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Sudbury Community Network demonstrates strength of local spirit with acts of kindness for people in need during coronavirus crisis





A town councillor, who spearheaded the formation of a new action group in Sudbury to provide vital support to vulnerable individuals during the coronavirus outbreak, has commended the collective efforts of the community.

Key leaders from charities, groups and churches in the town helped to form the Sudbury Community Network, which has since established a dedicated group of volunteers who have demonstrated acts of kindness to those in need.

Labour councillor Louise Fowler, who was the driving force behind the initiative, said: “One of my key priorities before this situation even arose was to find ways to create stronger community networks and begin to combat the loneliness faced by many.

An action group called Sudbury Community Network has been established to help vulnerable individuals in the town. (35087073)
An action group called Sudbury Community Network has been established to help vulnerable individuals in the town. (35087073)

“Despite the obvious unpleasant time, the current pandemic has allowed the community to pull together and important connections have been made.”

Highlighting the key role that the initiative has played in forming a partnership between key groups in the town, Cllr Fowler said: “Through the Sudbury Community Network, some local organisations that haven’t fully worked together before have managed to collaborate and important conversations have taken place.”

Adopting a joined-up approach has enabled the action group to operate an efficient scheme which has seen an elderly gentleman provided with vital support from a volunteer who lived opposite his home.

“The community network allowed the volunteer to be aware that this neighbour needed help and now an extremely helpful and wonderful neighbourly connection has been made in this situation and, hopefully, moving forward, too,” added Cllr Fowler.

The Storehouse foodbank, based at the Stour Valley Vineyard Church in Tudor Road, has played a key role in supporting individuals impacted by the crisis.

In April, the charity supported a total of 497 individuals – a 58 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.

Keen to provide fresh produce to individuals in the town, Emma Smy, a community worker at St John’s Methodist Church in York Road, has established a scheme which sees businesses donate a wide range of food items, with members of the town council’s Sudbury community wardens helping to distribute the food parcels in the area.

Anyone wishing to volunteer should call 01787 275776.