What a strange and uncertain time we are all living in. It’s incredibly worrying for small businesses in Suffolk at the moment, so I wanted to shine some positivity through this blog post and share ideas on how to support local businesses during lockdown.
I’ve collated a list of Suffolk businesses that have diversified to bring unique services during this time. Please check them out and support Suffolk businesses during lockdown if you can. It doesn’t have to be with money, if that’s tight for you right now, you can also help a small business by:
- regularly interacting with them on social media
- telling your family and friends about them over the phone
- making a note of things you will buy when you can afford too
- signing up to their newsletters
- logging into any free online sessions they are running
Be Creative with Blanko
Blanko is a paper arts and crafts studio shop located on Halesworth’s traditional Thoroughfare. The shop offers tools and paper supplies for new and experienced crafters and artists, and also hosts workshops in paper crafts and bookbinding. It even has a small gallery space for local artists; “Art in The Window”.
Blanko has just launched “blanko – be creative!”, a daily creative challenge. The daily prompts, by email and on Facebook, encourage followers to spend 15 minutes a day to create. What’s created doesn’t matter, but the practice of doing something different acts as an opportunity to escape, engage mindfully in a task, smile and have fun.
Order books online from Woodbridge Emporium
Woodbridge Emporium is a bookshop and tea seller that is still working hard to help the people of Suffolk to relax with a good book and a cuppa. Shop online at www.woodbridgeemporium.co.uk and receive free postage on orders over £30. You can also donate to the shop’s ‘Make a Book Hug’ fundraiser. The Emporium has been sending free books to NHS workers during this difficult time. Such a wonderful idea, and one you can support by donating on the website.
Ivy Joan Online Makers Market
Unfortunately, the Ivy Joan Makers Markets in Bury St Edmunds have had to close for the foreseeable. However, Hayley, the founder of Ivy Joan, has created a website for all the makers where they can still sell together! Head to www.ivyjoan.co.uk/collections/makers-market-online and support local makers by buying products, ordering for loved ones or just following the Instagram page to share the virtual love.
Art for Cure Online Exhibition
Local charity, Art for Cure, currently has an online exhibition for you to view. ‘Three Women’ features work from Henrietta Dubrey, Sarah Muir Poland and Sarah Baddon Price.
Henrietta Dubrey is one of the country’s most exciting contemporary abstract paintings and she has shared a new collection of literary influenced sketches for this unique exhibition. Sarah Muir Poland captures scenes of life and her work has been inspired by female friendship. Sarah Baddon Price’s vibrant, almost cubist work, is focused on the female form and she has showcased her recent work in ‘Three Women.’
Head to the website artforcure.org.uk to see the galleries and purchase the artwork – the artists are donating 50% of the sales to Art for Cure.
Henham Park Festival of Running Hardship Grant
Henham Park Festival of Running has sadly had to cancel its event this year. However, it will still be hosting a virtual festival where participants can send in images or Strava results in exchange for a hand painted medal!
The Festival has also organised a Hardship Grant. If you, or someone you know, has lost work because of the coronavirus epidemic, you can apply for one of the hardship grants.
Go and check out the website for more information and pass this on to a friend in need.
We all need a bit of sunshine in our lives at the moment, as together we are facing a truly unprecedented situation. The global Coronavirus pandemic is affecting all our families, our businesses, our communities, and our way of life. Which is why My Overalls want to be able to give something back to you…a small token of appreciation!
During the whole of April the brand will be offering 20% off its collection. Simply, you won’t find a more comfortable, versatile or wearable overall than My Overalls. A luxurious British brand!
For more information about our products please visit us the website www.myoveralls.co.uk
Happy News from Glemham Hall
Glemhall Hall is a beautiful 16th century country house surrounded by 300 acres of Suffolk parkland. The Hall provides the venue for weddings and events, most of which are sadly on hold, however they wanted to share the happy news of Danny & Rachel, who against all the odds, pressed on with their wedding on Saturday 21 March and exchanged their vows in church.
Sadly, due to the government guidance given the evening before their big day, the Hall wasn’t able to host a reception for them. However, with some collaboration with their photographer, Caron Gill, they opened the doors to welcome the happy couple in for celebratory champagne and to do their wedding photos in the Hall & Gardens.
A beautiful cake from Kitty’s Cakes ensured the couple were still able to cut their wedding cake, followed by their first dance with the perfect tune from their DJ, My Big Fat Wedding Disco.
“Congratulations Mr & Mrs Pugh! We wish you all the happiness and we look forward to partying with you early next year. Thank you for reminding us that love ALWAYS wins the day!” – The Glemham Hall Team.
Women, Wine and Wit Online Book Club
Women, Wine and Wit is an online Book Club for women to make some bookish friends. The group reads one book per month and discusses it on the last Sunday of the month on Facebook or Zoom.
The Club encourages supporting local book stores (like Dial Lane Books in Ipswich and the Woodbridge Emporium) to purchase your book club reads. Keep an eye out for announcements of fun and interactive events – the Club has a few authors joining them soon!
Online Yoga Sessions with Lauren Paige
Suffolk yoga teacher Lauren Paige has been running online yoga sessions almost every day to help us to keep calm and centred. You can easily join the class with a zoom link to the session.
“Namaste lovelies. I’ve been so grateful for all my regular and new students attending my live online yoga classes. The experience has already taught me so much about looking after each other.
“I’ve had lots of NHS workers take me up on my offer of free classes and it’s been wonderful connecting and chatting with them helping them to reconnect after stressful and trying times at work. I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say a big thank you.
“I’m running daily 15 minute morning stretch classes from 7:45am as well as daily group classes for all levels of ability and am continuing to teach my private sessions too. My website is www.flowwithlaurenpaige.com. Sending love and to all,” Lauren.
Ruku Taneja is raising funds for her mother who lives in Andheri West, Mumbai, India and feeds over 200 stray animals every day. Her mother is not a high earner but she chooses to use and sacrifice her minimal income to help stray animals in need with a meal a day. She has been doing this with her money for the past five years but now, during the lockdown as a self-employed person, she isn’t able to make the money she used to.
This is why they need your help. They are looking to raise funds for these animals so that they can buy rice, pet food and any food alternatives to help feed these abandoned dogs and cats who don’t have anyone to call their own.
You can find out more about the fundraiser here: gf.me/u/xtsm9q
Moyse’s Hall Museum Family Competition
Moyse’s Hall Museum has created a Lockdown Competition with a learning twist. Get all your little explorer’s entering!
‘Horrible Histories’ author, Terry Deary, has teamed up with movie prop specialists Reliquary, and West Suffolk Council’s Moyse’s Hall, to keep morale up for families during this lockdown. Bringing Moyse’s Hall’s two favourite things together: History and Sci-fi movies!
Deary sent Moyse’s a message to pass on: “My stories are horrible. Can you draw a picture horrible enough to give me nightmares? That’s what the winner will do.”
Moyse’s Hall has picked Terry Deary’s Edmund story and wants your little explorers to illustrate it. Deary will be checking all the entrants and picking a winner.
The Museum even has a reading of the story available to listen to on their Facebook page.
The prizes include a genuine artefact from the Star Wars universe – a piece of Chewbacca fur from SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY. All thanks to the megastars at Reliquary. Also, you’ll get a ‘Family Ticket’ to the Museum’s Sci-fi Exhibition this October, a Terrible Tales tour with smells and artefact handling and a History Goodie bag – runners-up will get goodie bags too! Plus a replica Edmund Pilgrim Badge. The winners will be displayed at Moyse’s Hall and online! Runners up displayed digitally too.
Enter as a family/team, with at least one under 16 year old, or an individual little explorer. Send your entries by private message on the Moyse’s Hall Facebook page. Last entry: 30th April 2020.
And finally I want to thank every single NHS worker, pharmacist, postie, lorry driver, shop assistant, carer and all key workers– you are AMAZING.
Love to you all x