Archives

Students put MP in the hot seat

Norman Lamb is known for his strong beliefs on topics from Brexit to mental health. Work experience students Sophie Smith and Evie Cowling, from Aylsham High School, interviewed him to find out more.

 

Norman Lamb is not known to follow the crowd. The North Norfolk MP stands up for what he believes in and speaks out on those beliefs.

We chose to talk to him about some of the issues which affect young people today, including Brexit and the problems facing teenagers with mental health problems.

Norman campaigned to stay with the EU. He said: “Brexit is a dangerous time, a big mistake and now the government has no plan for how to reach an agreement with the EU.”

He believes Brexit will be hugely damaging to young people, as it could affect those who wanted to travel, work abroad or move to another part of Europe. “Brexit creates barriers,” he said.

Norman has been a massive advocate of improving provision for mental health, which is seen as a big issue within our generation.

He agreed it was an important priority but said care quite often fails young people and families, with services not understanding and treating complex conditions.

“It’s wrong that families and individuals can be left waiting for long periods of time to receive health care and in some cases being turned away if, for instance, with someone with an eating disorder, their body mass index is not low enough to be treated, in terms of having an eating disorder,” he said. And one step we should take, he believes, is to get the subject onto school curriculums. “We can then tackle mental health with young people so that they can understand causes and recognise signs.”

Knowing which career path to take is another big issue for teenagers as they choose school and college courses and universities and we wanted to find out what inspired Norman to become an MP.

He told us he had been interested in politics since a young age and when he was a teenager he got involved in an election and then worked for an MP after leaving university. He loved it but wanted to represent his own beliefs. Most importantly, Norman wanted “to fight for change and make an impact on the world” and he feels privileged that he is able to do what he is doing.

His advice to young women our age was to “reach beyond as there is no glass ceiling”. He added: “In your lives you will have many opportunities and you should learn to reach for the stars.”

One issue for young people is student university loans. Norman explained his party’s ambition had been to make student finances “fairer”. But he accepted that his party had made a big mistake in making a pledge and not sticking with it.

He explained that, in his opinion, the system was fair in that those who went into high-paying jobs paid more and those who were in low paid jobs would sometimes never get to the point where they had to pay.

“We changed the system to get students paying more but only if they went into higher paying jobs as a result of their degree.” Norman then explained: “I see no problem with people who go on to receive very high salaries paying the full whack for their degree.”  He stated that if you don’t earn sufficient income to pay back your university loans they will be written off. “I completely understand why people get worried and anxious about the size of the loan, but the loan does get written off if your salary throughout the year hasn’t been high enough to repay it.”

His toughest question came at the end of the Facetime interview. We asked: “If you reached the final of I’m A Celebrity, what would you have as your final three-course meal?”

So, if you are cooking for him anytime, Norman likes a starter of scallops or Norfolk crab, for main Indian or Thai food and for dessert strawberries and ice cream.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMER

 

Dramatic video of marsh rescue

The dramatic moment a police drone found a man stuck in marshes after being reported missing from Brancaster beach has been released.

Peter Pugh, aged 75 and from Brancaster, had been walking with friends and family at approximately 5.10pm on Saturday,  June 16, when he became separated from them.

Norfolk police, assisted by HM Coastguard, Hunstanton and Wells Inshore Lifeboat and Norfolk Lowland and Search Service, began searches of the local area throughout the night and into Sunday, June 17.

At approximately 2.35pm the Norfolk Police drone, being piloted by Sergeant Danny Leach, spotted Peter stuck in very dense reed beds and marshland at Titchwell. Sgt Leach was then able to guide a team from HM Coastguard and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service to him.

The team pulled Peter from a deep muddy creek before providing first aid until the Coastguard rescue helicopter arrived to winch him out.

Peter was then taken by air ambulance to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn where he is being treated for hypothermia.

Sergeant Alex Bucher, who helped co-ordinate the search operation, said: “This is a great example of multi-agency working at its best and through our teamwork we were able to successfully locate Peter and return him back to his family on Father’s Day.

“There is no doubt that without the police drone we would not have been able to locate him in the time we did. The police drone allows us to search areas that are difficult to access and within close range where a helicopter may not be able to get.

“Approximately 50 people were directly involved with this search operation and it was through their dedication and hard work we were able to save this man’s life.”

Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green said: “What a fantastic example of what can be achieved when our agencies work together and our police have the right tools for the job.

“Having pledged to give our officers the 21st century tools, including drones, that they need to keep our county safe, it’s incidents like this that demonstrate just how relevant that pledge was and continues to be.

“Now, almost a year since Norfolk Police launched its initial drone trial, this is yet another remarkable achievement. Well done to all involved.”

You can see the dramatic footage here  https://vimeo.com/275784037

 

Norfolk library events help loneliness misery

Research has shown that loneliness can be as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and is associated with depression, high blood pressure and dementia, according to Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s communities committee.

Since Norfolk County Council launched its In Good Company campaign to tackle loneliness in the county, the library service has more than doubled the number of events it runs which are suitable for people who may be experiencing loneliness or social isolation.

And from June 21-23 more than 20 council libraries will be hosting In Good Company events and activities as part of the national Great Get Together project.

It’s an approach which earlier this year drew the praise of Arts Council England which highlighted the way it was helping to build community cohesion and promote positive ways that people can connect with their neighbours – recognised nationally as the most important way of tackling loneliness and social isolation.

Jan Holden, head of libraries and information, said: “From afternoon teas, knit and natter and board games to colour me calm sessions and book groups, our regular programme of events encourages people to enjoy the company of others whilst taking part in a fun activity or simply chatting over a cuppa.

“For the Great Get Together weekend, we’ve incorporated some extra events into our programme, including Open Gardens at Blofield, Making Music Day at Aylsham, and a sing along and invitation to write a letter to an isolated person at Hunstanton.  We hope lots of people will come along and join – it’s a great way to connect with people and make new friends.”

The first Great Get Together took place last year.  It was the idea of the friends and family of murdered MP, Jo Cox, to mark the first anniversary of her death.  The event aims to bring friends, neighbours and communities together to celebrate everything they have in common.

Councillor Dewsbury added: “Loneliness is a major national issue and we know that it affects people of all ages.

“We are leading the way with our In Good Company campaign and recently announced £2.4m funding to tackle loneliness in the county.  Over the next three years we’ll be working with partner organisations to develop new and innovative ways of improving the health and wellbeing of people affected by loneliness and social isolation in our communities.

“It’s great to see our libraries taking part in the Great Get Together again this year and offering such a varied range of events and activities to help to ensure that no one needs to spend a lonely day in Norfolk if they don’t want to.”

For more information about how you can get involved with In Good Company, visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/ingoodcompany

For events and activities in Norfolk County Council’s libraries visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/libraries

For more information about the Great Get Together visit www.greatgettogether.org


 

‘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

Applications open for Community Transport Fund

North Norfolk District Council’s Community Transport Fund is open for applications and the council will host workshop for organisations interested in applying.

The scheme is designed to support community transport schemes across the district that help vulnerable, disadvantaged and isolated residents of all ages access the services and facilities they need.

The types of project the fund is likely to support include Good Neighbours, Dial-a-Ride, MediRide, and work and study schemes.

Any voluntary organisation that currently provides or wishes to set up a community transport service in North Norfolk is encouraged to apply to the council for a grant.

Council leader John Lee said: “At a time when many authorities are cutting back on community projects, I’m absolutely delighted that because of the sound monetary policies of this council, we are able to provide these funds to assist some of our most vulnerable residents.”

A workshop for organisations interested in applying for a grant will be held at 10am on Thursday, June 7, at the council’s HQ in Holt Road, Cromer. The workshop will outline the application process and, after any grant is awarded, what is required in terms of monitoring, data collection, publicity and promotion.

Applications to the Community Transport Fund can be submitted at any time, and decisions on applications will be made in March, July and November. To be considered this July, applications need to be submitted by June 29.

For more information or to apply for a grant, visit www.north-norfolk.gov.uk and search for “community transport fund”.

To discuss a potential application or to book a place on the workshop, call the Communities Team on 01263 516173 or 01263 516248.

Volunteers and users of North Norfolk Community Bus

Big effort for cancer charity

Brighton Marathon runners Martin Garrard and Andrew Graveling have topped the £3,300 mark in their efforts to help cancer.
The weight training buddies took part in the 26-mile race on April 15 to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
The pair chose Cancer Research UK because they had both lost family and friends to cancer.
Martin said the last few miles of the race had been really tough as both had been carrying injuries on the day.
But he said: “Giving up never entered our heads. We dug in and finished it.”
He added: “The crowd were fantastic, including family members, cheering us on all the way.
The total so far is £3,380, which is triple their target and more.
Martin said: “The support and generosity from people has overwhelmed us.
“We would like to thank everyone who wished us well and everyone who kindly donated to a very worthy cause.”
Andrew is a local postman and Martin owns Holt Fish Bar.
See https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/team/double-dragons

 

Firsts for Holt Festival

The full 10th anniversary programme for Holt Festival 2018 has just been announced.
The festival brings outstanding theatre, music, comedy, literature, talks, children’s and visual art events to the town for eight days, from July 21-29.
For the 10th anniversary year Stash Kirkbride has taken the helm as artistic director, and has delivered a programme that combines the best of national and international talents with the cream of Norfolk performers.
Introducing the programme Stash said: “It is said that if a festival can make it to its 10th year then it has truly arrived, and having long admired the achievements of Holt Festival I am thrilled and honoured to be invited to assemble the 2018 programme. I hope it does justice to the fabulous legacy left by my predecessors Tony Britten, Delaval Astley and Charles Pugh.”
Major new announcements include a Norfolk Day special appearance by the county’s best loved, most popular and rudest(!) comedy duo The Nimmo Twins (pictured). Making their first appearance at the festival the Nimmo’s outrageously hilarious and hugely popular Normal for Norfolk shows have entertained sell-out crowds for over 20 years. Two major exhibitions put Holt firmly on the international art map. A world-first exhibition of the paintings of one of Norfolk’s best loved adopted sons, Sir John Hurt, will show just how accomplished a painter he was. Another exclusive sees letters from George Orwell to his Southwold lover on public display for the first time ever. Leading political figures will also be in Holt to discuss their lives and careers with well known TV and radio presenters.
Box office: 01603 598699 or online at www.holtfestival.org

John Hurt as Artist is the first exhibition anywhere in the world of the late screen legend’s paintings (above). Sir John Hurt painted all his life. Aged 17, he attended The Grimsby Art School (now the East Coast School of Art and Design) and in 1959 won a scholarship to St Martin’s School of Art (now Central Saint Martin’s) in London. Most of the paintings in the exhibition have been loaned by his wife, Lady Anwen Hurt, who said: “He took art every bit as seriously as he took his acting career.”

Adrian in the saddle for Edinburgh Fringe

Norfolk Youth Musical Theatre director Adrian Connell is taking to his bike to fund ths group’s latest visit to a national theatre festival.
He is currently nearing his target of raising £1,500 to enable the group to take its production of Battle of Boat’ to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Adrian will be completing a fundraising cycle ride from Sheringham to Norwich (37 miles) on Sunday, May 27.
He currently has £964 towards his target.
He said: “All of the cast members have paid for their own accommodation and travel and we are now trying to raise money to pay for venue hire, royalties, radio mics, printing and all the other additional costs associated with putting on a show at the Fringe. They have raised most of it but are £1500 short. Please help me help them to achieve their target.”
Charlie Windle (13), from Norwich, who plays the part of Beagle, did a similar bike ride for 25 miles and raised £472 for the trip. Also Mabel White (11), from Aylsham, who plays Florance, did a bake off at her primary school and raised £54. Both are going to Edinburgh. The group also raised £1,046 at a quiz nigh towards the total needed of £2,500. “So we are nearly there, about £500 to go,” said Adrian.
He added: “I am astonished by the amount of support I have received. I thought the ride would get around £200/£300 but so far people from local choirs, friends who have seen shows and many people who were involved in it have donated.”
Norfolk Youth Music Theatre first performed The Battle of Boat at the Maddermarket Theatre in Norwich in November.
It is a new musical set in a seaside town on the English south coast in 1916. The carefree happiness of a group of young children is short-lived as they find themselves discovering more and more about the First World War that is unfolding around them.
It was written by Jenna Donnelly and Ethan Lewis Maltby, who have been writing together for several years, creating original cinematatic musicals.
Adrian, the former head of music at Broadland High School, started Norfolk YMT in 1995, seeing scores of youngsters getting the chance to perform well-known and more obscure musicals on stage. It’s now his 23rd year and he has directed more than 70 shows. He has been teaching piano privately since he was 19.
He said he enjoys cycling but said: “I like cycling along flats, rolling downhill and walking uphill. I take my bike to Derbyshire and do some tracks and also the bike will go to Edinburgh for some rides around North Berwick.”
As for training, he says: “Whichever way you leave Sheringham you start with an hour uphill. You’re knackered before you start!”
People can donate via JustGiving Crowdfunding Page at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/adrians-fundraising-cycle-ride. Also see more at www.norfolkymt.net.