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Diss pioneer hoping to help build bridges and support projects in the town




An employee of Co-op Funeral Care is reaching out to the local community to find projects in need of support, as part of the company’s pioneer scheme.

Karen Sheen, of Ensign Way in Diss, has been working to support and connect community groups and ideas since taking on the role alongside her day jobs as a carer and wedding celebrant.

One of three areas covered by Ms Sheen is Diss and, despite groups being encouraged to come forward for support, so far, none have.

Diss, Norfolk, 30/06/2021..Karen Sheen is appealing for local people involved in community causes or ideas centred on community improvement to step forward so she can offer support and help ideas get off the ground as part of her role with Co-Op.. .Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography.
Diss, Norfolk, 30/06/2021..Karen Sheen is appealing for local people involved in community causes or ideas centred on community improvement to step forward so she can offer support and help ideas get off the ground as part of her role with Co-Op.. .Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography.

“For every £1 spent in the Co-op, two pence goes towards our community work,” said Ms Sheen. “Half of that is distributed nationally via the charity Mind, but the other half is set aside for local community projects.

“In the latest round of allocation in Diss, no groups came forward, but there is a small pot of funds there.

“We also seek to connect people who have a project or an idea with the right people to help them get started.”

Co-op Funeral Care has also opened one of its rooms up for people to meet with their groups, and has refreshments available.

Ms Sheen hopes that she can find more people within the town who might be in need of support, help with planning a project or a space to meet, and would also like to hear from venues that might be suitable for hosting a community fridge initiative.

“We have community fridges in parts of Norfolk where people can drop off or pick up surplus food,” she said.

“It isn’t just an idea that can tackle food poverty, but also food waste. If you have some food that is close to going past its date and you aren’t planning to use it that day, you can take it to a community fridge and maybe pick up some food you can make use of while you are there.”

She added: “When I saw this role advertised, I was very enthusiastic about what I could do for the town and I’m keen to hear from anyone who has an idea that might do some good, or has a venue or project they would like assistance with.”



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