The superheroes of lockdown: Here are the Altrincham people you wanted to thank for helping our community this year

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2020 has been an extraordinarily trying year to say the least, but it has also succeeded in showing our community at its best. 

When our streets locked down, it was left to our key workers to stand up – and our gratitude to those health and care workers on the frontline is unconditional.

But we asked you to nominate those community heroes who had gone the extra mile to keep your lives relatively stable through such turbulent times.

You replied in your droves – and as our thank you to all who have helped our community this year, here is a selection of those who you thought particularly deserved a moment in the spotlight.

Hero: Superheroes of Sale

The Superheroes of Sale (Pic: Ray Kearney)

Nominated by Rebecca France, Timperley: “They’ve been putting smiles on adults and children’s faces in these harsh times, and all whilst raising money for charity. They have made lockdown bearable with a two-year-old, and a baby born days into lockdown. It gave my toddler something that was just his to look forward to when a new baby arrived and everyone stopped visiting.”

Q&A with Frank Tsang, founder of Superheroes of Sale

ALTRINCHAM TODAY: Where did the idea for Superheroes of Sale come from?

FRANK TSANG: At the beginning of lockdown a number of us were running the streets of Sale separately in fancy dress, and we started to notice each other posting routes and photos in the local Facebook groups. We sometimes bumped into each other or saw each other from a distance. We got chatting via Facebook, and it was from there we decided to join forces and raise money for Ronald McDonald House Charities, and we’ve now raised over £7,300. We were strangers before, but now we are lifelong friends.

Between us, we’ve sung happy birthday to over 250 people since the start of April! We have an ever changing group of Supers, but we now have a core of Mr Incredible, Captain America, Wonder Woman, Thor, Rey, Spiderman, Batman, Batgirl, Ironman, Snow White, Elsa and She-Ra. A number of us own multiple costumes too, so you’re never too far from your favourite superhero!

Hero: Rachel Curwen, Brown Owl for 3rd (A) Timperley Brownies

Nominated by Amy Wheelwright, Timperley: She has been an absolute hero to her brownie group. She has had weekly Facebook live meetings, Zoom meetings, delivered crafts/tasks for the girls to do, posted ideas/ challenges every week and most of all has kept encouraging, praising and motivating the girls throughout. An absolute superstar.” 

Hero: Dee and Martin Hazel, Third Timperley Beavers, Cubs and Scouts

Nominated by Debbie Reynolds, Timperley: “They run the Third Timperley Beavers, Cubs and Scouts group, keeping it going via Zoom during lock down. This takes up three evenings a week, not including most weekends out of lockdown. So selfless. They deserve an honour. Amazing couple.”

Hero: Sarah Walmsley, Community Volunteer

Sarah Walmsley is a “true credit to Altrincham”

Nominated by Clodagh Buckley and Rachel McKinlay: Throughout the pandemic, Sarah has continued with her existing community initiatives, which include the Altrincham In Bloom planters, Denmark Street Walkway and Lloyd Street. She also arranged a much needed litter pick post lockdown which enabled local residents to collect litter in a socially distanced manner. While these are her existing initiatives, she also volunteered for the NHS Royal Voluntary service which involved collecting food parcels from the hub, delivering food to shielded patients, arranging collections of carrier bags and also being available for phone contact from vulnerable patients too. She has gone above and beyond in terms of her community work and answering the call for help from the NHS too. A true credit to Altrincham who doesn’t share all her voluntary work on social media.”

Hero: Paul Rooney

Libero Bar’s Paul Rooney during a lockdown delivery

Nominated by Mark Bailey: “Paul’s bar Libero closed when the lockdown began. He quickly became the delivery guy we nicknamed ‘Deliverooney’ dropping off our beer needs. He was always friendly and positive and kept his and our spirits up when times seemed bleak. He was also part of the team from Libero that set up a weekly quiz on Wednesday evenings which kept all our spirits up.

Hero: Sam Wood, Troy Wood and Carol Hoyland, leaders of Timperley 2nd Beavers

Troy Wood, Sam Wood and Carol Hoyland Pic: Karen Herman-Wright

Nominated by Katherine Lockett: “During the whole of lockdown they gave the kids of Timperley 2nd beavers a weekly Zoom meeting. It was full of fun, investigations and creations. As a parent I am eternally grateful for the effect they put in each week. I can not thank them enough. Timperley is lucky to have such dedicated, community spirited people.” 

Hero: Don Milligan and Matthew Gowrie, Milkmen, DJM Dairies

DJM Dairies has seen business boom during the pandemic

Nominated by Catherine Watts, Hale: “They have added different products to their list, working much longer hours, through the night in all weathers. They have taken on new customers and provide basics and essentials for us when it’s difficult to get out.”

Q&A with DJM Dairies owner Don Milligan

ALTRINCHAM TODAY: How has the business changed over lockdown? 

DON MILLIGAN: At the start of lockdown we had 820 customers – five months later and our customers have increased by 50%. It wasn’t all plain sailing though, it was an extremely busy time with the landline, mobile and Facebook Messenger constantly going off with new customers. At one point we had to stop taking on new customers and turn off the phones whilst we got ourselves sorted and assessed the stock situation. We had to take on two staff on a temporary basis as well as getting other members of the family to help out! 

As lockdown continued and we got ourselves sorted, which included splitting the rounds, we were able to take on new customers again. We have gone from delivering four days a week to delivering six days a week and are now back to a team of three making deliveries. We also sold additional products during lockdown including flour, sugar, Jaffa cakes and toilet roll. At one point we were delivering 700 loaves, 500 dozen eggs, 950 yogurts and all the milk and other items.

Hero: Matt Townley, Owner, One Mile Bakery Hale

One Mile Bakery’s Matt Townley

Nominated by Dan: “Having gone above and beyond with bread deliveries at the height of the pandemic and throughout despite being in the at risk group himself.”

From our Instagram page