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College donates personal protection equipment to hospital and police

A Norfolk and Suffolk college has donated thousands of items of personal protection equipment to its local hospital and police.

East Coast College, which is based in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, dropped off masks, disposable aprons and gloves to the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston and Norfolk Police.

It said the items would have been used by students on a variety of courses.

"We will continue to support our local community during these unprecedented times," it tweeted.

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Former BBC radio presenter dies with coronavirus

John Hood with award
John Hood won an award for his rescue of four teenage girls in 2016

John Hood's partner Jayne Lindill says his friends and family are "heartbroken" by his death.

John Hood with award

Former BBC radio presenter dies with coronavirus

John Hood's former partner Jayne Lindill says his friends and family are "heartbroken" by his death.

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What the papers are saying in Suffolk

Here's how the papers in Suffolk are reporting the coronavirus pandemic

  • The East Anglian Daily Times reports the first meals from acting couple Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory’s new scheme are due to be served up, as they aim to feed NHS staff fighting coronavirus
  • There are scenes of silent streets in Ipswich and Felixstowe in the Ipswich Star, as people obey the coronavirus lockdown message
  • And the Suffolk Free Press reports on businesses in the Sudbury area providing a vital lifeline

Ipswich MP 'has coronavirus symptoms'

Tom Hunt

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt has become the latest politician to be struck down with coronavirus-like symptoms, after he developed a cough and fever on Sunday evening.

The Conservative - who has not been tested - said he would be self-isolating for a week at his flat in the town, but would be able to carry on with constituency business via email and phone.

"My symptoms are quite moderate, but they did come on quickly," he said.

Mr Hunt was at Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons on Wednesday, when he quizzed Boris Johnson - who himself confirmed he had coronavirus two days later, shortly followed by the Health Secretary - West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock.

Co-op to stop accepting loyalty card and handing out charity tokens

Pete Cooper

BBC News

The East of England Co-operative have announced a series of changes to how they operate their food stores to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The group, based in Ipswich and with stores across Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk said it would be no longer accepting member reward cards to avoid handling them, but advised customers to keep receipts to add the points at a later date.

Stores will also no longer hand out green tokens, which go in the charity-of-your-choice boxes.

East of England Co-operative
EoE Co-op

In line with many other supermarket the Co-op will also be installing screens at checkouts and have signs on the floor to keep shoppers 2m (6ft 6in) apart.

Aldeburgh Festival cancelled

Pete Cooper

BBC News

The 2020 Aldeburgh Festival in Suffolk, has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The classical music festival, based mostly at Snape Maltings, was due to be held between 12 and 28 June.

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Rafael Payare, Alisa Weilerstein - Dvorak and Shostakovich
The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra performed at the festival in 2018

Snape Maltings’ chief executive Roger Wright said it as with "enormous sadness" that the cancellation was made.

He said they would be contacting all ticket holders soon.

The festival was founded by local composer Benjamin Britten in Aldeburgh in 1948.

Hope for couple who've left coronavirus cruise ship

Pete Cooper

BBC News

It is hoped a couple from south Norfolk will be able to get refuge in the US after four people died of suspected coronavirus on their cruise ship.

David and Heather Haycox from Brooke were transferred from the contaminated vessel Zaandam close to Panama over the weekend.

It is hoped their new liner will be allowed to dock in America, after numerous countries turned away their original cruise ship.


The couple's daughter, Sami Haycox, said: "The next big thing is to be lobbying America to let the boat dock so they can come home from there but we don't know if that will happen."

Man charged after reports of masked figure coughing over shoppers

Pete Cooper

BBC News

A man has been charged after allegedly coughing over people at a shop.

Suffolk Police said a "number of members of the public" reported that a man wearing a mask was behaving anti-socially in the Co-op on Church Street in Eye on Saturday.

co-op bag

A 34-year-old man from the town has been charged with various offences including causing harassment, alarm or distress; disorderly behaviour and resisting arrest.

He has been released on bail and is due to appear before Ipswich Magistrates' Court next month.

Footballers calling elderly fans 'a great idea'

Pete Cooper

BBC News

Ipswich Town footballers have been praised for calling older season ticket holders to check they are OK during the coronavirus pandemic.

Will keane
Getty Images

Bill Robinson got a call on Saturday from Will Keane (pictured).

He said: "We had a very nice chat about football, exercise, golf and about his previous clubs.

"It's a great Idea from Ipswich Town and good on them for doing that."

The world champion practising in isolation

Phil Cartwright

BBC Sport

Peter Wright
Rex Features

World darts champion Peter Wright, who lives in a Suffolk farmhouse, is practising with a fellow title-winner during isolation.

BBC Sport caught up with the dartist otherwise known as Snakebite, as he revealed some of the unusual forfeits in the offing for whoever loses on the oche.

Agricultural show goes under the coronavirus plough

Tendring Show

Another summer county show has bitten the dust.

The Tendring Show was due to take place at Lawford in Essex on Saturday, 11 July.

The executive committee of the Tendring Hundred Farmers' Club said in a statement: "We would like to thank everyone who supports our Show and club and extend our best wishes to you all at this challenging time.

"We are now moving forward to preparing another great Tendring Show on 10 July 2021 and look forward to welcoming you back then."

Cambridge Folk Festival 2020 cancelled

Cambridge Folk Festival

The Cambridge Folk Festival is the latest event to fall foul of the coronavirus pandemic.

The event, due to run 30 July-2 August, was to star the likes of Yusuf (formerly known as Cat Stevens), Grammy Award-winning Patty Griffin and Passenger.

Organisers said the safety of festival-goers, artists, staff and crew was their "top priority" and the event had become "too difficult to plan, prepare and deliver".

Anyone who has already booked tickets will be given the choice of a refund or the chance to hold onto their tickets for the 2021 festival.

FolkEast in Suffolk has yet to make a decision about its festival, which is due to take place 21-23 August.

Councils: 'That won't cover our loss of income for even a week'

Andrew Sinclair

BBC Look East political correspondent

Ipswich Town Hall

Local councils are warning that they're facing a financial crisis because of a big drop in their income due to the coronavirus outbreak.

They're writing to the government asking for extra funding later in the year so they can afford to keep running services.

They say that with leisure centres and museums closed, tenants unable to pay their rent and motorists staying away from car parks, they are losing an important source of income.

Ipswich Borough Council makes £2m a month from its commercial activities while Norwich City Council earns £500,000 a month from parking charges.

I understand Cambridge City Council is warning it could be £10m in the red at the end of this crisis.

The government says it's giving extra help to councils and they should also think about using their reserves.

But councils say it's not enough - Ipswich's Labour leader David Ellesmere said "the government's given us £76,000 - that won't cover our loss of income for even a week".

Chalk messages left outside care home for loved ones

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A number of chalk messages have been left outside a Suffolk care home after it shut to visitors last Friday.

Staff at Melford Court, in Long Melford, said it was so they could let "loved ones know they are doing OK".

Chalk messages

Amanda Atkins, care home manager, said: "A lot of relatives are naturally upset and disappointed that they can't come and see their loved ones, so we thought it would be a good idea if they were able to leave personal messages outside.

"I found some large chalks in the local supermarket and left them with a sign inviting residents to write something on the stones.

"The idea has taken off and now we have more than 20 messages," she said.

Chalk messages

Cheers all round as the East says thanks to NHS

Coronavirus: Cheers all round as the East says thanks to NHS
There was clapping, cheering, pots clanging and car horns honking as people across the East of England gave their thanks to the NHS.

Many people took part in the social media campaign on Thursday night, where people across the UK applauded the work of the health service treating coronavirus patients.

'Thank you NHS'

Oscar's been using his time off to create a masterpiece thanking the NHS for all their hard work.

The ambulance service were definitely impressed by his artistic talent.

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Ipswich market staying open

Mike Young's fish stall on Ipswich market

Ipswich market will take place tomorrow to help people who need fresh produce.

There will only be four stalls trading and social distancing measures will be in place.

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Daughter thanks public for staying at home and 'keeping Mummy safe'

The daughter of a NHS worker in Suffolk has posted a video on social media to thank people for staying at home during the coronavirus lockdown.

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The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust runs the hospital in Bury St Edmunds and community services.

Six more coronavirus deaths reported in East of England

Nikki Fox

BBC Look East

Six more deaths from coronavirus were recorded in the BBC East region on Thursday evening.

Thee people died in hospitals run by East and North Herts NHS Trust and three at Princess Alexandra in Harlow.

The UK death date rose to more than 550 as of yesterday evening.

Here are the latest numbers of positive cases (not deaths) recorded in our region:

  • Norfolk 51 (a rise of 6 on previous day)
  • Suffolk 42 (up 7)
  • Peterborough 10 (up 1)
  • Cambridgeshire 47 (up 6)
  • Northamptonshire 64 (up 21)
  • Bedford 10 (up 3)
  • Central Bedfordshire 28 (up 4)
  • Milton Keynes 38 (up 9)
  • Buckinghamshire 66 (up 7)
  • Luton 30 (up 1)
  • Hertfordshire 170 (up 23)
  • Essex 130 (up 42)
  • Southend12 (up 3)
  • Thurrock 20 (up 5)

These figures will not include people have show symptoms, but have not been tested.

Further figures can be found at Public Health England.

Clap for our carers: UK pays tribute to NHS and care workers

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Last night, people around the UK took part in a "Clap for our Carers" tribute, saluting NHS and care workers dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

At 20:00 GMT, well-wishers flocked to their balconies, windows, front doors and gardens to applaud.

Emergency services themselves also took part as this "amazing show of support" outside Ipswich Hospital reflects.

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Coronavirus updates - the latest

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Welcome to our live updates page where you can keep up with all the regional news on the coronavirus pandemic. Thank you for joining us.

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

Clap for our Carers

Set your alarms for 20:00 this evening when a big round of applause is planned to thank all the NHS staff working tirelessly to keep us safe.

If you want to take part all you need do is put your hands together from your windows and doors.

View more on twitter

Hospital appointments go online

Alex Pope

BBC News

We are all finding new ways to work at the moment, and that includes staff working within the NHS.

East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust is using a new video system so appointments can be made online.

I am a little jealous as Claire's headset looks better than mine.

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'Bored Stiff': Oliver's poem cheers up grandmother

Pam Hayward in Brooke, Norfolk, sent us this poem written by her seven-year-old grandson Oliver Hayward from Little Easton, Essex.

She said he sent it to her "to cheer me up as I'm in self-imposed isolation."

Pam Hayward

More from the local press

Coronavirus is the main focus of all news at the moment, and here's how it is being reported in the local press.

  • Pupils from Sancton Wood School in Cambridge and pensioners have teamed up to operate a buddy system where they write letters, draw pictures, or even telephone each other during the coronavirus pandemic, reports the Cambridge News.
  • Luton Today says that a Luton company is ramping up production of ventilators and is expected to make 5,000 within two weeks.
  • The Herts Advertiser has tips on how to de-clutter your home while in self-isolation.
  • MK Citizen has a breakdown of the number of cases of coronavirus in Milton Keynes.
  • Ipswich Town Football Club could lose £500,000 if the season is completed behind closed doors, says the Ipswich Star.

Staff shortages could affect fruit and veg from the East

Pete Cooper

BBC News

The Country Land and Business Association has warned of staff shortages in the farming sector across the East of England due to coronavirus.

If farmers could not find the workers they needed, it could lead to a shortage of fruit and vegetables, it said.

PA Media

Cath Crowther from the association said: "There are staff shortages because of travel restrictions and illness which could impact on fruit and vegetable supply going forward."

She also said that those farms that had diversified into leisure and tourism were also suffering, and that those with cafes were trying to "redirect" their supplies.

Visiting suspended at Essex and Suffolk hospitals

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

The way people can visit loved ones is changing at most hospitals.

East Suffolk and North East Essex Foundation Trust has said that visiting has been suspended at Colchester, Ipswich, Aldeburgh and Felixstowe hospitals, and at Bluebird Lodge in Ipswich.

Chief executive Nick Hulme said you could only visit if seeing someone receiving end-of-life care; you are a birthing partner or a parent or appropriate adult visiting your child.

Ipswich Hospital
East Suffolk and North East Essex Foundation Trust

“Our primary concern is to keep our patients and our staff safe," he said.

"Thank to you everyone in our communities for their continuing support at this very difficult time."

Severe disruption: A120 Essex eastbound

BBC News Travel

A120 Essex eastbound severe disruption, between A1232 and A133.

A120 Essex - A120 closed eastbound between Crown interchange in Colchester and the A133 junction in Hare Green, because of a lorry on fire.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Ambulance trust 'could not be prouder' of staff and volunteers

East of England Ambulance NHS Trust has praised on Twitter the "incredible" work its staff and volunteers are doing across Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk.

The trust said it wanted to "dedicate #ThankYouThursday" to all those "working incredibly hard around the clock to make sure that our patients remain safe and get help when they need it the most. We couldn't be prouder to call you #TeamEEAST."

Ambulance staff
East of England Ambulance Service

Council donates thousands to Suffolk food banks

Food banks across Suffolk re to receive a share of £60,000 to ensure they're stocked with much-needed supplies.

This money, donated by Suffolk County Council, will let them restock directly with the supermarkets and wholesalers, the council said.

Paul West, cabinet member for communities, said: "It is now more important than ever to look after those most in need in our neighbourhoods."


Florist hand-delivers flowers to doorstep

BBC Look East

Norma sent us this picture of a gift which was delivered to her in Clacton, Essex, by Vanessa of Vanessa's Florists.


Norma said: "Her hug was passed on by signs from two metres away. Thanks Vanessa! Greatly appreciated and deeply grateful."

MP asks PM to 'come down like a tonne of bricks' on criminals

BBC Parliament

The prime minister has agreed to "come down like a tonne of bricks" on criminals exploiting the coronavirus crisis after the issue was raised by Ipswich's Conservative MP Tom Hunt.

During Prime Minister's Questions Mr Hunt said he was "concerned criminal elements might look to exploit this moment of national emergency to push their own insidious agenda".

He asked whether the prime minster would "promise that we will come down like a tonne of bricks on those such individuals".

Tom Hunt

In response Boris Johnson said: "The early signs are that criminal activity is not up, but in fact down, at the moment, but we will come down like a tonne of bricks on anybody who seeks to exploit the situation [with coronavirus]."

Suffolk residents told to 'compost at home'

Local Democracy Reporting Service

People living in Suffolk have been urged not to dispose of garden waste in black bins, despite their garden waste collection services being suspended.

So far Ipswich, Babergh and Mid Suffolk councils have all suspended garden waste bin collections until further notice, so that crews can focus on collecting black bins and recyclable rubbish. East and West Suffolk councils are still running garden waste services.

However, recycling centres closed to the public on Tuesday, meaning the option of clearing garden waste there is no longer available.

A Babergh and Mid Suffolk spokeswoman said: “For those who aren’t able to compost, we kindly ask that they temporarily store it in their garden instead of placing it in the general waste bin."

Severe disruption: A14 Suffolk westbound

BBC News Travel

A14 Suffolk westbound severe disruption, between J57 A1189 Nacton Road and J56 A137.

A14 Suffolk - Break down on A14 westbound between J57, A1189 (Nacton Interchange) and J56, A137 (Wherstead Interchange). Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Coronavirus updates - the latest

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Welcome to our live updates page where you can keep up with all the regional news on the coronavirus pandemic. Thank you for joining us.

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

Exercise reminder!

The government's advice for us is that we can go outside and exercise once a day, but only in the company of those we live with... and keep our distance from others.

Boris Johnson's advice during his TV address was that this could include a walk, run or cycle, but not team or contact sports which break the social distancing rules.

Frinton Golf Club
Frinton Golf Club

Golf courses across England announced they would all close from today, as even rounds of golf could bring people too close together.

It was out of the frying pan and into the fire for Frinton Golf Club in Essex, which had only just reopened after recent flooding (pictured).