North Walsham care service nominated for award

Extra Care Home Services in North Walsham has been nominated for a Skills for Care Accolades award that celebrates the outstanding achievements of the very best adult social care employers in England.

They have been nominated in the Best Employer under 50 category which recognises Extra Care Home Services for the work it does in supporting the people who access their services.

The business provides practical and personal care support to individuals in their own homes in the North Walsham area. They won two awards last year at the Norfolk Care Awards 2017 for Motivational Leadership and Rising Star and this year they are also shortlisted finalist in the category Excellent Person Centred Care and Support and will find out if they have won at the Gala Night at Sprowston Manor on February 22.

Sarah Thompson, owner and registered manager said: “When we found out that we had made the final of the Skills for Care Accolades we were delighted because it is a reward on a national stage for all our team, and the hard work they put in to make sure we offer high quality services for the people we work with.

“It is a recognition that our investment in the development of the people who work for us has paid off, and for all the hard work people put into making sure they have the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to do a great job. It is amazing to be recognised at National level for the work we believe so passionately in. We are up against a care home from Essex and a home care company based in the Bournemouth area.”

Skills for Care has been hosting the Accolades awards for the last 14 years honouring hundreds of organisations who all share a genuine commitment to developing the skills and knowledge of their workforce.

They will find if they have won at the Skills for Care Accolades awards night in London on Thursday,  March 1.

Sarah pictured centre at a previous awards last year.

Pensthorpe in line for major national award

The transformation of five former farmworkers’ cottages and the creation of an indoor adventure play centre at Pensthorpe Natural Park, near Fakenham, are in the running for a national award.
Pensthorpe’s management team has been invited to the grand final of the Local Authority Building Control Awards at London’s Westminster Park Plaza in November, having won Best Inclusive Building at the East Anglian regional finals.
“It is thrilling to learn that one of our projects has been honoured by judges in the LABC Awards – the largest business-to-business awards in the building control sector,” said Pensthorpe’s commercial director, Drew Payne. “We are all delighted – and all the more so because we were not expecting it.”
The project was nominated by Peter Wearmouth, district building control surveyor at North Norfolk District Council, who said: “Hootz House and Five Cottages is a scheme North Norfolk can justifiably take pride in.”
Conversion of the five cottages has taken place alongside the £1m Hootz House, a  nature-themed indoor children’s play area, designed to inspire and engage the next generation of nature-lovers, teaching them to care for the environment and providing  Pensthorpe with an all-year, all-weather day visitor attraction.
Built from sustainably-sourced timber, the cladding of Hootz House is perforated, to create a habitat for bird and insect life, and has already won other awards for Pensthorpe.
Parts of the building date back to the 18th century and gained nationwide TV exposure as home to the popular BBC Springwatch series for three years between 2008 and 2010.
Five Cottages houses the Pensthorpe Natural Park and Pensthorpe Conservation Trust offices and will also be used as an event, conference and wedding venue.
It is also home to Creative Chiropractic, which offers chiropractic care, sports and therapeutic massage and reflexology and rehabilitation therapy in a soothing, natural setting. Verbatim, which offers psycho-therapeutic services, education assessments, consultancy and training has also joined the Five Cottages family.
“Promoting wellbeing is integral to all we do at Pensthorpe; belief in the healing and restorative value of the natural environment is a core part of our ethos and co-owner Deb Jordan’s vision for Pensthorpe to be used for holistic healing,” said Mr Payne. “The Five Cottages and Hootz House project was conceived as part of that philosophy. It is pleasing not just to win the regional award, but to know that award recognises the inclusive nature of the development.”

Our picture shows  Drew Payne (left), commercial director, and Deb Jordan, owner of Pensthorpe Natural Park, receiving their latest award from Peter Wearmouth, District Building Control Surveyor at North Norfolk District Council.


Who deserves a Big Society award?

Do you know someone who deserves to be thanked for the work they do in the community or an organisation which deserves praise?

North Norfolk District Council is organising a Big Society Awards Night to thank the people and the projects that help to create a strong community.

The Big Society Awards Night, which has the support of North Norfolk Radio, will be held at Sheringham Little Theatre on  March 23 to celebrate the Big Society community spirit that helps to make North Norfolk such a great place to live.

People are being asked to nominate a project or a person that has made a difference in their community by January 27.

Categories open to public nomination are:

  • Community Project Award – for projects that are based in or benefit people in the district.
  • Voluntary Services Award for Sport – for someone who has made an outstanding contribution to sport in the district.
  • Voluntary Services Award for someone who has made an outstanding contribution for young people in the district.
  • Voluntary Services Award for someone who has made an outstanding contribution for older people in the district.
  • Voluntary Services Award for someone who has made an outstanding contribution to their neighbourhood.

NNDC will also be inviting projects which were awarded a Big Society Fund between 2014 – 16 to make nominations in two other categories which are:

  • Outstanding Contribution to a Big Society Funded Project – by an adult.
  • Outstanding Contribution to a Big Society Funded Project – by a young person aged under 18.

The council will also be presenting a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Tom FitzPatrick, leader of North Norfolk District Council and chairman of the Big Society Fund Panel, said: “The Big Society is all about supporting community projects and these awards are all about recognising the exceptional community spirit in our area. Everyone who contributes to their community and helps others deserves recognition and I hope people will come forward with their nominations and publically thank the people who help others.”

A Big Society Awards event was held for the first time in 2014. For this the second event, members of the public are being asked to make nominations. The project or person does not have to be connected to a Big Society Funded project.

To put forward nominations:

Chance to nominate Broads volunteer for award

People are being urged to nominate Broads volunteers for a prestigious national award

The UK’s national parks are calling for nominations for their annual UK National Parks Volunteer Awards. The awards enable the parks to thank volunteers for the thousands of hours of service, effort and dedication they contribute every year, helping to make the national parks Britain’s most treasured landscapes.

There are four categories for nominations – Individual, Young Person (25 years and below), Group and Project. The Group and Project winners will receive a £1,000 bursary towards their future volunteering efforts. The Individual and Young Person winners will receive outdoor gear. Nominations will be accepted until midnight on Friday, September 23.

“The Volunteer Awards are always one of the highlights of our calendar,” said Kathryn Cook, National Parks UK Director. “We love the awards because they give us an opportunity to showcase our amazing volunteer force and all the tremendous work they put in across the 15 national parks. Help us to find our national park heroes and give them the recognition that they deserve.”

The awards recognise the hard work of volunteers deemed to have gone above and beyond the usual expectations of volunteer service. Beth Williams, volunteer coordinator for the Broads Authority, which is a member of the national park family, said: “Many of our projects would be impossible to undertake without the dedication of our volunteers. So please help them to receive national acclaim through these prestigious awards.”

In 2014, the group award went to the Nancy Oldfield Trust at Neatishead, which offers disabled and socially disadvantaged people the chance to go boating on the Broads. Volunteers take visitors sailing, motor boating and canoeing, and fishing and birdwatching are also available.

To nominate a deserving individual, young person, group, or project for 2016, visit:

More information on the awards, including FAQs and terms and conditions can be found at the same URL.

The volunteer service or project must take place within the boundaries of one of the UK’s 15 national parks, but nominees need not be volunteering for a UK national park.

A shortlist of nominees will be released in October and the winners will be announced in November.

To find out more about the work that volunteers do in the Broads, as well as how to volunteer yourself, visit:

vol ws

Award success for Hellesdon plumbing apprentice

Plumbing Apprentice Chris Marris, from Hellesdon, has triumphed in the South East regional heat of the HIP UK Heating Apprentice of the Year competition.

Mr Marris, 21, who works for Beccles-based K. Dossett Ltd and whose apprenticeship is provided by City College Norwich, now goes through to the national final of the competition, which will take place at the headquarters of competition sponsor ADEY Professional Heating Solutions, in Gloucester, at the end of April.

The regional heat, which was held at Prospects College of Advanced Technology, Basildon, put the plumbing skills of 15 Apprentices from colleges across London and the South East to the test under strict competition conditions.

The competitors were given 6 hours in which to install two radiators and associated pipework from a boiler which had been positioned beforehand.  At the end of a tense day of competition, Mr Marris was named by judges as the South East regional winner and qualifier for the national final.

Apart from the accolade of being crowned HIP UK Heating Apprentice of the Year, the national winner is set to walk away with a prize worth £5,000 donated by the competition’s platinum sponsor ADEY. The competition is organised every year by HIP Magazine for level 2 and 3 plumbing students who are doing an apprenticeship.

This is not the first time Mr Marris has enjoyed success in a skills competition. Last March he represented City College Norwich in the Norfolk and Waveney Building Apprentices’ Competition, winning a gold medal in the plumbing competition.

Speaking after his success, the former Hellesdon High School student said: “I didn’t find the task too difficult because I do a lot of work with radiators in my job. The key thing was making sure that everything was level and that all of the measurements were correct.  I didn’t think I’d win, so to come out as the winner from all of the Apprentices was great.  I couldn’t quite believe it at first.  I’m very happy to have made it to the national final and I’m really looking forward to it.”

2. Chris Marris 1. Chris Marris SE regional heat winner2 crop

Time to find those wildlife heroes

The search is on for wildlife heroes working to make a difference for nature and people in local communities.

The Community Biodiversity Awards are organised annually by the Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership (NBP), a well-established partnership working to co-ordinate and share initiatives to conserve biodiversity across Norfolk.

Last year the group made 15 awards for outstanding projects and individuals from across the county, including Wild About Colby which set up an inspiring nest box boost project to help owls in North Norfolk and the Friends of the Belfry School for their commitment to the creation of an inspiring wildlife resource at the school.


The awards are open to individuals, businesses, local groups and parish and town councils involved with action to improve the local environment for nature.

Nominations close on Friday, May 13. Winners and their guests will be entertained at a summer awards ceremony in July in Norwich.

The awards have been sponsored by Kelling Heath Holiday Park (Inspiring Others Award); The Landscape Partnership (Parish and Town Councils Award); and Norfolk Wildlife Trust.

Know of someone or a group who you feel fits the bill? Want to enter yourself?  Download and entry form from

NEW BAP Logo Left Aligned


North Walsham young sports stars recognised at glittering ceremony

North Walsham’s young sports stars have been recognised at a glitzy ceremony at the town’s Atrium, as North Walsham High School’s annual Sports Presentation evening acknowledged the school’s high achievers of 2015.

England U16s star Lauren Hemp topped the awards, carrying off the prestigious Graeme Wilton Award for Sporting Excellence, as well as the first ever International Award, reflecting her achievements as a member of the national football squad.

The annual Sports Personality Award – given to the outstanding sports contributor in the year group which left in the summer – went jointly to Liam Clarke and Chloe Yarham.

Meanwhile, Amy Hewitt received a Service to PE Award, with Nathan Allen and Victoria Earp both receiving Outstanding Endeavour Awards.

As well as recognising those who had done well at school level, the ceremony also saw awards given to individuals and teams which had competed at county and area level.

The guest speaker was Paralympian and Sky Sports Living for Sport Mentor, Fran Williamson.

School Head of PE Paul Bradshaw commented, “Sport is a particular strength at North Walsham High School, and our annual awards are a chance to recognise publicly those who have really achieved great things over the past 12 months.

“As well as those who have reached the very highest level, there were many students receiving awards, reflecting the breadth of participation in sport at all levels across the school – something that was recognised in October when we were awarded a Silver School Games Mark.

“Sport can play such an important role for young people, not just in encouraging physical fitness and healthy living, but also in fostering a sense of teamwork, challenge and achievement which will benefit them way beyond the sports field and into their future lives.”