We Are Cardiff – Helia Phoenix fifth on The Independent Happy List 2018!

YES YOU GUYS IT IS TRUE!!! We Are Cardiff’s director Helia Phoenix was nominated for the Independent’s Happy List 2018 – AND HAS MADE IT TO NUMBER FIVE IN THE LIST!!!!!

So this is The Independent’s tenth annual Happy List – naming 50 outstanding people whose volunteering, caring, fundraising, mentoring, charity work or selflessness make Britain a happier place to live

The Happy List was founded in 2008 as an antidote to the lists that celebrate status and big bank balances. Instead, it honours the “Great Britons” doing extraordinary things for others with no thought of personal gain; those who often go largely unnoticed and unrewarded.

Being called a Great Briton is a bit weird, but other than that, Helia is very excited and honoured and humbled and all the rest of it to be featured. A BIG THANK YOU to whoever nominated her!

Helia says:

“It’s really very exciting to be featured in the Happy List this year – I had no idea anyone had nominated me and it’s a real shock, especially when you read some of the other incredible people featured on the list. I started We Are Cardiff in 2010 because I saw there was a gap in the content I was seeing about Cardiff. I was reading endless negative news reports, and it just didn’t chime with the Cardiff I knew and lived in. My Cardiff has lots of people doing wonderful, selfless, altruistic things for the good of their neighbours and their communities. I see generosity of spirit and interesting alternative action and arts and culture all around me everyday, and I just thought it deserved a platform where it could be promoted and celebrated.

“We Are Cardiff has achieved loads since then – we’ve made a documentary film, won Blog of the Year, been named as one of the world’s best city blogs, been interviewed for overseas travel documentaries, and we’re one of the top 20 most influential Twitter accounts in Wales. Get in.

“Despite everything we’ve achieved, I don’t think we’re quite there yet – there’s plenty I’d still like to do with We Are Cardiff, and earlier this year I got a grant from UnLtd. I’d like to try and turn the brand into a social enterprise, moving the mission forwards in its endeavours to celebrate and integrate people who live in Cardiff, whatever their backgrounds.

“I particularly would like to turn We Are Cardiff into a platform where people that are under-represented in the media/journalism/PR can develop skills and experience to follow careers in those industries. I remember when I was younger and first trying to forge a career in the media – I did work experience and had small jobs in various media organisations (I won’t say which) – but in every one, I felt hugely out of place. I was female, I’m of Middle Eastern origin – these were workplaces that were male dominated, middle class, overwhelmingly white and straight. I think we should be celebrating difference and I want We Are Cardiff to be more of an embodiment of that.

“I really want to thank everyone who has supported We Are Cardiff throughout the years; people volunteering their time, skills, and experience to try and make Cardiff a better place – through blogging, at least.”

Helia would like it to be known it was excruciating trying to write this without humblebragging.

Follow Helia on Twitter @heliaphoenix or Instagram @heliaphoenix.

As well as us, there were TWO MORE great individuals featured from Cardiff:

More about the Happy List:

Our world can often feel dominated by fame, cynicism, disgrace and greed. The Happy List offers a welcome chance to celebrate a different set of values, honouring those who help others without thought of enriching themselves – in many cases at considerable personal cost. That’s something we should all feel happy and optimistic about. If you know of someone you think should have been included, then please let us know and we will consider them next year. 

The Independent – The Happy List 2018


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