Author Archives: Gay Webster

Six months in and they still mean business

Norfolk business support organisation, Genix will celebrate six months of hosting its monthly business networking event, Coffee Means Business, in March.

Held at various locations across North Norfolk the event was established in September 2016 and was commissioned by North Norfolk District Council. It attracts more than 30 businesses who network informally over coffee.

The next Coffee Means Business will take place on Friday, March 24,  on the first floor of The Prince of Wales Stand, Fakenham Racecourse, 9.30am-11.30am and the speakers will include Gin Wilson-North (pictured) of Walk and Glamp providing stress-free walking and glamping holidays around the whole coast of Norfolk.

Gary Parker, who hosts Coffee Means Business said, “We’re extremely pleased to be celebrating six months of Coffee Means Business, Norfolk.  The feedback we’ve had from attendees has been extremely positive, businesses appreciate meeting different people every month, and they enjoy the informality, friendliness and low cost which we’ve maintained at just £2 per person, with no membership or joining fees.”

Nigel Dixon, from North Norfolk District Council, said: “We’re extremely pleased to have commissioned Coffee Means Business as a way to support freelancers, self-employed, business owners and companies alike. It’s a great format to meet new business people, build professional relationships and expand your client base.”

Genix is a not-for-profit organisation which has been supporting businesses for more than 20 years with business skills masterclasses, advice and events.

For more details of Coffee Means Business go to www.genix.org.uk or phone 0800 096 3013.

New head for North Walsham school

St Nicholas House Prep School in North Walsham has welcomed a new head to take the school into the future.

Philip Oldroyd has taken over the helm of the independent school and is “looking forward to leading St Nicholas House into its next exciting phase of growth and development”. The appointment comes after headmaster Martin Castle decided to leave his position to enable the school to move forward to the next phase of its life.

Philip lives in Horstead with his wife, Niki and two sons, Dan (17) and Tom (19). The family moved to Norfolk from Sevenoaks, in Kent, six years ago to be closer to Niki’s parents. Philip is a graduate of Leeds University with a BA in PE and business studies and gained his PGCE from the University of Surrey.

His career in education has spanned 28 years, 10 of which as a head eacher. He successfully led Sevenoaks Prep, a co-educational school for children from nursery to Year 8, for seven years and more recently, was headmaster of Langley Prep School. Under his leadership both schools flourished, growing in both numbers and reputation.

Currently, Philip is head of the lower school at Langley, in Loddon, where he has the responsibility for both the pastoral and academic education of the children in Years 6 to 9.

Outside of school, Philip enjoys sports coaching and spectating, having “hung up his boots” a few years ago.  He has coached at both Sevenoaks and North Walsham Rugby Clubs for the past 12 years and cricket for Otford CC until his move to Norfolk.

“I am very excited to be joining such a fantastic school,” he said. “The children clearly benefit from being members of a small community and the family feel of the school is evident Small class sizes allow for more individual attention from well qualified staff who spend quality time with every child.”

There’s a chance to meet the new head at the school’s open day on Saturday, March 18.

New website to support care recruitment campaign

Norfolk County Council has launched a new website to support its Social Care Recruitment Campaign.
The purpose of the campaign is to encourage more people to work in social care across Norfolk by creating a central digital platform. The new website: www.norfolkcarecareers.co.uk will share stories and experiences from people working in the sector, answer any questions potential candidates may have and promote the opportunities available in Norfolk.

Norfolk has seen a growth in population, and with people living longer and those with disabilities more likely to survive to an older age, there is a bigger demand in homecare services.

To spread the word about how rewarding a career in caring can be, Norfolk County Council’s Recruitment and Retention Project Lead for the campaign, has teamed up with local care providers throughout Norfolk to promote working in the sector. Events will be taking place throughout March – details are posted on the new website: www.norfolkcarecareers.co.uk and on the campaign’s Twitter feed @NorfolkCareJobs and Facebook page, Norfolk Care Jobs.

Sarah Thompson, who runs Extra Care Home Services in North Walsham, is giving her full support to the campaign. “We have recently celebrated 10 years in delivering home care and it is becoming increasingly difficult to recruit people into the sector and I want to show people how rewarding a career in care can be,” she said.

Sarah nominated her deputy manager, Alex Marks (pictured), 20, for an award at the Norfolk Care Awards as she saw her potential. “Alex has a passion for doing what she does with us, her commitment shines through and her empathy for others.” Alex was the recipient of an award in the Rising Star category.

James Bullion, Norfolk County Council’s executive director of Adult Social Services said: “We must support the social care staff in their daily work, and promote good services. In these days of many negative headlines, promoting positive images of care work will help us to attract more people to fill our vacancies.

“This partnership working approach to develop the Norfolk Care Careers website will help to meet the needs of care recruitment for the challenges ahead.”

Norfolk County Council’s chair of the Adult Social Care Committee Bill Borrett said: “I am delighted that we are finding new ways to tackle recruitment issues in the care sector. The Norfolk Care Careers website is a great opportunity for signposting people to the right information and for advertising vacancies across Norfolk on behalf of our care providers.  I would urge people to visit the site to take advantage of the many events that are taking place across the county this month.”

Davenport’s Magic Kingdom closes

The magic-themed family attraction, Davenport’s Magic Kingdom, in North Walsham, has been closed and placed into voluntary liquidation following a legal dispute.

An ongoing dispute with a former consultant to the business resulted in a legal bill of almost £60,000 and as a result, the business was unable to continue trading and the directors took steps to appoint Jamie Playford of Leading Corporate Recovery as liquidator of the company on 23 February 2017.

The attraction housed the Davenport family’s extensive magic collection of artefacts and memorabilia spanning almost 500 years, as well as providing a fun and interactive space for museum displays, a magic theatre, gift shop and café.

Prior to opening in May 2013, the Davenport family committed over £1m to building the attraction.

In 2015, visitor numbers decreased and operational costs had increased, causing some cash flow difficulties. The business sought a financial rescue package from the director and his family and friends in order to fund ongoing trading.

The business had accumulated creditors of £1.7 million, of which £1.4m was owed to the Davenport family. The closure resulted in two immediate redundancies although other staff had been laid off over recent months.

Fourth-generation magician and current managing director, Roy Davenport, is currently in talks with Mr Playford to produce a rescue package.

Mr Playford said of the closure: “It is always sad to see a local attraction such as this forced into liquidation, however the local community have expressed their support for the Davenport family and so we are hopeful that a rescue package can be formulated over the coming weeks. We are looking at the detail of the proposals and hope to make a decision in the next week or so.”

Mr Davenport added: “Of course it is very unfortunate to have to go through this process. I am grateful to everyone who has supported us in so many ways over the last years. We are putting all our efforts into a possible rescue package and are hopeful that we can save our unique British magic collection and continue to make it accessible to all.”

A flashback to the opening of Davenport’s in 2013

Walk the walk and help cure Parkinson’s

People in Norfolk are being asked to pick up the pace against Parkinson’s this year at Walk for Parkinson’s – Blickling Estate on Saturday, May 13.
It is one of a series of walk events to be held across the UK for Parkinson’s UK during 2017.
Walk for Parkinson’s offers the opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to get involved in a fun and active day out, while helping the charity step ever closer to a cure.
There are a range of distances around the grounds of the estate on offer to suit everyone, including a 2.5-mile and 5.5-mile walk to choose from.
Last year, 114 people took part in the walk at Blickling Estate to raise an impressive £11,000 between them, and the charity hopes to boost the fundraising total even more this year.
Sky Sports presenter and champion of walking for Parkinson’s UK Dave Clark was diagnosed with the condition himself in 2011. Dave is encouraging as many people as possible to step up at the event.
He says: “In 2016 I completed my own 200-mile coast to coast walk for Parkinson’s UK. It was tough but the sense of achievement when I crossed the finish line was fantastic.
“I know not everyone can walk that far, which is why our Walk for Parkinson’s at Blickling Estate with a choice of distances, is perfect for everyone.
“This year is going to be our most ambitious yet for the Walk for Parkinson’s series. With every pound that we raise we get closer to a cure. So please join us at Blickling Estate and help us step closer to our goal of improving the lives of every person affected by Parkinson’s.”
The registration fee is £10 for adults and £5 for under 16s. Everyone who registers will receive a free Parkinson’s UK T-shirt, fundraising pack and at the end of the walk, a finishers medal.
The charity is hoping to raise over £400,000 from the 32 events, so suggests walkers aim to raise at least £50.
All money raised from Walk for Parkinson’s – Blickling Estate will help Parkinson’s UK’s work to provide support and information for people affected by the condition and to help find better treatments, and ultimately a cure.
As well as walkers, the charity is on the lookout for volunteers to help register people at the start/finish area or to be a walk marshal at various points on the route during the day.
To find out more and to sign up to walk or volunteer visit: http://www.parkinsons.org.uk/walkblicklingestate, call 0207 963 9367 or email fundraising@parkinsons.org.uk.

Name and shame those dog foulers in Cromer

North Norfolk District Council is calling on people in Cromer to help identify irresponsible dog owners near a popular local park.

The roads leading to Fearns Field in Suffield Park are repeatedly being contaminated by dog excrement with council patrollers discovering 15 in one morning last week.

Fearn Field itself, a favourite spot for children to play, is also suffering from dog fouling.

Angie Fitch-Tillett, cabinet member for environment said: “We have patrols all through the day trying to check on dog fouling and trying to identify the owners responsible for this. But we don’t have enough people to cover every foot of the roads and park at every moment of the day and night. So we’re calling on the communities of Cromer to help us help them. If you know who’s doing this, please tell us. If you see someone letting their dog foul and not picking up, report it with as much detail about the owner and the dog.”

The roads affected by significant fouling are Station Road, Carrington Road, Park Road and to a lesser extent Northrepps Road. Council officers are patrolling the area and have added path stencils along pavements to remind people they need to bag it and bin it. Dog excrement is also being sprayed different colours so officers can immediately identify new offences.

If you see someone leaving their dog’s poo report it here: http://bit.ly/2lYfJSN with as much information about the timing, the identity of the owner, location and dog. If you feel it is safe to take a photograph of the owner and dog, please send that to us at ep@north-norfolk.gov.uk

North Norfolk District Council has been running a #NoMessing campaign to raise awareness of dog fouling in North Norfolk. For more information see http://bit.ly/2lglEi6

A festive message but the sentiment still stands

Victims of domestic abuse to benefit from £100,000 funding

Domestic abuse experts Leeway are teaming up with a trio of district and borough councils to make use of £100,000 extra funding.

The extra money will be added to ongoing efforts to support domestic abuse victims across North Norfolk, West Norfolk and Breckland over the next two years.

The money is part of a national £20 million fund announced by the government in the last few days and it is anticipated the money will help 117 women and 142 children.

Funding will be used across the three council areas to pay for a specialist domestic abuse case worker with mental health and substance misuse expertise; a dedicated refuge bed space for women with no recourse to public funds or for those who are not economically active or those who have lost their eligibility status; a rent-guarantee scheme enabling women to move on to independent living quicker in the private rent sector.

Mandy Proctor, chief executive of Leeway, said: “It is fantastic that local councils have secured funding to support those experiencing domestic abuse. The work we do in partnership with local authorities is extremely important and it is vital that we are able to continue to offer a high-quality service to those that need it. It is fantastic that the government are taking a proactive stance to tackle domestic abuse, which will undoubtedly make a massive difference to many people that are experiencing domestic abuse.”

Richard Price, North Norfolk District Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “This is about helping people in very difficult situations make informed choices at the right time, whatever their level of need. The bid put together by Leeway and the three authorities has been recognised as having great potential and we all look forward to its success into the future.”

Leeway is also running fundraising events throughout the year, like this skydive. There are still spaces if you would like to support them.

Children’s charity gets £10,000 from Roys

Charity Nelson’s Journey has received a £10,000 donation from Roys of Wroxham to help its work with bereaved children.

Nelson’s Journey was chosen as Roys charity of the year to receive all donations raised through sale of 5p carrier bags at Roys’ eight stores and Highway Garden and Leisure.

Sarah Hyde from Nelson’s Journey said: “We are absolutely amazed by the incredible support offered from Roys and their customers. We are pleased to have the backing of such a wonderful organisation, full of staff enthusiastic about our charity.”

The £10,000 can fund 40 children to attend one of the therapeutic residential weekends at Hilltop in Sheringham. The weekend is packed full of team building, coping strategies and memory work with other children and young people of a similar age, giving them the right tools and confidence to move forward positively with their lives.

Ed Roy, managing director at Roys, presented the cheque, saying: “We are very pleased to be helping such a worthwhile cause, Roys would like to thank each and every customer that has donated money by purchasing a carrier bag and we look forward to being able to present Nelson’s Journey with future donations throughout the year.”

If you would like to donate or would like help from the child bereavement support team at Nelson’s Journey then you can find more details at http://www.nelsonsjourney.org.uk/

Photo left to right: Ed Roy (Managing Director Roys), Simon Wright (Chief Executive Nelson’s Journey), Sarah Hyde (Community Funding and Marketing Officer Nelson’s Journey)