South Norfolk’s Safer Neighbourhood Team Police Meeting

A meeting was held with South Norfolk Safer Neighbourhood Team at the DYCC for Parish/District Council Leads. Diss Town Councillors met with Inspector Laura Symonds, PC Andy Baker (Diss Beat Officer) and other members of Norfolk police constabulary.  A presentation was given by Laura and questions were answered.

It was a worthwhile informative meeting, giving insight as to what is happening in our community and to try to support their efforts to reduce criminal behaviour.

Celebrating the 80th Anniversary of Diss & District Citizens Advice

I was asked early in my Mayoral year by the Chair of Citizens Advice Diss, Thetford & District, to become their Patron/ President of their Diss office. I proudly accepted this role.   As Patron of Diss Citizens Advice, I was asked to attend the celebrations to mark their 80th Anniversary on 6th September.

It was lovely to meet with current staff, volunteers as well as trustees and to promote such a worthwhile free service.

Tom, who is part of the Pensionwise Team

Cutting a celebratory cake with the Chair of Diss, Thetford & District Citizens Advice, Marion Morse MBE.

New Park & Skateboard Park Revamp Schedule

Works to revamp the play area on Diss Park will begin from 7th October and take 4-6 weeks to complete. See design images for further info. Please be aware that the play area will be closed to the public during this time while works are carried out. We appreciate that this covers the school holiday period however, works must be done before Winter (when the ground hardens) and before March 2020 when the project must be completed & paid for.

The new design will be revealed with a ‘Grand Opening’ and full details of this will be shared with you all soon! The play area will reopen to the public w/c 18th November.

Works to install new equipment at the Skateboard Park will commence from 21st October. Please be aware that this will be closed to the public during this time and will reopen w/c 1st November.

Unfortunately we do not have a professional drawing for the Skateboard Park works. However, we can confirm the following: Surface areas are being repaired where cracks have formed, repairs are being carried out to the Halfpipe ramp with hips, The Pump Bump & Ledge, the Manual Pad and Hip Ramps. The Spine Ramp will be replaced with a new wider Volcano Ramp with an increased width to 12ft (The two ramps look largely similar but the volcano would have a flat top as opposed to two steel copings fitted to the spine ramps).

We apologise for any inconvenience caused during this period but we look forward to sharing the new areas with you soon for all to enjoy! 😃

My Mayoral Civic Celebration Service

Memories of my Mayoral Civic Service

My  key themes for this mayoral year is Communication, Community and Kindness – which I discussed during the service.
The service itself was a great happy and uplifting event, with many people attending, including various members of our community, several dignitaries and members of my family and friends.

There was some beautiful hymns chosen and other songs performed, which included a large group who came from the congregation joining me in an  Acapella gospel song.

The Town Clerk, Sarah Richards gave a lovely reading and Rafa Mendes-Browne performed an acoustic guitar song as the choir, dignitaries, and congregation left the service.

There were representatives from three of our local churches, (Methodist, Baptist and Church of England) who all read a joint prayer during the service.

Attendees were asked to make donations to the mayors chosen charities, Papyrus and The Big C.

Many in the community and the council prepared a myriad of different cakes and savoury food for consumption at the end of the service.

The event will be something I will never forget.


Pigeon Update

Pigeons in Diss

The mess left by pigeons is a significant issue in Diss, particularly along Mere Street.

The Town Council was approached some time ago about a potential solution, which involves flying hawks onto affected buildings to discourage the pigeons from roosting in the town with no harm coming to the birds.

Dealey Bird Control & Falconry, supported by the Town Council, has now secured funding from 30 businesses in Diss to pay towards the cost of flying the hawk.  The Town Council has committed to funding a proportion of the remaining fees and has approached South Norfolk District Council regarding a contribution.

DTC and SNDC are working on cleaning initiatives to help keep the town clean.

RAF Benevolent Fund launches new community scheme to help isolated RAF veterans

RAF Benevolent Fund launches new community scheme to help isolated RAF veterans

Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Lincolnshire have been selected as pilot locations for a new project aimed at supporting RAF veterans who face loneliness and isolation.

The RAF Benevolent Fund, the RAF’s leading welfare charity, is launching a Community Engagement Worker scheme to help older RAF veterans get involved in their local communities. The scheme comes in response to research carried out by the Fund which highlighted these challenges as issues which most concern the older generation of RAF veterans.

Pete Ashcroft, Welfare Projects Manager at the RAF Benevolent Fund, said: “The Community Engagement Worker project is just one measure we have introduced to tackle the issue of loneliness and social isolation among older veterans. Other new initiatives include telephone friendship groups and group wellbeing breaks.

This year marks the RAF Benevolent Fund’s centenary and we are asking the public to help us reach out to the members of the RAF Family who may have fallen off the radar and let them know, we are here to help. We want to ensure every RAF veteran, no matter how long they served, including National Service,  receives the support their service to their country deserves. We want to get these people back onto the radar, and we aim to almost double the number of people we help – from 53,000 to at least 100,000 over the next three years”.

The Community Engagement Workers will get to know the social activities, groups and associations across the four counties and work with individuals to understand what the barriers are to them becoming more socially engaged and help them to overcome that, from attending a veterans’ breakfast meeting with someone for the first time, to establishing activities where none currently exist.

Matt Rowe, of Peterbough, will be taking on the Cambridgeshire Community Engagement Worker role. His career in the Royal Air Force means he knows the service well.

He said: “It has always been deeply humbling, the sacrifices that those who fought before us made and  coming from an RAF family I have some insight into that.

“This is an opportunity of a lifetime, and I feel like I’m part of the RAF family again. Success in this job is going to be very different for each person. This is about individuals and what they need to feel part of the RAF Family, and the wider community again.”

The pilot scheme will run for two years.

For more information please contact:

Rebekah Sharrock, PR Officer, RAF Benevolent Fund

E: | T: 020 7307 3305 | M: 07595 657979.

RAF Benevolent Fund: The RAF Benevolent Fund offers a wide range of support for serving and former serving personnel and their families, from financial grants for one-off and day-to-day costs, respite breaks and emotional support. Last year it spent £21M on welfare support for the RAF Family, including:

  • £1M on mobility aids
  • £439K on care home top-up fees
  • £457K on disability equipment
  • £2.6M providing respite and care services and wellbeing breaks
  • £500K supporting veterans living outside the United Kingdom

To refer someone to the RAF Benevolent Fund, go to or call 0300 102 1919.

Notes to Editors: Our new radar advert, pictures and film from our radar campaign launch as well as case studies can be downloaded here:

Merely Divas Concert

I was invited to attend The Merely Divas concert – ‘Songs from the stage and screen’, held in St Mary’s Church, Diss.

It was phenomenal, with songs such as Hallelujah, There can be miracles and The rhythm of life to name but a few.

Money raised from the sale of tickets was donated to St Mary’s Church.  Well done Ladies -exceptional singing!

(photo credit- Merely Divas Facebook page)

No photo description available.