Author Archives: Gay Webster

Chance to take part in school’s mentoring scheme

Business people and employers are being urged to volunteer to take part in a hugely successful mentoring scheme aimed at helping high school students gain the confidence and employability skills they will need in later life.

North Walsham High School will launch the sixth year of its mentoring scheme in February. Mentors take on between five and 10 Year 9 student mentees, and meet regularly with them over a two-and-a-half year period, to offer support and advice on qualifications, skills needed to progress towards their ambitions, and to help motivate and inspire them.

Students who have taken part in the scheme have spoken about how the experience helped build their confidence and self-esteem, as well as guiding them in their choices for the future.  Mentors have also reported that taking part has been a rewarding experience, helping their own personal development, as well as ensuring that tomorrow’s workforce has the skills needed to be useful employees.

“Our mentoring programme is designed to provide role models for our students,” said Kate Lawn, who is co-ordinating the initiative. “We want them to be inspired, motivated, confident, and full of self-belief. We need to develop their ‘soft skills’ to improve their long-term employment prospects. Employers have highlighted that employability skills are lacking in young people, so our aim is to build on these to enable them to progress in the world of work.”

Employers and business people who are interested in taking part are being invited to a business breakfast at the school to find out more.  The event takes place on January 22, 7am-8.30am.  Those interested in attending can reserve a place by contacting Kate Monday to Wednesday on 01692 402581 or by email on lawnk@nwhs.uk. The 2019 scheme will be launched at a “speed networking” event at the school on February 13.  Mentors receive training, and are required to complete a DBS check.

One current mentor at NWHS is Gail Adams, owner of Holiday let company, Pack Holidays.  She says that being a mentor gives her a lot of inspiration for the future: “It is well worth your time spending a little while with young, developing and curious minds.  The students I mentor are a fabulous set of young adults who are mature, kind, intelligent and engaging.”

Don’t miss local firms’ Christmas video

It’s back by popular demand! Drayton estate agent’s William’s Way very special video take on the Twelve Days of Christmas has been released.

The fun frolic features William’s Way and 11 other businesses, mostly from Drayton, Taverham and Hellesdon, each filmed for a different day of Christmas, sounding their own firm’s particular trumpet in festive fashion.

“It’s a lot of fun, with out-takes on the end!” said Wil Barber, owner of William’s Way which launched the first video last year.

“We got just shy of 1,300 views last year and the community really enjoyed it,” said Wil. “Unlike many businesses which get very busy at this time of year, in our industry we’re quieter at Christmas so we were happy to facilitate this.

“Everyone was so excited and appreciative and couldn’t believe there was no charge for it! It’s just a fun way of helping give local businesses a bit of an extra boost.”

The only non-local business taking part this year is the online punditry site Talk Norwich City. “Everyone round here’s a Norwich City fan so it is kind of local!” said Wil.

Also among the featured businesses is HexCam drone photography and video, based in Drayton, which turned one of its drones into a Santa’s little helper for the video. The firm works with clients including the BBC and English Heritage.

To watch the 12 Days of Christmas Jingle, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xln0ycPFW74

 

 

 

 

Get involved with sensory garden project

Everyone is invited to a meeting at Sprowston Library on Monday January 7 at 4pm to talk about transforming a dull, bare piece of land outside the building (pictured) into a sensory garden.

The project will be carried out by the community, for the community.

With special consideration of how a garden can appeal to all senses, a sensory garden can be particularly enjoyed by those living with dementia or the visually impaired.

If you or your organisation would like to involved with the project in any way, just turn up for the meeting.  Contact claire.sharland@norfolk.gov.uk for more information.

  • Every Tuesday, from 10.30am-noon the library hosts a Just a Cuppa Coffee Morning. If you’re at a loose end and fancy some company, drop by for a chat over a cuppa and a biscuit.

 

Extra funding for North Norfolk market towns

Funding for a wide range of projects designed to improve the economic vitality of North Norfolk’s four inland market towns has been approved.

A meeting of North Norfolk District Council’s Cabinet agreed to a set of recommendations today which had been put forward by the Market Towns Initiative working group.

Each town was able to bid for £100,000 to spend on projects enabling them to take part in the development of their economic future. The money comes from a total pot of £400,000.

Around £130,000 remains in the Market Towns Initiative fund and a second round of applications will be opened to access this money, with the closing date for these applications being February 12.

The amount any one town can receive in total will remain at a maximum of £100,000 – so if a town received £50,000 in the first round, it would be able to bid for up to £50,000 in the second round.

Sarah Butikofer, leader of North Norfolk District Council and chairman of the MTI working group, said: “I was delighted by the range of projects that were put forward and very pleased that cabinet ratified the recommendations of the working group this morning. All of our communities deserve our support.”

The nine successful applicants included:

The Holt Society – £7,210 to design and print a pamphlet and five notice boards to provide information on the Holt Owl Trail to residents and visitors.

Love Holt – £26,000 to implement a major marketing campaign for the town designed to increase visitors and trade.

Holt Town Council – £17,514 for projects including an accessible Yellow Brick Route, and a Holt park-and-ride scheme.

Regenerate North Walsham and North Walsham Town Council – £99,575 to implement three major improvement projects split between improving St Nicholas Court, the town centre and attracting more visitors to the town.

St Nicholas Court in North Walsham

Why Cromer has ‘the magic’ for the BBC this Christmas

Cromer was in the TV spotlight this evening with the first airing of a short film made in the town focusing on togetherness this Christmas.

Written by BBC creatives Edward Usher and Xander Hart, the two-minute film aims to encourage families and friends to make the most of their time together during the holiday season.

Wonderland follows the story of a teenage boy who lives with his family in a small seaside town. The demands of everyday life mean that he and his mum don’t get to spend as much time together as they used to. But one day, with Christmas fast approaching, everything changes and they get to spend a unique afternoon together that they’ll never forget. The message is simple; when you do manage to get some time with the ones you love, be sure to cherish it.

The feeling was that Christmas is a time to slow down, pause life and spend time with family,” said Edward. “We wanted to see them take a moment and really cherish it.”

The team chose Cromer for filming as “it had the magic”. “We wanted it to be filmed at a traditional seaside town. The seaside is very much associated with the summer and holidays but we wanted to focus on the feel of these places for the people who live there all year round. We loved the timeless feel of Cromer.”

They decided on the town as a location through research. “We wanted a quintessentially seaside town with a pier. We went to see all of them and they were all amazing but when we saw Cromer it had the magic,” said Edward.

The 70-strong crew spent four days filming, staying at the Cliftonville and eating out locally. There were also local extras and crew involved. As well as the two-minute film, they created shorter vignettes to use between shows over the Christmas period celebrating the BBC’s “oneness”. The first showing of the two-minute film was tonight between Strictly Come Dancing and Michael McIntyre’s Big Show.

Xander said: “We were amazed by the interest we created and how many people showed up to watch the filming. The locals were absolutely wonderful, everyone was so friendly. We are so grateful for that.”

The production has meant the pair have been thinking about Christmas since April when they started writing the script. Now they hope everybody in the town and local areas likes the end product.

Edward and Xander’s work can also be seen in a promotional trailer for the World Cup.

If you missed it you can see it here https://youtu.be/j3G0UCk3DFA

Second baby for MP Chloe

Chloe Smith (pictured), MP for Norwich North, is expecting her second child in May next year.

Chloe, 36, and husband Sandy, 40, are looking forward to a brother or sister for toddler Alastair, now 2.

 Chloe, who is in her tenth year representing Norwich North, says:

 “We’re really excited and delighted. Alastair will love having a little brother or sister to play with. It’ll be hard work but a source of joy.”

 As with their first child, Chloe and Sandy hope to take six months each of shared parental leave. Chloe will make arrangements for her constituency work to be fully covered.

 

 

Use your phone in Aylsham church on Sunday!

Using a smartphone during a church service? It’s no longer a cardinal sin in Aylsham where Sunday (November 25) morning’s congregation will be encouraged to look at their screens and send messages as they sit in the pews.

Rev Canon Andrew Beane will be using the latest Swedish technology at the 10.15am service to find out what his parishioners think.

As churchgoers arrive at St Michael’s parish church they will be able to download a free app and enter a code displayed on a screen.

During the service Canon Beane will be asking various questions and, by pressing buttons on their smartphones, the congregation’s answers will be almost-instantly recorded and displayed for all to see, for example in the form of numbers and bar charts.

The “interactive presentation platform” is called Mentimeter and is widely used in business boardrooms but is a rarity in British churches.

Nicholas Baines, a spokesman for Mentimeter, said: “It’s breaking the taboo of using phones in church. I believe Andrew might be talking about perceptions of Advent and his questions will be around that theme. Depending on people’s answers, he might adapt his sermon. It allows him to interact with his congregation virtually instantly.”

 

 

 

 

 

Free Christmas parking dates in North Norfolk

Every town in North Norfolk has chosen two days of free parking over the festive period.

North Norfolk District Council has decided once again to waive the parking charges before Christmas. This year the free parking period will run on various dates between November 24 and December 23.

The decision supported North Norfolk’s businesses and traders by encouraging people to buy their Christmas gifts and supplies in their local towns. At a crucial time of year for the retail community, it was also a gesture of goodwill for the festive season in response to requests from businesses, said a spokesman.

Posters will be put up in all relevant car parks giving the information for the individual towns. On the days themselves, payment machines will be covered to make sure people understand they do not need to pay.

The free weekend car parking sessions will be:

•             North Walsham – November 24 and December 1

•             Cromer – December 1 and 8

•             Fakenham – December 15 and 22

•             Stalham – December 2 and 8

•             Wells – November 24 and December 8

•             Holt – December 16 and 23

•             Sheringham – December 1 and 8