COVID-19 Appeal

Lockdown poetry to benefit hospitals charity

A collection of poems about life in lockdown has been published with £3 from the sale of each book benefitting the N&N Hospitals Charity and the Intensive Care fund.

The Lighter Side of the Lockdown is a collection of poems written by four friends, all self-isolating in Norwich, during the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic and was published by Paul Dickson Books last month, priced £5.

Vee Pond was the first to start writing, to help lift her spirits during the lockdown and posted her poems on Facebook, aiming to put a smile on the faces of her followers. Her poems inspired three of her friends, Linda Marie Augood, Kathryn Bryant and Carol Saunders to start writing as well.

Vee said: “Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, I wanted to keep spirits up, so I wrote a silly poem. The next day I wrote another one to do with the situation. After two or three poems, three of my friends joined in and it started from there. We got comments on Facebook and our other friends looked forward to reading the poems daily. It certainly kept their spirits up.

“Now, thanks to Paul, our collection of poems has been published and we will be raising money from the sale of each book for the ICU at the N&N.”

Paul said: “Vee approached me in April, to ask if I would publish the poems and sell the booklet, in aid of the NHS. I was pleased to help get the poems into print. They give a lighter view of living in the lockdown, as the writers overcome their domestic frustrations and the day to day lockdown routine.

“But they also pay tribute to our front line workers who have kept the country going. The last poem in the booklet, particularly, pays tribute to our NHS heroes. There’s also a poem about Captain, now Colonel Tom Moore and his fantastic NHS fundraising success.”

Thanks go to Rebecca Osborne, who created the Captain Tom illustrations, for drawing the illustrations for this booklet and to Brendan Rallison, designer, for his support.

The Lighter Side of the Lockdown is on sale at Jarrold Norwich book department, Paul Dickson’s shop at and Amazon, or send a cheque for £6.80 (includes p+p) made out to Paul Dickson to Paul Dickson Books, 8 Bridge Court, Fishergate, Norwich NR3 1UE,




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Nine-year-old Phoebe climbing high for hospital charity

A nine-year-old girl has climbed 1,300 flights of stairs during a lockdown challenge to raise money for the Norfolk and Norwich Hospitals Charity.

Phoebe Davison set herself the challenge to climb as many flights of stairs at her home as she could in a week, raising a fantastic £505 for the charity.

The 1,300 flights is equivalent to the 15-mile distance from Phoebe’s home in Dereham to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Phoebe said: “I know that Coronavirus is affecting many families in lots of different ways at the moment and I wanted to help.

“I told my Mum that I didn’t think I was helping much by staying at home and that I wanted to do more so I had the idea that I could raise money for the NHS even in my own home.

“I tried to climb 200 flights of stairs each day but near the end I just did as many as I could. My whole family helped out. My sisters Ava and Margot climbed some with me and helped me to keep tally and my Mum, Dad and brother Logan were like coaches, encouraging me to keep going.

Mum, Laura, and Dad, Justin, said: “We are so very proud of Phoebe, she has a big heart and cares a lot about the world around her. She and always tries her hardest to help others.”

N&N Hospitals Charity Coordinator Lynn Crombie said: “We have been overwhelmed by the incredible support from the local community throughout these difficult times.

“Phoebe is truly inspiring and her generosity and determination has helped her raise a fantastic amount for our hospital charity. Hearing about challenges like this has a hugely positive impact on the morale of our staff and patients.”

To find out more about the work of the hospital charity and how you can help, visit our website at or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @NNUHCharity and



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Apple store runners turn lockdown into charity challenge

A team of runners from the Apple store in Norwich have completed a 345 mile race to raise money for Norfolk and Norwich Hospitals Charity.

The team, led by Tom Newman from the Apple store in Norwich, took part in the virtual race from Norwich to London then on to Leicester and back raising more than £2,000.

He said: “The idea came to mind during a run. ‘Could I run to London in a week?’ Probably not alone but as a team we might be able to and it seemed like a realistic short-term challenge.

“We saw the fantastic work others have been doing for charity and Apple stores around the UK have been getting involved supporting the community so I felt like we too could rise to a challenge, have some fun and raise some money.”

The store has a small running group and the challenge opened up to some non-runners, including those who wanted to walk or cycle, with the cyclists facing a handicap.

The team was made up of Tom, Carly, Charley, Aimee, Erin, Jesper, Marcus, Rob, Scott, Sean, Adam, Beth, Ellie, Jade, Jasper, Mark, Sam, Heidi, Vicky and Jason.

Tom said: “The team really put in the effort and we completed the distance in two days, after deciding to continue from London to Leicester where one of our staff members had been staying with parents when lockdown started. Everyone put in such an incredible effort.

“The results have been incredible and it’s amazing the money which has been raised for the charity. It really helped lift the spirits of everyone involved. We were able to work together as a team during the time we have been apart and it helped keep us that bit closer together.”

N&N Hospitals Charity Coordinator Lynn Crombie said: “We are so grateful to the team at Apple for thinking of us and raising such a fantastic amount – thank you to them and everyone who supported the team.
“It’s lovely to hear how the team also used the challenge to work together while being apart.”

To find out more :



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Shielded woman’s 125-mile virtual walk for hospital charity

A woman who is shielding at home during the coronavirus pandemic has completed a 125-mile virtual walk with her husband to raise more than £2,500 for the Norfolk and Norwich Hospitals Charity.

Sue Gresham, from Holt, has a rare autoimmune liver condition and has to take steroids and other strong medication.

Sue said: “In any other circumstances, Simon and I would be volunteering to help others, so we wanted to do something in whatever way we could for the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and particularly for my consultant and his Liver Research team who’ve looked after me since 2011.

“We set ourselves the challenge of each walking the equivalent mileage of the journey from Holt to Oxted, Surrey for a virtual visit to Simon’s mother, by walking around the outside of our house, which we thought would be about 5,000 or more circuits.”

The couple completed their challenge this week, completing the 125 miles in 48 days, and 330,582 steps.
Sue and Simon said they intend to keep walking: “Depending on when our lockdown ends or when the trainers wear out, we might even attempt the return trip or, at least, a virtual walk from Holt to the Hospital to hand over the money.

“We’re bowled over by the very generous support we’ve received already but, all the time we’re walking, we’d love for people to keep giving because we know that so many people in Norfolk will owe so much to the N&N, either for care in the past or in times to come.”

Lynn Crombie, from N&N Hospitals Charity said: “We have been following Sue and Simon’s progress over the weeks and we are so grateful to them for supporting the charity and, in turn, the staff and patients at our hospital.

“People have been carrying out exceptional challenges during this unprecedented period and this is another example of how amazing our fundraisers are.”

Donations can be made via Sue’s Justgiving page

For more information about the N&N Hospitals Charity and how you can help, go to




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Army veteran embarks on N&N Hospitals Charity challenge

A 96-year-old army veteran has raised more than £2,000 for the N&N Hospitals Charity after the Covid-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of VE Day celebrations at Buckingham Palace.

Brian Garrad, from Coltishall, was one of 700 veterans from across the UK invited to a three day celebration in London, starting with a parade through the capital, a flyover, afternoon tea at the Palace, followed later in the day by dinner with the Queen and other members of the Royal Family.

This was to be followed on Saturday by a fun day in St James’s Park with military bands adding to the spectacle.

However, instead Mr Garrad has spent the past seven weeks in lockdown with his daughter and her family in Irstead, near Horning, and inspired by Captain Tom Moore’s charity challenge, has been walking around the garden in a bid to cover 10 miles in a month – 70 laps.

Mr Garrad served with the 120th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment (120th LAA Rgt) during World War II, an air defence unit of the British Army’s Royal Artillery and spent the majority of that time in France, often driving ammunition to the front line .

His daughter Ruth Dockerty said: “Dad aimed to raise £500 for the hospital charity but he has exceeded that and is now up to £2,235.

“This Friday he had been invited to be part of the special VE Day celebrations in London but that has obviously been cancelled now, so instead he will be doing more laps in the garden and we will be waving our Union Jacks at him for his own little parade.

“He normally can’t walk 100 metres so this is a huge achievement for him.”

Mr Garrad said: “I have been totally inspired by Captain Tom Moore’s fundraising for the NHS and I wanted to do my part.

“So, I gave myself the challenge to walk 10 miles in a month and to do this I will need to do 70 laps of my daughter’s garden. This is hard for me as I have COPD and find walking difficult but I am determined and with your support it will keep me going.”

If you are able to support Mr Garrad and the N&N Hospitals Charity, you can make a donation via his fundraising page here:

Picture Captions: 

Brian and his granddaughter Liz Howard on their way to celebrations at the Royal Albert Hall last year.

Brian during his time serving with the British Army.




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COVID-19 appeal thank you

Back in March, we reported how staff at the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital, along with hospitals across the world, were facing their biggest ever challenge.

In response, the N&N Hospitals Charity launched its Covid 19 Emergency Appeal which to date, stands at nearly £25,000 which will support our staff during these unprecedented times.

However, the charity and the hospital have also received an unprecedented show of support from the entire community with individuals, groups and businesses big and small doing everything they can to support our staff.

Our Trust prepared for coronavirus by turning the hospital into separate zones to treat patients both with and without Covid 19 while preventing infection. This has meant the creation of pop-up staff rooms and areas where staff can take a break – a huge thank you to Hughes Trade which stepped in not just once, but twice, to supply firstly four fridges, microwaves and kettles, and then another 20 sets of appliances to kit out the areas. OWS water supplies contacted us to provide water coolers, followed by the regional Nespresso team who delivered coffee machines and supplies.

We all discovered just how talented  and resourceful our schools are (we knew that already!) with many turning their Design and Technology Departments into production lines,  manufacturing visors, masks, scrubs and scrub bags for frontline NHS staff while also donating the schools’ supplies of goggles.

Norwich School, Framingham Earl High, Hobart High, Wymondham College, the UEA, B&Q, Amari Plastics, Wickes and many others have donated supplies to the hospital and we are so grateful for these items which help our staff save lives.

With some cancer care moving to the Spire Hospital just along the road from the N&N, asset finance company Chatsbrook donated the use of a car to deliver of the lifesaving chemotherapy treatment to patients.

Hand cream, hand soap and toiletries have been in huge demand and thanks to donations of both items and money, including those from Beauty Box and Lucy Bee Coconut, we have been able to ensure our staff stay safe and as comfortable as possible.

Heritage Wills and Face to Face Finance, which are supporting the charity during our October Make a Will Month, have waived its basic fee for the will writing service for staff as well as making a donation to the charity.

We have been incredibly fortunate to receive funds from the Norfolk Community Foundation, Associated NHS Charities and other grant giving bodies as well as fantastic donations of £5,000 from Broadland Drinks and £4,550 from the Norfolk and Norwich Indian Society and Committee Members.

Local farm shops, including Old Hall Farm and Walsingham Farm Shop, are holding weekly pop-up markets on the hospital site, selling everyday items to staff who have been unable to get to shops – staff have also been treated to freshly cooked Thai and Indian meals and pizza from some of our local restaurants and take aways.

Britvic, Starbucks, Costa, McDonald’s and Innocent have donated drinks while Kettle Chips and Sponge Cakes have also treated staff along with local company, the Tea Lady who donated 100 jars of jam.

Easter also didn’t stop the amazing donations, with thousands of eggs delivered to ensure almost every staff member and patient received an egg. Easter crafts and activity packs were also donated to our youngest patients, including from Harvester in Lowestoft, and adult colouring books and puzzle books have been dropped off from local schools and supermarkets.

Our days have also been brightened by donations of flowers and plants from Taverham Nursery and Emms Stems which have been given to staff as a small thank you at the end of their shifts.

We have so many virtual fundraisers around the county, including Reads Property Developments which has created a drawing competition for families in which participants donate £1 to enter and the winner will receive £500 to spend on leisure activities once life has resumed and quizzes and concerts have also been set up to our charity.

This is just an example of some of the amazing generosity we have received and we are sorry if we have not included you (the list would go on and on) but please know that we are so grateful to each and every one of you who has contributed in some way

You can make a donation to our Emergency Fund here

If you would like to contribute in another way, please contact the fundraising team via email at





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