Norfolk family business, swap delivering hand crafted beds to essential food parcels
- By Elaine Bird
- 29 April 2020
- North-West Norfolk
From online supermarkets and small independent green grocers, to restaurants and cafes, across the UK many businesses are changing the way they serve their customers. When the call came from government to stay at home, save lives and protect the NHS, local family business the Wrought Iron and Brass Bed Company downed tools, temporarily closed their doors, picked up their van keys and volunteered to help deliver essential medications and food supplies to residents in Norfolk.
“Since we opened in 2003, we’ve been blessed by the support of our local community and now was a time, for us to get involved and pay it forward” commented Harry Thompson, company director. “We’re so proud of our team, so when we asked who would be willing to volunteer and come out of lockdown, all were eager and keen to help.”
Hand crafting iron beds on the Sandringham Estate, this first and second-generation family business reached out to Norfolk County Council. Volunteering the services of their delivery vehicles and eager team members to ferry essential supplies to local residents. This local iron bed maker has now completed nearly 200 personal deliveries to vulnerable residents, whilst also supporting fruit and veg deliveries for Kemps Fruit and Veg in Hunstanton.
One area in which delivers have been made is Breckland, in the heart of the county. Cllr Sam Chapman- Allen, Breckland Council’s Leader, commented: “When we put a call out to local businesses to support our pandemic response effort, we were blown away by the offers we received. The generosity shown by the local business community has been outstanding, and we cannot thank Wrought Iron and Brass Bed Company enough for their logistical support during these difficult times and for helping us to support our most vulnerable residents.”
Since before lockdown began, demand for home deliveries has rocketed; with shoppers staying up through the night for the chance of booking a delivery slot. But the demand hasn’t just affected the big boys, with small independent food outlets also seeing a dramatic upsurge in orders.
Turning their eye to local businesses on their own door step, this team of once iron bed makers; are also volunteering their delivery services to Kemps Fruit and Veg in Hunstanton. “one man clapped me for delivering his fruit and veg box. Everyone has said thank you and I’m finding it such a humbling experience.” Sarah Franks, once powder coater, now food delivery driver. “Because what they don’t realise, is that they are also helping me too.”
Gary Cain delivering donated food to the distribution hub
But although helping the community is at the heart of their generosity, they still maintain a strict eye on the current situation we found ourselves in. Implementing stringent procedures, covering personal protective items, to the sanitisation of vehicles and drivers. Helping to ensure they are doing everything they can, to protect their team and those they come into contact with.
Over a month ago, this family company were delivering hand crafted iron beds. Now they are delivering essential food items to those vulnerable, thinking about their community and following the spirit of “pay it forward”.
Sarah Franks - delivery of fruit and vegetables on behalf of Kemps Fruit & Veg, Hunstanton