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Suffolk: Volunteers go the extra icy mile to help others in Arctic blast

PUBLISHED: 11:11 21 January 2013 | UPDATED: 11:11 21 January 2013

Staff at Ipswich Town were called in to help groundsmen clear snow to allow for Saturday's match to go ahead

Staff at Ipswich Town were called in to help groundsmen clear snow to allow for Saturday's match to go ahead

Archant

A BAND of volunteers have gone the extra mile, braving the sweeping snow and icy roads to help those in need cope.

The British Red Cross provided a Land Rover to transport volunteers to churches, set up as winter night shelters for the homeless sleeping rough on the bitterly cold streets of Ipswich.

The Land Rover helped volunteers beat the icy conditions and make it through to help the homeless as temperatures plunged to -15C in parts of the county.

Picking up volunteers from Ipswich and the surrounding villages, the team dropped them off at Burlington Road Baptist Church on Friday night.

The Ipswich Winter Night Shelter, which opened in December, offers overnight shelter and hospitality at the town centre church.

Rev Canon Paul Daltry, left, who is minister for church and community engagement with the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese, said: “We are very grateful to the Red Cross in Ipswich for providing this support.

It means that we can guarantee that the night shelter runs for the homeless in Ipswich just when it is most needed.”

Meanwhile, Ipswich Town chief executive Simon Clegg paid tribute to staff for helping Saturday’s 1-1 home draw against Barnsley go ahead as planned.

The club’s office staff worked through Friday morning to help the groundstaff clear the snow off the pitch before returning to their day jobs. Portman Road then passed a pitch and stadium inspection early Saturday morning after an extensive team worked overnight to clear the seating area and access points around the stadium

Head groundsman Ben Connell said: “It was a great help having the staff out there on the Thursday night and then again on the Friday morning to help shift the snow when they had their own jobs to do.”

Mr Clegg saluted the staff, saying: “It was a real team effort by the staff, who all picked up a broom and a shovel and helped to clear the pitch.”

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