Aylsham High students take to catwalk

Year 11 students from Aylsham High hit the catwalk on Friday to raise money for their summer prom.

The students modelled prom dresses and suits from The Wardrobe in Horsford, then showed more casual wear from Blossom and Green in Aylsham and Roys of Wroxham to raise £1,800.

Organiser Diane Wade, from the school, said: “It was just so lovely to see the Year 11s relaxing as they prepare for the busiest period of their school career.”

She added: “It was fabulous to work with alumni as our sound and lighting guys, all of whom are now going off to study film/theatre production at uni or in the case of James Hubbard, to a full-time apprentice cameraman at Epic Studios.”

The funds were raised for the Class of 2017 Prom, on July 1 at Mannington Hall, and also a donation is made to Water Aid.

The next event on the prom fundraising calendar is An Auction of Very Real Things at the school on Thursday, May 4. Browsing will be from 7pm and the first lot goes under the hammer at 7.30pm.

For more information emal




DJ Sara Cox joins the race on Ladies’ Night

Radio 2 and BBC TV presenter Sara Cox, a keen amateur horse rider as well as a professional DJ, is hosting a night of music at the seaside course’s July 19, Ladies’ Night.

Racecourse executive director Glenn Tubby said: “Ladies’ Night is always a special event in our summer calendar but Sara’s dance music will really be the icing on the cake. We are hoping fans of 80s music will turn out in force to enjoy their favourite sounds after an evening of racing action.”

Sara, a farmer’s daughter from Bolton, is well known for her festival DJ-ing as well as for her Sounds of the 80s show on BBC Radio 2 and also now for her live 24-hour danceathon which raised more than £800,000 for Comic Relief in March.

But she is also an equestrian sports fan. Sara has ridden in charity races at Goodwood and beat top jockey Frankie Dettori – a regular rider at Great Yarmouth – in a training ride ahead of the QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot.

Sara took part in a fun showjumping competition, Only Fools on Horses, for BBC Sport Relief in 2006. Now fully recovered, four years ago she broke a collar bone in a riding accident.

At Great Yarmouth Racecourse she will DJ after an evening of flat racing and play a set featuring dance-driven music ranging from the 80s up to today’s chart hits.

Sara said: “I’m really looking forward to my visit to Great Yarmouth racecourse. I’ll hopefully get to see some magnificent race horses before getting the Ladies’ Night crowd dancing with tracks from some of my favourite bands and artists from the 80s. Who doesn’t like 80s music? It was the soundtrack to my generation, with classic songs from music legends.”

Tickets and packages (£16-£34, with group discounts for 15 or more) and information available at or call 01493 842527.

New website to support care recruitment campaign

Norfolk County Council has launched a new website to support its Social Care Recruitment Campaign.
The purpose of the campaign is to encourage more people to work in social care across Norfolk by creating a central digital platform. The new website: will share stories and experiences from people working in the sector, answer any questions potential candidates may have and promote the opportunities available in Norfolk.

Norfolk has seen a growth in population, and with people living longer and those with disabilities more likely to survive to an older age, there is a bigger demand in homecare services.

To spread the word about how rewarding a career in caring can be, Norfolk County Council’s Recruitment and Retention Project Lead for the campaign, has teamed up with local care providers throughout Norfolk to promote working in the sector. Events will be taking place throughout March – details are posted on the new website: and on the campaign’s Twitter feed @NorfolkCareJobs and Facebook page, Norfolk Care Jobs.

Sarah Thompson, who runs Extra Care Home Services in North Walsham, is giving her full support to the campaign. “We have recently celebrated 10 years in delivering home care and it is becoming increasingly difficult to recruit people into the sector and I want to show people how rewarding a career in care can be,” she said.

Sarah nominated her deputy manager, Alex Marks (pictured), 20, for an award at the Norfolk Care Awards as she saw her potential. “Alex has a passion for doing what she does with us, her commitment shines through and her empathy for others.” Alex was the recipient of an award in the Rising Star category.

James Bullion, Norfolk County Council’s executive director of Adult Social Services said: “We must support the social care staff in their daily work, and promote good services. In these days of many negative headlines, promoting positive images of care work will help us to attract more people to fill our vacancies.

“This partnership working approach to develop the Norfolk Care Careers website will help to meet the needs of care recruitment for the challenges ahead.”

Norfolk County Council’s chair of the Adult Social Care Committee Bill Borrett said: “I am delighted that we are finding new ways to tackle recruitment issues in the care sector. The Norfolk Care Careers website is a great opportunity for signposting people to the right information and for advertising vacancies across Norfolk on behalf of our care providers.  I would urge people to visit the site to take advantage of the many events that are taking place across the county this month.”

Marathon runner going the extra mile for charity

As if training for and running the London Marathon is not already a great enough challenge, local man Jeremy Lawrence is pushing himself even further to find creative ways to fundraise for his chosen charity.

Jeremy, from Barton Turf, near Wroxham, and a member of tyhe Coltishall Jaguars running club, will be ditching his running shoes and vest for shopkeeper’s attire when he sets up a pop-up charity shop in Horning later this month.

Jeremy, 58, is organising the shop in aid of the Lullaby Trust, a national charity which supports bereaved families when babies suffer Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and also funds research into the possible causes and prevention of SIDS.

The shop will be open 10am-3pm in The Galley Delicatessen on Lower Street Horning on January 22, 23 and 24. It will stock a wide variety of quality goods including homemade crafts and quality second-hand items such as clothing, books, bric-a-brac and lots more.  All items will be reasonably priced in line with charity shop fare and all proceeds will be directly donated to the Lullaby Trust.

Mr Lawrence said: “I wanted to do something different to raise funds for The Lullaby Trust and with pop-up-shops currently in trend it seemed a great idea.”

Claire Tidy, owner of The Galley who has donated her business premises for the weekend in order to support Jeremy’s fundraising, said: “This will be an exciting few days raising money for a good cause and a good opportunity for people to visit Horning.”




REVIEW: Breakfast At Tiffany’s, Norwich Theatre Royal

The scene was set beautifully at the Norwich Theatre Royal for the adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany’s last night.

Lovers of the film need to go with an open mind and not expect a carbon copy of the onscreen version as there are significant differences due to the fact that the show is based on Truman Capote’s  novella from 1958.

Georgia May Foote (pictured) plays Hollie Golightly,  a sexual and vibrant but confused character who denies reality as a buffer to coping with what life has to offer her. She uses her feminine allure to manipulate the men in her life. Her Hillbilly origins come through, fighting with the sophistication of her ‘now’ life. However, unlike her character in the film, her vulnerability is only glimpsed at a couple of times throughout the play.

The main male character Fred, played by Matt Barber, is infatuated with his new neighbour Hollie and the two become friends. He is also the narrator for the story and effortlessly slips from this role to his character wonderfully. At times it seems as if more will come of their relationship but it is not to be . . .

I loved the 1930’s vibe with scenery and characters deftly moving from one scene onto the next. That and the minimalist set were just so effective. And the cat, there was dispute whether it was real or not, was a lovely treat, especially when it ran from one side of the stage to the other right on cue, perfect!

The play is on at the Theatre Royal until November 19. Book online at or call the box office on 01603 630000.




Sleep Out to help homeless people

The Benjamin Foundation is calling on people to get involved with their biggest fundraising event of the year – Norwich Sleep Out 2016.

The challenge of spending a night sleeping outside gives an insight into the issue homelessness and money is raised through sponsorship.

Building on last year’s success where 70 people took part, the target this year is for 150 people to get involved.  The main event will take place at Marsh on Queens Road in Norwich on Friday, November 11, from 7pm until 7am the next day.  Additionally, for the first time, people are also invited to organise their own, separate, Do Your Own Sleep Out, which can take place any time during November.

Norwich Sleep Out, now in its second year, is part of the End Youth Homelessness Campaign which is supported by a network of UK regional charities.  More than £17,000 was raised for The Benjamin Foundation thanks to Sleep Out last year, all of which has been used locally by the charity.

Chris Elliott, marketing and fundraising manager at The Benjamin Foundation, said: “As well as our main event, this year we’re excited to give people the chance to take part in a new way.  Do Your Own Sleep Out is a really flexible way for anyone to be involved, including children. Families might want do this in their garden, schools could plan a Sleep Out in the school hall or playground; clubs like Brownies or Scouts could perhaps dedicate a camp night as a Do Your Own Sleep Out.  It’s up to each individual group, as to where and when they’d like to do it.  There are lots of possibilities.”

Find out all the details at  The Twitter hashtag for the night is #TBFSleepOut and people can share photos from their event on Facebook ‘The Benjamin Foundation’, Twitter @CharityTBF and email them to


All money raised will go to The Benjamin Foundation, which helps thousands of local people each year.  The charity delivers services in Norfolk and more recently into Suffolk, providing services that give people hope, stability, opportunity and independence.  To take part in the main event, there is a £25 registration fee and at least a further £100 needs to be raised via sponsorship.

For more information and to register for Norwich Sleep Out, visit or contact Chris Elliott on or 01603 886 933.

Just regional editor Gay Webster will be wrapping up warm to take part on November 11. She said: “It’s a small way of finding out what some people have to go through every night and a chance to raise some money for a great cause. If you want to give me a few quid to help, you can find me here.”

 Chris Elliott, DonnaTomlinson & Joanna Storey at last year's event

Chris Elliott, Donna Tomlin & Joanna Storey all ready for this year’s event.

NNDC to review management after three leading officers resign

North Norfolk District Council is considering its future management structure following the resignation of three leading officers.

Chief executive Sheila Oxtoby, Karen Sly, the section 151 officer, and Julie Cooke, the head of organisational development, are leaving to take up roles within Great Yarmouth Borough Council, which has been sharing services with NNDC since November 2015 under an interim arrangement.

Mrs Oxtoby is to become the new full-time chief executive in Yarmouth, having filled the post part-time during the arrangement. The two other appointments had also been shared staff.

Great Yarmouth’s full council met on September 8 to decide next steps after it looked likely that NNDC would vote at full council on September 21 not to continue with the interim shared arrangements. Councillors at Yarmouth voted unanimously to offer the position on a full-time, permanent basis to Mrs Oxtoby and the two other officers.

NNDC is now planning a review of its staffing and business to consider its future management structure.

Leader councillor Tom FitzPatrick said: “We received notice of resignations from the three officers concerned yesterday. North Norfolk had entered into the interim shared management arrangements on the basis of good faith, openness and transparency.

“I have now written to GYBC Council Leader ending the interim shared management agreement in order that North Norfolk can focus on the handover to the new management structure we will need to put in place.

“As an authority North Norfolk remains totally committed to delivering on our four-year plan for our communities and that’s where our focus will remain.

“Cabinet believes that as an authority North Norfolk District Council requires its own dedicated management team. We will carry out a strategic management review to ensure we can deliver the programme of work we are elected to deliver and the savings we need.”

In a joint statement, councillors Graham Plant, Kay Grey and Trevor Wainwright said: “During their 10 months at Great Yarmouth, these three officers have done exceptional jobs, working well with existing staff to support the ambitions of the council and the borough. Sheila, as chief executive, has proved both a genuine ambassador for Great Yarmouth and an experienced strategic thinker.”

Mrs Oxtoby said: “I am honoured to be offered this position at Great Yarmouth. During the last 10 months, I have been impressed by the ambition and dedication of Great Yarmouth’s councillors and officers to deliver for communities. There are many exciting opportunities ahead for the borough and I look forward to working on a full-time basis with councillors and officers to make the most of these for residents and businesses.”


Norman Lamb to run again at next election

North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb has been backed to run again at the next General Election.

The Liberal Democrat MP has represented North Norfolk since 2001. At the election last year he finished more than 4,000 votes ahead of the Conservatives. He served as a minister in the coalition government and won a national reputation for his work to promote better mental health care.

A packed meeting of Liberal Democrat members backed him unanimously to be their local candidate at the next election. Mr Lamb told the meeting in Aylmerton that there was a greater need than ever for moderate, common sense voices to be heard in Parliament and politics.

“Jeremy Corbyn is dragging the Labour Party to the far left but it is really dangerous to have one party in power which is completely dominant. There is a massive risk of arrogance and complacency on the part of the Conservative Government. Those of us who care about delivering high quality, affordable public services and making sure that everyone’s voice is heard need to work together to provide a common sense alternative,”he said.

“It has been an unbelievable privilege to represent North Norfolk people in Parliament since 2001. It’s a great honour to be chosen as Liberal Democrat candidate again. But in uncertain times I know local people need a strong and experienced voice in Parliament more than ever. I have just completed my annual ‘village tour’ of street corner advice surgeries and this year saw a record turn-out of people. They raised a huge range of issues with me from poor quality roads to our creaking health and care services, worries about the challenges we face following Brexit and much more.

“I am looking forward to continuing my work for North Norfolk and on vital issues like finding a sustainable future for the health and care services we all rely on.”