Business owners left stunned after surprise award ceremony
Business owners in Fressingfield were left stunned after their extraordinary efforts in helping the community were recognised this week, when the parish council arrived to hand out certificates of thanks.
Three independent businesses and a medical centre were visited by councillors Nigel Lucker and Rachael Troughton, who presented staff with framed certificates as a small token of gratitude for their efforts to support the community during the crisis.
Cllr Lucker said: “Without the help of local businesses, we would have been in a lot of trouble.
“When the pandemic first started, we saw a change in how businesses operated. They changed their hours, the rulebook went out the window, the agility and flexibility of their staff was amazing, and that allowed the 24-hour care that some people in the village needed at the time.”
Cllr Troughton added: “You want recognition that you’ve done something, and this is just a little way of us saying ‘thank you very much’.”
Katie Civil is the practice manager at Fressingfield Medical Centre, which had to radically adjust its work practices during the coronavirus crisis.
She said: “It’s really lovely to have this award, and for people to say thank you, because the staff work so hard, and it’s great to get recognition for that.”
Two pubs, The Fox and Goose, in Church Road, and The Swan Inn, in Harleston Road, were also recognised for setting up their own meals-on-wheels delivery services – getting hot meals out to residents during the crisis, while Fressingfield Stores, in New Road, was rewarded for extending its opening hours during the height of the pandemic and ensuring residents were not restricted to essential goods.
The certificates, framed and signed by all nine members of the parish council, included personalised messages thanking workers for their efforts.
Cllr Lucker said: “We’ve tried to personalise them to the individual businesses. It’s not just generic wording on there – we’ve really tried to get to the heart of what the businesses mean to us and the staff that operate behind the scenes to keep them going.
“We hope the legacy is that people realise that local companies are always here. These businesses are at the heart of the community. Let’s make sure that people recognise this once it’s over.”