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Suffolk's MPs Jo Churchill, Matt Hancock, Thérèse Coffey, James Cartlidge, Peter Aldous, Tom Hunt and Dr Dan Poulter launch awards scheme to recognise county's heroes during the coronavirus pandemic

Suffolk's MPs have launched an awards scheme to celebrate those who have gone the extra mile to help others during the coronavirus pandemic.

Residents are asked to email their MP with a nomination of an individual they feel deserves to be recognised in the Suffolk's Heroes Awards.

Nominations for the initiative, organised by the county's seven MPs, close at 10am on June 17 and will be announced on Suffolk Day on June 21.

The Suffolk's Heroes Awards will celebrate those who have gone the extra mile to support others during the pandemic
The Suffolk's Heroes Awards will celebrate those who have gone the extra mile to support others during the pandemic

They could include volunteers helping deliver supplies to people shielding, those supporting the vaccine rollout or phoning residents who may be alone whilst isolating.

It is also the chance to recognise key workers on the frontline either in the NHS, in supermarkets, pharmacies or other vital industries.

Jo Churchill, Bury St Edmunds' MP, said it was 'important to shine a light on the amazing kindness, generosity and care given by so many' during one of the most challenging periods the country has faced.

Jo Churchill. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography
Jo Churchill. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography

"I am hopeful these awards will go a small way to recognising some truly amazing individuals," she said.

Matt Hancock, who represents West Suffolk, said he could not think of a better way to celebrate Suffolk Day than to recognise those who have 'done so much to make life easier for those around them'.

Thérèse Coffey, MP for Suffolk Coastal, noted that the community spirit shown during the pandemic 'has only been possible by the huge amount of volunteers who put themselves forward - with some doing an amazing amount'.

Highlighting the retail staff who spent hours delivering to those shielding as well as the volunteer networks who checked on elderly residents and manned the vaccine stations, James Cartlidge, South Suffolk's MP, said there were 'heroes' across the county who deserve to be celebrated.

James Cartlidge
James Cartlidge

Peter Aldous, who represents Waveney, said: "These awards pay tribute to just some of the instances of magnanimity and compassion shown during this testing period, on display so often over the past 15 months."

As people have struggled both physically and mentally during the pandemic, Tom Hunt, MP for Ipswich, said there were 'many incredible stories' of individuals who have supported each other and he was looking forward to reading about their 'inspiring' efforts.

Dr Dan Poulter, who represents Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, added: “Our strong sense of community and looking out for one another is what makes Suffolk such a special place to live.

Dr Dan Poulter
Dr Dan Poulter

"These Suffolk’s Heroes Awards are just a small way in which we can recognise and celebrate the fantastic and selfless efforts shown by so many throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Whether community volunteers or hardworking public sector staff, our blue light services, NHS staff, care home staff or our teachers, I’m sure we all know someone who deserves to be recognised and I am looking forward to receiving your nominations and celebrating those individuals who have gone the extra mile to help others less fortunate than themselves."

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