Victims of domestic abuse to benefit from £100,000 funding

Domestic abuse experts Leeway are teaming up with a trio of district and borough councils to make use of £100,000 extra funding.

The extra money will be added to ongoing efforts to support domestic abuse victims across North Norfolk, West Norfolk and Breckland over the next two years.

The money is part of a national £20 million fund announced by the government in the last few days and it is anticipated the money will help 117 women and 142 children.

Funding will be used across the three council areas to pay for a specialist domestic abuse case worker with mental health and substance misuse expertise; a dedicated refuge bed space for women with no recourse to public funds or for those who are not economically active or those who have lost their eligibility status; a rent-guarantee scheme enabling women to move on to independent living quicker in the private rent sector.

Mandy Proctor, chief executive of Leeway, said: “It is fantastic that local councils have secured funding to support those experiencing domestic abuse. The work we do in partnership with local authorities is extremely important and it is vital that we are able to continue to offer a high-quality service to those that need it. It is fantastic that the government are taking a proactive stance to tackle domestic abuse, which will undoubtedly make a massive difference to many people that are experiencing domestic abuse.”

Richard Price, North Norfolk District Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “This is about helping people in very difficult situations make informed choices at the right time, whatever their level of need. The bid put together by Leeway and the three authorities has been recognised as having great potential and we all look forward to its success into the future.”

Leeway is also running fundraising events throughout the year, like this skydive. There are still spaces if you would like to support them.

Children’s charity gets £10,000 from Roys

Charity Nelson’s Journey has received a £10,000 donation from Roys of Wroxham to help its work with bereaved children.

Nelson’s Journey was chosen as Roys charity of the year to receive all donations raised through sale of 5p carrier bags at Roys’ eight stores and Highway Garden and Leisure.

Sarah Hyde from Nelson’s Journey said: “We are absolutely amazed by the incredible support offered from Roys and their customers. We are pleased to have the backing of such a wonderful organisation, full of staff enthusiastic about our charity.”

The £10,000 can fund 40 children to attend one of the therapeutic residential weekends at Hilltop in Sheringham. The weekend is packed full of team building, coping strategies and memory work with other children and young people of a similar age, giving them the right tools and confidence to move forward positively with their lives.

Ed Roy, managing director at Roys, presented the cheque, saying: “We are very pleased to be helping such a worthwhile cause, Roys would like to thank each and every customer that has donated money by purchasing a carrier bag and we look forward to being able to present Nelson’s Journey with future donations throughout the year.”

If you would like to donate or would like help from the child bereavement support team at Nelson’s Journey then you can find more details at

Photo left to right: Ed Roy (Managing Director Roys), Simon Wright (Chief Executive Nelson’s Journey), Sarah Hyde (Community Funding and Marketing Officer Nelson’s Journey)

Do you know everything that’s on offer in Aylsham?

A Community Expo is being held in Aylsham on Saturday, March 4, aimed at anyone who lives or works in and around the town and who wants to find out what is on offer in the area.

Hosted by Aylsham Town Council at the Town Hall, the event will include stalls from voluntary and community sector organisations and will give old and new residents an opportunity to come together to discover the variety of what goes on in the town.

Doors open at 9am and refreshments will be available.

The event coincides with the 15th anniversary of the farmers market, so there will also be a special market with regular stallholders alongside past stallholders.

There will be a colouring competition for younger residents, held through the Town Council Information Stand on the day.

Aylsham Town Hall where the Aylsham Expo will be held next Saturday.

Apply for share of £17,500 community funding

Community groups across North Norfolk are being invited to bid for a share of a £17,500 windfall, with the latest round of funding from the Victory Housing Community Fund.

Charities, voluntary groups, community organisations and parish councils can bid for grants of up to £5,000, to be used for a wide range of purposes, including capital projects, venue hire, equipment, start-up expenses and training.

The fund, which aims to provide support for community groups which are making a difference at grassroots level in local communities, was started by Victory Housing Trust in 2008, and has so far given out a total of 134 grants totalling £368,385.

The last round of grants, in November, saw eight community groups receive grants of between £400 and £5,000, to help with projects as diverse as transforming an allotment and surrounding land into a junior ball games area, helping to employ a manager at a food bank, training volunteers to support families in their communities, and purchasing archery equipment for a Scout group.

Groups have until Monday, April 3, to submit their bids, with the decision about where the money goes being made by a panel made up of Victory Housing Trust residents, advised by the grants team at Norfolk Community Foundation, which administers the fund on behalf of Victory.

“We are delighted once again to open our community fund for grants bids,” said Victory Housing Trust chief executive John Archibald.  “In the past nine years we have supported so many fantastic community initiatives, helping those organisations which really make our communities tick at grassroots level.

“The process of applying for a grant is simple and user-friendly, and we particularly encourage bids from organisations which have not applied before.”

Applications for grants can be made by any organisation or group established for charitable purposes, provided there is a formal structure which allows for monitoring of activity and feedback – official charitable status is not necessary.  The fund is looking for applications from voluntary and community groups in the North of Norfolk whose primary aim is to improve the quality of people’s lives.

Full details of how to apply for grants from the Victory Housing Community Fund can be found at




Norwich Airport posts 10% passenger increase for last year

Norwich Airport is celebrating a 10% increase in passenger numbers, passing the half a million mark for the first time since 2008.

Figures just released by the CAA show that Norwich handled 506,007 passengers in 2016, up 43,343 on the year before, an increase of 10%.

The growth is being attributed to the launch of several new routes in 2016 including the return of year-round sunshine flights to Malaga and Alicante last Easter, the first in almost 10 years.

The flights were made possible by an innovative partnership between Exeter-based airline Flybe and Regional & City Airports (RCA), the airport management division of Rigby Group PLC, which owns Norwich Airport and Exeter Airport.

This saw the introduction of one of Flybe’s E195 118-seater jet aircraft on the routes, which operate year-round.
The addition of winter ski flights to Chambery, a year-round service to Exeter and holiday flights to Gran Canaria and Cyprus have also played their part.

Norwich Airport managing director Richard Pace said: “We’ve had a great year and every month saw passenger growth of between 4% and 19%.

“The return of the Spanish sunshine flights has been a huge success with double digit increases in March, April and May. July and November were among our best ever, both up by 19%, and Chambery has proved popular helping us to end the year 9% up in December and 10% overall.”

Richard said that he was hopeful of continued growth in 2017 with the launch of a new weekly service to the Greek Island of Rhodes, increased flights to Jersey, and special flights to Dubrovnik in Croatia and Venice in Italy.

He added: “Growing our route network to include more international hubs and leisure destinations remains our priority, and the completion of the Northern Distributor Road next year will make it even easier for people to travel from their local airport.” For more information about scheduled and holiday flights from Norwich Airport please visit

Nowich Airport MD Richard Pace

Sheringham deli celebrates British Pie Week

Sheringham pie maker Mark Wood is getting ready to celebrate British Pie week from March 6-12

The owner of the Town Deli in Sheringham has targeted the UK trend in ready-made pies and is stocking up on his range.

Mark said: “Over the year we have been displaying more than 30 varieties of pies – meat, fish, vegetarian and gluten free selections. Many are from award-winning bakers, like the Pieminister, Tom’s Pies, and our local Walsingham Pies. We try to make sure there’s a pie for every taste, special need and price. We recently helped a pie and mash charity evening by supplying their individual pie tastes for each of their guests.”

Mark is trying to find the best from the producers of traditional pies and discovering some of the new speciality varieties, so he can showcase the current trends in British pie making in North Norfolk.

Work starts March 6 on new Felbrigg roundaabout

Work is set to start on Monday, March 6, on a long-campaigned-for improvement at the junction of the A148 and B1436 at Felbrigg near Cromer.

This follows the announcement in June 2016 that the funding had been secured from a number of partners for the new £619,000 roundabout.

To allow the scheme to go ahead Hilary Cox, local county councillor for Cromer, worked to secure pledges of money from Norfolk County Council, the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), North Norfolk District Council, Cromer Town Council, local parish councils of Roughton, Runton and Felbrigg, and developers and local businesses.

The work is expected to take 12 weeks to complete so the new roundabout should be in place by the end of May.

She said: “It’s so gratifying, after so many years of effort, to see this scheme about to start and backed by such a wide range of community supporters. The new roundabout means the junction will be much easier to negotiate, safer, and encourage vehicles that do not need to stop in Cromer to bypass it and cut congestion in the town.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the roundabout ready not only for all the local residents and businesses but also all the people who come to enjoy this lovely part of the world during the busy summer season.”

Martin Wilby, chairman of the Norfolk County Council’s environment, transport and development committee said: “This is a great example of a community coming together to deliver a local priority. This new roundabout will benefit local people and visitors alike.

“We try to minimise disruption during roadworks but know that delays are likely while the work is under way so we thank people for their patience while this much called for local scheme is built.

“It’s the first time we’ve seen a scheme made possible through partners’ contributions. This could well point the way forward for other requests for larger schemes which don’t meet the criteria for the county council to fund alone but which could be made possible if enough partners can chip in.”

During the majority of the work both the A148 and the B1436 will remain open however delays are likely as traffic will be controlled by temporary traffic lights so motorists are advised to leave extra time for their journeys.A temporary closure of the route will be required when the new roundabout is being surfaced.

Sue Arnold, North Norfolk District Council ward member for Felbrigg and chairman of the Steps to Safety Campaign said: “North Norfolk District Council is pleased to have been able to contribute nearly £30,000 to this project that will improve safety on the roads for our residents while cutting congestion and making visiting our beautiful area better for tourists.

“To get to this point after so many years is terrific, and it has taken hard work and strong support from many sides. I would especially like to thank the dedication and financial contribution made by local parish councils that have given at a level out of proportion to their relatively small size.”

Hellesdon couple’s honeymoon dreams come true

The power of crowdfunding to help those in need was demonstrated recently when 125 people came together to donate £3,500 to help a Hellesdon couple go on honeymoon.
Most of us would take it for granted that after tying the knot we can escape on a romantic honeymoon, but not Sophie and Jason Adams.
Both of them have multiple sclerosis, and for Sophie in particular it has completely changed her life to the point where she is no longer able to walk, speak or even eat. But, undeterred, she was determined to find love, and in 2015 she met Jason, who has to use a wheelchair but is able to talk. The couple are soul mates, and last summer they got married.
Following their perfect day, family and friends started to discuss how nice it would be if the newlyweds could go on honeymoon. Vicky Grinnell-Wright, a school friend of Sophie’s, set up a JustGiving crowdfunding page and was amazed at the result.
“It feels like there are some very generous people who have been touched by Sophie and Jason’s story and who have, perhaps, reflected on how lucky their own relative wedding and honeymoon stories have been,” said Vicky.
“Unlike most couples, for Sophie and Jason the challenge of a honeymoon trip goes beyond which sandy white beach to choose and how to fund the Pina Coladas.”
Sophie is physically unable to fly, so a cruise from Southampton to Norway is the plan. However, to make this dream a reality a cabin will need to be specially adapted for her and Jason and there will need to be two dedicated carers on board for the duration of the trip. Special equipment will also be needed to ensure their safety and wellbeing. All of this makes something as seemingly simple as a honeymoon much more complex and costly.
In the story on the JustGiving page, Vicky asked if 300 people could give £10 each to reach the £3,500, but in reality it only took 125 people to achieve the target in 20 days – including one very generous donation of £740!
“Many of Sophie’s own friends, her sister’s friends and friends of friends have been touched by this and have given generously of their money and they well wishes,” said Vicky. “The amounts have varied, but generosity is relative and every little has helped hugely.”
The couple plan on taking their cruise at the end of June and are very excited.
Sophie and Jason said: “It’s excellent getting the honeymoon that we desire by having the crowdfunding money. Thank you to everyone that donated, especially ‘anonymous’ who was very generous!”
Vicky added: “There is little you can do to help when an illness as debilitating as this takes away even the most taken for granted ways to communicate. Soph cannot physically text or email or otherwise directly communicate to friends or family who are not in the same room as her.
“To be able to do a small thing to help is a privilege and I am grateful to her, Jason and her family for allowing me to set up the campaign.”
View the JustGiving page at

Sophie Adams (left) and school friend Vicky Grinnell-Wright.

Sophie and Jason Adams on their big day. PICTURE: JOSEPH CASEY PHOTOGRAPHY