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Orbit resident of 24 years raises community spirits during coronavirus

A retired Orbit customer has gone above and beyond for his community during coronavirus, delivering essential shopping to vulnerable neighbours and organising a socially distanced gathering to raise spirits during lockdown.     

Malcolm, 70, a retired engineer from Heatherhayes in Ipswich, has been an Orbit customer for over 24 years. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Malcolm has been going the extra mile to help those in his local community.

During lockdown, Malcolm supported his vulnerable neighbours by delivering essential shopping to those who were isolating at home and setting up a WhatsApp group with other retired residents, to improve wellbeing and keep in touch during the crisis.

Malcolm also arranged a socially distanced ‘Victory in Europe’ Day celebration and barbeque in the Heatherhayes communal garden, to boost morale on the estate during lockdown.

For his achievements in the community, Malcolm was nominated in Orbit’s Thriving Communities Awards 2020. On 14th August, Malcolm was announced as runner-up in the Better Days Award category, which recognises a community group or individual, who has shown outstanding passion and enthusiasm, through development of local services that have supported Orbit customers to thrive. Malcolm was highly commended in this category and was awarded £250 grant money to support the continuation of the positive work he is doing in his local community.

Chloe Allison, Property Manager at Orbit’s Heatherhayes said: “At Orbit, we are committed to making a positive impact on the environment, to ensure our communities are places where people are proud to live. Malcolm is a fantastic Orbit customer; he cares very much about the environment, where he lives and his neighbours, which directly aligns with Orbit’s vision.

“Malcolm has made such a tangible difference to the lives of others at a very difficult time or all. He is truly an asset to his community, and I want to congratulate him on being commended at our Thriving Communities Awards! The nomination was thoroughly deserved, and I want to thank Malcolm for all his hard work during this global pandemic.”

Talking about his contribution to the community, Malcolm said: “I have been involved in community work since moving to Heatherhayes over 24 years ago. I have a keen interest in the recycling and the environment and try to make sure the estate is always looking it’s best! During lockdown, I wanted to do my bit to keep spirits up and make sure people had everything they needed.”

In addition to his efforts during lockdown, Malcolm is also well-known for his work in the local community. Over the years, he has participated in numerous litter picks on the Heatherhayes estate. He also speaks to his neighbours on a regular basis and sends through suggested ideas for improvement to his Property Manager, Chloe. Thanks to Malcolm’s suggestions, more bike stores have been installed on the estate, as well as additional security lighting.

Malcolm also joins Chloe on quarterly estate inspections and has attended external meetings with contractors and local authorities to make the community a better place!