Your Norfolk

Cover story

Championing young people in Norfolk

Young people in Norfolk have been championed for the phenomenal way they are coping with the disruption caused by coronavirus and for the fantastic contribution many are making to shaping public services for youth during the pandemic and beyond.

There are 147,000 children and adolescents aged between 10 and 25 living in Norfolk. Since lockdown restrictions began in March, they have been coping with huge changes to their daily routines and activities and limited contact with friends and family.

It is estimated that between 500 and 750 young people have been directly engaged in participation groups, working with a range of Norfolk organisations to inform and help improve the way local services are built for and communicated to young people.

Groups including Norfolk’s seven Youth Advisory Boards (YABS), Norfolk Young Carers Forum (NYCF) and Norfolk In Care Council (NiCC), for young people in care and leaving care, have all been meeting regularly online. Their work has included producing a monthly newsletter, giving interviews as part of working on media campaigns and reaching out to vulnerable people in local care homes with letters, cards and postcards.

Representatives from these youth organisations have also formed a brand new online consultation group, which is the first step to a more formal Young People’s Advisory Group The group will work with a planned new Norfolk and Waveney Children’s and Young People’s Alliance Board to ensure the voice of young people is heard loud and clear in the development of services for young people across agencies from mental health to staying safe.

Aimee’s story

Making new friends across Norfolk and ensuring the voice of young people is heard is what 16-year-old Aimee enjoys most about being a member of Breckland Youth Advisory Board (YAB). 

Aimee first joined two years ago after she helped with an anti-bullying group in her high school.

“Since then I’ve been to Dublin for the World Anti-Bullying Forum, where I got up and spoke. Adults often believe they know what young people think and it was great to actually stand up and speak and help to make our voice heard.”

Aimee has also been on a trip to Amsterdam with the YAB to find out about sexual health education for young people and is a young commissioner participating in interviewing adults for public and voluntary sector jobs affecting young people.

“I really like working with young people from other schools that I wouldn’t otherwise get to know. I’ve made great new friends from all over the county which has been brilliant. I’ve had so many opportunities, it’s given me confidence and I can now do things like public speaking that I couldn’t before.”

Her mum Tracey said: “Aimee is one of thousands of young people who just lost their identity overnight because of the lockdown. The YAB has given her a sense of purpose, it’s boosted her self-esteem and helped her interact with new young people.”

Aimee has missed sitting her GCSE exams this year because of Covid-19. She is planning to start A-Levels in geography, history, and government and politics at sixth form in September and is considering a career in government and politics.

Breckland YAB currently meets virtually three times a week with Monday and Wednesday for work and Fridays for social meetings.

First words

First words

Andrew ProctorWelcome to the latest edition of Your Norfolk - I hope you are keeping safe and well.

We’ve still got a long way to go in the fight against coronavirus but we’re playing an important part. We have launched our test and trace pilot, to tackle any potential local outbreaks.

This edition highlights how the council continues to provide a range of support for people who need it – from befriending services for lonely people to keeping adult learning courses going, online.

Working together is more important than ever. The county council has provided £1 million towards a £6.7 million, county-wide effort to kickstart Norfolk’s economic recovery. I know how tough the last few months have been for businesses and swift and decisive action is vital.

I’m pleased to see the first signs of normality returning to our county. Several of our libraries have reopened, our three largest museums open at the beginning of next month, and we’ve worked with our district council colleagues to help shops and businesses reopen safely. Our annual summer reading challenge has started and the Beryl bike scheme will encourage people to try out cycling as a way to get around Norwich.

I hope you enjoy this edition and have a lovely summer in our beautiful county.

Andrew Proctor\'s signature

Councillor Andrew Proctor, Leader of Norfolk County Council


Museums to begin a phased reopening

We’re delighted that Norfolk Museums Service’s three largest sites will soon be open again to the public: Time and Tide Museum of Great Yarmouth Life, Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse and Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery.

Measures have been put in place to allow customers to use the museums safely and visit with confidence.

Time & Tide and Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse will open to the general public from Monday 3 August, with advanced booking required for entry. Tickets will become available on the Norfolk Museum Service website on 1 August.

Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery will reopen later in August, with the exact dates still to be confirmed. Before that happens there will be a number of weddings taking place at the castle which have been arranged under the new government guidelines.

The remaining seven sites that make up the Norfolk Museums Service will reopen when it is safe to do so.

Ahead of the public reopening, Museums Pass holders will be invited to book an early-access visit. This began at Time & Tide from Saturday 18 July and Gressenhall from Monday 20 July. This will allow the ticketing system and the social distancing measure to be evaluated with lower visitor numbers.

Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, cabinet member for communities at Norfolk County Council, said: “Norfolk’s museums are a vital part of our heritage and visitor economy. We want to see people enjoying themselves in safety and confidence as we steadily reopen each site. Our county’s cultural and historical attractions will be a vital part of Norfolk’s economic recovery and this is an important step along that path.”

Visitors to each museum have access to hand sanitiser and handwashing facilities while signage and recommended visitor routes will allow for social distancing.

The reopening arrangements for all three sites have been awarded Visit Britain’s ‘We’re Good To Go’ certification, the official UK mark to signal that a tourism and hospitality business has worked hard to follow Government and industry Covid-19 guidelines and has a process in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.

We’re looking forward to welcoming visitors back – we know you’ve missed us and we’ve certainly missed you!

Book your advance tickets on the website from 1 August, where you’ll also find updated opening times and safety measures.

Six more Norfolk libraries reopening

Norfolk Library and Information Service is set to reopen an additional six locations in early August following its successful relaunch earlier this month.

The locations due to reopen are:

  • Caister Library (3 August)
  • Earlham Library (4 August)
  • Gaywood Library (3 August)
  • Hellesdon Library (3 August)
  • Poringland Library (3 August)
  • Sheringham Library (3 August)

          This will take the total number of libraries open in Norfolk to 19, after these 13 were opened in early July:

          • Acle Library
          • Dereham Library
          • Diss Library
          • Downham Market Library
          • Fakenham Library
          • Great Yarmouth Library
          • King’s Lynn Library
          • Mile Cross Library
          • Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library
          • Sprowston Library
          • Thetford Library
          • Wymondham Library

          Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, cabinet member for communities at Norfolk County Council, said: “It’s been wonderful to see how much people have enjoyed coming back to the library. I would like to thank our staff for their diligent work and pay tribute to the people of Norfolk who have worked with us to ensure the safety of everyone visiting the library.”

          The Library and Information Service will also be introducing a strong recommendation for visitors to wear a face mask when they visit the library from Monday 27 July.

          Norfolk’s fleet of mobile libraries is being adapted to allow for a safe resumption of service, which is due to take place in mid-August.

          The remaining sites will be assessed in stages so that the right safety measures can be put in place for them to reopen in the coming weeks.

          See further details of libraries reopening including the safety measures put in place, services available and opening times.

          More park and ride services resume in Norwich

          Harford and Sprowston Park and Ride sites have reopened (route 502) to provide more ways for workers and shoppers to travel direct into the city centre.

          This expansion in service follows the reopening of Thickthorn and Airport Park and Ride (route 501) last month, which has seen a steady increase in passenger numbers as more people begin to reconnect with others and head back into the city to work and visit the shops.

          Sunday buses remain suspended with plans to resume this service in the autumn.

          Buses will start at 0635 in the morning, running up to every 15 minutes (Mondays to Fridays) throughout the day and up to every 30 minutes on a Saturday.

          Norwich Bus Station is now open for passenger enquiries and you are still encouraged you to buy your tickets in advance via the East Anglia Buses app or on Holdall. If you must buy your ticket on the bus, please pay contactless to avoid using cash.

          Toilet facilities at the bus station and the Park and Ride sites have now reopened. Please remember that it is now mandatory to wear a face covering when travelling on buses, unless exempt, to protect drivers and fellow passengers.

          You should also bring hand sanitiser with you to use before and after your journey and, where possible, wash your hands.

          Postwick Park and Ride remains closed and continues to be used as a testing centre for Covid-19.

          For more information and a full list of people who are exempt from wearing face coverings on public transport see the Konectbus website

          Norfolk’s recycling centres have all reopened

          All 20 recycling centres in Norfolk have reopened with social distancing measures in place. Customers and staff have helped make the re-opening process a real success across the county – thank you all for playing your part.

          We are pleased to be offering a nearly full service at all of our sites, with all materials accepted for recycling, composting or disposal. Unfortunately reuse shops remain closed for now, but outdoor items such as compost bins, bagged compost, bicycles and lawn mowers are available for sale.

          There are still measures in place to allow the sites to run safely for the public, staff and the local community. Visitors are asked to respect the social distancing requirements on site and to follow the directions of staff and traffic management teams.

          Looking forward, plans are in progress to run our popular annual hazardous waste events later this year and dates for the autumn will be announced on our website in the coming weeks.

          See site information and guidance on using Norfolk County Council recycling centres during Covid-19.

          Adult Learning - of course you can!

          Adult Learning are already looking forward to the new academic year, offering a range of courses both in the classroom and online to support you to reskill, retrain, gain a qualification, or improve your health and wellbeing.

          If you are looking to reskill or retrain, we have a range of courses on offer including employability and digital skills, apprenticeships, vocational courses in subjects such as health and social care, and access to higher education studies. These courses, combined with the opportunity to gain skills qualifications in English, maths and ICT, are a great way to get the skills needed for a new job role, or even for a career change.

          Whether you want to take up a new hobby or enhance your wellbeing there are also lots of creative courses available - from crochet to dressmaking; pottery to silversmithing; and creative writing to languages. We also run programmes to help with day-to-day activities in subjects such as money management, mindfulness, and digital skills.

          Visit our website to see the full range of courses on offer or get in touch with our friendly Learner Services team to find out how they can support you to take your next step.

          Opening up the marvels of the medieval world

          Norwich Castle: Royal Palace Reborn, our major project to transform Norwich Castle’s Norman Keep, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, includes an extensive learning and engagement programme designed to open up the marvels of the medieval world to all ages.

          While plans for a series of outreach events over the spring and summer have been scuppered by Covid-19, Norwich Castle’s learning team has come up with lots of alternative ways for you to find out more about this fascinating period.

          A partnership with the Eastern Daily Press produced four ‘People’s Palace’ supplements packed with games, puzzles and fun information about the medieval period. Click to download the full-colour pull-outs.

          Project Officer, Lee Warden (pictured) has had a busy lockdown producing his #MedievalMonday films which focus on different medieval objects – starting with weapons and armour.

          See Lee in action in a film from a pre-lockdown session with pupils from Loddon Primary School who tried out a set of historical challenges. 

          While we can’t deliver these events face-to-face right now, the films give a taste of the fun in store when restrictions are eased.

          Keep in touch – sign up to our project newsletter

          Spotlight on

          Safeguarding is everybody’s business

          Safeguarding is everybody’s business – but what does that really mean?

          Some organisations have very specific roles in safeguarding, set down in law, like Norfolk County Council, or the police. 

          Norfolk Safeguarding Adults Board (NSAB) is a partnership of key agencies, who work together to ensure that people in Norfolk are safeguarded from harm and can live their lives independently and free from abuse and neglect.

          But anybody may see something, or hear something in their community, friendship group or family that might make them feel uncomfortable. They could worry that an adult who has needs for care and support is being abused or harmed in some way.

          Abuse and neglect could fall under several categories including domestic, physical, emotional, financial or sexual. Some people take advantage of others with things like scams.

          Signs to look for in people who could be at risk of harm or abuse include:

          • Unusual injuries
          • Consistently poor hygiene, poor living conditions or inappropriate clothing
          • Communicating aggressively or using sexual language
          • Appearing withdrawn, guarded, anxious or frightened, particularly around certain individuals
          • Hearing or seeing shouting, violence or intimidation
          • Suddenly running out money for no apparent reason

          There is lots more information on the NSAB website. You can also follow NSAB on Twitter @NorfolkSAB

          So, what can you do?

          If you do see something or hear something, the next step is to say something – all you need to do is call Norfolk County Council 0344 800 8020 – and you too can help to safeguard adults in your community.

          Home composting – free online workshops and a special offer

          Many of us are spending more time at home so if you have a garden, it’s a great opportunity to have a go at home composting. You can produce your own nutrient-rich compost which will increase the biodiversity of your garden, helping worms and other mini-beasts to thrive.

          Anne Wiltshire (pictured), Norfolk Master Composter, said “Composting gives me a feeling of satisfaction. Every time I add more organic matter into the compost bin, I notice how quickly the level has shrunk down. The smell and feel of freshly made compost is wonderful. It also gives me the knowledge that I am doing ‘my bit’ for the environment and for the future.”

          You can learn more about home composting on one of our free online workshops, starting this month. You can join as an individual or as a community group.

          Register here and we’ll contact you with the times and dates of upcoming workshops

          The workshops are delivered by Master Composter volunteers and include how to start a compost heap and what you can and can’t put in it. We’ll also help you solve any problems you may have with your composting and there’ll be time for a Q&A session too.

          Special Offer

          Norfolk County Council has teamed up with Get Composting to offer a range of discounted composting bins and products starting from just £10 plus delivery for a 220-litre compost bin.

          Find out more about composting and order a discounted compost bin.

          Enjoy exploring Norfolk – safely

          Thinking of exploring the great Norfolk countryside on your staycation this year?

          Whilst we all want to enjoy ourselves outdoors, with more people out and about and the spell of warm weather, this has led to a number of accidental fires affecting farmland, heaths and forests.

          If you are in the countryside, please help Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service (NFRS) by reducing the risk of fires starting. Here are some simple steps you can take:

          • Ensure cigarettes are fully put out before being safely discarded
          • Don’t start camp fires
          • Don’t use disposable barbecues
          • Take your litter home – especially glass bottles

          When leaving your vehicle, always park considerately. Don’t block emergency access points and if you park on the roadside, make sure there’s enough space for emergency vehicles to pass.

          If you do see a fire, call 999 immediately.

          This summer, NFRS is running a social media safety campaign to remind people of fire and other safety hazards in open spaces.

          See more information about fire safety outside.

          Did you know?

          In May 2020, NFRS were called to 66 out-of-control bonfires – nearly double the number in May 2019. These incidents tied up valuable resources that may have been needed elsewhere.

          Now that Norfolk’s waste and recycling centres have reopened, residents are urged to take their waste to a centre rather than starting a bonfire.

          Message in a bottle – help us capture 2020

          We’ll be talking about what happened in 2020 far into future. But can we trust our memories?

          Time and Tide Museum of Great Yarmouth Life is inviting you to help capture how 2020 feels right now.

          Everyone is invited to take part in the museum’s quick, easy and fun ‘Message in a Bottle’ activity – families, school bubbles, clubs and individuals.

          All you have to do is watch this video and create a message in response. What would you like to tell your future self about lockdown? You can draw a picture, write one word on a page or a long list of things you miss, take a photo... it’s up to you!

          We would love to see your messages and we’ll keep them carefully for the future. Send a photo of your message to, or post it on social media using #TTMessageInABottle and tag us @timetidemuseum.

          If you don’t want to post publicly, send them to us in a DM or private message. Or post to Time and Tide, Blackfriars Road, Great Yarmouth, NR30 3BX.

          Some of your messages may be shared on museum social media platforms – let us know if you don’t want us to share yours.

          We look forward to reading your messages.

          Create a lockdown legacy in Norwich

          Museums across Norwich are appealing to the public to help them record their experiences of living through the Covid-19 crisis in a new project called ‘Picturing the Pandemic: Creating a lasting legacy of lockdown in Norwich’.

          Curators from The Museum of Norwich at The Bridewell, Strangers’ Hall and The Norwich Castle Study Centre have already begun collecting items to be included in a capsule collection, which will be preserved for future generations.

          Items offered to the collection so far include PPE visors created by Colin Breckons and his 70-strong volunteer team at Frontline Face Shields; I LOVE THE NHS car bumper stickers created by Unique Signs & Graphics Ltd; a ‘Gift Box for Local Heroes’ supplied by Kettle Foods; facemasks made by volunteers as a fundraiser to support Norwich Puppet Theatre; a t-shirt featuring Joe Wicks, The Body Coach; and artwork by local artist Owen Mathers.

          But museum staff want to collect more personal items from the local community, backed up by individual’s stories, to add to the collection. This could be notes from neighbours, rainbow window displays, or even pyjamas worn for a working day!

          Over the next few weeks, the museums will challenge the community to get involved via the Museum of Norwich Facebook page by:

          • Photographing one item that sums up your experience of the pandemic and explain why
          • Sending in a lockdown selfie with a caption or record your experience on film or audio
          • Striking a pose in your lockdown wardrobe

          Anyone interested in getting involved in the project or who has an item to suggest can also get in touch via email.

          Your say

          Give your feedback on plans for new Norwich South recycling centre

          Visualisation of the proposed new Norwich South recycling centre

          An important milestone in the project to build a new larger modern recycling centre to the south of Norwich, to replace the current site at Ketteringham, has been reached as the planning application is now open for comment.

          The new Norwich South recycling centre would complement the planned new Norwich North recycling centre, which already has planning approval and will replace the current Mile Cross recycling centre in 2021.

          Should the Norwich South plans get the go-ahead, a recycling centre would be built on an underused part of the Harford Park and Ride site using available spare space.

          Councillor Andy Grant, Norfolk County Council Cabinet Member for Environment & Waste, said: “I’m very grateful to everyone who took the time to let us know their thoughts on our plans earlier this year as this helped us to shape the scheme that we’re now seeking planning permission for. The £1.9m site is a significant and vital investment in making sure that we are providing a service fit for the future and that can meet the needs of a growing population.”

          The design incorporates plenty of parking for cars, bicycles and vehicles with trailers, and a one-way traffic system to smooth traffic flow and reduce queues. Both the Norwich North and Norwich South sites are at locations with good transport links to make them accessible to as many people as possible in the growing Norwich area.

          The planning application is open for feedback until 13 August 2020. Find out more information and respond to the planning application (reference number: FUL/2020/0040).

          Norwich Western Link consultation now open

          Artist's impression of 'The Broadway'

          Norfolk County Council has launched a public consultation which asks for people’s views on how it could best support people to walk, cycle and use public transport in the area to the west of Norwich.

          The Local Access Consultation is part of the council’s Norwich Western Link project, which would see a new 3.8-mile dual carriageway road created between the western end of Broadland Northway and the A47. The new road will significantly change travel to the west of Norwich, and reduce traffic congestion and rat-running on existing roads and in communities. The council has therefore been looking at the opportunities this creates to help people get where they want to go on foot, by bike or by bus.

          The consultation is also asking for feedback on proposals for the four local roads that are crossed by the planned route of the Norwich Western Link, as well as for Public Rights of Way in the vicinity of the new road.

          Running for eight weeks until Sunday 20 September, you can view the proposals and respond to the consultation online.

          Taylorfitch. Bringing Newsletters to life