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Downham Market Mum who had a stroke at 38 wins award from Lord for pandemic effort

A Downham woman has been received personal thanks from Lady Dannatt,the Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk, for her outstanding community efforts during the pandemic.

The single mother, who used to work in specialist care, suffered a stroke last year and is now living on Universal Credit.

However, she hasn't let that stop her and is determined to continue helping people.

Terri Reed of Downham with daughter Millie Rose, 5 (45387365)
Terri Reed of Downham with daughter Millie Rose, 5 (45387365)

Terri Reed, 38, lives with her five-year-old daughter Mille Rose, has a whopping 10 Facebook groups, that she manages on a daily basis.

The groups include: Downham Market Freebies, Downham Rockers, Lost and Found D.M, Love food hate waste and Downham pre-loved and re-loved. Which you can visit here.

She has recently started two others: Take your pic, which encourages locals to share their photography of the area and one good turn where locals can ask for household favours in return for another.

She said: "I know what it's like to struggle, I don't have any carpets at the moment because I can't afford them, but that doesn't bother me I want to help the community as much as I can and not sit around feeling sorry for myself. I can empathise with people who are in need.

"I was scared having a stroke as I'm only 38, I get tired very easily, but I'm keen to get on and keep doing what I love."

During the pandemic Miss Reed started raising money for the Downham Community fund, by selling clothes and other items on her popular page Downham pre-loved and re-loved.

It was on the back of this that she received the award from Lady Dannatt for her "wonderful contribution" during tough times.

Miss Reed said:"I was so pleased to see my work was appreciated, I was shocked when I saw the award!

"I managed to raise £389.74 since January and have donated money to Save the Children. Each month I have a poll on my group and locals decide where they want the money to go. One month it was the Southery Baby Bank.

"I came up with the idea because everything was closed during lockdown, and you could only buy clothes online. It can get expensive for a lot of people, and sending stuff back can be a hassle.

"With this group they can get some real bargains and a lot of the lovely clothes people donate still have tags on them.

"One person bought a coat, in mint condition, that was originally £80, for just £20! I choose reasonable prices for the items so it's affordable and all proceeds go to charity.

"It's not just clothes though, but books and other items. At the moment my living room looks like a jumble sale!"

Miss Reed said that when the lockdown is lifted she hopes to set up her own community shop and has been in talks with the Downham Council.

She has also appealed to the public to find a storage space for the ever growing amount of donations coming in.

So far, she hasn't been able to find somewhere.

She also wants to continue her child and parent group, Rainbow tots, which will possibly be held at the Jubilee centre once a week.

For Easter, this Jane of all trades will be creating an outdoor egg hunt for local children with 15 Easter eggs up for grabs as prizes.

She said: "My daughter loves to help with these things it's really nice. We are going to put egg shaped posters all around town and the first fifteen kids will get an egg as a prize. People have kindly donated them to me. I think it will be good to get kids out and about instead of being at home on video games, good old-fashioned fun,"

Miss Reed also set up a Christmas Fayre outside her home on Nelson Avenue for children and hopes to continue the tradition this year.

When asked how she keeps positive Terri said: "I just love helping people, and I do it wherever I go, whether it's for charities or for the church. When you want to help others it keeps you going and I won't let my life circumstances get me down. I've been at my lowest following the stroke. I don't want others to feel the same."

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