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Dentist home after helping Syrian refugees

Earlier this year Drayton resident, dentist Dr Gautam Sharma appealed to Just readers for toothbrushes, toothpaste and toys to take out to Lebanon where he was due to volunteer his time treating Syrian refugees with the charity Dental Mavericks. He’s back from his trip and reports on his experiences.

“As many of you in the community will know, I recently took part in a special mission to provide dental treatment and advice for displaced families in Syria.

“I want to thank each and every one of you from the Drayton and Taverham area who contributed donations to the local collection point, and in doing so, made such a difference to the lives of those I met.

“My experience has been absolutely humbling, emotional, exhausting – and a very stark reminder of why we all need to live our lives with more compassion and kindness.

“With a huge 40kg of luggage, I arrived in the Bekaa Valley, and began slowly taking in the enormity of the project I was involved with, and the huge level of need among families and individuals.

“I spent two weeks delivering treatment and education within the area’s hospitals, clinics and schools – always receiving a grateful (and hugely heart-warming) smile and handshake from those I assisted.

“In total, our group mission helped some 1,000 patients during that time, and I am utterly privileged to have been invited into the homes of those living in the camps.

“My overwhelming learning from this experience was that there is so much misconception around the way people are managing their lives in this part of the world.

“Every facility or home I saw was meticulously maintained, and the level of pride and gratitude was shining from every single person with whom I had contact. Will I go back? Absolutely. I now feel part of a journey in the lives of these people. I realise more than ever how fortunate myself and my own family are, and how someone like myself has a potential role to play.

“I thank you all – from the bottom of my heart – for your support and donations in recent weeks and months.

“Of course, if you would like to know more about the ongoing mission, or think you may want to contribute in the future, please do get in touch with me at my surgery.

“I would also be delighted to share my experiences further with you.”

Contact Dr Sharma at: smiles@westearlhamdental.co.uk

 

Drayton garden open for NGS and CF Trust

Palms, pergolas, cannas and cakes will be among the attractions at a National Gardens Scheme (NGS) open garden in Drayton on Sunday, July 8.

This year Chris and Wendy Fitch’s garden is the only one in Drayton or Taverham taking part in the prestigious scheme which sees some 3,700 of the country’s best private gardens opening to the public in aid of NGS charities.

The couple will also be selling plants and refreshments on the day to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Trust, a charity dear to their own hearts.

Jacob Hart, the seven-year-old son of their close friends Lucy and Andy Hart, was born with the life-limiting, incurable inherited condition.

Lucy grew up and went to school in Drayton and Taverham and her dad, former postman Ian Manning, still lives in Drayton.

The Harts, Ian, Lucy’s mum Carol and step-dad, plus Lucy’s sisters Emma and Laura Manning, are all dedicated fundraisers for the CF Trust.

In the past Lucy and Andy have organised three charity balls for the cause at Norwich City FC’s Carrow Road ground.

This will be the fourth year that Chris and Wendy have opened their garden for NGS and the CF Trust, with friends and Jacob’s family helping out to produce a range of homemade cakes and savouries to serve with a cuppa on the large decking area which overlooks their transformed garden.

When the couple moved to Drayton eight years ago the quarter-acre plot was dull, tatty, unloved and neglected with no structure.

But the pair set to work and have created a stunning garden with different areas, and on different levels.

Chris built all the infrastructure – including walls, fences and a pergola – himself, using recycled materials for much of it.

The garden, which backs on to St Margaret’s churchyard, includes a hot, tropical border filled with exotic plants such as the large-leafed tetrapanax, windmill palms, cordylines, bamboos, eucalyptus and acers.

Lavenders, a grapevine and an olive tree are among many Mediterranean plants and there is also a more traditional border with masses of scented roses, plus a shady woodland corner.

A terraced upper garden is planted with fruit trees and vegetables and the garden includes a secluded courtyard area.

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

What: NGS open garden

Where: 9 Bellomonte Crescent, Drayton NR8 6EJ

When: Sunday July 8 11am-5pm

Cost: £3 per adult in aid of NGS charities. Accompanied children free.

Plus: Plant sales, tea, coffee, homemade cakes and other goodies in aid of CF Trust.

WHAT IS CYSTIC FIBROSIS?

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited condition, caused by a faulty gene, that leads to a build-up of sticky mucus in the lungs and digestive system.

The condition gets slowly worse over time, with the lungs and digestive system becoming increasingly damaged.

Treatments are available to help reduce symptoms, but life expectancy is shortened.

People with cystic fibrosis also have a higher risk of developing other conditions including weak and brittle bones, insulin, liver and fertility problems. They’re more likely to pick up infections, and complications if they do develop an infection.

 

Pictured: scenes from Wendy and Chris’s garden, Wendy and Chris Fitch and the Hart family – Lucy, Andy, Jacob and Harrison.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Curtain up in Drayton on comedy play

A comedy play which has received high praise will be performed by a professional touring company in Drayton later this month.

The curtain goes up on Searchlight Theatre’s production of Would You Adam and Eve It? at Drayton Hall on June 22 at 7.15pm.

The plot shows what happens when two men dramatise all 90 chapters from the first two books of the Bible.

With a few strategic speedy bits to help it achieve a 90 minute running time, the show has entertained audiences around the world for the past nine years, including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where it received five-star reviews last year.

The performance is being hosted by the Together Loving Christ Church. It is described as suitable for children aged nine and above. Tickets cost £10 and can be bought from the theatre company online: www.searchlighttheatre.org or special offer tickets, costing £8 each, can be bought by contacting kiera@tlcnorwich.church or ring 0777 8065 639. The church is subsidising the cost.

A scene from the play

Another life-saver for community is installed

A new defibrillator has been installed outside Thorpe Marriott Village Hall and community chiefs want to make sure residents know it’s there.

The life-saving device was bought by Drayton Parish Council and will be available 24/7 in case of emergency.

Mandy Marshall, chairman of the village hall, thanked the parish council for the donation. She added. “The defibrillator is located outside, on the right-hand side of the front entrance to the hall, which is located by the shops and pub in Acres Way.”

A number of people underwent training to use the machine under the expert guidance of a representative from the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust. As well as learning how to use the defibrillator they were taught basic CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation).

Mandy added: “When someone has an emergency situation where a patient has stopped breathing, by dialling 999 the ambulance service can direct someone to the nearest defibrillator, provide them with a code to open the protective cabinet, and the defibrillator device will ‘talk’ them through exactly what to do, potentially saving lives. Having fully-functioning units available locally really will help to ensure the safety of everyone.”

Graham Everett, chairman of Drayton Parish Council, and fellow councillor Carl Brown also attended the training session.

Graham said “I found the training very informative and it included the opportunity to practise CPR and how to put a unconscious but breathing casualty in the recovery position”.

  • There are also Drayton defibrillators in the pavilions at the King George V Playing Field and Longdale, inside the Bob Carter Centre, and at the junior and infant schools.
  • PICTURED: from left: Sylvia Turner, chairman of Thorpe Marriott Village Hall fundraising committee, Mandy Marshall, chairman of Thorpe Marriott Village Hall, Graham Everett, chairman of Drayton Parish Council, and parish councillor Carl Brown.

 

 

Location, Location, Location looking for buyers

TV property experts Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer (pictured) are looking for homes in the Norwich area for a new season of Channel 4’s Location, Location, Location. The presenters will be helping people find their dream home this spring. Chain-free buyers struggling to find the right property are welcome to apply.  Programme chiefs will be talking to potential buyers over the next few weeks. A spokesman said: “Whether you’re upsizing or downsizing, buying your first property or hoping to find your ideal forever home, you could have two top property experts on your side. Whatever the budget and however tricky the search – we would love to hear from everyone! Phil and Kirstie may be just the helping hand you need! The online application form can be found via: www.shortaudition.com/Location-Location-Location

Drayton bench remembers a much-loved lady

Regular visitors to Drayton’s Bellomonte Crescent may notice that a wooden bench has appeared there recently.

A plaque on the seat remembers much-loved wife, mum, grandma and great grandma Dorothy Pain.

Dorothy, who died last year, had lived in the road for more than 50 years and the bench has been placed there by her family.

The Pains moved to Norfolk from Berkshire in 1965 in search of countryside, a newly-built home with central heating, a nearby school and the coast a short ride away.

Dorothy was born in Surrey in 1930 and much of her childhood and early teens were spent coping with the difficulties of wartime.

Her first job was in a small grocer’s shop where her tasks included removing mould from the top of jars of jam, placing a fresh greaseproof circle on top and replacing the lid – a luxury like jam couldn’t possibly be thrown away!

Wartime lessons of thrift and gratitude for everything guided Dorothy throughout her life.

At just 15 she first met her future husband, John, who was one of two sailors walking past a bench on which she and a friend were sitting while on holiday in Plymouth.

The couple got engaged on Coronation Day in 1953 and married the following year. They went on to have three children – daughter Christine and sons Norman and Stephen.

Dorothy stayed at home in Norfolk, bringing up the children while John worked at the former Bonds, in Norwich, now John Lewis.

Realising they needed more income to raise and support their family, the couple opened their own company, J.H. & D.I. Pain, Upholsterers.  With John’s help, Dorothy learned to make curtains and did the business accounts.

After her children left home, Dorothy became a successful Avon rep and a caretaker at the new Drayton First School. She also knitted for good causes, making some 200 items for premature and sick babies.

Her family say Dorothy was always selfless and wanting to help.


Dorothy Pain

 

 

 

 

Do you know him? Wanted after Drayton pharmacy thefts

Police are appealing for help to identify a man following a number of thefts in Drayton.

The offences happened on Saturday January 27 when a man visited Lloyds Pharmacy, in School Road, on four occasions and stole a number of boxes of medication.

Officers have released CCTV images of a man they would like to speak to in connection with the incident.

Anyone who recognises him, or anyone with information, should contact PC Pauline Gray at Aylsham Police Station on 101.

Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Plea over plans for many new Hellesdon homes

Residents are being urged to have their say on proposals for large numbers of new homes which local chiefs fear would be bad news for Hellesdon.

Greater Norwich – which includes Hellesdon – has to find sites for nearly 43,000 new homes between now and 2036.

Some 30,000 have already been identified but a further 7,200 have still to be found. Public consultation is under way on the Greater Norwich Local Plan, which details the proposals.

Up to 1,000 homes are already due to be built in Hellesdon, on the former Royal Norwich Golf Club site.

A parish council spokesman said: “In Hellesdon the grassed area close to Arden Grove Primary School, now known as Cottingham’s Park, together with part of our allotments, accessed from Bush Road, feature as development sites in the plan which is not good news as it will take away valuable recreational space which is already in short supply in the parish.

“Looking across the parish boundary into Horsford, which starts just beyond the medical practice, The Greater Norwich Local Plan has earmarked all the land up the Reepham Road to the NDR roundabout on the south side of Horsford and bounded on the eastern side by the A140.

“Housing built here will of necessity put additional loading onto both of these roads and the local infrastructure, having a direct impact on the local schools, shops and medical facilities together with the invisible infrastructure of the water, drainage and sewage systems, already subject to some overloading. Some smaller site proposals in the parish of Drayton adjoining Hellesdon will also have a similar impact.”

The parish council also fears that Hellesdon would lose out financially if homes were built in this Horsford block as future residents would be likely to use Hellesdon’s schools, doctors and other services, which would be nearer for them.

But, because their homes would not actually be built within Hellesdon’s boundaries, other parish councils would receive “CIL” money levied from developers – used for community benefits – and from the new home owners via the parish precept element of the council tax.

The spokesman added: “Hellesdon Parish Council needs all the support it can muster from its residents to ensure Cottingham’s Park and allotments are not lost and that any development within Horsford’s block of land is kept to an absolute minimum.”

* Residents will have the chance to learn more during the week beginning Monday February 19 at the parish council’s Diamond Jubilee Lodge office between 10am and 3.30pm.

The office will also reopen on Wednesday  February 21 between 6pm and 8pm.

Every resident is also urged to make an individual response to the consultation which runs until March 15.  Visit www.gnlp.org.uk or collect a response booklet from the parish council office.

* Broadland District Council officers will be holding a roadshow on the proposals in Hellesdon Community Centre on February 28 from 2pm-8pm.

Pictured: Cottingham’s Park looking towards the allotments.