Goodbye Stowmarket: Community reporter Sam Harrison leaves the Bury Free Press and SuffolkNews
I came into this role with little knowledge of Stowmarket – but after 18 months, I have grown to respect and admire this town’s fantastic community.
In that time, my community page, Stowmarket Focus, was printed in nearly 80 editions of the Bury Free Press, my Facebook group devoted to the town’s news attracted more than 900 members and I was able to publish more than 620 online news articles – many linked within this story.
I was also lucky enough to have two front pages with my article on the A14 roadworks which left villages landlocked and my story sharing Gary Welsh’s heartbreaking stage four bowel cancer diagnosis at the age of 34.
One particular highlight for me was my coverage of the boundary row between Stowmarket and Onehouse where I was able to meet and speak with many residents in person to understand and report on a range of views surrounding the Mill Grove housing estate.
I also really enjoyed my venture with Stowmarket Police where I shadowed PC Stefan Henriksen looking at what a day in the life is like for the town’s officers.
Another personal favourite was the video story I created after meeting Jake Andrade from Combs who was diagnosed with cancer twice by the age of 20 and released a book about his experiences.
Away from Stowmarket, I was also given the chance to cover the BurySOUND music competition which I loved and I won awards for my efforts in podcasting and for a light-hearted story looking at funny capabilities of the AI model Chat GPT.
I would like to thank all the Stowmarket businesses, groups and charities I have worked with and I sincerely hope my news coverage was able to attract some attention to your amazing local news, events, projects and products.
Stowmarket has changed so much since I first started, with many town centre businesses closing their doors, and I’m sure Stowmarket will continue to change going forward.
Thank you for sharing your stories with me and being a part of this wonderful journey.