Latest statistics show a steep rise in the numbers of Aylsham people – including children – being fed by the Cromer and District Foodbank.
Between January and August last year the foodbank’s two Aylsham centres both recorded sharp increases compared to the same period in 2018.
Aylsham Parish Church distributed food to 34 children during the 2019 period, compared to 14 in 2018 – a 140pc increase. At Aylsham Recreation Ground pavilion the rise was 35pc, with 82 children fed.
The total number of people fed at the pavilion rose by 67pc, to 240, and at the church by 105pc, to 90.
A foodbank spokesman said: “Increased demand has been met by increased donations, but our concern for 2020 is that we continue to receive donations that meet an ever-increasing demand.
The main reasons for the rises continued to be benefit problems – with people having to wait about five weeks to their Universal Credit payments – and low incomes, with short term, or zero hours contracts, causing hardship.
“The challenges for us in the new year are to maintain the service of meeting the needs of people in crisis through food parcels and signposting to get the professional support,” the spokesman added. “Plus, we would like to develop further services. For this to happen we need to have food and finances continue to be donated by the people of North Norfolk.
The town’s switch-on celebrations begin at 4pm this Friday, November 29, and include: games and activities, street food, Christmas tree festival in the parish church, Christmas market in the town hall, craft market in the Black Boys car park, Father Christmas in the Eclipse Hair Studio (34 Red Lion Street from 4.30pm), dancing and singing from local schools, a children’s area in the old Post Office yard, and Pirate Joe and Agent Orange live on stage.
Santa will join the traditional lantern parade from St Michael’s School to Market Place for the 6.30pm switch on which will be performed by Anglia TV weatherman Chris Page and broadcast live to viewers.
Many local businesses will stay open late, offering hospitality to visitors.
Market Place will be closed from 2pm to allow time for setting up. Red Lion Street and Penfold Street will close later in the afternoon, once the school runs are over.
See pictures after the event on our social media and in the next print issue of Just Aylsham.
BSD, which holds classes in Aylsham and
Wroxham, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.
The school’s show is called Icons and will
feature more than 230 students, from aged three upwards, taking part in 50
individual routines and songs.
Former pupil Rose Mason, now a professional
dancer, will also be taking part with some of the school’s most advanced
Rose, and fellow professional dancer Rachael
Crocker, has also helped the teachers with choreography.
The show is a celebration of iconic music,
song and dance – which organisers say will have you dancing in the
“We have ballets from iconic composers and
musicals old and new, with some favourites you are sure to recognise!” said
teacher Katy Carroll.
“We hope you will enjoy our spectacular display of talent featuring dance genres from ballet, modern, jazz, tap and contemporary and new to BSD Acrobatic Arts. You will also see some of the singing talent within the school.”
of the biggest community projects to benefit Aylsham this century risks
becoming a victim of its own success.
volunteers of all ages, abilities and interests are badly needed to make sure
Youngs Park and Aylsham Football Club continue to flourish and offer the town
SOS comes as Youngs Park, which opened in November 2015, marks its fourth
birthday and prepares to throw a celebration thank you party, on November 23,
for its volunteers.
committed group of current volunteers was becoming “thinly spread” and
struggling as use of the site continued to snowball, according to Ian Potter.
is chairman of Aylsham FC and a director of the charitable trust which owns the
20-acre site and Youngs Park community building.
He is urging people with or without an interest in football to volunteer and help the whole community while giving themselves a sense of satisfaction and making new friends.
As well as being Aylsham FC’s base, the Youngs Park building is also used heavily by many other local organisations ranging from Slimming World, to bridge and karate clubs, a pre-school group and by Norfolk County Council for Speed Awareness courses.
It is also hired for occasions such as christenings, wedding receptions and wakes.
All profit from renting out the building was ploughed back into maintaining and improving the site to make sure it remained something the whole community was proud of and wanted to use, said Ian.
keeping it all going with a limited pool of volunteers was becoming an
opened four years ago with 18 football teams and now we’ve got 30,” said Ian.
rent the site out seven days a week and there’s now about 70pc occupancy during
the week – 100pc at weekends. What we’re proudest of is the original idea and
that more than £1m was raised by Aylsham FC, with help from the Youngs
family and local community.
it’s successfully run 100pc by local volunteers. We now have growing pains due
to the successful scale of growth and will need to limit further growth of our
football teams and community use if we cannot find more volunteers.”
were needed for everything from running the bar during events to organising
need fresh people with fresh ideas and skills,” Ian added.
dedication of those who had helped since the facility opened meant it had
always made a profit and, with the help of fundraising events and grants, they
had been able to carry out more than £50,000 of improvements to the site since
added: “When you go home, as a volunteer you feel good because you are giving
up your time to improve a vibrant community hub used every week by hundreds of
local children and people from all walks of life.”
A Christmas Carol is back at Biddy’s Tea Room in Norwich and Biddy’s kitchen in Aylsham this year, after playing to sold-out audiences in 2018. This popular festive play by local theatre company.
The Keeper’s Daughter’s take on the Charles
Dickens’ classic is quirky and contemporary, with just two actors playing all
the parts; miserly old Ebenezer Scrooge, of course, and his long-suffering
clerk Bob Cratchit and his family, as well as the three famous spirits: the
Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of
Christmas Yet To Come. Expect puppets, improv and surprises; this is a gripping
ghost story for friends and families.
Supported by Arts Council England, the
Norwich-based theatre company’s production of A Christmas Carol is an hour long
and is suitable for all those aged five and over. The performances at historic
Biddy’s Tea Room, on Lower Goat Lane, take place up a flight of stairs, however,
the same production will also take place at Biddy’s Kitchen in Aylsham on
Sunday 15th December and Sunday 22nd December, with those
performances accessible for everyone.
The Keeper’s Daughter will be performed at Biddy’s from Tuesday 3rd December to Sunday 22nd December, with multiple performances on some of the dates. Tickets are just £10 each (£7.50 for under-14s) and include mulled apple juice and home-made mince pies. Bookings can be made via Biddy’s website at: www.biddystearoom.com or via Ticket Source at: www.ticketsource.co.uk/biddysxmascarol
This year 369 runners braved the downpour for Broadland
District Council’s annual Marriott’s Way 10K yesterday (Sunday 6 October). The
race, now in its eleventh year, saw runners gather to make their way along the
bridle path raising money for charity and challenging themselves despite the
Broadland District Council Chairman,
Cllr Karen Vincent, started the race in Aylsham. The runners raced along a 10
kilometre section of the 26-mile long Marriott’s Way footpath, bridleway and
cycle route, and were met by a cheering crowd in Reepham market place.
Cllr Vincent then congratulated the winners and awarded
them their trophies. Each runner was also received a medal.
The race raised money for Norfolk Trails, with £1 of
every runner’s entry fee being donated to the Marriott’s Way so it can be
maintained and enjoyed for years to come.
After listening to feedback from runners last year
improving the sustainability of the race was something that was very important
to runners and the organising team. This year saw Broadland District Council
introduce several green initiative for race day, including medals made from
sustainable wood, a paperless booking system for runners and donating all
jumpers and sweatshirts left at the start line to Big C.
This year was also the third Marriott’s Way Children’s
Fun Run, sponsored by the Bure Valley Railway. Around 20 children and young
people took part in the free, one-mile run, some while wearing their favourite
fancy dress outfits. All participants were awarded a Children’s Fun Run medal.
Cllr. Justine Thomas, Member Champion for Sport said: “Every year, the Marriott’s Way 10K is popular with runners and spectators across Broadland and beyond. It is always a fantastic day and it was wonderful to see such an excellent turn out despite the challenging weather.
A special mention must be made for all the volunteers who
braved the conditions and ensured the event was such a resounding success.
“It was also brilliant that so many young runners want to get into exercise and don wonderful costumes in the Marriott’s Way Fun Run for the third year.”
A probe into the use of free council car parks in Aylsham and
Reepham is on the cards.
Members of Broadland District Council’s Economic Success Panel
want to find out whether workers parking all day in the two market towns’ car
parks are deterring shoppers who can’t find empty slots.
The panel is recommending to Broadland’s cabinet that there should
be a “comprehensive review in consultation with town and parish
councils” throughout the district to provide information for a car-parking
If space blocking was shown to be a problem, parking charges could
be introduced, as they already are in neighbouring North Norfolk, and South
Norfolk, Broadland’s sister local authority area.
The recommendation followed an hour-long discussion on Monday
night (August 19) when the panel considered a detailed report, prepared by
David Disney, operational economic development manager with South Norfolk
It made particular reference to Aylsham’s Buttsland and Burgh
Road, and Reepham’s Station Road car parks and concluded, among other findings,
that introducing charges – with the first hour’s parking free – would solve
space-blocking, increase footfall and place the costs of running and
maintaining car parks on users, rather than on all taxpayers.
Mr Disney said footfall was the lifeblood of market towns and the
national evidence was that if a driver couldn’t find a space in one car park
they would try two others. If unsuccessful, they would leave and never return
to that town.
Increased footfall had followed “quite distinctly” in
South Norfolk towns, including Wymondham and Diss, after the introduction of a
free hour’s parking and then charges.
But panel member councillor Peter Bulman said: “What I don’t
see is any evidence of market research in Reepham and Aylsham – we’re only
being given national information, or about South Norfolk Council. I would want
to be persuaded with some hard evidence that this is not a solution looking for
Councillor David Harrison, who represents Aylsham, warned that the
town’s Buttsland car park was leased by Broadland from its owner, the National
Trust, which would “want its share” if the council began charging for
He asked whether Broadland would consider handing over the running
of its Aylsham car parks to Aylsham Town Council.
“It’s all about localism – this is what we’re supposed to be
doing. Why not leave it to be decided as a local issue by the town?” he
Councillor Stuart Beadle, who represents Reepham, said Broadland
had a number of car parks throughout its area (there are 12) but only Aylsham
and Reepham had been singled out in the report for the possible imposition of
He said: “Reepham and Aylsham would be subsidising off-street
parking throughout the district and that’s not fair.”
In a statement before
the panel meeting, Aylsham Business and Enterprise Forum (ABEF) said it was
concerned that whatever decision was eventually made should not adversely
impact its members, either in terms of income or providing community events.
went on: “Parking in Aylsham seems to be a growing problem. The main car parks,
in Burgh Road, the Market Place and the Buttsland, are increasingly found
to be full for much of the day, while on-road parking in some areas is creating
problems for residents. If parking fees are to
be introduced, ABEF hopes that these factors will be taken into
“We hope that
local traders, voluntary organisations and residents will have the opportunity
to make their views known before any proposal is adopted.”
Dawn Cordner is closing her Aylsham’s children’s nursery on Friday (August 16)
because she says government-funded “free” places have made it unviable
Little Stars, based in the Drill Hall for almost seven years, is the only
business of its kind in Aylsham and parents will now have to look outside the
town for similar care, according to Dawn, 42.
will mean the loss of seven jobs, including Dawn’s.
She has been
in the childcare business for 17 years, previously working for the former
Aylsham Playgroup. When its committee disbanded, Dawn saved the service by
launching her Little Stars nursery.
she had taken the “very, very hard” decision to close because of the increasing
gulf between the amount of money the business received from funded places and
her ever-increasing running costs.
three and four year olds are entitled to “free” nursery places funded by the
government and paid to nurseries, via the local authority, at the rate of £3.65
two-year-old are also entitled to free, funded places, with nurseries receiving £5.20 per hour to
care for them.
But Dawn said the true cost of providing care was much higher and her business had been forced to plunder its meagre profits to make up the deficit and stay afloat.
non-funded places at £7.50 per hour for three and four year olds, and £8 an
hour for babies, reflecting the true cost of providing quality child care.
75pc of the 30 children on roll qualifying for funded places, Dawn said she
simply couldn’t afford to carry on.
exhausting trying to run a business when all the overheads are going up but the
funding stays the same. I’m taking less and less and it just can’t go on,” she
works very hard and very long hours for the
minimum wage (£8.21 per hour). We love the children and the nursery’s
reputation is second-to-none – but it doesn’t pay the bills. Dog walkers and
cleaners earn more than us. We’re providing a champagne service for lemonade
been sad but very understanding when they learned of the nursery’s closure.
what the government is thinking of, allowing this situation to happen,” said
“I am so
sorry and so sad that I’ve had to do this. This has been my life and my passion
but the worry has badly affected my health over the past two years and I had to
take this heartbreaking decision. I’ve no idea what I will do next.”
Dawn Cordner (centre) with Shining Stars room leader June Crook (left) and
deputy manager Becky Rayner.