A good samaritan who has performed a random act of kindness every day for the past four years has been named the UK’s kindest person.
Sebbie Hall, 20, was selected from almost 500 nominees to be crowned as the UK’s 2023 Kind Hero by American snack company KIND Snacks. A statue was unveiled in Sebbie’s honour at Tower Bridge in London to mark World Kindness Day on November 13.
The statue will later be transported to The Hub in Sebbie’s hometown of Lichfield, Staffordshire, where it will permanently reside. Printed on the plinth of his statue is Sebbie’s motto: “kindness is my superpower”.
Sebbie’s journey began in March 2020 when lockdown meant that he had to adapt to remote learning. Concerned about a fellow classmate without access to a computer who was unable to attend online lessons, Sebbie decided to take action.
Inspired by Captain Tom Moore who completed 100 laps of his garden ahead of his 100th birthday, Sebbie made a commitment to complete 100 acts of kindness in 10 days to raise £1,000 so that his classmate could purchase a laptop.
Since 2020, Sebbie has managed to exceed his fundraising goal each year and as of December 2022 had raised £55,000 for charity.
Sebbie was born with a rare chromosomal anomaly which causes him physical and communication difficulties as well as a mild learning disability.
“After his diagnosis at one year old, we were told he would never walk, talk, sit up, or understand anything,” said Sebbie’s mother, Ashley Hall. “So, this is an inspiring story for other people who are faced with diversity or disability.”
In 2022, Sebbie won a World Compassion Award for his positive work and was awarded $10,000 which he used to set up the Sebbie Hall Kindness Foundation, a charity dedicated to preventing disadvantaged and disabled youth from becoming socially isolated.
“Sebbie is the isolated, lonely person that he’s helping,” said Mrs Hall. “He can’t read or write, so can’t text or ring people, so the organisations that he is funding are to help others in a similar situation. You can make a difference every day in a little way, it doesn’t have to cost.”
Sebbie’s charity funds projects that champion inclusion for people with disabilities to enable them to lead fulfilling lives and put kindness at the centre of everything they do.
Patrons of the foundation include British actor Eddie Marsan and American actor Richard Brake who starred in Game of Thrones. Sebbie has also received support from Ant and Dec and Catherine Tate.
“I find Sebbie’s acts of kindness to be so inspiring and I’m honoured to be a patron for this charity,” Eddie Marsan said. “As the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said, ‘Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.’ Thank you, Sebbie.”
“If there’s one thing the world needs more of it’s kindness,” Richard Brake said. “Sebbie is a shining example to me of how to live and offer love and kindness to others. He is an inspiration, an incredible young man, and I’m honoured to be a patron of the Sebbie Hall Foundation.”
Over the past four years, Sebbie has performed thousands of acts of kindness, from purchasing lottery tickets for people and helping his neighbours with dog walking to offering police officers biscuits and using his pocket money to buy people coffees.
He has also donated 400 coats and blankets to homeless charities, 800 toys to children’s homes, and during Halloween he collected leftover pumpkins and delivered them to food banks, helping to provide meals for 300 people.
Since launching his charity, Sebbie has won numerous awards including a Points of Light Award from the Prime Minister and a National Diversity Award for being a positive role model.
“All his life people have had to help him because of his disabilities,” Mrs Hall said. “Day-to-day life is hard, but now he gets the chance to do something for someone else. It’s given him this confidence that’s spurred him on and shown him that he can do anything.”
In 2022, Sebbie saw an article about orphans who had been displaced from their homes in Dnipro, Ukraine and was keen to “make them smile”.
With sponsorship from a rail company and a hotel, Sebbie was able to travel to Edinburgh and personally deliver over 50 teddy bears to the children. “It was just the most joyful and heartwarming act of kindness,” Mrs Hall said.
Eddie Marsan, who unveiled Sebbie’s statue in Tower Bridge, said, “So many selfless acts of kindness and such humility in a young person is extremely commendable. Sebbie has touched so many people’s hearts with these acts and he is a huge inspiration. I’m in awe of what a role model he is to other people.”
Senior brand manager at KIND Snacks, Sam Wainwright, said, “It warmed our hearts to see the sheer volume of people selflessly devoting their time and effort to fostering kindness in their communities.
“The scale of impact delivered through the entries we read was absolutely overwhelming. Sebbie’s story in particular highlights the importance of kindness and its transformative power in driving positive changes for others.
“Sebbie is a shining example of the far-reaching impact that a lifetime commitment to kindness can have. Honouring Sebbie’s kindness with a statue felt like the right way to celebrate such an outstanding person.”
Click here to find out more about the Sebbie Hall Kindness Foundation.