Archives

New head for North Walsham school

St Nicholas House Prep School in North Walsham has welcomed a new head to take the school into the future.

Philip Oldroyd has taken over the helm of the independent school and is “looking forward to leading St Nicholas House into its next exciting phase of growth and development”. The appointment comes after headmaster Martin Castle decided to leave his position to enable the school to move forward to the next phase of its life.

Philip lives in Horstead with his wife, Niki and two sons, Dan (17) and Tom (19). The family moved to Norfolk from Sevenoaks, in Kent, six years ago to be closer to Niki’s parents. Philip is a graduate of Leeds University with a BA in PE and business studies and gained his PGCE from the University of Surrey.

His career in education has spanned 28 years, 10 of which as a head eacher. He successfully led Sevenoaks Prep, a co-educational school for children from nursery to Year 8, for seven years and more recently, was headmaster of Langley Prep School. Under his leadership both schools flourished, growing in both numbers and reputation.

Currently, Philip is head of the lower school at Langley, in Loddon, where he has the responsibility for both the pastoral and academic education of the children in Years 6 to 9.

Outside of school, Philip enjoys sports coaching and spectating, having “hung up his boots” a few years ago.  He has coached at both Sevenoaks and North Walsham Rugby Clubs for the past 12 years and cricket for Otford CC until his move to Norfolk.

“I am very excited to be joining such a fantastic school,” he said. “The children clearly benefit from being members of a small community and the family feel of the school is evident Small class sizes allow for more individual attention from well qualified staff who spend quality time with every child.”

There’s a chance to meet the new head at the school’s open day on Saturday, March 18.

New website to support care recruitment campaign

Norfolk County Council has launched a new website to support its Social Care Recruitment Campaign.
The purpose of the campaign is to encourage more people to work in social care across Norfolk by creating a central digital platform. The new website: www.norfolkcarecareers.co.uk will share stories and experiences from people working in the sector, answer any questions potential candidates may have and promote the opportunities available in Norfolk.

Norfolk has seen a growth in population, and with people living longer and those with disabilities more likely to survive to an older age, there is a bigger demand in homecare services.

To spread the word about how rewarding a career in caring can be, Norfolk County Council’s Recruitment and Retention Project Lead for the campaign, has teamed up with local care providers throughout Norfolk to promote working in the sector. Events will be taking place throughout March – details are posted on the new website: www.norfolkcarecareers.co.uk and on the campaign’s Twitter feed @NorfolkCareJobs and Facebook page, Norfolk Care Jobs.

Sarah Thompson, who runs Extra Care Home Services in North Walsham, is giving her full support to the campaign. “We have recently celebrated 10 years in delivering home care and it is becoming increasingly difficult to recruit people into the sector and I want to show people how rewarding a career in care can be,” she said.

Sarah nominated her deputy manager, Alex Marks (pictured), 20, for an award at the Norfolk Care Awards as she saw her potential. “Alex has a passion for doing what she does with us, her commitment shines through and her empathy for others.” Alex was the recipient of an award in the Rising Star category.

James Bullion, Norfolk County Council’s executive director of Adult Social Services said: “We must support the social care staff in their daily work, and promote good services. In these days of many negative headlines, promoting positive images of care work will help us to attract more people to fill our vacancies.

“This partnership working approach to develop the Norfolk Care Careers website will help to meet the needs of care recruitment for the challenges ahead.”

Norfolk County Council’s chair of the Adult Social Care Committee Bill Borrett said: “I am delighted that we are finding new ways to tackle recruitment issues in the care sector. The Norfolk Care Careers website is a great opportunity for signposting people to the right information and for advertising vacancies across Norfolk on behalf of our care providers.  I would urge people to visit the site to take advantage of the many events that are taking place across the county this month.”

Davenport’s Magic Kingdom closes

The magic-themed family attraction, Davenport’s Magic Kingdom, in North Walsham, has been closed and placed into voluntary liquidation following a legal dispute.

An ongoing dispute with a former consultant to the business resulted in a legal bill of almost £60,000 and as a result, the business was unable to continue trading and the directors took steps to appoint Jamie Playford of Leading Corporate Recovery as liquidator of the company on 23 February 2017.

The attraction housed the Davenport family’s extensive magic collection of artefacts and memorabilia spanning almost 500 years, as well as providing a fun and interactive space for museum displays, a magic theatre, gift shop and café.

Prior to opening in May 2013, the Davenport family committed over £1m to building the attraction.

In 2015, visitor numbers decreased and operational costs had increased, causing some cash flow difficulties. The business sought a financial rescue package from the director and his family and friends in order to fund ongoing trading.

The business had accumulated creditors of £1.7 million, of which £1.4m was owed to the Davenport family. The closure resulted in two immediate redundancies although other staff had been laid off over recent months.

Fourth-generation magician and current managing director, Roy Davenport, is currently in talks with Mr Playford to produce a rescue package.

Mr Playford said of the closure: “It is always sad to see a local attraction such as this forced into liquidation, however the local community have expressed their support for the Davenport family and so we are hopeful that a rescue package can be formulated over the coming weeks. We are looking at the detail of the proposals and hope to make a decision in the next week or so.”

Mr Davenport added: “Of course it is very unfortunate to have to go through this process. I am grateful to everyone who has supported us in so many ways over the last years. We are putting all our efforts into a possible rescue package and are hopeful that we can save our unique British magic collection and continue to make it accessible to all.”

A flashback to the opening of Davenport’s in 2013

Walk the walk and help cure Parkinson’s

People in Norfolk are being asked to pick up the pace against Parkinson’s this year at Walk for Parkinson’s – Blickling Estate on Saturday, May 13.
It is one of a series of walk events to be held across the UK for Parkinson’s UK during 2017.
Walk for Parkinson’s offers the opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to get involved in a fun and active day out, while helping the charity step ever closer to a cure.
There are a range of distances around the grounds of the estate on offer to suit everyone, including a 2.5-mile and 5.5-mile walk to choose from.
Last year, 114 people took part in the walk at Blickling Estate to raise an impressive £11,000 between them, and the charity hopes to boost the fundraising total even more this year.
Sky Sports presenter and champion of walking for Parkinson’s UK Dave Clark was diagnosed with the condition himself in 2011. Dave is encouraging as many people as possible to step up at the event.
He says: “In 2016 I completed my own 200-mile coast to coast walk for Parkinson’s UK. It was tough but the sense of achievement when I crossed the finish line was fantastic.
“I know not everyone can walk that far, which is why our Walk for Parkinson’s at Blickling Estate with a choice of distances, is perfect for everyone.
“This year is going to be our most ambitious yet for the Walk for Parkinson’s series. With every pound that we raise we get closer to a cure. So please join us at Blickling Estate and help us step closer to our goal of improving the lives of every person affected by Parkinson’s.”
The registration fee is £10 for adults and £5 for under 16s. Everyone who registers will receive a free Parkinson’s UK T-shirt, fundraising pack and at the end of the walk, a finishers medal.
The charity is hoping to raise over £400,000 from the 32 events, so suggests walkers aim to raise at least £50.
All money raised from Walk for Parkinson’s – Blickling Estate will help Parkinson’s UK’s work to provide support and information for people affected by the condition and to help find better treatments, and ultimately a cure.
As well as walkers, the charity is on the lookout for volunteers to help register people at the start/finish area or to be a walk marshal at various points on the route during the day.
To find out more and to sign up to walk or volunteer visit: http://www.parkinsons.org.uk/walkblicklingestate, call 0207 963 9367 or email fundraising@parkinsons.org.uk.

Name and shame those dog foulers in Cromer

North Norfolk District Council is calling on people in Cromer to help identify irresponsible dog owners near a popular local park.

The roads leading to Fearns Field in Suffield Park are repeatedly being contaminated by dog excrement with council patrollers discovering 15 in one morning last week.

Fearn Field itself, a favourite spot for children to play, is also suffering from dog fouling.

Angie Fitch-Tillett, cabinet member for environment said: “We have patrols all through the day trying to check on dog fouling and trying to identify the owners responsible for this. But we don’t have enough people to cover every foot of the roads and park at every moment of the day and night. So we’re calling on the communities of Cromer to help us help them. If you know who’s doing this, please tell us. If you see someone letting their dog foul and not picking up, report it with as much detail about the owner and the dog.”

The roads affected by significant fouling are Station Road, Carrington Road, Park Road and to a lesser extent Northrepps Road. Council officers are patrolling the area and have added path stencils along pavements to remind people they need to bag it and bin it. Dog excrement is also being sprayed different colours so officers can immediately identify new offences.

If you see someone leaving their dog’s poo report it here: http://bit.ly/2lYfJSN with as much information about the timing, the identity of the owner, location and dog. If you feel it is safe to take a photograph of the owner and dog, please send that to us at ep@north-norfolk.gov.uk

North Norfolk District Council has been running a #NoMessing campaign to raise awareness of dog fouling in North Norfolk. For more information see http://bit.ly/2lglEi6

A festive message but the sentiment still stands

‘Vibrant’ new look for former Sheringham seafront hotel

A first-floor restaurant with panoramic views over the promenade and the sea will be an integral part of a development planned for the site of the former Shannocks Hotel in Sheringham.
Wymondham-based architects Lucas Hickman Smith have designed plans for owners Huddies to transform the derelict hotel on the seafront into vibrant new building with the restaurant, shops and flats in keeping with the town’s heritage and the nearby buildings.
The ground-floor retail units, first-floor restaurant and residential apartments on the upper floors will all have sea views to take advantage of its position overlooking the beach.
Company director Andrew Roper said: “We believe the application proposes a vibrant, forward-looking new building, of high architectural quality and demonstrating a clear link to Sheringham’s heritage and its immediate context.
“We are keen for local life to be enhanced by the proposed development, and in particular that the wider community should have the opportunity to enjoy the expansive views over the promenade, the beach and the sea that are offered by the site’s location.”
An application for full planning permission has been submitted to North Norfolk District Council and comes at a time when the council was considering applying for a compulsory purchase order on the site for an alternative development, incorporating the site of the Former Shannocks Hotel and the adjacent Chequers Car Park, which is owned by NNDC.
Judy Oliver, for NNDC, said: “As per the last cabinet decision, we are maintaining pressure on the owners to move forward with development, by putting our own development proposals forward for planning approval, along with a voluntary offer to purchase the derelict hotel from them.”
However, Huddies has urged it to rethink its proposals in light of its application.
“The acquiring authority pays all of the costs of the CPO and the public inquiry, and is usually ordered to pay a successful objector’s legal and professional costs,” said Mr Roper, adding it would “not be in the interests of local ratepayers”.
John Western, a director at Lucas Hickman Smith architects said the company had looked at re-developing the current building but that it was in too poor a state. He said: “The fabric and structure are in a bad state and there are issues with salt saturation.”Mr Roper said: “Retention and renovation of existing buildings is not always an option and the professional and expert opinion received by the company is that this cannot be justified, and would detrimentally impact upon the viability of the scheme. NNDC’s alternative scheme, which was displayed at a consultation event in December, suggests that they have received similar advice from their own property advisors.
“In addition, the existing building’s solid wall construction precludes most forms of thermal insulation and, together with a permeable external skin, has meant that the building has been unable to resist salt spray in its exposed location, leading to significant damp problems.
“The company’s objective of achieving a high level of thermal and environmental performance from the building can only be achieved through demolition and redevelopment.”
If the plans are approved, which the site’s owner expects will take approximately three months, it is hoped work could start before the end of the year, though the developers, who bought the site in late 2010, said that works would steer clear of the summer season.
Mr Roper said: “We are keen to ensure that we minimise disruption to local businesses during the tourist season, and this approach was supported by NNDC when we submitted our project execution plan to them in September of last year.”
He added: “The site is significant in the context of Sheringham and North Norfolk, and the company is fully committed to providing this positive, contemporary addition to the town, which it fully expects will benefit the local community, providing employment in the ground and first-floor commercial spaces, improving the commercial viability of the high street, attracting visitors to the town and presenting a bright, optimistic and forward-looking vision for the seafront and the town.”
The council earlier this month said it could stop the compulsory purchase order at any time if the current site owners were seen to be taking action to tidy up the area.

Kieran gets a warm welcome at Cromer

Heart transplant patient Kieran Sandwell got a warm welcome in Cromer and Happisburgh as he stopped off during his 5,000-mile trek around Britain to help raise £100,000 for the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) life saving research.

Kieran, 45, from Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire, is currently walking the Norfolk Coast Path in his challenge Trail of Two Hearts to mark the end of his long battle with heart disease after having a heart transplant eight years ago.

After setting off on February 1 from the British Heart Foundation office in London, Kieran’s journey has seen him walking the coast of Norfolk, with members of the public supporting him on his journey to help him raise his target. This included a fundraising quiz organised by Ginny Wilson-North, from MargGins Walking and Glamping, at the home of Tessa and Terry Beane in Happisburgh on Saturday night when £100 was raised and being greeted by Walkers are Welcome members and the deputy mayor in Cromer yesterday.

He said: “The inspiration came to me around 25 years ago, but then I would never have been able to complete such an endurance challenge. It’s only thanks to my donor, the BHF, the Brompton and Papworth Hospital and NHS Blood & Transplant that I am able to make my dream a reality.

“My second heart has enabled me to do so much and I’m urging the public to help me support the BHF’s ground-breaking research by making a donation.”

Kieran’s battle with heart disease began when he was just three years old, when he had to have open heart surgery to correct a condition called transposition of the great arteries (TGA) where the main arteries in the heart are ‘plumbed’ back to front.

Then when Kieran was 13 he suffered a heart attack and during his early twenties he also suffered two mini strokes and began having abnormal heart rhythms. By the time he reached 35, he was in heart failure and he was put on the transplant list for a new heart.

In July 2009, Kieran received his new heart and donated his old heart for BHF-funded research into congenital heart disease which has contributed to important findings and helped others living with conditions like his.

Dawne Hart, BHF Fundraising Manager for Norfolk, said:  “We never cease to be amazed by the incredible way our fundraisers raise money for our research, but Kieran’s coastline challenge is one of the biggest we’ve ever seen. We are so incredibly grateful for his determination and dedication to supporting our work and we’ll be supporting him every step of the way.”

To support Kieran on his journey and find out how you can get involved or to sponsor him visit www.atrailoftwohearts.com

Also follow his journey and get in touch at
https://www.facebook.com/atrailoftwohearts/
https://www.atrailoftwohearts.com/Blog
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ATrailofTwoHearts

Will elected as first student president

A 14-year-old student from North Walsham has followed Donald Trump to be inaugurated President after a close-fought election campaign – and he will now represent the town’s high school students for the next year.

Year 9 student Will Symonds became the first student president of North Walsham High School this week in an election which saw every student at the school cast a vote.  Following his inauguration, he has appointed a vice-president – Megan Robson – and a cabinet, which will work with the school’s senior leadership team.

Cabinet portfolios include teaching and learning; behaviour, welfare and safety; outcomes; special educational needs and disability (SEND), curriculum and business.  President Symonds has also appointed a special anti-bullying task force.

He styled himself ‘The Asian Guy’ during his election campaign, and in hustings speeches in front of his fellow students he tried to inject an element of fun into the process to engage with his electorate.

NWHS head teacher Neil Powell commented: “I am delighted at the extent to which students really engaged with the process of electing a student president, the first time we have held such an election.  I look forward to working with Will and his team to continue the whole school improvement with a strong student voice.”