Community Hero Rosemary organises fun schedule for young people

Amy Stagg and Sharon Harkin, EoE Co-Op's community engagement managers, with community hero Rosemary

Amy Stagg and Sharon Harkin, EoE Co-Op's community engagement managers, with community hero Rosemary Diplock, centre Picture: EAST OF ENGLAND CO OP - Credit: Archant

The Shotley peninsula community is at its best when it’s working together, says this week’s community hero Rosemary Diplock.

Community Heroes logo

Community Heroes logo - Credit: Archant

Mrs Diplock, of Orwell View Road, Shotley, lives opposite the village hall where she hosts a pop-up library with fellow volunteer Gloria Hayward and librarian Tom Vesay.

She makes it clear that she might have been picked as a community hero, but the weekly three-hour drop-in session is a concerted team effort.

“We have a big chat about what we want to do that week - and then we just get on and do it,” said Mrs Diplock.

“In the 18 months we have been running we’ve had over 3,000 people attend our events, the youngest was nine weeks and the oldest was 92.”

“We’re really trying to do something for everyone in Shotley - the community has supported me and it’s just the right thing to do to give something back.”

Having moved to the peninsula 20 years ago, Mrs Diplock decided to put her experience as a lecturer to good use by teaming up with Suffolk Libraries to provide activities and events at Shotley Village Hall every Monday afternoon.

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Mrs Diplock, fellow volunteers and other agencies give a lot back, from after-school homework clubs to ice cream parlours and even Himalayan sound baths for the babies, children and young people of the Shotley peninsula.

“The ice cream parlour was certainly the most fun, because all we needed was a food processor in the village hall,” she said.

“I made some ice cream at home the night before and then we used fresh fruit to make different flavours.

“The most popular one was the blackberry sorbet using the berries the children and Gloria had picked - everyone was left with purple lips, purple tongues and purple teeth.”

Students from Holbrook Academy volunteered at the library over the summer and the events are usually a joint effort with other agencies working in Shotley.

The East of England Co-op has provided the trio with vouchers to cover the cost of all the ingredients and equipment they use to make sure every event comes with tea and cake.

Next year is set to be just as busy for the community, with a childrens clothes library and a reverse book club planned.