Health care worker, head teacher and bin man among Fen lockdown heroes nominated for their random acts of kindness
PUBLISHED: 15:26 01 June 2020 | UPDATED: 15:46 01 June 2020
A health care worker, head teacher, bin man and café owner are among the Fenland heroes nominated to receive a sweet treat for their random acts of kindness.
As a way of thanking people that are going above and beyond during the coronavirus pandemic, Emneth-based cake studio and outside caterers Sweet Things Savoury are giving away three boxes of six cupcakes every week until the end of lockdown.
And we - the Cambs Times and Wisbech Standard team - are working with them to highlight the good samaritans across Cambridgeshire who are helping out communities and individuals while the county fights COVID-19.
Here, we share the stories of some of Fenland’s nominated heroes and why they deserve to be commended.
Wisbech woman Jessie Rae, who has worked in health care for 11 years and lives with her grandad Roy Newby who raised her, has nominated herself.
“I’m unsure if it’s allowed but I’d like to nominate myself,” she said. “You see, we’ve all struggled during this lockdown.
“Myself especially. My grandad has COPD, cancer and Parkinson’s disease. During this lockdown I’ve gone to work, working between 48 and 60 hours a week.
“I’ve then done the weekly shop so my grandad doesn’t go into busy supermarkets – this is to prevent his risk of catching coronavirus.
“I was inspired by my nan who I lost in 2013 to become a healthcare worker and I haven’t looked back since. I suffer from a rare neurological brain condition and times have been hard.
“During this lockdown I’ve wanted to give up, I’ve cried, I’ve felt lost and I’ve felt lonely. These past few weeks have been the hardest I think I will ever face.
“I like to be kept busy, out and about, but unfortunately when not working I’ve had to isolate and that’s really taken a toll on my mental health.
“But I’ve kept up the fight and when I wanted to crack. I remembered who really needs me most and that’s my grandad and my work.
“I turned 30 on May 24 and had big plans but unfortunately they were not able to go ahead. But it’s okay, I still have my loved ones I can celebrate with next year. I’ve decided I will turn 30 next year as 2020 is a practice run.
“My grandad really loves cupcakes as do I, enjoying one with a cup of tea would be heavenly.
“Speaking from a personal point of view I think it’s amazing that I’ve kept on top of my mental health and not given into the darkness.”
The Westwood Primary School community in March are nominating head teacher Gill Thomas.
An anonymous nominator said: “If I could nominate the whole school, I would as the hard work doesn’t stop at Gill but as the headteacher she goes above and beyond.
“Gill had her first day off since February half term last Wednesday. She has worked late nights, early mornings and weekends to ensure our school is open to support the families and children within our Westwood community.
“We have supplied hundreds of food boxes weekly to the families. Gill has ensured staff are updated as soon as possible and is making what could be an incredibly stressful situation for us all, that little bit better.
“We are all very grateful for all that she does for our school. Her commitment and dedication makes us proud to be part of the team.
“As I said, this is a team effort, every member of our school is working hard to ensure our children feel safe and our families are supported as I’m sure many schools are doing.”
Amy Burton is nominating Shell O’Toole at Rose O’Toole Photography as she is an NHS worker and in her spare time is doing doorstop photography sessions in exchange for foodbank donations.
“They’re beautiful photos and it’s a beautiful thing by a beautiful so ul,” Amy said. “Her Facebook page is www.facebook.com/roseotoolephotos”.
Shell has also been nominated by Blair Simpson of Newton-in-the-Isle who said: “Shell is giving up her spare time to get contributions towards the foodbank and she is taking photos of local families as a keep sake.
“In return she is asking for donations to give to the local foodbank; she has already taken so much and is still going.”
Stuart Burton would like to nominate Andy Maul of Bygone Café for going above and beyond the call of duty during the current Covid-19 pandemic.
He said: “Faced with uncertainty over whether he could ride the storm of the pandemic with his business, Andy decided to make the move to delivery only for those who were self-isolating, alone, vulnerable or just missing his home prepared and cooked meals using local suppliers.
“I feel he is well worthy of consideration for the lockdown hero.”
Haley Rust has nominated Rav’s Fish n Chip Shop and said: “Rav has been working extra hard to make sure there is social distancing in her shop in Upwell.
“She has had to let her staff go at moment as she cannot have them in and be two meters apart.
“So now she is doing the work of three people, not finishing until late and then all the washing and cleaning when doors are closed.
“Many families rely on a nice hot meal including key and essential worker. Please give this lady the thanks she deserves.”
Tamsin Wright is nominating “my hero, my husband, Mick. He is a binman and has been for nearly 20 years.
“Until the Covid-19 pandemic they have been unrecognised heroes - until now. They work long, hard hours - up at 5am and starting at 6am.
“They don’t return home until nine to 12 hours later. They have all sorts of abuse over the years and still some to this very day.
“Underpaid work at minimum pay. He comes home to help me with our seven children, if I have any chores left and with cleaning up after tea.
“We can’t afford to get married so to show appreciation I’d like to request him.”
Nicola Byatt is nominating the domestic team at Askham House Care Home in Doddington for “going above and beyond their duty to keep Askham clean, safe and coronavirus free.
“Everyone has worked as a team and stuck together in this uncertain time and I’m so proud to be part of the team.”
Kat Doyle is nominating Miss Harvey, headteacher of St. Peter’s Junior School: “She has supported us throughout this pandemic.
“She is in school most day supporting key worker families and their children. All her staff have done a fantastic job and they deserve a sweet treat.”
Emily Hudson has nominated the staff at A.J Coggles Funeral Directors in Wisbech: “They are hidden heroes helping families deal with difficult and sad situations in lockdown.
“They go above and beyond to make sure that everything goes smoothly and they are absolutely fantastic.
“My nan passed away last month and all the way through they were amazing, making sure everything was perfect for the final goodbye.
“The care and compassion they have is incredible and I think this would just be a perfect way to say thank you.
“Not only for helping my family and I, but also all those other families who are going through such a difficult time.”
Allyson Wilkinson, of Long Sutton, has nominated Ant and his team at Fen Spirits: “As well as still doing the spirits, they have been making sanitiser gels and giving them away to the vulnerable and cheering everyone up with his videos.”
Wisbech teenager James Hall is nominating himself: “I am 14-years-old and, in a bid to raise funds for the NHS, I am running 260 miles in 2.6 months.
“So far, I have completed 62 miles and have raised £1,059 in total,” he added.
All submissions should be made via email to firstname.lastname@example.org - you need to include your home address, telephone number, the name of your hero, what they’re doing to help and any accompanying photos.
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