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:

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.” 


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