How award-winning Bury Rickshaw rode its way through the pandemic
The winners of one category at the inaugural Bury Free Press Community Awards have shared their thoughts on picking up the accolade, and what has been keeping them busy over the last 18 months.
Sam Reid and Libby Ranzetta started up the Bury Rickshaw in 2018 as a means of helping people suffering with mobility issues or social isolation get out and about in the town.
For their efforts, they won the Good Neighbours Award at the 2019 Bury Free Press Community Awards, held in partnership with Bury Town Council.
Libby said: “The recognition was fantastic, because we were still quite new, we only started in 2018.
"So that was really heartening and something we could share with our volunteers. Many of them had been with us from the beginning.
“The awards ceremony was great fun. We got to hear about all sorts of different projects and meet people, so it was really nice.”
After the pandemic hit last year, Libby and Sam were forced to adapt their service.
They started delivering prescriptions to the isolated and vulnerable, which branched out into a click and collect service. Soon their team had nearly doubled in size.
“We have been blessed with new volunteers coming on board over the last 18 months who were furloughed and kindly came to help us, and were interested in being able to help their community around them,” Sam said.
“And we quickly evolved from having 25 to 30 volunteers to having over 50 volunteers and a crew of people behind the scenes as well as on the roads which was very important, so that seven days a week we were operating a service.”
The team’s award win in 2019 was sponsored by Treatt, who sponsor the same category at this year’s event. They are also sponsoring the awards as a whole.
Daemmon Reeve, CEO, said: “We are delighted to be main sponsors of the Community Awards 2021, celebrating the selfless work of individuals across the breadth of Bury St Edmunds.”
He added: “We look forward to the ceremony where we can celebrate and thank the everyday heroes that contribute to our local area, making Bury St Edmunds such a great place to live and work.”
To vote for this year’s awards, go to: www.iliffemediapromotions.co.uk/bury-community-awards/
For those who do not have access to computers, send your votes into our office in Kings Road, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 3DE.