A massive thank you! Readers pay tribute to heroes of 2022

The Big Thank You logo

The Big Thank You logo - Credit: Archant

As part of the EDP's Big Thank You, we asked you to highlight someone, some people or some organisations who have been a great support to you in 2021. Here are your responses.

Helen Baylis - To my beautiful mum, in a year where dementia has wreaked havoc in our family. I am thankful Nanny Sylv is so unconditionally loved by you, as you are, by us.

Attleborough vaccination centre - I've been working alongside all of the wonderful, caring and considerate people at the Attleborough vaccination centre as a volunteer steward. They have been giving their all since last February and continue to offer a first class service with outstanding professionalism and kindness in a demanding, seemingly never ending process that has just got even busier.

Sarah Peberday - Sarah has worked tirelessly over the last year to support her local community through her inspiring exercise classes. She has been a true role model to many and helped them stay active, during a challenging year.

Staff at the James Paget University Hospital, Gorleston - Just like to say a big thank you for all they have done throughout the year and are still doing in this uncertain times of another Covid variant.

Stephen Pizey, Trudi Smith and Sarah Boone - Following the first lockdown, the three of them organised a voluntary running club, Norwich Social Joggers. The group is open to all and has grown and developed significantly over the course of the year. They convene every Monday and Thursday and welcome runners of all ages and abilities. Stephen, Trudi and Sarah put a lot of effort into organising new routes and special themed runs, all for the pleasure of seeing new people coming together and socialising. I’ve no doubt that some of its members and runners would say that the three of them have changed their lives by being so welcoming.

Silver Road Community Centre, Norwich - I would like to thank the outstanding volunteering team at Silver Road Community Centre, for the foodbank, community project, christmas dinners and hampers. And through last year making 10,000 sandwiches for the children in NR3.

Silver Road Community Centre lantern making

Silver Road Community Centre - Credit: Julie Brociek-Coulton

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Dad, Kings Lake, Hemsby - Thank you for keeping us together despite you facing a tough year with hospital treatment and isolating as clinically vulnerable. Your energy, motivation and positivity is everything. Love you always.

Maria Minns - With grateful thanks to our beautiful daughter Maria Minns, for her wonderful care of our precious grandson William Minns, who sadly has Battens Disease. Also big thanks to William's sisters Molly and Scarlett, and Aaron and Becky, one-to-one staff at Warren School for much-appreciated help in home tutoring for William during lockdown.

Norma Cole - Thank you for being here for me with my cancer. Your phone calls and when I'm down you just say the right thing and make me laugh, and Poppy your little dog. You're my best friend and second mum. Love you and Poppy. Thank you. 

Steve and Angela - We are in our late eighties and our friends have helped us throughout, shopping, hospital, everything, day and night. Would have been lost without them, could not thank them enough. Gold medals are due to both of them for all their help. Love them loads.

Norfolk County Council Norfolk First Response Service staff - A massive thank you to all the staff working in the Norfolk First Response Service at Norfolk County Council. Your dedication, flexibility and hard work throughout the pandemic has enabled individuals to return home from hospital, prevented admissions to hospital and enabled individuals to be independent and well in their own homes. You have supported individuals to regain their skills and maximise their independence at our reablement units and in their own homes. Well done and thank you to all our staff – you are amazing and real stars who make a difference to the lives of people in Norfolk every day.

Maple Tree Care Limited - A great big thank you to all our dedicated team at Maple Tree Care. It’s been another challenging year, yet your over and above efforts, and commitment has continued on as always. Have a very Merry Christmas!

Norfolk and Suffolk Care Support team - A huge thank you to all my team at Norfolk and Suffolk Care Support and our wonderful board of directors who support and guide us. We have a wonderful team spirit and throughout the whole pandemic have gone above and beyond to support everyone who works in social care. I cannot thank them enough for their enthusiasm, dedication and passion for the work they do. They are the A Team.

St Martins Housing team and supporters - My thanks go out to all of our amazing, hard working team members, all of our volunteers who work tirelessly to support us and the people of Norwich and Norfolk who care deeply about our work. Thank you all. From Dr Jan Sheldon.

Dr Jan Sheldon, right, chief executive of St Martins, and the Dean of Norwich, the Very Rev Jane Hed

St Martin's Housing charity - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Dr Jan Sheldon, chief executive of St Martin's. Picture: St Martin's

Dr Jan Sheldon - Credit: Archant

Norwich Theatre volunteers - Our volunteers at Norwich Theatre have worked tirelessly, going above and beyond continuously throughout the pandemic. They have shown commitment and positivity to Norwich Theatre and our temporary venues throughout this challenging time. Our trusted volunteers are essential to our visitor welcome. Their unbounded enthusiasm and passion for Norwich Theatre and our performances give our customers a great experience every time they enter our doors. We want to thank all our volunteers for their hard work and dedication this year. Their passion for the theatre shines through everything they do, and their positivity is an integral part of our audience experience.

Norwich Theatre Royal has received a £2.5m loan from the government.

Norwich Theatre Royal volunteers were thanked for their efforts - Credit: Denise Bradley

The Co-op store, High Street, Cromer - Enormous thanks to staff and volunteers for their great courtesy, efficiency and consideration over the past year.

Wells Community Support Hub Volunteers - A big thank you to the army of volunteers who have helped in assisting with over 600 requests for help in Wells and the surrounding villages.

We asked those on our Facebook page who they would like to thank this year...

The NHS and the people helping to vaccinate the nation. Marianne Westgate

My family and friends who have been my rock of stability, also my faithful cat, who has cared for me in these troubled times. Gill Carpenter

Rosa Paulino and Jon Coxon for being the rock of our family for ensuring we kept my stepdad at home through his illness. Victoria Howard

My mum and my son for all the love, kindness and patience they’ve shown me throughout the tough times. Our amazing 24/7 NHS, care workers and volunteers, all shop staff and our incredible Postie - in fact everyone who has shown kindness to one another full stop. Thank you all x Sonya Roebuck

My son's teachers, they’ve gone beyond and far to help and support my son with his SEN problems. His one to one teaching assistant is simply one of the best! A child with complex needs, needs attention to detail and key routine which he gets at his school and always with open arms! They have been my saviour of many dark times this year with my son and lockdown not helping him mentally and emotionally. Lucie Oakes

My sisters, Sally and Julie, and Sally's husband for keeping our Mum safe - just wish that we could have done more, but the locked borders wouldn't allow. Ian Watson

Amy Sheppard. Our weekly meets have got me through a rough year. You’ve been there when no one else was so a big thank you. Michelle Anna

My disabled daughters care team, who have worked tirelessly through the whole of covid, regularly testing. And picked up many extra shifts while we are short staffed. Thank you Anna Thompson, Terri Hunter, Jo Rebecca and Serena. Amazing people xx Natalie Pauline Drury

My family and my amazing team at work! Everyone has kept me together at home and my team at work make me feel valued and understood my concerns about lockdown and losing my job. Sarah Litchfield

Andrew Francis of Andrew Francis Funeral Directors for his outstanding support and kindness after the loss of my darling Nan recently. Also a thank you to the fantastic nurses and carers who helped make her last weeks comfortable and showed every bit of kindness to us as her family. Kerry Louise

Larwood and Kennedy Vets in Dereham for all there hard work with my cat Puddy back in March. Joanne Moore

All my lovely work colleagues that made me feel so welcome when I started my new job in April. So a big thank you Tracey Sillett, Vicky Green, Mandy Barnetson, Becca Wall and everyone else xxx Amy Sheppard

Kirsty Jade Miller without whom I don’t know what I would have done. I am bed-bound. She is the daughter of my recently (one year ago) deceased partner. She came over almost daily before Brian died but she has continued to do so. She does my shopping, cooking, cleaning, cuts my hair, manicures my nails (both finger and toe nails). She organises my whole household - she is an angel in disguise. I love her so much. Patricia Marshall

Mel Parish, the most amazing lady and dog walker, who came into our lives after mine and my husbands accidents. She's gone above and beyond as a dog walker, and was such a help when we were both out of action....thank you. Gill Ann

Firstly the NHS. I put my back out on 12th October unable to move. There was a long wait for ambulances and after 5 hours (which seemed an eternity) an out-of-hours GP arrived from integrated care services in Great Yarmouth and gave me pain meds to get off the chair I'd collapsed onto in kitchen to bed. I don't know his name. He was an ex A&E doctor but I truly thank him. Secondly to the A&E nurse practitioner that saw me the following day and the online physio dept that gave exercise and advice to get me back to work. I am a key worker too (food retail checkout supervisor of 20+ years) and to get back to work fully fit was of key importance. Half the battle was physical and half was mental - but I was determined. I'm back at work six days this week over Christmas fully fit. I cannot thank them enough. Matthew Holmes

Jack Pellegrini for being the best supportive husband I could possibly wish for after a mixed emotion year. Thank you. Elsie Rose

My Husband Dan Grimmer. Been my absolute rock this past year. We have been through so much this year and so much this last four weeks but he continues to give me the love & support I need and I love him so much. My best friend. Angela Grimmer

David Powles, editor of the Eastern Daily Press, said: "Once again in this toughest of years the people of Norfolk and Waveney has shown how community spirited they are. It's an absolute privilege to be able to share their stories of devotion, dedication and bravery in our newspapers every single day.

"I would like to give a particular shout out to NHS workers, teachers and the region's army of volunteers. No-one expected the pandemic to still be causing so much heartache almost two years on, but so many people continue to work tirelessly to look after others and keep things going.

"I would also like to say a massive thanks to my staff for continuing with their hard work in getting the news out every day - but most importantly you the reader for your continued support in what we do and interest in what goes on in this wonderful region."

Norwich Evening News and Norwich Advertiser editor David Powles. Photo : Steve Adams

Norwich Evening News and Norwich Advertiser editor David Powles. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

The Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk, Lady Dannatt, said: "The last two years have been unlike any before, so it is wonderful to be able to reach out and thank so many people who have made a real difference to the lives of those around them. Each and every one are unsung heroes to their families, their communities, their places of work. 

"Those who help others, in whatever way, represent the inspirational best of this amazing county of ours, and it is truly humbling to read their stories. 

"Norfolk owes so many a profound debt of gratitude for the lives they enhanced and the fantastic difference they made during such difficult times."

The Lady Dannatt

The Lady Dannatt. - Credit: Michael Waller-Bridge

General The Lord Dannatt, as president of Veterans Norfolk and Patron of the Royal British Legion in Norfolk, said: “I really want to say a big thank you to all those who work so hard to look after our military veterans and their families in Norfolk.

"Those of us who have served our country in military uniform are so grateful for the support and appreciation that we get from everyone in the County, not just during Armed Forces Week and on Remembrance Sunday, but right through the year. Thank you!

Norfolk peer Lord Dannatt is a member of the House of Lords Select Committee on the Rural Economy. P

Norfolk peer Lord Dannatt is a member of the House of Lords Select Committee on the Rural Economy. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

And Lord Dannatt added, as chairman of the Norfolk Strategic Flooding Alliance: “I want to thank everyone who has worked so hard since the flooding last December to try to make Norfolk a safer place to live. "Climate change means that major rain events and tidal surges will increase but I want to thank all the alliance members, council workers, Anglian Water employees and everyone involved in water management in the county. And don’t forget, if you are worried about flooding, the number to ring is 0344 800 8013.”

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