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Coping With Lockdown

Thank You Bags



Well now I’m really feeling the strain of lockdown. I’m getting loads of emails from all my favourite craft suppliers telling me what wonderful things I can buy online ( which I hate) and what amazing deals they’ve got. I’ve always hated shopping online fearing that shop staff will lose their jobs if everyone shops from home, but now I have no choice, although getting a food shop online is almost impossible!

The only problem I’ve found though is that all the wonderful craft deals have sold out, no stock, all gone… why email me if you don’t have what you want me to buy… now I’m feeling lockdown rage!

Anyway finding I couldn’t buy much at all I decided to search my stash, that’s when I found some draw string plain bags and an idea struck. I’d use some heat transfer vinyl and make bags for the NHS, they could use them for scrubs or carrying snacks or PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) stuff. I had maybe twenty or so and off I went. I’d found, again in my stash a roll of rainbow striped vinyl and even cut some rainbow hearts to put on them.

Wow, people loved them. Having put a picture on social media the bags I’d done flew out the door and lots of people still wanted them. I managed to get another fifty and they went quickly too. Now I had a problem, bags were expensive but through the kindness of many companies I had a donation of another fifty, then a donation of three hundred shopping bags and a donation of money to buy more.

Community spirit was flying high!

We sourced an amazing deal for five hundred drawstring bags and I thought that would be plenty!
Recreate Voyager from Ipswich came to my rescue when I realised my supplies of vinyl were sadly depleted, giving me lots of offcuts and part rolls. They had taught my daughter Lauren how to weed all the bits off the vinyl at their T-shirt printing shop, a skill I was now using quite a lot and it’s something she can do to help that makes her feel useful too. Requests came in for not just NHS bags but bags for, key worker, shop workers, bin men, postmen, care workers, funeral workers, dockers, teachers and I even made some Keep on Trucking ones for a local company. Each bag comes with a thank you tag with care instructions tied on by my ever helpful neighbour.

We have produced and sent out over 500 bags so far and still going strong, not just locally but as far afield as Scotland, Devon, Birmingham and Wales. My back may ache, my arms feel like they will fall off but knowing these bags are helping makes everything seem less stressful, even lockdown and online shopping.

Written by Penny Parker

Coping With Lockdown

A Lockdown Wedding in Felixstowe



When we heard about Annette and John, we just fell in love with them and couldn’t wait to share their story with you all. Here’s Annette to tell the tale of how their love story started…

John and I met quite by chance on the Felixstowe prom last year. We both used to walk the prom on our own every day and for several months we would just say hi and pass the time of day as we passed by each other going in opposite directions. 

One day towards the end of August, as I joined the prom from the bottom of Bent Hill, John was walking in the same direction. That day, we had our walk together, and found that we had plenty in common and the same sense of humour. At the end of the walk, we arranged to meet up the following day for another walk together, and as they say, the rest is history!

We began spending time together on a daily basis and love very soon blossomed for both of us (although John maintains that for him it was love at first sight!).

By the end of October John had proposed, although by then I think we both knew it was a foregone conclusion.

We had planned to marry on the 28th May at St John’s Church with Reverend Andrew Dotchin officiating, but that was of course prior to Covid19 and the lockdown, and our plans (along with many other people’s plans) had to be put on hold.

However, Reverend Dotchin came up with a lovely idea so that we could still mark the proposed date of the 28th May, by having a socially distanced Betrothal Service. This is an unofficial ceremony in which one makes a promise to marry at a future date. We had a lovely day which could almost be described as a dress rehearsal for the real thing. The ceremony was held in my sister Jo’s garden, and she did us proud with her efforts of decorating the garden in the appropriate colour scheme which was absolutely magical.

Obviously, we have been avidly watching the news for information on when weddings would be allowed to resume after lockdown, and we are very glad to say that we got married officially this morning at St. John’s Church at 11.30am. We were beyond excited! 😍😍

Because of the Betrothal Service which took place in May, we already have a gorgeous collection of photos.

A big thank you for the photos must to to our good friend Fran Comer who did a wonderful job of being the official photographer.

Annette and John

On behalf of us all at The Felixstowe Magazine, HUGE congratulations to Annette and John… your story is adorable and you’re a truly lovely couple! x

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Coping With Lockdown

Doing Her “Handmade” Part to Help Key Workers



It’s been such a pleasure to see so many articles come in from local people doing their part to make a difference. Though lockdown is going through the process of lifting, we’d still like to continue to shine a light on these local gems. This article is by the lovely local lady, Bev Lambert…

During lockdown I have been making various sewing items. I have donated 242 face coverings to people/key workers in my community. I have since been selling these to the wider community.  I have been making a number of little bears ‘(as below) which have been donated to many people within my community just to bring a smile on a face.  I have also donated some of the below pocket pillows which I make to sell. 

My sewing page can be found on Facebook/Twitter & Instagram “Berty Lamb Handmade“.  I make various items using my sewing and embroidery machines. 

I am also the founder of Over the Rainbow Children’s Charity, a charity to support local children across Suffolk who are living with a life limiting or serious illness, by providing specialist equipment to help day to day living.  The charity is run 100% by volunteers. I also made this large key worker hanger and raised £100.00 through a silent auction. I donated the £100.00 to Captain Tom Moore’s JustGiving page.  The winner if the auction was Glebe House Residential Home in Hollesley.  I have donated various sewn items to Glebe House including some lavender filled hearts which I initialled with each of the residents first names.  The staff all received a Ginger Ginger key fobs, including care staff, kitchen staff, maintenance staff etc all key fobs were relevant to the jobs they did within the home. 

Thank you to all the key workers, charities and local people out there. We’ve been in this together and it’s be an honour to be part of the positivity.

Bev Lambert

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Coping With Lockdown

Local Bin Man & Son Spread Happiness



I live in Felixstowe and am a key worker in Ipswich for the local council working as a bin man. I used to go out every Thursday at 8pm with my stepson so he could clap and beep the horn in my recovery truck. 

I have been on the front line all the time whilst this has all been going on and it has been nice to get letters and pictures from local children in Ipswich to show their appreciate for us bin men. It’s a very hard and physical job but is rewarding when we get little gestures like that from the kids so I just wanted to do this with my stepson every Thursday to show our appreciation too. 


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