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Charities’ chance to win a slice of MP’s marathon cash

Good causes in north Norfolk are being invited to put in a bid for a share of their local MP’s marathon charity pot.

Last year Duncan Baker raised £38,000 which was split between 26 charities in his first ever attempt at the famous endurance event.

This year he is doing the same – but with a twist as he aims to raise £5000 in the final, 26th, mile to help Ukrainian refugees being hosted in Norfolk.

He said: “It was tough last year. My legs were completely shot by 22 miles,  and I initially didn’t want to do it again.  But I wanted to finish it to ensure all 26 charities got their money.

“I beat my target of £26,000 so after the success I wanted to do  it this year because a lot of local charities are still suffering after the pandemic and are now facing the cost of living crisis. There are a lot of unsung causes out there I want to help.”

The Ukrainian connection is strengthened because Duncan is hosting a refugee mum Anna Kolomiichuk and her six-year-old son Sviatik – and has seen at first hand the needs of displaced families.

They came without even the basics such as shoes, hairdryers and toiletries. So he wanted to raise funds to support refugees through the Norfolk Community Foundation’s Supporting Ukraine in Norfolk fund.

Duncan said training for last year’s event had been easier, because Parliament was shut during Covid. Now it was functioning again he was having to fit sessions into already long days, with early morning and late night runs.

Local causes can apply for a slice of the marathon money via Duncan’s website page or  Facebook and Twitter feeds by a deadline of 5pm on Thursday June 30.  The successful causes will be chosen at Holt Youth Centre on July 1.

Jubilee concert will help foodbank

St Joseph’s Church, in Sheringham, will be extending its Platinum Jubilee celebrations with a concert by the St Austin’s Choir on June 11.

The choir, from Wakefield, will be performing during a tour of Norfolk to raise money for the North Norfolk Foodbank.

St Joseph’s is the local collection and distribution point for the foodbank and the concert, which starts at 3pm, will help boost funds to buy more essentials for families in need.

The programme will have a jubilee theme with some of the favourite music of the past

70 years and it is an opportunity to support those in the community whose current situation means parties are unlikely.

All are welcome and concertgoers are asked to make a donation and bring along any non-perishable food items they can spare for the bank. 

Dances from the movies

Dancers from across north Norfolk, including Aylsham and Wroxham, will be taking part in a stage show featuring routines from famous movies.
The Movie Magic show, being staged by the Broadland School of Dance, will be held at Norwich Theatre Royal on Sunday, May 1.
Students from across north Norfolk attend the school and more than 200 will take part in the Theatre Royal production.
They will perform routines from a selection of iconic films including Encanto, Pirates of the Caribbean, Shrek and many more.
Performances will take place at 2.30pm and 7pm. See https://norwichtheatre.org/whats-on/movie-magic/ for ticket details.

Hugs all round from new support group

Nothing makes you feel as welcome as a hug, and a group of people in Sheringham who were concerned that host families and their Ukrainian guests might feel isolated and need further support are offering lots of them – Hugs in this case standing for Hosting Ukrainians Group Support .

Lots of north Norfolk people have registered to host refugees from Ukraine and Hugs will provide community support for families in Sheringham, Upper Sheringham, West Runton, Beeston Regis, Bodham, Weybourne and West Beckham.

“So many people want to help the Ukrainian refugees by hosting and offering their homes as safe refuge. We felt that one thing we could do was to help support the families who were hosting and also bring them together and their guests to help them support each other,” said Liz Withington, who is a town and North Norfolk District councillor.

“The people coming to Sheringham from Ukraine will have experienced things way beyond anything we can imagine. I felt it was really important that we helped the hosting families and their guests come together and be able to support each other.”

Fellow councillor Colin Heinink added: “There are people in the community who will be able to help those who have been offered sanctuary in our community. This group is a way we can bring those people together to provide the wider support that our families and refugees from Ukraine may need.”

The first meeting, to find people who want to help, will be held on Thursday, April 21, at the Lighthouse Community Café at 7pm.

Ukrainian and Russian speakers who are willing to help families with interpretation and form filling are particularly asked to come along, as well as any TEFL teachers willing to provide support.

Social events will also be arranged as more families arrive to help them make friends and settle in.

Email hostingukrainiansg@gmail.com for more details and to register an interest in the group.

Storm set to batter Norfolk

Norfolk is bracing itself for the arrival of Storm Eunice, with winds of up to 80mph set to hit the county.

Public transport has been disrupted and many attractions have closed their doors as everyone battens down the hatches in preparation for what meteorologists say will be the worst storm to hit the UK in decades.

The county has been put under an amber warning, meaning it is quite likely that bad weather will affect people, possibly including travel delays, road and rail closures and power cuts.

It is still clearing up in places from Storm Dudley, which battered the coast last weekend and resorts including Cromer and Sheringham are ready for another pounding.

Cromer bore the brunt of Storm Dudley and is now ready for another battering from Storm Eunice. Photo: PAUL MACRO

Trains services have been disrupted with some services being cancelled and others changed to hourly or two hourly. Greater Anglia is asking people not to travel unless they have to and to check before setting off for the station.

KLM has announced that it will have no flights in and out of Norwich airport and motoring organisations and the police are telling folk to take great care if they have to travel on the roads.

All Norfolk’s recycling centres will be closed all day, as will all Norfolk Wildlife Trust reserves. Breydon Water has been closed to boats and Blickling Estate, Wroxham Barns and Bewilderwood have also shut up shop.

Love Light Norwich, an illuminated display on the city’s most iconic buildings has also been called of tonight but it is still scheduled for tomorrow.

The main force of the storm is set to hit around noon.

Shows Are Just The Ticket

A comedy romp set in north Norfolk is one of the highlights of the new season put on by Norwich Theatre this spring.
Showing at Norwich Theatre Playhouse in April, The Birds and the Bees is one of a great selection of drama, singing and dancing being shown there and at the Theatre Royal.
James McDermott’s new version of the 2016 Canadian play relocates the action to north Norfolk for what is described as a “hilarious comedy romp” which “tackles topics of sex, love, science, family, and the artificial insemination of turkeys”.
The play – a collaboration with Ipswich’s New Wolsey Theatre and Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds – is on stage from April 20 to April 30.
Stephen Crocker, chief executive and creative director of Norwich Theatre, said: “The spirit of determination and love for theatre unites all three venues, and The Birds and the Bees will offer audiences good light-hearted fun, which is just what is needed right now.”

Other feel-good shows planned for the new season include The Addams Family (at the Theatre Royal, April 26 to 30); The Magic of the Beatles, which pays tribute to the fab four at the Theatre Royal on May 11; a night of music from Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons in Big Girls Don’t Cry on May 18; and the sounds of the Beach Boys in Good Vibrations on July 20.


Frankie Howerd was one of Britain’s best loved comedians for many years but he had a secret life nobody knew about. The story of his clandestine life with Dennis – which lasted from the 1950s until Frankie’s death in 1992 – is told in Howerd’s End, a new play at the Playhouse on May 26.

The year also promises interesting “Evenings With…” including one with Andrew Cotter and his two labradors, Olive and Mabel.
The sports broadcaster added a new string to his bow during lockdown when his online contests between his dogs captured the heart of the internet. All three will be at the Theatre Royal on May 9.

May 15 sees Gill Sims – the woman behind the hugely popular Peter and Jane Facebook page – being interviewed on stage.
Dates have also been set for some 2023 performances, including Rambert Dance’s Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby from January 17 to January 23 and the eagerly anticipated Broadway and UK smash-hit musical Sister Act, which will run from January 9 to January 14.

Tickets are on sale now and can be bought from the Norwich Theatre box office on 01603 630000, or visit www.norwichtheatre.org where you will find more details of the performances.

Love is all around…

Mysterious hearts are popping up all around North Walsham this week with messages of love to all the town.

The Valentine’s Event in North Walsham, “Who loves ya? – North Walsham does!” is an initiative led by Arts and Culture, which is part of the High Street Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) team.

It has a real community feel by linking with a local knitting group, Penny’s Knitters, North Walsham Junior School, local businesses and local councillors.

Until February 14, local children, North Walsham groups, businesses and councillors will be writing “love”ly messages attached to knitted hearts to be left around the town for residents and visitors to find.

Some heart labels that have messages from local businesses and market traders also have offers of treats such as boxes of brownies, small gifts, chocolate hearts and even special discounts on clothing. It is also hoped that businesses in the town centre will get behind the event by decorating their windows and market traders by decorating their stalls.

The messages are designed to create a feeling of wellbeing in the people who find them, and the team is encouraging anyone to share their heart and their message on its Facebook page @haznorthwalsham.

Virginia Gay, North Norfolk District Council portfolio holder for leisure, wellbeing and culture – and the district councillor for the North Walsham Market Cross ward – said: “It is such a ‘love’ly project that really seems to have captured the imagination of local people. I am delighted that in a very simple way we are able to share our pride in our town. I for one will be keeping my eyes peeled for hearts!”

For more information about the Heritage Action Zone or the Arts and Culture programme check out www.haznorthwalsham.com

The need for Speed Watch volunteers…

Sheringham Community Speed Watch is looking for more volunteers and is offering the chance to go along and find out more about it.

Speed Watch members help stop speeding on the roads near their homes by carrying out roadside checks to encourage drivers to slow down.

Beat manager PC Ian Smith will be out and about during February with the speed measuring equipment to answer any questions potential volunteers might have.

He will be at the following locations:

Saturday, February 5 – 10am at Weybourne Road (near the golf course), Sheringham

Sunday, February 6 – 2pm at Village Centre, Upper Sheringham

Sunday, February 13 – 9am at Holway Road, Sheringham

Monday, February 14 – 3pm at Holt Road, Sheringham

Tuesday, February 15 – 8.30am, Britons Lane, Beeston Regis

Wednesday, February 16 February – 4.30pm Cromer Road, Sheringham

You can email him on sntsheringham@norfolk.police.uk

For more information about Community Speed Watch visit: https://www.norfolk.police.uk/join-us/volunteers/community-speed-watch