'Active times for Active Fakenham' - A look back at the past eight years
- Credit: Supplied by Richard Crook
Things are looking a bit wobbly for Active Fakenham, as they are for so many people and organisations.
So, I thought this is a good time to look back at what we have achieved since we started in 2013 and maybe think a bit about the future. It is important to say that we have had tremendous support from individuals, businesses and community groups and we couldn’t possibly have achieved so much without this help.
I started Active Fakenham in 2013. It’s a small voluntary group with a Steering Group, no paid staff and no regular income except what we can raise through sponsorship, grants and income from events.
The focus is on running events and activities in the town which are themed around well-being and are accessible and affordable to local people.
Since 2013 our events have included (in no particular order)
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1. The Shopkeepers Olympics (three times). The town was divided into three. Local clubs and businesses set up challenges in the town centre. There were around twelve challenges in all, such as tug of war, table tennis, beat the goalies, guess the plant. The captain of the proud winning street was presented with a cup.
2. The Easter Sunday Funday. Run four times, included British Cycling Criterium road racing round a 1K town centre circuit, an official 5k UK Athletics circuit race for all levels of runner, a 1k fun run and a Toddle-&-Trike for under 5s. There were also music and stalls.
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3. Showcase Day. Twice we held an event in the town for local groups to demonstrate their activities and recruit new participants.
4. Get Active in Fakenham Week. Run nine times is nine days of activities which has included up to 40 local organisations running taster sessions and events.
5. Ride North Norfolk Formerly the Fakenham 50. A non-competitive supported cycle ride from the Community Centre including rides from 15 to 100 miles. There have been hundreds of riders each year both local and visitors new to the town.
6. The Fakenham Duck Races, showing off the beautiful river Wensum. They include a “family duck race” as well as a “Corporate Duck Race” supported by local businesses.
7. The Fakenham Cardboard Raft races. Again on the local river Wensum, just a short walk from the town centre.
8. A Free Music Festival in the town centre. A Saturday of free music showing off local talent. This has been run three times.
9. Various free training sessions from, cycle training, first aid to social media, photography, creative writing and much more.
Resources, local products and souvenirs
We have developed resources which have been, and are, available for local organisations. These include photographs, gazebos, chairs, smoothie bikes, marketing platforms, a full colour town map, a guide to Fakenham’s outdoor gyms and more For some years we have been producing and distributing, at no cost, around 20,000 Fakenham Town Guides which are also on websites and social media.
For nearly five years we set up and ran the Fakenham Info Hub which acted as the Tourist Information Centre after funding was cut for the official Fakenham TIC. We also ran a related website and Facebook page as well as a Twitter account.
We have produced souvenirs for Fakenham including a colourful Fakenham book, mugs, reusable jute bags, pens, water bottles and post cards.
Wherever possible we have tried to support local businesses, clubs and organisations. I am pleased to say that we in turn have been well supported by them.
We have tried to focus on a broad definition of well-being ranging through sports and healthy eating to visits to local events and attractions. We have also worked with and supported local and national charities that align with our ethos. Active Fakenham is now continuing the campaign to get a swimming pool in Fakenham.
Our website contains many photographs and short videos of our events and promotional material of the town. The site, together with our social media will keep you up to date with what’s going on with Active Fakenham.
This summer we are planning to run the duck and raft races as well as a limited Get Active in Fakenham Week and the Ride North Norfolk cycle sportive. Then the future of Active Fakenham is looking a bit shaky, but maybe that’s another story.