Daisy Briggs completes our Lionhearts squad after raising over £25k for NHS Charities

Thursday 31 Dec 2020
Daisy Briggs was called up to the Lionhearts squad to complete our group of 23 heroes from 2020

Brave Daisy Briggs has been named as the final member of England’s Lionhearts squad, after a special message from Lionesses’ pair Bethany England and Carly Telford.

The three year old, who was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus when her parents were told she was unlikely to walk, has raised almost £25,000 for NHS Charities Together this year.

After seeing Lionhearts skipper Captain Sir Tom Moore completing his own walking challenge during the summer, Daisy used her walking frame to walk 25 meters a day wearing a different colour of the rainbow to raise money for the NHS.

A football fanatic, who attends Little Kickers training sessions near her home in Sutton and loves to watch games on television, also took her first unaided steps during the challenge which was something her parents Rea and Sean were told she might never do.

"We're so excited that Daisy's now part of the Lionhearts squad," said mum Rea, after seeing Daisy presented with shirt number three.

"We saw Captain Tom Moore on the TV and we owe the NHS so much, so we thought, she could do this.

"During her fundraiser, she took her first ever independent steps which is such a massive achievement and to do it during her fundraiser made it even more special."

Daisy with her parents and her Lionhearts squad shirt

Daisy completes the full 23-person Lionhearts squad, ever since Captain Sir Tom Moore was the first to be named back in July. The initiative, supported by BT, is paying homage to those inspirational individuals who went above and beyond during a challenging year for the nation.

You can read all of the stories, along with videos of their call-up moments via the squad list below...

The squad so far...

1.Captain Sir Tom Moore – Record-breaking centenarian who raised more than £32million for NHS Charities Together

2. Ranjit Singh – The wrestling coach from Wolverhampton helped organise daily meals for 300 people and the distribution of PPE equipment

3. Daisy Briggs - The six year old from Surrey raised over £20k for NHS Charities Together after doing a sponsored walk throughout lockdown 

4. Jack Littlejohns - The disability football volunteer kept his club and community spirit going during COVID-19 pandemic

5. Betty-Leigh Allinson – Football shirt enthusiast aged five who has raised over £27,000 for a Hertfordshire hospice through a cycling feat

6. Harmonie-Rose Allen - Inspirational meningitis survivor and fundraiser, who raised over £75k through her own 2.6 Challenge

7. Imogen Papworth-Heidel - The young footballer embarked on a mission to do a keepie-uppie for every keyworker in the UK and raised over £10,000 for nine charities in the process.

8. Mehdi Tahero - His restaurant Fuel Catering helped to feed frontline workers and members of the local community in Plymouth throughout 2020.

9. Tobias Weller – Nine-year-old inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore to raise almost £150,000 for Sheffield-based charities

10. Joe Wicks - The YouTube fitness coach led the nation and beyond through a daily exercise class for 18 weeks during lockdown.

11. Dr Meenal Viz & Dr Nishant Joshi - Couple campaigning for better PPE for their NHS colleagues. 

12. Nana Badu – His organisation, BADU Sports, provided a helpline, food bank and deliveries to vulnerable members of the local community in Hackney.

13. Dr Sadif Rafiq - The Cheshire-based GP suffered twice from COVID-19 but continued to tirelessly support her patients.

14. Kian Cormier - The teenager produced visors for his local community in Surrey, while continuing his studies.

15. Hassan Akkad – Award-winning film maker who answered a call to be a cleaner in his local hospital before raising awareness of NHS bereavement fund

16. Akbar Khan - Bradford-based volunteer for a charity for people with disabilities who brought their community together during COVID-19 lockdown 

17. Ayesha Pakravan - The chef set up Vital Meals during lockdown and went on to provide over 15,000 free meals to people in London

18. Dema Aktaa - Syrian refugee who helped raise money for COVID-19 outbreaks in refugee camps by walking on her prosthetic leg.

19. Tony Hudgell - Celebrated young fundraiser who raised £1.6m for the hospital which saved his life as a baby.

20. Ian Alcorn - Family man who turned camping in his garden into more than £200,000 for the NHS. 

21. Emdad Rahman - The Barking-based volunteer ran a service delivering books around London on his bike throughout lockdown.

22. Daniel Sukula – Community leader from Bolton who, after being saved from deportation back to DR Congo, founded a centre for disadvantaged youths.

23. Jay Flynn - The virtual quizmaster helped raise money for multiple charities and entered the Guinness Book of Records during lockdown

By Nicholas Veevers