The people, groups and communities in Norfolk helping others in their hour of need
PUBLISHED: 10:58 23 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:19 27 March 2020
As worry and concern creep into communities amid uncertainty surrounding the spread of the coronavirus, it has become more apparent than ever that the people of Norfolk and Waveney are capable of great selflessness and humanity.
While the lives of many are currently restricted due to working from home, self-isolation and social distancing, others are already stepping up and doing their best to make sure that those in need have the help they need.
Our ‘Here to Help’ campaign has been launched to highlight the great work being done by these inspiring people, communities and organisations, in the hope that as many people as possible will feel reassured and supported during these difficult times.
Here is an extensive directory of all the great initiatives that we have heard about so far – this list will be updated as and when we hear about more:
• Age Connected, Great Yarmouth – The charity has closed its ACORN Centre and its Age Connected lunch groups closed from Friday, March 20. Staff will offer information and support. Call 01493 262051.
• Amy Louise Taylor – Mrs Taylor lives in Swaffham and is happy to talk to anyone over the phone who is in need of some human contact. You can call her on 07496570528.
• Bacton Superstore – The shop is offering local deliveries to the elderly, vulnerable and to those who are forced to self-isolate due to the virus. Call 07385247770 or 01692 650209 for more information.
• Brancaster and Brancaster Staithe Parish Council – Councillor Briony Bax spoke at a meeting of residents, practising social distancing, to discuss plans to help residents. The council is planning to drop off information cards to all residents with details of their local volunteer contact, asking if they need help so that no-one need feel alone.
• Branfords Bar and Restaurant, Caister – Using the hashtag #viralkindness, Branfords is is offering help with shopping and any general errands as well as friendly phone call for those self-isolating in the rural area. The venue is also helping to launch Whelan Meals on Wheels, offering wholesome home-cooked meals for £8 per person for two courses. Contact Branfords on 01493 720400.
• Carbrooke Action Group – The group assists with essential shopping, banking or postal transactions and prescriptions. It started as an intiative by St Peter and St Paul Parish Church but is attracting volunteers throughout the community. If you can help or if you need help, call Mark Ward on 07935334610 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Cov-19 Mutual Aid, Norwich – A Facebook page has been set up and, as of Wednesday afternoon, already had more than 3,500 members. It says its goal is to organise help and support for the local community, in particular the most vulnerable.
• Ed Colman, county councillor – The councillor for Swaffham has made himself available to people in the community who need help accessing Norfolk County Council services. Mr Colman said: “I have had residents contact me about accessing Norfolk County Council’s services during this period and we are doing all we can to keep those front line services operational.” You can email Ed.email@example.com or call 07940 406356.
• Estateducation – The firm has altered two of their properties – No.82 The Unthank and No.10 The Abbey – to make them self-contained, self-isolated serviced apartments in the hope of assisting those needing to come and stay in the area.
• Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, South Walsham – They are offering free delivery in the South Walsham area for items off the tearoom menu and from its ‘essential essentials’ provisions shop. For more information contact general manager Louise on 01603 270449 or 07887683731.
• Great Yarmouth Borough Mutual Aid Covid-19 – A group for people living in Great Yarmouth either in need of support or looking to help others during the Covid-19 pandemic. The group aims to assist those at particular risk by helping them to access food (cooking or going shopping), toiletries, completing errands or simply offering phone calls.
• Happisburgh Road Stores – The shop is offering free home deliveries in the North Walsham area for anyone who needs one. Staff promise to do their best to help if you call 01692 406629.
• Hellesdon Helping Hands – A Facebook group has been created. Admin say that it was created so that people in the area can request or offer support during the coronavirus emergency.
• Helping Hands Relief Childcare – UEA medical students have had teaching suspended, so they are offering to help NHS workers with childcare. Organisers say that the purpose of the group is “to try to offer support and practical help to healthcare workers who need assistance”.
• Hempnall Primary School – The school will try to keep its kitchen open for local community use. Headteacher Laura Jestico said: “We are seeking to use our school kitchen, in the event of our closure, to support our community and especially the elderly with a meals on wheels type service, should other services shut down. Again, it’s about modelling the kind of unselfish behaviour we would like to see from our children.”
• Hethersett Community Store – The shop has launched a self-service delivery website for people who cannot visit shops and public places due to the outbreak. All items will be charged at standard shop price and will incur a £1 delivery fee.
• Hingham Helpers – A group offering a range of services including shopping, picking up supplies and dog walking. Call Victoria on 07557235117 or Jo on 07895711461.
• Horsford Helpers – In Horsford, people have started offering assistance to others, including with their shopping, collecting prescriptions or offering a telephone call.
• Iceland – Workers have followed the example of their colleagues in Belfast by opening between 7am and 9am for elderly customers only. All other customers will be able to access the shop during the usual opening hours of 9am to 5pm from Monday to Saturday, and 10am to 4pm on Sundays.
• Impson Traditional Butchers, Swaffham – The butchers have launched a delivery service for those self isolating or not wanting to venture into crowds. Call: 01760 721791.
• Lowestoft United against Covid-19 – A cross-party group which is offering support in any way it can. The Facebook page posts information and ways to keep up spirits high during isolation.
• Luis Neto Hair Design, Norwich – The barber has pledged to give one free haircut per month for the next six months to all NHS staff. All that is required is a valid NHS ID card.
• Lyng Stores and Tea Room – A grocery delivery service, including fresh bread, milk, fruit, vegetables and meat, has been extended to anyone who feels they cannot go to the shop. Call 01603 920101 for more information.
• Market Cross Cafe Bar, Swaffham – For customers taking precautions and limiting travels, Market Cross Cafe Bar will be extending services to include home delivery within a five mile radius. Orders must be places by 2.45pm and payment made over the phone. To place an order, call 01760 336671 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Mike, Debs and Sons Fruit and Veg, Norwich Market – The stall will be offering home deliveries for those who need them. Deliveries of £20 or more will be free – contact them on 01603 569207 or message them on Facebook to arrange an order.
• Naturopathic Alphas, Lowestoft – The firm is providing free wellbeing packs through email to frontline workers and those who are either newly unemployed or working remotely across Norfolk and Waveney.
• Newsklip, Fakenham – The independent, family-run newsagent is offering a newspaper and magazine delivery service for those who are self-isolating. They will cover residents in Fakenham, Hempton, Sculthorpe, Little Snoring, Great Snoring, Kettlestone, Ryburgh, Whissonsett, Stanfield, Thursford, Hindringham, Bale, Langham, Field Dalling, Cockthorpe, Glandford, Saxlingham, Guestwick, Hindolveston, Swanton Novers, Gunthorpe, Barney, Fulmodston, Croxton, Briningham, Sharrington, Thornage, South Creake, North Creake, Gressenhall, Beetley, Old Beetley and Colkirk. Call 01328 862864 for further information.
• Nice and Reliable Gardening and Fencing Services, Gorleston – The firm is offering to help elderly customers with their shopping if they have been told to stay indoors. Manager Nathan Yaxley said that he would do his “utmost to source what is required and deliver it free of charge as a thank you for being a customer. Call 01493 285016 or 07445803556 for more information.
• Norwich Cat Sitting Services – The firm is offering a Pet to Vet service for those who are self-isolating, but whose cats need to be taken to the vet for routine checkups, vaccinations or emergency treatment.
• Oaklands Hotel, Norwich – The hotel is providing free bedrooms for frontline workers and carers, and its steak restaurant Michaels is offering to deliver free hot dinners to those who are over 70 or struggling in Thorpe and the surrounding areas. Call 01603 715232 for more information.
• Online music lessons – A piano teacher in Gorleston is teaching free music lessons online for children up to eight-years-old, live from the piano house in Gorleston twice a day. Call Nicole on 07542 359202.
• Paul Towers Plumbing and Heating, Fakenham – Will be offering free of charge emergency call-outs to those who are elderly or vulnerable in Fakenham and surrounding villages. Call 01328 863664.
• Quality Indian and Bangladeshi Takeaway, Heartsease – The takeaway is offering a free curry and rice or naan bread to NHS staff who show a valid NHS card on collection.
• Shrublands FC, Gorleston – The club has a team of volunteers free this Sunday, March 22, who can help with shopping, collection of medication or any other needs.
• Somerleyton Parish Council – The council has set up a hotline with local telecomms company Liquid11 to allow residents in isolation to contact a team of volunteer support workers at the parish council to organise hot food, a chat, or shopping deliveries. You can visit Liquid11’s website for more information about setting up your own hotline.
• Son of Christie Cheesemonger – The deli, which specialises in cheese, home cooked on the bone ham and produce are offering home deliveries to Fakenham, Dereham and Swaffham. To order or for details, email email@example.com or call 07765734734.
• Springwood King’s Lynn Covid-19 Mutual Aid – A Facebook page, has been set up to coordinate and organising support for the most vulnerable and isolated in the community during the Covid-19 outbreak. The group description states: “We recognise that everyone is at risk of being affected by this pandemic, but that a pandemic doesn’t hit everyone equally. That’s why we’re organising to support the most vulnerable, including the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions, during the outbreak.”
• Steffan Aquarone – The Norfolk County Councillor is hosting a ‘virtual coffee morning’ at 7.30am every weekday for people to have a chat if they want to. Visit https://zoom.us/j/5264336282 via a web browser to join, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
• Swaffham Emergency Action Facebook group – The group is asking the community to donate essential items, treats and games, ideally collected in shoe boxes. They will then be donated to people in need. Items can be donated to the White Hart, or the team can collect them. People in need can contact the White Hart on 01760 724295.
• Swaffham Relief in Need – Relief in need was created to provide financial assistance to residents of Swaffham who at times find themselves in need of help.
• The Burston Crown – The 438-year-old pub has become a village shop and is offering to deliver supplies and meals in the village and neighbouring Shimpling. It will allow villagers to buy food essentials and even toilet rolls for those who cannot get into the bigger shops. For more information, call 01379 741257.
• The Green Parrot, Swaffham – The Green Parrot will be offering a free home delivery service to residents in Swaffham who are self-isolating. Call 01760 724704 to place an order over the phone.
• The Norfolk Hub – A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to get much sought-after hand sanitiser out to the community at an affordable price. The minimum order is 250,000 units before they can place an order.
• The Railway Tavern, Dereham – Owner Paul Sandford has teamed up with Age UK to put together care packages for vulnerable people in the district. Mr Sandford will be offering free delivery to anyone aged 70 or above or in care facilities on food from his fish and chip shop.
• The Red Lion, Swaffham – The Red Lion will still be offering its home delivery service to those self-isolating. Call 01760721022 to order.
• The Squirrels Drey, Swaffham – Homemade meals will be available on a delivery service from The Squirrels Drey during the pandemic. Call: 01760 788101.
• The Tea Junction, Norwich Castle Quarter – Owners Jonathan and Alison Winter say they are still open for all online sales. They are offering any orders in the Norwich area free delivery. Call 01603 661066 or email email@example.com.
• The White Hart, Swaffham – The pub has launched ‘Hart to Home’, a home delivery service of pre-ordered, home-cooked meals to anyone who wants them. The meals will cost £5 each and delivery is free. The service will be provided between 11am and 9pm daily. Call 01760 724295 or email info@whitehartswaffham to place an order.
• Thing-Me-Bobs, Swaffham – Thing-Me-Bobs have decided to open its store from 8.30am to give vulnerable people the chance to do shopping before stock flies off the shelves.
• Uggeshall Coronavirus Neighbour Support – A Facebook page has been set up by a group of volunteers to support isolated and lonely members of the community. Support being offered includes telephone calls and collection of provisions or medication for those in isolation.
• Village Information Network, Holme-next-the-Sea – The long-established email-based system holds a list of parishioners who have offered to help with shopping, collecting prescriptions, dog walking and other services. Administrator Tony Foster said that they are “ready to respond to any call for help from our locals”.
• Walcott Community Resilience Group – Their team of helpers is delivering a ‘Here to Help’ postcard to every property in Walcott. All helpers are issued with an ID card.
• Wellbread Bakers, Swaffham – The bakery will be offering a telephone ordering service for those self-isolating. The family-run business will also be delivering orders onto the doorsteps of homes in surrounding villages such as Sporle, Necton, Holme Hale, Narborough and Castle Acre. “Let’s all help each other through some of the darkest days of our generation,” said owners Emma and Andy Godfrey. Call 01760 722707 to place an order.
• Wensum Residents Association – A team of 25 volunteers has been delivering leaflets to ask people to join a mailing list and volunteer ways that they can help others in the area around Dereham Road, Waterworks and Old Palace.
• Yaxham Cares – A volunteer group of local parish residents set up to help those in need. They can help with picking up shopping or posting mail, picking up urgent supplies and prescriptions and providing community car scheme trips to medical appointments. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Are you doing something to help others, or know someone who is? Email email@example.com with details!
For regular updates on the good deeds that people across Norfolk are doing for others, visit the Norfolk and Waveney Here to Help Facebook group.