Editor’s selection shows that community spirit in Ely and East Cambridgeshire is alive, well and flourishing

Community vegetable sacks for those in Little Downham

Community vegetable sacks for those in Little Downham - Credit: Archant

News reaches us almost hourly about the devastating impact of coronavirus on our communities – but amidst the doom and gloom are some slivers of light.

Peacock's may be closed in Ely but that didn't stop them baking cakes for NHS staff at Cambridge

Peacock's may be closed in Ely but that didn't stop them baking cakes for NHS staff at Cambridge - Credit: Archant

So, and in no particular order here is my random selection of some of the brighter moments of recent days.

Of course, there are many examples of communities coming together – and please do send me loads of other examples. But here are those I picked for today.

Let’s start with Le Spice, an Indian restaurant in Ely who choose to make a special visit to the city’s police station.

Local businessman Amin Haque of Ely’s Le Spice in Fore Hill Ely wanted to thank East Cambs hardworking police officers by dropping off to them a selection of freshly cooked Indian food.

Le Spice, Ely, delivers a complimentary lunch to police to say thank you

Le Spice, Ely, delivers a complimentary lunch to police to say thank you - Credit: Archant


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Amin said “We’re all doing our bit to support each other in this time of lockdown and I know the local police are doing an amazing job at the moment and I wanted to offer them my thanks by dropping off a delicious lunch”

Amin has had to try and adapt his business in these challenging times and decided to give back to those who help out in our community.

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“I’ve been a part of this community for years now and my team want to let the community know we’re here for them” he went on to say.

Peacocks Tea Room by the river in Ely have, as they say, “been definitely and definitively closed for the duration of the virus crisis”.

Scotdale's delivered these plants to Ely police station

Scotdale's delivered these plants to Ely police station - Credit: Archant

No teas, no food, no take-aways for the foreseeable future. That didn’t however stop them donating a selection of Peacock’s cakes and home-made soup for NHS staff at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, delivered for them by Martyn Peters.

In Stretham the county council directed to me to what they term “a lovely story”.

It involved staff at Stretham Community Primary School, Stretham Parish Council and St James’ Church who have been working together to provide daily hot meals to residents.

A council spokesman tells me the two course meals are prepared and cooked on site by Harriet Marsh, the school’s head caterer and then delivered by a small volunteer team of parish residents, who are observing social distancing.

RAF cadets in Ely are enjoying virtual model making

RAF cadets in Ely are enjoying virtual model making - Credit: Archant

“The meals are going down a treat, providing nutrition and peace of mind to residents who are elderly or vulnerable,” said the spokesman.

Across to Little Downham where a mini consortium of local suppliers provided bags filled with carrots, parsnips and potatoes for local households.

“This is for all of the parish community and is first come, first served and free of charge,” villagers were told. “Please all help yourselves but keep in mind the government guidelines of social distancing and being two metres apart from one another”.

The parish of Little Downham community vegetable project is still in full swing offering free vegetable to anyone isolated and vulnerable.

Peacock's may be closed in Ely but that didn't stop them baking cakes for NHS staff at Cambridge

Peacock's may be closed in Ely but that didn't stop them baking cakes for NHS staff at Cambridge - Credit: Archant

Please, if you or anyone you know in Little Downham would benefit from this free service do not hesitate to call them on 07971 664276 or email support@littledownham.com

The project is supported by Head Fen Country Retreat, Corkers Crisps and Taylor Potatoes Limited

In Littleport, All Sacred Tattoos are working to raise as much money as possible towards The Cambridgeshire Coronavirus Community fund which helps vulnerable people during this crisis.

They designed a colouring competition to keep the kids busy and organising a raffle to win a beautiful fox design tattoo at £5 per ticket,

Le Spice, Ely, delivers a complimentary lunch to police to say thank you

Le Spice, Ely, delivers a complimentary lunch to police to say thank you - Credit: Archant

All funds will be donated to The Cambridgeshire Coronavirus Community Fund. Search for them online to enter.

In Ely 1094 Ely Squadron Royal Air Force Air Cadets are holding virtual aero-modelling classes to keep the ‘troops’ busy and occupied,

Model kits were delivered by post to cadets who didn’t have their own models. Ely’s leading cadet Emily Jeffs already had a model kit at home that she bought for her father for Christmas which they are now making together at home and updating the rest of the squadron in weekly instalments.

Its looking good so far for the Dambusters special Lancaster Bomber and squadron chiefs say they “can’t wait to see the finished product”.

Tattoo being raflled to raise funds for charity by Littleport company

Tattoo being raflled to raise funds for charity by Littleport company - Credit: Archant

Elsewhere binmen are getting plenty of support, says East Cambs District Council.

“Our waste collection crews are hard at work to ensure collection services continue as normal,” said a spokesman. “The crew in Burwell were greeted with a homemade thank you note, smiles and waves from a household on their collection route.

“The team were incredibly touched by this act of kindness and appreciate the ongoing support. #StayHomeSaveLives”

And we started with police and will end with them

Le Spice, Ely, delivers a complimentary lunch to police to say thank you

Le Spice, Ely, delivers a complimentary lunch to police to say thank you - Credit: Archant

An Ely police spokesman said “these are challenging times to be a front-line officer but we’ve been blown away by the messages of support and gestures.

“These include the local plant nursery (Scotsdales) who dropped in some flowers for our cops that would have otherwise gone to waste.”

The spokesman added: “Police stations can be a little grey at times so this has really brightened the place up. Thank you.”

To send me your news of community support email john.elworthy@archant.co.uk

In Stretham a community effort is ensuring meals get delivered to those in need

In Stretham a community effort is ensuring meals get delivered to those in need - Credit: Archant

Binmen at Ely got a warm welcome and a thank you from this Burwell street

Binmen at Ely got a warm welcome and a thank you from this Burwell street - Credit: Archant

Buwell thanks to binmen

Buwell thanks to binmen - Credit: Archant

Peacock's may be closed in Ely but that didn't stop them baking cakes for NHS staff at Cambridge

Peacock's may be closed in Ely but that didn't stop them baking cakes for NHS staff at Cambridge - Credit: Archant

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