2020 was tough and this year looks to be similarly challenging. These were the folk who helped get us through.

2020 was the year that, in the face of a pandemic, we collectively found a new appreciation of everything digital. When we could not meet face-to-face, it gave us connectivity (Zoom); where we felt isolated, it gave us community (neighbourhood WhatsApp groups); when we felt low, it brought inspiration (Instagram); and when we needed practical, corona-related help, it delivered that too (NHS Direct and symptom tracker apps). 2020 will be remembered for many reasons, but there were some resources that really helped to see us through. These were the top Team GWG picks and the folk who we can rely on in 2021.

Arabella Dymoke

Managaing Director
I continue to enjoy Ben Pentreath’s Instagram account for reminding us all of the beauty in his world, whether walking the hills in Dorset, at his cottage in Scotland or in his partner Charlie McCormick's garden. My hero of 2020 was definitely Captain Sir Tom Moore and the way his fundraising campaign lit up the web, as the £££ whizzed up by the minute in thousands and thousands, raising over £32 million for NHS Charities Together. Sir Tom's effort was heroic, and it brought the nation together just when we all needed something positive in our lives. He has since launched a new initiative, the Captain Tom Foundation and, more specifically, Walk With Tom, which is getting people to exercise in the garden to make for a happier nation.

Lydia Mansi

Lifestyle Editor
One hundred per cent my saviour in 2020 has been an American app called Caribu. It is designed for children to be able to screen share books, puzzles and games and it’s allowed my two boys’ beloved grandparents to play with them, read them bedtime stories and engage with them other than over FaceTime where my two never really know what to say! They’ve used it with family in Italy, their school friends back in the spring. It’s brilliant and something we will continue to use into 2021.

Becky Ladenburg

Features Editor
Among my favourite lockdown saviours is the app, Deliveroo. The restrictions placed on the hospitality industry have compelled me to support it by ordering in obscenely often. Deliveroo makes it as easy as can be.

Nancy Alsop

There are so many Instagram accounts that have offered pure escapism at a time we needed it most; @somewhereiwouldliketolive, was one, as was the ever-brilliant @accidentallywesanderson. From a more useful perspective, in the first lockdown, the Teach Your Monster To Read App was invaluable in giving us the sense that we were imparting something vaguely educational to our four-year-old daughter – it felt like a game to her, which was important, given that she’d considered – and then rejected – most of our sub-par efforts at home schooling.

As for my lockdown heroes, there were and are many: the folk behind Bookshop, for giving us a great alternative to Amazon – books have been a great saviour this year and it’s good to know that this endeavour is supporting independent shops. Tim Spector for having developed the Covid symptom tracker app with King’s College, in double-quick time, thereby assisting the NHS to keep ahead of the curve. And, as we’ve written about before on these pages, Jago Jones, the brave and sweet five-year-old battling a brain tumour known as DIPG and currently undergoing clinical trials, has reminded us daily what courage truly looks like. To support him, please visit his Go Fund Me page.

And finally, I’ve loved all the cook-alongs, from Rosemary Shrager to Sabrina Ghayour, who gamely cooked in their kitchens, removing the usual gloss of TV production to show us how to make the most of the limited ingredients we had in our store cupboards. Here’s to all of these brilliant people.

Annabel Jack

Contributing Editor
In the lockdown days of long supermarket queues, panic buying and when Ocado deliveries were the holy grail, we relied on Mindful Chef. This subscription-based meal kit delivers nutritional recipe boxes that take less than 30 minutes to cook for scratch. Unlike its rivals, it cuts out refined carbohydrates and processed food. For us, it was the best of both worlds - creating home-cooked food without the hassle of a supermarket trip or thinking up a recipe. Food for the soul, when we really needed it.

By Team GWG
January 2021


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