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The face behind a cyber-revival bid

PUBLISHED: 16:51 29 April 2009 | UPDATED: 10:48 07 July 2010

Chairman of Kickstart Fakenham Rachel Seretny.

Chairman of Kickstart Fakenham Rachel Seretny.

IT began as an online call to action, aimed at generating ideas to revive the flagging fortunes of Fakenham.

But since its creation in February, the Kick Start Fakenham group has attracted more than 380 members and won plaudits from public figures and business leaders.

IT began as an online call to action, aimed at generating ideas to revive the flagging fortunes of Fakenham.

But since its creation in February, the Kick Start Fakenham group has attracted more than 380 members and won plaudits from public figures and business leaders.

Now the initiative, which started life in cyberspace on the Facebook website, looks set to become an official organisation after its members agreed a formal constitution and committee structure.

The group was created by 24-

year-old Rachel Seretny in response to gloomy predictions about her home town's future following the closure of the prominent Woolworths

store and Crown Hotel.

It has since become the talk of the town and inspired a public meeting in March to discuss ideas for events and business initiatives.

Miss Seretny, a teaching student at the UEA, is now the chairman of the group, and other members include Norfolk County Councillor David Callaby, who was elected vice-chairman.

The group's figurehead said the formal structure and links with elected bodies were vital if the ideas were to become a reality.

She said: “If we want to go ahead and to do these things we need a constitution so we can get a

bank account and find funding; we need that financial support,” she said.

“We have a few councillors on the group but they do not bring a political stance to it. They are just residents the same as the rest of us and they are there to share their knowledge.

“It is an official group now, but I don't want to have that whole formal thing about it. We need to be a place where people can banter, bounce ideas around and get excited.”

Mr Callaby said: “I was elected to serve the people and these people have some brilliant ideas. My job is to be a helpful friend, and if

they come across a problem like licensing or anything to do with the council, then I can open doors for them. Rachel is a real firecracker and I cannot speak highly enough

of her.”

The constitution of the group says: “The aim of Kick Start Fakenham is to improve the lives of the people of Fakenham and to improve the business and cultural life in Fakenham.”

At a meeting last week, three representatives were chosen to head events, community and youth projects. The teams are already working on ideas, including a carnival and a Big Tidy Up planned for June 6 to clear litter from the town centre.

Miss Seretny's online initiative has drawn support from councillors at town, district and county level, and from the business which owns much of the retail property in Fakenham.

At the annual town meeting on Tuesday, Will Bowers, of London-based property developer Wildmoor, said: “Frankly, the amount of people Rachel has commenting on the website makes it a far greater power than anything else in the town at the moment as far as moving things forward.”

Kick Start Fakenham is encouraging people to submit logo designs for the group, to be used on a planned new website and at future events.

For more information, contact Rachel Seretny on 07837 100491.

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