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Community hero Doreen brightens up lives during the lockdown

PUBLISHED: 14:07 10 April 2020 | UPDATED: 14:07 10 April 2020

Members of the community in St Stephens Square working on the garden in previous years. Picture: Norwich in Bloom

Members of the community in St Stephens Square working on the garden in previous years. Picture: Norwich in Bloom

Archant

The fruits of a Norwich woman’s hard work to create a community garden are helping to brighten up people’s daily walks during the coronavirus pandemic.

The garden in full bloom has cheered up residents during the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Norwich in BloomThe garden in full bloom has cheered up residents during the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Norwich in Bloom

Doreen Cochrane is well known to those living in St Stephens Square, from her efforts helping residents move in as well as more than 40 years of fundraising to improve her local area.

In 2018, she applied to turn a small piece of land near the Champion pub into a community garden and rallied businesses and residents to bring it to life.

Read more: WATCH: Nurse begins painting “health heroes” as thanks for efforts during pandemic

A Norwich in Bloom spokesman said: “While we are all following social distancing rules and staying at home, to protect the NHS and save lives, a small community garden in the centre of Norwich is in bloom with a beautify display of tulips, thanks to a local community champion.”

Local resident Ian Fik said: “When I moved to St Stephens Square three years ago, Doreen welcomed me and introduced me to all of the neighbours. I was amazed that such a strong community spirit existed in the city centre.

The garden in full bloom has cheered up residents during the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Norwich in BloomThe garden in full bloom has cheered up residents during the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Norwich in Bloom

“Over time I realised that the reason there is a strong community spirit is all down to Doreen, a wonderful neighbour. Due to social distancing we have a WhatsApp group for all the residents to support each other, and we all join in with the clap for carers at 8pm every Thursday with music from the Champion pub for us all to dance outside our houses.

“I am sure all the neighbours would agree that Doreen is someone special and would join me in thanking her for bringing our community together, well before the current situation.”

Read more: Housing boss rolls up sleeves to support cleaning programme

For more inspirational stories about how people are coming together to help others in need, join our ‘Here to Help’ Facebook group!

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