Thank you for being so generous

Derek James says a big thank you for your generous donations to the Norwich Civic Charity appeal for Rotary House for the Deaf during his year as Sheriff of Norwich.

From Golden Years gigs featuring the stars of the 1960s to classical concerts and carols and from dancing dogs to fashion shows – it was a civic charity people took to their hearts.

It was an appeal which illustrated how the 'big society' is alive and kicking in Norwich and one which brought people of all ages and from all walks of life together – to help others.

The last Norwich Civic Charity appeal to raise money and awareness of Rotary House for the Deaf – the only home of its kind in the country – raised no less than �27,520, making it one of the most successful civic appeals in recent times.

'I can't thank the people enough. It is an astonishing amount of money. People have been so generous, both with their time and their money. It is a magnificent achievement,' said Professor Richard Hey of Rotary House in King Street.

And I would also like to add my thanks to all those people who spent such a long time helping to organise events, large and small, to help Rotary House.

It was an appeal which opened the doors of Rotary House not only to the people of Norwich and Norfolk but the rest of the country.

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Former Lord Mayor Tom Dylan and I appeared on the national BBC programme See Hear and the appeal attracted the attention of no less than Stephen Fry who made a special film about the home and its plans for the future.

The money we raised now means the expansion and improvement programme at Rotary House is under way – meaning it can now welcome more members of the deaf community to join them.

Among those I would like to thank are:

Everybody who supported events and local businesses who were so generous in these difficult times.

Terry Wickham and all the boys from The Golden Years who gave two concerts to boost the charity.

Jean Colman and the team at City Hall for organising the popular civic quiz night.

All those at Number Ten Bowling Centre.

Michele Neave, the Staffie Rescue Group, Meadowgreen Dog Rescue Centre and everyone at Notcutts who helped with the dog show with a difference.

Everyone at our very own department store, Jarrold, for organising such a successful fashion show and beauty evening. The models were great.

Toni and Piang and all those at the Riverbank Chinese Restaurant for the colourful Chinese New Year celebrations.

Norwich Philharmonic Society. What talented musicians we have in the city.

The Chamber of Commerce and those who organised the grand civic charity ball at Sprowston Manor.

Mary Rae at the beautiful Octagon Chapel and Keith Tovey.

Richard and Caroline Clover of Clover Cards.

The original Christmas card charity shop in Norwich and my wife Bridgette James for being such a super salesperson.

And Angi Goldsmith and her team at Rotary House and Gavin, Max and Linda at the City Hall for being so supportive – making sure the appeal was so successful.

We made a lot of friends during the civic year...and that friendship will continue.

Thank you all so much.