At our April meeting we enjoyed an uplifting film from East Coast Truckers (ECT), who volunteer their time to give some children with special needs a wonderful day out.

ECT formed in 1981 as a self-help group raising funds to support drivers prosecuted for using CB radios. When these radios became legal, they looked for another use for the monies; in conjunction with schools for children with special needs an outing was arranged to give the boys and girls a unique and exciting opportunity of riding in a truck cab. This was the start of the ‘Convoy’.

On this August Bank Holiday Sunday, the Truckers will meet for the 37th time to take the children from Norwich to Pleasurewood Hills Theme Park for the afternoon. Then home via the sea front at Great Yarmouth. The children love the rides at the park and are thrilled by the size and the noise of the convoy, close to one hundred vehicles. Crowds line the roads to cheer them on.

ECT became a charity in 2000 and continues to raise money from donations, merchandise and presentations. They now take children out on other trips to the Hipperdrome circus, Banham Zoo and other interesting places. There is also a Christmas party. Since they received a generous legacy, they have been able to acquire two holiday homes, adapted for disabled people, which are offered to families for one week’s respite. The charity also donates equipment to schools and hospitals. These volunteers are doing fabulous work and making a real difference to the lives of children and their families.

This inspiring presentation was followed by the usual business meeting with a few added extras. Chris, our delegate to the Federation AGM at Trinity Park, gave us a brief resume of the day. It started with a rousing chorus of Jerusalem followed by annual reports from the officers then the guest speakers took the stage. ActivLives gave a demonstration of chair exercises after which there was an hilarious talk from a nurse on pelvic floor exercises, amongst other things. The main speaker was archaeologist, Jago Cooper, Director of the Sainsbury Centre. He gave an excellent talk about some of his achievements including information about where and how he made some of his TV shows and of the people he met on his travels.

The second extra was a vote of thanks to Iris. She has been our president and latterly vice president, a role that she now feels should vacate. She remains an ordinary member and we value her WI knowledge as she begins to take things a little more gently.

After all this talk and information, a lovely tea was served whilst we caught up on our personal news.

S Fothergill


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