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Brancaster parishes receive plaque for community effort

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On Tuesday, January 11, the Countess of Romney presented a plaque to the villages of Brancaster, Brancaster Staithe, and Burnham Deepdale to mark the work of volunteers in the community during the pandemic.

At the monthly parish council, councillor Briony Bax, chair of Brancaster Parish Council, accepted the plaque on behalf of the three villages which make up the parish.

Lady Romney noted the effects that Covid had on the county, and the local health services, adding that the Norfolk Association of Local Councils had decided to award these plaques to mark the efforts of the entire Community.

Councillor Bax, the Countess and volunteers. (54384462)
Councillor Bax, the Countess and volunteers. (54384462)

Mrs Bax said: "When the lockdown was announced, Brancaster Parish Council called two meetings for volunteers to sign up to help assist people in the community.

"The area of the villages was divided into wards, and lead volunteers appointed to each.

"At the end of the meetings over 67 volunteers had put their names forward and they delivered fliers in their local neighbourhood telling everyone that help was available.

Councillor Briony Bax (left) and the Countess of Romney. (54384465)
Councillor Briony Bax (left) and the Countess of Romney. (54384465)

"The Brancaster village hall committee organised volunteers to help distribute newspapers and food boxes at Brancaster Stores, via the parish council and at the local Nisa store.

"Lead volunteers for the scheme were Caroline Symington, Tracey Wareham, Paul King, Jude Oleson and Shelia Spink.

"In addition to the formal scheme many people in the village cared for their neighbours and so the villages were able to weather the Covid storm."

Caroline Symington noted that the experience of Covid had really brought the community together.

She said: "Everyone I spoke to were so appreciative of what the volunteers did, as many of them clearly did not want to venture out.

"One person I delivered to on a regular basis lived on her own, and all she wanted to do was have a chat on the doorstep. Sometimes she would just order cat food and a pint of milk.

"Normally, when I delivered any food, I rang the doorbell and waited for residents to open the door and would then disappear.

"This particular lady just wanted to talk, so I always made sure I allowed plenty of time when delivering to her.

" It was humbling to see how many people live on their own, who were obviously quite lonely and not able to get out and see friends."

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