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Hellesdon High pupils help with Refugee Week

 

On Tuesday June 19 a performance evening of music, drama and poetry is being held at The Octagon Chapel, Norwich.

The Norwich Schools of Sanctuary Showcase is part of the official programme of events for Norwich’s Refugee Week celebrations and has been organised by Norwich Schools of Sanctuary to raise funds for organisations that support refugees locally and across the world.

The event will also see the launch of the Come Yew In! songbook for schools which includes songs inspired by stories of migration to the city.

Original pieces of music, poetry, art and drama created by school children of Norwich will be performed, alongside music and drama by Norwich International Youth Project and The Common Lot.

Children from Bignold Primary School and Lakenham Junior School have all worked alongside The Common Lot to produce new songs for the event.

While pupils from Avenue Junior School, Ashleigh Primary School, Hellesdon High School and Notre Dame High School will work on the day with local arts facilitators The Friend Ship to create an art installation inspired by this year’s Refugee Week theme – the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees – to decorate the venue.

Preceding the event there will be a free exhibition at Martineau Hall which neighbours The Octagon Chapel. The performance will be from 6.30-8pm and tickets cost £5 for adults and £2.50 for children.

They are available on the door on the night or can be reserved by emailing info@norwichschoolsofsanctuary.org. All money raised will be divided equally between the Friend Ship, Help Refugees, Norwich International Youth Project and New Routes.

Simon Floyd, Director of the The Common Lot, said “We are so proud to have created this songbook and be part of this event. The songs and art on show are inspired by stories of people seeking sanctuary in our city and created by the children and young people of Norwich. All of the work embodies a spirit of welcome. They are made for, with and about people right across the city. They paint pictures of the past, sound a warning, and encourage us to celebrate our similarities and our differences.”


 

Hellesdon’s Inca is UK PAT Dog of the Year!

 

 

 
Much-loved Hellesdon pooch Inca is the country’s top Pets As Therapy (PAT) dog.

Inca, who has made a difference to scores of patients receiving care from Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) was crowned national champ at Crufts Dog Show.

The eight-year-old Labrador/Staffy cross and owner Sheena Scrimgeour beat hundreds of other entrants from across the country – including 70 from the eastern region alone – to make the shortlist of six, and then faced a public vote before Inca was crowned Pets As Therapy ) Dog of the Year.

Many of those who voted were readers of Just Hellesdon following publicity about Inca in the magazine last year.

Sheena said: “I’m shocked but thrilled as well. We had an amazing time there and Inca was as good as gold.

“They started by announcing the runners-up and then suddenly Inca was named as 2018 Pat Dog of the Year – I couldn’t believe it! I’m still coming back down to earth.

“I’m so pleased, and so grateful to all the staff and service users at NSFT whose support got us into the shortlist, and to everyone who then voted for Inca to win the award.”

They found out they had won in the Good Citizen arena at Crufts at the NEC Birmingham on Friday, and were given a crystal trophy, rosette, sash, some dog goodies and £500.

Sheena and Inca have been volunteering with the Pets As Therapy charity for the past six years. They visit Hellesdon Hospital every Monday, The Julian Hospital on Tuesdays and the Norvic Clinic on Fridays, as well as fitting in regular visits to Hellesdon High School, a prison and the University of East Anglia.

She entered Inca after receiving fantastic feedback from NSFT staff, service users and relatives about the difference she has made to them – with some even crediting Ina as “saving their lives”.

“Inca has a lovely nature and just loves people, and seems to know she is doing something beneficial,” added Miss Scrimgeour. “She thoroughly enjoys the interaction and I can tell she gets pleasure from the visits.

“I’ve always wanted my dogs to have a rich and varied life so decided to volunteer with the charity after I retired. I’m also really interested in research which shows the benefits which animals can bring to people. They are great for mental and physical wellbeing, help people to manage stress and lower the pulse and blood pressure. All in all, they provide people with a real ‘feel good’ factor.”

Julie Cave, interim chief executive with NSFT, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Inca has won this national prize. Together with Sheena, she brings lots of smiles and joy to our wards, especially for patients who have had to leave their own pets at home while they are in our care.

“Inca and Sheena are inspirational in the voluntary work they do across our Trust.”

To support Pets As Therapy, visit http://petsastherapy.org

For more information about volunteering with NSFT, visit www.nsft.nhs.uk and click on the “get involved” link from the homepage.

Inca doing her stuff

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hellesdon eco-queen Nadia is world famous

A Hellesdon schoolgirl has defied bullies to make litter-picking cool – around the world.

Nadia Sparkes, 12, used to put up with bottles being thrown at her and sneering shouts of “Trash Girl” and “You’re weird” as she cycled to and from Hellesdon High School picking up rubbish dropped by other people.

But when her story hit the headlines, international praise poured in for her actions and the bullying stopped overnight.

Now Nadia’s “Trash Girl” image is celebrated in a cartoon and pop art drawing and she has a Team Trash Girl Facebook group with nearly 3,500 global members who encourage each other to pick up rubbish and post pictures of their efforts.

Nadia’s litter-picking began when she started at the high school last September and began to notice the amount of discarded rubbish along her route.

She would put it in her cycle basket and bring it home, sparking cruel taunts from some who saw her. Mum Paula Sparkes believes litter-picking has a stigma because rubbish is dirty and people feel embarrassed to bend and pick it up.

The bullying eventually reduced Nadia to a fit of sobbing one day after school. “I sat and talked to her and said what she was doing was admirable but it was up to her to decide whether she wanted to stop because of the bullying, or carry on and own the name ‘Trash Girl’. “She thought about it and said: ‘I’m going to carry on. They can call me ‘Trash Girl’ – but with respect.’

Her story first hit the headlines in Norfolk and then went national and international, with articles in The Daily Mail and Times, as well as in publications as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Sweden and Malta.

“It just went  bonkers!” said Paula.  “She’s had people asking her about it in the street and adults and children all over the world saying ‘You were right and now I’m picking up litter too, because of you.’ I’m incredibly proud of her, and of her independent thinking.”

Nadia has an older sister and two younger brothers. A statement about Nadia from Tom Rolfe and Mike Earl, the principals of Hellesdon High School, a member of the Wensum Trust, said:  “Her determination and commitment to the cause is truly remarkable and we are hoping it will inspire other students to respect the environment with the same dedication.”


 

Nadia Sparkes. Picture: WIRELOOSE PIX PHOTOGRAPHY

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We created this image for her to say ‘thank you’ and to offer our support for her fantastic work. Go Trash Girl! We think Trash Girl would make a great cartoon and would inspire more young people to do the same fantastic work,” Alex Jeffery, of Suffolk-based company Creative Nation.


“Nadia is doing some excellent work and when I heard that she was bullied, I just wanted to do something for her. I’ve worked with vulnerable young people and children for many years and have done lots of artwork for them. The picture itself was inspired by the artist Jamie Hewlett,” Lynsey Cole (Damsel Dragonfly Art).

 

Vote for Hellesdon’s Inca as top PAT dog

 

A Hellesdon woman’s gentle, much-loved pet has made it to the finals of a national competition to find the nation’s top therapy dog – and needs your vote to win the crown.

Eight-year-old Inca and her owner Sheena Scrimgeor have been making a positive difference to the lives of scores of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust  patients from across both counties for the past six years.

Inca, a Labrador-Staffie cross, is a Pets As Therapy (PAT) dog, visiting people in hospitals, and is in the final six of the charity’s PAT Dog of the Year contest.

She and Sheena beat hundreds of other entrants from across the country – including 70 from the eastern region alone – to make the shortlist and now need the public’s support to help them lift the title.

The pair will find out whether they have won on live TV at next year’s Crufts Dog Show, which takes place at the NEC Birmingham in March. Sheena said she was “blown away” to find out Inca had been shortlisted.

“I’m very pleased for the patients as they made a great effort to write lovely statements to support Inca’s entry in the competition,” she added. “The only sad thing is that my mother won’t be able to watch. She thought the world of Inca and loved Crufts and watched it every year, but died in March at the grand old age of 101.

“She would have loved to see Inca up on stage in the arena in front of crowds of people being recognised for the work she does. “If Inca wins, I will dedicate the award to her. I’m sure she would have been proud of us both.”

Staff and patients have been sending messages of support for Sheena and Inca. They include this, from Veronica Rackham, of Thurne Ward, Hellesdon Hospital: “Inca is a beautiful dog with a lovely calming nature. She is gentle and loving and will happily sit and be stroked by everyone. I believed she has a very positive impact on all she meets and I know that her visits are very eagerly awaited and enjoyed by many.”

Sheena and Inca visit Hellesdon Hospital every Monday, The Julian Hospital on Tuesdays and the Norvic Clinic on Fridays, as well as fitting in regular visits to Hellesdon High School, a prison and the University of East Anglia. * Vote for Inca by filling in the form in the current edition of Yours magazine or by visiting www.yours.co.uk/PATDogs. Voting closes on December 31.