Sebbie Hall, who has been dubbed "the UK’s kindest person", has been honoured with a life-sized statue of himself by London’s Tower Bridge, which he hopes will inspire people to continue spreading "ripples of kindness".
The 20-year-old, who set up The Sebbie Hall Kindness Foundation in 2021 to help disabled and disadvantaged people across the country, was recognised by KIND Snacks for his random acts of kindness that he has carried out on a daily basis for the last three years.
Sebbie and his mother Ashley Hall attended the unveiling of the statue on Monday 13 November, which is World Kindness Day, alongside actor Eddie Marsan, who is the patron of the Sebbie Hall Foundation.
He told Yahoo UK he was "very excited" about the honour, and described the statue as "awesome", adding that he was "really happy" to have been honoured.
The statue is the result of KIND Snacks’ search for the UK’s Kind Hero in September. The search received more than 500 nominations, and, after an "extensive judging process", Sebbie was chosen for having gone "above and beyond over the last three years and having a direct impact on his community".
Sebbie, who has a rare chromosome anomaly which causes physical and communication difficulties, began his random acts of kindness in 2020. He initially aimed to raise £1,000 for charity by doing 100 acts of kindness in 10 days, but his initiative quickly grew beyond his first goal.
Last year, the Lichfield-born philanthropist raised almost £55,000 by carrying out thousands of random acts of kindness, such as hand-delivering 52 teddy bears to orphaned children who had been displaced from their homes in Ukraine, gathering and donating items to food banks, and much more.
He was later awarded the Positive Role Model Award in the Disability category at the National Diversity Awards. Sebbie’s motto is: "Kindness is my superpower."
"Sebbie wants to prevent people from feeling isolated and lonely, people with disability or disadvantages, and these small random acts of kindness make such a difference to people and has raised so much money - it’s just fabulous that KIND has highlighted just what being kind can do," Ashley tells Yahoo UK.
The charity founder wants the statue and his ongoing work to create a "ripple effect" of kindness. He has found throughout the last three years that doing just one act of kindness prompts others to carry out their own acts.
Ashley added: "What this has shown us is that anybody can be kind, no matter who you are and what your abilities are. Sebbie spent his life with a lot of people helping him and suddenly, he decided he wanted to make a difference for other people and it’s given him a sense of belonging in the community.
"We’ve had a lot of families contacting us to say thank you for sharing his story, because they were faced with a bleak prognosis [for their children] as well." Ashley explains that, when Sebbie was a baby, she was told that Sebbie may never walk or talk due to his chromosome anomaly.
His story of being kind and spreading joy around his community and beyond has been a "message of positivity" for families with disabled children.
Sebbie says he wants to continue spreading kindness to make people feel "happy inside". He reveals that at times, when he does something kind, people cry with happiness.
Sebbie often goes up to someone random and gives them a lottery ticket, wishes them luck and tells them: "No strings attached."
Ashley recalls a time when Sebbie left his pocket money in a launderette for anyone who needed change, and a woman who found it "burst into tears" because the money was much-needed and it "changed her week".
Sebbie decides each act of kindness he does, even if his mum isn’t sure they can achieve it. "Sebbie doesn’t take no for an answer!" she says, adding: "So you think, well, why not then?" Most of his acts are simple gestures, such as making sure someone who is cold has a blanket and giving someone a cold drink on a sweltering day.
He also likes giving strangers lottery tickets. Sebbie often goes up to someone random and gives them the ticket, wishes them luck and tells them: "No strings attached." He then "runs away really fast", Ashley tells Yahoo UK with a laugh. "Sometimes you don't even see their response! It doesn't matter, it makes him feel good."
Sam Wainwright, senior brand manager at KIND, said: "Sebbie’s story in particular highlights the importance of kindness and its transformative power in driving positive change for others. Sebbie is a shining example of the far-reaching impact that a long-term commitment to kindness can have and it’s a pleasure to honour him with a statue for World Kindness Day."
Sebbie adds: "Kindness is really, really important."
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