Independent's Happy List 2017: The full list of people who make life better for others

Forget fake news and election mud-slinging, it’s time for some good news. Here, for the ninth year, is our antidote to the lists that celebrate riches or fame - Emma Ledger introduces 50 people who make Britain a happier place to live, nominated by you

Emma Ledger
Saturday 24 June 2017 13:41

The Independent’s ninth Happy List is a collection of 50 inspirational heroes and heroines whose kindness, courage and selflessness make our country a better place to live. The Happy List was founded in 2008 as an antidote to those tedious lists that celebrate wealth and big bank balances. Instead, it honours the Great Britons doing extraordinary things for others with no thought of personal gain, who often go largely unnoticed and unrewarded.

This year’s list, in partnership with JustGiving, includes: the couple who saved up to buy a house to give to refugees; a teenager who raised £50,000 for a hospice by selling her artworks; a foster mum who has spent 17 years supporting young people into employment; one of Britain's longest-serving girl-guiding volunteers; and the man doing 403 good deeds in a year, who hopes to inspire others to do a million more.

The Happy List relies on you, The Independent’s readers, to sing the praises of the otherwise unsung. This year we had an extraordinary response, with hundreds of nominations submitted, for which we’d like to say a huge thank you.

These final 50 represent the very best of the UK. And, unlike other lists, the Happy List is not a crass hierarchy but a completely unranked, alphabetically ordered celebration of wonderful deeds, large and small.

The editor of The Independent, Christian Broughton, says: “The current climate of fear, mistrust and negativity means it's more important than ever to celebrate the inspirational people whose kindness, ingenuity and bravery make the UK a better place to live.”

A JustGiving spokesperson added: “We are so pleased that JustGiving has once again had the chance to take part in the Happy List selection, and to see all the amazing people who are spreading happiness across the UK. This year’s entries are truly inspirational, at exactly the time when the UK needs just that.”

In these anxious, unsettled times, let’s celebrate those who do their bit to help make a better Britain.

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