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Support for women through that ‘tricky period’

Homeless women and females on low incomes will benefit from a new service set up to provide free sanitary products at Norwich’s main libraries.

The Tricky Period project involves the libraries taking donations of products and handing them out to people who cannot afford them, with no questions asked about proof of eligibility.

Staff at Tuckswood, Earlham, West Earlham, Mile Cross, Plumstead Road, St Williams Way and The Millennium libraries have been taking in donations of tampons, sanitary towels and carrier bags for the last few weeks ready to start the scheme on Thursday, September 28.

Community librarian Caroline Varney-Bowers is behind the project. She said: “I became aware of a project called The Homeless Period where homeless women struggle to afford these items and did some further research about period poverty. I found this is also an issue for young women from low income families and sometimes leads to girls missing school during their period.

“Library staff have been hugely supportive of starting up this service and we have already had some donations.”

Order forms will be available in Norwich Libraries at the staff desk (at The Millennium Library this will be the ground floor joining desk). Customers can tick the products they require and hand in their form at the desk and receive the items they need.

Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s communities committee, said: “It’s fantastic that our library staff have set up this service which will help vulnerable women and girls in Norwich. As well as the problem of affordability, this could potentially improve women’s health, as there are risks associated with not changing sanitary products regularly. The Tricky Period may also help to reduce period related truancy from school or time off work. I would encourage library users to support the project by making donations of supplies.”

Norwich foodbank is supporting the project as they are acutely aware that many who access their services find it very difficult to ask for these items.

Norfolk County Council’s Library and Information Service works closely with the council’s Public Health team on the Healthy Libraries project to improve awareness, information and support around health and wellbeing to people living in Norfolk.

This also includes supporting and promoting public health campaigns around issues including dementia awareness and reducing childhood obesity. Libraries work with local and national organisations to host events which encourage people to improve their health and wellbeing.
The service is available during library opening hours.

Just Regional is keen to support this initiative and we have offered to our offices as a point for anyone who would like to donate sanitary products. Just drop your donations off to our HQ in Penfold Street, Aylsham, NR11 6ET and we will make sure they get to the libraries in Norwich.

Editor Gay Webster said: “This is something which most women take for granted, that they have access to sanitary pads and tampons. It’s only right that all women have that choice and we are happy to be part of this worthwhile scheme.”

Final call for Norfolk beach lovers to join coastal clean up

The UK’s leading marine charity, says it hopes more people than ever before in Norfolk will take part in the Great British Beach Clean from September 15-18.

The event around the county’s coastline will help ensure some of the most beautiful beaches in the UK aren’t being taken for granted.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is running at least 11 beach cleans and surveys around Norfolk and so far just over 70 volunteers have signed up.

The charity says it’s really helpful if people register their interest online before the event to ensure organisers have enough kit to go round! You can register right up until the very last minute www.mcsuk.org/waitrose, and of course you can just turn up on the day.

This year, the Great British Beach Clean in England is being sponsored by Waitrose who are supporting MCS’ year round beach clean programme.

The MCS beach clean event takes place every third weekend in September as part of the charity’s year round Beachwatch programme. Volunteers who get involved in Norfolk will be joining an army of beach cleaners not only around the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, but all over the world as part of the global International Coastal Clean-up, which takes a snap shot of beach litter across the planet on a single weekend.

Lizzie Prior, MCS Beach and River Clean Project Officer, says volunteers are the lifeblood of the event and the data they collect is vital: “Last year an amazing 133 volunteers took part in the Great British Beach Clean on Norfolk’s beaches. We’d love to see even more people heading to the county’s beaches and helping clean up at the events that have been organised at:
Brancaster
Heacham: North of Jubilee Bridge
Titchwell Marsh
Cley Beach / Blakeney Point
Great Yarmouth Central
Holkham
Sheringham West
Old Hunstanton Beach
Cley Beach
Mundesley
New Hunstanton

Each event only takes a couple of hours and, alongside the clean; 100 metres of beach are surveyed. The form is straightforward to complete, and helps MCS to add to the local and UK litter data picture, as well as the global view. Each clean-up has an organiser so there’s plenty of advice on the day on how to fill in the simple data sheets. This information will be used by MCS to work with governments and industry in the charity’s ongoing work to stop litter getting on to our beaches in the first place.

To get involved in the Great British Beach Clean 2015 in Norfolk and be part of the most influential fight against marine litter in the UK visit www.mcsuk.org/waitrose You can also speak to the team on 01989 566017.

PICTURE: CHRIS TAYLOR PHOTO

Norfolk police get 21st-century technology

Police officers across Norfolk and Suffolk are set to be equipped with Samsung tablets and Nokia phones, saving them precious time when dealing with incidents and meaning they can spend more time in the public eye.

Over the next three months 1,500 uniformed officers will be issued with the devices, the latest in 21st-century technology. The tablets will enable officers to work remotely, update crime systems, review live incidents, update victims and liaise with partner agencies while out and about. Tasks that would normally mean officers travelling back to the station to access a computer can now be done immediately. Thanks to newly-developed applications, officers will also be able to take statements and submit a number of other forms via the devices, a move that will help reduce the amount of paperwork required at the end of each shift. The rollout is alongside the distribution of body-worn video cameras for officers which started in May this year.

Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies have budgeted £1.2m to equip the officers but it is expected that efficiencies brought about by their use will save money in the long-term. Chief Superintendent Mike Fawcett, project lead for Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies, said: “Following a three-month trial last year, it was clear that the devices offered officers what they needed – quick access to accurate information without the need to travel back to the station. “We will continue to take advantage of new technologies to aid crime investigation and I’m sure the people of Norfolk/Suffolk will notice a benefit as our officers embrace the new ways of working. “This is very much an ‘invest-to-save’ project – and I expect that the resource commitment we have made will bring us cost benefits in the long-term.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green said: “This is a crucial investment for Norfolk Constabulary. These devices will free up officers’ time, enabling them to direct more attention to their operational roles. For the force as a whole, it means that resources will be more readily available and police visibility will be increased.

“For our police to be as efficient and effective as possible, it’s vital they have the right tools. To tackle the crime affecting our communities in the 21st century, we need to make the best use of the 21st century technology available to us.”

Pictured from left: Sgt Tom Mann, PC Keith Bristo (Norfolk Police Federation), PCC Lorne Green, and Chief Supt Mike Fawcett.


Help support Norfolk coast charity walker

Here’s a chap to look out for when you are out and about on the coast.

Alex Ellis-Roswell is walking 100 miles down the Norfolk coast to raise money for the six RNLI lifeboat stations in the area. He started walking round the 9,500-mile coast of England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Isle of Man on August 3, with the aim to raise £10 for every mile he walks. He has raised around £60,000 for RNLI lifeboats.

He said: “If you see me walking over the next few weeks please donate/ beep/ wave/ thumbs up/ tea. And if you can offer somewhere dry and warm to sleep at night, please comment or message,” he said.

You can follow Alex walking in Norfolk on his Facebook profile: www.facebook.com/alexellisroswell and donate to RNLI here www.bt.com/DonateToLifeboats.

Traders meeting to discuss future of seaside towns

Sheringham and Cromer chambers of trade are meeting this month to discuss the future prosperity of the local economy.

The two groups have got together the personalities who shape the future of the two towns to hear what they have to say and give businesses the opportunity to express concerns and hopes.

The meeting is being seen as a “one-off opportunity to have your say to those that matter” and will be held on Tuesday, September 26, 6-8pm, at Sheringham Golf Club.

A top table of invited guest has been assembled of North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb, Nigel Best, who is the growth hub manager for New Anglia, Rob Young, head of economic and community development at North Norfolk District Council, and town mayors David Gooch and John Frosdick. The meeting will be chaired by the leader of the district council, Tom FitzPatrick.

The panellists will give a brief presentation of their views on the outlook for the areas from their perspective to be followed by a question and answer session from the audience

Anyone wishing to attend is being asked to confirm by September 24 to Economic.growth@north-norfolk.gov.uk or telephone 01263 516009. Any topics you specifically would like to be discussed must be submitted by September 19.

PICTURE: CHRIS TAYLOR PHOTO

SAVED: Future of Itteringham shop is secure

Itteringham village shop has been saved from closure by North Norfolk District Council.

The future of the the community shop had been uncertain because its current owners had served notice on the Itteringham Community Association (ICA) to terminate the lease. The notice expires on October 8.

But at today’s NNDC Cabinet meeting, a proposal to buy the shop and the adjoining Fair Meadow House was approved.

The purchase for an undisclosed amount means the shop will stay in its current location and will be leased to the ICA.

The decision has be greeted with delight by those associated with the shop who were at the meeting to hear the decision. Around a dozen volunteers and staff are involved in its running.

Back at the shop, staff member Alice Ridgeway said: “It’s wonderful news that NNDC has agreed to buy the shop. It’s is so much more than just a shop, it’s a lifeline for many people.”

She thanked the council and all the supporters who had been behind the campaign to keep it open, saying: “It’s really lovely that so many people care about the shop and its future.”

Tom FitzPatrick, leader of North Norfolk District Council, said: “This is an important community asset and it is fantastic that its future has been secured. There was a huge desire locally and further afield to see this shop saved. We are delighted to have helped achieve this for Itteringham and for the remarkable and dedicated community group which runs the shop.”

Judy Oliver, NNDC cabinet member for corporate assets and commercialisation, said: “As well as supporting the local community in Itteringham, this is also a sensible move from a commercial point of view. It will generate income for the council above that achievable from a cash investment, and to be supporting the local community at the same time makes it a win-win.”

The ICA has successfully run the shop for 25 years and there is potential to expand the shop and café, subject to any necessary planning consent, into the currently unused gallery space.

Fair Meadow House is a well maintained and attractive five-bedroom period property with letting and holiday letting potential.

 

North Norfolk District Council to consider buying Itteringham shop

A village shop dating from 1637 which faces closure could be saved by an offer to buy it by North Norfolk District Council.

The future of the Itteringham Community Shop has been uncertain because its current owners have served notice on the Itteringham Community Association to terminate the lease and the notice expires on October 8.

NNDC will consider buying the shop and adjoining Fair Meadow House at a Cabinet meeting on September 5.

The purchase would maintain the shop in its current location, while representing a prudent investment for the Council in line with its Asset Commercialistion Strategy.

Leader of North Norfolk District Council, Tom FitzPatrick, said: “The shop is an important community asset and we see an opportunity to help secure its future hand in hand with the dedicated community group which runs it very successfully.

“There is a huge desire both locally and by visitors to Itteringham to see this shop saved and we appreciate how deeply concerned people are for its future.”

Judy Oliver, North Norfolk District Council cabinet member for corporate assets and commercialisation, said: “We believe the purchase is a financially viable step which will generate income for the council above that achievable from a cash investment. This makes sense both from the point of view of supporting one of our communities and from a business perspective.”

A spokesman for the Itteringham Community Association said: “The association is incredibly grateful to North Norfolk District Council and their officers for their interest and support. With their backing, we are very hopeful that we will be able to Save Our Shop.”

The ICA has successfully run the shop for 25 years and there is potential to expand the shop and café, subject to any necessary planning consents, into the currently unused gallery space.

Fair Meadow House is a well maintained and attractive five bedroomed period property with letting and holiday letting potential.

The proposal is to purchase Fair Meadow House and the shop, to lease the shop and gallery to the ICA and to let Fair Meadow House as a holiday let, managed by the ICA.

Final week for competition entries from budding writers

By: Innes Enslin

There is just one week left for children and young people across Norfolk to submit their entries into Norfolk County Council’s creative writing competition for 5-13 year olds.

Write On Norfolk – a competition aimed at boosting summer learning and honing children’s writing skills has already received more than 120 entries since it opened on the 5 June, and now with just a week to go Norfolk County Council is encouraging even more children to get their entries in before it’s too late.  The Write On Norfolk competition is open to children and young people who are aged between five and 13 years old. Budding writers are asked to submit a piece of original creative writing before 31 August.

For the second year Jarrold of Norwich is backing the competition and will be donating Jarrold book tokens as prizes. In addition to these vouchers there will be a prize of an Amazon Fire tablet up for grabs for the gold winners.  Plus those writers who are enrolled in the Children’s University, their entries will earn credits towards their degree.

Alison Thomas, Deputy Leader of Norfolk County Council, who is one of the final judges for the competition said: “Helping Norfolk’s children achieve their full potential by giving them every opportunity to develop vital skills like reading and writing is a key priority for the county council which is why I’m so pleased that we are running this competition again.

“Last year I enjoyed reading some wonderful stories and poems from young people across Norfolk, and I hope that this year we get even more children taking part.

“As a Mum myself, I know just how important it is to keep up those skills during the long weeks of the summer holidays, but this competition is designed to be a fun way of doing it so I hope that parents, grandparents and carers will give them as much encouragement as possible to enter.”

BBC Radio Norfolk’s breakfast presenter, Nick Conrad, who will also judge the entries added: “Children can be wonderfully creative. Anything that marries up improving English skills, promoting literature and encouraging our next generation to get inspired, I support. I look forward to reading the stories and adventures conjured up by the minds of Norfolk’s school children.”

The only rules for the competition are that the writing must be a maximum of 500 words (roughly one side of A4 paper), and it must contain a link to Norfolk. The entry can be a short story, poem, script or even song lyrics and must be submitted online via the Norfolk County Council website – www.norfolk.gov.uk/writeon. Full details about the competition, including how to enter, and terms and conditions can be found by visiting the Council website.