5:30 am December 27, 2021
Over the past year, unsung heroes across the region who have gone the extra mile to help their communities have been recognized for their efforts.
For 60 weeks, this newspaper shed light on people who have made a real difference in the county, giving them the recognition they deserve.
The Community Leaders Program featured a multitude of people known for their tireless work in making their region a better place to live – often without seeking recognition or praise.
Reflecting on this heartwarming project, David Powles, Editor-in-Chief of Eastern Daily Press (EDP) said: “In an unprecedented year, with so many challenges, the Community Leaders Program has been a breath of fresh air. for us.
“It was a chance to shine a light on all the people who work so hard and do so much for their community, but who are rarely recognized.
“We never ran out of applicants and the stories told were a constant source of inspiration. We have an amazing community in Norfolk, but we only realize that by shouting about it – something the EDP has always done and always will.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank once again everyone who participated in the Community Leaders Program – for allowing us to share their stories and for all they do.”
From the group of women who teamed up to provide PPE for frontline workers, to the man speaking out and raising awareness about male suicide, many unsung heroes who have strived to improve the lives of others have been featured. .
Meet some of our heroes
“If we can save one life, then it will all be worth it. ”
This was the philosophy behind a Norfolk and Suffolk-based support group set up to help men who may be struggling with mental health issues.
Kenny child, 59, from Church Close in Roydon, between Diss and Bressingham, started Walk N Talk East after hearing about a group based on the same walking and speaking principles in Yorkshire.
The married father-of-two found himself with “free time” after suffering a stroke, which meant he had to be absent from work for a period of time.
And it was around this time that a social media post inspired what would become Walk N Talk East.
The idea is that every few weeks, those who wish to meet at a predetermined location can just walk around and use the environment to talk and discuss their issues.
“It’s basically a self-help group for men to hopefully improve their mental health. ”
For another of our heroes, it had to be the trip of a lifetime.
But when Sol Rivett was forced to cancel a volunteer experience in Africa, he was determined not to lose his fundraising efforts.
Sol, from Norwich Road, Cromer, has spent 12 months devoting much of his free time to organizing events to raise funds for a life-changing volunteering trip to Zanzibar, Tanzania.
But he remained disappointed after the coronavirus pandemic ended the trip, which he was to continue with several classmates from Cromer Academy.
However, the determined 13-year-old decided to leave that behind and turn to help closer to home by donating a generous donation of nearly a quarter-ton of food and necessities to the people who may have difficulty eating.
And finally, Lindsay maher, a Norwich grandmother who had barely left her home for the past five years, created “a new world” from her little backyard garden to help inspire others.
Due to serious illness, followed by vulnerability and poor mental health, the downtown resident decided to dig deep, despite her darkest days.
While being linked to her home and small garden at her rented property on Sussex Street, she transformed the garden into a green oasis and organized open weekends to raise funds for the charity for the homeless, St Martins.
A big thank-you
The EDP Community Leaders program has created partnerships between our newsroom and local businesses and organizations committed to reinvesting in the community by expanding local news coverage.
Working with local businesses under this program has directly supported local journalism, which we believe is essential to a healthy community.
We thank Adnams for their support of the initiative.