many other athletic events this year, the Norwich Pride 5K race will be a
Because of restrictions on mass events, the popular race – organised by EPIC – will be rebranded as #RunWithPride event, with all profits being granted to LGBT+ charities across the UK.
Anyone wanting to take
part can complete the course at any time during July – as teams or as
individuals – and choose from 5k, 10k, 25k, 50k, or 100k challenges.
The whole distance does not have to be run at once – you can split the
distance over the month – and participants are being encouraged to share their
efforts by using the hashtag #RunWithPride via Strava, Facebook or Instagram.
Some clubs have entered teams of 31, with each member taking
responsibility for one day of the month, and others are pooling resources to
provide moral support.
Taking part costs £10 per person, plus a booking fee. All entries
include a bespoke #RunWithPride race medal.
While most 12-year-old boys were playing motorsport games on their PlayStations, Keenan Tully was out driving the real thing as he got a taste for motor racing at an early age.
Now 20, Keenan is an established race car driver on the local circuits, with big plans to make it big in the American sport of Nascar racing.
“I didn’t have any roots in the sport,” said Keenan, who
lives in Aylsham. “I’m a first generation fan, my dad was never into it, he
preferred football. My friend was already racing and I watched him and it sort
of started from there. I started racing in the Junior Formula and then moved
into adult racing when I was 16.”
His first race, aged 12, was in a full size car and spent a lot of time at the race car track at Swaffham, which held test days most weeks.
“You pay to have the track to test and to practise and learn,” he said. “I have raced at Yarmouth, Ipswich, Swaffham, Birmingham and Essex and won 17 trophies.”
The former Reepham High School pupil also drove in the USA
when his family lived there for a time, which is where he discovered Nascar,
the most popular motor sport in the states.
“We lived in California a couple of years ago and I got
found out by a team, which was incredible. My dream is to race there full
Nascar has a long and proud history, but despite its 100
years of popularity it has remained an American sport, which is why Keenan and
his brother, Zach, are moving to North Carolina so he can follow his dream.
“North Carolina is where about 90pc of the Nascar teams are
based, so that’s the place to be,” said Keenan. “
He hopes to attract a sponsor once he is there so he can
compete professionally – and he wonders if the novelty of being a British
driver might be a help.
“My mum is from California, so I have an American passport,” he said. “When I was racing there, people loved that I was British and fans would come round and ask me to talk just to hear my accent!”
All racing including stock car and hot rod racing is currently paused in the UK, and Keenan had his last race back in February.
Shortly after lockdown he broke his kneecap and he is working hard to get back to racing fitness for when the season begins with a behind-closed-doors meeting at Swaffham on July 18 – no mean feat with gyms also closed.
At the moment everyone is equal in the league table of
drivers but in the past Keenan has come second and third, including a second
place in the East Anglian Championship in 2018 and was third in the national
standings in the year before.
“I will carry on racing between now and my move and save up
so I can buy my own car or find sponsorship,” he said. “It’s not a cheap sport
and the only way to get into it is to hope a team sees you and supports you.
Right now I am self-funding.”
With a full time job as a mechanic for Lotus Racing Team in
Long Stratton and his own mobile car valeting business, Keenan is working hard
to support his racing, to fund his move overseas and to get fit after his
His determination even saw him shed six stone in order to
get into racing shape when he weighed in at 18 stone in 2016.
“It’s all I’ve ever really wanted to do, and I’ll work hard
to get there,” he said.
Keenan is looking for partners who could help him with
his adventure. If anyone can help they can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit his Facebook page.
magazine publisher which refused to let the pandemic stop it getting the local
news out has received a grant from Google.
Regional, an organisation which produces 10 news magazines in Norfolk, received
the grant from the technology giant’s relief fund – a scheme designed to help news
titles through the coronavirus crisis.
Bagshaw said: “This is amazing news. It has been well documented that some
large organisations have felt the pinch, but small organisations such as us
have also had to adapt to survive, and it’s great to see that effort recognised.”
paused printing its monthly magazines in March, mainly to protect its team of
more than 100 delivery boys and girls, turning its attention to putting stories
online via its website, Facebook and Twitter.
interactions grew up to 1,000pc in all areas as readers logged on for daily
updates, breaking news and features.
to print in June with a merged publication covering all areas. The well-received
magazine was delivered to 50,000 homes in six market towns and four Norwich
suburbs. Another edition is about to be delivered, with a further one in
production later this month.
“We never stopped
during the lockdown as we were determined to keep giving people a mix of vital
information, local news and some of the more heart-warming moments which were
going on in our communities,” said Tracey.
Just Regional has been producing popular hyperlocal magazines for 12 years. Owner Lee Todd said the importance of local news could not be overestimated and he was thrilled that it had been recognised in this way.
“Google, this massive international company, has backed us – a company based in Aylsham, a small Norfolk market town – because it believes in what we are doing,” he said.
impressed how we kept going through the pandemic and that we are rising from
the ashes, unlike some bigger publications which are struggling all across the
and advertisers have stuck with us throughout this and we are grateful for
their loyal support.”
Gingras, vice-president of news at Google, said: “Local news is a vital
resource for keeping people and communities connected in the best of times.
plays an even greater function in reporting on local lockdowns or shelter at
home orders, school and park closures, and data about how covid-19 is affecting
“But that role is being challenged as the news industry deals with job cuts, furloughs and cutbacks as a result of the economic downturn.”
Early in the lockdown period we asked Just
Regional readers to get their active-wear on to take part in a marathon
challenge to help the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
Some 450 people signed up for the Empire Strides Back Marathon Challenge, set up by Norwich sports performance specialists Rob Sears and Loren Taylor, of Focus 4 Fitness, and they smashed their target.
The challenge, which celebrated 40 years since
the film of a similar name hit the cinema screens, saw participants running,
walking or cycling 26.2 miles during May.
Rob said: “When we set up this challenge, we hoped to raise least £1,000 for the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital as a way to support our local NHS who have gone the extra mile during this pandemic.
“To have raised over £5,000 for the hospitals
charity is just amazing, and we are just so grateful for everyone who took part
in making this challenge such a success.”
Youngsters in Hellesdon can now enjoy their new play equipment
after months of being able to see it but not use it.
The equipment, at the recreation ground next to the community
centre off Wood View Road and the play area on Meadow Way, replaced the condemned
equipment at both locations, adding in extra pieces including a train with a
ticket office to encourage children in role play.
The total project cost just over £66,000 and was funded
through money received by development contributions
from home building projects in the parish.
And now government restrictions on the use of playgrounds have been loosened, they are all set to be used by the children.
The play area at the community centre was officially opened
by Chloe Smith, MP for Norwich North, on
Saturday morning, along with Karen Vincent, chairman of Broadland District
Council; Hellesdon parish councillor and Norfolk County Councillor Shelagh
Gurney; David King, chair of Hellesdon Parish Council and a district councillor;
and vice-chairman of Hellesdon Parish Council Bill Johnson.
They were joined by some small residents, too, who were keen
be the first to test out the new equipment.
Chloe Smith said: “This is really fantastic news for the young people of Hellesdon;
to have brand new facilities to play and a place for families to enjoy as the
lockdown is lifted will help bring life back to our community. My thanks
and congratulations to the parish councillors that have made this
said: “It was lovely to see the play areas in Broadland being able to open
again, with the guidance in place.”
The parish council would like to thank the residents of
Hellesdon for their support and understanding of the playgrounds being closed
One of the area’s leading live-music venues believes that a campaign to raise money for grassroots venues hit by the sudden loss of revenue from gigs is vital for its survival, writes ADAM AIKEN
#saveourvenues, which is being run by the Music Venue Trust, has been backed by a number of high-profile brands and artists, including Dereham rockers Bad Touch, whose latest single has been adopted to help the campaign.
One of their first live gigs was at the Brickmakers and B2 Venue in Sprowston Road, Norwich, and co-owner Charley South said the lockdown had been “financially crippling”.
During normal times, the venue offers live music every night, with more than 100 bands performing each month, but that has all changed during the pandemic.
“With landlords only
deferring rent, and no sign of rescue from the government, the future looks
bleak,” she said. “Already we owe our landlords £28,000 in rent from March to
date, and the debts keep accruing every day.
“The Music Venue Trust is working tirelessly to try to secure a rescue package from the government for us and other grassroots venues across the nation. This campaign is vital for our survival. Without it we are just one of many venues that face permanent closure.”
Marshall Amplification – a brand known for the iconic music equipment used by some of the world’s leading artists – has launched a T-shirt as part of its support for the campaign.
The “I’ve Got the Music in Me” T-shirt is inspired by the new single from festival fixtures Bad Touch. The Dereham band included their cover of the 1974 Kiki Dee hit on their fourth album, Kiss the Sky, which was recently released by Marshall Records to widespread critical acclaim.
Frontman Stevie Westwood said: “What is a band without a venue?
We’ve been together a decade now, and over that time we’ve been very fortunate
to play in some awesome venues – not just the ones with the big stages or
professional sound systems but some that had next-to-nothing and were still
electric to play in.”
Bad Touch had already shown their support for #saveourvenues by recording an isolation song, Keep On Smilin’, in support of the campaign.
“Sadly, many of these culturally integral places, both big and
small, have now shut their doors for good,” said the singer. “Some have been
holding on by the skin of their teeth and with the support of their local
gig-going community for years. With the added weight of the lockdown, the
pressure for some has proven too much to bear. So when the chance for us to
work with the Music Venue Trust came up – an excuse to make a noise, share some
love and smiles, and hopefully prevent some more doors from closing – we jumped
at the opportunity.”
Charley, who is a musician
herself and who played her very first gig at the Brickmakers 30 years ago,
said: “Our venue is just one of many around the UK where musicians cut their
teeth and hone their craft. Without small venues such as ours, there are no
bottom rungs on the ladder. Bands need to have somewhere to start out, to
learn, to make mistakes and to improve and then to grow.
“Without these fundamental
starting points there will be no future Rolling Stones, Oasis or Ed Sheeran.
All those legendary artists started out in grassroots music venues and Ed
Sheeran played B2 Venue several times when he was starting out.”
Staff at Norwich Theatre Royal, the Playhouse and Stage 2
have been told they could lose their jobs as enormous financial losses have
forced the organisation to look at a major restructuring to try to save its
Some 113 employees have been told that their roles are at
risk of redundancy and a further 59 employees on irregular zero hours contracts
have received confirmation that they will no longer receive any work. A formal
process of consultation with all 217 staff will now begin.
The theatre has already incurred major losses as a result of
a prolonged period of closure due to coronavirus and with theatres unable to
reopen it is estimated that it will be at least another six months before the
organisation can regain full scale operations.
The theatre’s chief executive has described it as “an incredibly dark day for us and for arts and culture in Norwich, Norfolk and the East of England”, and vowed to fight on.
Michael Newey, chair of the Trustees of Norwich Theatre,
said: “As trustees we are custodians of Norwich Theatre and it is our duty to
ensure that we protect our charitable mission and our ability to carry out that
mission into the future.
“The coronavirus lockdown saw us immediately lose 95pc of our
income and this scale of ongoing financial loss is no longer sustainable. With
no large-scale productions able to go ahead until next year, no clear date for
when we will be able to operate at full scale again and no public funding
intervention forthcoming, we have been forced to mandate the chief executive to
begin a major restructuring project to reduce our costs.
“We know that this is a devastating decision for our staff
and every trustee wishes that we had a different way forward. They will all be
fully supported by the chief executive and his team during this difficult time
as the consultation process begins. Without government support we have been
left with no other option if we are to make a guarantee to our audiences that
we will survive this crisis and welcome them back to our buildings next year.”
A large proportion of Norwich Theatre’s staff are employed
to directly support the presentation of major productions at Theatre Royal
which often see around 10,000 people attend the venue each week. All
large-scale shows previously planned to tour to Theatre Royal for the
August-December 2020 period have now been postponed. Furthermore, it has also
made the difficult decision to postpone its annual pantomime from Christmas
2020 to Christmas 2021. This means that there will be no large-scale
productions at the Theatre Royal until January 2021 at the earliest.
Stephen Crocker, chief executive, said: “Our staff are the
lifeblood of our organisation and my team and I have done all we can to support
and protect them over these past few months and will continue to do so as we
explore all options through this consultation process.
“On their behalf I remain shocked and angry that the
government is standing idle as an industry that has delivered so much to this
country and is so vital to its recovery is being allowed to fade into dust. I
will continue to fight hard for our staff, our theatres and our whole industry
but this is an incredibly dark day for us and for arts and culture in Norwich,
Norfolk and the East of England. I am simply heart-broken.”
The East of England Ambulance Service are urging the public to show restraint, drink responsibly and remember social distancing on the first weekend that pubs and restaurants reopen as lockdown restrictions are eased.
Increased staffing has been put on for this weekend weekend, but bosses are hoping that this contingency planning will not be needed.
During lockdown the ambulance trust has dealt with around 25pc fewer alcohol-related incidents on Saturdays compared with the same period last year.
public are also reminded of the need to stay hydrated and keep out of the sun
as much as possible if the weather is hot.
Marcus Bailey, chief operating officer at the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “As an ambulance trust we are always planning ahead and risk assessing.
“With pubs and restaurants reopening, there is clearly potential for increased callouts and we are asking the public to drink responsibly and respect the guidelines put in place by businesses and the government, such as social distancing and regular handwashing
have put in place contingencies to deal with the increased activity but are
hopeful they will not be needed and our staff will be left to deal with urgent
safety of our patients and staff is of paramount importance to us and we hope
the public will enjoy themselves safely and sensibly.”