Fishermen’s friends and a 100th birthday card for a fundraising hero – good deeds from across the region during the coronavirus crisis

Sue Jay helping to distribute boxes for Fishermen's Mission. Picture: FISHERMEN'S MISSION

Sue Jay helping to distribute boxes for Fishermen's Mission. Picture: FISHERMEN'S MISSION - Credit: FISHERMEN'S MISSION

From a charity sending care packages to fishermen to the firm making birthday cards for NHS fundraising hero Captain Tom – here are some of the brilliant things people across Suffolk are doing to get through the coronavirus crisis.

Businesses and charities all over the region have adapted to help the NHS and those in need.

Among them is The Fishermen’s Mission, a charity, which is working with other charitable groups to send 350 care packages to retired and active fishermen across Norfolk and Suffolk.

Included in the care packages are fresh fruits and a few treats.

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Carol Elliott, delivery manager for the SeaFit programme, one of the charitable groups helping distribute the packages, said: “It is wonderful how new and existing partners are coming together to continue to support our fishermen and their families. We can’t physically meet people, or run any harbour-side health events at the moment, but we want fishermen to know we are available by phone, email and internet if people need help.”

Away from the water, two of Suffolk’s largest home builders are donating defibrillators not currently needed on building sites to St John Ambulance.

Barratt and David Wilson Homes Eastern Counties developments has donated 14 defibrillators from closed sites across the east.

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David Thomas, chief executive of Barratt Developments, said: “We are pleased to be able to donate this equipment where it is urgently needed – to help St John Ambulance who are on the frontline, supporting the NHS and helping to save lives. We are seeing an amazing collective effort by businesses, communities and individuals in the fight against coronavirus and we want to play our part in that.”

A business advice service is offering free classes in entrepreneurship to staff who have been furloughed.

Menta, not-for profit company based in Bury St Edmunds, is offering free online workshops on starting your own business to people who have been laid-off work during the virus.

John Neild, enterprise programme and contracts manager at MENTA, said: “Many who are signing up are telling us that they want to use the time available during lockdown to work on their business ideas. The beauty of Workshop Live is that you only need a laptop or a mobile to sign in and take part.”

Finally, a Bury St Edmunds business has started producing personalised cards so people can keep in touch with loved ones despite social distancing measures.

Precision Marketing Group is working with KNP Litho, a local printers, to sell postcards and greetings cards with most of the price being donated directly to the NHS.

Find all of our coronavirus coverage here.

They have also launched a ‘Happy 100th Birthday card’ for NHS fundraising hero captain Tom Moore.

Gary Howard, chief digital officer at Precision Market Group, said: “I was moved by the way we, as a nation, have come together in the face of such adversity to offer ingenious ways to support our fight against this horrible virus.

“If some can turn a conference centre into a 4,000-bed hospital, we can convert one of our marketing platforms into a fundraiser for the NHS and a cost-effective way to put a smile on the face of those you love and miss at this time. We’re delighted to launch #StayingConnected when it’s more important than ever for us all to reach out, connect and support others.”

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