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Hethersett - The Big Society

Hethersett is a big village in every way - Big in size, Big in Heart and Big in Thought, Word and Deed. This section of the web site is designed to capture all aspects of our Big Society which has seen numerous village groups working together to enhance leisure, fitness, well being within a framework of providing activities and entertainment for all ages from toddler to senior citizen. We hope the stories below that have appeared on this web site illustrate the ideals of a Big Society. They culminated in Hethersett being the first village or town in the United Kingdom to be awarded a Prime Minister's Big Society Award in March 2013.

Stories from 2013

National Award For Hethersett


Hethersett has become the first village or town in the United Kingdom to win a top national award. We have been given a Prime Minister's Big Society Award to mark our village's outstanding work in the field of fitness, well being, health and creating an Olympic legacy. The award comes just three months after Hethersett was named Pride in Norfolk Community of the Year. You can read the full story behind the latest award by clicking here.


Hethersett Featured in County Exhibition - Our village was featured on a poster advertising a  major exhibition at The Forum in Norwich. "Norfolk: Our 2012 Story" ran from February 22nd until March 1st and celebrated Norfolk's contribution to the London Olympics and Paralympics. It  featured several items of Hethersett memorabilia including the torch mural, medals, coins and costumes. A photograph taken at Hethersett's Run the Square event in 2012 was featured on the advertising poster and flyers for the event. You can view a copy of this poster by clicking here.


Pavilion Improvements - A number of village groups are working together to improve and extend the pavilion facilities on Hethersett Memorial Playing Field. Hethersett Parish Council, Hethersett Memorial Playing Field Trust, Hethersett and the Meltons' Sports Association and Hethersett Olympic Legacy Committee are working alongside Norfolk County Council, South Norfolk Council, Sport England and other bodies to greatly improve the existing facilities. Plans will include additional sports changing facilities, toilets accessible from the outside, a new kitchen and improved shower facilities and improved access for the disabled. We will keep you updated on progress.


Stories from 2012


We are the Pride of Norfolk Community of the Year



Hethersett has been named Pride of Norfolk Community of the Year for 2012 for villages and towns with populations of over 5000. The award recognises our outstanding community spirit and the efforts made by so many people and groups to ensure that there is something for everyone. To read about the presentation click here. To read our submission to the judges click here and to read about our community click here. The photograph above shows children from the village celebrating the award at the annual Hethersett Christmas Fair held at the Methodist Church on November 30th.  To read the story from the Eastern Daily Press Newspaper click here.


Village Praised for "Can Do" Attitude - Hethersett has been praised for its can do attitude in a special feature in the Eastern Daily Press newspaper on winners of Pride in Norfolk Community of the Year (see above). You can read the article by clicking here.


Open Weekend Line-up - The line-up for this year's Hethersett Open Weekend is already being finalised with three days of events being organised from June 22nd to 24th. These include a swimming marathon, Hethersett's Got Talent, a Come and Try Sports Event and the annual Run the Square two mile funrun. To read about these and other events being lined-up click here.


1948 Olympic Exhibition - An exhibition celebrating the last time the Olympic games came to London is currently on display in Hethersett Library. The exhibition features old news articles and information on the 1948 Olympics along with photographs from the 2011 visit of the 1948 torch to the village's four schools. Hethersett High School pupils have been busy designing a new commemorative torch to mark this year's Olympic Games. To read about these stories click here.


Pledge To Fitness

Read about the day the Active Norfolk Pledge Pod came to Hethersett and how hundreds of people have pledged towards improved fitness and health in 2012. To read the article and view photographs click here. You can also read a cutting from the Wymondham and Attleborough Mercury on Pledge 2012 by clicking here. You can read about a special Rap song written by Little Melton School which was performed during the day by clicking here. You can also read about this event in the Eastern Daily Press Newspaper by clicking here. 


Canary Opens New Play Equipment - Norwich City midfielder Andrew Surman officially opened new play equipment on Hethersett Memorial Playing Field as part of a full day of events in the village that also saw the Active Norfolk Pledge Pod visit Woodside School. As well as cutting the ribbon Andrew pledged to help Norwich City stay in the Premier Division. To read about the playground opening click here. To see the story in the Wymondham and Attleborough Mercury click here.


Olde English Fete for Memorial Field - Hethersett will be celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with an Olde English Jubilee Fayre on Sunday June 3rd on the Memorial Playing Field. To read the full story and find out how you can become involved in the project click here.


Cool Evening Show - The Olympic theme in the village continued in February with a public showing of the ever popular Walt Disney film Cool Runnings at Hethersett High School. One of the most enduring films of all time, Cool Runnings is inspired by the true story of the first Jamaican Olympic bobsled team. The evening was put on in conjunction with the South Norfolk True Film Festival 2012 and Creative Arts East's Village Screen initiative. Those attending filled in questionnaires at the end of the evening and consideration will be given to hosting similar events in the future.


Sports Association Meeting - The next meeting of Hethersett and the Meltons Sports Association will be held in Park Farm Hotel on February 27th at 7.30 p.m. The meeting will discuss future plans for improving sports facilities and setting up new groups for fitness and well being and will look at existing facilities, how fitness and well being can be improved and will also celebrate success over the past six months and look to a very busy 2012 with so many community groups working together. The sports association is open to anybody with an interest in sport, leisure, health, well being and the environment. The meeting will also discuss a possible campaign for next year to urge residents to cut down on vehicle use in favour of walking or cycling.


Memorial Playing Field Workshops - Have your say in the future of Hethersett Memorial Playing Field. The village is organising two community workshops on March 4th and March 25th. To read about this click here.

Green Spaces Group - A Green Spaces Steering Group is being set-up in Hethersett to help with the village’s health and well being. The group will work closely with the Hethersett Environmental Action Team (HEAT) to tackle numerous issues including footpaths, community ownership and the setting up of allotments. The parish pit area, the central pasture between Henstead and Queen’s Road and the Village Hall Field are just three of the spaces that will be investigated. The group will also explore support available from the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England and other similar bodies. Anyone interested in joining the steering group can contact chair and parish councillor Simon Floyd on 07896 781574 or via e-mail by clicking here

Vote for Hethersett - Hethersett residents are being urged to vote for Hethersett when they go shopping. Waitrose of Eaton has chosen the village’s Olympic Committee as one of its three charities for February. Customers using the store throughout the month will be given a token to place in one of three boxes with £1,000 being distributed according to the number of tokens received. The more tokens the Hethersett scheme gets the larger the donation will be. Hethersett’s Olympic Committee, which comes under the auspices of Hethersett Parish Council, is responsible for organising a weekend of events in support of this year’s London Olympic Games. Over the past two years the village has organised more events per head of the population than any other village, town or city in the country. This year’s Open Hethersett event will take place from Friday June 22nd to Sunday June 24th. Events this year are likely to include a swimming marathon, the third Hethersett’s Got Talent competition, a come and try sports event on the Memorial Playing Field, a church service, round the square two mile fun run and a major ladies five-a-side football competition. To read more on this click here 

School Grant to Celebrate the Olympics - Schools in the Hethersett Cluster which includes Hethersett Woodside Infants and Nursery, Hethersett Junior, Hethersett High, Cringleford Primary, Little Melton Primary, Mulbarton Infant and Mulbarton Junior, have been awarded a grant of over £8,500 for activities in celebration of the coming London 2012 Olympic Games. You can read this story by clicking here.

Wild About Hethersett -  2011 was a wild year in Hethersett. For the past 12 months the Hethersett Environmental Action Team (HEAT) has been holding a biodiversity survey and now their findings have been published in book form. The book includes observations from local residents on nature from bird and insect sightings to plants and improvements to the environment. The book is a limited edition publication and sells for £4. It was launched at a special event in Hethersett Methodist Church on January 28th. You can read about this by clicking here. Over half the copies went on the first morning. There are still some available and can be ordered by contacting HEAT member Dr Anne Edwards on 01603 812309 or by e-mailing by clicking here  

Cycling Event - Hethersett will be the start and finish point for a major cycling event in March and places on the inaugural Hethersett 30/60 are going fast. The event, which is not a race, will start and finish at Hethersett Social Club. To read all about the event and how families and individuals can enter click here. See also the story on Martin Anderton's charity ride from London to Paris above. Martin Anderton is not only arranging the 30/60 event this year but is also planning to raise money for a charity that supports disabled people by undertaking a gruelling London to Paris ride. You can read the story from the Wymondham and Attleborough Mercury by clicking here.


Praise from Downing Street - Hethersett’s success in becoming one of the region’s top well being communities has come to the notice of Prime Minister David Cameron. The village’s efforts to support sport, fitness, well being and the environment have been praised as part of the Government’s Big Society idea. The village has received a letter from the Cabinet Office praising it for organising events throughout the year and for being named Norfolk Sports Village and Norfolk Champion of Champions in the 2011 competition organised jointly by the Eastern Daily Press newspaper and Active Norfolk. “I was very interested to read about all of the activities and events going on in Hethersett. I am pleased that residents have taken on the ideas behind the Big Society and are really making a difference to the community. This really is Big Society in action,” said Sarah Baker of the Cabinet Office’s Social Action Team who was contacted directly by David Cameron. To view this story from the Wymondham and Attleborough Mercury click here.

Hethersett - Champion of Champions -  Hethersett has been recognised as the ultimate sports and fitness village. We were named Norfolk Sports Village of the Year and Norfolk Sports Champion of Champions at the 2011 Eastern Daily Press/Active Norfolk sports awards. To read about this unbelievable honour for our village click here. To read about the winners visit the Active Norfolk web site by clicking here. Coverage of the awards in the Eastern Daily Press with video coverage is available by clicking here. A cutting from the Wymondham and Attleborough Mercury is available from here.

Olympic Torch to Visit Hethersett - The Olympic Torch will visit Hethersett on its way to London in 2012. Although Hethersett is not on the official route for the torch, organisers have announced a detour in recognition of all the efforts put in by our village over the past two years through our Olympic Open Weekends. Hethersett has been recognised for arranging more events per head of population than any other village, town or city in the country. To read the full story click here. To read the story from the Attleborough Mercury click here. To view a cutting from the Wymondham and Attleborough Mercury click here. We even made the Sun newspaper which had a photograph of Hethersett High School and a piece recognising the efforts of the village. You can see the cutting by clicking here.

Green Spaces - New Groups to be Set Up - Two new groups will be set-up in the New Year to further enhance the workings of the new Green Spaces Group. A Friends of the Field and an expanded Green Spaces Working Group will meet early in the New Year. You can read about this by clicking here.

Sporting Success Celebrated - Sporting success was celebrated at the latest meeting of Hethersett and the Meltons Sports Association with individual clubs and the village reporting on a hugely successful year and looking forward to an even busier 2012. To read a report of the latest meeting click here The next meeting of Hethersett and the Meltons Sports Association will take place in the Ellingham Suite at Park Farm Hotel on Monday, 27th February, 2012 at 7.30 p.m.

Quiet Revolution in Well Being - A quiet revolution is taking place in Hethersett with regards to sport, fitness, well being and the environment. Next Year will see numerous top events being held in a village that has been already heralded as one of the most active in Norfolk. To read a special Hethersett on the Web Feature about what has already taken place and what will be taking place in 2012 click here.

Major Facelift for Field - Hethersett Memorial Playing Field is undergoing a major facelift which has seen brand new play equipment put in. In addition 17 trees will also be planted to further enhance the look of the area. This year will also see a number of village events being held on the field. You can read about all this by clicking here or by visiting the Memorial Playing Field Pages by clicking here.  

Open Weekend 2012 - Hethersett’s Open Weekend next year promises to be the biggest yet in the run up to the 2012 London Olympics. The special weekend will run from June 22nd until 24th. To read about this please visit our special Olympic Weekend section by clicking here.

Seemed Like A Good Idea for Summer - A village sale seemed to be a good idea for the summer, but has turned into a hugely successful pre-Christmas event. A record number of people attended the fourth annual Village Christmas Sale at Hethersett Methodist Church on 2nd December. To see a Picasa photo album of photographs from this year's event click here. To read a report of the event click here.