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Final week for competition entries from budding writers

By: Innes Enslin

There is just one week left for children and young people across Norfolk to submit their entries into Norfolk County Council’s creative writing competition for 5-13 year olds.

Write On Norfolk – a competition aimed at boosting summer learning and honing children’s writing skills has already received more than 120 entries since it opened on the 5 June, and now with just a week to go Norfolk County Council is encouraging even more children to get their entries in before it’s too late.  The Write On Norfolk competition is open to children and young people who are aged between five and 13 years old. Budding writers are asked to submit a piece of original creative writing before 31 August.

For the second year Jarrold of Norwich is backing the competition and will be donating Jarrold book tokens as prizes. In addition to these vouchers there will be a prize of an Amazon Fire tablet up for grabs for the gold winners.  Plus those writers who are enrolled in the Children’s University, their entries will earn credits towards their degree.

Alison Thomas, Deputy Leader of Norfolk County Council, who is one of the final judges for the competition said: “Helping Norfolk’s children achieve their full potential by giving them every opportunity to develop vital skills like reading and writing is a key priority for the county council which is why I’m so pleased that we are running this competition again.

“Last year I enjoyed reading some wonderful stories and poems from young people across Norfolk, and I hope that this year we get even more children taking part.

“As a Mum myself, I know just how important it is to keep up those skills during the long weeks of the summer holidays, but this competition is designed to be a fun way of doing it so I hope that parents, grandparents and carers will give them as much encouragement as possible to enter.”

BBC Radio Norfolk’s breakfast presenter, Nick Conrad, who will also judge the entries added: “Children can be wonderfully creative. Anything that marries up improving English skills, promoting literature and encouraging our next generation to get inspired, I support. I look forward to reading the stories and adventures conjured up by the minds of Norfolk’s school children.”

The only rules for the competition are that the writing must be a maximum of 500 words (roughly one side of A4 paper), and it must contain a link to Norfolk. The entry can be a short story, poem, script or even song lyrics and must be submitted online via the Norfolk County Council website – www.norfolk.gov.uk/writeon. Full details about the competition, including how to enter, and terms and conditions can be found by visiting the Council website.

From Bake-off to Backstory

When TV producer Claire Mutimer left her busy life in London to marry a local farmer and bring up their children, she decided to find a way of getting back into the broadcasting career she loved that would fit with hew new life in Norfolk.

A year on and the Backstory podcast is getting ready to air its first episode on September 12 to tie in with the London Podcast Festival.

Claire, who worked on The Great British Bake Off, has made documentaries about children in care and deaf teenagers and, with business partner Suzy Coulson, quickly realised that there were amazing human stories that could be told through a podcast.  “The idea of the Backstory is that we all have one, everyone has a tale to tell about something that’s happened that’s changed the course of their life, perhaps made them who they are today”, says Claire.  Each episode of the backstory tells a different tale, many of them from within our region. “We put the word out and soon found some fascinating stories that we think everyone will be interested in.”

The first episode takes us back to a tragic event that many will remember from a few years back, the murder in 2012 of Andrea Johnson by her husband and former Cromer mayor Keith Johnson.

Suzy explains why they chose to cover this story. “I remember so clearly when Andrea was killed and the understandable shock that everyone felt, explaining Keith’s actions as a moment of madness. I felt at the time that there must have been more to it, that these things don’t happen out of nowhere, and I wanted Andrea’s parents to tell their story and, through them, to tell Andrea’s story of her life with Keith.”  Later episodes include people talking openly about having a dad in prison, living with a little-understood form of OCD, being diagnosed later in life with autism and choosing to have an arranged marriage.

There have been many new skills to learn along the way, as Suzy explains. “We’ve taught ourselves how to edit, where to source music, how to upload a podcast – it’s been a steep learning curve. Our office is Claire’s kitchen table, her wardrobe is our recording studio and sometimes we have 10 children racing around in the background!”

So, what is a podcast?  Most podcasts are audio, so it’s like a radio show that goes out over the internet.  You can subscribe using an app and each time a new episode is released it will automatically be ready for you to listen to. Although you need to be linked to the internet at some point for the episodes to download, once they’ve downloaded you can listen to them offline.  “There’s a whole world of content out there – true crime, drama, comedy, current affairs.. whatever you’re into there will be a podcast about it!”, says Claire.  “They’re great to listen to when you’re walking the dog, exercising or cooking.”

Subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher and other podcast providers.  Find out more at thebackstorypodcast.co.uk or follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. If you have a story to tell for the backstory season 2 then get in touch by email hello@thebackstorypodcast.co.uk

Claire Mutimer (left) and Suzy Coulson (right) working at Claire’s kitchen table.

 

 

Are you recycling right?

Give your recycling a little bit of love or in other words, make sure it’s clean, dry and don’t bag it when to goes into the recycling bin. This is the message the Norfolk Waste Partnership wants residents to heed as part of a major push to Recycle for Norfolk in August and September.

The revitalised recycling message comes in the wake of national research by the charity WRAP, which promotes the sustainable use of resources, that found overall, 64% of households’ dispose of one or more items incorrectly because of a lack of information about what and how to recycle.

John Fisher, chair of the Norfolk Waste Partnership explained: “We want to make sure Norfolk residents have the information they need to understand how and what to recycle at home. There are three simple rules to remember to get recycling right in Norfolk: Clean, Dry and Don’t Bag it.”

The campaign reinforces the rules in a leaflet which will go to every Norfolk home in September. Posters, radio, television adverts and online information will remind everyone how to recycle right. In 2015/16 Norfolk’s recycling rate was 45% which compares well to the published recycling rate for England as a whole which was 43%.

Mr Fisher added: “Getting recycling right is everyone’s responsibility. All of our councils and crews work hard to empty our bins and when they find a recycling bin full with unwashed food containers and in many instances, used nappies and even pet food, it can be soul-destroying. It is especially unpleasant for the people at our material recovery facility who hand sort Norfolk’s recycling material.”

There is also a cost when people don’t follow the rules on recycling. Whilst it is 33% cheaper to recycle one tonne of material than dispose of it as rubbish, last year Norfolk’s district, borough and city councils paid an additional £430,000 to have Norfolk’s recycling material cleaned-up before it could be made into new products. If everyone makes sure their recyclable materials are clean, dry and loose and that they are placed in the right bin, it will save money.

Along with the leaflet that will be delivered to Norfolk households in September, details about what can and cannot be recycled in Norfolk can be found at www.recyclefornorfolk.com or via Twitter and Facebook: @Recycle4Norfolk

Fears grow for safety of missing Stalham girl

Police are becoming increasingly concerned for the welfare of a missing 16-year-old girl from Stalham.
Layla Hawtree was last seen in Sutton on Sunday and was reported missing the same day. She is  about 5ft 5ins, of slim build with shoulder length blonde hair. She has links to the Norwich and Great Yarmouth areas.
Officers are keen to hear from anyone who may have seen Layla or knows of her current whereabouts.
Anyone with information should contact Norfolk Police immediately on 101.

Get scam aware with Norfolk Trading Standards

People will get the chance to boost their scam awareness this month as a series of events take place aiming to give people the knowledge to spot scams themselves and allow them to help, friends, neighbours and relatives to be scam alert.

Nationally the cost of scamming to UK consumers is between £5bn and £10bn a year so, as July is Scams Awareness Month, Norfolk County Council’s Trading Standards officers will be in Wroxham, King’s Lynn, and in and around Norwich giving scam awareness advice.

Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of the communities committee, said: “We want to be as helpful as we can by giving people the best chance of spotting a scam and avoiding the financial loss and worry often caused by scammers. Do remember if something seems too good to be true – it probably is!

“Our knowledgeable Trading Standards officers will be on hand at the events this month to give face-to-face advice to anyone who thinks they may have been contacted by a scammer whether it’s over the phone, on the doorstep, or by post. And do bring along any letters you think may be a scam and we’ll take a look and suggest how best to deal with it.”

Also at the events people will be able to pick up free stickers for their front door telling cold callers they are not welcome. And Trading Standards officers are keen to help people to become a Friend Against Scams – this is a national scheme Norfolk County Council Trading Standards and the Norfolk Safeguarding Adults Board have joined forces to promote here in Norfolk. It’s open to anyone who wants to protect themselves, their neighbours or their loved ones against scams. Sign-up is easy and training is free. Visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/friendsagainstscams for more information.

The top tips to follow to protect yourself or others from a scam:

Get advice

from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or at www.citizensadvice.org.uk/sam17 who can provide advice and pass details on to Trading Standards

Report

scams or suspected scams to Action Fraud at 0300 123 2040 or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk

Tell

a friend, neighbour or relative about any scams you become aware of

See the offers at:

Friday 7 July – Wroxham Library Health Fair: Wroxham Library – 10.30am-2.30pm

Tuesday 11 July – NatWest Scams and Friends Against Scams Awareness Event: NatWest, Tuesday Market Place, King’s Lynn – 10am-3pm

Wednesday 12 July – Scams and Friends Against Scams Awareness Event: Tesco, Blue Boar Lane, Sprowston – 10am-4pm

Thursday 20 July – Scams and Friends Against Scams Awareness Event: Tesco, Harford Bridge, Norwich – 10am-4pm

Friday 21 July – Barclays Fraud and Scams Awareness Event: Barclays, Drayton Branch – 10am-2pm

Monday 24 July – Barclays Fraud and Scams Awareness Event: Barclays, Aylsham Road Branch, Norwich – 10am-2pm

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 shebditch@aylshamhigh.norfolk.sch.uk#

Pictures: CALLUM WELLS

 

 

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 www.greatyarmouth-racecourse.co.uk 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: www.norfolkcarecareers.co.uk 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: www.norfolkcarecareers.co.uk 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.”