EDP 150 - heroes of Norfolk charities and good causes

PUBLISHED: 10:07 14 October 2020 | UPDATED: 11:53 14 October 2020

Margaret Seaman, 91, with her latest knitted creation, Knittingale Hospital, to raise money for Norfolk hospitals. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Margaret Seaman, 91, with her latest knitted creation, Knittingale Hospital, to raise money for Norfolk hospitals. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY


Our pick of people who have had a positive influence on Norfolk life continues with 25 stars of charities and good causes.

Lady Priscilla Bacon. Photo: ArchantLady Priscilla Bacon. Photo: Archant

Priscilla Bacon. Lady Bacon of Raveningham Hall, near Loddon, was president of the 1970s appeal which raised money to build the Norwich hospice which was named for her - and in which she died in 2000. The Raveninham gardens she planted with drifts of snowdrops are still opened every winter in aid of the hospice - which is now fundraising for a modern replacement.

Victoria Bacon  Picture: Sonya DuncanVictoria Bacon Picture: Sonya Duncan

Sagle Bernstein  Picture: EDP LibrarySagle Bernstein Picture: EDP Library

Victoria Bacon. After her mother was killed and her sister and niece badly injured in a bus crash she founded the charity Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope to help child amputees worldwide.

Mike Buckingham  Picture: EDP LibraryMike Buckingham Picture: EDP Library

HRH Duchess of Cambridge opens EACH's The Nook Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANHRH Duchess of Cambridge opens EACH's The Nook Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Clive Bamford and David Moar. The two men met while travelling by trai for cancer treatment. Determined the people of Norfolk and Waveney should have closer access to the best treatment and support they founded the Big C which has raised many millions of pounds for local medical equipment, support centres and cancer research.

Rebecca Chapman.  Photo: Steve AdamsRebecca Chapman. Photo: Steve Adams

The Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, The Lady Dannatt. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, The Lady Dannatt. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Sagle Bernstein. She left a legacy of £12m to Cromer Hospital, which paid for the hospital to be rebuilt.

Peter Farley.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYPeter Farley. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Nigel Ford.  
Picture: ANTONY KELLYNigel Ford. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Mike Buckingham. After seeing people sleeping on the streets in London the Swafield fruit farmer collected food for that year’s Crisis Christmas dinner and went on to launch the Buckingham Emergency Food Appeal (BEFA) charity in 1985 which continues to give homeless and vulnerable people food donated by farmers across the country.

Former Bishop of Norwich the Rt Rev Graham James   Picture: Ian BurtFormer Bishop of Norwich the Rt Rev Graham James Picture: Ian Burt


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Prince William and his wife and children have been based in Anmer, near Sandringham, for much of their family life - from where they help many local charities and good causes including East Anglia Children’s Hospice.

David Moar, co-founder of the Big C. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAYDavid Moar, co-founder of the Big C. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Pastor Jon Norman, Norwich City Football Club chaplain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPastor Jon Norman, Norwich City Football Club chaplain. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Rebecca Chapman. Founder of Total Ensemble theatre company for disabled and able-bodied young people.

Paddy Seligman. Picture: Ian BurtPaddy Seligman. Picture: Ian Burt

Nadia Sparkes Nadia Sparkes "Trash Girl" Photo: Brittany Creasey

Lady Dannatt. Norfolk’s first female Lord-Lieutenant, and the first to be a Lord and a Lady as her husband Richard is Lord Dannatt, former leader of the British Army, has supported many local charities and good causes. Their son Tom founded the charity Street Child to help the poorest people in the poorest countries in the world.


Matt Willer  Picture: BRITTANY WOODMANMatt Willer Picture: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Richard and Vanessa Draper. After their 17-year-old son was killed in a motorbike crash the couple launched the Benjamin Foundation in his memory to help children and young people across Norfolk, with an emphasis on tackling homelessness, bullying and family conflict.


Peter Farley. The founder of the Matthew Project which helps people tackle drug and alcohol dependency.

Nigel Ford. Hundreds of milestones across Norfolk have been rediscovered and restored thanks to the work of the retired window cleaner from Hardingham, near Dereham.

Kim Greensmith. The founder of Nelson’s Journey, for bereaved children, was inspired by the tragedy of her husband’s children, who found their mother dead when they were very young.

Oa Hackett. Oa was just 28 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She used her experiences to set up LittleLifts which gives every woman facing chemotherapy for breast cancer in Norfolk or Suffolk a box of specially selected treats.

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Graham James. An important part of the legacy of the man who was Bishop of Norwich from 1999 to 2019 is the Norfolk Community Foundation which has a £20 million endowment to help local charities improve the lives of local people in need.

Philip Kerr. The 11th Marquess of Lothian owned Blickling Hall. Britain’s ambassador to the United States between the wars played an important role in encouraging America to join the Second World War. He was also secretary to Prime Minister David Lloyd George and created the scheme which allowed owners of country houses to give their mansions to the National Trust in lieu of death duties - preserving many great estates for the nation.

Louis Marchesi. The Norwich man founded the international fellowship and charitable organisation the Round Table in Suckling House (now Cinema City) in 1927. Today there are 30,000 members around the world.

Jon Norman. The senior pastor of Norwich Soul Church leads a congregation of 1,500-plus and this year raised more than £20,000 for a foodbank run from the church to help people through the coronavirus crisis. The keen footballer is also chaplain to Norwich City Football Club.

Ed Parker. Army veteran Ed Park of Stody, near Melton Constable, set up Walking with the Wounded to raise money for specialist education and training programmes to help injured servicemen and women rejoin civilian life.

Margaret Seaman. The 91-year-old Caister great great grandmother knitted Yarmouth seafront and Sandringham to raise tens of thousands of pounds for local charities and spent lockdown creating a Knittingale Hospital in aid of the Norfolk and Norwich, James Paget and Queen Elizabeth hospitals.

Paddy Seligman. The EDP We Care appeal raised well over a million pounds for the county’s carers, which is held in the Norfolk Millennium Trust for Carers and helps carers ranging from children to pensioners. Paddy was chairman of the We Care appeal and is chairman of the Trust and has been a magistrates bench chairman, girl guiding ambassador, prison visitor, victim support volunteer and canon of Norwich Cathedral.

Nadia Sparkes. The teenager became internationally famous after embracing the “trash girl” nickname she was given for picking up litter in her neighbourhood.

Kay Swann. More than 30 years ago she led the campaign to save Happisburgh lighthouse from closure. Today it is the only independently run lighthouse in Britain.

Wendy Valentine. Founded Redwings Horse Sanctuary in 1984 and Hillside Animal Sanctuary in West Runton in 1995. Hillside is now home to more than 4,000 farm animals and Redwings is now the UK’s largest horse sanctuary, looking after more than 2,000 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules around the country.

Alan Webster. The dean of Norwich founded St Martin’s Housing Trust for homeless people. It began when he turned his garage into emergency accommodation in 1970, continued with the opening of Norwich’s first night shelter in the redundant church which is now the Puppet Theatre (relocated to St Martin’s on Oak Street in 1976) and is now provides hostel, supported and care home accommodation plus skills training.

Matt Willer. The Reepham history teacher runs the Allotment Project at the town’s high school, helping pupils learn about gardening and the natural world.

Our 150 names of iconic Norfolk people of the past 150 years runs through this EDP 150th anniversary week with categories including sports, arts, science and nature, good causes, business leaders and great lives.

Who have we missed? Let us know who you think should be included in a list of Norfolk people who should be celebrated for making life in the county better over the past 150 years. Email

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