Who makes your world a better place? Tweet us about it

Friday 21 November 2014 10:30

From the coffee shop guy who makes you smile on a Monday morning, to the random acts of kindness that take the all-too-predictable sting out of life - is there an unsung hero in your world?

Tweet us the people who deserve some recognition to @thei100 with the hashtag #everydayhero and tell us why. Who knows, you may not even know their names, but it doesn’t stop us hailing life’s everyday heroes.

Need a little inspiration? Well, there’s...

Carl Downer

Victoria Station, 8am. It’s packed, and above ground somewhere it’s probably raining. Not the jolliest place to be. Apart from when Carl Downer is on his shift. Born in Jamaica, Carl shares his Rastafarian wisdom with the huddled hordes, telling them over the PA system to "take it easy, keep it real and don’t let nobody cramp your style". Instead of the usual warning that doors are about to close, Carl prefers: "Rastaman driver, take these beautiful people to their destination." Why? "I like to see people happy, man," he told Vice magazine. "Seriously." (Strangely, when they’re happy, people seem to manage to stand well back and mind the closing doors all by themselves.)

Kenneth Davidson

Choosing a bus as a getaway car is maybe not the best idea. But it still took a heroic act by the bus driver, Kenneth Davidson from Newcastle, to bring some armed robbers to justice. He locked the doors and raced off down the motorway to the police station. Next stop, jail.

Ray Coe

You know that one special teacher you liked? The one who really changed your life? Well this guy beats that story. When a 13-year-old boy in his east London school needed a lifesaving kidney transplant, he didn’t raise awareness with an appeal for help, and he didn’t cycle across Cuba to raise money. He just got the job done. In February he gave the pupil his kidney. And taught us all a lesson.

Karin Williams

There is a moment in In The Line of Fire when Clint Eastwood throws himself in front of the President to willingly take a bullet. Karin Williams can top that. And she did it in real life too. A driver had a coughing fit outside a primary school, and rolled his car. Seeing it hurtling towards a group of children, Karin threw herself in the way, taking the full impact, and breaking her elbow, shoulder, legs and ribs, but saving the children’s lives. Beat that.

Anonymous security guard

When Alli Bunchuk, 7, wandered in to Disney World dressed as her favourite princess, she was surprised to be stopped by a security guard. But rather than apprehend her, he said: “Excuse me, Princess, can I have your autograph?” “I could see that the book was full of other children’s scribbles as the guard asked the same question of many little Princesses,” said Alli’s grandmother, Barbara. A small gesture, but it made a big difference. “Alli could not get over the fact that the guard thought she was a real princess.”

Mark Bustos

New York City hairdresser Mark Bustos spends his Sundays giving free haircuts to homeless people across the city. Although a haircut may only be a fleeting aesthetic change, Bustos believes they can offer a fresh start and a boost to confidence that can help to give people the self-belief to go and pursue work.

Pic credit: Devin Masga

Oregon dry cleaners

Continuing on that theme, Plaza Cleaners in Portland, Oregon, have been doing their bit to spread community goodwill since 2010 by offering a free service to unemployed people who need a clean outfit for a job interview.

first direct is the bank that gets the small things in life just right, to make your world a better place. Like making sure you get through to a real human being when you call. That's why they've won so many awards, and why they were recently named No 1 for customer service in a survey of 260 British brands.