Foresters Friendly Society launches Unsung Heroes campaign

  • Two in five (41%) Brits don’t have favourite fictional superhero
  • 35% felt Thailand cave rescue team were most heroic real-life heroes
  • Nearly half (44%) of Brits think we should talk openly about everyday heroism we see

As we gear up for the deluge of Hollywood superhero blockbusters this summer, new research has proven that 41% of Brits admit they don’t have a favourite fictional superhero.

National Superhero Day, on 28th April 2019, was initially created by Marvel employees in 1995 to honour superheroes both real and fictional. Brits proved that, while Marvel and DC comic heroes are admired, it is the real-life feats of everyday people that strike a chord in our hearts.  

For example, a third of those surveyed (35%) felt the startlingly brave acts of the divers involved with the Tham Lung cave rescue in Thailand in June 2018 meant they deserved the title of most heroic real-life heroes. Sir David Attenborough (12%) and former First Lady, Michelle Obama (6%), were voted second and third most heroic real-life figures for their contributions to society over the last 12 months.  

In comparison, Superman (9%) Batman (8%) and Wonder Woman (7%) were the top three fictional superheroes, followed by Marvel heavyweights Thor (5%) and Black Panther (4%) according to a survey conducted by Foresters Friendly Society.

When asked what made these fictional heroes so “super”, 22% said the fact they protected people and the society we live in was their most admirable trait. Fighting crime and corruption and going the extra mile for others were voted second and third best traits at 15% and 11% respectively.

While ‘classic’ hero traits exist in our fictional heroes, not all superheroes wear capes. In fact, two thirds (66%) of the public do not think everyday heroes in local communities are properly recognised for their efforts. In recognition of the lack of acknowledgement and celebration of our real-life heroes, Foresters Friendly Society has launched their UK wide Unsung Hero campaign and competition.

Running from 28th April until 7th June 2019, the competition is open to both members of Foresters Friendly Society and the public, who can nominate either themselves or someone they know who participates in regular volunteer or selfless acts on behalf of their community.

The winner will be presented with a choice of exclusive adrenaline packed Virgin Experience Days, worth up to £2,000. Whether that’s helicopter flying, sportscar racing or time spent at a luxury spa, these experiences are guaranteed to make the winner feel truly super – be it they want an adrenaline fuelled day or time to sit and relax!

With more than two in five people (44%) strongly believing we should talk openly about everyday heroism; Foresters Unsung Heroes campaign and competition will give a voice and platform to those who may go unrecognised for their selfless volunteer work or deeds done to help benefit their local community.

Whether it’s individuals in the armed forces, charity and community services, or activities such as running after-school clubs, charity fundraising or conservation work, the campaign and competition will celebrate individual commitment to support their community.

To enter, participants need only to complete a short online questionnaire available via the competition entry page: www.forestersfriendlysociety.co.uk/unsungheroes

Participants can also look out for reminders on Foresters’ social channels, using the hashtag #ForestersUnsungHeroes

Myles Edwards, Membership Director for Foresters Friendly Society said: “Not all superheroes wear capes. Our real-life heroes, be it members of the armed forces, carers or charity volunteers deserve equal respect and acknowledgement of their selfless efforts to provide for their communities.  

As a friendly society, we pride ourselves in catering for not just our members, but also our communities. We have launched the Unsung Heroes campaign to bring further awareness to those selfless individuals who put others before themselves daily and actively contribute to their local communities. In launching our campaign, we hope others will feel inspired to give back, whether that’s spending time to help clean up your local town, or even just getting in touch with those who might feel lonely. We encourage our members and the public to show their appreciation for our real-life heroes whose identity, for the time being, might be unknown.” 

Methodology

2,002 UK adults were surveyed by Opinium research company, between 5th February to 8thFebruary 2019. 

Coping with finances and grief when a loved one dies

Coping with the death of a loved one is one of life’s most stressful events imaginable – not only because of the psychological grieving process, but because of the financial challenges that can be incurred as well. According to the ONS, an average of 44,803 people die in the UK every April, which means that potentially hundreds of thousands of people will be grieving this month. Losing a loved one or preparing to lose a loved one is always going to be extremely difficult, but there are things you or they can do to slightly ease the process.

Talk To Someone

Talking to a family member or friend is a good way to begin the healing process and work through the many complex emotions that go hand-in-hand with the grieving process. If you’d rather not speak to someone you know, then GriefChat is a free online service which connects you to a bereavement counsellor who is specially trained to listen to you and to point you in the direction of further help and support. It’s available Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm.

Look After Yourself

As well as the well-known emotional effects, grief can take a huge physical toll on those suffering from it. Exhaustion, aches and pains, a lowered immune system, weight loss (or gain) and trouble sleeping are all known symptoms of grief. Meditating, listening to relaxing music, getting a good night’s sleep and eating a healthy diet can help. If you don’t feel like cooking, then ask friends and family to help you prepare meals and see your doctor if you need further advice.

Make To-do Lists

Financial affairs can seem like a small issue when the immediate, emotional reality of a loss kicks in, but once the death has been registered, things need to start moving fast on the financial side. The funeral needs to be arranged, insurance companies, pension providers and banks need to be informed, and the executor of the will needs to be contacted. If possible, have the conversation with loved ones before they pass away about who needs to be contacted should they die, so you can focus as much energy as possible on the grieving process. There are many online checklists you can use as well to ensure you’ve covered everything.

Take Control

Death is an inevitable part of life. If you are fifty and over a funeral plan can help you get your affairs in order now, so you don’t need to worry about the costs of your own funeral falling to your loved ones or that they will spend unnecessary money on the service you may not have wanted.

It also means you can get the send-off you want by choosing what you want now, you can always revisit your choices later if you change your mind. Foresters Friendly Society has partnered with Dignity to offer a comprehensive range of plans that are uniquely tailored to your needs, and that provide access to a network of 1200 respected funeral directors delivering the highest levels of care.

Paul Osborn, Chief Executive for Foresters Friendly Society commented: “With today’s ageing population and continued pressure on our finances, financial consideration of the cost of a desired funeral service is of growing importance. While from the outset it may seem difficult or impersonal to talk about a loved one’s passing, having open and practical conversations whereby financial plans are put in place is crucial. Not only do these go a long way to avoid unexpected high costs, but they also help to ease some of the emotional toll when coming to the tedious process of formalising not only funeral documents but taxes and inheritance too.

Being able to offer our members access to Dignity’s range of funeral plans and having peace of mind the service provided is of the highest quality is key. As a mutual organisation, ensuring the services we offer are valuable and support members throughout their lives is at the heart of our organisation and everything we do.”

Paul Toghill, Director of Distribution & Partnerships, Dignity Pre Arrangement Ltd says “As one of the first companies to offer funeral plans in the UK, we are proud to have helped over 824,000 customers plan their funeral arrangements in advance. A funeral plan is a valuable part of sensible financial planning for anyone over 50, allowing individuals to put their affairs in order and get on with enjoying life, safe in the knowledge that everything they’ve specified will be taken care of. With a Dignity Funeral Plan, Foresters’ members can rest assured that this will be done with the highest standard of care.”