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Milk float musician hosts care home concerts to support community foodbank

PUBLISHED: 15:57 12 May 2020 | UPDATED: 16:04 12 May 2020

Mutual Aid Sheringham (MASH) co-founder Caz New looks on as 'milk float musician' Paul Thompson helps Frances Naden (left) celebrate her birthday with an open air concert outside her Sheringham home. Photo: submitted

Mutual Aid Sheringham (MASH) co-founder Caz New looks on as 'milk float musician' Paul Thompson helps Frances Naden (left) celebrate her birthday with an open air concert outside her Sheringham home. Photo: submitted

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A record-breaking Norfolk singer songwriter is supporting self-isolating elderly and vulnerable people in his community, by hosting ‘Dial-a-Song’ open-air concerts from the back of his adapted milk float.

Mutual Aid Sheringham (MASH) co-founder Caz New looks on as 'milk float musician' Paul Thompson helps Frances Naden (left) celebrate her birthday with an open air concert outside her Sheringham home. Photo: submittedMutual Aid Sheringham (MASH) co-founder Caz New looks on as 'milk float musician' Paul Thompson helps Frances Naden (left) celebrate her birthday with an open air concert outside her Sheringham home. Photo: submitted

Paul Thompson, from Sheringham, came up with the idea of performing outside care homes after hearing about a food bank launched by community organisation Mutual Aid Sheringham (MASH), which offers services ranging from collecting prescriptions to food shopping for people unable to get out.

“I’ve been wanting to do something to help my community in these very difficult times and MASH are an incredible group of volunteers,” Mr Thompson said.

As well as gaining a Guinness World Record for the longest journey by electric milk float by driving 1,000 miles to the Outer Hebrides at a top speed of 15mph, Mr Thompson previously went on a year-long ‘Busking Bonanza’ which saw him drive from north Norfolk to Cornwall and back in aid of Cancer Research UK.

He has also written two books, the latest of which charts his experiences hitch hiking around Canada and Alaska with his guitar.

Dubbed Bluebell, his milk float, which is kitted out with sound and lighting equipment powered by solar panels, has already delighted residents of a number of care homes, with Mr Thompson also performing outside the home of MASH supporter Frances Naden, 66, who, because she has been self-isolating, was unable to see family and friends on her birthday.

Once lockdown restrictions are eased further, he hopes to roll out the Dial-a-Song scheme, which is being sponsored by Kings Lynn-based Adrian Flux Insurance.

“There is no charge to book a gig, but I am requesting donations for MASH, with all the money collected going to buy essential stock for their foodbank,” Mr Thompson said.

MASH co-founder Caz New said that since launching the foodbank two weeks ago, the group had delivered more than 20 parcels containing food, toiletries and household items donated by local businesses and individuals.

“We have been absolutely overwhelmed with the support we have had,” she added. “I have been in a situation where I haven’t had much money, and nothing is quite as stressful as wondering how you are going to provide for your family.”

To book a Dial-a-Song session, visit www.paulsmusic.co.uk, or the Dial-a-Song milk float Facebook Page. For more information about MASH, or to ask for support, visit the group’s Facebook page ore phone 07423 297036. To make a donation, visit: www.paypal.me/masheringham


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