns and gave members, who were inexperienced users of the internet, valuable tuition and confidence to expand their capability at an essential time
Sharon Meadows, Director of Propositions, BT’s Consumer Division said: “We set out on our search to find the nation’s Unbreakables, to celebrate the everyday heroes across communities who used the power of the internet to help others during this difficult time. The inspirational stories of Kerry, Laura and Chris are three great examples of this, their own unique efforts kept thousands of people entertained, connected and upbeat during lockdown.”
She adds: “As well as the dedication and selflessness shown by each Unbreakable, access to a reliable internet connection was at the heart of making these stories possible. So we’re proud to be celebrating their achievements and the wider list of everyday heroes during BT’s Unbreakable Disco with Sophie Ellis-Bextor, a special one-off live stream, powered by BT’s Hybrid Broadband, the UK’s first unbreakable home wi-fi, backed up by EE’s award-winning mobile network.”
Fans can tune into BT’s Unbreakable Disco with Sophie Ellis-Bextor, powered by BT’s Hybrid Broadband on Thursday 3rd June 2021 at 6:30pm live on BT’s YouTube page