Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter joined the Trustees of the Castle Hill Community Centre to thank local volunteers and to award certificates to celebrate their work in caring for the community throughout the Covid pandemic.
For 18 months volunteers at the Castle Hill Community Pantry have been dedicating their time to look after vulnerable people in the North West Ipswich community.
The community pantry was set up by Ray Boggis, Ange Stroud and Garath Jones to look after people in Whitton, Whitehouse and Castle Hill areas of Ipswich who were isolated and alone, or in financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic.
The community centre volunteers collected and distributed food parcels and provided a point of contact during the three lockdowns to over 100 different households in the North West Ipswich area. Dr Dan Poulter joined the volunteers to help with the Christmas food hamper deliveries.
Ray Boggis, Chair of the Community Centre Trustees, thanked the many people and organisations that had come together during the pandemic. They included Ipswich Borough Councillors, Suffolk County Council, Morrisons and Waitrose as well as local shops and businesses. He also thanked the volunteers, including Dr Poulter - and the many community heroes - who worked tirelessly to support the north west ipswich community.
In presenting the Suffolk Hero awards, Dr Poulter said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a terrible toll on all of our lives, but it has also brought out the very best in our communities and highlighted the incredible lengths that people are prepared to go to in helping others. The past 18 months have been a very difficult time for people who live alone or who are on low incomes.
“The Castle Hill Community Centre response to the crisis has been nothing short of amazing. I would like to thank the many people, organisations and businesses that have dedicated their time and resources to helping their community. I am delighted to have the opportunity to present certificates to our Community Heroes in North West Ipswich, to thank them for all they have done for others during the pandemic. They have touched many lives and made a big difference during the most difficult months of the pandemic.”