Nine times North Norfolk showed amazing community spirit during Covid-19

Julie Oatham, owner of The Butchers Arms in East Ruston, pictured outside the pub holding a box of g

Julie Oatham, the landlady of The Butcher’s Arms in East Ruston is just one of the people across north Norfolk who has shown incredible community spirit during the coronavirus pandemic - Credit: Danielle Booden

The last 12 months have been a difficult time for everyone but throughout the pandemic people across north Norfolk have shown incredible kindness and generosity.

Here are nine examples of when the area's community spirit shone through.

Livestreamed concert at Heron Lodge. Pictures: Stephen Pullinger

Livestreamed concert at Heron Lodge. Pictures: Stephen Pullinger - Credit: Archant

1. The pianist who used technology to keep spirits high

Pianist and singer Jane Everard discovered the uplifting effect music could have on people living with dementia from playing to her father.

So when the coronavirus lockdown put a stop to her regular care home visits she switched to live streaming sing-a-long concerts from the front room of her home in Swanton Abbott, in north Norfolk.

Emma and Neil Storey donated one of the bouquets to ward sister Sammy Richie at the Norfolk and Norw

Emma and Neil Storey donated one of the bouquets to ward sister Sammy Richie at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Picture: Emma Storey - Credit: Emma Storey

2. The florist who said 'thank-you' to the NHS with 1,200 bouquets

In April last year, Emma Storey who owns Emms Stems in Southrepps delivered 1,200 bouquets of flowers to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital to say thank you to hospital staff on the frontline of the pandemic for all their hard work.


You may also want to watch:


It took Mrs Storey along with her children and sister three days to prepare the bouquets which used 15,000 stems. She and her husband then delivered them to the NNUH, a task that required nine van loads.

Jack Daniel puts on Facebook Live gig for people during lockdown. Thousands watched due to pubs bein

Jack Daniel puts on Facebook Live gig for people during lockdown. Thousands watched due to pubs being closed amid coronavirus pandemic. Pictures: Jack Daniel Music - Credit: Archant

3. The musician who cheered people up in their back gardens

Jack Van Greuning, known as JackDaniel, a performer from Sheringham brought a little cheer to people cooped up during the coronavirus outbreak when he performed a Facebook Live in his backyard.

Most Read

The young musician had about 4,500 people tuning in to watch, with others filming themselves enjoying the live stream. Several commented on the show with fans posting pictures of themselves online enjoying a beer in their gardens while listening.

North Norfolk District Councillor for Sheringham Liz Withington's register of interests was nor publ

North Norfolk District Councillor for Sheringham Liz Withington - Credit: Archant

4. The councillor who helped rally her community

Liz Withington, a Sheringham district councillor was named Norwich City Football Club’s first weekly ‘Community Hero’ for her work helping to co-ordinate and set up the Sheringham Community Support group.

The organisation was established to assist people in need during the pandemic by setting up a street network of volunteers to offer help, advice and support households in the town.

Magnificent rainbow painted on the playground at Sheringham Community Primary School and Nursery by

Magnificent rainbow painted on the playground at Sheringham Community Primary School and Nursery by the children of local critical care workers. Picture: CHRIS TAYLOR / christaylorphoto.co.uk - Credit: Archant

5. The children who said a colourful thank you to the NHS

In April, the children of critical workers who attend Sheringham Community Primary School and Nursery said thank you to key workers on the front line of the coronavirus fight by drawing a giant rainbow on their playground.

The colourful artwork was captured by Norfolk photographer Chris Taylor whose image then went onto receive the Royal seal of approval when it was featured in the Duchess of Cambridge's Hold Still photography exhibition.

Debbie Gooden, who has more than1,000 fabric masks, raising more than £700 for Macmillan Cancer Supp

Debbie Gooden, who has more than1,000 fabric masks, raising more than £700 for Macmillan Cancer Support.Photo: contributed - Credit: Archant

6. The north Norfolk seamstress whose stitching skills saw her create more than 1,000 fabric masks

Deborah Gooden, from Sheringham, came up with the idea of making masks as a way of keeping busy, after being furloughed from her job making home furnishing at Lisa Dawson Interiors, at Aylsham.

Running up a total of more than 1,350 mask the keen sewer received praise for her efforts from the Great British Sewing Bee's Patrick Grant.

After being informed of Mrs Gooden’s mask-making feat by one of her ‘customers’ the Savile Row fashion designer, whose staff have made more than 100,000 items of PPE for the NHS, tweeted: “You are AMAZING, there are hugs coming your way when this is over.”

Tim Adams from Cromer Cares with Morrisons' Community Champion and donations of food for the organisation's Christmas Hampers

Tim Adams from Cromer Cares with Morrisons' Community Champion and donations of food for the organisation's Christmas Hampers - Credit: Simon Clipsom

7. The community and council which rallied to support its most vulnerable residents

Cromer Cares was set by Cromer town councillor Tim Adams in March 2020 to March to provide services for residents including telephone befriending, shopping trips and picking up prescriptions.

The group was set up with the intention of closing once the pandemic ended, but one year on the organisation is still going strong, has received funding from Norfolk County Council and is looking to become an official charity.

The Wells Christmas lights team add the lights to the crab pot Christmas tree, built by the Wells fi

The Wells Christmas lights team add the lights to the crab pot Christmas tree, built by the Wells fishermen, at Wells-Next-the-Sea harbour. From left, Mark Howes, Chris Coubrough, Mel Catton, Dave Barber, Nigel Ely, and Marcus French. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

8. The harbour team that created a Christmas tree with a difference

When coronavirus restrictions put a stop to Wells’ Christmas Tide Festival and cast doubt on whether the town’s normal festive decorations would be able to be put up, Wells Harbour Commission and the festival organisers set about trying to find a solution.

Using what they had to hand as well as a little festive ingenuity, the team created a 15ft tall ‘tree’ constructed of crab and lobster pots. Located on the harbour the tree featured crabs, fenders, Christmas lights and even a star with luminous crustaceans.

Julie Oatham, owner of The Butchers Arms in East Ruston, with the puddings she has prepared for thei

Julie Oatham, owner of The Butchers Arms in East Ruston, with the puddings she has prepared for their Sunday roast dinner delivery and collection service. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

9. The landlady who fed her community

Julie Oatham, the landlady of The Butcher’s Arms in East Ruston, started offering takeaway roasts in March 2020 when lockdown meant many would not be able to enjoy a Sunday lunch out on Mothers Day.

Seven months later she was still going strong, running a near “military operation” and spending 14-hours a day in the kitchen to almost single-handedly produce 50-60 hot dinners a day.

Supported by her family and a team of volunteer drivers, the meals were then delivered or offered for pick-up to people in East Runton, Sheringham and Mundesley.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus