Gretel takes a new direction at Sheringham Little Theatre

Directing a drama is a tick on the “bucket list” of battling cancer patient Gretel Brice.
She is at the helm of a youth musical production of the classic story Little Women, an empowering tale of a strong mum fighting adversity to bring up her daughters.
And, with her own daughters Megan and Matilda in the cast at theatres in Sheringham and Great Yarmouth, the show is a poignant and inspirational one for the family, as well as other people with cancer.
Gretel, 49, has had a busy 30-year career in social services, mental and alternative health,and followed her passion for music and dance as a teacher.
But, while running her own complementary health business, a diagnosis of advanced ovarian cancer in March last year, saw her become a patient rather than a healer.
Her treatment included losing many organs in a life-saving 10-hour operation plus four months of chemotherapy.
“It was tough. I lost my hair, eyebrows and eyelashes, and my whole body felt as if it was being poisoned but I was not prepared to lie in bed and suffer,” said Gretel, who lives near Happisburgh.
“I gardened my way through the impacts of chemo to push it through my system and alleviate the symptoms more quickly,” she explained.
As Gretel got stronger, friend Debbie Thompson, director of Sheringham Little Theatre, asked her to chaperone youngsters at the panto.
It led to Gretel choreographing a youth production of Bugsy Malone this spring, and now to direct Little Women from July 5-7. She also teaches dance and drama at St George’s Theatre, Great Yarmouth, where the show will be staged on July 8.
“I was still in pain through Bugsy and have suffered some memory loss through the chemo – so remembering the dance steps meant extra work and lots of determination,” said Gretel.
“But dancing makes my soul dance, and the more I did it, the easier it became. It has been therapeutic – physically, mental and emotionally – and has rebuilt my confidence.”
Book tickets at, 01263 822347.


Forage and glamp along North Norfolk coast

Fancy a nice meal or two, enhanced with a spot of foraging along the North Norfolk coast?

From June 15-17 and September 14-16, glamping company Margins has teamed up with chef and forager Simon Hunter Marsh (a local Norfolk Food Hero) and his partner Kate Anderson, to offer an opportunity for people to learn about and cook from nature’s bountiful pantry.

Gin Wilson-North, from Margins, said: “Everything will be set up ready to welcome you when you arrive in our fully-equipped safari style tents plus all meals are included, although you do have to find and forage most of the ingredients.”

Guests will walk from their camp at Stiffkey, foraging along the coastline and countryside in that area, learning what they can and can’t eat, what the health benefits are, how to prepare and cook foraged finds and ultimately sit down together to enjoy meals of local produce enhanced by foraged culinary delights, which will undoubtedly include samphire.

To find out more including cost and what is included go to



Your old TV could help save a life

Norwich City Council and the British Heart Foundation are giving people another chance to recycle their small and medium-sized unwanted electrical and electronic items this Saturday (January 28), and in doing so help support people with heart disease.

Their last event was a huge success with the British Heart Foundation totting up items to the value of £6,300 – enough to pay for six defibrillators.

Don’t bin it, bring it will take place at the St Paul’s Church, Tuckswood, Norwich, NR4 6BH. People are invited to bring along their small and medium-sized electrical items (working or non-working) between 8am and 1pm.

Items such as toasters, hairdryers, mobile phones, TVs, games consoles and kettles will all be gratefully received. Commercial waste and larger items, such as fridges or ovens will not be accepted.

The British Heart Foundation will be at the event collecting items which are suitable for re-use and eventual resale from their local Norwich store. The money made from selling your old TV could be used to help fund research into heart disease, or teach children about the importance of exercise.

Norwich City Council will be recycling all items which are not suitable for re-use. Recycling makes the most out of the valuable metals in electrical equipment as well as keeping it out of landfill where it gives off harmful gases.
Computers will be accepted at the event but they will be dealt with exclusively by the British Heart Foundation which will ensure data is cleared before resale. Norwich City Council can take no responsibility for donation of computers.

To find out more about recycling go to

Free health checks for local fishermen

During March and April this year, Public Health Norfolk will be returning to the Norfolk coast to offer free quayside health checks to the area’s fishermen.

Norfolk County Council’s Public Health team, which commissions health checks for men aged 40-74, has teamed up with a national charity, the Fishermen’s Mission. The Fish Well scheme will be bringing the popular NHS health checks, which usually take place in pharmacies and GP’s surgeries, out onto the quayside.

Health checks will be taking place on Cromer Promenade (next to Henry Blogg museum), on March 3 and 4, 9.30am – 4.30pm

Fishermen who come along will receive a full health check, lasting between 20-30 minutes. This range of simple, confidential tests check circulatory and cardiovascular health, and provide personalised advice that can help prevent stroke, diabetes and kidney disease. Also in attendance will be the Health Trainers, who provide simple help and support to improve health both on and off shore. Everyone who takes part in a health check will receive a goody bag funded by the Sea Farers Hospital Society. This will contain a reusable water bottle, picnic box, hand sanitiser, fishermen’s health manual, and information on living a healthy lifestyle.

The scheme last visited the area five years ago, and the team are welcoming previous visitors to check their progress, as well as new faces looking to find out how they can reduce their risk of illness. They’re also keen to talk to younger men, as well as friends and family, who can find out about improving their health at work and home, including dental health and screening programmes.

Superintendent Tim Jenkins, of the Fishermen’s Mission, said: “I know how complicated fishermen’s working hours can be; anything that makes it easier for them to keep track of their health can only be a good thing.”

To book an NHS Fish Well Health Check, contact the Fishermen’s Mission on 01502 565269, or email

Cromer Pier from above

Have your say for a healthier, happier community in Cromer

Would you like to get involved in shaping new and exciting health and well being activities in and around Cromer?  Healthy Communities and Ageing Well is a new project for the Cromer area – led by Public Health at Norfolk County Council – which offers advice, support and resources to local people so they can work together to give everyone in their community the best chances of living well and longer. Continue reading