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Suffolk Day 2020: All the reasons we love our great county

PUBLISHED: 07:30 20 June 2020

Suffolk Day is returning on June 21st  2020 Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Suffolk Day is returning on June 21st 2020 Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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To mark Suffolk Day this weekend, we’ve asked people to tell us what they love about the county.

Suffolk County Council leader Matthew Hicks has written of his love of the county Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCILSuffolk County Council leader Matthew Hicks has written of his love of the county Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL

Matthew Hicks, leader of Suffolk County Council

I have always appreciated the rural beauty of where we live. For me, my favourite part of Suffolk is its big skies – that feeling when you come over the brow of a hill and you’re met with a huge expanse of sky. Even on the greyest of days, that sight always lifts my spirits.

I also love the diversity of the county - the wonderful coast, the bustling towns, the home of horse racing, and the array of fantastic food and drink that Suffolk produces. Spending Saturday morning in Framlingham at the market is one of my favourite weekend pastimes. It gives me great pleasure picking up a variety of locally sourced produce and bumping into friends for a coffee in the market square.

Over the last few months, our lives have changed beyond all recognition, but the Suffolk spirit shines through. The sense of community, and the way so many have gone about helping others without fuss, makes me realise even more how lucky I am to call Suffolk my home.

Lanai Collis-Phillips, volunteer for Women Against Sexual Exploitation and Violence Speak UP (WASSUP) project in Ipswich  Picture: Lanai Collis-PhillipsLanai Collis-Phillips, volunteer for Women Against Sexual Exploitation and Violence Speak UP (WASSUP) project in Ipswich Picture: Lanai Collis-Phillips

I hope that, wherever you chose to celebrate Suffolk Day, you have fun! Remember to keep safe though, as we continue to keep looking out for one another.

Lanai Collis-Phillips, volunteer for Women Against Sexual Exploitation and Violence Speak UP (WASSUP) project in Ipswich, and Volunteering Matters

Living in Ipswich, which is said to be one of the most diverse areas in the East of England, I believe our non-white British population has caused the county to become leaders in change making for equality. That is what makes Suffolk special to me.

Tim Holder, of Suffolk Community Foundation, with his pooch Hoagy Picture: SUFFOLK COMMUNITY FOUNDATIONTim Holder, of Suffolk Community Foundation, with his pooch Hoagy Picture: SUFFOLK COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

Yearly events, such as “One Big Multicultural Festival” (thanks to the Bangladeshi Support Centre) and the “Flipside festival” in Snape Maltings, give us a chance to appreciate world food, music and performance. On the 21st of June ICRFM will be celebrating our Caribbean elders and Windrush pioneers in Suffolk whose incredible stories must be remembered.

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Last weekend there was a peaceful protest where people from all communities and ages came to stand, speak, sing and walk in solidarity with a global effort to make Black Lives Matter.

From ISCRE (Ipswich Council for Racial Equality) to the “Belongings” show on BBC Suffolk there are more permanent pillars for our communities to have a voice. The charity Volunteering Matters is home to Knowledge Equals Opportunities (KEO) which helps families take an active role in their children’s learning and works mostly with beneficiaries who are new to the UK.

Stephen Skeet, a director at Volunteering Matters  Picture: Stephen SkeetStephen Skeet, a director at Volunteering Matters Picture: Stephen Skeet

This is just a snippet of the work being done in an effort to make Suffolk safer for everyone.

Tim Holder, Suffolk Community Foundation

Aged 52, born at Patrick Stead Hospital on the Bungay Road in Halesworth. Adopted at 10 days old into the very happiest childhood on the outskirts of Ipswich. Riding bikes, climbing trees and building dens on Rushmere Heath. Inspired by Mr Woodward, a giant of a man and my fabulous teacher at Britannia Road Primary School and Derek Smith my Choir Master at St Augustine’s Church.

Jennifer Love and Terezija Hirs enjoying the sunshine in Southwold  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNJennifer Love and Terezija Hirs enjoying the sunshine in Southwold Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Finding a career path as ‘The Boy Tim’ on reception at the East Anglian Daily Times. Performing in dozens of plays and musicals at The Spa, Gaumont, Sir John Mills, Wolsey Theatre and Snape Maltings. Twenty years of just quiet weekends with friends in Suffolk to escape a full on crazy London life. Returning 6 years ago to join the team at Suffolk Community Foundation. Raising awareness of the need and working with Suffolk to raise the money that local charities and community groups need to rebuild lives and futures.

On Suffolk Day, I really do appreciate the stunning backdrop that Suffolk provides for us all to play on, but it’s the people of Suffolk that I really love. They have shaped who I am and I’m really all their fault!

Stephen Skeet, director at Volunteering Matters

I love Suffolk because of our wonderful county town. Ipswich is steeped in history and we see it everywhere; from the oldest town to being a waterfront town, Wolsey’s Gate, Christchurch Mansion and Ancient House. Ipswich has beautiful parks and a vibrant arts scene; independent theatres such The New Wolsey and the Sir John Mills, music at The Smokehouse, or dance at Jerwood House. Ipswich is where you can hear 50 languages and buy any world cuisine next to a pub selling Adnams beer. Ipswich is where a small football club became champions, where the biggest clubs in Europe came and never won; a club that still attracts 20,000 fans every home game.

Then there are the people. I am truly inspired to see the people of Ipswich volunteer their time every day to help others less fortunate. Whether it is young people building their own projects, mentors helping young people leaving care, good neighbour schemes, foodbanks, or scrub hubs, our voluntary sector which enables all of this life changing and vital work to happen is something truly to be proud of. That has never been more the case than on this Suffolk Day, when Suffolk volunteers have stood side by side with key workers as a fundamental part of the County’s Covid-19 response.


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