Norwich’s big society

Derek James reviews his first six months of being your Sheriff

From teenagers who arrived in this city after fleeing for their lives from war-zones in just the clothes they stood up in... to the Queen.

It has been a privilege to be in the company of some extraordinary people during my first six months as your Sheriff.

The old, the young, the rich and the poor all come together in so many different ways to make Norwich such a great place to live.

And it has been a real learning curve for my wife Bridgette and I as we have discovered just how much good work is actually going on in the city.

Our politicians now talk about 'The Big Society' but it is already alive and kicking in Norwich and has been for many years.

There are hundreds of people, of all ages and all walks of life, who devote so much of their time and energy to helping others.

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We rarely get to hear about the good work going on behind the scenes of city life so it has been even more of an honour and privilege to have been able to meet some of them this year.

Lord Mayor Tom Dylan and I have been out and about meeting as many people as possible and carrying out a range of civic duties – from opening school fetes to attending the opening of the long-awaited war memorial.

It has been a memorable six months.

Our theme for the civic year has been racial harmony and we have welcomed people from around the world who have come to Norwich to start a new and peaceful life.

Our civic charity is Rotary House for the Deaf in King Street – the only home of its kind in the country and one which needs to expand to meet demand.

It is an appeal you have taken to your hearts.

Thank you all so much for your efforts to help us in these difficult times and we look forward to have some more fun-filled fundraising efforts in the New Year.

Take a look at some of the pictures from my highlights of the first six months by clicking on the picture gallery at the top right hand side of the page.