Durrants volunteers making a real difference in the community

The Durrants Team volunteering in the community

Playing a part in the local community in which we do business is something very close to our hearts here at Durrants and we’re very proud to have some real local heroes in our team. Read on to find out more about just three of our team who play important roles in their community.

Paula Goldsmith, our Covid hero

Paula Covid-19 vaccination volunteer

Paula Goldsmith is one of our holiday cottages team members, dealing with customer queries and accounts. She has worked for Durrants since 2018 and is also a member of Southwold Town Council and a well-loved member of the local community. An already busy-bee but not happy to let an opportunity to help slip her by, Paula has recently been volunteering two days a week at Sole Bay Health Centre in Reydon to assist the smooth operation of the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

“It’s a really varied role and I’m part of a lovely team. Each shift I could be doing anything from directing traffic and checking-in patients to reassuring people about the vaccination or making sure they’re comfortable and don’t have a ‘wobble’ after having the jab.”

We’re really proud of Paula and her fellow volunteers – keep up the good work!

Leah Smith, making new lives matter

As marketing manager for Durrants Holiday Cottages and a new first-time-mum in 2019, it would be fair to say that Leah has her hands full, but she has also found time to play a huge role for Baby Basics, a community based group who work with midwives, health visitors and other professionals to provide support to families who are unable to provide for their new arrival. Each family is gifted a moses basket full of baby essentials such as toiletries, newborn clothing, blankets, muslin cloths and other essential items.

“After becoming a first time Mum in 2019 I was stunned at how much you need to prepare for your new arrival, and it made me wonder how families in need across the country were able to obtain the basics, let alone higher priced essential items such as prams and car seats.

Part of my role within the organisation is to seek fundraising opportunities. In 2020 we sought a permanent ‘baby bank’ trolley in our local Tesco foodstore, set up regular donations from our local supermarkets and we also run an annual Christmas appeal where we ask members of the public to donate Christmas presents for the families we have supported throughout the year.”

Teresa Walsh, the festive spirit of Halesworth

Teresa Walsh at Halesworth Christmas lights

Having worked for Durrants for 24 years, Teresa really is a part of the furniture – the team simply wouldn’t be the same without her. The same applies for the Christmas celebrations every year in Halesworth. For the last 6 years Teresa has been chair of Halesworth Events Management, or HEM for short, which is a group of volunteers who work tirelessly to organise and fund the Halesworth Christmas Lights.

“Christmas in Halesworth is so magical. Every November we celebrate with a parade including a band and Santa’s sleigh, followed by the big celebrity switch on. After that, there’s live music and dancing in the market place plus Santa’s Grotto at the church. Thousands of people come to the town to enjoy the festive celebrations. It’s an event that is enjoyed by not just the young but also the young at heart as many elderly residents look forward to attending this event every year.”

It’s a year-round job for Teresa, who together with her fellow volunteers, organises quizzes, fashion shows, and other fundraising activities, not to mention the risk assessments and licences that are required to pull such a tremendous event together.

We can’t thank our Durrants volunteers enough for their contribution to the community in which we do business. They really are shining stars. Thank you!

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