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