Mercy Kaggwa, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Advisor at NCH&C tells us why she loves Norfolk
The countryside is so beautiful and is so different across the whole county and amazingly we have so much. On my doorstep we have a nature reserve with amazing big hairy highland cows and even in our city centre with such beautiful parks like Eaton Park, Catton Park and Waterloo Park etc.
With a young family and a puppy we visit a park at least once a day, every day; oh and I have crazily decided to take up Park Run recently which is also held in the city parks… My favourite hands down is Wolferton across the road from the Sandringham Estate – it’s so different from the pristine and manicured Sandringham it’s like a different country altogether. This is also where my lovely fella proposed 😊
I am a water sign and so naturally obsessed water and Norfolk has the best UK beaches, even if I do say so myself. We visit a beach come rain or shine and generally go at least twice a month. My favourite activity of all time is going to the beach during Christmas – it’s just so different from a summer visit when we usually say “Hello!” to horses trotting along on Holkham or the seals at Blakeney or watch them bobbing about at Sea Palling. Instead it’s a great big freezing cold, fresh salty beach air, smack in the face to the end of the year (you just need to check the tide before you visit).
Even though my recent diagnosis and treatment for Crohn’s has left me with a lot of food intolerances, what hasn’t left me is my love of food and Norfolk does food well and I love how much Norfolk loves food as much as I do. I spend all day thinking about cooking and enjoy going to the spice market on Dereham Road or going to any of the Sunday farmers markets or even Norwich Market for lush and delicious ingredients to create edible adaptations for my specialised diet.
We have a great arts, and generally creatively alternative scene here. There is a lot to offer from music that isn’t necessarily mainstream with local and international up and coming bands. We usually visit Norwich Arts Centre for a more intimate gig (pre-covid). My favourite gig was to see Algiers with Sink Ya Teeth opening. The drag scene is incredible and so vibrant here; I have become great “out out” friends with many artists and performers over the years as I fan girl over their fabulosity.
Norfolk also has so many theatres that all showcase so much amazing talent for the entire family. Our five year old loves going to the Norwich Theatre (especially if it is followed by Pizza Express 😊). But there’s also The Playhouse and the fab Puppet Theatre to visit too.
The markets are a real treasure trove of wonder from ethnic, to vintage, and ethical etc there are a variety of incredible markets for everyone and you’ll never find the same thing twice. Everything is always super unique and precious. If you like shopping or looking to change or update a personal style/room etc Norfolk has some incredible markets.
What do I love about working in Norfolk? Well, I am lucky that my current role is not very far from home and, yes I have the ability to travel/commute, but what this means, and what I like most, is that I know that the work that I carry out affects my local community and I am privileged to see this in action every day. I also say this having worked for another NHS trust outside of Norfolk and commuted over an hour each way every day. Yes, I loved this previous job and was good at it, but in my current role I see the direct affect to and for my community and feel far less removed as I did in my last role.