Your Norfolk Extra - December 2018

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December 2018

#NoLonelyDay this Christmas

Whilst many of us may be looking forward to Christmas, for people who are lonely or socially isolated, the festive season can be particularly tough.

Norfolk County Council’s In Good Company campaign aims to reduce loneliness and isolation in the county.  In the run up to Christmas, the campaign is highlighting the wealth of events and activities on offer for people who would welcome some company at Christmas, as well as organisations offering support and advice.  For example, in Norfolk, over thirty organisations are offering free or low-cost Christmas lunches and get togethers.

A full list of events and activities can be found on the Norfolk Community Directory at – search ‘Christmas’.  The directory holds a comprehensive list of groups and organisations offering activities throughout the year, volunteering opportunities and details of where to go for information, support and advice.

Find out about the In Good Company campaign here.

Stay happy, healthy and safe this winter

norfolk winter

Winter can be a difficult time of year for many people. Having good information and advice can help you and the people around you stay happy, healthy and safe, which is why we run our Norfolk Winter campaign every year.

There’s useful information to help you get through the winter months on our Norfolk Winter web pages. You can also get the latest winter updates on Twitter and Facebook including weather warnings, when and where the roads are being gritted and any disruptions to our services. All our wintry updates on social media will be tagged with #NorfolkWinter and we’ll be encouraging others in Norfolk to do the same so we can all help each other.

Stay Alive

stay alive

The new Stay Alive App is a pocket suicide prevention resource for the county, full of useful information and tools to help you stay safe in crisis as well as offering support for bereaved families.

Described as a life-line by people who have used it,  the app includes a safety plan, customisable reasons for living, and a LifeBox where you can store photos and memories that are important to you.

You can also read the strategies for staying safe, explore the tips on how to stay grounded when you’re feeling overwhelmed, try the guided-breathing exercises and support your own wellness by creating your own interactive Wellness Plan.

Record year for book appeal


The Norfolk public have stepped up once again and bought a record-setting 750 books for children in care as part of our Giving Tree Appeal.

First used in 2006, the Giving Tree is placed in a branch of Waterstones every year and decorated with tags that have a request for a book of a specific title, author or genre. Shoppers can then pick a tag and buy a book (or more than one) for some of Norfolk’s most vulnerable children.

As you can see our staff have been busy wrapping up the books so they are ready to go under the tree in time for Christmas Day.

Cllr Stuart Dark, Chairman of the Children’s Services Committee at Norfolk County Council, said: “This is an inspiring appeal that really highlights the decency and generosity of the people of Norfolk.

“It is so important that we support the most vulnerable in our communities. Many children in care have experienced real difficulties in their lives, and the Giving Tree is a great way of supporting these young people during an emotional time of the year.”

There's still time to have your say

have your say

Since 2011/12 we have saved the best part of £364 million, including £246 million of efficiency savings. We are proposing to save £79 million, including new saving proposals for 2019/20 to 2021/22, over the next three years and we are also identifying ways of bridging a remaining gap of £45.98 million.

Even though we are proposing to increase council tax next year, by the minimum required to put our finances on a sound footing, the amount of money we hope to raise wouldn’t be enough to balance our budget. This means we must continue to make some difficult decisions about how we spend your money.

You can have your say on the council’s latest budget and council tax proposals - visit

Norfolk Local Access Forum


We're looking for volunteers with a passion for the outdoors to join the Norfolk Local Access Forum. The forum provides independent advice to a range of organisations that have a duty to consult when there are implications or proposals around public access.

So if you're keen to improve public access to land in our beautiful county, this is your chance to have your say and represent the people of Norfolk. Deadline for applications 31 January 2019. Find out more and apply on our website at 

MenKind – Alcohol


This month Darren Eadie’s blog is about alcohol. Darren shares his own views on drinking.  

Is there such a thing as safe drinking? What are the limits for men versus women? What are the health implications of excess drinking, and where to get help if you need it.

Read all about it here

Winter driving

are you ready

Travelling over Christmas or in the New Year? Whilst we’re not sure we’re in for a white Christmas, driving in the winter and in the dark can bring with it its own hazards. 

We’ve got lots of tips available on being winter ready from prepping your car for winter to driving in the snow and ice. Remember to #drivetoarrive

Check out more information here.

Rogue traders not welcome!


A celebration marked the launch of Norfolk’s 200th No Cold Calling Zone (NCCZ) as people who live in the Norwich Housing Society’s Lanchester Court gathered for tea and cake.  The new zone takes in all the 301 homes owned by the Norwich Housing Society across nine sites in the city and means that everyone living there will be better protected against rogue traders.

No Cold Calling Zones allow householders to look out for each other as the scheme comes with good advice about how to deal with anyone who turns up uninvited on the doorstep and attempts to sell a product or service.  The scheme gives householders the confidence to say ‘no’.

Cllr Margaret Dewsbury, Chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Communities Committee, said: “This is the largest single addition ever to Norfolk’s No Cold Calling Zones and means the number of homes now within a NCCZ in Norfolk is approaching 10,000.  This is something I’m very pleased to see.”

Celebrating the launch of the Carers Charter

NDC Carers

Two young carers from Magdalen Gates Primary School in Norwich were the stars of the show when they launched the Carers Charter at County Hall.

The event coincided with Carers Rights Day, a national campaign which brings unpaid carers, organisations and local communities together to help carers understand their rights.

Chairman of the Carers’ Charter Group, William Armstrong OBE, said: “The adoption of the Charter by the County Council is a bold, innovative and radical move designed to improve the lives of carers.  They are very special people who are caring for loved ones who, without that care, would simply not be able to cope.  They deserve not only recognition and respect but rights and we are determined that they will be given them.”

The other focus areas of the Charter are ‘Carers in Education’ and ‘Carers in the Community’. For more information go to:

Pushing Ahead – Christmas journey planning for Norwich and Gt Yarmouth


If you’re planning to visit Norwich or Great Yarmouth for your Christmas shopping, festive events or nights out; we’ve got some great tips to help you save time and avoid the queues.

Check out our journey planning tool here.

Christmas and New Year opening hours

County Hall will be closed to the public from 12 noon on 24 December, and will reopen on 2 January 2019.

For urgent social care matters that cannot be safely left until the next normal working day, contact us on 0344 800 8020 – 24 hours a day throughout the holiday period.

Essential services continue throughout the holiday period.

For more information, click here.