Queen's representative recognises Harleston heroes' efforts
Groups and individuals who have gone to great lengths to support their community have been recognised for their efforts.
Lady Dannatt MBE, Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk, sent letters to those people who have gone above and beyond during the coronavirus crisis, including one to Harleston Kindness Help Hub, which was founded by Fiona Hope.
Other recipients included D A Browne & Son butchers in Diss, Harleston town councillor Lizzy Pegg, Matt Scade, who runs Norfolk and Waveney Foodbank, and Vicki Eke, who operates The Swan Hotel in Harleston with partner Robin Twigge.
The idea of the letters was to thank people for checking on the elderly and vulnerable during the various lockdowns, collecting food and prescriptions, undertaking activities designed to spread hope and cheer and, in the case of The Swan, offering free meals to those who are struggling.
Hotel owner Mr Twigge, 70, said: “It would be great if it inspires more people to help in the community, especially young people, who I think are already seeing the importance of community in the town.
“We never expected any recognition, of course, and that’s not why we help each other. There’s a famous quotation from Jonas Salk, who invented a cure for polio, then gave it to the world for free, that comes to mind: ‘If you are helping someone and expecting something in return, you are doing business, not kindness’.”
“But it’s very nice that people are noticing”, he added.
Cllr Pegg, 41, said: “I’m proud of everybody and everything that’s been done within the community. The wording in the card is really touching, because it’s written personally by hand and the cards all say something different.
“It was a surprise, but Harleston’s community has shown in the past year exactly what community means.”
Fiona Hope, 53, who founded the help hub, added: “I never imagined it would grow into what it is now but it’s been down to a huge team effort. I feel very proud of all the volunteers who give their time and support.”