Funding for Shine

We wanted to publicly express our huge thanks to the young people of the Norwich Youth Advisory Board for getting behind our Shine course and allocating some funding for us.

The funding they have provided will help us to make a some much needed capital purchases for equipment as well as funding another 3 courses worth of girls through the Shine programme.

We love the fact that these young people were willing to get behind what we do to help us invest in the lives of other young people in the city. There is something wonderful about that!

Thank you!

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Home is where the heart is

We believe that the Easter Bank Holiday Weekend is such a great opportunity for people to do something to add value to the lives of others as people benefit from 2 bonus days off!

This bank holiday for us was no different us. One of the projects we helped with this year involved two groups of our volunteers helping two elderly people re-organise their homes.

We really respect and are honoured that they would be willing to let us into their homes, people they have never met, and we wanted to make sure we did our best in helping them.

Home is a place people should feel comfortable, safe and at ease and we hope that this Easter we have achieved this for them.

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Review of Christmas 2013

We are so pleased at how well our Christmas Appeal went in 2013. We were able to see a 41% increase in the number of hampers that we distributed. Each hamper contains all the food a family needs for Christmas Day including Christmas cake, mince pies, stuffing, gravy granules, custard and crackers to name just a few of the items. Plus there is a supermarket voucher to be used for perishable goods.

Each hamper is lovingly wrapped by our army of volunteers – we want the families who receive these hampers to know that they come with love and thought and to know that they are valued.

As much as we celebrate how we have been able to reach more families this year, and we intend to expand again in 2014, we will never forget that is all about the individual families.

One piece of feedback we had said: “I know how grateful people were. One lady in particular  is really struggling to survive with her two little ones. She literally burst into tears it meant that much to her.”

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30,000 Norfolk Children in Poverty

We were saddened to read the headline in the Eastern Daily Press which read ‘Growing up in Poverty’. You expect to read that article about a place that you need to get on a flight to, but the truth is, you only need to walk around the corner from where you live to pass a house that may be struggling to fight off the grip of poverty.

Norwich is a beautiful, historic, fascinating city but we must never be so naive as to allow the fine parts of the city we call home to blind us to the fact that people here in our city also struggle to find work, find adequate accommodation and feed their children.

You can delve into the politics of why this is the case, what the government needs to do to resolve this issue, what cultural issues may be possibly contributing to it but as for us, we want to help those children facing poverty now.

It starts with facing up to the facts so take a moment today to read the EDP article.

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Mile Cross festival a great success!

Our volunteers had a great day helping out at the annual Mile Cross Festival held in Sloughbottom Park. We helped with stewarding throughout the day and even though we were supposed to be working the work felt like a lot of fun!

It was so great to know that we helped to make a real difference for this community as expressed by Emma Penfold, Community Engagement Officer for Norwich City Council, in her email:

“I really wanted to say a massive thank you to you and your team of volunteers. I thought they were amazing, they couldn’t have been more helpful, friendly, fun and on the ball with anything I threw at them. I really enjoyed working with them and we couldn’t have managed without them.
Your team played such an important role in making sure the event was safe and ran smoothly; I received several compliments about them too! The day was a great celebration of community life of which the Proclaimer’s is a big part – please pass our thanks onto them.
Again – Thank you so much!”

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Helping the community back on it’s feet

By guest blogger, Claire Foreman

For our servolution project we went to The Phoenix Centre. The Phoenix Centre is a community centre in the heart of Mile Cross, they recently suffered a fire and we were working to get their garden back to how it was and perhaps even better. We demolished an old and hazardous brick BBQ, repainted walls and weeded and replanted the gardens (both front and back).

I signed up to the project at the Phoenix Centre because of my heart for the kids of Norwich. I know how much the centre can, and has, impacted the community around it, especially the children. I wanted to have a small hand in helping with this great centre getting back on it’s feet and providing safe and well polished facilities.

Afterwards I felt a bit exhausted but knew that what I had done with my day off work could make a real difference. I don’t know if anyone will notice the impact of what I personally did, but I know that the impact of what the whole team did at the Phoenix Centre will be long lasting.

The day itself was a lot of fun as well as having a huge impact. It was great to see our youngest volunteer at only 8 wanting to help out in any way that he could. The team worked successfully together and everyone had such a chirpy attitude. The atmosphere of the day was great fun and hard work all rolled into one. Love it!

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Let the servolution begin!

With just two days to go until our GOOD Friday Servolution final preparations are taking place.

We have seen over 100 volunteers sign up to be a part of the day as we partner with The Bridge Plus+, Norwich Door2Door, Norwich City Council and the Mile Cross Community Association to help meet some of the needs of these great organisations in a very practical way!

It’s been so great to see people of all ages getting on-board with our plans and making the most of the double bank holiday over Easter to help and bless others. So many of our teenagers have signed up to help too – these guys really are a hero generation!

You can follow along with last minute prep by following us on twitter at @lovenorwich – also make the most of the hash-tags #lovenorwich #GOODFridayServolution

Thank you to everyone who is playing a part as together we serve our fine city!

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Servolution plans in place

We have been working hard on preparations for our GOOD Friday servolution! We have identified the following projects we will be supporting over the Easter Bank Holiday:

The Phoenix Centre, Mile Cross – after a fire during the winter we are going to be helping this community by doing some repair work to the outside of the building as we repaint damaged murals. We are also going to help ‘face-lift’ some external areas of the property with some gardening and removing an old brick BBQ to make it more safe for the children who use the facility.

The Bridge Plus+ – a great organisation who run the Norwich International Community Engagement-centre. This is a brilliant facility but needs a fresh lick of paint to get it looking it’s best so a team of volunteers will be heading down there to do exactly that!

Local estate clear-up – We have been contacted by a member of Norwich City Council about helping to tidy, litter pick and do some weeding around a local housing block – we are looking forward to giving this area some TLC!

Norwich Door2Door - we are so behind the work that Norwich Door2Door do as they provide a a dial-a-ride service for local people with severe mobility issues, helping to promote their independence and social inclusion. A team of our volunteers are heading over to give their fleet of specially adapted buses a spring clean!

Bring it on!

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GOOD Friday Servolution

This Easter we have over 100 volunteers heading out into our fine city to serve the mighty fine people of Norwich!

We are going to be serving the people of Norwich in a variety of ways from litter picking to weeding to demolition work to gardening to giving away free chocolate!

Our plan is to make the most of the Easter bank holiday weekend and the 2 days off most people will get by investing one of those days in serving local people alongside some great local agencies.

If you would like to get involved, or have a project to nominate, please email gemmaneill@lovenorwich.org

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We wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who got involved in supporting our 2012 Christmas Appeal.

It was so great to receive feedback from a local agency we worked with in the distribution of the Christmas hampers we were able to make up as part of the appeal. The staff shared about the impact the hampers had not only in that they met a vital need for food at a difficult time of year, but they also spoke about the value the hampers placed on each individual who received one.

One staff member commented that the hampers were full of such quality items and so beautifully wrapped that the presentation in itself said to those who received them “you are cared for”.

To all who took part – whether donating an item or helping to wrap them up – thank you. A special thanks goes to the managers of Tesco Expresses in Norwich – Dominique, Mark, Paul, Richard, John and Cheryl – who got on board with our campaign. Thanks everyone for loving Norwich!

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