Thanks for all you do - Celebrating our amazing community heroes for Suffolk Day
- Credit: Julia Day
As a key part of the Suffolk Day celebrations, we’re highlighting the county’s greatest asset - its amazing people.
We asked you to tell us about your community heroes, particularly those who have stepped up during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Today we are spotlighting some of those who go the extra mile to help others. Suffolk Day 2020 is going ahead on Sunday, June 21, but the ‘big weekender’ gets under way on Friday, June 19, to celebrate all that is great about our county.
Julia Day, a nurse working in Ipswich Hospital’s A&E, nominated a colleague. She wrote: “Ipswich Hospital emergency department Sister Rachel Carpenter is a nurse practitioner working way over her contracted hours to cover the shifts in A&E.
She’s gone above and beyond, working out of her role during the pandemic, whilst also being a supportive colleague.
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“She is there for anyone and has a heart of gold. She’s a single mum of three lovely boys and never has any time for herself, because she’s always either working or offering help to her friends.
“She’s one of the most selfless people I’ve ever met and you always know when she’s around as you can hear her laugh before you can see her!”
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Laura Biggs, health and wellbeing co-ordinator at Park Manor residential home in Tuddenham Road, Ipswich, contacted us to pay tribute to manager Nicola Rowland.
She said: “All the staff want to thank her - she has worked so hard to keep the home free from the virus.
“We have not had any cases, she spent most nights reading up all she could do to keep her resident staff. We always had PPE - her hard work paid off.”
Claire Hargrave of community internet radio station Radio Stradbroke told us how the team of volunteers have stepped up to keep villagers informed during the pandemic.
She wrote: “In more normal times broadcasting once a week on Sunday, the team have taken on the task of keeping Stradbroke informed and entertained daily during lockdown.
“The Radio Stradbroke Home Service has been running since March - named for the new normal. The DJs - all Stradbroke residents - have all set up their own home studios and have been broadcasting a four hour show (10am - 2pm) on a daily rota system, seven days a week.
“The station has benefitted from the return from university of two alumni of the station - DJs Kara Moon and Owen Hargrave and has even acquired a new Stradbroke DJ during this time. Brett Baber. All the DJs and the Radio Stradbroke tech support have continued to work their shows around also working their day jobs/uni work from home.
“The shows are a mixture of themed content and request shows - but the constant element throughout has been the daily news updates to Stradbroke and surrounding villages regarding how to use the local NHS services, how to respond if you think you have CV19, what shops are open, what shops are closed, and, very importantly, the availability status of the local takeaways.
“On VE Day DJ and station manager Marty Norris broadcast from his front garden for the socially distanced street party and it was so popular that he is now getting requests to do it again and again.”
Andrew MacPherson, chair of the Coddenham Centre, got in touch to let us know about the work of volunteers operating from the Coddenham Community Shop, who have been recognised in a letter from the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, the Countess of Euston.
Villagers have been busy distributing food and gift packages, all sourced from the Community Shop, and set up a Covid-19 response group to give support to anyone in the village needing help.
Lady Euston, writing as the Queen’s personal representative in Suffolk, said: “I have been told what a fantastic job you all do in Coddenham. Without you, life could be unbearable for so many more friends and neighbours. You are the ray of light that shows that we will get through this challenge together.”
Marie Jessup wrote: “My lovely neighbours in Gainsborough Road deserve a thank you, they may not wish to be named but throughout lockdown they have lifted morale in the road by singing weekly each Thursday.
“They have also baked caked and treats every single week for the community nurse team that I work for in Ipswich.”
And Mary Daley said her community hero was Ipswich borough councillor Liz Harsant. “She does so much for her community and during this Covid period she calls five people every day, checking they are OK.”