Meet the latest community heroes supporting Suffolk through the virus crisis
- Credit: Archant
The Suffolk community is continuing to rally together to help support key workers fighting coronavirus and lift peoples’ spirits during lockdown.
Newmarket brother and sister duo Ella and Cameron Fisher, aged 12 and 10 respectively, are dedicating their time off school to creating ‘thank you’ gift packages for NHS staff once the crisis ends.
The pair, with the help of parents Emma and Scott, have launched a GoFundMe page to help pay for goodies to go into the bags, raising more than £800 so far.
And the project has caught the attention of actor Leigh Francis, better known as Keith Lemon, who will be supporting the Fishers by sending messages for the packages.
East Anglian companies have donated a range of items towards the cause, including chocolates, candles and soaps, with nearly 250 tote bags filled with gifts completed so far.
Health workers and other staff at Newmarket Hospital, West Suffolk Hospital and Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridgeshire will start receiving the packages from next week.
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Mum Emma said: “My children said how it isn’t fair that NHS staff have to go to work.
“The response has been amazing. It’s just lovely that everyone has been so generous.
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“We want to cover as many people as we can. They are all doing an amazing job.”
Meanwhile, Volunteering Matters has been delivering more than 100 information packs to homes throughout Ipswich, each containing fun activities for children and contact details for those that need support during the lockdown.
The organisation has collated resources from Suffolk Libraries, DanceEast and Ipswich Museums, with youngsters taking the lead in the project.
Stephen Skeet, director at Volunteering Matters, was keen to highlight the importance of staying connected during tough times.
He said: “It’s hugely important to rally together. Not everyone receives information online, or has access to the internet.
“We want to maintain contact with families who may be going through difficulties.”
And a Suffolk-based confectionery company has decided to slash its prices in half to ensure children can still enjoy treats during the lockdown.
Gio’s Truly Scrumptious Treats have been ensuring youngsters all throughout the county can celebrate birthdays and enjoy movie nights with popcorn, sweets and chocolate.
Lou Pfisterer, who runs the business with her partner Fabio Dellabella, said the couple are also planning to deliver treats to Ipswich Hospital.
She added: “People are really coming together.
“For us, it’s not about making money. We want to make it as affordable as possible. We still want people to enjoy sweets.”
The management of a Suffolk gym have also committed to offering healthcare workers free memberships whenever lockdown restrictions are lifted.
Jim Dale, director of Attain and Sustain in Great Blakenham, said 100 memberships, each lasting at least six months will be made available for those working on the frontline.
Eligible workers will be able to apply for the membership on the gym’s website.
Mr Dale said: “I want to do as much as I possibly can to help people. Some of our members are health workers and we see the effects the virus is having.
“Hopefully we can bring some normality when this is over.”