Meeting at: The Refectory, Norwich Cathedral on Wednesdays at 7.25am

October 2016

NNAB Blind Archery and Talk

‘On the 5th November 25:am members and guests were delighted to attend an ‘On Tour’ meeting at the Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind. The NNAB are our chosen charity this year and it was a ‘target’ to attend a meeting at their impressive venue in the centre of Norwich. While our normal business was attended to we also had the opportunity to take part in some blind folded archery which many of the NNAB ‘users’ actually participate in on a regular basis as an activity. Catherine Jeans won the trophy for best three arrows blindfolded in the ladies category whilst Barney Phillips won the gentleman’s event.


We were also privileged to hear from CEO Mike Talbot who gave a brief talk. However…the highlight universally was sitting with Ed who has been ‘black blind’ from birth and listening to him talk about the challenges he faces and the tools he can now use in his life. Ed was so sharp, so quick, so witty and handled our group of Business People with aplomb. It was the first time he had ever spoken in front of a business group before but the feedback from more than one member was ‘we need to get him along to a formal meeting one day so we can hear more from him’. The NNAB…a brilliant charity doing brilliant things.’ - Elliot Symonds, Chairman

Barney Phillips' best three arrows blindfolded - tight grouping!

September 2016

Lambert’s Film Brilliance

‘It is one of the finest things of a true business community where an inspirational idea, during a cycle ride, from a Dynamic guy can turn into something which will impact above and beyond the original goals. That is exactly what happened when Barney Phillips suggested making a short film around the classic Two Ronnies, Fork Handles sketch for 25:am member Lamberts.


Then with sketch writing wit lubricated by ale the plans were in place. A set was built. The filming team in place with other member Eye Film at the helm. Lamberts provided the funding and the sandwiches and a unique team of talented 25:am members was put in place to play the roles alongside two professional actors.


The phrase ‘giving up one’s Saturday’ absolutely did NOT apply to what happened next as personally I would have paid to be part of the process we all enjoyed so much. We can’t wait to show the actual results after an official launch in November.’ - Elliot Symonds, Chairman

April 2016

Off to the theatre!

25am Members went 'on tour' on the 19th April. We headed over to the Maddermarket Theatre and enjoyed bacon rolls, tea, coffee and a tour of the theatre. Behind the scenes, dressing rooms, the green room, workshops and the costume department.


Our one minute presentations were littered with ad-libs, stories of acting at school and memories of the theatre.


We enjoyed hearing about Simon from First Self Drive reminiscing about playing Dopey in Snow White but being rather tall even at school meant he towered over a petite Snow White!


We suggest everyone heads down to a local gem like the Maddermarket and enjoys an evening of talent!

The 'blushing accountant' after being accused of wolf whistling another member!

Helen from the Maddermarket Theatre talking to the group about Shakespeare Dragon.

March 2016

Bank of England Deputy Agent Tim Pike presents...

25am Members enjoyed a fascinating presentation from Tim Pike – Bank of England Deputy Agent, South East and East Anglia, who was the guest of Frank Sheppard of Brancaster House.


Tim kept the members fascinated and engaged on topics which included the UK economy, interest rates and inflation.


He also covered GDP projections for the UK and global economies, and the impact of significant movements in oil prices and supply and demand.


Tim is based in Cambridge and covers most of the East of England plus parts of Bucks.


He spent much of his early career working as an economist in the Treasury, latterly working on forecasts of the public finances.


He moved to the Bank of England in 2001 where he has worked as part of the team drafting the Inflation Report and later as the central coordinator of the Agency network.

December 2015

The Party

The evening of December 11th 2015 saw 25:am celebrate their 10th year and the festive season with an outstanding birthday bash at the Cathedral Refectory. Members, old and new, invited guests to party the night away with charity raising fun events and music from the Harvs. Highlights of the night were the human fruit machine which generated much hilarity, a raffle with truly outstanding prizes donated by sponsors and essentially a free bar. Major congratulations should go to Alice Rose (Chair 2015) and her executive team who pulled together such a joyous evening raising not only spirits but a sizeable amount of money for a worthy cause.


The chosen charity for the night was Mind and a presentation of £4500 was made on 13th January.

25am £4500 cheque presentation to MIND

January 2015

The Brain handover

A new year brings a new brain and the handover of the 25am 'brain'.

Right: Alice Rose Chair of 25am Networking Group Norwich. Left: Ellen Webster Chair 2014

December 2014

Our Christmas lunch

We gathered in the Wine Celler on Guildhall Hill for a tasty lunch, a few drinks and a jolly good natter.


We said goodbye to Ellen Webster who has been an excellent Chair in 2014. She remains a strong member of the group and is pursuing her business 'Ellen Mary Gardening' as well as continuing with Paul Robinson Partnership who have expanded in to Norwich from their Great Yarmouth base.


Ellen is pictured (complete with Christmas jumper) in full flow during her speech.

Ellen Webster (complete with Christmas jumper) in full flow during her speech.

September 2014

A Bit of a Do

On 27th September we held our annual fundraising event at Hickling Broad Nature Reserve to raise funds for our 2014 annual charity of the year - Norfolk Wildlife Trust. With the afternoon full of childrens activities, guided walks and boat trips we hope the event raised a greater awareness of NWT and the work they do to maintain some of our beautiful landscapes and wildlife. Late afternoon and into the evening we danced the night away to music, as the sun set over the broad and many participated in a bat walk. With food from Bite the Bullitt and Alice and the Aga, there was no other way to wash it down than with a drinks supplied by Harper Wells. Huge thank you to everyone who contributed and came along. We Made it Happen!

Alice and the Aga from 25am Networking Group Norwich at The Norfolk Wildlife Trust's Hickling Broad, Norfolk
Children playing at 25am Networking Group Norwich at The Norfolk Wildlife Trust's Hickling Broad, Norfolk

Our Chair Ellen pictured with 'Elliot the auctioneer'

and representatives of the charities.

July 2014

Blind Bowling

On 25th July 25am organised a bowling evening at NAMCO in Bowthorpe to show support to all of the local charities we have work with. After a round of blind bowling to raise awareness of visual impairment, we had a second game without the blindfolds before a buffet and drinks. Elliot Symonds, Auctioneer Extraordinaire held a fun charity auction raising almost £1000 by selling many items including a snowboard, tickets to the Shard, tools, gardening service, a Norwich City premiership signed football and much more.


A huge big thank you to everyone who donated items for the auction and to everyone who attended and placed bids. NAMCO donated the room hire fee bringing the total raised to £1000. Norfolk Wildlife Trust, The Benjamin Foundation, NNAB, The B-EAT and About With Friends came along to breakfast to collect their cheques and we are told About With Friends will be using their donation for a new floor in their new space for members with learning disabilities’

June 2014

The Butterfly Walk

Some of our members sponsored and attended The Benjamin Foundations Butterfly Walk at Whitlingham Country Park on Saturday 21st June. They certainly had the weather! Over 100 people attended and together raised £2500 for The Benjamin Foundation’s great work. Along the 2.3 mile route were 14 Butterfly Clues each sponsored by a local Company, including Reef Recruitment. Well done to the team at The Benjamin Foundation for organising a lovely event.

The Benjamin Foundation logo
25am members on board on the broad at Hickling
Hickling Broad
Norfolk Wildlife Trust logo

June 2014

Hickling Broad trip

Friday 6th June at Hickling Broad. There were two boats which allow 10 or so in each. The trip included a guided tour of the broad to areas which are not open to the public and a walk across to the tree house with stunning views for miles. We also visited the old mill which is fascinating. Afterwards, we headed back to the Norfolk Wildlife Trust hut for tea and cake. The weather was excellent and the views were truly beautiful.

Thanks to our 'Chair' Ellen for organising the trip!

25am Networking Norwich at the finish line at the Norwich 50 and 100 mile event

June 2014

The Norwich 50 and 100

Several members completed the Norwich 50 or 100 for various reasons; charity, personal achievement or motivation. Fantastic weather and a pint at the end. Well worth it.

May 2014

Scalextric night

What a laugh! Taking members down memory lane with a Scalextric night to remember. A child could only dream about this track! Based in Hevingham Presto Park is a circuit to be seen!

25am Networking Norwich at Presto Park Scalextric track
CLIC Sargent Wig Wednesday at 25am Networking Norwich

May 2014

Wig Wednesday

In aid of CLIC Sargent the members (and guests) wore a wig of their choice. A funny meeting with people 'doing their pitches' either as themselves or as 'someone else'. The winning wig wearer had to be Steve Finney who was 'Chardonnay' a beautiful young Norfolk girl from Hellesdon who told us about 'electrickery'! (Chardonnay is second from the left)

clic sargent logo
Ellen Webster, Chair of 25am Networking Group

January 2014

New Chair and the First Lady of 25am Networking Group

"I am very much looking forward to steering 25am through the year and to build on the legacy of previous Chairmen, who have chaired with unrelenting enthusiasm. Steve’s thoroughly fantastic 2013 term with the epic Campfire event was a remarkable achievement which has proven how 25am can make great things happen. For 2014, Alice and I would like to work together for the benefit of the group and Alice has taken the role of Deputy Chair. Our motto for the year ahead is ‘Make it happen’ and that’s just what we intend to do!" Ellen Webster, Chair of 25am

October 2013

The money is distributed.

Chris Elliot and Polly Kane collect a cheque for a massive £5000 for the Benjamin Foundation following the successful Campfire Event. "We hold an event to raise money for deserving local and national charities. The Benjamin Foundation really helped organising this event. Every event meeting and a number of breakfast meetings to help us to help them. Polly even cooked breakfast for the people who stayed the night!" said Steve Finney, Chairman of 25am.

Benjamin Foundation receives £5000 from 25am Networking group

September 2013

Campfire Party

On 7th September members and guests congregated at Whitlingham Campsite and kicked off 25 hours of fun and frivolity! With wonderful wines from Harper Wells, beautiful beers from The Grain Brewery and some fun and games. It proved to be an event to remember AND all in the name of charity!


Steve Finney our current Chairman came up with the idea. "I didn't want to organise another ball. 25am are different and we just love to change the mix" So with a bit of lateral thinking (and after the success of The English Shepherds Hut 'do') the Campfire Party was born!


"We have chose the Benjamin Foundation as one of the charities that gained funds raised over the 25 hours and the NNAB and Nelson's Journey too" said Steve. "We had the Dog Days of Summer and The Arlenes playing amongst others. We had a cakes, various food vendors and a range of other stalls too" he added.

The chairman and members say a huge thank you to Linda and Fergus for contributing Whitlingham Broad Campsite for our event. Check out their website here.

Whitlingham Broad Campsite logo

Beer by

Grain Brewery logo

Food by

Maddermarket Kitchen logo
Harper Wells logo The Benjamin Foundation logo

Wine by

We raised money for....

clic sargent logo

May 2013

Two members take the plunge!

On the 11th May, 2013, Rob Morley, Director of The Fountain Partnership, and Elliot Symonds, Sales and Marketing Manager for Jarrold Training, became 2 of 20 bungee jumpers in an epic charity event for the Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind (NNAB).


Elliot, got involved with the NNAB when he was Chairman of 25:am and wanted to support footballing legend Jeremy Goss on his 2011 fundraising cycle ride, ‘Back to Bayern’.


“When the opportunity came to raise funds a second time I took it,” said Elliot. “Even though what was being asked of us was to join 19 others in a trip to the iconic Verzasca Dam in Switzerland and leap like James Bond in GoldenEye off the 220m high structure.”

Elliot raised just over £3000 in sponsorship for the NNAB but more importantly when a fundraiser decided they could not go 25:am stepped up to the brink and the current chairman Steve Finney said he would give £250 if one of our membership would take that last place.

Rob Morley, with an intense fear of heights, immediately said “I’ll do it!”. Rob, who then sought professional help to conquer his fears through Joe Kearney of Beechmount, 25:am member, was a true hero as the footage of his jump clearly demonstrates.


The ‘roar’ that went up in support of the terrified Rob was much louder than the expected bellow from Elliot but both their You Tube clips are well worth a watch to experience the world’s largest bungee jump. (Editorial note: There are two larger in terms of height but they have either guide wires or a controlled decent. The 007 Verzasca jump is pure free fall.)


All twenty fund raisers did make the jump, first time. In total they have raised in excess of £20,000 for the NNAB.

25:am members alone raised in excess of £1000 in support for both Elliot and Rob. You can sponsor them simply at Virgin Money Giving by searching their names.


We are extremely proud of what Elliot and Rob achieved. You can read his blog here about his insights and watch a video of him falling and what he has to ‘say’ about it as he actually goes through the experience.


May 2013

Wrightway Health & Wellbeing join 25am

We are happy to announce a new member to the group.


Wrightway are experts in Occupational Health, Travel Health, Case Management and Health Surveillance

May 2013

Harper Wells join 25am

We are happy to announce a new member to the group.


HarperWells are Norwich’s only Independent wine, beer and spirit specialists.

February 2013

Credo Asset Finance join 25am

We are happy to announce a new member to the group.


Credo Asset Finance is a forward thinking finance company with unrivalled traditional service levels we all remember from the past.

Wrightway health logo
Harper Wells logo

February 2013

Blind 10 Pin Bowling

Hopefully you all remember the night we spent together in blind folds back in January 2012.


Elliot organised another Blind Bowling night on 25th February 2013.


As many of you will probably know Elliot is going to be doing something pretty special for the NNAB in May 2013 (if the eye doctors will let him). Click on this YouTube video to have a sense of what he and 20 other people are doing with Jeremy Goss.

As part of this Elliot needs to raise a minimum of £1,400 to take part.


Blind Bowling night was as much fun as last year, we hope get Elliot to the £1400 target AND raise a bit more for a BRILLIANT local charity.

Coming up in June 2013

50 mile cycle ride

Our illustrious Chairman Mr Steve Finney will be raising money for the British Heart Foundation. The doctor suggested just 50 miles rather than the 100 miles as Steve suffered a heart attack on the 4th November.


"Dr Sarev supports this event" said Steve. "I feel I can help give something back and that this cause that helps people in the situation I was in to recover to lead a normal life afterwards." he added.



Norwich 100/50/25 Bike Ride event information


From the start in the Cathedral Grounds, both routes first head north to Reepham. The short route then loops back past Blickling Hall while the 100-milers head up to the coast and east to the half-way point at Sheringham, then skirting the Broads before returning to the Finish at the Cathedral.

If you would like to help Steve by sponsoring him please email him here!