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Man charged with persistent flouting of virus rules

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

A 46-year-old man has been charged with flouting the rules imposed to ensure people's safety during the coronavirus crisis.

Over a three-day period, police several times requested a man to return to his home after he was found to be in Granville Street in Ipswich without a reasonable excuse.

Despite warnings he persisted and was issued with two fixed penalty notices on Saturday, 4 April but later returned to the area again and was arrested

He has been charged with "contravening a requirement as to the restriction of movement during the emergency period - contrary to regulations of the Health Protection Regulations 2020".

He was released on bail and is due to appear at Ipswich Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, 20 May.

Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020
UK Government

NHS volunteer plans selfie mementos to mark crisis

Zoe Applegate

BBC News

A newly-appointed NHS volunteer from Suffolk plans to document his experience by taking selfies with those he helps.

Daniel Heath

Daniel Heath, 29, from Haverhil, was prompted to volunteer because his mother and sister work in Covid-19 wards, while his partner is a cardio physiologist.

He is one of 750,000 volunteers reporting for duty from this week to help vulnerable people.

Mr Heath, whose workplace has closed and cannot be furloughed, has already helped deliver an elderly couple's prescription to them.

"I want to take a selfie with everyone I've helped from a distance, and just get them in the background waving or something, and then I can compile hundreds of pictures of all the people I've helped," he said.

"It will be nice to look back and share that with people."

Council to buy scarce PPE for non-NHS workers

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

After launching an appeal last week for donations of personal protective equipment Suffolk County Council has now said it was willing buy items if businesses have them to offer.

Much of the stock the council is accumulating will go to non-NHS workers - care home staff, etc.

Those interested in offering items should contact the county council's purchasing department.

More than 1,900 calls have been made to a dedicated phoneline for vulnerable people.

Call handlers are reporting that people are anxious, isolated and worried despite a great sense of personal resilience and community spirit, the council said.

"There is a need for short-term food deliveries, which we can resolve swiftly," it added

In the papers: Essex

Orla Moore

BBC News

Here's a quick look at the stories making the newspaper headlines across Essex:

  • The Mayor of Saffron Walden and his wife are being treated for pneumonia complications after they were diagnosed with coronavirus, according to the Reporter
  • The Southend Echo is reporting that workers at the Argos warehouse in Basildon say it is "busier than Christmas", triggering worries they are at risk with no personal protection equipment
  • Tributes have been paid to a St Osyth dad at Ipswich Hospital a day after he was diagnosed with coronavirus, reports the Colchester Gazette

Sewing machinists' plea for cash for hospital 'scrubs'

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

A group of sewing machinists has begun a campaign to raise money for material to make “scrubs” - the clothes that frontline NHS staff wear on duty.

The 16 machinists call themselves the Felixstowe Scrubbers and have already smashed their initial target of £500 needed to buy fabric to make scrubs for the Ipswich and Colchester hospitals.

Felixstowe Scrubbers

"There is a shortage in supply of scrubs to frontline NHS staff and by providing them with this essential piece of clothing we are enabling them to stay comfortable whilst on duty," said the group's Sew Scrubs for Ipswich Hospital Facebook page.

"We have calculated that it will cost around £12 to make up one set of scrubs. If you can give anything to help keep our NHS staff safe that would be amazing and really appreciated!"

What the papers are saying

Here's how the newspapers in Suffolk are reporting the coronovirus pandemic today:

  • The East Anglian Daily Times says the Sudbury-based Sue Ryder charity claims the country “will lose its hospices”
  • The Ipswich Star reports that the chief executive of Ipswich and Colchester hospitals is “anxious” about the Easter weekend as he reveals he wants to quadruple the number of Intensive Care Unit beds for coronavirus patients
  • The Bury Free Press reports that Dr John Hague, a GP and clinical lead for mental health, has advised anyone nervous about the coronavirus to follow a routine, exercise and "not read the news every five minutes"

Councils to move meetings online

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Ipswich Town Hall

Virtual council meetings are to take place across Suffolk to ensure key business can continue during the coronavirus pandemic.

The government passed emergency legislation on Saturday which enables councils to hold meetings remotely via video calls while social-distancing measures are in place.

The chief executives at each of Suffolk’s six local authorities currently have delegated powers to carry out any urgent decisions, but the latest legislation means that key committees like cabinets and planning committees can meet.

Most of the councils have confirmed they are now in the process of setting up systems which will allow meetings.

Cornavirus deaths continue to rise in East of England

Matt Precey

BBC Look East

The number of daily deaths rose in the BBC East region by 47, when the figures were released by Public Health England on Monday evening.

The rise in numbers for each NHS Trust is as follows:

  • Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals - 6
  • Cambridge University Hospitals (inc Addenbrooke's) - 2
  • East and North Hertfordshire - 7
  • James Pagent University Hospitals, Norfolk - 4
  • Kettering General Hospital - 2
  • Luton and Dunstable University Hospital - 6
  • Mid Essex Hospital Services Trust - 9
  • Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals - 5
  • North West Anglia - 2
  • Northampton General Hospital - 1
  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn - 3

It brings the total number of deaths for the region up to 518.

Coronavirus: Confirmed cases in the East of England

There are more than 4,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the BBC East region according to the latest data from Public Health England.

The actual number of people with the respiratory infection is believed to be much higher though - as only those in hospital and some NHS staff are currently tested.

Map showing confirmed coronavirus cases in the East of England

A total of 5,373 people, confirmed to have had the virus, have died across the UK.

Police issue warnings over weekend parties and BBQs

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

While most people listened to advice not to travel to tourist spots and parks over the weekend, Suffolk Police said it had to deal with many reports of those who ignored social distancing guidelines by visiting other households for barbecues and parties.

The police received 119 calls from members of the public reporting people ignoring the restrictions on Saturday and a further 142 calls on Sunday.

Over the two days, a total of 178 warnings were given to those in public or gathered at other addresses.

Wildlife charity organises Grand National

Suffolk Wildlife Trust staged its own version of the Grand National at the weekend, after the real one, which had been due to take place in Liverpool on Saturday, was cancelled.

The Trust's version used snails rather than horses.

'Snail Grand National' filmed in timelapse

The wildlife charity said on its Facebook page that it used natural resources for its hurdles.

"Why not hunt for natural resources and search for snails and have a go too?" the post said.

"Remember to handle your racers with care and return them where you originally found them!"

Venue offers bands new platform for performance

Richard Haugh

BBC Music Introducing in Suffolk

A small independent music venue has a new project called Lock East to support local artists by sharing video content and their tracks.

The Smokehouse in Ipswich has had to close due to coronavirus lockdown, so the venue is offering them a new platform for performance.

The Stupids at The Smokehouse, Ipswich
Miff Pleasant
The Stupids appeared at The Smokehouse during the Ipswich Sound City event in 2019

"We may not be able to provide a physical stage, but we can provide a platform for new music from the area," said a spokesman for the South Street venue."Check out our Lock East platform at The Smokehouse. We want to hear from you. Send us your tracks."

Chocolate brownie thanks for guys and gals in blue

An anonymous admirer has left a box of chocolate brownies at the Norfolk & Suffolk Roads and Armed Policing Teams' HQ with a note written on a star.

The message read: "To the guys and gals in blue, we thank you. Keep up the good work."

In this tweet the HQ staff, road police team and the armed response unit said "thanks" in return.

View more on twitter

School sends visors for hospice nurses

St Elizabeth Hospice nurses are expecting to be working alongside the NHS over the coming weeks providing end-of-life care and bereavement services to families.

The Ipswich hospice launched an appeal for personal protective equipment.

Ipswich School has responded by providing special equipment for nurses working in hazardous areas and the hospice has responded with this Facebook post: "A huge thank you to Ipswich School who have provided our nurses with PPE visors. We greatly appreciate it!"

View more on facebook

Suffolk libraries online and interactive

Ben Parker

BBC Suffolk

Suffolk Libraries have said they are now online and interactive and making sure people at home can still get access to books, music and films as well as new streamed sessions.

Bury St Edmunds Library

In its eLibrary, people can download and stream eBooks, eAudio, magazines, newspapers, films, documentaries and music which is all free with a library card number, which can also be organised online.

Several libraries have been recording and streaming live singing and rhyme sessions for young children, as well as running craft and Lego activities to enjoy at home and the videos have been enjoyed and shared thousands of times.

Quizzes and virtual book groups are also being introduced as the service explores different ways to keep people entertained.

Full details of these new sessions can be found on the Suffolk Libraries website.

In pictures: 24 hours in lockdown

Person takes selfie of their shadow while hula-hooping
Ali Waggie

A group of photographers has come together again to document life during the coronavirus crisis.

it features photos from St Albans, Watford and Ipswich.

Man in bed with dog
Sarah Lucy Brown

Golf club finds its course 'teeming' with people

Katy Lewis

BBC News Online

A golf course said it had to stop people playing golf, having picnics and playing in bunkers over the weekend.

Rushmere Golf Club, in Ipswich, said "large groups of people, many ignoring social-distancing" had gathered on the course - which is built on common land and has public footpaths criss-crossing it.

Rushmere Golf Course

Steve Potts, chairman, said: "We were very disappointed to find our golf course was teeming with people... completely ignoring government rules.

"Three of our green-keepers did a staggered time of patrolling to try to encourage people to disperse to protect the course but really feeling a responsibility to ensure the public were adhering to the rules.

"The majority were understanding and prepared to move on.. but our green-keeping staff were almost overwhelmed with people and found it very, very difficult and incredibly surprising."

He said it was "absolutely fine" to walk across it for your daily exercise but "try not to use the bunkers as sandpits" or ride bicycles across the greens.

Coronavirus: Confirmed cases in the East of England

The latest figures released by Public Health England show there were 3,755 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the East of England, as of 09:00 on Sunday.

The highest increase was in Essex with a rise of 238 cases on the previous day.

Map showing BBC East region confirmed coronavirus cases as of 0900 on Sunday 5 April 2020

Across the UK, there have been 4,934 deaths from coronavirus.

Good morning

Katy Lewis

BBC News Online

Welcome to a new week on our live page where we'll bring you regional updates about the coronavirus pandemic.

We'll bring you the latest news from the east of England until 18:00.

If you have a story you wish to share - good or bad, please contact BBC News Online (East) via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Or email us.

Ipswich Hospital boss shocked over theft of employee's bike

The boss of Ipswich Hospital said "we are seeing the best and worst of society" during the coronavirus lockdown after an employee's bike was stolen from outside the building.

Karl Kroger tweeted a photo of his bicycle that he said was stolen from outside the Heath Road hospital on Thursday.

Nick Hulme, chief executive of the East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust, said he could not understand why anyone would steal a bike from a healthcare worker "anytime, let alone now".

Since Mr Kroger's tweet, he has since been offered a replacement bike by a member of the public and Elmy Cycles in Ipswich has offered to service it for free "if it helps Karl get back on the road".

Suffolk Police said the bike was stolen from the rack near the hospital entrance between 07:30 and 17:45. It had been locked to the rack with a cable which had been cut.

View more on twitter

Pub chefs cook up baked treats for vulnerable

The Marquis pub
The Marquis

A pub is providing free biscuits, cake and bread to those self-isolating or vulnerable who need help.

The team at The Marquis at Layham in south Suffolk wanted to do their bit so a number of the chefs volunteered to do some baking, the pub owner said.

If you’re in the Raydon, Layham, East Bergholt or Hadleigh area and need a bit of help get in touch with the the pub via its Facebook page or call 01473 377977.

Sheltered homes brought up to standard in seven days

Patrick Byrne

BBC News Online

Sheltered housing condemned as unsuitable for habitation last year has been brought up to scratch in seven days.

East Suffolk Council transformed the property in Avenue Mansions in Lowestoft to help accommodate vulnerable people during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Avenue Mansions
East Suffolk Council
Avenue Mansions is at the junction of Yarmouth Road and Royal Avenue

Eight flats were left empty because the water systems had been drained down, and the heating, electrical and fire detection systems had been decommissioned.

Richard Kerry, cabinet member for housing, said: "It was a huge challenge to get these flats to a standard where they could be brought back into use … and the seven-day turnaround is evidence of the effort that everyone involved put in to make it happen."

Suffolk people defy virus to Make a Difference

Stuart Howells

BBC reporter

Covid-19 may be causing problems for everyone but people in Suffolk are pulling together to Make a Difference:

  • Volunteer-led project Baby Basics Lowestoft aims to support new mothers and is appealing on Facebook for prams, also cots, bouncy chairs and microwave or cold water sterilisers
  • Jane Palmer, new owner of the Oyster Inn and village store at Butley, is offering free meals to nursery and school children and vulnerable folk working with The Teapot Project and other community groups
Oyster Inn
Oyster Inn
  • A support group in Coddenham has put flyers through every door of the village to try and help anybody that needs help - phone 01449 760429 or visit Coddenham Parish

  • Bramford is going to be doing a daily "Dancing on the Doorstep" at 11:00 to David Bowie and Mick Jagger's version of Dancing In The Street... at safe distances

To set up a scheme to help people in your area contact Community Action Suffolk for advice on 01473 345400.

Key workers applauded once again

Katy Lewis

BBC News Online

#ClapForOurCarers: People across the East of England pay tribute to key workers

People across the UK have taken part in a second "Clap for Carers" tribute, saluting NHS staff and other key workers dealing with coronavirus.

Delivery drivers, supermarket staff, care workers and bin collectors were among those honoured.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

East of England joins in with #ClapForOurCarers

#ClapForOurCarers: People across the East of England pay tribute to key workers
People across the UK have taken part in a second Clap For Our Carers tribute, saluting NHS staff and other key workers on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic.

Delivery drivers, supermarket staff, care workers and bin collectors were among those honoured by the nation with thousands across the East of England joining in the moment at 20:00 GMT on Thursday.

Households banged pots and pans, while others played the bagpipes to show their support.

A hundred hot meals delivered to paramedics

Alex Pope

BBC News Online

They say an army marches on its stomach, so a community group in Bedford has come forward to help feed staff working for the NHS.

Food being prepared
SGRS Bedford

The Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha in Bedford delievered 100 hot meals to members of the East of England Ambulance Service at its sites in Bedford and Kempston.

Food delivered to paramedic

The religious group has said it will continue "every day throughout this difficult period, in order to help support those who are tirelessly working in our NHS".

"This is a small token of our appreciation", it said.

Food being delievered to paramedics

COVID-19 deaths rise in the east

Matt Precey

BBC Look East

There were 63 more COVID-19 deaths announced by NHS England on Thursday for the east of England region.

Cases are listed by NHS Trust/Hospital.

  • Luton and Dunstable: 12 more deaths - (total 23)
  • Bedford: 11 (11)
  • Milton Keynes Hospital: 9 (22)
  • Princess Alexandra, Harlow: 5 (27)
  • Lister, Stevenage: 4 (16)
  • Essex Partnership Trust: 2 (4)
  • Kettering: 4 (9)
  • Southend: 3 (11)
  • Norfolk & Norwich: 3 (13)
  • Northampton: (11)
  • Basildon: 2 (25)
  • Queen Elizabeth, King’s Lynn: 2 (12)
  • Peterborough/Hinchingbrooke, Huntingdon: 1 (10)
  • Addenbrooke’s, Cambridge: 1 (6)
  • James Paget, Gorleston: 1 (6)
  • West Suffolk, Bury St Edmunds: 1 (5)

It's important to note these are the updated figures announced on a particular date and do not reflect when the death took place.

It brings the total number of deaths in the region to 227.

Total number of deaths across the UK stood at 2,921 according to Public Health England.

Good morning

Katy Lewis

BBC News Online

Welcome to Friday’s resumption of regular updates where we'll bring you regional news and information about the coronavirus pandemic. Thank you for joining us.

We'll bring you the latest until 18:00.

Find BBC News: East of England on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If you have a story suggestion email

Have a good evening and we are back on Friday morning

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

Thank you for joining us today for our regular updates on the coronavirus pandemic in the East of England.

The team will be back on Friday morning at 08:00 to share more news with you from across the region.

See you then.

Council asks firms for personal protective equipment

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

A county council has launched an appeal for businesses to donate any unused personal protective equipment (PPE) for critical frontline staff working in care homes, children's homes and other addresses.

Suffolk County Council needs:

  • Fluid repellent face masks
  • Nitrile non powdered disposable gloves
  • Disposable aprons
  • Disposable eye protection/splash goggles
  • Sanitiser gel

The authority has been working with experts to source these materials from across the UK and globally.

Volunteers are packing and sending 4,000 PPE kits, which will be issued to teams this week. However, more are still needed.

Council leader Matthew Hicks, said: "We would be extremely grateful to any businesses who could provide us with these items which will help us to stop the spread of Covid-19 in our county."

Appeal to name kittens born in lockdown

Sarah Jenkins

BBC News

The RSPCA is appealing for help to name four kittens that were born 24 hours after the prime minister announced a lockdown.

Puma was rescued from a multi-cat household and gave birth with the help of foster carer and RSPCA animal welfare manager Chloe Shorten.

RSPCA kittens

Staff at the Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk branch have gathered together a list of potential names and are asking people to vote for their favourite on their Facebook page.

The options are:

  • Ash, Coal, Cinder, Ember
  • Neve, Harry, Sarah and Edward
  • Neo, Morpheus, Trinity, Niobe
  • Cordelia, Viola, Tybalt and Mercutio
Puma and her kittens

Donations-hit hospice expects virus victim surge

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

A hospice that needs £400,000 a month to provide care for terminally ill patients said it was in "dire straits" after its 31 charity shops were forced to close and fundraising events cancelled because of coronavirus.

St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich is also preparing to receive more patients needing end-of-life care, so has launched an online fundraising campaign.

St Elizabeth Hospice
St Elizabeth Hospice

The hospice expects to get busier as the pandemic gets worse, so has increased the number of beds from 18 to 24, it said.

Staff are expecting calls to a 24/7 rapid response line, which already takes 2,000 a month, to double.

Paint the whole world with a rainbow

BBC Radio Suffolk

Rainbows beautifully drawn by key workers' children are set to be placed in the windows of police and ambulance drivers' vehicles.

The works of art were made by pupils at Place Farm Primary Academy in Haverhill, Suffolk.

Crews working for the East of England Ambulance Service said they were "grateful for the kind messages".

Photo of children with a rainbow
Haverhill Police

Woman gives birth to twins during pandemic

Kayleigh Alden-Hollinsworth from Felixstowe gave birth to adorable twin girls on Wednesday and has praised "the incredible NHS" at Ipswich Hospital.

She said she was "petrified" because of the current coronavirus pandemic.

Her partner Shane Baxendale had to wait in the car while she was assessed due to new restrictions at the hospital.

Shane was able to join her during her C-section to meet daughters Esmae and Nellie.

Kayleigh Alden-Hollinsworth
Kayleigh Alden-Hollinsworth
Kayleigh Alden-Hollinsworth has praised the "incredible NHS staff" who helped deliver her twin girls

In a post on Facebook that has over 18,000 likes, Kayleigh said: "Please do not be scared, I know it’s not the best time for this all to be taking place but everyone was amazing."

Congratulations Kayleigh and Shane!

Coronavirus cases continue to rise in East

Nikki Fox

BBC Look East

The number of people infected by the coronavirus continues to rise.

Public Health England released the latest figures last night, but they are only from hospital tests and are a few days behind.

They are as follows:

  • Hertfordshire - 480
  • Buckinghamshire - 195
  • Norfolk - 180
  • Northamptonshire - 187
  • Cambridgeshire - 141
  • Peterborough - 36
  • Suffolk - 125
  • Milton Keynes - 117
  • Central Bedfordshire - 81
  • Luton - 91
  • Bedford Borough Council - 60
  • Essex - 420
  • Southend-on-Sea - 44
  • Thurrock - 62

Good morning

Alex Pope

BBC News Online

Thank you for joining us this morning as we continue our regular updates about the coronavirus pandemic.

The team will be here sharing news from the East of England until 18:00.

Rickshaw volunteers in Bury St Edmunds deliver supplies to those in isolation
Volunteer rickshaw riders are bringing a "smile" to people self-isolating by dropping off supplies.

Children's music sessions streamed online from Britten's house

Sarah Jenkins

BBC News

A children's music class which usually takes place at The Red House in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, is being streamed online while the building is closed to the public.

The house is a museum and research centre dedicated to its former resident - composer Benjamin Britten, who founded the Aldeburgh Festival (which has been cancelled this year).

Mini Music Makers by Joe Carr will be streamed live every Friday between 10:00 and 10:30 with new songs being posted on Facebook and Twitter every weekday.

View more on twitter

Mr Carr moved the classes online as he said "the need to help families feel less isolated at this difficult time was really important".

He said the reaction had been "fantastic" and that it was "wonderful to see how this has helped families cope".

The Red House, Aldeburgh

Groups in Suffolk which can offer help and support

There are plenty of groups in Suffolk ready to offer a helping hand or a friendly ear.

Here’s our round-up of organisations that can offer you support during this crisis:

  • Home But Not Alone Volunteer App: Suffolk County Council has launched a free app, called Tribe Volunteer, and phone line - 0800 876 6926 - to connect volunteers with those needing help. The number operates 09:00 to 17:00, seven days a week
  • Age UK Suffolk: 01473 357070/01473 351234
  • Community Action Suffolk: For information for volunteers and communities contact 01473 345400
  • Suffolk MIND: Help available for emotional needs and mental health on 0300 111 6000
  • Domestic Abuse: Call 0808 2000247 if you don't feel safe
  • Samaritans: 116 123 or
  • Alzheimer’s Research UK: If you, or someone you care for, needs support and information call the dementia info line on 0300 111 5 111
  • Suffolk Trading Standards: 0808 223 1133 or go to its Facebook page

Coronavirus deaths rise in the East

Nikki Fox

BBC Look East

The number of people who have died from coronavirus continues to rise in the East of England.

Last night, Public Health England announced the statistics for 31 March at the region's hospital trusts:

  • Basildon - 10 more deaths
  • Luton & Dunstable - 1
  • East & North Herts - 5
  • Norfolk & Norwich - 2
  • Northampton - 2
  • Southend - 3
  • Queen Elizabeth, King's Lynn - 3
  • James Paget, Gorleston - 2
  • Addenbrooke's, Cambridge - 2
  • Essex partnership (mental health inpatient) - 1
  • West Herts Hospitals - 4
  • Stoke Mandeville, Aylesbury - 2
  • Wycombe Hospital - 3

If a hospital trust is not listed it means no deaths were recorded there on Tuesday.

The total number of confirmed (tested) regional cases now stands at 1,945.

Across the UK, the death toll stands at 1,789.

Mall sends 'appreciation package' to ambulance crew

Sarah Jenkins

BBC News

The Mall in Luton has sent an "appreciation package" to ambulance workers in the town.

The shopping centre tweeted that it wanted to thank crews for "all their hard work" so sent a package "full of tasty treats".

View more on twitter

Good morning

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Welcome to our live page where we'll bring you regular regional updates about the coronavirus pandemic. Thank you for joining us.

We'll bring you the latest news from the East of England until 18:00.

Coronavirus: Ipswich woman's garden run raises hundreds for charity
Fiona Wilson was determined to not let the coronavirus lockdown stop her raising money for charity.