Fine City Blues Festival- Dave Thomas Blues Band

I was very honoured to be asked to attend the opening event of the Fine City Blues Festival in the Diss Cornhall, The Dave Thomas Blues Band.

Dave Thomas had attended my Mayoral Civic Service 1.9.19 and had joined me to sing an Acapella gospel song. I was then invited to return the favour by stepping on stage and singing with Dave and his band to a JB Lenoir song – Talk to your daughter.

An amazing night with some amazing musicians. If you have a chance to catch the Festival, do so! Thank you Dave and the rest of the band for being so kind and brave – letting me loose onstage with you.

AGM- Diss, Thetford & District Citizens Advice

As one of the two Presidents of Diss, Thetford & District Citizens Advice I attended their AGM at the Innovations Centre in Thetford.

Two new trustees were elected into their trustees board and it was a time to reflect on the different projects running in the offices, the financial health of the this citizens advice centre.

We are very fortunate to have this charity in Diss and sister office in Thetford. Anyone can walk into the offices, not necessarily with an appointment and get free confidential, objective and impartial advice.

Well done Citizens Advice for all of the valuable hard work you provide, especially through volunteers- who are the lifeblood of the organisation!

From left to right: Patrick Gorman (trustee), Dr Mel Jones (Chief Officer), Dr Morion Morse MBE (Chair of Trustees) and myself.

Norfolk Knitters & Stitchers gathering

I was invited to attend the yearly Knitters and Stitchers in Wymondham.  As someone who loves to crochet it was lovely to be asked to attend and meet others interested in crafts.  I caught up with the members from our Diss Knit and Natter and the fantastic items made and which were being sold for charities and to help others who want to join the groups.

Knitting and crocheting have been known to help aid mental health as well as bringing people from all walks of life together.  Thank you for involving me in this years event.

The first meeting with the Diss Christmas Lights Switch-On Committee

I attended the first meeting back after the summer with rest of the Christmas lights committee.

The committee is mad up of a small group of dedicated volunteers, who provide the fantastic Christmas event 23.11.19. There proves to be lots of surprises before and after the lights switch on. Watch this space!

Here I am with a few of the committee members during the meeting – (L-R) Suzanne Kayne (Chair of the committee), Robert Ludkin and Andy Rackham.

Opening of the Hug Cafe on Market Hill

I hurried over to pre opening of The Hug Cafe in Market Hill. What a glorious feast for the eyes and the stomach.  James and his crew are very passionate about the food, drink and ambiance of the cafe.  I tried the spicy pumpkin soup and fresh bread baked all made from scratch in the cafe.  I then followed this on with the vegan carrot cake – which was lovely.

James has sourced eco friendly utensils, furniture, food etc  and one of the things I liked was the fresh herbs growing in cloth bags on the walls as a natural air freshener.

It is great to see a business with such passion driving it. The Hug Cafe is as it says a hug to the senses. I wish James and his team the best of luck with this venture.

Life After Year 11- Invitation to interview and give careers advice to students

I was invited as Mayor of Diss and Governor of Diss High School to take part in a special careers event at the High school. The year 11 students are deciding what routes they would like to follow going forward the following year.

I was volunteered to interview over twenty five students in two minutes bursts, giving feedback on each interview to individual students. I also spent  time giving careers advice to students, answering their questions on Local Government and Teaching.

It was a valuable day not just for the students, (as most of the young people had not had an interview before and said that they had benefited from the feedback) but for myself helping to support the future adults of Diss.

Opening of Swootman Plough

I was very honoured to be asked to unveil the historical Swootman Plough and the MapMural created of the Heritage Triangle.

The plough was originally made in the latter part of the 19th Century in Victoria Road Ironworks, by Mr Elijah Youngs and co.

The plough has been lovingly restored and erected by Mr P Hyde. Various descendants of Mr Young travelled to Diss from across the globe to witness the unveiling of this vital piece of our history.

Here I am with Sheila Moss-King who included the map mural in the Heritage Lottery Fund Triangle project.

The map mural Was created by Daisy Fearns, she is standing with me and her glorious artwork.

Unveiling the Young’s Swootman Plough

With Sally Thynnes, one of the grandchildren of Mr Young – who had travelled from South Africa to be here at the unveiling.

John Mclintock, another grandchild who had travelled from Ireland to be at the event.

Myself with all of Mr Young’s grandchildren.

Mayor Of Stowmarket’s Caribbean Charity Event

I attended the Caribbean charity event held by Mayor Paul Ekpenyong of Stowmarket. It was lovely to hear steelband music being played and a fantastic Traditional West Indian three course meal.

All money raised will go to the Mayor’s charities WeCan and The Mix.

Mayor Paul Ekpenyong and myself before we sat to eat.

Here I am with Marisa Batson. Marisa is the Chairman of the Mix Charity, based in Stowmarket. The Mix provides necessary support to young people within the Stowmarket area.

A tradition in most West Indian cultures is the hot pepper sauce. This jar was made by the Mayoress Annette Ekpenyong. It was very warming.

Renovations to Roydon Primary School

I was invited by the Head Teacher, to celebrate with the pupils and staff at Roydon primary, the next phase of work completed on the school building.

The school looks fantastic, creating an exciting space to work in.  I sat in the beautiful newly renovated school hall, singing songs and paying special thanks for all involved in the construction.