'Suddenly I'm unstoppable' - Suffolk mum praises caring community

Community Hero: Kay Brundell Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Kay Brundell from Wickham Market is this week's community hero - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

A Suffolk mum has praised her community's caring ways during the toughest year most can remember. 

Kay Brundell from Wickham Market works in the town as a reflexologist and is chairman of Wickham Market Primary School Parent Teacher Association. 

It's been a difficult time for the PTA; usually its events involve getting large groups together, in order to raise funds.

"We haven't been able to do anything for a whole year for the children," said Mrs Brundell. 

"We were quite disappointed about that.

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"Anything we do involves us being up there with the children or putting on events at the school which has been impossible for the past year."

Community Hero: Kay Brundell Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Kay Brundell said that it had been a tough year for the PTA - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Despite these difficulties, Mrs Brundell and the PTA have been able to offer some special moments in recent months. 

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"We decided, a group of us, to send Santa around on a sleigh to see the children at home," said Mrs Brundell.

"That's how it started."

As well as bringing Santa himself to the village Mrs Brundell was also able to help organise a secret Santa event.

"I'd seen a secret Santa event on Facebook, one of those scams that goes around, and I thought it would just be a nice idea if we could do a genuine one," said Mrs Brundell. 

"My neighbour said she would help do a local one and so we got a list together. 

"I dropped them off on Christmas Eve which was absolutely brilliant."

Mrs Brundell said she had been pleasantly surprised by people's responses to her call for gifts. 

"I asked for some donations online and I left a box outside my front door and I had hundreds of gifts dropped off," she said. 

"I had so many that instead of a little secret Santa, each one was a box filled with all sorts of different things such as mugs, books and socks. 

"I think it made everyone feel better because they were able to do something for someone when you couldn't do very much at all."

As well as the bigger projects, the PTA has also been putting leaflets through doors and selling school calendars.

Mrs Brundell's work as a reflexologist has been made near impossible to do because of the pandemic. 

"Unfortunately for most of the past year I haven't been able to do it," she said. 

"I am also training to be a footcare specialist, I'm a month away from finishing it and I have been for the past year. I just can't get the training in. So I've been trying to keep myself busy."

Part of this keeping busy has involved helping her elderly patients. 

"For a lot of my elderly patients, I've been out and I've done their shopping and their washing and anything else they have need me to do," said Mrs Brundell. 

Mrs Brundell also turned detective in November to help find a dog that had gone missing from the village.

She spent hours in cold fields with a tin of tuna hoping to catch the pooch.

"I just happened to see a poster in the butchers," said Mrs Brundell. 

"I've got my dogs of my own and the thought of a little dog being out there on their own is awful. 

"We have such a wonderful community and we managed to get a group together and got him after a week."

Mrs Brundell said that much of her work had been inspired and motivated by the people of Wickham Market.

"It's brilliant," said Mrs Brundell. 

"You know if you haven't seen someone within a day or two, you know someone is knocking on their door and checking in on them.

"If you need anything you only need to stand outside the door and shout."

Mrs Brundell said her confidence had only grown thanks to her community over the years. 

"Meeting these people in the village and meeting Anna who I work with, who gave me the opportunity to retrain and do something new, has given me so much confidence," said Mrs Brundell. 

"Suddenly I'm unstoppable and annoying everyone for money.

"I never thought in a million years I'd do something like this."

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