Helping The Kids

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This was the last in the series of Anglian Radio Kids Trusts grant meetings.  Below are 2 of the requests (de-personalised) – one where we were able to give a little more and one where we could only contribute to a fund.

The Financial Inclusion Officer with SCC’s FAST (Family Assessment and Support) Team has asked the charity for help with a single mum who is supporting four children (aged 6 to 16).  The family is facing a number of problems which leaves the children disadvantaged and vulnerable. Both mum and the oldest child have mental health problems while another child has autism and is struggling at school. Mum is not able to work and is surviving only on tax credits and child benefit. Consequently, the condition of their home has deteriorated as mum has neither had the money nor the motivation to improve things. Social Care has become increasingly worried for the well-being of the children.

The Officer has applied to Local Welfare Assistance for furniture but would be grateful if the charity would consider further assisting the family with a grant of £300 to improve the condition of the home. He would like to purchase a skip to remove waste from the garden allowing the children to play safely, a mattress, paint and brushes, duvet cover sets and fitted bed sheets. He feels that a grant would not only benefit the children but would also help mum to feel more positive about herself and, in turn, better able to meet the children’s needs going forward and maybe return to work in the coming months.

We were pleased to make a grant of £500


A’s daughter is fifteen months old and has Cystic Fibrosis. The family is saving to buy her an airway clearance vest that will help with her lungs and enable her to live a longer life.  Her daughter has regular physiotherapy to keep her clear of the mucus which makes it so difficult for her to breathe, the vest is a wonderful piece of physio equipment that shakes the mucus enabling her to breathe better. The total cost of the vest is £7,000 and, to date, the family has raised £1,000 through charity events and sponsorship.  They would be grateful for any donation towards the shortfall.

Unfortunately we do not have sufficient funds to buy the vest but we have added £1,000 to the pot and promised another £1,000 when they get to £6,000.

If you would like to help financially or in another way then please click onto the logo or contact me. Thanks


Civic Reception


Amazing – how can you drive passed a place thousands of times and not know what is behind the hedge? Priory Hall on Benton Street in Hadleigh is that place. We were there for Babergh District Council’s new chairman’s reception and before anyone asks, yes we had to pay for the tickets + we raised £800 for his charities.

James Long, the new Chairman, is certainly a natural orator – he could talk for England – giving an interesting ‘presentation’ on the wines being served ….. well he is in the wine trade!

Enjoy your year James.

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Hot Air

It is bad enough having to sit and listen to the best part of 80 councillors yack on and on in the County Council meetings but when the Council Chamber is airless with temperatures nudging 90 it really is unbearable. Do the conditions affect the decisions made – unlikely as they have all been ‘cooked’ up in political group meetings that precede Full Council.

When does consultation mean selling a decision already made and when does it mean listening to views that could / should affect the decision? Well consultation on whether to keep Monks Eleigh school open obviously fell into the former category as despite 120 people being against the closure it will close. So when you hear that the Council are conducting a consultation exercise on its 42 children’s centres it must be a worrying time for parents, children and workers alike – especially where the ‘C’ word has already been discussed. I will be keeping a close eye on this ‘consultation’.

Norfolk Mystery Tour

Logo - North NorfolkWhat is 200 miles from Ipswich, with me driving, but only 60 in a straight line? Most of the people who know me would say anywhere, but in this case it is the home of the North Norfolk radio station in Stody. Note to myself – when you know one way there and another way back don’t try to reverse the route!

However it was worth a day driving around the wilds of Norfolk and Suffolk as we were deciding on the grants to be made from the North Norfolk Radio Kids Trust – these are my favourite days. Whether its providing a computer for a refuge where women and children arrive with just the clothes on their backs or providing portable goals to a nomadic youth football club its a good thing to do.

If you get the chance to help the Kids Trust or one of the organisations that come to us for funds – Leeway, YESU, Crazee Kidz Club, Young Eyes – then please be generous.

South Suffolk’s Next MP?

pitucre LibDem PCCOn Saturday the Babergh Liberal Democrats took the very easy decision to appoint Grace Weaver as their Parliamentary Candidate for next year’s general election. Her press release says …

Having lived in East Bergholt for the first 20 years of her life, Grace has a strong knowledge of local issues including housing, education and transport.

Her priorities for the campaign include engaging more young people with the Liberal Democrats, and highlighting the party’s achievements in Government.

Commenting on her selection, Grace said: “I’m overjoyed to represent the Liberal Democrats in the area where I grew up.  It’s going to be a tough fight, but I think we can be proud of what we’ve achieved in Government.  By listening to local people and working with them to find solutions to local problems, I think we can show voters that we are the best party to represent them in local and national Government.”

Cllr Sue Carpendale, Liberal Democrat Leader on Babergh District Council, said: “We are delighted to have Grace as our PPC for South Suffolk .  She’s young, a woman, local to the area, and is a breath of fresh air.  She understands the issues facing us in this constituency, and is keen to engage with young people, to encourage their aspirations, and to convince them of the importance of politics to their futures.”

After attending local schools, Grace went on to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Corpus Christi College, Oxford.  Having worked for two cancer charities, she now acts as a public affairs and campaigns consultant to health charities and companies.

For more information about Grace Weaver and the South Suffolk Liberal Democrats, please go to or  You can also follow Grace on twitter at, or email

Parishes – Copdock



Popped into St Peter’s Church in Copdock – celebrating their 800th year – for a bit of campanology – just as well it wasn’t me ringing the bells as they are 400 years old. To celebrate they had a floral display inside and cream tea stall outside. Very surreal, fighting a huge piece of strawberry flan whilst being serenaded by the church bells.

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Sport – Weekend 14th/15th June


I love it – the headline was ‘Flying Dutchman’ as RVP scores the equalising (diving header) goal against Spain in the their first World Cup match. Was it the trigger for an unbelievable second half performance by the Dutch, scoring 4 goals without reply are the simple stats but it was like  a skilled butcher dissecting a lamb. If this is the standard to match then England have a mountain to climb – I’d love them to do it but…..  ….. 24 hours later and we know the answer.

Ironically the headline of ‘Promised So Much But Failed To Deliver’ could apply to both football team and the rugby.  Needing to win the 2nd test in NZ to keep the series alive England approached half-time with a 10-3 lead and Manu Tuilagi screaming down the touch-line with just one man to beat – Smith. Such a common name but such a unique talent, not only did he stop the try but turned it into a NZ attack that resulted in 3 points.  10 – 6 to England instead of 17 -3. Huge, and NZ came out pumped up for the second half and soon generated a match winning gap. England refused to give up and closed towards the end.


The footballers failed to take their chances, of which there were many, and failed to snuff out the threat down their left-hand side, which was constant. What surprises me most is how these professional footballers seem unable to go 90 minutes in the heat.  Perhaps they should trade in their Bentleys for bikes – push bikes! There is still hope that we can get out of the group – just beat Uruguay and Costa Rica easy ……………. !









Good to see another European victory on US soil – Martin Kaymer comprehensively outplayed the rest of the field at Pinehurst No. 2 in the US Open Golf tournament. Perhaps we also witnessed the ‘birth’ of another British superstar – the young amateur Matt Fitzpatrick who had a final round of 69, one of only 11 under par. Today he heads to Ireland as a professional – I hope he has a great career.

Royal Visit

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Not something I thought I would ever do but on Tuesday I was honoured to be invited to a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace – along with a few thousand others! Not sure who all of the Royal party were but the Queen, Prince Philip (on his 93rd birthday) and Kate were the star turns.  We were organised in ‘avenues’ so that they could walk between the crowd.  Tea was a couple of crustless sandwiches – yes there was a cucumber one, with mint – and small pastries. Whilst the food was as expected I was a little disappointed with the gardens – apart from the huge lawn the planted areas were nothing special , but then again I’m not the greatest gardener.

The grumpy old man in me had to have a moan about the ladies outfits – a large number of old-fashioned big prints on view, still at least the charity shops will have made a few quid!

Do you believe in coincidences? Eating lunch in the St James Theatre restaurant we discovered that the people sitting next to us were also going to the party (not that surprising) but they were from Ipswich too – Westerfield Road.


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Forever the optimist – was I the only one with an umbrella?