Awards to recognise our local heroes

People who have gone the extra mile and played a vital role in supporting the local community are to be recognised through a special scheme run by Broadland District Council.

The council has launched Covid-19 Community Heroes to acknowledge the work of those who have helped us to get through this difficult time. It hopes to celebrate the community spirit across Broadland and provide an opportunity to thank those who have given up their time for others.

Council chairman Karen Vincent explains more about the campaign in this video

Fran Whymark, who represents Wroxham ward, said he had been impressed by all of the volunteers across the area – but particularly by the number of people who came forward when they were looking for volunteers for Operation Good Neighbour for the Wroxham and Hoveton areas. The scheme provides food boxes and food deliveries for local people in need together with other support such as dog walking for older people who are self-isolating.

He said: “We already had a small-scale good neighbour scheme operating, but this really ramped up during the crisis. In fact, even before the official lockdown, it was making sure people were being kept safe and supported. Roy’s of Wroxham, the independent local shop, helped provide food boxes which volunteers delivered locally to people including one man in his eighties who had only two days of food left in his house.

“It also provides telephone support for people who just need someone to talk to and has recently done a leaflet drop to promote the service because people’s mental health is as important as their physical health.”

Mr Whymark said one of those who had been central to the efforts was Wroxham parish council clerk Clare Male, who has been co-ordinating referrals through the Operation Good Neighbour website and working with Broadland District Council’s Help Hub.

Clare said: “We have 50 volunteers working with us and our job is to match them with people who need their services. I have been so impressed by how they have been willing to help. They have been selfless in their actions in giving their time and in some cases have even paid for essential foodstuffs. It has been a team effort.”

Broadland District Council is asking residents to put forward the stars of their community through its Facebook page and social media channels using the hashtag #BroadlandHeroes and by visiting www.broadland.gov.uk/covidheroes.

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