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Village’s ‘happy tree’ brings lockdown cheer to children

PUBLISHED: 06:30 24 May 2020

Children missing out their ordinary lives due to lockdown are finding cheer through a magical ‘happy tree’ created to spruce up a village’s mood. Photo: Provided

Children missing out their ordinary lives due to lockdown are finding cheer through a magical ‘happy tree’ created to spruce up a village’s mood. Photo: Provided

Archant

On the east Suffolk coast in Blundeston, near Lowestoft, a so-called happy tree has been created by town gardeners from the Blundeston in Bloom group to help separated families branch out of their lockdown routine and find positivity in their community.

Three-year-old Rose Shipley pictured enjoying the tree. Photo: SubmittedThree-year-old Rose Shipley pictured enjoying the tree. Photo: Submitted

The idea for the tree came from Blundeston in Bloom florist Shirley Tuck, who said she was proud to have seen “villages of all ages pull together to maintain spirits and raise a smile in these extraordinary times”.

The tree, on the village’s Millennium Green, has been adorned with painted shapes of wood and rainbow coloured wind chimes.

Villagers are encouraged to show off their artistic skills “to add a splash of colour and bring a smile to all who walk across the green,” Mrs Tuck said.

“Everyone has pulled together, and this tree is a celebration of what a lovely village this is. It started small and spread like wildfire. It’s the spirit of the blitz that’s coming back. Distancing is hard and people are distanced but we have a lot to feel lucky about living in this village.”

Two-year-old Tilly Shipley (left) and her three-year-old sister Rose pictured enjoying the tree. Photo: SubmittedTwo-year-old Tilly Shipley (left) and her three-year-old sister Rose pictured enjoying the tree. Photo: Submitted

There are more than 50 items on the tree, including messages of support for NHS staff and key workers.

Families are invited to add to the magical creation which is for the entire village’s benefit, and includes a ‘Covid-19 serpent’ of more than 60 painted pebbles, which families can add to and make it stretch as far as possible.

Vice-chairman of Blundeston and Flixton Parish Council, Steven Rees, called the project “a focal point for the village to talk about positively”.

He added: “On behalf of the parish council and the whole village, I’d like to thank Shirley for this tree which brings a smile to people and does a little more to get the community together.

The tree at Blundeston's Millennium Green has been adroned with painted wood and rainbow windchimes and messages of support for the NHS. Photo: SubmittedThe tree at Blundeston's Millennium Green has been adroned with painted wood and rainbow windchimes and messages of support for the NHS. Photo: Submitted

“It’s only a small gesture but it is a little distraction and is nice for children missing friends and ordinary school life to get something to do.”

The tree includes a ‘Covid-19 serpent’ of more than 60 painted pebbles, which families can add to and make it stretch as far as possible. Photo: SubmittedThe tree includes a ‘Covid-19 serpent’ of more than 60 painted pebbles, which families can add to and make it stretch as far as possible. Photo: Submitted

The tree includes a ‘Covid-19 serpent’ of more than 60 painted pebbles, which families can add to and make it stretch as far as possible. Photo: SubmittedThe tree includes a ‘Covid-19 serpent’ of more than 60 painted pebbles, which families can add to and make it stretch as far as possible. Photo: Submitted

The tree at Blundeston's Millennium Green has been adroned with painted wood and rainbow windchimes and messages of support for the NHS. Photo: SubmittedThe tree at Blundeston's Millennium Green has been adroned with painted wood and rainbow windchimes and messages of support for the NHS. Photo: Submitted

Two-year-old Tilly Shipley (right) and her three-year-old sister Rose pictured enjoying the tree. Photo: SubmittedTwo-year-old Tilly Shipley (right) and her three-year-old sister Rose pictured enjoying the tree. Photo: Submitted

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