Happy List 2021: Turn compassion into action to support those who need it most

Happy List 2021: Turn compassion into action to support those who need it most
With more people than ever fundraising to help mental health charities, have we turned a compassionate corner?

The past 18 months have been physically and emotionally challenging. According to the charity Mind, more than half of adults and over two-thirds of young people said that their mental health became worse during the period of lockdown restrictions. As life slowly gets back to normal, many are still dealing with the mental impact of the pandemic.

We see the biggest issues in society play out on GoFundMe – and this is no exception.

The young peoples’ mental health charity Young Minds has seen an almost three-fold increase in the number of campaigns created on its behalf, suggesting that the pandemic has been tough on young people’s mental health. Similarly, Mind has seen the number of campaigns double and has moved from being our eighth most popular charity to second place.

We need each other now more than ever, and people across Britain have shown compassion in spades.

As The Independent’s Happy List is published, it is important to reflect on some of the amazing things people across the nation have done for each other. From a refugee working with leading charities to provide laptops to disadvantaged kids to a marketing expert who provided free PR plans for local businesses to stay afloat during the pandemic, there was no shortage of everyday heroes prepared to put in the work to help the country get back on its feet.

At GoFundMe we come across a lot of incredible people every day, some who receive public recognition for their work but also others; compassionate people who quietly start a campaign just to do their bit to help a cause they care about. These campaigns will rarely make the headlines, but today we wanted to talk about them. They are the couch potatoes who pledge to run a 5K to stop cancer, they are the man who takes on an epic challenge after losing a loved one to suicide and they are the sister taking on a sky dive to thank the charity that saved her brother’s life.

So far in 2021 on our platform, we have seen 33,268 miles run for charity. Our campaign organisers have covered 25,000 miles in 974 marathons – that is the equivalent of running around 16,000 football pitches. They have also completed 330 half marathons – the same as running from London to Barbados. Every step taken, every finish line crossed is an act of compassion to help another. We think that is worthy of a front page.

Just like our incredible fundraisers, The Independent’s Happy List shines a light on 50 ordinary people who have taken their compassion and turned it into action this year. Feeling inspired? If you would like to challenge yourself to make a difference it couldn’t be easier to set up a campaign and start raising funds for your favourite charity today.