Isolation Inspiration & Information (Iso-Inspo-Info!)

Though folk are getting out a little more, and more businesses and workplaces have reopened, there are still those who may be staying home. Scroll down for ideas and suggestions of ways to support your own well-being, and that of your neighbours and your community, to help ward off loneliness and maintain social connections in a time of continued physical distancing.

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**We are a community organisation and not health professionals – your first port of call for all health questions and concerns should always be the NHS website.

World Health Organisation info post advertising their Whatsapp Covid-19 service

The World Health Organisation launched a messaging service on 20th March, with partners WhatsApp and Facebook, to help keep people safe from coronavirus. The messaging service will provide the latest news and information on coronavirus including details on symptoms and how people can protect themselves and others. More details can be found in the ‘information’ category below.

We encourage any Suffolk community group, local coffee morning, social club or sports club who have had to suspend their activities and meetings at this time to join the c-a-f-e (coffee and friends events) network, so that we can help to keep everyone connected and share ideas. This network is full of venues and groups who bring people together week in week out across Suffolk . Although c-a-f-e will function in a different capacity for the time being, hopefully when this situation passes your community will want to stay part of this network and use it to host some activities. There will certainly be a lot of reconnecting to celebrate!

For more information and to join please EMAIL US

At the Rural Coffee Caravan we know that isolation doesn’t have to mean loneliness. To ward off loneliness people of all ages need *connection*.

Over the past 17 years the Rural Coffee Caravan has created social spaces in rural places and we’ve seen connection and relationships grow from the smallest of kindness – when people spend time with their neighbours, help each other out and have fun (yes, FUN)! This creates belonging, purpose, love and other feelings essential for our individual and collective wellbeing.

Covid-19 might be a time of physical distancing but our human need for connection remains but we have to find creative ways of doing it safely. We think that loneliness is everyone’s business now more than ever.

So here are some ways to support your neighbours and communities and ward off loneliness in a time of physical distancing. We believe the best chance our communities have is to react collectively to the challenges we will face in the coming weeks and months.

Isolation Inspiration & Information

  • ‘Make, Do & Friends’ Project. Suffolk Artlink have launched a fantastic new blog site for their programme of creative social events for adults (55+) in rural Suffolk. As the artists can’t come to you, they’ll post a creative activity each week, inviting you to explore what your village is made of, do join in! image advertising Suffolk Artlink's Make, Do & Friends blog site showing photo of footpath tunnel of trees
  • Meet Me At The Museum. The Art Fund podcasts feature well-known faces taking someone they love to a favourite museum or gallery, to explore what’s on offer, have a chat about what they find, and generally muse on life. Listen to the musings of the likes of Anneka Rice, Miles Jupp, Lucy Porter, Lloyd Langford, Mawaan Rizwan, Kirsty Wark and Mel Giedroyc as they walk you around museums and galleries such as the Barbara Hepworth Museum, Osbourne House, The Mary Rose, The Tate Liverpool and the Freud Museum. meet me at the museum logo in turquoise and bright yellow
  • Harry Potter – A History of Magic Exhibition. Explore the wonders of the British Library exhibition alongside exclusive Q&As, insights into the artistry of the Harry Potter books, and explore the British Library’s weird and wonderful collection of magical historical facts and witchcraft and magic artefacts, with curator Julian Harrison. All on this Google Arts dedicated page: Harry Potter – A History of Magic. image promoting Harry Potter online exhibition from the British Library
  • Let’s Get Cultural and Creative web directory is a new online resource hosted by Suffolk Libraries with the content coordinated by Suffolk County Council and local arts partner organisations. It has been launched to make it easy for people to find quality online arts and culture experiences during the current lockdown. The directory includes a wide choice of links to local and national activities to enjoy. Help make Suffolk’s history by letting Ipswich Musuem record your experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic,  Join the Unscene Singers singing workshops, take a tour of the John Skelton exhibition at Snape, and much more!
  • Together in Isolation – Postcard Project. Babylon ARTS in Ely invites you to get creative and come together for their postcard project. The theme is ‘Together in Isolation’ and the invitation is to design or write a postcard for a future exhibition at Babylon Gallery and an online exhibition now.Your postcard could be inspired by your time in isolation, on how you feel, the thoughts, memories or ideas that you would like to capture, or what you’re looking forward to on the other side! There are two ways to get involved: by designing a postcard sized artwork or by submitting a written response on a postcard. Check out their website for further details. image of postcard promoting Babylon Arts isolation postcard project
  • photo of magazine beads from Red Ted Art Make thrifty, upcycled jewellery with this ‘Magazine Beads’ video tutorial from Red Ted Art. Originating in Africa where people make them for a living, they are fun, easy, frugal and colourful. There are more paper crafts and recycled crafts for children on the Red Ted Art website so take a look for more inspiration. 
  • Take part in a ‘Sketch a Day challenge or create an individual or family sketchbook journal of your isolation experience. The Brooklyn Art Library is home to over 41,000 sketchbooks from 130 countries. Over 25,000 of these have been scanned and can be viewed for free, and their Sketchbook Project invites you to participate and contribute your own sketchbook.
  • Visit a virtual museum or art gallery. The V&A, British Musuem, Guggenheim Musuem, National Gallery of Art Washington, The Louvre, Van Gogh Museum and more, all offer ways to access their collections online.
  • Learn to knit or crochet, or discover origami, or even learn a new language? If you have access to Youtube there are tutorials for practically everything! Learn a language with an app like Duolingo? Not sure how to access apps, ask a techy person to guide you over the phone. Once you’ve done it once it’s a breeze but beware of charges. There are many excellent free apps.
  • Watch a Play, Broadway or West End Musical Theatre Show, Opera, Ballet or Contemporary Dance from home.  ClassicFM  has an updating list of all the major Broadway, London West End and other shows being streamed online. With Broadway and London’s West End shows cancelled or postponed for the time being as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, fans of all-singing-all-dancing stage entertainment can now can get their musical theatre fix online via live streaming.  Other sources to check out live theatre events and recordings are National Theatre At Home, FilmedOnStage.com and BroadwayHD. You can also pre-order online Theatre performances from  The Original Theatre Company and Ballet, Contemporary Dance, Opera and Theatre are also available on demand from Marquee TV via subsrciption, but they have extended their FREE trial to 30 days in light of the world coronavirus pandemic. NB. Some of these online performances will be streamed free, and some require payment or subscription so always read the sign up details thoroughly and remember to cancel any free trial before it ends so as not to incur unwanted charges. If you can’t get out to see a show due to current world situations, then consider buying a ticket to an online performance, or a subscription to a theatre, as a way to support the arts through this difficult time.
  • The Royal Albert Hall has put together their Royal Albert Home series, presenting exclusive live streamed sessions from some of the world’s most talented artists, from their home to yours. Browse the free streaming programme of performances on their website, or search ‘Royal Albert Home’ on our Events Calendar . There are many more acts still to be announced – we’ll aim to add them to our calendar as they are listed. image poster advertising Royal Albert Home series showing interior of Royal Albert Hall with home icon superimposed
  • Gentle exercises to do at home. Community Action Suffolk’s initiative This Community Can and instructor Rachel have put together these gentle exercises which can be done at home in the comfort of your living room, to keep you fit for life. Standing and seated, and using water filled plastic milk cartons for weights – take part and enjoy! 3 screenshots from video of of instructor Rachel from This Community Can performing gentle exercises to do at home
  • Grow spring and summer vegetables and flowers for cutting, in your garden or in pots, such as cut and come again lettuces, and pop them outside your door with a ‘help yourself’ sign.
  • Dance Exercise Classes. Want to get moving at home? There are a variety of Live Dance Exercise Classes popping up online now. Our wonderful friends at DanceEast  have launched an online timetable of classes. These light dance exercises are great for raising morale, and reducing the negative effects of inactivity and inevitable boredom! There are classes for tots under 4 years, children, teens, over 16s and chair based exercises, spanning creative dance, ballet, contemporary, pilates and yoga. We’ve added the classes to our Rural Coffee Caravan Calendar of online events  – so why not take a look and incorporate them into your day? Follow the schedule to dance together online, or catch up via their YouTube Channel. Timetable of online dance classes from DanceEast - Home is where the dance is. If you’d like more of Strictly Come Dancing feel to your exercise, why not tune in and dance along with FitSteps – Ballroom and Latin dance fitness class devised by Strictly Come Dancing Professionals Ian Waite & Natalie Lowe & World Champion Swimmer Mark Foster. Or Strictly champion Oti Mabuse has a Youtube playlist of her previous online Dance Classes – each one with a different theme, so you can dance along when it suits you.
  • Lift your spirits with a bird table and hanging bird feeders in your garden. Friends/family/neighbours having to isolate? Keep their bird feed stocked. They are a great way to bring wildlife to your doorstep and a joy to watch if mobility can be an issue, particularly coming into spring with young fledglings about! The RSPB have activities to take part in such as RSPB Birdwatch and have online resources to help identify different birds.
  • Keep fit and active indoors even if the gym is closed or your walking or running group has had to suspend activities. If you have a Smart TV and Broadband you can access apps on there to practise a new daily exercise. How about a form of yoga that suits you? Try these home fitness workout videos from NHS Fitness Studio. Take your pick from 24 instructor-led videos across aerobics exercise, strength and resistance, and pilates and yoga categories.
  • Tips on staying calm during the coronavirus outbreak. Stress and anxiety can stop the immune system from working so well, meaning we are more susceptible to catching any bugs or viruses, so it is essential now to be doing as much as possible to release stress. By remaining calm, we are more able to respond to developing situations more objectively rather than getting lost in a spiral of panic, fear and catastrophising thoughts. Advance Hypnotherapy have useful tips and techniques you can practice at home.
  • Coping Calendar suggesting daily actions to look after ourselves as we face this global crisis together. Action for Happiness helps people take action for a happier and more caring world, their website offers ideas for taking care of ourselves and others. Action For Happiness July Calendar Their previous, 30 day coping calendar with more suggestions an be found here, and there are other useful resources on their website. Join their 10 Days of Happiness program and watch talks from inspiring speakers on their Youtube channel.
  • Identifying birdsong activity. Lev Parikian, conductor, writer (and self confessed atrocious birdwatcher) has created a beginners British birdsong compilation from a series of ‘Tweets’ he posted on his Twitter account feed. They can be found at Twitter Birdsong Project. See if you can recognise the birds heard in your own garden; listen and learn the various British bird calls; if you’re isolated with others in your house, maybe play a game by testing each-other. or simply enjoy the sounds of our British birds if you’re stuck indoors. The resource is free, but Lev invites you to ‘buy him a coffee’ if you enjoy the project!
  • How about writing a journal to record your experiences during the coronavirus outbreak? Day to day life for everyone has altered for a period of time; you could write down your observations of the differences you notice; the kindnesses you’ve been shown; your reflections during isolation; the things you are most looking forward to once life returns to normal again. There are some great ones available to buy online, or just use a notebook or sketchbook to write, draw & collage in, to make your own.
  • Another idea is to treat yourself to a seasonal Almanac. Charting nature as the months change, following the sea, moon cycles, sky at night, flowers & plants and fruit & vegetables – with seasonal recipes, folklore and natural history. Image of front cover of Lia Leendertz's 2020 Illustrated Almanac
  • Join the Self Isolating Bird Club. A virtual space on Facebook for birdwatchers and enthusiasts alike to share their pictures and videos of wildlife across the world during the COVID-19 crisis. “Reconnecting with nature is important during this time & we should encourage relatives and friends whilst self-isolating to spend some time engaging with the natural world, whether it be from their window, or in their garden”.
  • Guidance on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus (Covid-19).  Gov.UK have produced documents offering guidance for the public on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus, and an easy to read guide to looking after your feelings and your body throughout the pandemic. Suffolk County Council are posting regular ‘Coronavirus in Suffolk’ updates on their Twitter page, on the latest Government guidance as it is released, and other news and guidance which affects our county.
  • For older people who might not be online. Not all older people have access to  digital resources. Manchester University‘s Keeping Well At Home booklet offers information and advice on physical and mental wellbeing during Covid 19. Share, download & print for those who cannot. Manchester University Keeping Well at Home booklet
  • Health and Happiness. We can take a look at what makes us happy and how we can promote happiness in ourselves and others. Action for Happiness suggests this article with top tips from positive psychology expert, Vanessa King. Article advising top tips for health and happiness by Vanessa King
  • J.K Rowling’s The Ickabog. Published for free on The Ickabog website and released in instalments, a few chapters at a time, the new children’s story from J.K Rowling isn’t Harry Potter, and doesn’t include magic! Visit the website to read already published chapters and catch the latest ones as they are released. To add to the excitement, Rowling is asking that children reading the story illustrate it for her! Every day, she’ll be making suggestions for what you might like to draw & you can enter the official competition for the chance to have your artwork included in a printed version of the book due out later this year. More info on The Ickabog Facebook Page and upload your artwork to Twitter using #TheIckabog so that J.K Rowling can see it! The Ickabog title. by J.K. Rowling
  • Family support resource pack from Suffolk Parent Careers Network. This regularly updated support pack will have advice on how to talk to children and young people about coronavirus as well as strategies to support their mental health and emotional wellbeing. There’s also an information pack with links to education, health and care services intended as a trusted source of information for parents and carers about Covid-19 (Coronavirus). The ‘packs’ are in PDF format so can be downloaded to your device, but printed copies can be requested.
  • Talking to your child about coronovirus. Children look to adults in their life for comfort when they are distressed, and will take a lead on how to view things from you. Remember, you don’t have to have all the answers, but it is better to have a gentle conversation to reassure your child that they can talk to you so they don’t feel like they’re on their own. YoungMinds.org.uk have some conversation starter suggestions and tips on how to contain any fears of anxieties your child may have about coronavirus. They have an A-Z Parents Guide to Support on their website, and a Parents Helpine if you need to chat to someone. More info and posts on their Facebook Page. poster from YoundMinds.org.uk with conversation starter suggestions on how to talk to children about coronavirus
  • Homeschooling without the stress. Happiful (as recommended by Wellbeing Norfolk and Suffolk) have compiled advice by leading experts on ways to keep children engaged and educated through fun, day-to-day activities, that will relieve some of the pressure during this difficult time. Also available is Starline, a Government backed helpline open 6 days a week, and website, providing home learning advice direct from qualified teachers and parenting and education experts image showing children engaged in board game with Happiful logo above and Starline logo below
  • Listen to a free audio story every day at 11am from one of David Walliams’ World’s Worst Children stories. Sit down, take a break, and enjoy 20ish minutes of pure fun!
  • The Scouts Association has pulled together some inspired indoor activity ideas. Whilst they normally love the great outdoors they are experts in developing skills and bringing adventure to young people, so offer these suggestions to keep your kids learning new skills and having fun (and avoid hearing ‘I’m bored’ every 30 seconds) all in #TheGreatIndoors. digital poster of illustration of childrens play/activity items to advertise the UK Scout Association's Great Indoors promotion
  • Maths and movement, educational play idea (from Suffolk residents Katie & Evie). When the sun is shining – why work indoors when you can play out in the garden! You just need chalk, a patio/path and an old bottle out of your recycling bin. A ketchup one or a shower gel one has a satisfying squirt!  The rules are simple, write numbers on the ground in chalk (right and wrong answers), give them the equation and they have to work it out, find and squirt the right answer away with water. Lots of fun, so much so that they ask for more questions! You’re also incorporating physical movement and building up the muscles in the hand by squeezing the bottle. Extend it and used it for literacy too, finding and squirting adjectives and nouns. Grab a bottle and go have some fun! four images of child playing outdoor maths game with squirty water bottle and chalked numbers on the ground
  • Home Butterfly Farm Kit. Schooling at home? Here’s a great project to span a few weeks! Why not nurture some caterpillars and watch them grow into butterflies before letting them go, with this kit from Insect Lore ? photo of Insect Lore Butterfly Garden kit showing box and contents
  • Listening Books, is a small audiobook charity. It offers its Sound Learning library of audiobooks, supporting the National Curriculum from Key Stage 2 to A-Level, providing set texts and study guides. They also have a Downloadable audiobook library,  ideal for those who might struggle to read or hold a book due to illness, disability, learning or mental health difficulty, and a selection of Read-a-long titles for younger members: picture based e-books that appear with the audio narration, so younger members can follow the text as the story is read.

     

  • 10 ways to regrow food in water! A great free activity for children, or a useful way to stretch the grocery budget! Don’t waste the crumbs has tips and advice on how to regrow foods such as celery, leeks, carrot greens, cabbage, lettuce & green onions. photo showing 3 stages of a lettuce regrowing from scraps, from Don't Waste The Crumbs.com
  • A FREE digital book explaining the coronavirus, for primary school aged children, illustrated by Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler. The book can be read online or printed out, and explains all about the coronavirus and the measures taken to control it. Published by Nosy Crow, and written by staff within the company, the book has had expert input: Professor Graham Medley of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine acted as a consultant, and the company also had advice from two head teachers and a child psychologist. The book answers key questions in simple language appropriate for 5 to 9 year olds. Front cover image of 'Coronavirus, A book for children' illustrated by Axel Scheffler
  • Budding songwriters in the house? The Golden Toad Theatre Company have announced a songwriting contest for children aged 11 and under. All entry details can be found on their website and the closing date for entries is 1st June 2020. They also offer a new children’s activity every Tuesday at 10am in their Busy Kids Corner section of the website, ideas provided by artists, parents, crafters and theatre practitioners from around the world. poster advertising Golden Toad Theatre's songwriting competition for under 11s
  • Set a 30 day Lego Challenge! Just two rules: use your imagination, and HAVE FUN! image listing 30 days worth of lego building ideas
  • Children’s short story writing competition. Deadline for entries 31st May 2020. Prizes to be won! Organised by Newmarket Library with categories for 5-8 year olds and 9-12 year olds. poster advertising a children's writing competition from Newmarket Library, with text on mock notebook page over stripey rainbow coloured background
  • 60 Daily Kindness Tasks. Students from Whitefield School, in Barnet, North West London have been enjoying engaging with these daily tasks by Cre8tiveResources, (who offer free teaching resources to students all over the world) to show that #KindnessMatters as part of #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek. It’s as important to show kindness to ourselves as well as to others, and to look after our own wellbeing too. You could try these at home yourselves. chart of 30 daily kindness tasks to practise from Cre8tive Resourceschart of 30 daily kindness tasks to practise from Cre8tive Resources
  • Take a Virtual Train Ride on one of 13 railways around the world! Travel+Leisure.com have compiled links to ‘drivers cab view’ train journeys through beautiful scenic views from countries including Japan, Norway, Switzerland, Montenegro, Peru, Bosnia, the U.S, England and Wales (you can even pass through the Welsh railway station of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch!) Image showing 3 photo snapshots from different train journeys around the world. Images of red train passing stone aquaduct, an image of a tran track passing through a sky scrapers, and a track heading toward a European mountain range.
  • Explore the sights and natural sounds of Japan with Rambalac‘s tranquil walking footage. From bamboo groves in Kyoto, to Kusatsu’s hot water streams or views of Mount Fuji. If you feel like ‘being amongst more people’ then how about the bustling streets of Tokyo or a walk through the backstreets of Japan in the rain? With some virtual walks around an hour long, it’s a calming and meditative way to ‘transport’ yourself whilst stuck at home. Almost like being there! 4 snapshots from Rambalac's virtual walking footage of Japan: bamboo groves in Kyoto, view of Mount Fuji, Kusatsu's hot wter streams and Tokyo street at night
  • Watch a ‘Live WebCam’ streaming somewhere in the world. Discover, explore or connect with places across the globe from the comfort of your sofa: Times Square in New York or the Panda-Cam at Edinburgh Zoo, or multiple animal-cams at San Diego Zoo. EarthCam.com is a site offering multiple webcam views of harbours, public gardens, city streets, skylines and sky cams. grid of nine animal photos representing San Diego zoo animal cams,showing baboons, penguins, panda, polar bear, apes, koala, giraffes, butterfly & elephant
  • Take a virtual tour of beautiful Suffolk. On the new Bury and Beyond YouTube page, there are lots of fabulous videos of the lovely town, the surrounding area as well as mentions of things to do in the area. Fun to watch during lockdown and to help plan outings for later in the year (hopefully!) collage of photos of from films on the Bury & Beyond Youtube channel
  • Take a Yeoman Warder Tour of the Tower of London. Unable to visit our capital’s attractions just yet – let YW Scott Kelly walk you around this historical treasure and share some gruesome facts about the Bloody Tower, Traitor’s Gate and some of the famous and infamous inhabitants of its dungeons and chambers. screenshots of film from Yeoman Warder tour of the Tower of London from showing YW Scott Kelly and tower features
  • Spread a little kindness by displaying a ‘Community Kindness’ Poster. Jack Arts, in partnership with sister agencies Jack and Diabolical, have created a ‘Community is Kindness’ poster campaign which they have rolled out across 10 UK cities. They have made the artwork downloadable so that it can be printed out at home and displayed in any window! Click on the images for the link to the PDF file of the posters. If you would like to make a donation, they would love for you to support their charity partner End Youth Homelessness. For many, self-isolation can mean a time of discomfort, but for Britain’s homeless young people, it can mean much worse. Please make your donation to their COVID-19 appeal here. Jack Arts Community is Kindness posters in 4 versions in red and pink colouring with wording: Community is Kindness. Be Kind, Let's Look Out For One Another
  • Backyard Buddies. Why not suggest this to folk in your community? If neighbours are able to lower their hedges or remove part of their fence panelling to open a ‘window’ to chat to a neighbour through, then it’s a great way to keep people socially connected. Remember the 6ft / 2 metre distancing rule of course! Please encourage people to share their photos of this to Rural Coffee Caravan Cascade of Kindness Facebook or RCC Twitter pages and let’s get a gallery of #friendshipnotfences together! Don’t forget to tag #backyardbuddies when sharing your photos! The full stories behind these photos can be found at EADT & Ipswich Star. collection of 5 images showing #backyard buddies - people who have removed fence panels to give neighbours social access to each other during the lockdown, with text explaining each situation
  • Frontyard Pen Pals. When out for your walk, post messages to your neighbours by hanging them on a tree or shrub in their garden. Use it as an introduction if you don’t know them. It’s fun but also a useful way of giving folk a reason to go outside and interact. We are already hearing some people say their confidence is diminishing. They could post messages back and it’s something that children could do. Maybe use a jar with wire so that you can hang and even post little gifts in! Definitely an idea to play with… photo showing labels with messages of kindness written on them and hung in a bush or tree
  • Paint a rock or pebble with kind words to leave on a neighbours doorstep. A lovely way to connect with your neighbours and spread a bit of cheer to folk, particularly those who may be isolating on their own, giving them a reason to pop outside and interact. Here’s some examples from The Kindness Rocks Project. Paint your own ideas or look at the Kindness Rocks Facebook page if you need some tips and inspiration. There are other Kindness resources and free downloads on their website. image showing three photos of painted rocks each with a positive message hand painted onto them: plant smiles, grow laughter, harvest love; we are all in this together; stay positive
  • Need a chat? About anything and nothing in particular? Chit-Chat Britain is a new non-profit organisation, born out of the pandemic but here to stay; harnessing the help of volunteers to offer ‘a conversation for everyone.’ Their mission is to connect the nation through conversation fostering a welcoming, inclusive, and non-judgmental environment, which directly tackles loneliness and isolation, whilst promoting positive mental health. The chit-chat LINE is 0333 002 0333, and is open daily from 9am till 9pm. It is a place for anyone of any gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion to come together and chat with friendly volunteers. A recent poll found that 69% of British adults feel happier and more relieved after having a conversation, so we encourage anyone to grab a brew and give them a call! Chit Chat logo and helpline number
  • Home But Not Alone. On 24th March Suffolk County Council and its partners launched a new app and helpline to support Suffolk people. The ‘Home But Not Alone’ campaign aims to connect people and groups who want to volunteer in their communities with neighbours who are most in need. All details and offers of support can be logged and matched using a new app, Tribe Volunteer, and the freephone helpline 0800 876 6926 will be staffed from 9am to 5pm, seven days a week.. Click here for more information. Home But Not Alone Covid Ttribe Volunteer helpline phone number advert
  • Join a CovidAidUK group. This amazing volunteer run network has a really useful step by step guide to help people start getting organised street-by-street as well as links to local groups which are being added to every hour. More resources and information on their website and Twitter page. Covid19 Mutual Aid UK logo
  • Coordinate a phone tree which includes a handful of your neighbours. These are a useful way of passing messages around small social networks but could be vital social contact for those stuck at home in the weeks ahead. A 10 minute check in or friendly chat can make all the difference to help people feel less isolated. There are instructions online how to set these up, like this. Illustration of an example of a phone tree
  • Connect with a friend or neighbour via a cuppa! We’ve created four new free card kit designs for you to print, make and share. It’s a great way to post a ‘hello’ or an introduction through a neighbour’s door, or send a kind thought to a friend you’re unable to spend time in person with at the moment. Just download the PDF file to your device (link below), print out your chosen designs and cut and assemble. Then pop a tea bag or coffee sachet into the cup ‘pocket’ and post or deliver to a friend, neighbour or loved one so you can ‘share’ a cuppa til you’re next able to get together. Share your cards to the Rural Coffee Caravan Cascade of Kindness Facebook page, where you can also find the free printable PDF pack in the ‘files’ section. image showing three greetings card designs of teacups with tea/brew related greetings for Rural Coffee Caravan Cascade of Kindness initiative Rural Coffee Caravan ‘Cuppa For a Friend’ – card kit pack 
  • Identify people’s communications needs and help those who aren’t digitally savvy get more confident: If you have neighbours who aren’t as digitally savvy as you but do have devices, help get them set up with video conferencing and help them to become more confident. You could even try and do this over a landline phone in order to keep a safe distance. Where people don’t have a device, a phone tree or similar tool could be used to communicate via landline.
  • Find creative ways to just have a chat: Whether it’s on the phone, down Skype, through FaceTime, having a Zoom call or through a window at a safe distance – we know the power of just having a chat.
  • Go old fashioned – write a letter!: Try writing letters sending handmade cards to people who are isolated. It’s a wonderful way to send cheer and keep in touch. Royal Mail have a section updating people about their services amidst the coronavirus outbreak. Royal Mail digital poster advising that they are still delivering despite unprecedented circumstances, Image shows post van driving on a road between a rocky landscape with a sea view in the background.
  • Get social: Look out for fun ways to get together with other people and do things, you could even start something yourself. It could be as simple as starting a book club with a handful of neighbours which meets online or over the phone (there are free online resources available: Project Gutenberg has a library of over 60,000 free eBooks, or Audible offers a free 30 day trial for audiobooks), join a singing group or take exercise classes online that are being organised for free.
  • Have you thought about volunteering? You may be stuck at home but you can still be useful. Could you possibly be a telephone befriender for example? If you are a community group helping local people you can register this with Community Action Suffolk to that they can signpost people to you. You could also help support the NHS. Members of the public can sign up quickly and easily at goodsamapp.org/NHS to become NHS Volunteer Responders, and can be called on to do simple but vital tasks such as:
    • delivering medicines from pharmacies;
    • driving patients to appointments;
    • bringing them home from hospital;
    • or making regular phone calls to check on people isolating at home.
    More information at NHS England.
  • Look out for people sitting in a window and smile & wave. Lots of older people like to sit by their window and watch the world go by. That connection will be so important for so many. You may even start a friendship in spite of the physical distance. Image of an older lady sitting looking out of a window
  • Share your WiFi during the coronavirus lockdown. TinsleyNET points out that as libraries and community hubs have been closed as part of the government’s attempts to manage the Covid-19 virus pandemic, some users who relied on their free internet access may have found themselves cut off from the internet. If you have elderly neighbours or neighbours who don’t have access to internet services, you could help them during the period of self isolation or social distancing, by sharing your guest access internet connection with them. Using the guest network segregates their devices from your own WiFi meaning there’s not chance of computer viruses crossing over from one side to the other. Follow the link above for more info. If you need help setting up your Guest WiFi they have a FREE IT Support Page.
  • Free DAB digital Radio for over 70s. From Monday 30 March, the charity WaveLength, along with Argos, Currys PC World, John Lewis & Partners, Pure and Roberts Radio, are coming together with BBC Local Radio’s Make a Difference initiative, to provide radios to the most vulnerable over 70s. They invite people to nominate someone for a free radio by completing an online application form. WaveLength was founded in 1939 to fight loneliness. As the oldest loneliness and technology charity, they give radios, televisions, and tablet computers to those most in need. image of a DAB Radio
  • Age UK ‘Good Day’ Telephone Call Befriending Service – provides a daily call for older people, to have a chat and check on their welfare. Over time, they create over the phone friendships, chatting about the day and the world, and being there to give support and to arrange assistance if needed. This is a subscription service, but could offer peace of min and reassurance to families of older relatives. There’s more information on the Age UK website or you can download the PDF here. You can sign yourself up, or refer someone for the service, with their consent. Graphic with image orange telephone on purple background advertising Age Uk's Good Day telephone befriending service.
  • Give your video calls a makeover using a BBC TV set background! Chosen from a selection of over 100 empty sets from the BBC Archive, “who hasn’t wanted to host a pub quiz from the Queen Vic, conduct a job interview from the confines of Fletch’s cell, or catch up with friends and family from the bridge of the Liberator in Blake’s 7?” Strictly Come Dancing, Top of the Pops, Dad’s Army, Eastenders, Doctor Who, Match of the Day, Blue Peter – there are loads to choose from!

    4 images from the BBC set backgrounds archives: weather report, Strictlly Come Dancing, Match of the Day and Hancock's half hour, with BBC logo overlapping centre
  • Beware of SCAMS and SCAMMERS taking advantage of people during the crisis. The National Trading Standards website has a section warning people of the current Covid-19 Scams which are circulating. Visit the site for more information on scams which include doorstep criminals offering to do shopping, online email and fake resource scams, refund scams, counterfeit goods, telephone scams, donation scams and illegal money lenders. National Trading Standards postcard advertising warnings of covid-19 scams If you receive a phone call from someone purporting to be from your bank or similar, advising that you can have a holiday period from your mortgage, or credit cards, or loan, and asking for all of your details to check this for you DO NOT GIVE OUT your details in this way. Always contact your bank, lender or mortgage provider directly on the trusted numbers or email addresses you have for them, if you need to confirm your current situation.
  • Message from Inspector Becky Kidd-Stanton of the Neighbourhood Partnership Team at Suffolk Police: “We are aware of the wider impact of the Coronavirus on our communities. From a policing perspective, please be assured that our role remains the same. Our police officers and police staff will continue to protect the public, investigate crime and bring offenders to justice. Our control room staff will continue to assess every incident reported to the police and will deploy our resources accordingly. As you would expect, priority will be given to incidents where the public are at imminent risk of harm. We would like to reassure the community that we will continue to have measures in place to ensure we protect the most vulnerable people in our community. Like other organisations, we are experiencing increased demand on our services. We would encourage the public to use online reporting wherever possible for non-urgent reports.  If this is not possible, please use 101. However, if an incident is taking place at the time this should be reported immediately on 999. Although our community engagement officers are not currently able to carry out their normal role with face to face public engagements, they will still be undertaking their work on the telephone and on social media. [They can be contacted here.]  Our Diverse communities coordinator, Ginny Shoesmith is also still available for you to contact. Lastly, I would  like to take this opportunity to share a useful government  document with you.  We are aware that some people are having to stay at home and self-isolate. This document contains some  important information about how to stay safe whilst accepting help from others.” HMGOV Stay Safe information Poster
  • WARNING over Covid-19 home testing scams. The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) is warning the public not to open their doors to bogus healthcare workers claiming to be offering ‘home-testing’ for the COVID-19 Coronavirus. Suspicious callers are said to have been knocking on doors of elderly and vulnerable residents in various parts of the UK, saying that they are health officials doing door-to-door testing. The CTSI’s message is “not to open the door to anyone you don’t know or anyone calling ‘out of the blue’.” Coronavirus related fraud reports have increased 400% in March. Visit Action Fraud for information & advice on dealing with the latest scams, and to report one you have experienced or witnessed.
  • If you receive a cosmetically correct text or email which you think might be a scam, a place to check these out is fullfact.org. It is the UK’s independent fact checking charity and they have added a coronavirus section. People are currently receiving texts purporting to be from GOV.UK with the promise of a Covid-19 Relief payment which goes on to harvest personal data. Never engage with suspicious texts or emails. Never hand over your personal information to someone contacting you by phone or text or email in this way. Always approach the organisation/company/business the message purports to be from by contacting them yourself via their official contact number. screengrab image of scam text purporting to be from gov.uk
  • Another scam is a text like this appearing to be from HMRC informing people of a supposed ‘goodwill payment of £258. DO NOT click the link if you receive it and please warn those in your life who may be susceptible. ALWAYS be suspicious when receiving such texts or emails and if need be contact the organisation the message purports to be from directly, using their official contact details. image of a mobile phone screen displaying a scam text
  • The World Health Organisation has launched a messaging service with partners WhatsApp and Facebook to keep people safe from coronavirus. This easy-to-use messaging service has the potential to reach 2 billion people and enables WHO to get information directly into the hands of the people that need it. From government leaders to health workers and family and friends, this messaging service will provide the latest news and information on coronavirus including details on symptoms and how people can protect themselves and others. It also provides the latest situation reports and numbers in real time to help government decision-makers protect the health of their populations. The service can be accessed through a link that opens a conversation on WhatsApp. Users can simply type “hi” to activate the conversation, prompting a menu of options that can help answer their questions about COVID-19. World Health Organisation info post advertising their Whatsapp Covid-19 service
  • Suffolk Refugee Support are offering a telephone service on 01473 400785 on a Monday, Tuesday and Friday 9.30am – 4.30pm (their normal drop in hours) for Refugees and Asylum seekers. Clients will be asked to provide their name, number and a reason for calling and then a designated member of the advice team will call them back. They are also regularly calling those clients believed to be most vulnerable and they are thinking and working towards remote ways to continue to engage those clients who had been attending the groups.
  • Get to know neighbours’ names: Post notes through neighbours’ doors (here’s a sample postcard you could use) and get to know one another’s names where you don’t already. If you are in a village we visit and would like to offer an extra layer of trust, you could use our Rural Coffee Caravan template for this. Email us and we’ll send you the file. Relationships move at the speed of trust so it might take a while to build rapport particularly in disconnected communities. Keep going!
  • Self Isolation posters which could be useful to display to potential visitors & couriers of how exposure to Covid-19 could be detrimental to your health, and advising where to leave deliveries at your property. Chronically Awesome Tribe have produced a set of free downloads via their website/Facebook page, or those without printing facilities can buy the posters online.
  • Coronavirus: how to clean your home effectively. Get tips from Which? on what to focus on when cleaning, what cleaning products are effective, and why you don’t need to splurge on specialist antibacterial products. Channel 4’s ‘How Clean Is Your House?’ programme put out a coronavirus edition on 9th April which can be watched on demand, showing how the virus uses its behaviour to get into our homes, and what action we can take to help prevent it. photo of blue, surgical gloved hand holding a door handle with a cleaning wipe
  • Suggest or co-ordinate a paper ‘traffic light’ system to vulnerable, isolated neighbours. They can display a green piece of paper in the window to let people know that they are ok, or a red piece to express the need for assistance with shopping, medication or anything else. It would be a good idea to ask them to put a second piece of paper which displays the date or day of the week next to the coloured one. This would help ensure that people know that the colour code is current for that day, to guard against situations where the neighbour has been unable to change the paper from green to red for reasons such as becoming unwell or immobile, and so that it doesn’t appear that help is not needed when it actually might be. image showing window with green piece of paper displayed in it
  • Suffolk Coalition Of Disabled People are offering a telephone contact service – for people who are disabled, carers or anyone in isolation that wants someone to chat to.  They can be contacted on: 07718 563751  enquiries@scodp.org.uk or via their website. They’ll able to call people back if they a name and telephone number – they do not need other details. They are also happy to accept referrals if they have the permission to pass on the above details. They are available Monday – Saturday 8 am – 8pm
  • Concerns about your Energy Supply & Pre-Payment Energy Meters during the pandemic: Important News for people with Pre-Payment Meters who are concerned they may not be able to add credit during the coronavirus pandemic can be found on the GOV.UK website: (link to the article here). New emergency measures with the energy industry have been agreed by the government to protect the domestic energy supply of those most in need during the disruption caused by COVID-19. Customers with pre-payment meters who may not be able to add credit can speak to their supplier about options to keep them supplied. Ofgem‘s Coronavirus (COVID-19) and your energy supply page also has advice on managing your energy supply during the outbreak, including what to do
    • if you have an energy problem (e.g. power cut, gas leak or energy meter problem)
    • if a supplier or network company needs to access your property and you are self-isolating
    • if you are struggling to pay your bills
    • regarding approaching your supplier about pre-payment concerns.
  • Window Displays are a great idea to send a message of cheer to anyone on their daily exercise in fresh air. Some are placing teddy bears in windows to create a ‘bear hunt’. Perhaps your volunteers community group can co-ordinate a neighbourhood one? Neighbours could place displays based on a theme in their windows on certain days, and then parents with children on a walk could see how many they can find. On St Patrick’s Day a  Shamrock Trail was organised in Ottawa. There are also messages of positivity and support going up in windows and on fences, many thanking the NHS, so why not add your own to cheer someone up?
    collage of photos showing paintings of rainbows placed in windows and on fences

    Paintings of Rainbows in windows and on fences to raise a smile and show support. This fence painting found in Kesgrave Community Group, photo by Jennifer Pearson.

  • Get young ones involved in RSPB Giving Nature a Home. Badges can be earned by completing an activity from 6 different categories. Some activities may only take an hour, but they all add up to make a big difference. You could be helping the RSPB to collect important data, or even end up being the warden of your own mini reserve.
  • A calendar of daily creative distractions for the month of April. The Cares Family have compiled this printable one  and we’ve added each of them to our calendar to invite you to take part. Tick your ‘daily distraction’ off the list, share it to @TheCaresFamily Twitter account and please consider donating to this wonderful charity to support their Covid-19 emergency response. They are also working to help older people stay in touch during this disconnecting time. You can find the printable checklist for the month in our Isolation Inspiration and Information  section.
  • 5 ways to connect to nature… Mayfields Nurseries have put together some ways to help your wellbeing journeys through horticulture and nature at home. Mayfields Nurseries is a plant nursery, social enterprise & part of @SolentMind providing horticultural therapy & a supportive community for people with mental health problems.info graphic from Mayfields Nurseries illustrating 5 ways to connect to nature with suggestions of ways to bring the outside in, ways to use indoor plants, creative ideas, urban gardening and outdoor mindfulness.
  • Indoor or Outdoor Scavenger Hunt. It’s wonderful in this time of separation that our communities are doing so much sharing, to try to keep everyone connected, and to help people they may not have met, who are dealing with the same circumstances. This idea was shared to a local community Facebook page, by a parent who’s teacher had offered it as an activity to their pupils. #passiton ! image showing list of items to find for an indoor and an outdoor scavenger hunt
  • Musical Guide for People with Dementia and their Carers. Music for Dementia have created an inspirational Musical Guide for making the most of music’s powerful ability to connect people during COVID-19. The guide offers creative tips and activities to help everyone in isolation, using music as a unifying language. Developed for people living with dementia and their carers, the guide can be used by anyone to bring the uplifting benefit of music into the home. Visit their website for more info or download the guide here – Musical Guide for people with dementia and  their carers during Covid-19 Music for Dementia logo with turqupise and nay blue text and image of outline of head profile view with overlaid music notes
  • Every day at 5.30pm Gareth Malone’s Great British Home Chorus plans to bring together both amateur and professional performers around the country.  The Great British Home Chorus aims to give everyone the opportunity to contribute their voices and instruments to an ambiguous digital music project, conceived in the light of many closures to communal rehearsal spaces nationwide. Tune in via the Youtube Channel and be a part of it! colourful illustration of musical instruments on a blue background to advertise Gareth Malone's Great British Home Chorus
  • Free resources for writers. The National Writing Centre offers free online writing courses and resources, for beginners to the more experienced writers. Established authors offer top tips on character, plot and structure, alongside practical advice on productivity and self publishing .Writing can be a solitary activity but that doesn’t mean you’re on your own! These free guides, podcasts and interviews provide a wealth of advice, techniques and tips for being a more productive writer.” New items are added every month. image from webpage of National Centre for writing showing collaged resource pack examples
  • Is this the perfect time to study something new? The Open University has a whole host of FREE online courses to choose from!
  • Under 18s can enrol for FREE on the British Sign Language course at BritishSign.co.uk at the moment, during the coronavirus crisis, saving £25 per student. Why not help your under 18s learn a skill/language that wouldn’t normally be on the curriculum at school? facebook post showing british sign language course fee removal during covid-19
  • 10 University Art Classes You Can Take for Free Online. Interested in mastering a new, hands-on creative skill? You can learn to draw your own comics or capture artful digital photographs. Wish you could brush up on Art History 101? There are courses exploring the art and archaeology of ancient Egypt and the development of the artistic avant-garde. In this article, the team at Artsy have rounded up 10 of their favorite art and design classes offered by colleges and universities across the globe.

Suffolk Day was 21st June this year, and there were a whole host of ways to celebrate our county and our wonderful local communities across the weekend. Though the weekend has passed, we’ll leave the links below for you to browse, in case they are still of interest.

banner with logos promoting Suffolk Day, Rural Coffee Caravan Front Garden Galleries, Make Music Day, Suffolk Artlink Cando poems and Father's Day ,

  • Suffolk Day logo Suffolk day activity placemat and bunting template What is Suffolk Day? Suffolk Day is the annual celebration of all things Suffolk, and everything the county has to offer. Suffolk Day may be celebrated differently this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. however, we can still honour our fantastic county and the people and communities who make Suffolk what it is. Share how you are celebrating Suffolk Day this year on social media using #suffolkday. There are resources and ways to get in touch on the Suffolk Day website.
  • collage of images of outdoor artworks to promote Front Garden Galleries for Suffolk Day Front Garden Galleries. Suffolk is a wonderfully creative county, and working with our colleagues at Suffolk Artlink, we’re encouraging communities to celebrate #SuffolkDay by sharing their creativity on their doorsteps! Let’s turn our streets in Front Garden Galleries by displaying homemade artworks in our front gardens, or hung on garden gates or in windows – from paintings & ‘painted things’, to sculptures made from household objects, to lego or clay models, to photographs, pavement art or tree hangings. Invite your neighbours to take part and then everyone can tour your street exhibition on Suffolk Day. It would be a great end to this week’s Loneliness Awareness Week, to have a socially distanced chat with neighbours about the garden artworks on display. We’d love to see all your creative efforts so please share them to our Heart of Our Community Facebook page or to Twitter using the hashtags #SuffolkDay #FrontGardenGalleries
  • photo of Suffolk Punch Horses by Sarah Lucy Brown, for East Anglian Daily Times The Big Suffolk Quiz. How well do you think you know Suffolk? Pit your wits against those of your friends and family with this 50 question quiz from the East Anglian Daily Times! If you complete this one and are still thirsty for more, here’s a bonus 10 from Fun Trivia!
  • photo of Mount Pleasant Farm. National Trust. Justin Minns. map of Dunwich Heath and Mount Pleasant Farm Suffolk showing National Trust walking route Walking in Suffolk. Now that we are able to venture a little further to exercise there are some stunning walks around our county to enjoy. The National Trust offers downloadable maps on their website to explore Suffolk on foot and discover the picturesque villages and coastlines which make this county so special. There are also some suggestions for walking ‘the prettiest streets to explore’ in Suffolk from Suffolk Magazine.
  • Suffolk Wildlife Trust logo and graphics showing a variety of actions to take to encourage wildlife and nature in your home environment Bringing Suffolk’s wildlife and nature into your own environment. Take a moment to celebrate our county’s richness of nature and wildlife this Suffolk Day and participate in some fun projects to help encourage and preserve nature in your own home/garden and take better care of our environment. Suffolk Wildlife Trust have a heap of ideas and practical guides to help you – from attracting moths and bats, to making your garden a chemical free zone, to building a hibernaculum for amphibians and reptiles, to planting a ‘nectar cafe’ for pollinators!
  • digital poster to advertise Suffolk Wildlife Trust's first Big Wild Weekend festival Take part in the Big Wild Weekend festival from The Wildlife Trusts. Enjoy all the fun of a summer festival experience at home with The Wildlife Trusts’ first virtual Big Wild Weekend from Friday 19 – Sunday 21 June. Tune in to their website for a wild evening of music, summer solstice camp-out and a big wild quiz!
  • RUM OWD DEW logo A loight haarted look at th’ Suffolk dialect. That is to say, Rum Owd Dew takes a light-hearted look at the dialect, the culture and the humour of the Suffolk people. With accompanying stories and archive photos from farmers and fisherfolk, you can learn the top 10 Suffolk phrases and the differences between Suffolk & Norfolk dialects. So: “Dew yew wanna laarn more bowt Suff’k?”
  • Make Music Day logo orange Make Music Day is a global DIY festival encouraging people to organise events and share music with their communities. Everyone can take part as long as performances and events happen on 21st June and they’re free to the public. Take part in Make Music Day events from virtual choirs and making instruments from your recycling, to a Bring Me Sunshine cover version competition and more! There’s lots of ideas and inspiration on the website, and all the music being made across the country on 21st June can be watched via their specially curated stream – Make Music Day UK Live! Are there any musicians in your community? Could you combine a Suffolk Day and Make Music Day celebration by arranging a group of ‘Wandering Musical Minstrels’ to take a mobile performance around the streets of your town or village? Get in touch with us, we’d love to hear about it!
  • collage of examples of creatively displayed Suffolk Cando poems Suffolk Cando Poems. With our colleagues at Suffolk Artlink, we’re encouraging communities to celebrate #SuffolkDay by sharing their creativity on their doorsteps, and one of the ways people can do this is with a Suffolk Cando! A ‘Cando’ is the Suffolk version of a limerick or Haiku, and a way to celebrate something, perhaps a little quirky and overlooked, about our county. It usually has four lines and it can rhyme here and there, if you want. One line is usually a question and thas roight nice if you get a bit of Suffolk in, y’know talk proper. There’s inspiration and ideas on Suffolk Artlink’s Make, Do & Friends Blog site, and why not combine your Cando with a creative display in your front garden, to share it with your neighbourhood as part of your Front Garden Galleries exhibition? Don’t forget to share your ‘Cando’ to the blog, and also to our Heart of Our Community Facebook page or to Twitter using the hashtags #SuffolkDay #SuffolkCando #FrontGardenGalleries. Dunt yew wurry, any ol’one ‘cando’ it!
  • screenshot of video accompanying A Million Acres, the Suffolk Song The Suffolk Song – A Million Acres. Featuring over 1000 Suffolk people it was written to celebrate the wonderful county of Suffolk and released on 21st May 2018. You can listen to the song via their YouTube channel, and if you’d like to perform your own rendition, you can download the sheet music and backing tracks via the links on their Facebook Page or via WendyHouse Music
  • photo of hands making pastry dough Suffolk Recipes. Visit Bury St Edmunds blog has some great resources and ideas for celebrating Suffolk Day. One of these is a recipe for God’s Kitchel – an 11th century East Anglian sweet treat consisting of dried fruit and pastry which may have begun life in Bury St Edmunds! Discover more about the history of this 11th century pastry treat on their page and why not make it at home yourself? Chefs at Bury’s ICE Cafe, Cook School & Development Kitchen, have created their version of kitchel just for Suffolk Day and share the recipe on the blog. You could post photos of your homemade kitchel on social media using the hashtags #SuffolkDay #SuffolkKitchel. Essential Suffolk also share lots of recipes from leading local chefs for you to enjoy – such as Sicilian Lemon and Elderflower Tart and Roast Tomato & Vegetable Crumble, and there are more delicious trips down a Suffolk culinary lane with these recipes in the archives of Suffolk Magazine, such as Ipswich Almond Pudding, Lowestoft Buttons & Suffolk Harvest Cake.
  • screenshot of Suffolk Heart poem video Suffolk Poetry. Click the photo above to watch the BBC video of Suffolk Heart, performed by Ipswich schoolgirl Estera and local farmer Tom Walne. The poem, written by poet Dean Parkin was produced to celebrate the wonder of Suffolk on its third annual Suffolk Day last year. In normal circumstances, the Suffolk Poetry Society offers many varied opportunities for people to come together to enjoy poetry (your own and others). To  continue engaging and inspiring poets during these times of social distancing and cancelled events, they’ve designed an e-newsletter, the content of which is contributed by members of the society: poetry of their own, suggesting favourite poems, describing their own lives as writers and sharing interesting links and websites. If you would like to participate, you simply need to become a member of Suffolk Poetry Society in the SPS shop, where you can gain access to the fortnightly publication, Twelve River Ripples, delivered to your email address, and also the archive of Ripples from the site. For poems written about Suffolk (as well as other locations) visit Poetry Atlas which “maps the world in poetry.”
  • map showing places named Suffolk around the world Planet Suffolk. Did you know there are 42 officially designated places called Suffolk around the world? Find out more about each of them at Planet Suffolk as well as learning about miscellaneous Suffolk items & facts such as what shape is a Suffolk mug or Suffolk Chair? Why is a Suffolk Dartboard numbered differently? How to make Suffolk Cocktails, what’s a Suffolk shroff, knot or beanie? Where are ships and roads across the world named Suffolk, and what kind of timepiece is a Lady Suffolk? Quizmasters – there’s a whole host of inspiration here for Suffolk themed quizzes!!
  • digital poster advertising Lowestoft's First Light From Home festival line up FirstLight festival, Lowestoft – It may not be possible to dance together on the beach this year, but #FirstLightFromHome have an exciting programme of live-streamed performances and DJ sets and exclusive videos and workshops for you to enjoy from the comfort of your own home. Join them on Facebook for 24 hours from Saturday 20th at 12pm until Sunday 21st at 12pm. Pop over to our calendar to see the listed line up of events for this festival, and plot your participation around others events happening over Suffolk Day weekend.

Though 8th May has passed, we’ll leave a few of the VE Day themed resources here for a while, in case they might still offer some creative or useful opportunities whilst staying at home:

  • graphic illustration showing rural coffee caravan we'll meet again teacup card design of 1940s style teacup against background of clouded sky and fields alongside VEDAY 75th anniversary logo Make and send someone a ‘We’ll Meet Again’ teacup card to ‘share a cuppa’ with them. Rural Coffee Caravan has designed a handmade card template and posters for you to download, print and share for free. Print and assemble the 3D/decoupage card and tuck a tea bag in it to send to a friend to enjoy, to remind them you’re thinking of them, and to look forward to when you can share a brew together again. You can find the downloadable PDF in the Rural Coffee Caravan Cascade of Kindness Facebook Group files. We’d love to see your efforts so do take a photo and share them to the page!
  • Image showing English Heritage website black and white photo of street celebrations on VE Day 1945 as link to their VE Day photo archive Explore the English Heritage photo archive collection. From parties in the streets to thousands of revellers gathered outside Buckingham Palace, they’ve selected their favourite images that capture VE Day celebrations in England. Share them with family members as a conversation starter for young ones to learn a little about this chapter of our history and compare times then and now, or for older ones to chat about their memories.
  • Bletchley Park 'Hoe to make bunting' instruction PDF image Make Your Own Bunting. Bletchley Park have a fab bunting ‘How To’ guide with ‘sewn’ and ‘no sew’ versions. You could follow the template but use any colour, pattern or theme. Bunting is a great way to brighten up any room or garden!
  • collage of images from Bletchley Park website showing VE day activity pack logo, 'WInston CHurchill' silhouette, and caesar wheel encryption kit More resources from the home of British WWII codebreaking: Bletchley Park.  Have a go at codebreaking yourself by making your own Caesar Wheel – an easy way to encrypt and decrypt messages.
  • black and white image of 1940s knitting pattern for women's hair turban from V&A archives Knit a 1940s style hair turban. The V&A museum have a great collection of 1940s knitting patterns in PDF files which can be downloaded and printed out for easy following.
  • screenshot image of 'Dawn's 1940s vintage Hair Do' from her YouTube Tutorial Wear your hair 1940s style. Follow a YouTube tutorial for a 1940s ‘Victory Rolls’ hair-do.
  • photograph of wartime Woolton Pie and Oxford Potato Soup
  • photo showing collection of 1940s board games How about a good old board game! Draughts, backgammon, snakes and ladders, chess, ‘Happy Families’. What are the earliest memories of board games each member of your family has and can remember playing?
  • Free Paper Dolls printouts showing male and female 1940s style 'doll' cutouts and a variety of outfits to dress them in Remember Paper Dolls? How about these wonderful 1940s style paper doll templates from Free Paper Dolls.com which can be saved to your digital device, printed and cut out! Follow the instructions on the homepage and get the younger ones to go ‘old school’ on the creative play and take a trip down toy memory lane with older members of the family. It may lead to conversations about other generational toys and special outfits. There are a variety of different themed doll styles from different eras to choose from on the site.
  • image showing VE DAY 75 logo and text saying War Time Song Lyrics We’ve put together a PDF of War Time Song Lyrics to print and sing along to. You know the tunes… if you’re not sure of the words – now there’s no excuse! Favourites such as ‘Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree’, ‘Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye’, ‘Run Rabbit Run’, ‘It’s a Long Way to Tipperary’ and ‘We’ll Meet Again.’ Download the PDF here: VE Day Song Lyrics
  • 3 black & white outline images for VE themed colouring in: A Union Jack 'frame'. a land girls 'We Can Do It' poster and a veteran torso with medals on their jacket VE Day colouring in pages. We’ve collected and put together a dozen VE Day themed images for you to print and colour in. Download the PDF here: VE DAY Colouring Pages Selection
  • Bletchley Park VE Day 2020 crossword Here’s a VE Day quick crossword to try, taken from the great resources on the Bletchley Park website. Right click on it and save the image then print and complete it. There are a wealth of wonderful World War Two resources and archives on the Bletchley Park site to explore.
  • images and web header from BBC's WW2 People's War archive website There are 47,000 stories in the BBC’s WW2 People’s War archive. An archive of memories written by the public and gathered by the BBC. Browse through the categories on the website to find stories and photographs concerning major aspects of World War Two, and the locations where key events took place. There’s a lovely section on Poetry, including these two written by Iris Aspland – one on 8th May 1945 when she was 11 years old, and the second, on 8th May 2005 when she was 60: 2 VE Night poems by Iris Aspland taken from the BBC WW2 People's War archive website
  • image showing instruction for how to fold a paper aeroplane, photographs of 9 different examples of paper aeroplane designs, and how to draw a spitfire Paper aeroplanes and spitfires. How about trying your hand at paper aeroplane folding? There are 47 different designs at Fold ‘n’ Fly : a database of paper airplanes with easy to follow folding instructions, video tutorials and printable folding plans. Find the best paper airplanes that fly the furthest and stay aloft the longest! Or you could try your hand at drawing a spitfire with these easy to follow instructions from Drawing Lessons For The Young Artist.

We posted a selection of Easter Activity ideas, and though Easter has passed – some of the activities may still be fun to try whilst you’re staying home, so we’ll leave them here…

  • Take part in Suffolk Constabulary’s Under 12s Poster competition, running during the two-week Easter School Holidays. Design a colourful and bright poster with the tag line ‘Stay Home Save Lives, on A4 paper (or bigger). The poster should be displayed prominently in the front window of your home and should mention @suffolkpolice on it. Officers on patrol in local communities will then select random posters they see during the Easter School Holidays and leave a bag of chocolate eggs on the door step! More info & entry guidelines via the link.

    Suffolk U12s Easter Poster Competition advertisement
  • Learn how to face paint an Easter Bunny! Join artist and children’s entertainer Sarah Patterson on Rooblidoo’s Facebook page for her Live – Bunny Face Paint Tutorial at 11am on Good Friday, 10th April. You will need orange, black, white, green and pink face paints, and a sponge and a brush. digital poster advertising face painting live session with Rooblidoo on her Facebook page at 11am on Fri 10th April - face paint a bunny
  • Free Easter Colouring Sheets. Print and colour in this free, Easter Hare design from Suffolk Artist Celia Hart. Download the PDF via this link  or visit her website to find the link and see more of her beautiful print works. Easter Hare colouring design by Celia Hart
  • Egg Decorating. There are all sorts of ways to decorate eggs to celebrate Easter. Good Housekeeping have collected a whopping 60 different Easy and Creative Easter Egg Ideas That Anyone Can DIY  – suggestions and links to tutorials from the simple to the more sophisticated. Ideas such as making festive party hats for your eggs to dress them for your Easter Brunch table, using dyed eggshells for mosaic, to marbling, and drawing faces and emoji eggs! Examples of 3 different suggestions of ways to decorate eggs for Easter from Good Housekeeping magazine 3 examples of ways to decorate eggs for Easter, as collected by Good Housekeeping magazine. Mosiac, pinata, party hats
  • Window Display Easter Egg Hunt Colouring. Sadly many locally organised community Easter Egg Hunts have had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus, so why not print and create your own! Colour them in and display them in your windows to give people on their daily exercise walk an Easter Egg Hunt to take part in! Here’s 10 pages of Easter Eggs to colour in from Super Colouring. Or find other Easter themed colouring activities – there are more free resources at Crayola.com. Example of Easter Egg colouring templates
  • Indoor Easter Egg Themed Hunt. There are some great ideas out there creating indoor Easter Egg Hunts, (which don’t have to ‘all be about the chocolate!’) for the members of your household. Make it more interactive – leave clues, hide puzzle pieces which have to be assembled at the end, create a letter hunt for a message which can be decoded at the end. There are more great suggestions at Good Housekeeping, and if you don’t feel like making up your own clues MadeForMums has printable riddles, clues and colour matching ideas to keep toddlers, preschoolers and children occupied in the activity. image showing different types of printable strips of clues and riddles for children's Easter Egg Hunt activity
  • DIY Easter ‘Bonnets’. How about taking an old hat and sticking, fastening or sewing to it, items you can find in your house or from the foliage in your garden? Get creative! Give it a design theme! Take part in a friendly family ‘bonnet donning’ competition or parade once they’ve all been made! Or sit down to an Easter tea together wearing them, with the air of the ‘Mad Hatter’s Tea Party!’ Chasing Simplicity have some ideas on how to make DIY Easter Bonnets from scrap and recycling – for an eco-friendly Easter. photo of homemade Easter hats made by 'Chasing Simplicity' themed for Shaun the Sheep, Batman, Pikachu & Pink Easter Bunny If you haven’t got an old hat to use as your bonnet base – here’s a template for how to construct a Willy Wonka style top hat from recycled cardboard, from Rhubard & Wren 2 photos showing stages of a DIY cardboard top hat by rhubarb and wren
  • Virtual Easter Egg Hunt from St Nicholas Hospice. From Friday 10 April, fill in the form on their website to download the activity’s PDF made up of a series of Hospice photographs containing hidden Easter eggs and the odd bunny too. Some eggs will be easier to find than others, which means the hunt will be a fun activity for all ages! poster showing Easter bunny and decorated eggs to advertise St Nicholas Hospice virtual Easter egg hunt
  • British Birds Egg Memory Game. Match the eggs to discover which British birds they belong to – a fun, educational online game from REEP. Religions and Environment Education Programme, REEP, is a small, versatile trust with over 25 years’ experience creating education projects and events to educate young people about the ways that different cultures respond to and interact with the environment. They specialise in cross-cultural work, using a variety of media and practical activities that inspire collaboration and mutual development. During the last 10 years, their project work has primarily focused on promoting cultural – and horticultural – exchanges between Morocco, England and Spain. image showing grid of Britich birds'eggs themed cards arranged for an online matching pairs game
  • Andrea Bocelli live solo performance at Duomo, Cathedral of Milan. Tune in to the tenor’s Youtube channel to view and listen to the performance on Easter Sunday, April 12th, at 6pm GMT. Invited by the city and the Duomo Cathedral of Milan, Bocelli will live stream ‘Music for Hope’: a solo performance representing a message of love, healing and hope to Italy and the world. image of digital poster advertising Andrea Bocelli's solo performance 'Music for Hope' at the Duomo Cathedral of Milan on Easter Sunday 2020
  • Simple Handprint Easter Bunnies. Engage the little ones in some Easter craft with this cute and simple idea from onelittleproject.com! image showing craft Easter bunnies making idea from onelittleproject.com
  • A homemade wreath for your front door. How about making a homemade wreath with items found from the garden. A lovely way of bringing some colour and joy to street where you live – decorate your home and brighten your neighbourhood at the same time. photo of decorative wreath made from garden foliage
  • Nature Bingo! This great, simple activity suggestion by What’s On In West Suffolk can be played solo or with other household members. All the listed items could be something spotted just by looking through your window. Use their template – or create your own! There are other family friendly activity ideas and Suffolk themed features to keep you occupied, on their page. image showing bingo grid listing nature items which could be spotted from looking through a window to the outdoors
  • Bake your own Easter Treats, and other ideas from The National TrustFollow recipes for ‘Winchester City Mill’s Hot Cross Buns’, ‘Orange & Marzipan Simnel Cake’, and ‘Simnel Cake Scones’; take part in their Great Easter Indoor Scavenger Hunt, or make an Easter basket using natural and recycled materials. Lots of great ideas for activities to do on your own, or with your family at home or in the garden – and plenty not just for Easter! collage of photos illustrating family baking, scavenger hunt, and Easter basket making activities from The National Trust

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