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Sowing the seeds for a happier 2021!

The Saxmundham Music & Arts CIC (SMART), or better known as Sax Music Fest, has been turning its hand to supporting the ‘IP17 GNS’ Good Neighbour Scheme – with their aim to be a short-term solution to the difficulties people face as a result of having to self-isolate, shield or pause their working life, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Terry, a volunteer director of ‘SMART’ has been actively involved with IP17GNS ‘Good Neighbour Scheme’ since the first lockdown in March 2020, assisting setting up emergency food pack pick up points and co-ordinating volunteer drivers to deliver the food and working closely with Bryony Peall and Di Eastman from the Town Council.

In April 2020, Terry applied for a Lottery grant for IP17GNS and was successful in receiving £3500 for them. This enabled the purchase of contactless payment card readers and printers for use when volunteers delivered foodstuffs to those self-isolating and wanting a small shopping order. SMART also helped to fund summer activities using local instructors to help run free activities to enable people to maintain some fitness or at least to enjoy some fresh air. Activities included Line Dancing, Family Rounders, Yoga and Nordic Walking.

The Saxmundham Christmas Festival (‘SAXmas’), was planned for Friday 4th December 2020 in partnership with Saxmundham Town Council, who provide the administrative role with ’SMART’ dealing with the planning and implementation of the event. Instead, and as an alternative, SMART was asked to organise and run an event for a Santa Sleigh to tour the streets of Saxmundham, Benhall and Kelsale. They assisted with the application to East Suffolk District Council for the relevant licences, PRS for the music licence, the respective permissions adhering to Covid regulations, the risk assessment and event plan, arrangements of volunteers and the briefings for safety of those assisting.

“I cannot thank Bryony Peall and the volunteers enough for their time and effort with this event and special thanks go out to Santa Claus and his team. We’re proud to be supporting the award-winning IP17 Good Neighbour Scheme” said Terry Barrow, volunteer Director, ‘SMART’. He went on to say, “Sax Music Fest was cancelled in 2020, but there are plans to relaunch it in 2021, to continue working with the Town Council on SAXmas, Rosie Hoare on planning, marketing and promotion of ‘SAXjazz’ and other arts events around the Town. We will continue to build on the successes so far. We have been quiet, but still there behind the scenes”.