Swimming treat for Cringleford’s brave Nikki, 54,

Nicole De Greef, a 54-year-old resident at Cavell Court care home, on Cringleford’s Dragonfly Lane, has impressed fellow residents and staff with her unwavering resilience in the face of serious illness.

“Nikki” was diagnosed with cancer in May 2017 and has vowed to stay strong and live her life to the full – declining medical treatment for the disease.

She moved to the Care UK home earlier this year and is an active member of its community.

Nikki has always lived an active lifestyle and particularly loves swimming. The Care UK team arranged for her to visit the UEA Sportspark pool for a morning, in the hope it would give her enjoyment and ease some of the pains she lives with as a result of the cancer.

Nikki said: “I’ve missed swimming so much and the feeling of freedom it provides. There is something about being in the water that makes me feel so calm and relaxed – it really is my happy place.

“I knew it wasn’t going to be easy battling cancer without treatment, but I want to enjoy my life while I’m still able to, so I really can’t thank the care team enough for helping me to do this. When I came to Cavell Court earlier this year I was blown away by the kindness and compassion of the whole team, and how they are all genuinely dedicated to ensuring people are treated as individuals and are able to enjoy a good quality of life.

“I felt amazing after my swim and my confidence soared. For the first time in a long time I felt refreshed and like me again – I can’t wait to go back!”

Jennie Rodger, home manager at Cavell Court, added: “Nikki is one of our younger residents and is simply a joy to have around. She is forever pushing boundaries and going out of her way to get the most out of her day – and helps others to do the same. We were delighted that we were able to help Nikki do something we all know is so special to her, and it was clear how much the time in the pool meant to her.”

Nikki (centre) with Care UK staff









Boosting youngsters’ confidence is childs’ play

A fun children’s drama delves into the reason words disappear off the tip of your tongue.

And for the trio staging The Sentence Snatchers, their visit to the Sheringham Little Theatre is a “homecoming ” to the county where they met.

Director Gwen Hanauer and cast members Jonathan Cobb and Sophie McKenzie formed Flat Pack Productions in 2013 while studying  English and drama at the UEA.

The play follows a determined young girl called Frank who has a terrible fear of speaking. But when a mysterious figure offers her a deal to take those nerves away, everything changes.

Trapped in a “contract” where even the clauses have claws and the Syn-Tax is far too expensive, she must go on a big adventure, across lexical fields and letter seas, to defeat her fear and take back her voice from the sneaky Sentence Snatchers.

The imagination exploding family fun performance for six to 12 year olds but which can also be enjoyed by adults, is jam packed with puppets, music and magical storytelling.

The show was nominated for the International Youth Arts Festival’s Best Family Show award in Brighton, where it premiered last year, and is in now on tour in Norfolk and Suffolk, supported by Creative Arts East.

It comes to Sheringham Little Theatre on February 11. Tickets for the 2.30pm performance are £6 through the box office 01263 822347 or website

Video:  See a rehearsal and development showreel at–N_lwrKg

Action from the Sentence Snatchers.
Picture: Flat Pack Productions



It’s going to be wheely fun!

Pop down to Eaton Park on June 4 and you will see a whole load of students in fancy dress, racing around in wheelbarrows!

This is the 10th year that the UEA Enactus Society and the Union of UEA Students have organised the successful “Pimp My Barrow” event, raising money for local cancer charity Big C. Around 1,500 students are expected to take part, with teams donning fancy dress and joining a parade through the golden triangle, stopping at Eaton Park at around 3pm for wheelbarrow races, before a pub crawl to The Farmhouse, The Garden House and The Black Horse pubs.

Pimp My Barrow was a concept devised by two former UEA students Paul Wheeler and Tom Tapper to raise money for charity, raise the student profile in the city and have some fun.

The amount raised has increased each year, with the 2015 event bringing in an impressive £10,821, adding up to a total of £58,798 over the 10 years.

Yinbo Yu, activities and opportunities officer at The Union Of UEA Students, said: “This is such a fantastic event which raises so much money for Big C every year. Our students love this event, it raises money and it’s fun!

“Many of the local community come out to watch the parade go by, also donating to the cause which helps to build a carnival atmosphere.”

Big C will also be in attendance and available to talk about their aim to support cancer patients in Norfolk and to fund research for treatments.

Dr Chris Bushby, CEO of Big C, said: “Who would have thought that racing a dressed up wheelbarrow whilst wearing fancy-dress would be such a fantastic fundraiser? Not me!

“I am full of admiration for the enthusiasm and energy of all the UEA students who have staged this fabulous event through the parks and streets of Norwich, raising vital funds and promoting awareness of Big C. For 10 years they have been helping to ensure the best outcomes for those affected by cancer.

“Big C enjoys many close links with UEA and has funded cancer research involving most of its schools of science. We have also recently established a new focus for research into cancer genetics and prostate cancer at the Norwich Science Park. I look forward to continuing our close partnerships both in research and with the barrows for years to come.”