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Hellesdon residents – do you want ‘western link’?

Hellesdon residents will be able to have their say about a possible “western link” to the new NDR route at a consultation event in the parish next month.

Norfolk County Council has begun a period of public consultation asking people whether they think a Norwich western link is necessary.

One of nine consultation events in the county will be held in Hellesdon Parish Office, near the community centre, on Tuesday June 26, from 10.30am-8pm. County council staff will be on hand to answer questions and there will be a chance to respond to the consultation in person.

Hellesdon Norfolk County Council representative Shelagh Gurney is encouraging local residents to visit the event.

“It is important that residents are able to participate in the consultation exercise and have their say,” she said. “There has been much favourable comment about the recently-opened NDR, Broadland Northway, with residents reporting the benefits of accessing the A47 when travelling to Great Yarmouth, Wroxham and north Norfolk in general.

“Now is the opportunity to decide whether or not the NDR traverses the Wensum Valley and joins up with the A47 at the Dereham Road end.  There will be a lot of research required and careful consideration of the environmental impact of such a road, but the benefits of reduced travelling times for emergency services, particularly ambulances wishing to access the Accident and Emergency services at the hospital, will mean that critical treatment can be accessed more expediently”.

The public consultation ends on July 3. You can find out more and respond to the consultation online at www.norfolk.gov.uk/nwl

‘Learning to live again’ Tiff Youngs exclusive

Claire Mutimer and Suzy Coulson, of The Backstory podcast, with an exclusive interview with Tiffany Youngs, wife of international rugby star Tom, about her cancer diagnosis, treatment, terminal prognosis, shock remission and the impact it has had on her four-year-old daughter and family.

At the age of 28, Tiff Youngs appeared to have an amazing life – recently married to Tom Youngs, the England, Lions and Leicester Tigers rugby player, with a new baby girl Maisie and a lovely family home in Leicester.

However this was all about to be turned on its head when she found out in 2014 that she was suffering from Hodgkin Lymphoma.

The latest Backstory podcast, which went live today (May 22), tells the remarkable story of how Tiff dealt with three years of ill health and numerous different treatments, including a stem cell transplant, only to be told the devastating news in May 2017 that her cancer was terminal.

Tiff said she told her daughter: “I said you know mummy hasn’t been very well, unfortunately mummy has got to go to heaven….and she was like ‘Oh OK so I never see mummy again’.” She was, at one point, given between four weeks and a year to live.

In the interview, Tiff talks to Claire about her health and emotions, and the extraordinary turnaround which sees her now in remission from the disease. This conversation with her daughter was quite different. “I said you know mummy was ill and lost all her hair, mummy’s all better now and so mummy isn’t going to heaven any more….and you suddenly just saw a different person in her…just a spring in her step,” she said.

Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer that affects the development of lymophocytes (a type of white blood cell) in the blood, bone marrow and lymph glands. It affects the immune system and is often first diagnosed on finding swollen lymph nodes in your armpits or groin. Around 12,000 people are diagnosed with a type of lymphoma every year. Hodgkin Lymphoma refers to the specific lymphocytes which are affected.

Tiffany’s husband Tom plays for Leicester Tigers Rugby Club, is the current club captain and has received 28 England caps, as well as Lions success. Younger brother Ben also plays for Leicester and England. Ben opted to miss the 2017 British & Irish Lions Tour of New Zealand following Tiff’s terminal prognosis in order to support Tiff and Tom. The brothers grew up in Aylsham. Youngs Park in the town is named after the family after they donated land for the park.

Tiff’s backstory podcast is available on iTunes, Stitcher, Acast and other podcast directories.  Find out more at thebackstorypodcast.co.uk or follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. If you would like more information then you can get in touch with Claire and Suzy on hello@thebackstorypodcast.co.uk or by calling 07990 582683/07595 335855.

Tiffany with husband Tom and daughter Maisie

Picture: Claire Mutimer

Wheelchair and poo bags in mega litter haul

It was a wet and wild day down at the River Wensum when Norwich RiverCare hardy volunteers turned up for their first litter pick of the year.

They focused on the area of public space beside Hellesdon Road.

“We managed to clear a whopping 20 bags of litter and some choice items including a fully functioning wheelchair and several bicycles,” said spokesman Stuart Stebbens.

“Unfortunately we also need to report we picked up a lot of dog poo bags left by thoughtless owners. We are as a group perplexed by the thought someone has gone to all the trouble of putting it into a bag but hasn’t binned it. It would be better for everyone and nicer for the environment – a poo in a bag lasts 10,000 years if not disposed of.”

Stuart also reported that an unscrupulous business had left a number of plastic drums and containers, some of which once contained hazardous chemicals. He urged the public to report any fly-tipping incidents to Broadland District Council.

The group’s next event is on Saturday May 19 from 10.30am-1pm, meeting at the Marlpit Community Centre, to remove Himalayan balsam, a prolific non-native plant that crowds out native plants growing on the river bank.

Stuart added: “Lots of volunteers will make light work of it. If anyone is interested they can find us on Facebook as Norwich RiverCare or contact stuart-norwichrivercare@outlook.com for more information.

Search for children to star in Miss Saigon

Cameron Mackintosh’s new production of Boublil and Schönberg’s legendary musical Miss Saigon is looking for boys or girls to play the role of Tam when the show heads to Norwich Theatre Royal from August 15 to September 15.

The character is small, cute, confident and South-East Asian looking. He is not younger than four and not older than six, and children must live within a commutable distance of Norwich.

Anyone who wants further information or to apply should email Joanne Hawes on joanne.hawes2013@gmail.com including a small head and shoulders photograph.

Set during the last days of the Vietnam War, Miss Saigon tells the story of 17-year-old Kim who is forced to work in a Saigon bar run by a notorious character known as The Engineer. There she meets and falls in love with an American GI called Chris but they are torn apart by the fall of the city.

For the next three years, Kim goes on an epic journey of survival to find her way back to Chris. Tam is Kim’s son.

This new production of Miss Saigon opened in London in May 2014 to record-breaking advance sales and critical acclaim. The show swept the board at the 2015 Whatsonstage.com awards winning a record-breaking nine awards including Best West End Show and Best Revival of a Musical and gained the most awards ever won by a single show in the 15-year history of the awards.

Since its London premiere in 1989, Miss Saigon has become one of the most successful musicals in history. It has now been performed in 28 countries, over 300 cities in 15 different languages, has won over 40 awards including three Olivier Awards, three Tony Awards, and four Drama Desk Awards, and been seen by over 35 million people worldwide.

Miss Saigon, runs August 15 to September 15 at 7.30pm, and Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm. There are no Sunday performances. Tickets are £8-£60, with discounts and special performances avialable.

Book now at www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk or call the box office on 01603 630000.

Book honours Hellesdon man’s ‘royal’ life

While sifting through a lifetime’s photos Hellesdon granddad Derek Cate realised he had quite a few with a royal connection.

Derek, 78, his late wife Marjorie , his sister Sylvia and brother-in-law Peter shared a deep admiration for the Queen, and all-things royal have been an important part of their lives.

In a moment of inspiration, Derek decided to compile all his royal photos and memories into a folder and send a copy to Her Majesty, along with a separate folder containing a royal quiz he uses at a variety of functions.

And he was thrilled when he received a letter from Buckingham Palace, thanking him for his gift. Written by a Lady-in-Waiting, the letter said the Queen was glad to know of Derek’s happy memories of sharing events with his family and included the sentence: “I think you would like to know that the Queen was deeply moved by the time and trouble you have taken to create both these folders and very touched you have sent her this gift.”

Derek said: “Before I opened it I thought it was just going to be one of those standard letters but I shed a few tears when I read it. It was a lovely letter.” He has since made more than 20 copies of the folder and given them to recipients ranging from royal residences Sandringham, in Norfolk, and Osborne House, on the Isle of Wight, to friends who take them along to share royal memories when visiting elderly people. “It’s good to think that they give so much pleasure,” said Derek, who vividly remembers standing in Trafalgar Square, aged 14, to watch the Queen’s coronation in June 1953, along with 35,000 others.

To mark the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, in 1977, Marjorie made copies of the coronation regalia. She died in 2009 but Derek decided to use the surviving crown from her collection and made it the centrepiece of his own recreation of the regalia, marking the monarch’s Diamond Jubilee, in 2012.

Among his pieces was the orb, made from a spray-painted football, and a golden eagle “ampulla”. Derek transformed a wooden duck statue into an eagle, using moulding clay.

His finished display, which included a lifesize cardboard cut-out of the Queen and two toy corgis bought from the gift shop at Sandringham, toured care homes and schools during jubilee year. On one occasion, during a family trip to Glamis Castle, a woman came towards the group as they were drinking tea in the grounds.

It was the Countess of Strathmore, whose home they had been visiting. She began chatting to the group and Derek has also sent her a folder, receiving a hand-written thank-you letter in reply.

Derek and his wife moved to Norfolk from Gillingham, Kent, in the 1960s after Derek’s National Service at RAF Watton. They had three children and Marjorie also worked as a childminder, Sunday School and playgroup leader.

The couple, committed Christians, also fostered or cared for several children over the years. A keen tennis player, Derek played in the Norwich City League for 30 years. He worked in sales in the hydraulic hoses industry.

He said: “The Queen always seems to be so gracious. She’s had sad times in her life but she’s always very strong and she has a strong faith, which impresses me. “I like the pomp and pageantry of royalty. It’s just magic to me. I don’t think any other country in the world can match us for the wonder of it.”


Derek with a cardboard cut-out of the Queen at one of his displays

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 


Her Business Brew, a busy year so far

Women’s networking and support group Her Business Brew had a successful inaugural conference to mark International Women’s Day as part of a year of events.

Held at Epic Studios in Norwich, the Her Conference attracted women from all backgrounds, especially businesswomen and those interested in finding out more about networking or starting their own business.

Organiser Serena Fordham, who is behind Her Business Brew, said: “The HER Conference 2018 aimed to bring together women from different groups, businesses, backgrounds and locations across Norfolk and surrounding areas, and I feel we wholeheartedly achieved this.”

“The day showcased inspiring speakers, connected female entrepreneurs, provided educational and empowering masterclasses, as well as raised awareness and funds for women-focused charities.”

Her Business Brew members voted for Leeway as the charity of the year, and an optional donation can be made at each meeting, which are held monthly in four locations in north, south, east and central Norfolk.

Leeway has six safe houses and provides advice, support and information to any adult or child experiencing domestic abuse in Norfolk and Waveney. It was established in 1974 with the help of a £200 start-up grant from Norwich City Council. Over the past four decades, the charity has grown considerably.

Mandy Proctor, Chief Executive of Leeway, said: “We are delighted to be chosen as Her Business Brew’s charity of the year. I would like to thank them for supporting Leeway and showing a commitment to ending domestic abuse. The money that they raise will enable us to continue to provide a high-quality service to those experiencing domestic abuse and help Leeway to continue to raise awareness of domestic abuse within the local community.”

Serena added: “I am proud that myself and the Her Business Brew Team brought everything together to celebrate International Women’s Day with so many incredible local women. The event, which was sponsored by Trusted Law and East of England Co-op, was also in memory of my friend, Sarah Ellis, who left this world too early last year, and my main emotion when I opened the event to see so many faces smiling back at me, was sheer fulfilment of feeling Sarah’s legacy would live on through this event each year.”

Speakers at the conference included Mumbelievable blogger Ursula Taverner, Britannia café founder Davina Turner and Rachel Welch, who has been involved in a project helping Ugandan women with sanitary wear.

This year has also seen the launch of For HER, a new women’s Business, Body and Life Online Chat Show.

Serena said: “For HER is an online group focused around issues affecting women, in business, body and life, and is the home of the bi-weekly online chat show, where women discuss their viewpoints and opinions on women-related topics.”

“The group and chat show intend to raise and expose an array of issues affecting women in all aspects of their life, as well as to raise awareness of charities and social enterprise projects that can help and support women.”

“The idea of the For HER community is to keep the conversations from the chat show going, so that if women are struggling to keep going right now, they have the assurance that they are not alone.”

She has now also launched the For HER Revolution, a members’ subscription package, which offers lots of benefits to any women, on all aspects of business, body and life.

She said: “This project will help to fund the charitable projects, and hopefully later be able to provide grants to women entrepreneurs and social enterprises that aim to also help other women.”

A Her Fitness Fundraiser will be held on Saturday, May 19, 10am-3.30pm to raise more funds for Leeway, to help them to carry on supporting women and children experiencing domestic abuse.

For more information email Serena and the Her Business Brew Team via, love@herbusinessbrew.co.uk. You can also find Her Busienss Brew on Facebook or via its website www.herbusinessbrew.co.uk.  Also see www.for-her.co.uk.

PICTURES: SAM ROBBINS

 

Go wild with TV’s Nick at Pensthorpe

TV presenter, author and naturalist Nick Baker is set to open The Pensthorpe Conservation Trust’s annual community event Wild About the Wensum on Saturday, May 12.

Intrepid explorer and natural history expert Nick, who has presented Weird Creatures (C5), The Really Wild Show (BBC One) and Springwatch Unsprung (BBC Two), will officially open the event, meet members of the public and host a bug hunt.

Wild About the Wensum, now in its 12th year, is a special one-day event held by the Pensthorpe Conservation Trust with the sole focus on encouraging people of all ages, especially families who often don’t get the chance to be outdoors, to enjoy the Wensum Valley, within which Pensthorpe Natural Park is located.

This year’s theme, Hare Today, Gone Tomorrow, takes a look at the plight of the hare in the English landscape and celebrates Norfolk as one of the last strongholds for hares in Britain.

Local wildlife groups and nature charities such as the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Wensum Alliance and Norfolk Bee Keepers Association will be in attendance plus there will be a special trail to follow and free hands-on nature activities to try.

Deb Jordan, co-owner of Pensthorpe Natural Park said: “We are thrilled that Nick Baker, someone as passionate about the natural world as we are, will be joining us for our community day. Nick shares our enthusiasm for re-engaging with nature and nothing encapsulates our desire to inspire our visitors more than Wild About the Wensum. We want to encourage all generations to get outdoors and embrace the delights of nature – it’s accessible to all!”

Nick said: “Pensthorpe not only boasts a fabulous location within Norfolk’s environment-rich Wensum Valley but it is a great example of an attraction with a cause – keen to do nothing more than encourage visitors to reconnect with the outdoors. It’s an ethos which is very close to my heart and I look forward to joining them and being part of the event.”

Nick will be hosting a meet and greet in the picnic area at 10am, officially open Wild About the Wensum at 11am, run an interactive bug hunt for children at 2pm, and at 3pm will host a book signing and talk entitled How to Make a Naturalist.

As part of his day at Pensthorpe, Nick will also be invited to judge an art and photography competition, which 39 local primary and junior schools have been invited to take part in.

As the event is aimed at families and those in the local community, Pensthorpe reduce admission prices to a nominal fee of £2 per person for tickets booked online in advance, and £3 per person on the day. Under 3’s are free. Please note there will be an additional charge to access indoor play area Hootz House.

To book tickets or for more information visit pensthorpe.com.

Pictures: PAUL CARTER and STEVE ADAMS

 

Location, Location, Location looking for buyers

TV property experts Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer (pictured) are looking for homes in the Norwich area for a new season of Channel 4’s Location, Location, Location. The presenters will be helping people find their dream home this spring. Chain-free buyers struggling to find the right property are welcome to apply.  Programme chiefs will be talking to potential buyers over the next few weeks. A spokesman said: “Whether you’re upsizing or downsizing, buying your first property or hoping to find your ideal forever home, you could have two top property experts on your side. Whatever the budget and however tricky the search – we would love to hear from everyone! Phil and Kirstie may be just the helping hand you need! The online application form can be found via: www.shortaudition.com/Location-Location-Location