Rural Coffee Caravan Notice Board

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  • Need a chat? About anything and nothing in particular? hullo is a 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 0800 001 4455, 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!

    hullo logo and helpline number

  • The Silver Line is a confidential, free helpline for older people across the UK that’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year. They also offer telephone friendship, matching volunteers with older people based on their interests,  plus facilitated group calls, and helping to connect people with local services in their area. Call Silver Line on 0800 4 70 80 90.

    The Silver Line 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

  • MeetUpMondays™. If you find yourself on your own quite a bit and could do with some company and a chat, or you’re new to your local area and would like to get to know people, then why not give MeetUpMondays a go? Pubs and cafes across the county which are part of the network have a weekly warm welcome and a free cuppa waiting for anyone on their own. They don’t always take place on a Monday, and those which are currently operating are doing so with Covid-secure measurements in place, and following government guidance. Put your postcode into the MeetUpMondays map to find your nearest venue, and if there’s not one near enough, why not ask your local pub or cafe to get involved? It’s easy, and we can help at Rural Coffee Caravan/MeetUpMondays HQ! (NB * MeetUpMondays groups will have to pause meeting ‘in person’ during times of lockdown and in certain tier restrictions, but some are running remote/online social sessions.*)

    MeetUpMondays logo long

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Silversurfers is a website aimed at the over 50s, at the heart of Silversurfers community is a philosophy of Trust, Honesty, Friendship and Enjoyment. After registering on the site you can start an online chat & create a group chat with other members, You can also can voice your opinion in polls and current affairs, showcase your creativity and visit the forum to find posts to engage with.

    Silver surfers chat banner

  • 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.

    Community Actions Suffolk logo

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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


  • The RSPB is running The Big Garden Birdwatch from 29th -31st January 2021 If you would like to help them by highlighting the birds you find in your garden or local area and providing them your feedback.  Head over to their website to register and you will also find advice on how to attract birds to your garden, tips on how to photograph them and much more.

    RSPB Big Garden BirdWatch

  • Design a Jumper for a mouse competition  Design a jazzy jumper for the mouse in the new Ross Collins book ‘There’s a mouse in my house’ who likes to stand out.  For details on how you can enter go to the Reading Agency Website Closing date: 28th February 2021

    Design a Jumper Competition

  • Take a Virtual Train Ride on railways around the world! and have compiled links to train journeys through beautiful scenic views from countries across the globe including Japan, Norway, Switzerland, Montenegro, Peru, Bosnia, the U.S, England and Wales. You can even pass through the Welsh railway station of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch and take a virtual ride on the Orient Express!

    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.

  • Watch a ‘Live WebCam’ streaming somewhere in the world. Discover, explore or connect with places across the globe from the comfort of your sofa:  Panda-Cam at Edinburgh Zoo, or multiple animal-cams at San Diego Zoo. 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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


  • This Girl Can Suffolk Virtual Activity Event Week  run by Active Suffolk this January. Taking place  between 18th -22nd January 2021.   Head over to their website to view the full schedule of events and to book your place.

    This Girl Can Virtual Event Week Promo

  • Free online health & fitness activities for January 2021 from Suffolk Libraries.  All activities are provided by professional instructors and cover all fitness levels.  From yoga, mindfulness, creative dance and many more.  Head over to their website to view the full programme.

    Jump Start January Promo

  • Dedicated cancer helpline relaunches. Designed to support patients with a cancer diagnosis during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic the helpline has been relaunched by East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) and is available to anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer and has questions about their care. All calls will be answered by experienced staff, who will answer questions wherever possible. If patients call with a clinical query, the call handler will either signpost them to their own clinical team or ask the team to contact the patient directly. The helpline is available from 9am to 4pm on Monday to Friday. Ipswich patients should call 01473 703008, while Colchester patients can ring 01206 745330.

    ESNEFT cancer helpline banner

  • Free online boxing sessions   Available every Tuesday & Friday during lockdown via Zoom.  Go to the Suffolk Positive Futures website for more details and Facebook  page for the zoom link access.

    Positive Futures Boxing Zoom Sessions

  • 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

  • Dance Exercise Classes. Want to get moving at home? There are a variety of Live Dance Exercise Classes online. Our wonderful friends at DanceEast have light dance exercises that 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, so why not take a look at the classes via their YouTube Channel.

    Dance East logo. Move. Be moved.

    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.

  • The 100 Miles Suffolk Mind Challenge.  Looking for a way to stay active this January? either by yourself or as part of a team.  Why not raise money for Suffolk Mind at the same time to help support the mental health of your community.  Cover the distance by either walking, running, cycling or in your own unique way. For more information on how you can get involved go to the Suffolk Mind Website

    Suffolk Mind 100 Miles Challenge Promo

  • Winter Exercise and Fundraising Activities  Are you ready for a fitness challenge? why not take up one of these 3 challenges. Get fit and raise funds for local charities to help them give support where it is needed most.  Join a virtual Winter Cycling Mission around Suffolk to support the St Elizabeth Hospice.  Try the Step Up 2 Week Challenge and run or walk for the Royal Voluntary Service or take part in the Big Winter Walk for the Benjamin Foundation. Click on the links for more information and details of how you can sign up.

    Royal Voluntary Service Fitness Photo

  • Free virtual family club  Starting this January One Life Suffolk are running a family club via Zoom with  fun interactive sessions including activity challenges , cookery demonstrations & recipes and physical exercises.   To join call 01473 718193 or visit the One Life Suffolk website. 

    One Life Suffolk Family Club

  • 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 seasonal almanac

  • 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


  • Beware of a dangerous scam regarding Covid vaccine notification, in the form of a very convincing looking, but FAKE, text message. The NHS website does advise to wait to be contacted by the NHS regarding your turn to receive the vaccine, but they would not ask you for payment or to enter your personal details and notification of your vaccination is most likely to arrive by letter. If you have received a text message and are unsure if it is genuine – it may be best to phone your GP practise to check with them before acting on it.

    Neighbourhood Watch - Beware of fake Covid text regarding vaccinations

  • 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.

  • If you receive a cosmetically correct text or email which you think might be a scam, a place to check these out is 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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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


  • ‘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 (and other online exhibitions). Explore the wonders of the British Library with their Online Exhibitions. Alongside exclusive Q&As and insights into the artistry of the Harry Potter books, 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 invited people to get creative and come together for their postcard project during 2020’s lockdown. The theme was ‘Together in Isolation’ and the invitation was to design or write a postcard for a future exhibition at Babylon Gallery and an online exhibition now. Postcards could be inspired by people’s time in isolation, on how they feel, thoughts, memories or ideas or what people were looking forward to on the other side! Though the gallery will be closed during lockdowns, you can check out their website to view the exhibition and for more online events and workshops.

    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, 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


  • The Friendly Bench is a safe, easily accessible mini-community garden with integrated seating and sensory planting, situated within communities for people to meet, chat, connect with nature, and build friendships and a sense of belonging. It is an active social hub in your community, managed, funded and run by its own voluntary group, where free community led activities are held. The Friendly Bench CIC aims to tackle loneliness, social isolation and build community cohesion using their innovative, purposely designed outdoor social spaces that reconnect people back to their own community. Find out how to bring The Friendly Bench to your neighbourhood by following the link.

    The Friendly Bench

  • 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

  • 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


  • Independent Age – are a national charity that help, support and advise older people, as well as offering befriending services. You can call Independent Age‘s free Helpline on 0800 319 6789 if you would like advice on a range of issues from care and support, money and benefits, and health and mobility; if you would like to order one of their guides or leaflets, or if you would like to discuss receiving regular friendship calls. There’s also a great online quiz on their website you can take, to test to see if you are ‘Scam-wise’, posing examples of fake and genuine messages you might receive to see if you can tell the difference. Take a look at the full list of free advice guides and fact sheets they have available by clicking on the picture below, many of which we have been glad to take along on our Rural Coffee Caravan village visits.

    Our local, Suffolk, Independent Age representative is Simon Sinclair who can be contacted via email.

    Independent Age - leaflets advert

  • The Silver Line is a confidential, free helpline for older people across the UK that’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year. They also offer telephone friendship, matching volunteers with older people based on their interests,  plus facilitated group calls, and helping to connect people with local services in their area. Call Silver Line on 0800 4 70 80 90.

    The Silver Line helpline number

  • Positive Ageing – Christine Webber writes a fortnightly column for East Anglian newspapers all about positive ageing: a positive guide about ageing and how to stay as young as possible for as long as possible. Too Young to Get Old is her series of video podcasts on the subject.

    Screengrab from Christine Webber Positive Ageing podcast video, Ep 2 Too Young to get old

  • Silversurfers Community. A website aimed at the over 50s, at the heart of Silversurfers community is a philosophy of Trust, Honesty, Friendship and Enjoyment. After registering on the site you can start a chat & create a group chat with other members; you can voice your opinion in polls and current affairs; showcase your creativity in their exhibition section; visit the forum to find posts to engage with. Elsewhere on the site are a variety of articles such as food, lifestyle, culture, books, technology and nostalgia; advice on health issues, finance, insurance and more, and a dating section.

    Silver Surfers Community banner


  • 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.

  • 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

  • Help support the NHS by becoming a volunteer responder. Members of the public can sign up quickly and easily at 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.

    NHS Volunteer Responders banner

  • 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 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.


  • Design a Jumper for a mouse competition  Design a jazzy jumper for the mouse in the new Ross Collins book ‘There’s a mouse in my house’ who likes to stand out.  For details on how you can enter go to the Reading Agency Website Closing date: 28th February 2021

    Design a Jumper Competition

  • Free livestream Science Lessons  Every week the Theatre of Science will be streaming a series of home educational science shows on their Facebook page for children of all ages.  You can also view all previous video lessons on their YouTube Channel. 

    Theatre Of Science Promo

  • 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

  • Free fun activities for children  The Book Trust Home Time has loads of fun puzzles, colouring sheets and lots of creative inspiration that you can download and print out for children to enjoy. View all the activities on the Book Trust website.

    Book Trust Home Time

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Free online project for children aged 9 – 11 who would like to get creative and learn new skills, including film, music, art, radio, photography and poetry.  The South Street Kids Online Project is broadcast via Zoom every Saturday morning from 9th January 2021.  For more information on the project and how you can take part, contact 01473 852552 or email 

    The South Street Kids Online Project Promo

  • 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

  • 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. 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 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

  • Help with Home Schooling  The BBC have made a series of programmes and resources available to help parents and children of all ages with learning at home.  View the full list of Bitesize programmes available from the BBC.

    BBC Bitesize Lockdown Leaning

  • 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

  • Set a 30 day Lego Challenge! Just two rules: use your imagination, and HAVE FUN!

    image listing 30 days worth of lego building ideas

  • 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

  • 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.


  • The RSPB is running The Big Garden Birdwatch from 29th -31st January 2021 If you would like to help them by highlighting the birds you find in your garden or local area and providing them your feedback.  Head over to their website to register and you will also find advice on how to attract birds to your garden, tips on how to photograph them and much more.

    RSPB Big Garden BirdWatch

  • 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 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.

  • 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!

  •  Wildlife and nature activities  There are plenty of great ideas and resources available to do from home on the Wildlife Trust website  From colouring sheets & crafts to learning how to make a bird feeder or a wigwam for plants.  Wildlife Trust how to build a nest box

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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”.

  • 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.


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