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Sprowston pensioner thanks her caring neighbours

PUBLISHED: 13:00 16 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:30 02 July 2010

Joan Forder issued a thank you to neighbours for helping to look after her in the big freeze.

Joan Forder issued a thank you to neighbours for helping to look after her in the big freeze.

Peter Walsh

An 84-year-old woman from Sprowston has today issued a heartfelt thank you to neighbours for helping to look after her in the big freeze.

Joan Forder who lives in Colindeep Lane told how she has some of the best neighbours in the world who are never to busy to help or check on her and make sure she is alright.

An 84-year-old woman from Sprowston has today issued a heartfelt thank you to neighbours for helping to look after her in the big freeze.

Joan Forder who lives in Colindeep Lane told how she has some of the best neighbours in the world who are never to busy to help or check on her and make sure she is alright.

Earlier this month Jean and Derek Randall, who were in their seventies, were found dead in their house in Kingsthorpe, Northampton, by police up to five days after they were believed to have died as temperatures plummeted.

But Mrs Forder, who used to work at Jarrold Printing in the city, said she would never suffer the same tragedy because her marvellous neighbours would do everything they could to make sure she was safe and well.

She said: “I know that would never happen to me. All the people in Colindeep Lane have been a tower of strength to me - they do my shopping and keep their eyes on me. I'm very fortunate and tell them so.

“I can't reward them with anything; I'm 84 and can't get about very well, but just wanted to put a thank you in the paper because we all get the Evening News round here. I'm a very fortunate lady”

Mrs Forder, who is originally from Scunthorpe but moved to Norwich in 1945, has lived in Colindeep Lane for almost 50 years and has been on her own since losing her 75-year-old husband to cancer in 1996.

But she said she has never felt alone such has been the support she has had from people living in the area.

And their help and support has been needed more than ever over the past few weeks as the snow, ice and freezing temperatures of Britain's worst winter in 30 years have taken their Arctic grip.

She said: “One of my neighbours, John, came every day and shifted the snow from my path. I have one lady that calls every day to make sure I'm alright and if I don't answer or couldn't she would get her husband to come round.”

Mrs Forder said that she and her next door neighbour had a system in place to make sure they were okay.

She said: “He gets up in the morning to feed his birds and if he's okay he will put a rope over the wall and if I'm okay I will throw it back over and if one of us doesn't do it we ring and go round.”

The next door neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: “We make sure we're up and about so we know we're alright for the day. She's a lovely lady. Everyone helps each other.”

Brenda Amies, 70, and her husband John, 74, live just a few doors away from Mrs Forder and are just two of the people she wanted to thank from the dozens of neighbours and friends she gets help from in the area.

Mrs Amies said: “My husband has been going down every day to clear the snow for her. She's not that steady on her feet and that's why we keep an eye on her and my husband cleared a path to her garage so she can get to her freezer.

“She's a nice lady and has a lot of good friends and neighbours. She's so grateful for what people do and never complains.”

Earlier this week the Evening News reported how Age Concern Norwich called on people to look after elderly neighbours as the cold snap continued.

To contact Age Concern Norwich call 01603 496333, while Age Concern Norfolk is on 01603 787111.

Are you an elderly person who wants to thank a neighbour for their kindness? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

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