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“We need more support”- Why town’s volunteers are concerned over future of local events

PUBLISHED: 16:15 15 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:27 15 August 2018

Richard Crook is the chairman of Active Fakenham. Picture: Ian Burt

Richard Crook is the chairman of Active Fakenham. Picture: Ian Burt

With Active Fakenham Week set to get underway on Saturday, the leader of the group behind the event has called for more help to be given to voluntary community organisations.

Fakenham's community figures Liam O'Sullivan, with from front left, Richard Crook, Adrian Vertigan, Claire Brown, Lisa Mallet and Heather De Lyon. PictureL Matthew Usher.Fakenham's community figures Liam O'Sullivan, with from front left, Richard Crook, Adrian Vertigan, Claire Brown, Lisa Mallet and Heather De Lyon. PictureL Matthew Usher.

In the past two years, voluntary groups such as Kickstart Fakenham and FABCOM have folded and the town carnival, the Fakenham Fair, no longer takes place.

Richard Crook, chairman of Active Fakenham, said: “The number of community groups and events is declining and I would like to see more support from the North Norfolk District Council and want to see the councillors fight our cause. I think the same is happening in other places in Norfolk and across the country.

“It has become more difficult to run the group but we’re still hoping to continue.”

Active Fakenham Week includes a range of free and discounted events, starting with the free music festival on Saturday and ending with Ride North Norfolk on Sunday August 26.

It is one of the few community events still running in Fakenham and the former mayor of the town Adrian Vertigan, who was involved in running Kickstart Fakenham, said a lack of volunteers is also harming local groups.

“It seems like we are lacking a generation of volunteers taking on the responsibility of leading things. I think there is a community in Fakenham and people will always support events when they are put on but it is about finding these volunteers” he said.

“The Cromer and Wells carnivals are a great example of what can be done. We feel like we could get a bit more funding from the district council and there is also now a real shortage of youth groups within the town.”

Last year, North Norfolk District Council approved plans to open a new £10.7 million sports centre in Sheringham and there are also plans to build a new £3.2 million Community Sports Hub in Cromer.

A spokesperson for North Norfolk District Council said: “As a council, we want more people to be active, therefore increasing their levels of health and wellbeing.

“We have been delighted to help Active Fakenham both financially and with practical and promotional assistance over recent years and look forward to continuing to do so.”

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