Archives

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.”

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.


That’s a result!

Today students up and down the country are picking up their GCSE results.

Pupils have been nervously opening their envelopes to find out if they were as successful as they had hoped to be. Pass rates fell in England this year admit the introduction of a new grading system but pupils in the Just Regional area have been celebrating.

North Walsham High School’s high-profile drive to improve standards has scored an early success with this year’s GCSE results, with the school achieving a 60 per cent level four pass rate in both English and maths – a continuation of the upward trend which last year saw the former measure of five GCSE passes at A*-C including English and maths jump from 43 per cent to 58 per cent.

Head Neil Powell, who has been forthright about his plans to drive up standards at the school, said the good results were vindication of the hard work which students and staff at the school had put in during the past 12 months.

“It has been no secret that his has been a year of transition at NWHS.  However, our focus has always been on raising standards, and this year’s GCSE results are a good step in the right direction, and evidence that our approach has been effective. I am confident that we are now in a good position to build on this success, and deliver even better results next year.”

NWHS GCSE students celebrating their success on results day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Aylsham High School there were tears of joy as students opened their results.

Pass rates were up this year in the core subjects. Year 11 pupils Luca Wedge-Clarke and Juliette Kelly were among those who received three 9s in their results. The new grade replaces the old A* in the core subjects of English and maths.  With regard to his success Luca said: “The 9s were a big surprise that I had not seen coming but I’m relieved the hard work paid off.”

He was not the only one to enjoy great success, Luca’s classmates James Schute and Joshua Tovell also passed with flying colours. All of the boys will be off to college in September.  James described results day as “nerve wracking and a lottery” but for he and his classmates they drew a winning lottery ticket.

Under the new system coursework has been scrapped in favour of exams. This was a big change for students to get used to, Joshua said: “The change from coursework to no coursework was a big shock and took time to adapt to. But it worked out in the end for us.”

At the school 75% of students achieved Grade 4+ in English and maths.

Executive headteacher Duncan Spalding said: “We are incredibly proud of our students’ achievements this year and during their whole time at Aylsham High School. They have done extremely well in their GCSEs and we are extremely proud of them. Our headline figure of 75% achieving 4+ in English and maths is excellent and reflects the hard work of our students, and our English and maths teams. However, this paints only a fraction of the picture of the rich and varied curriculum we offer to our young people. Our students have also done extremely well across a wide range of subjects and I thank our committed teams of subject teachers who continue to strive for excellence for all students. We wish the class of 2017 well in the next stage of their life adventure wherever that may be. I know that they leave us as confident, caring, capable, and well-rounded young people.”

He praised his students for their hard work and doing the school proud.  He took the time to give a special mention to subjects such as history, geography and languages where they saw improvements in their marks over the previous year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sheringham Sixth Form students once again produced some stunning results as all got the grades to go to their chosen universities and colleges.

Seventy percent of students achieved A*-C grades and 100% achieved A*-E.

In a climate of exam volatility and change, students sustained the college’s high achievements of the last 21 years. With 100% pass-rate, seven Norfolk Scholars and over a third of results at grade B or better, Year 13 students’ hard work and commitment paid off. “The results also reflect the dedicated professionalism of our staff and the continued support of our parents. Particular congratulations should go to Meghan Jarvis and Ally Smith who both achieved A* and two A grades,” said director of sixth Ramin Keshavarz.

One especially great story was that of Naomi Platt who is seen here celebrating with her father as she receives her B,B,C grades at A Level and is off to her chosen University to read History. But when Naomi started at Sheringham High in Year 7 she had been diagnosed with dyslexia and dyscalculia which were having a profound effect on her progress and wellbeing.

Headteacher Dr Andrew Richardson said, “We wish Naomi every success. She has said it all; it’s a team effort and what a team we’ve got here at Sheringham!”

At GCSE 75% of Sheringham students achieved their 4+ grade in both English and maths, placing SHS in the top five in the county again.

“We are very proud of our students’ results in a year of syllabus and grading change. Nearly a quarter achieved 4 or more A and A* grades which is outstanding. Sheringham students are resilient and committed to their learning, and are supported by outstanding teaching, care and career advice. Staff, students and parents just get on with the graft and pleasure of learning no matter what the means of assessment; the focus being the individual Sheringham learner and preparation for sixth form, college or apprenticeships,” said Dr Richardson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Broadland High School had 68% of GCSE students achieving a level four or above in English and maths.

Head Aron Whiles said: “We are very proud of our Year 11 cohort this year and their achievements in this summer’s GCSE examinations. Our 2017 GCSE results once again show that Broadland High School continues to provide an excellent all round education for its students and the local community it serves. Everyone associated with the school would like to congratulate our out-going Year 11 students on their GCSE results and wish them every success in their future endeavours.”

At Hellesdon High 64% achieved a ‘good’ pass in English and maths (9-4) and 39% achieved a ‘strong’ pass (9-5).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cromer Academy principal Dr Geoff Baker said of this year’s results: “These are phenomenal grades and show how our school community has really pulled together and focused on achieving some excellent outcomes for our Year 11 class of 2017. This is the third year in a row that we have achieved the highest grades in the school’s history, with year on year improvements in our headline figures. I am incredibly proud of our students and our dedicated staff who have supported them.”

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.

Heritage open days in Broadland

There is something for everyone to enjoy at this year’s Heritage Open Days in Broadland, including an exciting mix of living heritage.

As part of England’s biggest heritage festival, which takes place from September 7-10, people will have the chance to visit a folk fair in Aylsham, find out about family history in Acle and even explore the Hindu Temple in Tunstall.

Visitors can enjoy 13 events across Broadland, eight of which are on offer for the first time this year.

Cllr Karen Vincent, Broadland District Council’s Member Champion for Heritage, said: “Heritage Open Days provides a great opportunity for people both in the area and further afield to explore some of the district’s hidden gems.
“There really is something for everyone this year – from a vintage cycle rally along Marriott’s Way to the Victorian rectory Hautbois House, home to the GirlGuiding activity centre.”

Girlguiding Norfolk is also opening the doors of its Archive Resource Centre in Hautbois for the first time this year. The brand new, purpose-built centre houses treasures from the organisation, such as old uniforms, which people can look at over tea and homemade cakes.

Gain first-hand experience of Indian culture and an introduction to the country’s street food at the Hindu Temple in Tunstall. There will also be stalls with clothing, artefacts and henna, as well as dance performances for visitors.

Pre-book tours of the former RAF Coltishall and Thorpe Lodge, home of several prominent Norfolk families including the Harveys and now the offices of Broadland District Council, are also available.

For more information about Heritage Open Days in Broadland, visit www.heritageopendays.org.uk

• Hautbois House, which will be open to the public as part of this year’s Heritage Open Days.

• Take a tour of Thorpe Lodge, once home to wealthy local families including the Harveys.

Every day is a holiday for Elsie

Elsie Aiken had to put down the crossword to make a cup of tea when we went to see her.

She had just finished reading a short story in The People’s Friend (a good one, apparently) and had come in from making sure the weeds were staying away from her immaculate garden.

Not so remarkable on a Wednesday afternoon in Hoveton … but Elsie has just celebrated her 106th birthday.
Born in Barnet, the eldest of three siblings, Elsie knows exactly what to credit for her longevity. ‘I’m fortunate,” she said. “I don’t take any tablets, I haven’t seen my doctor in years…

“I have a lovely life. I get up when I like, I go to bed when I like,” she added with a twinkle in her eye. “My daughter says I mustn’t do something or other, but when she’s not there I can please myself.”

Elsie’s earliest memory is watching a German Zeppelin crash to the ground when she was about four years old.

“I woke up and the room was lit by a red light,” she recalled. “When my dad realised I was awake he said ‘come and see because you’ll never see anything like this again’.

“The basket had caught alight and the flames were going up and I saw it burn, fold and crash down. I was about four. I didn’t think about the men in the basket.”

She went out the next day to find it but did not know where to look – but it was not the last time she would hear about it. When she married for a second time at the age of 85, she moved to Cuffley, Hertfordshire, where the remains of the airship had landed.

“I went out for a walk and saw a stone plaque. When I went to have a look, it was where the Zeppelin had come down,” she said. “It had taken me 85 years to find it!”

Sharp as a tack, Elsie left school at 14 without any qualifications, saying she always strived to be top of the class but was always thwarted by one girl. “I was always next to her – sometimes only by one point – but I never beat her.”

After all these years does she remember her? “Betty Enderby.”

After leaving school, Elsie went to work in a silk factory until she married George in 1930. The couple had four children – Barry, who died, aged 48, and Sharon, Graham and Adrian, who all live with in a stone’s throw of each other in Hoveton. She also has 11 grandchildren but says she has lost count of the great-grandchildren.

She enjoyed bringing up her family as well as working, including as a cashier in the canteen at Legal & General for many years. George, who had been a fireman, worked as a gardener until they decided – aged 68 and 70 – that it was time to take a break.

“But then we were sitting there one day and I said ‘We’re wasting our lives, what can we do?’,” she said. The answer came in an advert for a gardener and a cleaner.

The couple had always enjoyed dancing. Elsie made her own dresses and was a regular winner at fancy dress contests. Even after she was widowed she carried on dancing – which is how she met her second husband when she was in her 70s.

“I went sequence dancing with my sister and her husband, and one night the hall was double booked so we went somewhere else,” she said. “We all sat in different places and Arthur came and sat near me. We got talking and when we went back to the usual hall he didn’t go back to his usual place…”

The pair were dancing partners for seven years but she eventually gave in to his proposals when she was 85, moving to Worlingham, near Beccles. “They read the banns on Sunday and we were married three weeks later. He didn’t let the grass grow.”

Elsie moved to Hoveton when she was widowed 17 years ago. And she thoroughly enjoys her life, spending time with family, doing her crosswords and visiting garden centres – although she does complain of forgetting things at times. “Every day is a holiday,” she said. “And it suits me a treat.”

Cool customers needed for Norfolk competition

Electrical retailer JB Postle has a cool competition with a Norfolk theme this summer.
They want people to make use of their artistic skills to create a wrap-around design on a Smeg fridge. The only criteria is that the design has to be Norfolk linked hence #FabNorfolk as the competition title!
Nikki Filby said: “The design #FabNorfolk could be anything people associate with our lovely county, maybe Cromer Pier, the crabbing industry, the lovely landscape, the seaside, our iconic buildings in the city or just simply a chance to promote your Norfolk Charity, Business or Organisation”
The competition, which runs now until September, has two winning categories – an individual entry and one for organisations. The group category could mean a business, charity or sports organisation and you can enter as many times as they wish!
The individual winner will receive a bespoke day or night out in Norfolk for four people worth at least £200 and will depend on the interest and age of the individual winner! It could be anything from a trip to the zoo or a night out on the town! Whatever you choose, you are guaranteed to have fun in our home county!
The group design chosen will receive £200 to donate to a local Norfolk charity of their choice, so if you want to raise money for an important cause, get your thinking hat on!
“We wanted a way to engage with the community and celebrate our wonderful county so we thought this would be a great way to find out what Norfolk means to people whether they live here or are visiting” said Nikki.
JB Postle have a Smeg blackboard fridge which has been touring JB Postle’s local branches in Aylsham, Cromer, Sheringham and North Walsham and has even been seen on Cromer Pier. The team will be taking the fridge to Worstead Festival on July 29 and 30 where there will be some surprises on the day and a chance to take part in the competition.
Nikki said any business which might like to have the fridge to visit them should get in touch to give staff the chance to get artistic with chalk pens.
The competition was launched on Cromer Pier and entries have now started to come in.
“We’re really looking forward to seeing what people come up with,” said Nikki. “Look out on social media for news!” You can follow each of the JB Postle branches on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by searching @JBPostle
Call the Cromer store on 01263 512134 to find out more about hosting the Smeg blackboard fridge and if you would like to volunteer as a competition judge, call Nikki on 01263 735326.

Free child seats checks

Norfolk County Council’s road safety team and crews from Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service are once again taking to the road during the school holidays to host more than a dozen free child car seat checks across the county.

More Norfolk children are killed or seriously injured whilst in a car than they are as a pedestrian or cyclist. One in three child car seats are incorrectly fitted in Norfolk but almost all of these can be fixed immediately.

Child car seats are a legal requirement in the UK and make children far less likely to be seriously hurt in a collision. But they must be correctly fitted and adjusted to offer maximum protection, and it is easy to get it wrong. The events are running until August 16, 10am until 2pm at the locations listed below.  Families are invited to come along to get their child seats checked and to ask our team of experts about any aspect of road safety.
The county council’s road safety experts are also using the 18 free child seat safety checks to encourage parents to keep children rear facing in the car for much longer than families traditionally do in this country.
Scandinavian countries routinely keep their children in a rear facing seat until they are four or five years old. Research proves this is five times safer than the UK approach of putting a child in a forward facing seat at around nine months old.
Iain Temperton, the county council’s road safety manager, said: “I would urge anybody carrying young people to visit one of our events. It will only take five minutes but that will be time well spent if it improves the safety of the next generation of road users.”
Alistair Steele, consultant anaesthetist at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn said: “During my time as an air ambulance doctor and as a trauma doctor I have seen too many children severely injured from car accidents. In addition to the messages about driving safely we really want to help parents and carers get the right advice about child safety in cars, and there is a confusing array of restraints and booster systems available.
“The best thing to do is to take advice from a professional car seat fitter to ensure you’ve not only chosen a safe seat but also it is installed correctly.”
Child seat safety check events are taking place in the following locations from 10am until 2pm:Mon 24 July  Norwich – Tesco Harford Bridge
Tue 25 July  North Walsham – Sainsburys
Wed 26 July Sheringham – Tesco
Thu 27 July Aylsham – Tesco
Fri 28 July  Stalham- Tesco
Sat 29 July Holt – Budgens
Mon 31 July Norwich – Longwater Sainsburys
Tue 1 Aug Wymondham – Waitrose
Wed 2 Aug  Thetford – Sainsburys
Thu 3 Aug Diss – Morrisons
Fri 4 Aug Great Yarmouth – Asda
Mon 7 Aug Dereham – Tesco
Tue 8 Aug Downham Market – Tesco (2pm-6pm)
Wed 9 Aug Kings Lynn – Sainsburys
Thu 10 Aug Fakenham – Tesco
Fri 11 Aug Swaffham – Tesco
Tue 15 Aug Norwich – Sprowston Tesco
Wed 16 Aug Norwich – Hall Road Asda