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Hear choir’s inspirational song as we spotlight more Suffolk community heroes

PUBLISHED: 19:00 29 April 2020

Members of Felixstowe Harmonies before lockdown. The choir is now singing together online. Picture: FELIXSTOWE HARMONIES

Members of Felixstowe Harmonies before lockdown. The choir is now singing together online. Picture: FELIXSTOWE HARMONIES

FELIXSTOWE HARMONIES

Today we are turning the spotlight on more of the community heroes working to help keep up spirits during the coronavirus pandemic.

Bridget Arthey from Ipswich with some of the 60 sets of scrubs she has made Picture: BRIDGET ARTHEYBridget Arthey from Ipswich with some of the 60 sets of scrubs she has made Picture: BRIDGET ARTHEY

Members of the Felixstowe Harmonies choir have created an uplifting song, inspired by thoughts and feelings during isolation. The singers and their musical director, Chandra Grover, wrote the song, Across the Borders, together.

The chorus has a strong and uplifting message of solidarity, of friends uniting and about how singing lifts the hearts across the borders of our world. Instead of performing together as they usually would, the singers recorded their vocals individually while in isolation.

Other singing groups who want to sing the song can download the sheet music for a four-part female choir and piano, which is available from sheetmusicplus. There is a small charge to cover costs. The choir is also planning to set up a JustGiving page for the NHS.

Bridget sews amazing number of scrubs

Many people around the area are busy sewing scrubs for the NHS. Bridget Arthey, from East Ipswich, has so far made an incredible 60 sets of scrubs.

Bridget said: “Sewing is my passion... has been for 50 years, ever since leaving school and so I was very keen to help the NHS when lockdown started. I had already begun to make enquiries when I heard about the Sew Scrubs for Ipswich Hospital group run by Adriana and her team, so I joined this amazing group of keen sewers, drivers, cutters, admin etc and have enjoyed every minute of this much needed project.

Gabrielle Hammond from Ipswich with some of the snakes she has made to help the RSPCA Suffolk East & Ipswich Branch Picture: KERRI HAMMONDGabrielle Hammond from Ipswich with some of the snakes she has made to help the RSPCA Suffolk East & Ipswich Branch Picture: KERRI HAMMOND

“In fact, i feel privileged to be part of it and to help our wonderful NHS, who are doing such incredible work for us all right now. I’ve not had any direct comments from NHS, but much encouragement, support and lovely words of praise from my own friends and also from the group. My husband has been wonderfully supportive too, by doing all the cooking, cleaning, shopping and household chores, which has allowed me time to get really involved, working up to 50- 60 hours a week to turn these out.

“We finished the hospital requirements a week ago and the group members voted overwhelmingly to carry on making scrubs for any local care homes, nursing homes, surgeries, medical centres etc, so we are now supplying them and trying hard to meet their needs as best we can. There is high demand all round in the present situation.”

READ MORE - Banner tribute to NHS from family of late community stalwart

Gabrielle crafts fluffy snakes to help cause

Times are hard for many charities at the moment, and 13-year-old Gabrielle Hammond, from East Ipswich, has decided to help a cause close to her heart during lockdown.

Mum Kerri said: “Gabrielle is finger knitting snakes which make perfect bookmarks to raise money for RSPCA Suffolk East & Ipswich Branch. Due to lockdown, I set up a birthday funding page via Facebook, raising £125 earlier this month. From this “Gabrielle has ASD and her school Copleston sends out craft activities (as well as school work) to help with mental health.

“One of these was a tutorial for making finger-knitted snakes. We have a box outside our house, as do her grandparents, and people can choose a snake and post £1 through the letterbox (contact free), or alternatively can choose custom colours by putting a note through the door and collecting the next day. Football teams have proved popular, as have rainbow colours.”

Sue Rivers of Ravenswood Medical Practice is set to shave her hair off in aid of Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals Covid-19 Staff Well-being charitySue Rivers of Ravenswood Medical Practice is set to shave her hair off in aid of Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals Covid-19 Staff Well-being charity

Gabrielle has been helped by her sister, Lillia-May, aged 11.

The youngster has also advertised on Facebook selling groups and sent out snakes via the post. She has set herself a target of £100, and has raised £37 in just three days.

NHS worker braving shave to help frontline

Just as many of us are letting our hair grow long because hairdressers are shut, health care assistant Sue Rivers is going to the other extreme, and shaving all her hair off.

Colleague Gemma English-Godbold contacted us to pay tribute to Sue, who is shaving her hair to raise money for the Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals Covid-19 Staff Wellbeing charity. They are hoping to livestream the hair shave from her workplace, Ravenswood Medical Practice on Wednesday, May 6, starting at about 1pm.

Sue’s colleague Gemma English-Godbold contacted us to let us know about Sue braving a head shave to help those on the NHS frontline. Sue and her colleagues are hoping to raise £500 via their JustGiving page.

READ MORE - Join our Suffolk Coronavirus Updates Facebook group here and sign up for our daily news alerts here.


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