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Growing local stage talent … and a killer plant in Sheringham

An alien plant living in a flower shop has an appetite for a frightening fertiliser – human blood.

But the story combining horror with horticulture is helping young acting talent grow too.

Little Shop of Horrors runs at Sheringham Little Theatre from September 27-29, using a cast of 11 youngsters drawn from the venue’s youth drama group.

Co-director Harry Williams, 23, from North Walsham, said the young cast had enjoyed rehearsing the show during the summer because it was “silly with lots of jokes and space for wacky characters.”

He has been performing with the group since he was eight and has appeared in the venue’s summer drama season pantomime. Now Harry is making his debut at directing – while also playing one of the three versions of the hungry plant. Jess Chamberlin shares the directing and choreography.

The other cast members in the show, set in America, are; Charlie Randall as timid flower shop worker Seymour, Lucy Connor as his co-worker and love interest Audrey, Sam Thompson as shop owner Mr Mushnik, Jack Jarvis as Orin the dentist, plus Emily Sidnell, Pippa Randall and Emily Reiner as a trio of urchins.

Mr Williams said the cast had a mixture of experience and it was great to see the newcomers learning from the regulars who had previously taken leading roles.

The team, in their teens and 20s, has also had to make three versions of the plant, Audrey II, to map its alarming growth.

The show is also brimming with 1960s music, and has a three-piece “orchestra pit.”

Theatre director Debbie Thompson said: “The show is done completely by the youth group – giving them great experience of the stage, management and creating props and scenery, which is a brilliant opportunity for them.”

The show is on at 7.30pm. Tickets £10 from the box office on 01263 822347 or visit www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com

Picture: Matt Coomber                                      Charlie Randall who plays flower shop worker Seymour in the Little Shop of Horrors at Sheringham Little Theatre.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Children get inspired to help Children in Need

Primary schools all over Norfolk will be bringing colour to the lives of less fortunate youngsters with a charity effort through Inspired Youth.

The group is staging a Pudsey Challenge from November 13-17 in 10 primary schools across North, South, East and, West Norfolk as well as hosting an event in central Norwich.

It is estimated 300 Year 2 students will be taking part in the two-hour sessions which will involve decorating 100 Pudsey Bears.

Inspired Youth project delivery manager Melissa Dunning called on the business community to help reach their fundraising goal.

She said: “We are looking for 100 business people to give an hour of their time to come to the schools and help support the decorating of the bears.”

There’s also the chance for businesses to sponsor the events for £50 and have their name added to a giant Inspired Youth cog from its logo or to donate pens, glitter and the like for the events.

The bears are A1 size and three children plus a business helper will be assigned to decorate each bear using arts and crafts. There will be special prize for the best bear awarded on Friday.

The aim is to raise £500 for Children in Need.

To pledge an hour of support email Admin@inspired-youth.co.uk. Also use that email if you have items to donate for decorating the berars/

To pledge £50 sponsorship for Children in Need go to https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/pudsey100 or send a cheque payable to Inspired Youth projects, Inspired Youth, Henderson Business Centre, 51 Ivy Road, Earlham, Norwich, NR5 8BF.

On Twitter use @inspired__youth, @BBCCin and #pudesy100 to promote the event


Norwich North MP Chloe Smith is supporting the event. She is pictured her with Inspired Youth CEO Natalie Davies

Support for women through that ‘tricky period’

Homeless women and females on low incomes will benefit from a new service set up to provide free sanitary products at Norwich’s main libraries.

The Tricky Period project involves the libraries taking donations of products and handing them out to people who cannot afford them, with no questions asked about proof of eligibility.

Staff at Tuckswood, Earlham, West Earlham, Mile Cross, Plumstead Road, St Williams Way and The Millennium libraries have been taking in donations of tampons, sanitary towels and carrier bags for the last few weeks ready to start the scheme on Thursday, September 28.

Community librarian Caroline Varney-Bowers is behind the project. She said: “I became aware of a project called The Homeless Period where homeless women struggle to afford these items and did some further research about period poverty. I found this is also an issue for young women from low income families and sometimes leads to girls missing school during their period.

“Library staff have been hugely supportive of starting up this service and we have already had some donations.”

Order forms will be available in Norwich Libraries at the staff desk (at The Millennium Library this will be the ground floor joining desk). Customers can tick the products they require and hand in their form at the desk and receive the items they need.

Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s communities committee, said: “It’s fantastic that our library staff have set up this service which will help vulnerable women and girls in Norwich. As well as the problem of affordability, this could potentially improve women’s health, as there are risks associated with not changing sanitary products regularly. The Tricky Period may also help to reduce period related truancy from school or time off work. I would encourage library users to support the project by making donations of supplies.”

Norwich foodbank is supporting the project as they are acutely aware that many who access their services find it very difficult to ask for these items.

Norfolk County Council’s Library and Information Service works closely with the council’s Public Health team on the Healthy Libraries project to improve awareness, information and support around health and wellbeing to people living in Norfolk.

This also includes supporting and promoting public health campaigns around issues including dementia awareness and reducing childhood obesity. Libraries work with local and national organisations to host events which encourage people to improve their health and wellbeing.
The service is available during library opening hours.

Just Regional is keen to support this initiative and we have offered to our offices as a point for anyone who would like to donate sanitary products. Just drop your donations off to our HQ in Penfold Street, Aylsham, NR11 6ET and we will make sure they get to the libraries in Norwich.

Editor Gay Webster said: “This is something which most women take for granted, that they have access to sanitary pads and tampons. It’s only right that all women have that choice and we are happy to be part of this worthwhile scheme.”

Final call for Norfolk beach lovers to join coastal clean up

The UK’s leading marine charity, says it hopes more people than ever before in Norfolk will take part in the Great British Beach Clean from September 15-18.

The event around the county’s coastline will help ensure some of the most beautiful beaches in the UK aren’t being taken for granted.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is running at least 11 beach cleans and surveys around Norfolk and so far just over 70 volunteers have signed up.

The charity says it’s really helpful if people register their interest online before the event to ensure organisers have enough kit to go round! You can register right up until the very last minute www.mcsuk.org/waitrose, and of course you can just turn up on the day.

This year, the Great British Beach Clean in England is being sponsored by Waitrose who are supporting MCS’ year round beach clean programme.

The MCS beach clean event takes place every third weekend in September as part of the charity’s year round Beachwatch programme. Volunteers who get involved in Norfolk will be joining an army of beach cleaners not only around the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, but all over the world as part of the global International Coastal Clean-up, which takes a snap shot of beach litter across the planet on a single weekend.

Lizzie Prior, MCS Beach and River Clean Project Officer, says volunteers are the lifeblood of the event and the data they collect is vital: “Last year an amazing 133 volunteers took part in the Great British Beach Clean on Norfolk’s beaches. We’d love to see even more people heading to the county’s beaches and helping clean up at the events that have been organised at:
Brancaster
Heacham: North of Jubilee Bridge
Titchwell Marsh
Cley Beach / Blakeney Point
Great Yarmouth Central
Holkham
Sheringham West
Old Hunstanton Beach
Cley Beach
Mundesley
New Hunstanton

Each event only takes a couple of hours and, alongside the clean; 100 metres of beach are surveyed. The form is straightforward to complete, and helps MCS to add to the local and UK litter data picture, as well as the global view. Each clean-up has an organiser so there’s plenty of advice on the day on how to fill in the simple data sheets. This information will be used by MCS to work with governments and industry in the charity’s ongoing work to stop litter getting on to our beaches in the first place.

To get involved in the Great British Beach Clean 2015 in Norfolk and be part of the most influential fight against marine litter in the UK visit www.mcsuk.org/waitrose You can also speak to the team on 01989 566017.

PICTURE: CHRIS TAYLOR PHOTO

Special open days to show off canal work

Canal fans from across Britain, and further afield, gave up their summer holidays to help restore part of Norfolk’s heritage.
More than 30 volunteers took part in a Waterways Recovery Group (WRG) camp on part of the unique North Walsham and Dilham Canal. The waterway is Norfolk’s only sailing canal with locks.
The workforce spent two weeks rebuilding the derelict spillway – or overflow – at Ebridge, just above the dilapidated lock.
Once finished, the restored spillway will make it easier to control water levels along the 19th-century waterway, which fell into disrepair after the last wherry sailed it in 1934.
The work at Ebridge, coupled with the newly-restored spillway 1.29 miles away at Royston and the almost-complete restoration of the lock at Bacton Wood Mill, means that it will soon be possible to water a dry section of the Canal, between Pigney’s Wood and Spa Common.
The added section will mean that a 3.7km (2.3 mile) stretch of the canal, originally nearly nine miles long, will have been re-opened, thanks to supporters and canal owners, over the past 17 years.
Work on the Royston spillway was carried out by volunteer work parties organised by the North Walsham and Dilham Canal Trust. They spent 851 hours over three months clearing, levelling and bricking the spillway, working at an angle of 45 degrees. A paid workforce on a basic wage would have earned about £6,000 in that time.
Bob Crow, who led the second week, said they would complete about 60% of the work needed to finish the Ebridge spillway.
Among the volunteers was Evelyne Laveaux who had travelled from her home in north-east France to help.
“I am very much interested in conservation and restoration and I am a teacher of English in France so this allows me to combine both interests, and practise my English,” she said.
“It’s varied work and it’s an opportunity to learn things I didn’t know, like bricklaying.”
The group stayed in North Walsham Scout Hut during their camp and fitted in trips to Norwich and Cromer.
Other volunteers, who included young people completing their Duke of Edinburgh Gold awards, came from places including Cardiff, Lichfield, London, Sheffield and Lancaster.
Bob, from Brightlingsea, said they had spent the first part of the camp ripping out concrete and bricks placed over the spillway as part of Second World War defences.
The hardest job had been rolling the ground to compact it, working on a 30 degree incline. They had then reinstated the crest wall at the top of the structure and had finally worked on brick-facing the weir slope.
The WRG workers attracted a lot of attention from the many dog walkers, canoeists, fishermen and other canal users. Bob added: “People kept stopping to say ‘Lovely work. When can you come and do my patio?’”
There will be a chance to learn all about the canal and its restoration on September 9 (11am-5pm) and September 10 (10am-4pm) when the trust takes part in the national Heritage Open Days.
Visit Ebridge Mill pond (NR28 9NG for satnav users) for the chance to walk the 2.5 miles of canal path, or bring a canoe and take to the water. The trust will be offering trips on a work boat and volunteers will be on hand to talk about the work parties.
Wildlife officer Perry Hampson will have photographs on display and be there to talk about the wealth of flora and fauna found on the canal. There will be heritage photos and a display of finds, as well as an information
and membership tent, refreshments, a tombola and bric-a-brac stall.

Ebridge spillway before restoration.

The work in progress over the summer

Norfolk police get 21st-century technology

Police officers across Norfolk and Suffolk are set to be equipped with Samsung tablets and Nokia phones, saving them precious time when dealing with incidents and meaning they can spend more time in the public eye.

Over the next three months 1,500 uniformed officers will be issued with the devices, the latest in 21st-century technology. The tablets will enable officers to work remotely, update crime systems, review live incidents, update victims and liaise with partner agencies while out and about. Tasks that would normally mean officers travelling back to the station to access a computer can now be done immediately. Thanks to newly-developed applications, officers will also be able to take statements and submit a number of other forms via the devices, a move that will help reduce the amount of paperwork required at the end of each shift. The rollout is alongside the distribution of body-worn video cameras for officers which started in May this year.

Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies have budgeted £1.2m to equip the officers but it is expected that efficiencies brought about by their use will save money in the long-term. Chief Superintendent Mike Fawcett, project lead for Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies, said: “Following a three-month trial last year, it was clear that the devices offered officers what they needed – quick access to accurate information without the need to travel back to the station. “We will continue to take advantage of new technologies to aid crime investigation and I’m sure the people of Norfolk/Suffolk will notice a benefit as our officers embrace the new ways of working. “This is very much an ‘invest-to-save’ project – and I expect that the resource commitment we have made will bring us cost benefits in the long-term.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green said: “This is a crucial investment for Norfolk Constabulary. These devices will free up officers’ time, enabling them to direct more attention to their operational roles. For the force as a whole, it means that resources will be more readily available and police visibility will be increased.

“For our police to be as efficient and effective as possible, it’s vital they have the right tools. To tackle the crime affecting our communities in the 21st century, we need to make the best use of the 21st century technology available to us.”

Pictured from left: Sgt Tom Mann, PC Keith Bristo (Norfolk Police Federation), PCC Lorne Green, and Chief Supt Mike Fawcett.


Help support Norfolk coast charity walker

Here’s a chap to look out for when you are out and about on the coast.

Alex Ellis-Roswell is walking 100 miles down the Norfolk coast to raise money for the six RNLI lifeboat stations in the area. He started walking round the 9,500-mile coast of England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Isle of Man on August 3, with the aim to raise £10 for every mile he walks. He has raised around £60,000 for RNLI lifeboats.

He said: “If you see me walking over the next few weeks please donate/ beep/ wave/ thumbs up/ tea. And if you can offer somewhere dry and warm to sleep at night, please comment or message,” he said.

You can follow Alex walking in Norfolk on his Facebook profile: www.facebook.com/alexellisroswell and donate to RNLI here www.bt.com/DonateToLifeboats.

Subway for North Walsham

Fast food chain Subway has confirmed it is opening in North Walsham and is advertising for staff.

A spokesperson commented: “We are pleased to confirm that a new Subway® store will be opening within the McColl’s convenience store in North Walsham. The store is expected to open on October 18 and is recruiting for up to 10 jobs.”

Nick Lee, from the chamber of trade said, said: “North Walsham Chamber for business welcomes new business into the town, this shows North Walsham is a location national chains wish to be seen in. North Walsham has a uniqueness about it and is not just another high street. However we recognise that local customers also want national chains.”