Min’s going bald for change

Domestic Abuse campaigner Min Grob is facing a close shave to help a charity for those affected by  domestic abuse in Norfolk and Waveney.

“You know that song ‘I want to wash that man right out of my hair’? Well I want to cut him out.

“It’s taken some time to get up the courage to do it but now is the right time,” she said. “You always know when something has happened because people change their hair… well I was 50 this year and I wanted to go into the second half of my life unencumbered –  and that includes hair!”

She will be losing her long, dark hair at Leeway’s domestic violence conference on July 14 and she hopes to raise at least £2000.

“They have had a 27 per cent increase in demand, but not the corresponding funding,” said Min, founder of Conference on Coercive Control.

She is already making plans for her new hair, when it grows back but for now she plans a summer “swathed in scarves, maybe a panama” with a collection of bobble hats for the colder winter months.

Anyone who wants to sponsor Min should visit:

A sweet thank you to Sprowston fire crews

A Norwich resident has been delivering cakes to the county’s fire service to say thank you for their dedication to the job.
Linda Cullum lives in Markham Tower, which suffered extensive damage during a blaze in 2011 that was attended by 80 firefighters.
Linda said: “With the Grenfell Tower fire last week, it reminded me what a fantastic job the fire service does and I wanted them to know how much the public appreciate what they do.”
Her gift comes after fire service staff spent the weekend visiting residents of high rise blocks in Norfolk to chat through any concerns about fire safety in light of the London fire.
Linda, who works at Tesco in Drayton, made cakes in the bakery there on Wednesday morning iced with thank you messages, and delivered them to Green Watch crews at Earlham and Sprowston at lunchtime.
Linda’s flat was heavily water damaged in the 2011 fire and she lived in a hotel for 13 weeks.
Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service’s Assistant Chief Fire Officer Les Britzman said: “We appreciate the thought and the show of support for the service from Linda.
“Over the weekend our staff visited 10 high-rise blocks in Norwich and Kings Lynn to provide advice and reassurance around fire safety, following the Grenfell Tower fire. We would remind all Norfolk residents of the importance of regularly testing their smoke alarms.”

New children’s sensory room at NUUH with thanks to the Lions

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is delighted to have opened a new therapeutic sensory room, which will provide a relaxing environment to young patients undergoing intensive treatment.

The facility has been made possible by a £8,750 donation from the Lions club, who this year, will be celebrating 100 years of voluntary service. Lions groups from across Norfolk have come together to raise the money and mark their anniversary milestone in an extra special way.

The equipment in the room includes an LED projector which casts colour onto the walls, floor and ceiling, and a fibre optic light which shines beautiful colours around the ceiling, and special floor cubes.

The room also has a sensory music system playing soothing sounds, a number of stimulating and reflective toys and padded safety mats. In addition, the Lions have funded a special Sensory Wagon which is portable and can come to a patient’s bed side.

Nigel Howes, President of Taverham & District Lions said: “Lions Clubs International are celebrating 100 years’ service to their local communities, and as part of this celebration, all clubs across the UK have been encouraged to do something special to mark this momentous occasion. We decided this project would be perfect as it will help support children from birth up to 19 years of age, while they undergo treatment during their stay at NNUH.”

Nigel added: “The presentation on Wednesday 24th May was an opportunity to formally hand over all the sensory equipment which had been requested by NNUH Play Specialist, Steven Nicholls, and we are immensely proud to support this work to help and support young children and teenagers.”

Lucy Weavers, NNUH Divisional Nursing Director for Women and Children’s Division said: “The environment that has been created gives children and young people, many with different sensory needs, the opportunity to relax and escape from some of the worries and anxieties which can come from a stay in hospital. We hope we can bring a little joy to those children whilst they are undergoing treatment.”

Lucy added: “For so many Lions clubs to join together to celebrate their special birthday year in this way is truly inspirational. Our Jenny Lind Children’s Hospital has been providing care to the children of Norfolk for over 150 years and this room will enable us to enhance the environment and the care we give.”

Special thanks go to the Lions clubs including: Attleborough 2013, Norwich North Alpha, Great Yarmouth, West Norwich, Hethersett & District, Sheringham & Cromer, Long Stratton, Taverham & District, City of Norwich, Wroxham & Hoveton and Wymondham.

Louise Cook, NNUH Fundraising Manager said: “We are so privileged to have the support from the Lions. This is not the first time a Lion’s Club has supported our hospital, and I would like to say a massive thank you to all those who have enabled us to create such a fantastic space for our younger patients.”

• From left to right: Steve Nicholls- NNUH Play Specialist, Nigel Howes- Lion President Taverham & District Lions Club, Erica Dernedde- NNUH Sister, David Booth- Consultant Neonatologist and Chief of Division for Women’s and Children’s at NNUH

REVIEW: Running Wild is ‘a feast for eyes, ears and emotions’

The Children’s Touring Partnership took to the stage in Norwich last night with Running Wild, an adaption by Samuel Adamson of the Michael Morpurgo book of the same name.
This was a feast for the eyes, ears and emotions. Laughter, sadness and at times fear are felt through the scary rainforest adventure of of nine-year-old Lilly. The story has a serious message of both animal conservation and relationships and love, between humans and animals – elephant Oona, who is puppeteered by four people,  orangutans, a tiger, a crocodile and rainforest birds.
The audience is totally immersed into the sights and sounds of the Indonesian rainforest. The clever set design and lighting along with the sound effects add to the experience. The physical theatre skills of all the puppeteers was pure genius. You literally watch them breathe life into the puppets… they actually come to life before your eyes. I became so invested that I no longer saw the puppeteers.

The movements, motion and animal sounds are created by the cast and you just know that they must have spent hours watching and researching real animals in order to recreate and mimic.

A special mention must go to 12-year-old Annika Whiston, who played the lead role of Lilly and rarely left the stage. She portrayed the role beautifully and with great maturity. Every emotion and relationship she had I felt, bringing me to tears, more than once, much to my own daughter’s horror.

Morpurgo was inspired to write this modern-day Jungle Book by the real-life story of Amber Owen, who was on holiday in Phuket with her mother and stepfather in 2004, and enjoying an elephant ride on the beach when the Boxing Day tsunami hit.  The elephant ran inland and saved her life. When the author read of Amber’s story, he said it was “the one bit of hope amid the destruction”.

The production will be working during the tour to support the Born Free Foundation’s global elephant conservation projects.

There has been great take up by schools with a number of performances throughout the day times but it is most definitely not just for children.
There are still tickets available, if you have not seen it then I urge you to make the time. I promise you will not be disappointed. It will make you laugh and possible cry but most of all it will make you think.

A must-see piece of theatre.


Running Wild is on until April 29. Wed, Fri and Sat 7.30pm, Wed & Sat 2.30pm, Thur 11am. Tickets £7-£21.  BOX OFFICE 01603 630000.








Pictures: Dan Tsantilis

DJ Sara Cox joins the race on Ladies’ Night

Radio 2 and BBC TV presenter Sara Cox, a keen amateur horse rider as well as a professional DJ, is hosting a night of music at the seaside course’s July 19, Ladies’ Night.

Racecourse executive director Glenn Tubby said: “Ladies’ Night is always a special event in our summer calendar but Sara’s dance music will really be the icing on the cake. We are hoping fans of 80s music will turn out in force to enjoy their favourite sounds after an evening of racing action.”

Sara, a farmer’s daughter from Bolton, is well known for her festival DJ-ing as well as for her Sounds of the 80s show on BBC Radio 2 and also now for her live 24-hour danceathon which raised more than £800,000 for Comic Relief in March.

But she is also an equestrian sports fan. Sara has ridden in charity races at Goodwood and beat top jockey Frankie Dettori – a regular rider at Great Yarmouth – in a training ride ahead of the QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot.

Sara took part in a fun showjumping competition, Only Fools on Horses, for BBC Sport Relief in 2006. Now fully recovered, four years ago she broke a collar bone in a riding accident.

At Great Yarmouth Racecourse she will DJ after an evening of flat racing and play a set featuring dance-driven music ranging from the 80s up to today’s chart hits.

Sara said: “I’m really looking forward to my visit to Great Yarmouth racecourse. I’ll hopefully get to see some magnificent race horses before getting the Ladies’ Night crowd dancing with tracks from some of my favourite bands and artists from the 80s. Who doesn’t like 80s music? It was the soundtrack to my generation, with classic songs from music legends.”

Tickets and packages (£16-£34, with group discounts for 15 or more) and information available at or call 01493 842527.

Top honour for Taverham band man!

Back in July last year we reported in the Just Drayton & Taverham magazine that Ian Colman had been included in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for 2016. Six months later and Ian enjoyed a trip to London on Friday, February 27 to attend a Royal Investiture at Buckingham Palace to receive his MBE from the Prince of Wales.

The honour was bestowed on Ian for “services to the community in Norwich” and the nomination was made around two and a half years ago by a group of people from the various organisations that Ian is involved with, including Taverham Band, Taverham Scouts and Ringland Parish Council.

Ian has also been a governor at both Taverham High School and Drayton Community Infant School, and is the founder of IC Travel, which provides a locally-based travel service to take people door-to-door from Taverham or Drayton to London and other places of interest. It’s a highly valued service which enables people to meet new friends and embark on a trip that they would never have the confidence to do themselves.

Ian attended the Royal Investiture with his wife Lisa and daughter Emily. He said: “It was a nerve wracking but very proud experience not only to chat to the Prince but also the other recipients, including Ant and Dec who received the OBE!”

Your old TV could help save a life

Norwich City Council and the British Heart Foundation are giving people another chance to recycle their small and medium-sized unwanted electrical and electronic items this Saturday (January 28), and in doing so help support people with heart disease.

Their last event was a huge success with the British Heart Foundation totting up items to the value of £6,300 – enough to pay for six defibrillators.

Don’t bin it, bring it will take place at the St Paul’s Church, Tuckswood, Norwich, NR4 6BH. People are invited to bring along their small and medium-sized electrical items (working or non-working) between 8am and 1pm.

Items such as toasters, hairdryers, mobile phones, TVs, games consoles and kettles will all be gratefully received. Commercial waste and larger items, such as fridges or ovens will not be accepted.

The British Heart Foundation will be at the event collecting items which are suitable for re-use and eventual resale from their local Norwich store. The money made from selling your old TV could be used to help fund research into heart disease, or teach children about the importance of exercise.

Norwich City Council will be recycling all items which are not suitable for re-use. Recycling makes the most out of the valuable metals in electrical equipment as well as keeping it out of landfill where it gives off harmful gases.
Computers will be accepted at the event but they will be dealt with exclusively by the British Heart Foundation which will ensure data is cleared before resale. Norwich City Council can take no responsibility for donation of computers.

To find out more about recycling go to

Beer credited for saving Drayton man’s life!

Not many people can say that beer saved their life, but for Drayton resident Alan Pickering it may well have done just that!

While enjoying a pint of charity beer Tobi’s Tipple Special Edition at the Bob Carter Centre last summer, Alan was reading the associated It’s On The Ball leaflet and it dawned on him that he was suffering from some of the symptoms of testicular cancer.

Alan said: “The It’s On The Ball information, provided by The Norfolk Brewhouse with their particularly fine Tobi’s Tipple, prompted me to think that something wasn’t right. This opinion was subsequently confirmed by those infinitely more qualified than me, and although the effects of the operation and follow up treatment weren’t particularly nice, my cancer was detected and treated at Stage 1, the earliest and most survivable of four. As a consequence of this, my prognosis is very good.

“Some people I speak to regarding my experience seem to be very uncomfortable and embarrassed about the subject. Please try and get over this; I don’t like to think where I would be today if I’d been too embarrassed to visit my GP.”

Alan contacted The Norfolk Brewhouse following his experience and literally said: “Did you know your beer saves lives?” So, joining forces again with Norwich-based charity It’s On The Ball, and with support from more than 70 pubs and clubs across Norfolk, Tobi’s Tipple Special Edition is back on bars throughout January to continue raising awareness of testicular cancer.

Testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer amongst young men as well as a difficult subject to get men talking about. So creating a special beer, with the support of pubs, seemed like the perfect combination to increase awareness and conversations, whilst also encouraging people into their local in January, often one of the toughest months in a pub’s year.

Tobi is the charity’s pants wearing logo – an anagram of IOTB, the initials of It’s On The Ball. His oversized y-fronts have been seen at many events, increasing the awareness of the charity and its basic message for men to check themselves monthly. A ‘Pants Wall of Fame’ is a feature on the IOTB website and it is hoped that many more pictures will be added to this during the campaign.

It’s On The Ball was established in 2013 by a group of testicular cancer patients, their families and NHS staff, to help raise awareness and provide support to patients who have been diagnosed. Chairman of the charity, Vince Wolverson, said: “We really appreciate the support given to us by Rachel, David, and all the staff at The Norfolk Brewhouse. Not only are they helping us to raise awareness across the county, but as we have seen in Alan’s case, helping to save lives too. This is a great example of a small business and charity working together to benefit community welfare.”

Norfolk Brewhouse brewer and co-owner David Holliday, said: “To us, supporting It’s On The Ball is a no brainer, by spreading a simple message we can all easily help save lives.

“While incredibly heartening to know that we made a difference to Alan’s life, it also shows the simplicity of what we are trying to do – just spread the word. We do the easy bit, we just brew the beer and deliver, the pubs do the nice bit, they get to serve the beer and chat to their community – the real hard work is done by the small and totally dedicated team at It’s on the Ball – who with limited resources do all they can to help raises awareness of this killer disease.”

Ron Halliday at the Bob Carter Centre added: “We are delighted to support this charity once again, especially because the excellent work it does probably saved the life of one of ours members. We also plan to donate £1 for every pint of Tobi’s Tipple that we sell.”

It’s On The Ball recommend that men check themselves monthly for abnormalities – 98% of testicular cancers can be successfully treated if they are detected in their early stages. For more information about testicular cancer and It’s On The Ball visit

Follow, support and raise awareness for It’s On The Ball and Tobi’s Tipple Special Edition on Facebook: It’s On The Ball and Norfolk Brewhouse pages; Twitter ItsOnTheBall and MoonGazerAle feeds.

Alan Pickering with Ron Halliday from the Bob Carter Centre and representatives from It’s On The Ball and The Norfolk Brewhouse.

Alan Pickering with Ron Halliday from the Bob Carter Centre and representatives from It’s On The Ball and The Norfolk Brewhouse.

Alan Pickering with the beer he credits with saving his life

Alan Pickering with the beer he credits with saving his life

Tobi's Tipple beer alongside the On the Ball charity collection pot.

Tobi’s Tipple beer alongside the On the Ball charity collection pot.