Independent on Sunday's Happy List 2014 (NOT the Rich List): Finally ... 10 household names who went the extra mile

 

Elena Baltacha

Elena overcame serious illness to become Britain’s top women’s tennis player, and used her winnings to start a tennis academy for under-privileged children in Ipswich, her home town. She died this month at 30 from liver cancer, just after being nominated for the Happy List.

Mary Beard

The respected classicist is Britain’s best-known name in the field. Her profile is unapologetically colourful, and she is a regular guest on BBC’s Question Time. She has delighted us with her historical documentaries, narrated with erudition, enthusiasm and relish for the saucy or bizarre.

Tom Daley

The 19-year-old diver took to YouTube last December to announce that he was in a relationship with a man. He was later hailed by many as a perfect role model for young people in similar situations.

Sir Roger De Haan

The former boss of the over-50s insurance firm Saga established the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust in 1978 with his father, Sidney. Roger retired in 2004 and in the past seven years has given £49m to a wide range of charities through the trust. He was knighted in this year’s honours list.

 

Georgios Samaras

Celtic’s on-pitch celebrations after winning the Scottish Premiership were especially momentous for one young fan. Jay Beatty, who has Down’s syndrome, was given manager Neil Lennon’s winner’s medal before striker Georgios lifted him out the crowd and carried the 10-year-old on a lap of honour in front of 60,000 fans.

Sue Townsend

The author of the ever popular Adrian Mole series, Sue died last month aged 68, prompting tributes from fans and fellow writers around the world. While the loss remains, so does her work, so that her name will always be spoken with a smile.

Charlie Webster

The Sky Sports presenter from Sheffield revealed she was sexually abused as a young girl. This year, she pledged to run 250 miles in seven days to campaign against domestic violence, raising around £100,000 for Women’s Aid in the process.

Pharrell Williams

Pharrell’s universally popular song Happy made many people … well, happy. His single, a chart-topper in 24 countries, had an equally gleeful video, which led to numerous “inspired by ...” versions, including one from a group of British Muslims that shattered stereotypes.

Malala Yousafzai

After speaking out for women’s education rights in Pakistan, Malala was shot by the Taliban in 2012. This propelled her to international prominence and two nominations for a Nobel Peace prize. This year she has spoken at the UN and met leading global political figures. She continues to campaign worldwide.

Roy Hodgson (with luck)

Probably the most down-to-earth manager England have had in years, Roy is diplomatic without being dishonest, and speaks with intelligence and integrity. Of course, this currently positive public image would be upgraded to something close to godliness should he come back from Brazil cradling the World Cup this summer.

Read more - Independent on Sunday's Happy List 2014

The full list of people who make life better for others
Tom Dowling, community journalist
Nikandre Kopcke, social entrepreneur
Carmel Allen and Josephine Drew, charity founders
Robert Williams, kindness giver
Dolly Saville, legendary barmaid
Martin Griffiths, surgeon/lecturer
Jean Bishop, buzzing fundraiser
Aneeta Prem, anti-slavery campaigner

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: Human Resources Manager

£28000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: A successful organisation...

Recruitment Genius: Internal Recruiter - Manufacturing

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Internal Recruiter (manufact...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager (CIPD) - Barking / East Ham - £50-55K

£50000 - £55000 per annum + 25 days holidays & benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Man...

Recruitment Genius: Operations / Project Manager

£40000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This software company specialis...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones