Honour for woman who ensured Covid support for all 900 village households

Kathryn Parker is one of Suffolk's New Year Honours recipients

Kathryn Parker is one of Suffolk's New Year Honours recipients - Credit: Contributed

A grandmother who played a key part in supporting members of her Suffolk community during the coronavirus pandemic has described her honour as a "team effort".

Kathryn Parker, 66, has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the community in Woolpit, near Bury St Edmunds, during Covid-19.

She was part of a team who got in contact with every household in the village, which equated to about 900, to see if they needed help at the start of the crisis in 2020.

From the replies, she buddied up volunteers with those who were vulnerable, helping more than 100 people. More than 178 volunteers got involved.

Kathryn Parker with her husband Tim 

Kathryn Parker with her husband Tim - Credit: Contributed

Mrs Parker, a former Woolpit parish councillor, said: "You are talking about a fifth of the population who came out to help, and they were amazing.

"They would do just about anything. Some went shopping for people, and it was all a bit scary at that particular time.

"It was very heart-warming so many people were willing to help people who couldn't get out themselves."

Kathryn Parker, 66, has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the community in Woolpit during Covid-19

Kathryn Parker, 66, has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the community in Woolpit during Covid-19. She is pictured with her granddaughter May Wells - Credit: Contributed

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On the back of Woolpit's coronavirus emergency group, volunteers also provided marshalling services at the local health centre and pharmacy, and are still helping with vaccine clinics.

Mrs Parker, who volunteers with Woolpit Cricket Club, said of her New Year Honour: "It was a bit humbling really.

"It was a team effort at the end of the day and I got picked out of that team."

She said they were launching a village Good Neighbour Scheme on New Year's Day.


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