Unsung heroes work every day in our community to change the world around them for the better. That’s why, each year, Jewish News partners with Mitzvah Day to honour individuals who make a crucial difference in the lives of others.

Last year’s joint winners were siblings Rebecca Woolfe and the late Simon Cooper. Simon was the epitome of a brave, selfless individual who gave so much despite the enormous personal challenges he faced throughout his short life.

He suffered from cystic fibrosis and was born with a blocked bowel, requiring life-saving surgery. These profund obstacles couldn’t stop him achieving, in his family’s words ,“more in his 33 years than most people will in 100”.  Simon was an ambassador for NHS Blood & Transplant and raised vital funds for many charities. He died last July.

Now, the Simon Cooper Foundation has been set up in his memory to provide funds to medical care providers and research centres associated with cystic fibrosis and cancer.  What a fitting tribute to a heroic life.