In Touch with Manningtree May 2020

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In Touch

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with Brantham, Lawford, Manningtree & Mistley Volume 10 • Issue No. 7 • MAY 2020

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A WORD FROM THE EDITOR KEEPING IN TOUCH Until it’s safe for our delivery teams to work again we have decided to publish online and have worked quickly to create a dedicated area on the website for each publication area. We’re constantly adding new content and engaging with local, regional and national organisations to share often critical information and to support the local groups established in response to the COVID-19 crisis. We’ve also added a directory to make it easier to find the businesses which are still operating and available to take your call. www.keepingintouchwith.co.uk You may well be reading this online and if it’s your first visit to our website, you are very welcome. If you have a printer and know someone who can’t access the online edition, you can download and print a PDF from the website. We have also left a small number of printed copies at key locations in the area, though I suspect they will disappear rather quickly.

Every aspect of life as we know it has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and it’s impossible to know when we can expect ‘normal’ life to resume. Tragically many lives have been lost, including far too many NHS and healthcare staff to whom we owe an enormous debt, as we do to everyone who continues to work, in any capacity, on what is now referred to as the ‘front line’. Many of us are working from home, fortunate to still have jobs while many others have lost theirs. Many local businesses have been forced to shut down temporarily (we hope) while others have adapted to meet a growing need for home deliveries or alternative services and products. Through all this we have seen the emergence of an extraordinary sense of community responsibility with support networks or hubs forming almost overnight to ensure those is most need or self-isolating have access to essential supplies. In traditional Irish farming communities, a gathering such as this was known as a ‘meitheal’. Modern technology has enabled digital ‘meitheals’ to form and the sense of common good has never been as powerful as it is right now. If you haven’t already signed up, you will probably find the following quite useful right now:

Of course, we’re also using the Mansion House Publishing Facebook Twitter and Instagram accounts to ensure information is shared quickly and widely. Do join or follow us if you can. Instagram: mansionhousepublishing Twitter: @InTouchEast Facebook: Mansion House Publishing We’re also responding to increased demand for online advertising as companies seek out new ways to promote their business and to let customers know they are there for them now and always. If you want to know more about the advertising and e-marketing opportunities on offer, please contact our sales team on 01473 400380.

Published by: Mansion House Publishing (UK) Ltd, 20 Wharfedale Road, Ipswich IP1 4JP EDITOR: Sharon Jenkins T: 01473 400380 Send editorial copy to: sharon@intouchnews.co.uk Readers are invited to submit articles, illustrations and photographs for publication. The publishers reserve the right to amend such submissions and cannot accept responsibility for any loss.

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In Touch Titles • Stowmarket & Stowupland • Kesgrave & Rushmere St Andrew • Melton & Woodbridge • Manningtree, Brantham, Lawford & Mistley • Hadleigh, Chattisham, Hintlesham, Holton St Mary, Layham & Raydon • Ipswich East, Ravenswood, Broke Hall & Warren Heath • Elmswell, Beyton, Drinkstone, Haughley, Hessett, Norton, Tostock, Wetherden & Woolpit • Needham Market & The Creetings •S hotley, Chelmondiston, Erwarton, Harkstead, Holbrook, Pin Mill, Stutton & Woolverstone • Martlesham • Claydon, Barham, Henley & Whitton • East Bergholt, Dedham, Flatford & Stratford St Mary • Bramford, Offton, Somersham & Willisham • Capel St Mary (Capel Capers) • Copdock, Belstead, Bentley, Tattingstone & Washbrook • Gt & Lt Blakenham, Baylham & Nettlestead •W esterfield, Ashbocking, Tuddenham St Martin & Witnesham • Sproughton & Burstall We also publish Spotlight on Felixstowe

Sunday 10 May

is the advertising and editorial deadline for the June edition

www.keepingintouchwith.com/manningtree

Brantham Parish Council Lawford Parish Council Manningtree Shout Out Manningtree Town Council Babergh District Council COVID-19 Information Centre

@manningtreetown @BaberghDistrict @suffolkcc @DHSCgovuk

They say participating in meaningful activities is a major contributor to our sense of wellbeing and Sew Scrubs must be the perfect example. Sewers, pattern printers, fabric cutters, fundraisers, sponsors, delivery volunteers and co-ordinators have come together to meet an indentified need and it looks like they are having a lot of fun in the process. Others, including schools and businesses with the right skills and materials, have been making masks and face shields, sending food, posting messages and videos, helping with childcare and shopping, paying for parking... Even standing outside to applaud our key-workers at 8pm on Thursday evenings is a shared activity which certainly lifts the mood in our house, though I’m not sure Flip (our pet rabbit) would agree. If you are looking for ways to help or donate, a quick visit to Facebook will provide plenty of opportunity but the one essential thing most of us must do is to stay at home and to maintain distance when you do go out. It’s not a lot to ask, particularly as we know it’s having the required effect. Of course it’s also important to do some activity you enjoy and to keep life as normal as possible. I’ve been spending as much time as possible in the garden with Jack. It’s a small space but we’ve created a great number of, mostly football themed, challenges. Four weeks in and I still haven’t managed to get the ball in the bucket (‘top bins’) once. We also created our own crazy golf course using ‘stuff’ from the recycling bin and a chair leg as a putter. We’ve only broken one window so far! Staying informed is important too but I hope you’re not checking your phone every five minutes. I did this for the first two weeks or so and was so overwhelmed by anxiety and sadness I found myself crying uncontrollably (in a cupboard) at least once a day. Jack did wonder why my hay fever seemed to be worse than usual! We must be hopeful. Knowledge of the virus and its effects improves day by day and the race is on to find a vaccine. Stay strong. Take care of yourselves and of others. Our very best wishes from everyone here at Mansion House Publishing

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#StayAtHome #ProtectTheNHS

#SaveLives

PROPERTY RESTORED IN LESS THAN A WEEK TO HOUSE VULNERABLE RESIDENTS A property in Sudbury has been transformed in just five working days in order to provide urgent accommodation to people at risk during the coronavirus outbreak.

EMERGENCY FUNDING POT AVAILABLE TO HELP LOCAL COMMUNITY GROUPS Community groups and organisations can now apply for immediate grants of up to £2,500 as part of Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils’ response to COVID-19. Over £80,000 is being made available to both new and existing groups in Babergh and Mid Suffolk who are playing a key role in protecting vulnerable residents and helping our communities remain resilient during the COVID-19 outbreak. Grants of up to £2,500 can be applied for to cover increased costs incurred by groups as a result of the Coronavirus (Covid-19), including general running costs, ongoing staff costs, volunteer expenses, utility bills and the purchasing of food or other consumables. Larger requests for funding will be considered under exceptional circumstances. The Emerging Needs Grant has a straightforward application process, enabling our councils to respond quickly to help ease the challenges our residents are facing during the crisis. Community officers will continue to work closely with district councillors, towns and parishes and community groups to ensure financial support is available and directed to meet needs as they emerge within communities. Cllr Derek Davis, Cabinet Member for Communities for Babergh District Council said:

Babergh District Council’s teams joined local firms in working round the clock to transform the Lees, in Newton Road. They undertook the major task of getting the building – only recently returned to the council – repaired, decorated, fitted with essential appliances and furniture, and fully checked within days to allow the first seven households to move in. The need for provision of housing for the district’s most vulnerable residents, including rough sleepers and those experiencing homelessness, has increased as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The council brought forward plans to refurbish the building following the government’s offer of emergency funding to help provide accommodation and services to rough sleepers and those at risk of homelessness. Contractors Whybrow Property Solutions even removed the kitchen units from their own premises to install at the property, while other firms agreed to make all-important deliveries of furniture before closing their doors on Friday. Cllr Jan Osborne Babergh District Council cabinet member for housing, said: “This property has only recently been returned to the council and the housing and building services teams have done an amazing job. It is testimony to how council staff and local business have worked together during a time when we are facing so many challenges in being able to complete this project in just five days. It’s excellent to now be able to offer somewhere safe for people sleeping rough, staying in night shelters or assessment hubs, who didn’t have a secure home or somewhere safe to self-isolate if required.”

BEFORE

AFTER

“We recognise that it’s more important than ever before to provide support to our residents who are experiencing difficulties. In response to this we have simplified our grants process, to make financial help available quickly and easily for those who need it most.” Cllr Julie Flatman, Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing for Mid Suffolk District Council said: “I am delighted that groups and organisations are pulling together to relieve the financial hardship of residents, or to assist the vulnerable who are self-isolating at home. This grant scheme will allow for their hard work to continue, providing comfort at this uncertain time.” The Babergh and Mid Suffolk Communities Team, bolstered by the redeployment of other council officers, are currently identifying groups and organisations that could benefit from this funding. For more information visit: https://tinyurl.com/taqacw7

1945 VE DAY CELEBRATIONS IN ESSEX I was 10 when the VE Day celebrations took place in May 1945 and living on the boarder of Hornchurch and Romford (Essex) in Cavenham Gardens. During the war we had bomb damage and nearby resulting deaths from land mines and incendiary bombs so we were very happy to celebrate the end of the war in Europe. What I remember of the day was a street party in our road with basic foods of paste or jam sandwiches, cakes, jelly and blancmange (no junket) and cups of tea (not sure about beer as I was too young). There were armchairs and makeshift tables on the pavements and in the road, a maypole, using an oil drum for a base, and a bonfire in the middle of the road. Several local streets had bonfires. Some bonfires had effigies of the enemy leaders but our road just wanted to celebrate with a fire. I don’t think the council were pleased to find a burnt patch in the road. Through the latter part of the war my mother arranged concerts in the Gidea Park Methodist Church and into the 1950s in aid of the National Children’s Home (now ‘Action for Children’). The war made us children very creative, making something from seemingly nothing, and that has kept us in good stead ever since. David Shearmur

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#StayAtHome #ProtectTheNHS

#SaveLives

BUSINESSES URGED TO ACCESS FINANCIAL SUPPORT AND GUIDANCE Businesses in Babergh and Mid Suffolk are being urged to find out what financial support is available to them as well as seeking advice and guidance in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

More information about the range of business support available can be found on the Coronavirus Business Advice website: www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-advice

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the government has announced a package of measures to help small and large businesses as well as the selfemployed who have been impacted by COVID-19.

For businesses looking for opportunities to innovate within their business, the government has outlined the support and grants available to help businesses grow, strengthen leadership and talent and adopt new technologies. Find out more on the Wider Business Support website: www.businesssupport.gov.uk/wider-business-support-from-government

The full range of financial packages and support measures can be found on the government’s business support website which includes FAQs and links to wider business support. There are also specialist funding opportunities available for organisations and individuals including from the Arts Council and Sport England. Coronavirus Financial Support Both large and small businesses and the self-employed can access a range of support measures to help them through these unprecedented times caused by COVID-19. These schemes include: • • • • • • • • • • • •

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) Business Rate Holiday for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Cash Grant for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Small Business Grant Funding Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Support for Businesses Paying Tax COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility Business Rates Holiday for Nurseries VAT Deferral Deferral of Self-Assessment Payment

More information about who is eligible, how to apply and when the support schemes are open for applications is available at: www.businesssupport.gov. uk/coronavirus-business-support Business Advice and FAQs The government has created a series of FAQs for businesses impacted by COVID-19. These are broken down into three main areas: • General Business Issues • Business Closures and Stay at Home Guidance • Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) There is also information on how to access support including: • • • • •

Business Support Helpline HMRC Helpline Find a Job service New Technology Challenge – funding available Directory of Business Representative Organisations

In Babergh and Mid Suffolk, there is help and guidance available from trained advisers at the New Anglia Growth Hub: www.newangliagrowthhub.co.uk

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Small Business Grant Funding This week many small business owners will be receiving letters from Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils about how to access the COVID-19 Business Grant Fund. This is a cash grant of either £10,000 or £25,000 for businesses who are eligible for Small Business Rate Relief as well as businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. Eligible businesses will be asked to submit their details through an online form for the grant to be processed. More information can be found on our COVID-19 Business Grant Fund webpage: www.midsuffolk.gov.uk/business/business-rates/grant-funding-schemes Arts Council: Emergency Response Package The Arts Council is making £160m of funding available for both organisations and individuals during the coronavirus crisis. This is available to organisations who already receive Arts Council funding as well as those who are outside the regular funding streams. Freelancers and individuals can also apply for financial support. More information is available on the Arts Council website: www.artscouncil.org.uk/covid19 Sport England: COVID-19 funding To help Sport England’s partners, clubs and community organisations cope with the short and long-term impact of the pandemic, an emergency fund of £195m has been made available to help organisations get through the crisis as well as for the recovery of sport and physical activity in the longer term. More information is available on the Sport England website: www.sportengland.org/news/195-million-package-help-sport-and-physicalactivity-through-coronavirus Cllr Michael Holt, Babergh District Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Growth said: “These are incredibly difficult times for many businesses, and we urge large and small business owners as well as the self-employed to investigate and apply for the financial support available to them in order to see them through this challenging time caused by the coronavirus pandemic.” Cllr Gerard Brewster, Mid Suffolk Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth said: “There is a host of support and guidance available for all businesses and I would ask businesses to seek advice either from general business specialists such as the New Anglia Growth Hub, but also their own professional bodies who may have specific advice for these unprecedented times.” For more information about Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils’ response to COVID-19, please visit: www.babergh.gov.uk or www.midsuffolk.gov.uk

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#StayAtHome #ProtectTheNHS PULLING TOGETHER TO SUPPORT OUR COMMUNITIES Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils remain committed to working with partners to support the volunteers assembling to help protect our communities. Both councils have today pledged to support parish and town councils and voluntary groups who we acknowledge will play a key role in empowering our communities to remain resilient during the Covid-19 outbreak. The councils have established a new light touch grant scheme, with over £80,000 available through grants of up to £2,500, to provide financial assistance to other local community organisations assisting with the response to the pandemic. This is in conjunction with new financial help from both councils, which already been made available, for major food banks within the districts in Stowmarket, Sudbury and Hadleigh, to support their vital work during the Covid-19 outbreak. The councils will also be working with partners to address any logistic needs the food banks may face. This partnership work also extends to collating and sharing local intelligence, identifying existing support networks, and where gaps lie, enabling us to help those who need it most. Our Communities Team has been bolstered by the redeployment of council officers from other duties to support this work and there is scope to increase this further if required. The councils are also part of the Collaborative Communities Board which is behind the creation of the new Suffolk-focused community support service, Home But Not Alone. The service sees willing volunteers and charities logging their details and offers of support on a phone app, matching them to people who need their help. This ensures that help can be given where it’s most needed, and can be in line with safeguarding policies. The Tribe Volunteer app is free to download on both Apple and Android. Vulnerable residents who are without alternative support and need assistance with the delivery of groceries, medicines and other supplies should telephone freephone number 0800 876 6926. This is open from 9am to 5pm seven days a week, with staff from our two councils working through their weekends to support this service. We have also put measures in place to help key workers. During the Covid-19 outbreak Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils are suspending restrictions in our car parks to permit critical key workers to use council parking bays without time restriction or charges. In addition to this, we recognise that key workers may need to selfisolate, so have worked with Suffolk’s Public Sector Partnership to help find short term accommodation for key workers who are unable to return home. Any key workers with an urgent need for this service should email: accommodation@baberghmidsuffolk.gov.uk Cllr Julie Flatman, Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing for Mid Suffolk District Council said: “It is incredibly heartening that in these challenging times we can work with partners across Suffolk to respond to an increased demand for community support as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. I am also delighted that we’ve been able to provide support for our district’s key workers.” Cllr Derek Davis, Cabinet Member for Communities for Babergh District Council said:

#SaveLives

MANNINGTREE SHOUT OUT FACEBOOK GROUP Manningtree Shout Out Facebook group are working alongside Tendring District Council and Essex County Council as the main support hub during the Covid-19 crisis, supporting residents in Manningtree, Mistley, Lawford and Bradfield. We have a dedicated support phone line 07724 41102 for anyone in our area, Manningtree, Mistley, Lawford and Bradfield, who are not online. Our team of volunteers are here for support if you are in need. The volunteers are able to collect prescribed medication from your doctors with your permission if you have nobody to do this for you. Emergency supplies of shopping and delivery if you have no one else to do this for you. Online and telephone buddy support. We are in this together and we will be there for each other.

SPECIALISTS IN THE BUSINESS FOR OVER 40 YEARS One of the things in life people value the most is having a roof over their head, and here at Next Generation Roofing we never underestimate the need that people have to feel safe and protected. This is why we put so much hard work into ensuring that we provide the most comprehensive roofing services Ipswich wide, as well as the surrounding areas of Bury St Edmunds and Colchester. As a team of expert roofers, we only use the best quality materials in our work, but it isn’t only this that gives us such as excellent reputation, it’s our work ethic. No matter what amount of work is needed, we approach every job with the same care and attention to detail. All of our work is completed to the highest standard and we know that you’ll be happy with the result. We quote for each job individually, based on your requirements, and offer a wide range of roofing products and services from minor repairs to replacements. We know that roofing doesn’t just stop at the actual roof, which is why we can provide fascias and guttering as well, all of the best quality, and we can help you chose something that will match the rest of your home. Here at Next Generation Roofing Specialists our team of roofers are proud of our strong reputation for quality and reliable roofing services and take our work as seriously as you take your home. We enjoy seeing our work finished to a high standard and look forward to your call. Find out more by visiting: www.nextgeneration-roofing.co.uk Suffolk Office: 01473 833446 / Essex Office: 01206 827454 Mobile: 07896 787424 / enquiries@nextgeneration-roofing.co.uk

“It’s wonderful to see Babergh’s communities rallying together to look after one another. Unfortunately, while many have a genuine desire to help, we must be mindful of unscrupulous criminals fraudulently posing as good Samaritans. I would encourage all those wishing to help to use the Tribe Volunteer app, which I have already downloaded myself.”

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#StayAtHome #ProtectTheNHS

#SaveLives

CRISIS? BUT WHICH CRISIS? So here we are in the middle of a crisis. But do we actually know which ‘crisis’ we are in the middle of? Sure, there is the health tragedy of (to date) about 11,000 deaths of people of all ages dying unpleasantly of (or with) the COVID-19 virus. These are all very painful individual losses for family and friends, and in no way be belittled. The companion crisis is economic. This has been brewing for a much longer time than the virus crisis. Arguably decades, and given my business interests it is the more worrying of the two crisis. This crisis, in my opinion, is one of bad money and bad government. Essentially we have been mortgaging our future for our comfort today. All Governments in all nations that are generally considered developed have, since certainly 1945 or thereabouts, been welded to a sort of punk Keynesian economic policy settlement which encourages credit expansion and consumption over thrift and production, all financed by gigantic quantities of Government and other debt (of course there is no such thing as ‘Government debt’ – it is our debt – the tax payers debt), and monetary expansion. For various reasons we have got away with these bad policies for some time. Maybe until now. The forces of economics are unavoidable and bad policies will eventually fail. Most often the failure is triggered by some unforeseen event. An event that triggers a return to reality. Bad banking (including very bad central banking and financial regulatory bureaucracy) failed in 2008 and we have been kicking the can down the road since then. There has been no meaningful banking reform and government debt, certain classes of private debt and money have continued to expand, but it will not, cannot, do so for ever. Economics will not allow it, and as I said most commonly an event triggers the end game. Is the COVID-19 pandemic this event? Our core business is advising on and administering client investment and pension portfolios. Do not let any ‘expert’ tell you that this activity requires at least one degree in the science of rocketry. It does not. What it does require are common sense and a very cynical world view. It’s not hugely difficult to provide a successful client investment experience. But what we - no one - can defend you from is ongoing Government and bureaucratic failure and their universal companion, the failure of bad money. There are things that can be done to mitigate those third party failures and we have had some modest success. So, if you would like a no obligation, no holds barred chat please feel free to contact us; on Zoom, by email – advice@wfw.co.uk, and telephone 01473 231644 or if you call us first we can arrange Facetime or WhatsApp video calls. Our office is manned daily and our staff are working remotely.

PACE SAYS REDUCE AND RE-PURPOSE In these challenging times it’s easy and understandable to feel that the climate and environmental crisis should take a back seat. However, some of the key ways that we can make a difference to the environment as individuals and communities are relevant to living under the influence of a global pandemic. The empty shelves in our supermarkets show how fragile our food supply is and as services we take for granted are not available, we need to think creatively about consuming only what we need and making the best use of what we have. PACE (Practical Action for Climate and the Environment) Manningtree wants to help with some simple and hopefully useful tips. With Colchester Borough Council recently stopping the collection of kerbside recycling, what do we do with all those items we normally put in our red and green recycling bins? First we need to REDUCE the amount of recyclable items we create: Take empty fabric conditioner and similar bottles to a shop for refilling rather than buying new, e.g. at the Wholefood Store in Manningtree. One customer has been re-using the same bottle for over 20 years! The demise of the milkman was premature – you can get bottles of milk (and fresh juices among other things) delivered to your door, just like days of old. Simply wash and put the bottles out for collection and re-use. Have a look at: www.milkandmore.co.uk Switch the way you receive paper bills to online-only so you don’t get them through the post. Don’t buy individual cans of beans and pulses. Instead, buy dried beans and soak/cook them yourself. They go much further than a can – 100g of dried beans is equivalent to a 400g can. Buy staples such as oats and toilet paper in bulk. Greencane will deliver 48 toilet rolls to your door with no packaging other than the cardboard box they are packed in. The recyclable items we do end up with can be RE-PURPOSED for all manner of things: Composting – a limited amount of paper and cardboard can be put in your compost bin. If you don’t have a compost heap, why not start one? Watch PACE’s helpful five-minute video here: https://tinyurl.com/whqy639. Even if compost isn’t your thing you can give it to a keen gardening neighbour who is. Tin cans can have holes punched in the bottom and be used as plant pots, as can yogurt pots. Plastic food trays and punnets can be used in place of seed trays when pricking out seedlings and fit well on a sunny windowsill. Cardboard toilet and kitchen roll inners can be used to start off parsnip or sweet pea seeds for growing. Use the bags that cereal comes in to wrap sandwiches or food that is stored in the fridge. Children can use packaging to create rockets, castles, space stations – this is great for scene building with Lego figures. In these difficult times, PACE believes that the mantra should be Reduce – Refuse – Re-purpose before you even think about recycling. Let’s take the time that we have to think before items go in the bin, even if that bin is normally taken for recycling. In the short term this will help us and in the long term, it will hopefully create habits that will help the planet.

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#StayAtHome #ProtectTheNHS

#SaveLives

MEET THE HEROES HELPING BABERGH THROUGH THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS Communities across Babergh have rallied together in response to Covid-19, and now we want to recognise and support their extraordinary work. Babergh District Council is saluting the army of community champions that have stepped forward to help their neighbours in need. Despite facing their own challenges our community champions have stepped up to run errands, provide meals, be a source of companionship, and more. The Glemsford Angels ‘didn’t want any resident to feel alone’ so have been regularly checking in with vulnerable people already known to them. The group also arranged for a letter offering help to be hand delivered to 1,700 residents in the village, resulting in further requests for assistance, which they have been able to fulfil. Chairman Fiona Dinning-Cole said: “Wonderful kindness is taking place in our village. Sarah Meston is producing meals from the Black Lion Pub with help from Landlord Steve and working with Rev Patrick Prigg to support the vulnerable in the village who wouldn’t otherwise be getting hot meals. Well done all concerned and in particular ‘hooray’ to you Sarah.” Lavenham’s Good Neighbour Scheme is another group providing a lifeline to Babergh villages. More than 100 volunteers came forward to help villagers who are isolating or alone with shopping, prescription collections and other requests Chair Doreen Twitchett said: “I have been involved with Good Neighbours since it launched in March 2014, so it was a natural progression to get all those in the village who volunteered at the beginning of this crisis, to join a scheme already proven to work. I want to thank all our volunteers who regularly go the extra mile to help.”

These communities are not alone in their desire to help. More than 1,200 volunteers have already signed up to the Home, But Not Alone scheme, which was launched last month by the Suffolk Collaborative Communities Covid-19 Board. The initiative matches volunteers to callers of a helpline for our county’s most vulnerable, which is free to call on 0800 876 6926 and is staffed seven days a week, from 9am to 5pm. This hotline is for people without family or a friendship network to support them, and who require emergency assistance with care needs (including food), loneliness, or connecting with community volunteers. Although still in its early stages, the scheme has already proved to be a lifeline, with vulnerable residents receiving delivery of shopping and prescriptions from volunteers. Babergh District Council is offering grants of up to £2,500 to support groups with increased costs incurred as a cost of coronavirus (COVID-19), including general running costs, ongoing staff costs, volunteer expenses, utility bills and purchasing of food or other consumables. Larger requests for funding will be considered under exceptional circumstances. Now, in addition to offering financial support, and with so many different groups to recognise, the council is launching a #communitychampions social media campaign to encourage community groups to highlight what they are doing – making residents aware of what local help is available as well as generating further support and offers of volunteering. Taking part in the campaign couldn’t be easier, simply tag @BaberghDistrict in your social media posts so that these can be shared.

Getting food to those who need it most has also been a priority for Bildeston Coronavirus Support Group, who have set up a foodbank, taking self-referrals from local people who find themselves in need.

Cllr Derek Davis, Cabinet Member for Communities for Babergh District Council said: “During social distancing, we can remain united through kindness and looking out for one another. I’d like to thank communities in Babergh who have demonstrated immense strength and resilience at a time of national emergency. They are doing an amazing job and we want to recognise their efforts.

Founder and co-ordinator Shaun Moffat said: “We wanted to create a non-judgemental and strictly confidential facility to lighten the burden on individuals and families who are feeling the financial effects of this crisis. The lockdown has left many communities such as Bildeston at risk of being cut off, but fortunately we are a creative and resilient village.”

“We still need help to continue this invaluable support and I’d urge anyone wishing to volunteer, as well as any existing community groups, to register on the Tribe Volunteer app, which is available on both Apple and Android. This will enable our community team to identify where resource is and if there are any gaps in the system, ensuring we can help those who need it most.”

LOTTERY WINNER DONATES £1,500 WINNINGS TO LOCAL HOSPICE In such an uncertain time, St Elizabeth Hospice’s supporters continue to help our vulnerable patients and staff in Suffolk, Great Yarmouth and Waveney. One such story comes from our lottery scheme. For just £2 a week, you can sign up to the lottery to help support the hospice as well as being in with the chance to win our weekly prize of £1,500. Which is exactly what happened to Jennifer from Aldeburgh last week when she won the top prize of £1,500, which she decided to generously donate this back to the hospice. “The hospice cared for my husband just over a year ago, it is a charity so close to my heart. When I received the cheque for £1,500 I was so surprised. I had no hesitation in donating it back to the hospice, especially now when you need funds more than ever in this difficult time.” Pauline Donkin, the individual giving manager for the hospice, said: “We can’t thank Jennifer enough for her generous gift back to the hospice. It’s such a difficult time for so many at the moment and her gift will help support our hard working clinical teams and nurses to continue to care for our patients.” To sign up to our lottery, please visit: www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk/lottery

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TEA AND SUPPORT IN 2020 Tea and Support, the friendly, practical support group for those recently bereaved or living alone, meets from 2-4pm on the third Wednesday of each month, usually at Mistley Church Hall, New Road (just opposite The Towers). Transport is available on request. We offer a friendly and safe place to spend time with others, to make new friends or to get some practical support. Understanding that Sunday lunch time is often difficult, some of our members meet at the Environmental Centre cafe for a roast lunch on the first Sunday of each month Unfortunately, meetings have had to be suspended for the time being. Life can become difficult and often lonely for anyone left alone so please come along and join us or ring Sue Orriss (01206 395355) or Paskell’s (01206 396709) for further information. Tea and Support is run by members of St Mary’s and St Michael’s Church, Mistley and supported by Paskell’s of Manningtree.

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REPORT TO PARISH, BRANTHAM WARD, MAY 2020 Babergh District Councillor Alastair McCraw Reassure, Inform & Support That’s what a council, and councillors, should be doing in any emergency. The COVID-19 response is the emergency of our generation. So, let me first reassure Babergh residents that our essential services will continue. The black and blue bins (not the brown garden waste though) will continue to be collected. No council tenant will face eviction as a direct result of Covid-19. Essential, but not general, repairs will be carried out with arrangements to protect all individuals throughout. There will always be somebody you can speak to about any area of our operations. Giving accurate and up to date information has always been one of my main aims. This report might become a list, but should serve to direct you. It’s going to be internet related for the most part, but our phone services continue. Information Everything here has been posted daily on my Facebook page (below) over the last few weeks. I’d suggest that any reservations you might have over Facebook be put aside for the moment. This situation is where it can really shine. I can provide instant updates and accurate comment. My page has a zero-tolerance approach to any ‘nonsense’, expects polite behaviour and is open to all. Gov.uk is for all national advice, the NHS and Universal Credit. Search for Suffolk County Council for schools, buses, services and the county response. If you want to track the national and international virus spread, I recommend ‘Worldometers’. Your key site though is Babergh.gov.uk. The top of the page links to different areas, but the bottom is easier here. Coronavirus response, business support, communities, and direct financial support are all linked. Our standard telephone number is 0300 123 4000 if you can’t find what you need. We’ve shifted a lot of officer roles to take account of the greatest needs of the situation, but bear with us. Support One vital area has been to match volunteers with those who need help. The Tribe Volunteer app runs across the county and co-ordinates support efforts with proper safeguards. For the most vulnerable, if you or somebody you know needs help, ring the ‘Home But Not Alone’ helpline on 0800 876 6926, free to call between 7am and 5pm for emergency assistance with care

MANNINGTREE POETRY GROUP Coronavirus Statement Due to the current situation the monthly meetings of Poetry Plus have been cancelled until further notice. To check for the resumption of our meetings held on the second Tuesday of the month at the Red Lion, Manningtree please see our website. www.poetryplus.org.uk

MANNINGTREE LIBRARY Online library services Our e-library is online 24/7 with thousands of e-books, e-audio books, e-comics, e-magazines and e-newspapers. Rhyme-time Regular videos will be posted on Facebook and YouTube to keep you singing, moving and shaking until our libraries re-open.

needs, including food, medicines, loneliness or connecting with community volunteers. It’s not a general COVID-19 line though. We’ve been given funds to support business through rates and make grants. We have money for volunteer organisations in an Emerging Needs Grant. We support Citizens Advice and Foodbanks financially. There are FAQ sheets easily available for businesses and the self-employed and for council tenants. Our much-expanded communities team is working hard on all of this and more. Council Tax bills are automatically being reduced for those already receiving Local Council Tax Support. And for those across the water, visit tendringdc.gov.uk. We wish our neighbours well. Here are some other numbers that we hope aren’t needed. Risk of Homelessness? 0300 123 4000 (Housing Solutions). We’ve been working hard to provide temporary solutions to prevent this for all sorts of groups. Fear of Domestic Violence? 0300 123 4000 (in hours) / 808 168 7794 (out of hours) I must pay tribute to the magnificent response our officers have produced. They’re another group of key workers who might be overlooked, but the hours and the effort being put in are astonishing. Please be patient if something doesn’t go right first time. Nobody has ever dealt with anything like this before. Local Government has never acted this fast, or been able to. Every single one of us is aware of our responsibility and determined to see us through in the best shape possible. I’ve rarely been busier myself despite cancelled meetings, but you can do a heck of a lot by phone, email and the internet. Contact me at need. If I don’t know, I’ll find out. Use the Facebook group too. Please stay safe, stay at home until we know it’s safe. Everything we do affects everybody else. Nobody is invulnerable. Everybody is responsible. My best hope and wishes for you all. Alastair McCraw 07812 564188 / 07548 154296 / alastair.mccraw@babergh.gov.uk Facebook: Alastair McCraw, Brantham Independent Councillor (Open Group)

MANNINGTREE & DISTRICT/ FRANKENBERG (EDER) PARTNERSHIP In the autumn of 1959 a party of German school teachers from the state of Hesse visited Ipswich to study the English education system. This was followed with two exchanges of pupils supported by Her Majesty’s School Inspector for Ipswich, Mr Husband. Amongst the party was a teacher from Frankenberg who stayed with Mr George Ireland, head teacher at Landseer Road School, and they became great friends. A series of coincidences led to Frankenberg signing a Charter of Partnership in 1970 between Frankenberg and Manningtree District. This all started a remarkable story of lasting friendships and combined activities. Following reciprocal visits, Manningtree firemen, Mistley Football Club, Manningtree High School (which included work experience), Stour Choral Society, Dedham & Manningtree Tennis Club, local farmers, Royal Hospital School, Holbrook and the townsfolk all shared group activities and visits for special events in the early 1970s. The choral society alone joined for over 20 concerts and events. Frankenberg is in partnership with five other towns and this has resulted in Manningtree making links with Brou in France and Seekirchen in Austria (the tennis club) and led to the Seerkirchen choir performing in Mistley as part of the 1990 Manningtree Festival. The Frankenberg firemen even paraded in Manningtree Carnival. Many of the friendships made over the years still remain very strong and more are added with each visit. In October this year (all being well) we shall celebrate the 50th anniversary of signing the charter in Frankenberg and in 2021 the 50 years of signing the charter in Manningtree.

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ARDLEIGH SURGERY All of you will be aware of the current COVID-19 situation. This is an unprecedented situation for local GPs and hospital services as well as nationally for the NHS and globally. This is a time when we need our community to come together, to support each other and show acts of kindness. Appointments At the surgery we are doing our very best in difficult circumstances to continue to provide support and care to all who need it, but we need your help. The clinical, nursing, dispensary and administration teams are under increasing pressure and this will only increase in the coming weeks. We have all had to work in a totally new and different way and make changes on a daily basis. Please be patient with us as we make these changes. To reduce footfall into the surgery, all appointments are now telephone triaged with GPs and nurses. If we cannot deal with your issue over the phone, we will be able to bring you into a designated clinic at Ardleigh. Many issues can dealt with over the phone; help the staff by keeping your phone on loud and close to you, so they do not have to make repeated calls to you. Please be considerate for the reason you are calling us. We need to ensure we have enough free clinical time for those who need us most at the moment. If you come into the surgery, we will check your temperature on arrival. The surgery seems eerily quiet inside, but it doesn’t mean we are quiet. In fact all the doctors and nurses are providing more appointments than ever over the phone and keeping you safe by dealing with issues over the phone where appropriate. Anyone with respiratory symptoms is being telephone triaged and if we need to see them face to face, they are seen in a designated area at the back of the surgery with a separate entrance. This is to help us keep any potentially unwell patients separate to anyone else. If you are asked to come to this part of the surgery, you will have instructions when you call us. Please wait in your car until you are called in by the clinician. Pre-booked nursing appointments will still be running at Dedham. Please ring Ardleigh to book an appointment. If you are unwell with symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, high temperature, flu like illness, etc.) please do not come to the surgery. Follow the government advice to self-isolate and if your condition worsens contact 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk for online advice. Please do not arrive at Ardleigh or Dedham surgery as a walk in. If you are unsure what to do or need

further advice, then call the GP. If you have suspected symptoms, please also ensure you and your family self-isolate as the current guidelines dictate. Dispensary The dispensary is open and the staff are running at 200 percent to keep up with demand. Like the supermarkets, many people have ordered early or requested things they have not used for many years. This is making the turnaround time for prescriptions longer. The dispensary team have been working overtime and at the weekend to catch up with the work load. Please be thankful for their dedication. The current turnaround time for a routine prescription is five days. Support Almost all our patients have been very supportive of our staff, who are as anxious as are the general population and working in the most difficult situation NHS workers have dealt with in a generation. We thank the people who have dropped in cards, cakes and supplies for us to boost morale and we would like to thank the local businesses who have supported us already. Every small act of kindness helps boost our staff. We understand that some people are frustrated and worried by the situation, but now more than ever, we will not tolerate any inappropriate behaviour towards the staff. Please look after us. Social Isolation While the government begins plans to support those in social isolation, your first port of call should be your well relatives, family and friends for food and medication collections. There is also a Dedham and Ardleigh support group of volunteers helping those in isolation. Their number is below. Social Media Every day social media puts another story online. Be careful to read correct information from government and NHS websites. Many stories are fake news and are stoking unnecessary upset and anxiety as well as increasing GP workload with patients asking for clarification. Your first port of call is the appropriate websites or 111 for accurate information. www.nhs.uk / www.111.nhs.uk www.ardleighsurgery.nhs.uk Dedham and Ardleigh Volunteer Helpline: 01206 322025 We thank you in advance for helping the surgery through the next difficult few months.

STOUR VALLEY MEN’S PROBUS CLUB On Wednesday 4 March, Maureen Clarke spoke about the plight of street orphans in India and at our AGM on 18 March, Dave Carman was voted in again as president and speaker secretary, Graeme Forsyth as secretary and Val Pretty as treasurer. At the AGM it was agreed that in the light of the Coronavirus outbreak all club meetings would be cancelled for the next few months. We plan to meet again on 2 September when Jan Derbyshire will speak on the good work of The Shelley Centre for Therapeutic Riding. Our club endeavours to be simple in structure, free of the constraints and obligations of service clubs and involve members at minimal cost. The club is directed primarily to providing fellowship between members who are compatible with each other and the opportunity for development of acquaintances. New members are welcomed. We meet on the first and third Wednesdays of each month at St John Ambulance HQ, Manningtree CO11 1EB, 10 for 10.30am. For further details please contact our president Dave Carman: 01255 880202

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STOUR VALLEY U3A Stour Valley U3A has set up a number of support systems for its members during the coronavirus pandemic. These include dedicated helplines for those self-isolating in East Bergholt, Manningtree, Mistley and Lawford to help with basic needs such as food shopping and prescription collections. A general support group for members is also available for those living in East Bergholt. Lectures for April, May and June have been postponed until July, August and September, pending government advice. A weekly newsletter is being circulated to all 400 members to keep them informed with news and updates. For further information visit: https://u3asites.org.uk/stourvalley/home Or contact chairman Graham Manuel (gandamauel@gmail.com) or secretary Sue Basted (susanbasted10@gmail.com).

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#StayAtHome #ProtectTheNHS MANNINGTREE AIR CADETS ARE CHOSEN TOP SHOTS Two local cadets were selected to represent Norfolk & Suffolk Wing in an Air Cadet Air-rifle shooting competition going through to win against terrific competition.

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VILLAGE LINK CLUB MEETINGS Due to the Coronavirus outbreak all meetings have been cancelled. We will keep you informed when they will restart.

Every year Central and Eastern Region Air Cadets run a shooting competition and each Wing can send a team of four to compete with the highest scores winning the trophy. The six wings are Bedfordshire & Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire & Buckingham, Norfolk & Suffolk Wing, South & East Midlands, Trent Wing and Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing comprising around 6,000 cadets in 176 units. Although Manningtree is in Essex, 1334 Manningtree Squadron is part of Norfolk and Suffolk Wing because it was formed in 1942 during the Second World War just over the county border in Suffolk. Selection was made over two weekends at Stowmarket by shooting at targets under competition rules. Only four are selected out of nearly 1,000 cadets in the Wing. Two of the cadets selected are members of 1334 Manningtree Squadron. Winning isn’t new for 1334 Sqn; last year they won the Leadership and Archery competition at the two day Wing Field event held in Norfolk and have won several awards for shooting in previous years. The selected cadets, Corporal’s Oliver Burch and Robert Girling, were awarded a wing ‘Blue’, a coveted badge to show they have represented their Wing. The winning team will go on to represent the region at national level so not only will Cpl Burch and Girling have a wing Blue, they will be able to add a regional blue to their collection. Only a week ago they were again representing the Squadron as the senior team and were joined by Cadets Edward Main and Caitlin Barham in the junior team who were only trained the week before. Commanding Office Flight Lieutenant Janet Brown, Royal Air Force Air Cadets (RAFAC) said: “I am delighted to have two cadets in the winning team. Selection is tough as all cadets are trained to a high standard. Shooting is a safe disciplined sport and one of many fun activities and training we offer. We are open to anyone in Year 8 up to 16 years old and cadets have fun and experiences that others dream of. They also leave with a large portfolio to show prospective employers and up to three BTECs which is equivalent to three GCSEs each.” If you want to know more email oc.1334@aircadets.org or go to: www.1334sqn.co.uk

May love and laughter light your days, and warm your heart and home. May good and faithful friends be yours, wherever you may roam. May peace and plenty bless your world with joy that long endures. May all life’s passing seasons bring the best to you and yours!

MANNINGTREE & DISTRICT PHOTOGRAPHIC SOCIETY Due to the ongoing coronavirus situation we have regretfully suspended all meetings for the remainder of this season. Our highlight in March was a talk by well-known professional landscape photographer Justin Minns. From setting your alarm and planning, to composition, using available light and just going with the flow if your plans go awry, Justin explained how he achieves his results and illustrated the talk with stunning images that most of us can only hope to aspire to – the hardest challenge for many being the early starts for the sunrise shots! We are a small and friendly group of photography enthusiasts who meet up on the Essex/Suffolk border. The club aims to provide an enjoyable environment for members to enjoy the development of their photographic skills through a variety of activities in the company of like-minded individuals and would be pleased to see you at one of our evenings once the current coronavirus situation is resolved. Our Facebook challenge continues to keep members motivated, with a new subject set by Rachel every two weeks. An image, Boats on the Stour by Ella Garnham, from the recent challenge (letter B) is featured. We could also use this enforced time at home to practice our photography skills in the garden or on our daily exercise outing! We hope to be able to resume the next season in September. The new programme will be available on the website in due course. Meetings are held at 7.30pm on second, fourth and fifth Thursdays of the month between September and May at the St Johns Ambulance Centre, Station Road, Manningtree CO11 1EB. New members are welcome to join us or may attend initially as visitors. For details please contact our secretary, Viv Scurrell: 01206 393751 / madps@post.com Please note this is a new website address: https://e-voice.org.uk/manningtreeanddistrictphotographicsociety

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FROM THE ARCHIVES The Battle of Hopton Bridge There are two things people need to know about the bridge on The Walls in Mistley; the first is that the ornamental lake behind it was not there in the days of Matthew Hopkins and second is that its name was originally ‘Hopton’. We know this from an extraordinary legal case fought in the late 16th century to decide who was liable for expensive repairs needed at this strategic crossing point. Strangely the water course that feeds it (let’s call it the Sheddinghoe stream) starts in the field just south of Long Road before meandering its way round Acorn village. It is joined by the brook originating from springs at Dickley Hall that carved out the nasty dip in the Clacton road. It crosses Green Lane, going through Tunnel meadow and the railway culvert before looping back under New Road. Even with this catchment area, after flowing through the former environmental centre it reaches the bridge with little weight of water. This is a manmade environment and we have records from 1302 of the use of dykes, strengthened by trees, to help manage what was originally a large area of marsh. This was used for both pasture and rushes for thatching. The road we call ‘The Walls’ is, in reality, a causeway, built across this large stretch of marshland. It became an important highway between London and the military port of Harwich in Elizabethan times. The Sheddinghoe stream on its own could easily be forded by carts and horses. The problem is the tide. The dam built under the structure of the current bridge to create the ornamental lake for Mr Rigby also holds back the incoming flood. Before this, twice a day it would surge through the gap in the causeway to replenish a large basin of marsh. This valuable piece of marshland passed down the centuries until John Barker of Ipswich bought it from John and Elizabeth Goodwyn in 1576 as part of the Manor of Sheddinghoe, which included half of Mistley and Manningtree. He later bought the other part from Henry and Ann Joffelyn. After John died in 1589 the estate passed to his son Robert Barker. It is then that things start to go wrong for the locals. As part of his father’s estate Robert inherited Manningtree Quay (now Jewson’s) but may not have had full legal right to the market or to the three day fair that took place in the town twice a year. In 1595 he was taken to court by the attorney general who thought he did not have authority to make money from the market, take a percentage of everything sold at the fair or charge every boat, cart and horse that used Manningtree wharf. It is not clear what the outcome of this case was but this absent landlord was surely upsetting the locals. As Robert became a Member of Parliament for Ipswich and was later knighted, he probably had the political clout needed to hold his own and continue to cream money off the town’s folk. It is the other legal case that came his way we now turn to.

to all users. For this reason ‘Hopton’ Bridge had been built as a substantial wooden structure, large enough to take heavy horse drawn carts (similar to the bridge at Flatford). It was clearly in need of repairs which Master Barker refused to carry out. The dispute first went to court in 1598 and ran on for nearly a decade. By 1601 due to the decay of Hopton bridge the ‘Queen’s Liege people’ were complaining that they could not get across due to the flowing of the tide. They later told the court the situation was becoming increasingly dangerous and people were likely to get swept away trying to cross. At yet a further hearing they said the bridge was ruinous and decayed and the people greatly annoyed, “for when the tide is up ye country is constrained to tarry an hour or two until ye tide is gone before they can pass through”. They were demanding it should be repaired as part of Barker’s manorial responsibilities. It got them nowhere. They pursued Sir Robert Barker again in 1604 and in 1606, still very ‘annoyed’, they took a different tack and tried to get the parish to take responsibility for repairs. As this probably still meant funding from Barker’s pocket, it didn’t succeed either. At one point they thought they had won only to have the case thrown out of court on two technicalities, one being that the order for repair did not state which county Mistley was in and the second that it didn’t state what lands Barker actually owned. The next year there was another reprieve for Barker when the court papers were lost. Two squires were finally appointed in 1607 to take evidence from local witnesses. Edward Grimston from Bradfield Hall and Edward Waldegrave from Lawford Hall were given this task. They were required to return to court and report who was responsible and what the cost of repairs were. The first to give evidence was George Pegrime a well-respected benefactor of the town. He said that four to five years before he had been on a jury before the court presenting evidence about the ruinous state of Hopton bridge. They had given evidence that Barker had at least twice made repairs and they knew the carpenter he paid to do the work. Richard Peeke, another elder of the town, also said that Barker’s father had met the costs of maintenance, paying John Bateman, another carpenter, for the work. Barnard Payne, a yeoman of Mistley, confirmed these statements as true, implying the manor had in the past accepted responsibility and should continue to do so. The case went back to court in 1618 and the locals finally got an order against Barker. The issue then went quiet, possibly because repairs were made, or because Barker’s sudden death meant he was again able to dodge his responsibilities.

Before the days of local government and the turnpike system, the roads were fairly much left to local landowners to maintain. They, more than most, needed to use them and so this was often not a problem. Bridges however are a more expensive proposition.

The 18th century saw the name of the bridge changed to ‘Hopping’ and the marshes around called ‘Hoppitts’. Richard Rigby finally came along with the money to replace the wooden structure with brick, later enhanced through a design by Robert Adam in 1775. It is interesting to note that this smart new bridge proved too narrow and the ornate walling on the estuary side was taken down when it was later widened to accommodate more modern carts.

When the tide was in, the Sheddinghoe stream/creek became impassable

Philip Cunningham – Manningtree Museum & Local History Group

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LINK LINE CHRISTIAN MINISTRIES Un-denominational – meeting at the Ogilvie Hall, Wignall Street, Lawford CO1 2JG and the Venture Centre, Bromley Road, Lawford CO1 2JE Pastor: Frank King 01206 272064 / linklinecm@hotmail.co.uk We may in the past have glibly said “how quickly things change”, but in the last month, life for all of us has changed beyond what we probably could imagine and we know that the coming months will involve more change and there will be many new ‘normals’. Of course, for some life has changed in devastating ways and perhaps very dramatically, through illness and bereavement. For them the whole world has changed and will never be the same again. Our thoughts and prayers are with them all at this time, when grief is made even harder due to the lockdown restrictions. “All change involves loss, and all loss involves change” and so all of us, to some extent (some much more than others), are experiencing grief, a natural process. Rabbi Earl Grollman said, “Grief is not a disorder, a disease or sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve.” However, in grief we may experience what feel like “strange” emotions, physical symptoms, thoughts and reactions and so, if we are grieving, for whatever reason, we need to care for ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually and do all that we can to care for others who are grieving. However, change and loss are inevitable in life and so eventually, even though it is very painful, we can adjust to a changed life, find an appropriate place in our emotions for that which we have lost and work out what the next stage of life looks like. Amidst all of the changes and tragedies, the Coronavirus situation has brought some positive changes for example: •

Conducting social meetings, learning groups, church services, etc. online may mean that while they are inaccessible to some, they may have become more accessible to others. St Mary’s Lawford have a service of Night Prayers every night at 9pm and a service at 10am of Sunday via Facebook (see www.lawfordchurch.co.uk), plus activities for families and children, which several hundred people are viewing.

All services and activities suspended for the present due to the prevailing restrictions. Warmest greetings and assurance of our prayers for you all at this difficult time. Our pastoral care services remain in place. We have maintained our Meeting Point services by coming together in our homes at the normal time and making use of a prepared printed programme of devotions and supportive worship measures that have proved to be the helpful solution at this time of isolation and lack of fellowship. On a pastoral note, our telephone keeps ringing and the wide variation of calls portray a multitude of situations – many of which call for a way forward or the solving of a problem. Many of these are brought about by way of the prevailing crisis. Throughout history, there are countless instances of times where societal thinking has been transformed, even on a global scale, by individuals coming together to call for change. Think of the abolition of the slave trade, the emancipation of women, the civil rights movement, and many other such notable ‘landmarks’ in the course of history. In the Bible, we read of the woman from Bethany who lovingly anointed Jesus with expensive perfume. She could not possibly have understood the full significance of her simple act of kindness. She had no knowledge of Christ’s upcoming crucifixion and death; no way of comprehending Christ’s reference to burial. And yet, she showed love in the way she knew how. And we can be confident that, by God’s grace and power, even the smallest actions can have a very real and tangible effect on others. Fortunately, none of us can be expected to do everything but we can certainly all do something. And we are called to find out what that something is. May God enable us to be instrumental in seeking and praying for a positive and permanent solution, whereby by His guidance we will be delivered from the ensnarement of this terrible disaster. Your Friend & Pastor, Frank King

• Joining others for Thursday night NHS clapping may mean that we have spoken to neighbours more. •

Schemes being set up to care for the elderly and vulnerable may actually meant more contact with others and an outpouring of care within our communities. At St Mary’s we have set up contact groups for about 120 people and have a weekly newsletter being delivered to more than 100 people, so many people are receiving regular contact. In last month’s Christian calendar we remembered Palm Sunday when Jesus entered Jerusalem to the rapturous welcome of the crowd, Good Friday when the crowds demanded that Jesus be crucified, Holy Saturday when the disciples were in fear and grieve and then, of course, the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Day and the disciples gradually having their hope restored.

In May we remember the Ascension of Jesus, when he left the disciples and they again were confused and fearful for the future, but then Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was sent to be a living presence of God within them for all time. These accounts are ones of change and loss with normal feelings of fear, anxiety, abandonment, confusion, but also ones showing that change and loss can be negotiated even though it is hard and a new way of life can eventually be worked out. So as we wait to see what the world will look like, let’s continue to support those around us and make sure that we care for ourselves as we journey through this period of change and loss.

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BENEFICE OF EAST BERGHOLT AND BRANTHAM In the school church assembly at end of term I would have talked about Palm Sunday, that great celebration full of hope and optimism, and mentioned the sense of foreboding as the plots against Jesus gathered force, culminating in his death on that terrible day so long ago. We live in a world that has known what it is to celebrate and look forward, but which is now filled with anxiety, worry about the future, fear and death statistics. What can it possibly mean to us today? The ancient world knew what it is was to be anxious, worry about the future, fear often stalked the streets and death was a daily reality not only from disease but political violence also. It was into that world that Jesus came, he experienced what we experience. All of it. And yet his first words to Mary in the garden, and his disciples after his resurrection were “Peace be with you”. It was as he broke the bread in the house on the way to Emmaus that Cleopas and the other disciple recognised him. It is in our broken world that Jesus is present. Take courage. The Lord is with us. I am at the end of the telephone if you need to have a chat or would like me to pray with or for you. Rev Steph: 01206 392646

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HOLY FAMILY ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH Ipswich Road, Brantham CO11 1TB / Parish Priest: Fr Paul Vincent OCD / Assistant Priest: Fr Bineesh Elenjikkal OCD 180 Hawthorn Drive, Ipswich IP2 0QQ / 01473 684963 / www.stmarksparish.org.uk A letter from the president and vice-president on behalf of all the Bishops of the Conference published on 18 March 2020 stated: “In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, so many aspects of our lives must change. This includes the ways in which we publicly express our faith. It is very clear that following official advice and in order to keep each other safe, save lives and support the NHS, at this time we must not gather for public acts of worship in our churches. This will begin from Friday 20 March until further notice. Our churches will remain open. They are not closing. They will be a focal point of prayer, where you will find solace and strength. In visiting our churches at this time, we will observe with great care the practices of hygiene and the guidance on social distancing. However, the celebration of Mass, Sunday by Sunday and day by day, will take place without a public congregation. Knowing that the Mass is being celebrated; joining in spiritually in that celebration; watching the live-streaming of the Mass; following its prayers at home; making an act of spiritual communion: this is how we share in the Sacrifice of Christ in these days. These are the ways in which we will sanctify Sunday, and indeed every day. We want everyone to understand that in these emergency circumstances, and for as long as they last, the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days is removed. This is, without doubt, the teaching of the Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2181). This pandemic is the ‘serious reason’ why this obligation does not apply at this time.” Holy Mass is streamed daily at noon from The National Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham: www.walsingham.org.uk The weekly newsletter may be read on the parish website and is always displayed in the cabinet alongside the front door. Catholic Commentary The Vatican has recently joined tech companies Microsoft and IBM to promote the ethical development of artificial intelligence (AI) and call for regulation of intrusive technologies such as facial recognition. The three said AI should respect privacy, work reliably and without bias, consider human

EAST BERGHOLT UNITED FC As with most things, local football came to an abrupt halt on 16 March due to the Coronavirus pandemic when all matches were postponed until further notice. On 26 March the FA took the decision to end the season for clubs at our level. The First Team were fifth in the Senior Division when time was called. The ladies semi-final in the HomestoreUK Suffolk Women’s Cup was also postponed with no further news at this stage. At this point we have no idea what comes next but we hope everyone, players, supporters, friends, neighbours and opponents, can stay safe for when some sort of normality returns. Our 125th anniversary celebration has also been postponed. We will provide more information when the situation allows. We would like to thank our sponsors for this season: Smy IT Specialists, JAK Services Ground Care, Riverside Taxis Manningtree. Marquis, Bergholt Travel, G & C Timber & Joinery Ltd, Primus and Kitchen Worktops Online. If you would like to sponsor the club in some capacity we would also be delighted to hear from you. We are looking for new teams, boys or girls, of any age group to join us as we look for the club to grow. If you are interested please contact David George (davidgeorge5000@hotmail.com) or Lee Partridge (bunter.partridge@ googlemail.com). Facebook: Ease Bergholt United Football Club Instagram: east_bergholt_united_fc Twitter: @EBUFC1 Steve Butcher (Secretary) / stevebutcher55@btinternet.com

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rights and operate transparently. The Pope, who has raised concerns about the uncontrolled spread of AI technologies, gave his backing at a conference. Calling for the ethical development of algorithms, known as ‘algorethics’, Pope Francis warned about AI being used to extract data for commercial or political ends without the knowledge of individuals. He commented: “This asymmetry, by which a select few know everything about us while we know nothing about them, dulls critical thought and the conscious exercise of freedom. Inequalities expand enormously, knowledge and wealth accumulate in a few hands with grave risks for democratic societies.” The joint document made a specific reference to the potential abuse of facial recognition technology. “New forms of regulation must be encouraged to promote transparency and compliance with ethical principles,” it said. Events & Diary Dates The 100 Club Draw took place on Sunday 26 April at Holy Family when three lucky winners shared a £166 prize pot. The next draw takes place on Sunday 24 May. The club, set up to support the life and mission of our parish, has grown from strength to strength since its launch. New members are always very welcome and the newsletter, that includes an application form, can be found at the rear of the church or at: www.stmarksparish.org.uk The popular Bring & Buy Coffee Mornings that take place at Viv & Wyn’s home, Paddock Gate, Whitehorse Road, East Bergholt are cancelled for the foreseeable future. They have been raising funds for our centenary celebration on Saturday 15 August. Watch this space for their reintroduction! The Sick & Homebound Fr Bineesh Elanjikkal is the Catholic Chaplain at Ipswich Hospital, assisted by Deacon Clive Brooks. Please be aware that for reasons of patient confidentiality, the NHS will not inform the chaplains of any Catholics admitted to hospital. Unless you or your relatives inform the chaplain, you will not be visited by a priest or any other member of the chaplaincy team. Please let Fr Paul Vincent know of anyone who is ill at home or housebound, so that they may receive appropriate pastoral care. Both Fr Paul and Fr Bineesh can be contacted on 01206 684963.

MISTLEY CRICKET CLUB All cricket has been suspended indefinitely. The 100 Club draw for March was conducted on Facebook Live, which was a brief diversion for a number of members. We would love to say cricket is imminent but clearly that is anything but the case at the present time. We are, of course, all hopeful that we will be through the crisis in time to play some cricket this summer. The main thing however is that all players, supporters and friends, opponents and neighbours everywhere stay safe in these most difficult of times. March 2020 100 Club Winners 1: Callum O’Connell (78) £120 2: Graeme Butcher (79) £60 3: Simon Everett (21) £50 For anyone new to the area you will always be welcome at New Road, either as a player or spectator. For more information please email: mistleycc@btinternet.com The club runs three Saturday sides and two Sunday sides at men’s adult level. The First XI will play in the Two Counties Division One, the Second Team in Division 3 and the Third Team in either Division 8 or 9, depending on the final structure of the league in 2020. So there is cricket available for players at every level.

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#StayAtHome #ProtectTheNHS

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DEMENTIA TOGETHER FREE HELPLINE: 08081 688 000 The helpline will continue to be available seven days a week for continuous support throughout this difficult time. Dementia Together Navigators will also be able to complete a detailed assessment over the phone offering support, education and a listening ear to you throughout this difficult time.

Dementia Together was commissioned in 2017 by both Suffolk County Council and the East and West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Groups. The service was set up as a single point of contact for people living with dementia and their families. The service aims to ensure that people receive the right information and support at the right time. People do not need to have a diagnosis to access the service. Anyone concerned about their memory or their relatives, friends or neighbours can contact the Dementia Together helpline. The helpline operates Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm and also weekends and bank holidays from 10am to 4pm. Dementia Together is continuing to offer as full a service as possible at this very difficult time. The helpline remains operational seven days a week from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays. The service also consists of navigators who work in communities across Suffolk. During normal service navigators visit people in their own homes and help them to access support in their local communities. During the coronavirus crisis home visits are no longer taking place. Navigators are working from home and telephone and/or online video calls are offered instead. Navigators continue to keep in contact with service users, providing information and offering extensive emotional support at this time. Service users are being linked to local community networks which are offering help with shopping, collecting prescriptions and welfare calls. The current lockdown is having a huge impact on people living with dementia and their family carers. Community groups and day services which had provided an invaluable lifeline are now closed. The helpline is also receiving lots of calls from families who live far away and are concerned about elderly relatives. Dementia Together will continue to deliver as much support as possible to people living with dementia and their families throughout this time of unprecedented crisis. There are very particular difficulties that are being experienced by people living with dementia and their families at this time. For example, people living with dementia may not be able to retain new information and thus forget they have been told that we are in the midst of this crisis. Constantly trying to explain the current situation to someone living with dementia can cause stress not only for the person living with dementia, but also their family carers. Service users are encouraged to take steps to look after their own health and well-being at this time. Keeping in contact with friends and families

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through telephone, FaceTime or Skype is important. Many calls into the Dementia Together helpline are for information on ways in which families can ensure that the person living with dementia is kept active mentally stimulated. The Dementia Together helpline and navigators are giving lots of information on meaningful and creative activities such as reminiscence, music, dance, exercise, games, baking and many other activities that people can try. Watching films together can help too and trying to maintain a routine can be reassuring for someone living with dementia. Current government guidelines are that people can go out for one walk a day as long as they keep a safe distance from others. Great for those fortunate to live in the countryside, however even in towns people can still get out into their gardens, perhaps for a walk around the garden, gardening, planting seeds, bird watching or simply enjoying the outdoors. We had a caller into the helpline who the navigator talked to as they were having a picnic in their garden summerhouse. The helpline have lots of information and ideas about activities that people can try at home. Age is the biggest risk factor for dementia, however many younger people under 65 also develop dementia. In Suffolk we have a Younger Person’s Dementia Network specifically for people under 65 and their families. This group normally meets around the county monthly on Sundays. Up until recently they have enjoyed taking part in various activities including foot golf, ceramic painting, visits to Museum of East Anglian Life and a visit from Bert’s Amazing Creatures. New and innovative and fun ways are being sought to continue with the network. Members will be taking part in a quiz through zoom. For further information and support please contact the Dementia Together helpline on 08081 688 000 or email: SRYC.DementiaTogether@ nhs.net USEFUL LINKS Pathways Care Farm: https://tinyurl.com/rzcmsg3 BBC Reminiscence: https://tinyurl.com/s53xdgt Bird Watching: https://tinyurl.com/qr3bazv Exercises to do at home: https://tinyurl.com/vwqgf6x https://tinyurl.com/tmw87k8 Music in Our Bones: https://tinyurl.com/u3tj9kg Lead Navigator Judith Goldsmith

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YOU CAN’T KEEP A GOOD THING DOWN! What do you do when the one thing you promote, the one thing you live for, disappears overnight?

between friends watching the performance and using messaging apps. I even had someone drink a virtual pint I’d left unattended.”

The team at Grapevine magazine live for live music, theatre and dance. When we all went into lockdown, not only did our raison d’être vanish, but along with it the livelihood of the musicians, lighting engineers, sound engineers, roadies, front of house staff, box office assistants and ushers, not to mention the future of the venues themselves.

More organised musicians have arranged regular slots to ensure a regular audience. Some are even doing online collaborations with their fellow band members. Some decide to go online when the mood takes them, which makes it a little difficult to add to a forward looking calendar. How these gigs make it to the internet varies depending on the tools available and the strength of the broadband link but some are available to watch afterwards so you can catch up.

Generally speaking musicians are tech savvy – you’d be surprised how many sound engineers moonlight as web designers. It wasn’t long before they invented the virtual gig, and Grapevine became the home of the Virtual Gig Guide. In no way are these virtual gigs a substitute for the real thing but they help us keep in touch with the artists we would normally see each weekend. Such is the abundance of these live virtual gigs that choosing who to watch and when is bordering on an art form. Grapevine’s Tony Bell says: “It became very obvious that everyone wanted to gig at 8pm on Saturday night so I’ve advised performers to spread their gigs out if they want to get seen. What I found particularly surreal at one gig, which was ‘attended’ by many friends, was the banter that took place

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Musicians all across the country have been spring cleaning their living rooms, kitchens and sheds so that their homes look neat and tidy when you tune in. Although one musician, who will remain nameless, broadcast from his loo… perhaps he was after the reverb effect from the tiling. Who knows! Ingenious as we humans are, none of what we are doing in the virtual world can hold a candle to a live gig. We can’t do that so for now check out GrapevineLIVE, the home of The Virtual Gig Guide. www.grapevinelive.co.uk/virtual-gig-guide

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Rural Coffee Caravan is one of many charities which has transformed its service in response to current need. Their website is a great source of information and ideas and they have created this flyer which you can tape to a bin, pop in milk bottle, give to a supermarket worker or in fact any key worker. You can download it direct from: www.ruralcoffeecaravan.org.uk

Coronavirus in Suffolk Update

#Covid19Suffolk

For more information, visit www.suffolk.gov.uk/coronavirus 22

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SUFFOLK SCOUTS ANNOUNCE THEIR FIRST INTERNATIONAL MOOT FOR 2021

Suffolk Scouts have announced an exciting event taking place in Suffolk in August 2021. Their first Suffolk International Moot (SIM) is open to Scouts and Guides everywhere and will be taking place at Ipswich’s Trinity Park. The theme of Go Higher, Faster, Further captures the essence of the event, which is to create opportunities for adventure, learning and gaining #skillsforlife, a fundamental principle of the Scouting movement. Held over six days from August 26-31 2021, the event offers a range of exciting activities including many water activities on the beautiful River Deben. These include rafting, open canoes, kayaks and even stand-up paddleboards for the really adventurous. There will also be a range of vertigo inducing activities like abseiling, crate stacking and aerial runway. Scouts and Guides attending can also choose from a number of creative activities including backwoods cooking, a craft tent and whittling. There will also be activities covering self-awareness and community, and a range of social activities to do during the evenings. A full list of activities can be found on the SIM website: www.suffolkmoot.com

County Commissioner Mark Pearson commented: “We are delighted to announce our very first Suffolk International Moot (SIM). SIM will bring together up to 2,000 Scouts and Guides from all over the UK and the world to take part in our widest range of activities yet. Whilst this is our first international event, Suffolk Scouts have delivered a number of successful Moots in past years helped along by an army of volunteers providing support to our Scouts and Guides. We will also be holding a cub day for younger members. At the moment we have a number of vacancies for volunteers with details on our SIM website.” Booking for the event has now opened with an early bird offer available. Mark commented further: “In these uncertain times I think it’s important to have something to look forward to. SIM represents incredible value for money and this is a great opportunity for all those keen to get something in the diary for summer 2021 by taking advantage of these early offers.”

e ctiv a e B

Relax

When we’re together it feels better Rest

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#LoveNHS #ColourForOurCarers @milliemarotta 24

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LOVE NHS INITIATIVE FROM BESTSELLING UNLIMITED TITLES AVAILABLE FOR ILLUSTRATOR MILLIE MAROTTA VIRTUAL BOOK GROUPS Suffolk Libraries is promoting its collections of unlimited use eBooks which would be ideal for anyone thinking of setting up virtual book groups. Most library eBooks work like physical books in that individual copies can only be borrowed one at a time. Suffolk Libraries now has two new collections of 25 eBook titles with unlimited copies available for loan via the Overdrive service. This means they can be borrowed by anyone with no waiting times and are ideal for book groups. There is a collection for adults and one for children and young adults. Photo by Gareth Davies Photography

Bestselling colouring book illustrator Millie Marotta, author of Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom, has launched an initiative to get the nation colouring in to show appreciation for our NHS. Colouring has surged in popularity in recent years and many health professionals and organisations, including the NHS, have promoted colouring as a way to beat stress and anxiety. In this time of crisis, many of us are feeling anxious. The Love NHS initiative offers a way to de-stress through the mindful activity of colouring in while celebrating our heroes working in the National Health Service. Millie has kindly allowed us to provide the Love NHS illustration here but it’s also available as a download that can be printed at home: bit.ly/mmlovenhs Once coloured, the illustration can be posted on social media, put up in the window, used as a flag or be sent to a loved one. Millie Marotta is a freelance illustrator working in her studio by the sea in a little corner of West Wales.

The adult collection includes a Tale for the Time being by Ruth Ozeki, How not to Be a Boy by Robert Webb and Life of Pi by Yann Martel. The collection for younger readers includes The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson, A Dog’s Life by Ann M Martin and It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is also currently available as an unlimited eBook and eAudiobook and there is also a collection of eBook classics with multiple copies available. There are also some unlimited use eAudiobooks available via the Borrowbox service. These include Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan, The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald and Wed Wabbit by Lissa Evans. Some of our libraries are already setting up their own online book groups or discussions via their Facebook pages. The Reading Agency also provides lots of tips and information for anyone of thinking of setting up their own: www. readingagency.org.uk/resources/4327

A pioneer in the global colouring movement, Millie had been an illustrator long before she inked her first book. Millie’s intricate illustrations are inspired by a love of wildlife and fascination with the natural world. In 2015, Millie’s debut title Animal Kingdom (published by Batsford) spent a record 22 weeks as the official paperback non-fiction No.1. Since then she has published several colouring books and stationery products, which have been translated into over 30 languages. #LoveNHS

#ColourForOurCarers

@milliemarotta

IMAGINE THAT BOOK DROP Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity are thrilled to announce that Imagine That, a leading independent children’s publisher based in Woodbridge, have chosen us as their 2020 charity of the year. They are specifically fundraising for The Children’s Appeal at Ipswich Hospital. Their programme of events for the year include book drops, wear yellow to work day and, when safe to do so, they will continue storytelling on the wards and have a bucket collection at Ipswich Town Football Club. Recently the children’s department received many boxes of books for children of all ages who are isolating on the ward to read and enjoy.

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HOME, BUT NOT ALONE A new Suffolk-focused community service has been set up to support people who need help during the COVID-19 pandemic. Called Home, But Not Alone, the service has been launched to help connect people who want to volunteer in their communities with neighbours who are most in need.

AN UPDATE FROM EAST ANGLIA’S CHILDREN’S HOSPICES (EACH) As of Tuesday 7 April What we are all facing is unprecedented. We know this is a very challenging and uncertain time for everyone. For EACH the financial impact is overwhelming. With our shops closed and the vast majority of our supporters’ fundraising activities and our own events cancelled or postponed, our loss of income is expected to be around £1,800,000 in any 12-week block. At the time of writing, we are hopeful there will be additional funding support from the government, but this alone will not be enough and we will still need help to bridge our income gap. It is essential we all work together to slow down the spread of the coronavirus and shield the most vulnerable, which includes the children and young people who use our services. This has meant we have suspended our planned care activities in the hospices, such as short breaks and wellbeing therapies, wellbeing groups and events, face-to-face counselling, care of the child’s body after they have died as well as our Help at Home volunteering service. At the moment our focus is on providing end-of-life care and bereavement support, working closely with the NHS to provide capacity to care for the sickest children and responding to urgent requests for care and support as best we can. However, we need to be able to start offering our services in full as soon as it is safe to do so. We need the help of the public to make that happen. We are not alone. Nearly every children’s hospice in the UK is in the same position. Unlike hospitals, we all rely on the generosity of our donors to fund our services. Last year just 13 percent of our income came from statutory sources. Some good news we have had during this period is that all three of our hospices were rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission following inspections in January. We are only able to provide outstanding care because of outstanding backing from the public and we are calling on our supporters to continue helping us where they can.

The service will mean willing volunteers, charities, town and parish councils, community and religious groups can all log their details and offers of support on an app, while people who need help can phone to request support. As the number of offers and requests grows, they will be matched so that the right help can be given where it’s most needed. This support could include delivering groceries, medication or essential household goods, in line with government social distancing guidelines. Download the free app, called Tribe Volunteer, from Apple App Store and Google Play Store. The telephone number for those in genuine need of help is Freephone 0800 876 6926 and will be staffed from 9am to 5pm, seven days a week. The Home, But Not Alone service was created by partners from Suffolk’s councils, police, health bodies and charitable organisations which come together as the Collaborative Communities Board. Chrissie Geeson, the board chair, said: “In these challenging times, it has been incredibly heartening to have so many people volunteer to help others. In villages and towns across Suffolk, people have taken it upon themselves to mobilise a small army of volunteers to do what they can for people in need. “The support service will encompass this work but will bring structure and routine to these offers of help. This is just the start of this new service, so we expect the number of offers and requests to grow. People who want to help, or need help, should let us know and we will do the rest. “It is testament to the hard work of all Suffolk organisations and sectors that we are able to offer this invaluable help.” The telephone line is not a general information line for COVID-19 queries, but those in need can seek information on support with care needs, loneliness and to connect with community support. This is a new service and will adapte to demand over the coming weeks. People are still being urged to check www.gov.uk for the latest guidance on a wide range of issues and changes caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

We were delighted our emergency fundraising appeal received over £40,000 in the first six days. It has been heart-warming to see what people have been doing to help us at a time of such great challenge and difficulty for all, and we have been really impressed with people’s creativity to get fundraising activities done at home. Examples include a family riding from Land’s End to John o’ Groats on a cycling machine, a brother and sister running a marathon in their garden and a couple growing sunflowers for 12 weeks. Together we can make sure that vital care and support is still available for the children, young people and their families who need us, during and beyond this challenging and uncertain time. You can support us now by donating to our emergency appeal at: www. justgiving.com/campaign/each-covid19 Or visit www.each.org.uk/get-involved for more ideas about how to do your own fundraising. Our fundraising teams are working hard from home and would love to hear from you. Thank you.

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PRETTYS COVID ASSIST Help is at hand for local businesses that need legal advice as a result of the devastating Covid 19 outbreak. Prettys solicitors in Ipswich are offering up to an hour of free consultation without obligation to assist and support local businesses. With an 80 strong team Prettys have served the local community since they were founded in 1906. As a recognised leader in commercial law and personal law they work regionally, nationally and internationally. Prettys’ business experts are inviting local businesses to get in touch for free specialist advice with their lawyers who specialise in corporate and commercial, property, employment, commercial disputes and have first-hand experience of advising on all aspects of business in which difficulties have arisen because of the Covid 19 outbreak. Whether a business has a question about business contracts, restructuring, employment matters or disputes that have arisen because of the pandemic this is the chance to obtain free legal advice. This offer is extended throughout April and May. To reserve a consultation please email covidassist@prettys.co.uk or visit www.prettyscovidassist.co.uk and complete the application form. To ensure that an appointment is booked with the right specialist you will need to provide your name, the nature of your concern, name of your business, business location, and of course your contact details.

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16. HAPPY GAMES EVENT

HAPPY SLEEP HABITS

M

ake sleep your superpower! Scientists say children need at least nine hours of sleep every night to feel happy and stay healthy. Getting a good night’s sleep is important for happiness. If we have too little sleep, it can make us grumpy, easily upset and less able to concentrate and learn. It can also mean we want to eat sugary foods that aren’t good for us and make us less likely to want to exercise.

Can you find a bedtime routine to make sure you get a good night’s sleep every night?

TOP TIPS FOR SLEEP

YOU WILL NEED:

• • •

Equipment for the games (ball, football, skipping rope, potato, spoon, obstacles, etc.) Sheets of paper Pens

* Try and stick to a regular bedtime, to help you get to

sleep faster and sleep better.

G

ather your friends, head outside and throw a Happy Games event! You’ll have loads of fun, as well as discovering the benefits of outdoor exercise.

AN A S K U LT AD

IDEAS FOR ACTIVITIES:

* THROW, CLAP & CATCH – How many times can you throw a

ball up in the air and catch it again, clapping three times after each throw?

* UP IN THE AIR – How many times can you keep a football

* Have a milky drink an hour before bedtime.

in the air, bouncing it only on your knees?

* Make your bedtime space cosy, quiet and dark – light

* SKIP AND SING – Who can skip on the spot for the longest time

and noise can keep your brain wide awake, making it harder to fall asleep.

while singing a song?

* HOPPING RELAY – In teams, have a hopping relay race

* Switch off your tech! Devices like phones, tablets and

while throwing and catching a ball at the same time.

laptops give out a blue light that makes your brain think it’s daytime, keeping you awake. Apps, games and messaging keep your mind whirring rather than letting it rest. So switch these all off an hour before you want to sleep and read a book instead.

* POTATO AND SPOON RACE – Race while balancing

a potato on a spoon and stepping over small obstacles.

GIVE A 'HAPPY SCORE'! MAXIMISE YOUR MOVING! Health experts say kids need to do at least 60 minutes of moderate to high intensity physical activity every day. MODERATE INTENSITY activities include: * walking to school * riding a scooter * skateboarding * walking the dog * cycling on flat ground

HIGH INTENSITY activities include: * swimming * running * playing chase or football * dancing energetically * cycling fast or uphill

* After each activity, ask everyone

to give themselves a happiness score out of 10 to show how much they enjoyed it. The higher the number, the happier the activity!

* You could even make everyone a

set of score cards and ask each person to hold up their happiness score after each activity.

* Spread the word! Tell others

about the benefits of holding a Happy Games event.

It’s good to do activities that make your muscles and bones stronger as well, such as: climbing, tennis, skipping, hopscotch and gymnastics. Try and do some of these activities at least three times per week.

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HELPFUL LINKS FOR FAMILIES AND VOLUNTEERS The team at Home-Start in Suffolk are dedicated to supporting the families and volunteers they work with and alongside other local charities working across the county they have been looking at a variety of ways to help us all navigate through this difficult and uncertain time following the outbreak of COVID-19. This is just a small selection of their ideas, including ways to stay in touch and prevent loneliness, ideas to help you stay calm, educational links for children, creative ideas for keeping occupied, ways to keep fit whilst in isolation, simple recipes and much more. You’ll find much at www.homestartinsuffolk.org/supportforfamilies which is updated daily. COMMUNICATION Physical social distancing during COVID-19 is recommended but we all need human contact and here are some ways we can work together to support each other – preventing your family, friends, neighbours and communities feeling the effects of loneliness and total isolation from human interaction. Whether you are tech savvy or not communication is key. From a simple telephone conversation to a video chat we can all stay in touch to avoid that feeling of being alone and isolated. It’s Good To Talk You could post notes through to your neighbours. You may have spoken to each other over years or acknowledged each other in passing but telephone number exchange may not have been a priority at the time. Here’s a sample postcard you could use that several charities are sharing at the moment to exchange contact numbers.

Hello!

If you are self-isolating, I can help.

My name is I live locally at

Facebook Messenger also has the facility for you to video call your friends and family. You’ll even find instructional videos on YouTube. Write a letter! Try writing letters or sending handmade cards. Those family members you cannot see or visit will be delighted to receive a special note from you. ACTIVITIES FOR YOU Look out for fun ways to get together with other people and do things, you could even start something yourself. It could be as simple as starting a book club with a handful of neighbours which meets online or over the phone (there are free online resources available: Project Gutenberg has a library of over 60,000 free eBooks, Kindle have an app you can use on any device and there are a few free titles available along with the option of Kindle Unlimited giving you access to 1000s of titles for a monthly fee. Audible offers a free 30-day trial for audio-books and have a variety of titles available for free including some children’s books too), join a singing group or take exercise classes online that are being organised for free. Learn a new skill and complete an online course There are a huge number of free online courses that you could take on the Open University, a great way to broaden your horizons and keep busy during your time at home. Why not take up a new hobby? Try your hand at something new… knitting, art, photography, sign language, learn a new language… Search the internet if you have something in mind. There are many options available. HEALTH AND WELLBEING Keep fit and active indoors even though the gym is closed or your walking or running group has had to suspend activities. If you have a Smart TV and Broadband you can access apps on there to practise a new daily exercise. How about a form of yoga that suits you? Think about ways to keep fit during isolation. Try the home fitness workout videos from NHS Fitness Studio: www.nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-fitness-studio

My phone number is If you are self-isolating due to COVID-19 I can help with: Picking up shopping

Posting mail

A friendly phone call

Urgent supplies

Just call or text me and I’ll do my best to help you (for free!) Coronavirus is contagious. Please take every precaution to ensure you are spreading only kindness. Avoid physical contact (2m distance). Wash your hands regularly. Items should be left on your doorstep. # V i r a l K i n d n e s s

Sharing Information Consider setting up a community or friends phone tree to communicate via landline. Coordinate phone treeself-isolating, which includes a handful of your friends If ayou are I can help. and neighbours. These are a useful way of passing messages around small social networks but could be vital social contact for those stuck at home in My name is the weeks ahead.

Hello!

I live locally at A 10-minute check-in or friendly chat can make all the difference to help people feel less isolated. You’ll find a downloadable version here: My phone number is https://tinyurl.com/tqmh6fb If you are self-isolating due to COVID-19 I can help with: Virtual Visiting If you love the idea of video calls there are a number Picking up shopping Posting mail of options available to you for this, the easiest being WhatsApp. A free app you can use on your A friendly phone call to your Wi-FiUrgent supplies mobile phone which connects or mobile data to communicate. Alternatively you could use ZOOM, there are a number offree!) options available Just call or text me and I’ll do my best to help you (for including FaceTime and Skype and a new app called HouseParty which allows you to group chat andPlease play games together too. to ensure you are Coronavirus is contagious. take every precaution spreading only kindness. Avoid physical contact (2m distance). Wash your

28 hands regularly. Items should be left on your doorstep.

#ViralKindness

Take your pick from 24 instructor-led videos across aerobics exercise, strength and resistance, and Pilates and yoga categories. The Body Coach Joe Wicks has been hosting daily PE classes for children but adults can join in too! Check out his YouTube channel. Alternatively there are number of fitness videos online that can accessed through social media, YouTube and other online services. Tips on staying calm Stress and anxiety can stop the immune system from working so well, meaning we are more susceptible to catching any bugs or viruses, so it is essential now to be doing as much as possible to release stress. By remaining calm, we are more able to respond to developing situations more objectively rather than getting lost in a spiral of panic, fear and catastrophising thoughts. Helen Wyre of Advance Hypnotherapy has uploaded some helpful videos to her Facebook page: Helen Wyer Advance Hypnotherapy The 30 day Coping Calendar on page 29 suggests 30 actions to look after ourselves as we face this global crisis together. Action for Happiness helps people take action for a happier and more caring world and their website offers ideas for taking care of ourselves and others: www.actionforhappiness.org Self-isolation posters could be useful to display to potential visitors and couriers of how exposure to Covid-19 could be detrimental to your health, and advising where to leave deliveries at your property. Chronically Awesome Tribe has produced a set of free downloads which you can access at: www.chronicallyawesome.org.uk

In Touch online:


www.keepingintouchwith.com/manningtree

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#StayAtHome #ProtectTheNHS

#SaveLives

SMALL BUSINESSES IN SUFFOLK URGED TO ACCESS £200M POT OF COVID-19 AID Eligible businesses across Suffolk are being urged to access grants of £10,000 or £25,000 to help them through COVID-19 crisis. The government has allocated over £213m to support qualifying businesses in Suffolk who are struggling because of restrictions in place to combat the Coronavirus. There are over 15,000 eligible businesses across the county who can access one of two grants of either £10,000 or £25,000 to help with their ongoing business costs. The Small Business Grant Fund is available to businesses that pay little or no business rates and currently receive small business rate relief (SBRR) and/or rural rate relief (RRR). In addition, there is a cash grant available to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses that have a property with a rateable value up to £51,000. Businesses who meet the eligibility criteria are being contacted by their local authority to confirm eligibility and payment details and staff are working to get this information out to firms as quickly as they can. Businesses must follow the process outlined by their Local Authority for the payment to be made. Business owners who have not yet been contacted and believe they are eligible for either of the grants should check their local council’s website for further details. The grants will be administered by local authorities; Babergh District Council, East Suffolk Council, Ipswich Borough Council, Mid Suffolk

District Council and West Suffolk Council. Karen Chapman, from the Suffolk Growth Board representing all local authorities, commented; “The Small Business Grant Fund and Cash Grant for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses could provide an important lifeline during these unprecedented times. We urge all eligible businesses to take advantage of the financial support, advice and guidance that is available during this difficult period.” Further information, on these two grants and all support available for businesses and the self-employed can be found on the Government business support website: www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirusbusiness-support To contact your local council please visit: Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils: www.midsuffolk.gov.uk/business/business-rates/grant-funding-schemes East Suffolk Council: www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/business/covid-19-business-grant-funding Ipswich Borough Council: www.ipswich.gov.uk/businessratesgrant West Suffolk Council: www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/c19business Additional support is available at from trained advisers at the New Anglia Growth Hub: www.newangliagrowthhub.co.uk

DON'T QUIT

by John Greenleaf Whittier When things go wrong as they sometimes will, When the road you're trudging seems all up hill, When the funds are low and the debts are high And you want to smile, but you have to sigh, When care is pressing you down a bit, Rest if you must, but don't you quit. Life is strange with its twists and turns As every one of us sometimes learns And many a failure comes about When he might have won had he stuck it out; Don't give up though the pace seems slow You may succeed with another blow. Success is failure turned inside out The silver tint of the clouds of doubt, And you never can tell just how close you are, It may be near when it seems so far; So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

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In Touch online:


#StayAtHome #ProtectTheNHS

#SaveLives

RADIO TIMES

A short story by Derek Curry “Fantastic,” Ginger said, staring enviously at my radio, “can I hold it?” I held it tighter against my chest. “No you can’t,” I said, “you’ll only drop it, or move the dial and lose the station.” “No I won’t,” he insisted. “Go on, I just want a closer look. Is it brand new?” “Of course it’s new.” I sighed and handed my beloved radio over as if it were a precious jewel - which of course it was, to me. Prostate Cancer Awareness & Screening With Coronavirus swirling about us, all of a sudden there is an opportunity forced upon us to stop and think about what CHAPS has been doing and what the charity should be doing when this crisis abates. Over the last few years CHAPS has continued to stage men’s health events across Essex and Suffolk, screening particularly for undiagnosed heart disease, diabetes, aortic aneurysms, skin cancer and prostate cancer (PCa). We always detect unsuspected disease and our efforts are much appreciated by our attendees. CHAPS could of course carry on exactly the same once things return to normal but would this still represent the best use of our resources? We think not. The area of clinical activity that has increased most for the charity has been screening for prostate cancer. This increase has been seen by other charities working in the same field and most likely reflects publicity given to stars such as Messrs Fry, Turnbull, and Stewart reporting their personal experiences, together with reports on the increasing prevalence of the disease – over 12,000 UK PCa deaths per year which now exceeds deaths from breast cancer. Consequently we are running bespoke PCa screening events for an increasing number of organisations such as the Freemasons, Rotary and the Lions as well as major commercial infrastructure companies right across the UK. Whilst increased publicity is certainly helpful, there remains an alarming lack of knowledge amongst many, if not most, UK men about their prostate gland in general and awareness of PCa in particular. This is compounded by lack of a medical consensus on screening and only patchy provision of the simple PSA screening blood test by GPs. In many other western counties evidence built up over the last 30 years is now clearly demonstrating the benefit of properly organised PCa screening programmes that can halve a man’s risk of dying from this most unpleasant cancer. A consensus of international experts recommends that all men should start screening with PSA in their 40s especially men at high risk. These are: Men in their 40s with an initial PSA >1.0ng/ml or in their 50’s with a PSA > 2.0ng/ml. Black men or mixed race men of African or Caribbean descent who carry a one in four lifetime risk of developing PCa. Men with a family history of PCa or breast cancer on the mother’s side where the risk rises rapidly with every affected family member.

Ginger slipped it into his shirt pocket, trying it for size. “So how do you turn it on then?” he asked, pulling it back out and fiddling with the dial. “That’s it,” I said furiously, “now you’ve lost the station.” I snatched it back. “It took me nearly two months to save up for it and you treat it like a toy! It’s a Dansette RT66 for goodness sake, not some Hong Kong rubbish.” We glared at each other but I couldn’t stay angry with Ginger for long. We’d been friends since our secondary school days and now, in 1962, we were teenagers and, at sixteen, we’d been holding down jobs for nearly a year. “Look,” I said, “this is the on/off switch and volume, and this,” I turned the larger dial carefully until a voice sounded from the little speaker, “is where you tune it in.” But something wasn’t quite right. It was only four o’clock and Alan Freeman should have been introducing Pick of the Pops after Movie Go-Round had ended, like on every Sunday. I was looking forward to listening to Ray Charles singing I Can’t Stop Loving You again. What was coming out of the radio was some sort of news, which shouldn’t have been on until ten thirty. And the news didn’t sound right either; it was normally read by some posh man, but the voice was a woman’s and she didn’t sound particularly posh, just sort of normal. Ginger and I glanced at each other in puzzlement and concentrated on what was being said: “Here is a summary of the news on Sunday June the 14th 2020. The Health Secretary announced earlier today that there would be a further easing of the self-isolating restrictions next week. In his statement he thanked the public for following government guidelines and staying at least two metres from other people for the last several weeks, saying that the self-discipline exhibited by U.K. citizens was what was defeating Covid-19, but that the discipline must continue. “With the end of panic buying, retail outlets are now able to open at preCoronavirus times, with the usual restrictions on supermarkets’ Sunday opening. It is anticipated that there will continue to be a high demand for ‘click and collect’ in the future. “The government expects continuing flare ups of the epidemic in some regions of the U.K., but the Health Secretary has assured the public that the NHS is ready and able to cope with any further emergencies while work on a vaccine continues.”

Remember, the NHS’s Prostate Cancer Risk Management Programme entitles men over 50 to a PSA test. All GPs have been sent the programme so don’t be put off; it is your entitlement. Early detection of PCa leads almost always to cure whereas late detection once the cancer has spread ends eventually in death. Currently 51 percent of UK men diagnosed with PCa are diagnosed with advanced disease and in nearly one in five it has already spread widely to other parts of the body.

The radio reception was fading so I turned the Dansette in various directions to try to improve it. As the volume dropped I turned it up and made tiny changes to the tuning but eventually the woman’s voice evaporated completely into the rushing sound of static.

The future role of CHAPS Charity will be determined by where we judge the greatest need to be. At present it is to achieve a substantial reduction in our unacceptable death rate from prostate cancer.

“I dunno,” I said. “Perhaps it was some sort of radio play. Anyway, it didn’t make any sense. What’s ‘self-isolating’ and who is Covid-19 when he’s at home? Perhaps it’s science fiction like in The Eagle or a Captain Marvel film.”

Whilst future screening events are postponed due to Coronavirus, keep in touch via our website or contact us directly by email to info@chaps.uk.com or phone 07873 541505, particularly if you would like more information on prostate cancer.

“Nah,” Ginger said, “I reckon there’s something wrong with that cheap old radio you bought.”

www.chaps.uk.com

www.keepingintouchwith.com/manningtree

One more small adjustment and suddenly there was Alan Freeman introducing Pick of the Pops. “What was that all about?” Ginger demanded.

I punched him playfully on the arm. “Jealously will get you no-where,” I said. “Come on, never mind Coronavirus, let’s go and see if my mum’s got any Corona Dandelion and Burdock pop in the cupboard.”

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#StayAtHome #ProtectTheNHS

#SaveLives

FIVE KEY AREAS FOR YOUR BUSINESS TO FOCUS ON RIGHT NOW TO SURVIVE THE CRISIS? These are unprecedented times and things are changing quickly with a lot of people suffering. One thing’s for sure, there will be an end to this. As part of the ActionCOACH community I am in contact with 1300 Business Coaches globally and 220 in the UK. Which allows us to help businesses with the best strategies quickly. For a fuller list of the steps your business needs to take now register for one of our webinars. See www.actioncoach.co.uk/nikgray under events for details. Leadership Whether you have hundreds of employees or you are working solo you need to be the leader. You need to be clear on the vision for the business to create that direction. Communicate regularly – with your team daily whether they are working or not, let them know what is going on. People worry when they don’t know, keep them informed. Customers’ too, tell them how you’re changing, how you’re making things safe or what you’ve got planned for the future. Watch less news. It will have a negative impact on you and your thoughts. Stick to one daily update then turn it off. You need to be the most positive person in the room. Celebrate wins and communicate good news with everybody. Finances Firstly complete a cashflow forecast these can be done simply, if you’re not sure, ask your accountant or call me. Look at your expenditure ask yourself what can be stopped or postpone? Speak with your suppliers ask them how they can help you. Predict the next 90 days income what’s the worst case what’s best case. What do you need to survive? Can you take advantage of the 80% furlough scheme for your staff? Check .gov website for what you are entitled to on grants and where you can apply for the business disruption loan. Even if you don’t use it. It’s interest free for 12 months so you can pay it back if you don’t use it.

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What next? How are you changing? How can you ‘pivot’ to change your direction? When the gyms closed down one gym rented its static bikes out to members to use at home and continued to run classes virtually. Just like communication, marketing is important right now. Yes, your message will have to change, people’s needs and buying habits have changed. So, you change with them. What do they need now? How can you help them? If you have a solution to their problem and you are helping them then you should be selling to them right now, it’s the right thing to do. Plan Most businesses fail because they haven’t got a plan. It’s easy to put off planning and working ‘on’ the business, because it’s thinking time and thinking is difficult. We’d rather do something we know how to do, like working ‘in’ the business. As a leader people look to you for direction. You get that confidence and direction from planning. Reflect on what’s worked and what’s not. What do you need to focus on for the next 90 days? Break it down into small tasks or actions which when combined will have a big impact. If you need help join our free 90 day planning sessions online. Reach out Finally, reach out. Everyone is in the same boat so reach out to others for help. A business coach or an accountant. We are giving away free webinars and free oneto-one sessions with business owners during this period to make sure everybody gets through this. Follow this link and have a chat: https://calendly.com/nikgray

In Touch online:


www.keepingintouchwith.com/manningtree

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People in every community will face the challenges of Covid-19 in some way – from needing basic provisions to help while they are unwell.

Think of others, consider your actions & be kind

As self-isolation sel increases, we need to ďŹ nd new ways to stay connected and check in on one another for our physical and mental wellbeing. Sha phone numbers Share and stay in touch.

Connect and reach out to your neighbours

Keep up to date, share information and be a positive part of your local community conversations.

Make the most of local online groups

Diierent groups in our communities are at increased risk and isol social isolation and loneliness are key concerns for all ages. There are things you can do like volunteering for local support services or donating to ban to help. food banks

Support vulnerable or isolated people

Support anyone a who may be anxious about Covid-19. Sign post them to the correct advice from Public Health England and encourage people to foll follow the correct hygiene practices.

Share accurate information and advice

5 things you can do to make a positive diierence in your community

Community Action Response: Covid-19


#StayAtHome #ProtectTheNHS

#SaveLives

KEEPING PEOPLE CONNECTED ActivLives is a small, grassroots charity which has been working in Ipswich and across Suffolk for 13 years, supporting and motivating people to improve their own health and well-being; keeping people connected with their communities to reduce social isolation and loneliness and providing access to learning, training and volunteering opportunities to enable people to gain skills and employment. ActivLives normally provides a wide range of face to face activities and support including, community gardening, Men in Shed projects, singing and physical / sport activities such as walking football, Boccia, New Age Kurling, seated and standing OTAGO exercise, health walks and social activity. We also have specialist hubs for people living with dementia and their carers and for carers and former carers. These activities bring people together to enable them to meet and make new friends, build support networks in the community, volunteer and learn and share skills. Unfortunately, we have had to close all our activities because of Coronavirus which has had a great impact on the organisation. However, we are a very flexible and resilient organisation with very passionate and dedicated staff and key volunteers who are currently keeping an eye on our gardens and exploring different ways so that we can keep in touch and support our members and volunteers while they are self-isolating at home.

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For those who have access to the internet we will, over the coming weeks, be posting a variety of videos that might interest not only our members, but also the general public who may not know about our organisation. We will have general information to support people through the lock down. There are videos showing how to keep moving with seated and standing exercise for people to do safely at home with our lovely Step by Step instructor Jo. There are singing videos on our Facebook page with Gina, our amazing music facilitator who leads our community singing groups. There are two quizzes each week, gardening videos will be coming from the ActivGardens team and a reminiscence arts project is being planned. For those members and volunteers who cannot access the internet we are keeping in touch by phone and helping in whatever way we can. That may be doing some shopping, collecting prescriptions, just having a weekly chat on the phone or setting up WhatsApp groups so members from our different groups can keep connected while the sessions are closed. We hope that people who haven’t heard of us or don’t currently use our services across Suffolk will enjoy following our home page, joining in with our videos or finding the information we post useful during these unprecedented times. www.activlives.org.uk Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

In Touch online:


#StayAtHome #ProtectTheNHS

#SaveLives

DON’T BECOME A VICTIM CRIMINALS ARE USING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC TO SCAM THE PUBLIC Law enforcement, government and private sectors partners are working together to encourage members of the public to be more vigilant against fraud, particularly about sharing their financial and personal information, as criminals seek to capitalise on the Covid-19 pandemic. Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police. They spend hours researching you for their scams, hoping you’ll let your guard down for just a moment. Stop: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe. Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you. Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud*. Your bank or the police will NEVER ask you to transfer money or move it to a safe account. Criminals are targeting people looking to buy medical supplies online, sending emails offering fake medical support and scamming people who may be vulnerable or increasingly isolated at home. These frauds try to lure you in with offers that look too good to be true, such as high return investments and ‘healthcare opportunities’, or make appeals for you to support bogus charities or those who are ill. Reports from the public have already included online shopping scams where people have ordered protective face masks, hand sanitiser, and other products, which have never arrived and a number of cases have been identified where fake testing kits have been offered for sale. Criminals are also using government branding to try to trick people, including reports of using HMRC branding to make spurious offers of financial support through unsolicited emails, phone calls and text messages. This situation is likely to continue, with criminals looking to exploit further consequences of the pandemic, such as exploiting financial concerns to ask for upfront fees for bogus loans, offering high-return investment scams, or targeting pensions. Huge increases in the number of people working remotely mean that significantly more people will be vulnerable to computer service fraud where criminals will try and convince you to provide access to your computer or divulge your logon details and passwords. It is also anticipated that there will be a surge in phishing scams or calls claiming to be from government departments offering grants, tax rebates, or compensation.

www.keepingintouchwith.com/manningtree

Please see below for more information on the most common COVID-19 frauds and the steps you can take to keep yourself safe. Online Shopping and Auction Fraud More people may fall victim to #onlineshopping fraud as they self-isolate due to #COVID19. You are a victim of online shopping fraud if you buy goods from an online seller that never arrive. Computer Software Service Fraud As more people work from home due to #COVID19, fraudsters may capitalise on slow networks and IT problems, to commit computer software service fraud. Be wary of cold calls or unsolicited emails offering you help with your device or to fix a problem Lender Loan Fraud People may be worrying about their finances during the #COVID19 outbreak. Lender loan fraudsters will use the opportunity to: • approve your application for a fast loan regardless of your credit history • ask you to pay an upfront fee • take your payment and never provide the loan Pension Liberation Fraud and Investment Fraud Fraudsters could try to take advantage of the financial uncertainty surrounding #COVID19 by offering people sham investment opportunities. If you get a cold call or unsolicited email offering you a deal that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Mandate Fraud As more people work from home due to #COVID19, fraudsters may try to get you to change a direct debit, standing order or bank transfer mandate, to divert funds to their bank account, by purporting to be an organisation you make regular payments to. Phishing A number of #COVID19 related phishing emails have been reported to Action Fraud. These emails attempt to trick you into opening malicious attachments which could lead to fraudsters stealing your personal information, logins, passwords, or banking details. As of March 26, the government has only sent one text message to the public regarding new rules about staying at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Any others claiming to be from UK Government are false. “Criminals are able to use spoofing technology to send texts and emails impersonating organisations that you know and trust. We would remind anyone who receives an unexpected text or email asking for personal or financial details not click on the links or attachments, and don’t respond to any messages that ask for your personal or financial details.”

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#StayAtHome #ProtectTheNHS

#SaveLives

WINNERS OF SUFFOLK HIGH SHERIFF’S AWARDS 2020 The winners of the Suffolk High Sheriff’s Awards 2020 have been announced on a special live show on BBC Radio Suffolk after the annual awards ceremony at Wherstead Park had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus. After Roz Eminson (pictured), the High Sheriff, praised the standard of this year’s one hundred entries, the winners were announced by Lesley Dolphin from BBC Radio Suffolk and Tim Holder from Suffolk Community Foundation who administer the High Sheriff Fund and co-ordinate the award ceremony. The winners in each of the seven categories were interviewed on the special programme, presented by Graeme Mac.

“I feel that particularly in these demanding and worrying times we need something to lift our spirits and what better way to do this than to have an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the exemplary and incredible contribution of those working in our voluntary sector,” said Suffolk’s High Sheriff, Roz Eminson. “Indeed, we are already seeing evidence of volunteers stepping up and going above and beyond whatever the normal call of duty is to help others manage during this crisis.  We are seeing the best of the human spirit and the High Sheriff’s Awards are a wonderful way in which we can show our appreciation and thank all those who give their time so willingly, and with dedication, for the good of the less fortunate people of Suffolk.”

Strengthen Your Community: Sponsored by East of England Co-op Gainsborough Community Library, Ipswich

“With the national morale booster for the NHS following on at 8pm, it felt absolutely right that we should all be together in Suffolk to say a big thank you to our own volunteers, community groups and charities,” said Tim Holder from Suffolk Community Foundation. “Aside from us all doing our bit by staying at home, their work combined is having such a powerful effect on keeping our vulnerable people safe and well and less likely to need help from our heroes in the NHS. We needed to celebrate them last night, but also to reinforce the ongoing central call out of the Home But Not Alone Campaign in Suffolk from Community Action Suffolk and others for more volunteers to come forward and help their neighbours, local communities, charities and community groups and also for people to help financially to support all this work if they can by making vital donations to Suffolk’s central Coronavirus Community Fund.”

Caring for the Environment: Sponsored by East Anglian Daily Times Farlingaye School Green Council, Woodbridge

To find out more about how to volunteer please visit: www.communityactionsuffolk.org.uk

Suffolk’s Road to Recovery: Sponsored by Barnes Construction Green Light Trust, (Lawshall, Minsmere, Ipswich and others)

To make a donation to the central Suffolk Coronavirus Community Fund, please visit: www.suffolkcf.org.uk

The winners announced are: Volunteer of the Year Under 30: Sponsored by Birketts Rifaii Al Nayef from Suffolk Refugee Support Volunteer of the Year Over 30: Sponsored by Ipswich Building Society Grzegorz Kowalczyk from Orwell Mencap New Group of the Year: Sponsored by PolicyBee Lowestoft Boxing Academy

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Long Service Award: Sponsored by Ashtons Legal Drena Black, Waveney Domestic Violence & Abuse Forum

In Touch online:


Use your calendar to record your daily kindness acts.

month Monday

year Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Congratulations

Saturday

Being kind sends a powerful message about our connections to each other and the world around us.

www.keepingintouchwith.com/manningtree

Sunday

The British Red Cross Society, incorporated by Royal Charter 1908, is a charity registered in England and Wales (220949), Scotland (SC037738) and Isle of Man (0752). Illustrations: Š Sara Chew/BRC. BRC18-303

The power of kindness calendar

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#StayAtHome #ProtectTheNHS

#SaveLives

BRAIN TEASERS FOR CHILDREN (AND ADULTS) RIDDLES It’s time to get your thinking caps on. You’ll find the answers on page 41 but no peeking! 1: What’s bright orange with green on top and sounds like a parrot? 2: What’s really easy to get into, and hard to get out of?

FIND THE WORDS Including two letter words, there are 250 words hidden in ‘Chocolate Ice Cream’. ‘Ceramic’ is one to get you started but you may want to get the entire family involved!

3: What word contains 26 letters, but only has three syllables? 4: A girl fell off a 20-foot ladder. She wasn’t hurt. Why? 5: What has lots of eyes, but can’t see?

Say the colour of each word!

6: I am often following you and copying your every move. Yet you can never touch me or catch me. What am I? 7: Grandpa went out for a walk and it started to rain. He didn’t bring an umbrella or a hat. His clothes got soaked, but not a hair on his head was wet. How is this possible? 8: I add lots of flavour and have many layers, but if you get to close I’ll make you cry. What am I? 9: What has legs, but doesn’t walk?

10: You see me once in June, twice in November, but not at all in May. What am I? Use the Egyptian alphabet to write your name or share it with your best friend and use it to write coded messages! Parents you could use this to create clues for a treasure hunt.

www.keepingintouchwith.com/manningtree

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#StayAtHome #ProtectTheNHS

#SaveLives

SARABAND SNAPS UP IAN MAITLAND THRILLER spine 22 mm

IAIN MAITLAND

Indie publisher Saraband has signed Felixstowe-based mental health author Iain Maitland for a thriller about unsolved murders of LGBTQ+ victims. MURDERS 1981-

The Scribbler will be published under Saraband’s crime, mystery and noir fiction imprint Contraband on 12 May.

They thought the killer was long gone...

IAIN

MAITLAND “Brilliantly creepy.”

BARBARA NADEL

In The Scribbler, newly qualified DC Carrie and her much more experienced colleague DI Gayther are the unlikely pairing tasked with investigating a series of cold cases, specifically unsolved murders of LGBTQ+ victims. “Back in the Eighties, these had not been considered a priority for police resources,” Saraband said.

“But times have changed and so has the whole matter of how policing is done. Gayther may trust his old-style hunches, but DC Carrie favours technologydriven, algorithm-based methods.” Hunt said: “Iain Maitland has a dark, original and chilling imagination and an uncanny ability to write disturbed characters whilst wrong-footing the reader along the way. He finds brilliant stories in the neglected corners of crime and punishment and keeps us uncomfortably glued to the pages as the tension escalates.” Maitland is the author of the thriller Sweet William (2017) and Mr Todd’s Reckoning (2019), both published by Saraband, as well as two non-fiction books on mental health: Dear Michael, Love Dad (2016, Hodder & Stoughton) and Out of the Madhouse (2018, Jessica Kingsley Publishers). An ambassador for Stem4, the teenage mental health charity, he also speaks on mental health issues in the workplace.

AN EXCLUSIVE EXTRACT FROM THE SCRIBBLER Newly qualified Detective Constable Georgia Carrie walked slowly up the steps of the temporary portacabin office to the side of the main police station building, balancing two full mugs of tea, one in each hand. She stopped to read the sign, ‘DI Gayther, Cold Cases’ and the handwritten scrawl above it, ‘LGBTQ+’. She put the mugs down on the top step to open the door and then paused for a moment, thinking what she might say.

“When was this…?

She opened the door. Picked up the mugs. Stepped inside. The older man, in his battered grey suit and brown loafers, looked up as the young woman put the mugs of tea on the desk. One on his side, the other on hers. He smiled briefly and nodded his thanks. She went to say her opening words, “Good to see you again, sir”, but as she did so, he turned the papers he was reading round so they were facing her on the desk. Old man in a hurry, she thought.

“He is described as white British and would now be in his fifties.”

“Read this, Carrie,” he said abruptly, pushing two sheets of A4 paper across towards her. She took the sheets and sat down at the desk and began reading the first one. He picked up his mug of tea and swung round on his chair, his back to her, looking out of the window towards the back of the main building and what looked like a building site. The police station was being renovated. Ladders, pots and paints and stacked-up scaffolding seemed to fill the whole space. It was a mess. He hated mess. “Still At Large,” she read the front page headline of the local newspaper out loud, “The Scribbler.”

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“Two years ago. Thirtieth anniversary of the first killing,” he replied. He gestured towards the two sheets and she carried on reading without speaking. “Police are still searching for The Scribbler, the serial killer who murdered six people in Norfolk between 1988 and 1990.” “The first victim was Donald Worthington, a 53-year-old abattoir supervisor.” “The second victim was 42-year-old office clerk Andrew Marven.” “The other four victims, middle-aged men from the Norwich area, were found dead in the summer and autumn of 1990.” “Police believe The Scribbler may have killed twelve men in total.” She wasn’t sure who to ask about first, but this was one of an endless stream of cold cases they’d be looking at over the coming days, so she decided to come straight to the point. “And so … ” she said, “why are we looking at this case again now? First of all?” “Because he’s back, Carrie. The Scribbler is back.” Iain Maitland

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HERE TOGETHER: TODAY & TOMORROW St Elizabeth Hospice launches urgent appeal for support While preparing to cope with the impact of Coronavirus on its end of life care and bereavement services over the coming weeks, St Elizabeth Hospice has launched an urgent appeal to the public to support their local hospice in light of all fundraising events being postponed and all 31 retail shops closing. The clinical staff at St Elizabeth are working in partnership with the NHS and partners at speed to significantly expand our services both in the community and at the hospice in response to Coronavirus, whilst continuing to care for patients with non-Covid end of life and palliative care needs. A new rapid response co-ordination centre has been created in the past week to cope with the expected increase in demand for clinical advice and end of life care in the community, doubling the capacity of the hospice’s existing OneCall telephone advice helpline. Last year, the hospice cared for over 3,000 Suffolk patients and their families at a cost of £10.5m, of which 75% was raised by the community through the shops and local fundraising – income-generating activities which are now impossible due to social distancing and self-isolation. Chief Executive Ru Watkins has called on the local community to support the hospice’s new Here Together appeal to highlight the role of St Elizabeth at the clinical frontline of the current pandemic and to make sure that its end of life care can continue unaffected when the crisis is over: “Every family who has come into contact with our consultants, doctors, nurses, carers and volunteers over the years knows how dedicated they are to our local community. We are still here with our patients delivering the care they need today so ask everyone to support our efforts together.” With all fundraising events postponed or cancelled, many supporters are looking for alternative ways to support the hospice. As local supporter Wendy Goddard says: “St Elizabeth Hospice was there for me and my family when my daughter Zoe sadly passed away and their support was outstanding. Last month I was due to hold a charity night for 300 people to raise funds to support the hospice but sadly this has had to be postponed. I would ask you to do what you can in this time of need to support our local hospice together.” The Here Together appeal is being launched across the hospice’s social media platforms to raise awareness of St Elizabeth’s frontline role in continuing to care for some of Suffolk’s most vulnerable patients throughout the pandemic and our shared commitment as a community to protecting its vital services today and tomorrow.

#SaveLives

COMMUNITY ACTION SUFFOLK SUPPORTING VOLUNTEERS, COMMUNITIES & ORGANISATIONS DURING COVID-19 As we all make our way through these uncertain times, Community Action Suffolk (CAS) is continuing to support organisations and volunteers to deliver vital services in communities. Not only are organisations across Suffolk continuing their usual services wherever possible, but there is also an incredible rise in activity with many organisations changing and adding to their offer to meet the huge rise in demand. Alongside this, the surge in people wanting to do whatever they can, however big or small, to care for others is truly heart-warming. CAS has been involved in supporting a whole range of groups and ‘movements’ to promote themselves and encourage others to follow suit in recent weeks. Many of these spring from individuals who simply want to show they care to those in close proximity to them, from ‘Backyard Buddies’ and ‘Tear down the Fence’ initiatives, to groups of residents setting up ‘Emergency Response’ schemes akin to Good Neighbour Schemes. It is important to ensure that this is done in a supported and safe manner so CAS has produced a suite of new resources and guides to help with this which can be found on the website (details below). In addition to work with local groups and organisations, CAS is also supporting various campaigns to recruit and support volunteers. The Suffolk Collaborative Communities Board, made up of key strategic partners from across the county including CAS, has recently launched the Tribe Volunteer app specifically to recruit volunteers during the pandemic in Suffolk alongside an accompanying telephone helpline for those in need of support. Volunteer Suffolk, the county’s volunteer brokerage portal for organisations that need volunteers is also still going strong. If you would like to volunteer during Covid-19, or need to recruit volunteers for your organisation, click ‘I want to Volunteer’ on the homepage of the CAS website for more information on both these portals. Suffolk’s business and voluntary sector community are also being encouraged to come together as part of a county-wide campaign to help more organisations deliver their important work throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Volunteering Matters and Community Action Suffolk are collectively calling for charities, groups and social enterprises to let them know of their specific ‘need’ at this critical time, and for business leaders to step forward with help in areas such as planning, IT, legal advice, logistics and media relations. Businesses are encouraged to list how they would like to help. They can do so by completing the survey at: www.volunteeringmatters. org.uk/what-we-do/support-us/working-together While all this is going on, CAS still has another ‘day job’ to do – to continue supporting the already established voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations in Suffolk to stay operational, safe, well governed and as financially resilient as they can. We are continuously lobbying national government with the support of national partners to make provision for those on the ground carrying out activities. We cannot emphasise enough how important these groups and organisations are at this time and you too can help by showing your support on social media using #EveryDayCounts.

Or call the hospice on: 01473 723600

This is a challenging time for every Suffolk resident, but at CAS we never cease to be amazed by the dedication, commitment and kindness that Suffolk residents show on a daily basis, and we are so proud to be able to help our voluntary, community and social enterprise sector play their part. Stay safe, support each other, and keep going Suffolk, you are all incredible!

To find out how to get involved or fundraise for us, please contact your hospice community fundraiser, Fiona Gin: fiona.ginn@stelizabethhospice.org.uk / 07740 405764

For more information on anything Community Action Suffolk is doing, or to contact us, visit www.communityactionsuffolk.org.uk or follow @CASuffolk on Twitter.

To donate to the appeal, visit the hospice Just Giving appeal page: www.justgiving.com/campaign/SEHCoronavirusAppeal

Hannah Reid, Director of Innovation & Business Development

www.keepingintouchwith.com/manningtree

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Photo courtesy: www.suffolkyoga.com

We all know physical activity is essential for both our physical and mental wellbeing and never has this been more important than during these difficult times of social distancing and isolation. Here at In Touch, we are delighted to have joined forces with Public Health Suffolk and the Most Active County Partnership as a partner for the recently launched, Keep Moving Suffolk campaign. Over the coming weeks and months there will be information, advice and useful links on the Keep Moving Suffolk website www.keepmovingsuffolk.com to help you, your family and local community to get active and stay active during these challenging times. The website, has a range of resources, tips, tutorials and information to support you to exercise outside and inside the home, as well as resources specifically for older people and for children. It also includes information on taking care of mental health and where to get advice if people have long-term health conditions. We would love to hear how you’re keeping active so why not film and post a 10-15 second clip of you and/or your family being active with the message – “Keep Moving Suffolk” on social media and use the hashtags #keepmovingsuffolk and #StayInWorkOut.

Dr Craig Sheridan, a practising doctor and sport and exercise medicine specialist working on the frontline at Ipswich Hospital in the fight against the pandemic, has been involved in helping to get the Keep Moving Suffolk resource off the ground: “During this difficult time it is important for us all to stay mentally and physically healthy. “Exercise is an important way to improve mental wellbeing and is recognised to be positive in managing depression in older adults as well as improving sleep, feelings of fatigue and quality of life. Improvements in our cardiorespiratory health can happen within a few weeks of commencing regular, moderate intensity exercise and regular physical activity reduces the risks and complications of many diseases and infection.” Dr Sheridan added: “for those who are currently free from Covid-19 symptoms, there are clear benefits to starting or continuing to exercise whilst in social isolation. “It is important to note that strenuous exercise is not advisable for those with symptoms of infection, particularly with a fever.”

www.keepmovingsuffolk.com @keepmovingsuffolk 42

@keepmovingsuffolk

@Most_Active In Touch online:


#StayAtHome #ProtectTheNHS

#SaveLives

SUFFOLK LIBRARIES GOES ONLINE AND INTERACTIVE TO KEEP PEOPLE STIMULATED AND ENTERTAINED

Although library buildings across the country are currently closed, Suffolk Libraries is making sure that people stuck at home can still get access to books, music, films as well as new interactive streamed sessions. Several libraries have already been recording and streaming live singing and rhyme sessions for young children, as well as running craft and Lego activities to enjoy at home. These videos have already been enjoyed and shared thousands of times. Quizzes and virtual book groups are also being introduced as Suffolk Libraries explores different ways to keep people entertained. Full details of these new sessions can be found at: www.suffolklibraries.co.uk (go to ‘online and streamed events’) Suffolk Libraries is also promoting its extensive eLibrary which provides free access to around 60,000 titles including eBooks, eAudiobooks, online newspapers, magazines, music, films and educational courses. There is plenty of content for families too with books on how to make crafts, eAudiobooks for children and Kanopy Kids which offers free streaming of programmes and movies. Extra content is being added to cope with the significant increase in demand with around a 200 percent increase in people using the eLibrary and streaming services over the past week. Visits to the Suffolk Libraries eLibrary webpages increased from nearly 2,000 to over 9,000 in just one week at the end of March.

If you’ve not already signed up to use this service you can do so online at: suffolklibraries.co.uk/elibrary Bruce Leeke, Chief Executive of Suffolk Libraries, said: “It’s a very challenging time for everyone at the moment and with library buildings closed we’re doing everything we can to provide content, information and entertainment. We’re working on plans to keep in contact with regular customers who might be isolated but we’re delighted that so many of our wonderful staff have risen to the challenge to run online activities which will hopefully make a difference to people across the county.” Home Library Service volunteers have also been encouraged to stay in touch with their customers too. Suffolk Libraries is also helping to promote Suffolk’s new Home, but not alone scheme. People can call 0800 876 6926 for information or support during the current crisis.

Wash your hands of coronavirus scams! Friends Against Scams aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams. Be aware of people offering or selling:

Protect yourself and others:

Virus testing kits - these are only offered by NHS.

Don’t be rushed into making a decision. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

Vaccines or miracle cures – there is currently no vaccine or cure.

Only purchase goods from legitimate retailers and take a moment to think before parting with money or personal information.

Overpriced or fake goods to protect yourself from coronavirus such as anti-bacterial products. Shopping or medication collection services. Home cleaning services.

Don’t assume everyone is genuine. It’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you. If someone claims to represent a charity, ask them for ID. Be suspicious of requests for money up front. If someone attempts to pressurise you into accepting a service they are unlikely to be genuine. Check with family and friends before accepting offers of help if you are unsure.

Be a good friend, help to protect your family, friends and neighbours from scams. Read it. Share it. Prevent it. #Coronavirus #ScamAware

Contact For advice on scams call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 11 33 To report a scam call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 Contact your bank if you think you have been scammed.

To learn more about the different types of scams visit www.FriendsAgainstScams.org.uk www.keepingintouchwith.com/manningtree

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In Touch online:


#StayAtHome #ProtectTheNHS

#SaveLives

ALMOST LOST IN TRANSLATION A short story by Beryl P. Brown The flea market was rammed. Mid-morning sun blazed on the hordes of people forging paths to the stalls and traders. Some attempted to worm deeper into the market, certain that better bargains were to be had in the further reaches. Tourists, too hot, too overcome by the tide of humanity that, good-natured though it was, seemed a threat, pushed their way to the exit and their tour buses.

lucky rabbit bag would be lost forever.

This was my favourite place; I made sure I was here every Sunday morning. I loved the crush, the noise, the smell – not, as someone who had never been to a Parisian flea market would assume, predominantly garlic, but a mixture of perfume, exotic oils, street food and coffee.

My words seemed to flow through the crowd like a Mexican Wave as the message was passed on. I held my breath and squinted into the sunlight, but the white hair reached the place where the road dipped again and the man disappeared.

There has to be an exception to every rule and, as I was soaking up the ambience, a man caught my elbow and breathed the reek of garlic into my face. I swung away, ducking behind a large German tourist shouting into his phone and smelling of suntan oil. The German apologised as his shoulder knocked into my bag. I lifted a hand in response and pushed on towards the stall that sold the best coffee in Paris.

I was swept along, tears stinging, I didn’t care where I ended up.

I was sipping my espresso when I noticed a man hovering at the edge of the crowd letting people flow past him. This was odd; no one gave way here. It was the garlic breath man, I remembered him not just for his breath, but because of the white hair that hung down to his shoulders. I drained the little cup, thanked the stallholder in my appalling French – I really should take lessons – and slipped into the crowd. Glancing behind me, I saw the white haired man scanning around. I slid quickly in front of a pair of tall teenage boys before dodging around an elegant French woman enveloped in a cloud of Chanel. I walked on for several minutes, weaving my way through until the sound of a tolling church bell let me know that I was about halfway along the road that was completely taken over by the market every Sunday. The crowd had thinned for a second and, relaxing, I was enjoying the space when something thudded into my back. I was thrust forward and felt my bag being ripped from my hand. ‘NO,’ I yelled, staggering to keep my balance. I raised my head in time to see the white haired man elbowing through the crowd, the straps of my rabbit bag clutched in his fist. I couldn’t lose that bag; it was my most important possession. The red rabbit appliqued to the flap was my good luck charm and it went everywhere with me. ‘Thief,’ I yelled. Stupid, I told myself, as a few people looked at me curiously. ‘Voleur.’ I screamed. People turned, I could see the man’s head above the crowd but he was disappearing fast. To my eternal embarrassment, I then shouted. ‘Le homme avec le cheveaux blanc est un voleur.’ I’d got attention. People scanned around but then shrugged and stared at me. What was the matter with them? The man was vanishing into the crowd when it struck me that I’d said the thief was a man with white horses! Why hadn’t I learned French properly? My

The crowd ahead was thick now but, beyond the church, the road rose slightly and I could just spot the white hair in the far distance. That subway scene in Crocodile Dundee came back to me, and I screamed, ‘Le sac avec le lapin rouge.’

Someone tapped me on the shoulder and pointed. Miraculously, my bag was being passed back through the people. When it reached me, I hugged it to my chest and shouted, ‘Merci mes amis.’ As soon as I could, I fought my way aside and found an alleyway where I could escape and have privacy to check my bag. I unzipped it. It was packed with wallets, purses and mobile phones. I lifted out a wallet and opened it. Stuffed with Euros. The picture of the big German tourist grinned at me from its plastic window. A leather purse wafted expensive perfume as I flipped through the plastic cards. Two of the mobiles had macho cases – the type teenage lads carried. They’d have learnt a hard lesson about hanging on to their belongings in a crowd. At the end of the alleyway I threw the empty wallets, purses and phone cases into a waste bin and swung the bag over my shoulder. The lucky rabbit had done its job, but I’d need to think hard about next Sunday. The robber nearly robbed; I could be losing my touch. passed on. I held my breath and squinted into the sunlight, but the white hair reached the place where the road dipped again and the man disappeared. I was swept along, tears stinging, I didn’t care where I ended up. Someone tapped me on the shoulder and pointed. Miraculously, my bag was being passed back through the people. When it reached me, I hugged it to my chest and shouted, ‘Merci mes amis.’ As soon as I could, I fought my way aside and found an alleyway where I could escape and have privacy to check my bag. I unzipped it. It was packed with wallets, purses and mobile phones. I lifted out a wallet and opened it. Stuffed with Euros. The picture of the big German tourist grinned at me from its plastic window. A leather purse wafted expensive perfume as I flipped through the plastic cards. Two of the mobiles had macho cases – the type teenage lads carried. They’d have learnt a hard lesson about hanging on to their belongings in a crowd. At the end of the alleyway I threw the empty wallets, purses and phone cases into a waste bin and swung the bag over my shoulder. The lucky rabbit had done its job, but I’d need to think hard about next Sunday. The robber nearly robbed; I could be losing my touch.

Beryl P. Brown lives in Manningtree. Many of her short stories have been published and frequently enjoy competition success. Her debut novel, May’s Boys: a boy wants a mother, a woman wants a son… was published in February and is available in print and e-format from booksellers and online suppliers. For further details detrails visit: www.berylpbrown.uk

Answers to the riddles on page 39 1: Carrot; 2: Trouble; 3: Alphabet; 4: She fell off the bottom step; 5: A potato; 6: My shadow; 7: Grandpa was bald; 8: An onion; 9: A table; 10: The letter ‘e’

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