The unsung heroes carrying out selfless acts in YOUR community

Pictured are just a handful of the incredible individuals who were featured as part of the EDP Community Leaders Programme

Pictured are just a handful of the incredible individuals who were featured as part of the EDP Community Leaders Programme - Credit: ARCHANT

Over the past year, the region’s unsung heroes who have gone the extra mile to help their communities have been showcased for their efforts.

For 60 weeks, this newspaper highlighted the individuals who have made a real difference in the county, to give them the recognition they deserve.

The Community Leaders Programme has featured a whole host of people known for their tireless work to make their local area a better place to live - often without seeking recognition or praise.  

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

Reflecting on the heart-warming project, David Powles, Eastern Daily Press (EDP) editor, said: "In what has been an unprecedented year, with so many challenges, the Community Leaders Programme has been a breath of fresh air for us. 

"It has been a chance to shine a light on all the people who work so hard, and do so much for their community, but rarely get recognition for it. 

"We were never short of candidates and the stories told were a constant source of inspiration. We have an incredible community in Norfolk, but we're only aware of it by shouting about it - something the EDP has always done and always will do.

"We would like to take this chance to once again thank everyone who featured in the Community Leaders Programme - for letting us share their stories, and for everything they do." 

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From the group of women who clubbed together to provide PPE for frontline workers, to the man speaking out and raising awareness of male suicide, many unsung heroes who have strived to improve the lives of others have been featured. 

Meet some of our heroes 

Afternoon tea and cakes at The Pantry Restaurant, Jarrolds, Norwich. Jarrolds Executive Chef, Kenny

Kenny Child helped support men with their mental health - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

“If we can save just one life, then it will all be worth it.” 

That was the ethos behind a Norfolk and Suffolk-based support group set up to help men who may be struggling with mental health problems. 

Kenny Child, 59, of Church Close in Roydon, between Diss and Bressingham, launched Walk N Talk East after hearing about a group based on the same principles of walking and talking in Yorkshire. 

The married father-of-two found himself with “time on his hands” after suffering a stroke, which meant he needed to have some extended time off work. 

And it was during this time that a post on social media inspired what would become Walk N Talk East.

The idea is that every few weeks those that want to meet at a pre-arranged spot can simply walk and use the environment to just talk and discuss their issues. 

“It is basically a self-help group for men to hopefully improve their mental health.” 

Sol Rivett for Adnams Community Leaders project Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Sol Rivett raised money to get food and essentials for people who needed it - Credit: Archant

For another one of our heroes, it was meant to be the trip of a lifetime. 

But when Sol Rivett was forced to cancel a volunteering experience in Africa, he was determined not to let his fundraising efforts go to waste

Sol, of Norwich Road, Cromer, spent 12 months devoting much of his spare time to putting on events to fundraise for a life-changing volunteering trip to Zanzibar, in Tanzania. 

But he was left disappointed after the coronavirus pandemic put a stop to the trip, which he was due to go on with several classmates from Cromer Academy. 

However, the determined 13-year-old decided to put that behind him and instead turn his hand to helping closer to home by handing over a generous donation of nearly a quarter of tonne of food and essentials to people who may be struggling to eat. 

Lindsay Maher in her colourful lockdown terrace house garden, which she has opened up to raise funds

Lindsay Maher in her colourful lockdown terrace house garden, which she opened up to raise funds for the charity, St Martins - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

And finally, Lindsay Maher, a grandmother from Norwich who had barely left her house during the past five years, created “a new world” from her small courtyard garden to help inspire others.

Due to serious illness, followed by vulnerability and poor mental health, the city centre resident decided to dig deep, despite suffering from some of her darkest days. 

While being bound to her house and small courtyard garden in her rented property on Sussex Street, she transformed the garden into a leafy oasis and held open weekends to raise money for the homelessness charity, St Martins.  

A big thank you 

The EDP Community Leaders Programme created partnerships between our newsroom and local businesses and organisations committed to investing back into the community through expanding local news coverage. 

Working with local businesses through this programme directly supported local journalism, which we believe is essential to a healthy community. 

We thank Adnams for its support with the initiative. 

Lindsay Maher in her colourful lockdown terrace house garden, which she has opened up to raise funds

Lindsay Maher in her colourful lockdown terrace house garden, which she opened up to raise funds for the charity, St Martins - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Mums Patricia Santos, right, and Tanya Daniels, front left, in the Cawston Primary Academy School ga

Mums Patricia Santos, right, and Tanya Daniels, front left, in the Cawston Primary Academy School garden they have been working hard on - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Wymondham Coffee Shop marks VJ Day. Michelle Filby (owner) kitted out to commemorate VJ day. Picture

Wymondham Coffee Shop co-owner Michelle Filby helped out in her community - Credit: Archant

Matt Symons with his dad, who has been diagnosed with vascular dementia

Matt Symons with his dad, who has been diagnosed with vascular dementia. Matt ran a marathon for charity. - Credit: SUPPLIED

Rebecca Osborne, from Gorleston, sketches live cartoons at events and conferences for her job Credit

Rebecca Osborne, from Gorleston, sketches live cartoons and helped others during the pandemic - Credit: Archant

Lily Lancaster, from Attleborough, will hand out sweets at Mrs Beans Bistro to children who aren't g

Lily Lancaster, from Attleborough, handed out sweets at Halloween


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