You can put heroes of 2021 on your Christmas tree

From Gareth Southgate leading the England team to success in the Euros, to Tom Daley’s poolside knitting – new insight from curated online marketplace notonthehighstreet reveals the most treasured moments and icons that have most helped to unite the nation after a difficult year.

Surveying the great British public, the 21 Angels list draws together the public figures that research shows have inspired the nation (27%), acted as role models (23%), brought the nation joy (22%), entertained people (18%) and used their platform to make a difference (15%) in 2021.

What’s more, working with its own British small business Partners, notonthehighstreet have designed and curated its own ‘Little Angels’ tree toppers inspired by some of the personalities who helped create connections across the UK this year, with the collection raising money for charity partner, The Prince’s Trust.



In a year that saw sport return with a vengeance, it will come as no surprise that four in ten Brits claim live sporting events (40%) played a main role in uniting the country, with Team GB’s performance at the Olympics and Paralympics voted by more than a third of Brits (36%) as the crowning moment that brought the nation together in 2021.

Gareth Southgate’s efforts leading the England Men’s Football team to success in the Euros, and Emma Raducanu’s win at the US Open brought 28% and 30% of the nation together respectively. The positive values they demonstrated as individuals, like being charitable (12%), achieving what most thought was impossible (12%) showing resilience (12%) or making us laugh (11%) were cited as some of the other reasons they connected us.



It wasn’t just moments sporting stars provided ‘on the pitch’ that created common ground for people across the UK this year. For one in eight Brits (13%) Tom Daley knitting his Team GB jumper at the Olympics was another moment that united us, while Marcus Rashford, who was awarded an MBE this year after his campaigning to help feed vulnerable children, took the top spot as the personality who has brought the nation together in a positive, joyful way.

Meanwhile, 15% voted Kate Middleton as bringing the nation together, while one in ten (10%) think the morning duo, Holly Willoughby & Phillip Schofield have united us as a result of them entertaining the country (14%).

The full list of the 21 Angels of ‘21 is listed below:

  1. Marcus Rashford
  2. Emma Raducanu
  3. Gareth Southgate
  4. Tom Daley
  5. Kate Middleton
  6. Ant and Dec
  7. Holly Willoughby & Phillip Schofield
  8. Adele
  9. Lewis Hamilton
  10. Olivia Colman
  11. Alison Hammond
  12. Ashley Banjo
  13. Nadiya Hussain
  14. Martin Compston
  15. Davinia McCall
  16. Alex Scott MBE
  17. Sarah Storey
  18. Bimini Bon-Boulash
  19. Munya Chawawa
  20. Ncuti Gatwa
  21. Clara Amfo

TV shows (24%) and new film releases (11%) also proved essential in continuing to provide the nation with plotlines to discuss and viewing parties to attend – with the release of James Bond, No Time to Die bringing one in six people together (17%) this year. The Line of Duty storyline that finally revealed the identity of ‘H’ held the shared focus of one in ten Brits (11%) and the release of Squid Game on Netflix were also credited as moments that brought the country together again.



To further celebrate some of those extraordinary and inspiring Brits honoured in the 21 Angels list, notonthehighstreet small businesses have selected just five names from this list to create iconic tree toppers inspired by Gareth Southgate, Bimini Bon-Boulash, Ashley Banjo, Tom Daley and Holly Willoughby and Phil Schofield.

Raising money for charity Partner The Princes Trust, limited numbers* of the ‘Little Angels’ tree-toppers will be available to the public to buy on notonthehighstreet.com for 48 hours from 12pm on Tuesday 23rd November, until 12pm on Thursday 25th November. The company will donate 100% of sales proceeds (retail value) to The Prince’s Trust to direct to wherever the money is most needed.



For those who feel inspired to celebrate the angels in their own lives this year – notonthehighstreet small businesses have also created an edit of personalisable items and angel inspired products – which is available from Tuesday 23rd November – Thursday 23 rd December 2021 with 10% of sales going to The Prince’s Trust.

Claire Davenport, Chief Executive at notonthehighstreet said: “In 2020 the nation celebrated the incredible people who kept us safe, and at NOTHS we honoured those who kept everyone connected even while we were apart.



“This year, we feel privileged to be able to celebrate just some of the people who’ve been there to bring us together as a nation through the shared smiles they’ve helped to create, the important issues they’ve raised and the displays of humanity they’ve role-modelled.

“As we head towards Christmas and hopefully the long-awaited in-person festivities, we’re delighted to celebrate just some of the extraordinary people who have made this past year that much more enjoyable for so many people; and to help everyone reflect on the angels who’ve shown up in their own lives this year.”



Naomi Hyde, Corporate Partnerships Manager, The Prince’s Trust commented: “We’re thrilled to be a part of the ‘Little Angels’ campaign with our corporate partner, notonthehighstreet, which celebrates the extraordinary figures who have inspired young people throughout 2021 to be themselves and never give up on their dreams and ambitions. The money raised from this campaign will support young people across the UK who are most in need of our support, and we’re so grateful to notonthehighstreet for continuously supporting young people and The Prince’s Trust.”