Great Yarmouth News

Around the World with Ability Bear

Wednesday 19th November 2014

There is a new and adventurous face on the Great Yarmouth teddy bear scene – and it will be delivering lots of fun and an important message about Centre 81.

Within a few days of Ability Bear being unveiled, more than 50 were sold to members and staff of the centre. And he’ll soon be seen around the world.

He is now available to the public with the aim of promoting the work of the centre and raising money towards the New Centre 81 Appeal for a new headquarters for its continuing role helping people with disabilities.

The idea comes from the centre’s office administrator Helen Griffin who spotted the cute and cuddly bear which she thought would fit into their range of merchandise.

But from a bare bear he is now dressed up with the Centre 81 logo and is rapidly becoming a mascot for the centre.

“He likes travelling, nights out, swimming, bowling and relaxing with friends,” said Helen. “But we really want people to take him to all corners of the world and take a picture of him there for us to display on our special board or on social media.”

Already there are firm plans for Ability Bear to see Grenada, Tenerife, Barbados and Australia.

“Ability Bear needs to spend time doing everyday ordinary things as well as taking on some very difficult challenges. Some of our members face difficult challenges that can be just as trying as everyday ordinary things that the majority of people take for granted.

“The Adventures of Ability Bear will bring a lot of enjoyment but there is also a serious role in increasing the profile of the work we do at the centre and through our community transport service – and raising money for the new centre,” said Helen.

Ability Bears are available from Centre 81 at Tar Works Road and he will also be found at various events around the area – including the Gorleston Christmas light switch-on on Sunday November 23rd. Each bear costs £6.99 (+ postage & packaging if required).

Ability’s Bear’s adventures can be followed on the Centre 81 Facebook page.


Use any of the Great Yarmouth Borough Council town centre car parks and spend £10 or more in one transaction at participating retailers to get the equivalent cost of 1 hours parking discounted off your purchase*

*On redemption of voucher from ticket machine, T's&C's apply

Click here for details

24.11.17 - Christmas Light Switch-On
Christmas in Great Yarmouth gets officially underway on Friday as Her Worship the Mayor of Great Yarmouth, Councillor Kerry Robinson Payne, takes to the stage to switch on the towns festive illuminations and Christmas tree lights. The Mayor will be joined by her special guest, the Michelin Star Celebrity Chef Galton Blackiston, to assist her in pushing down the all important Christmas Lights plunger.  The ceremony will form part of an evening of entertainment from 5.30pm with live music and a roof top firework display that coincides with the first day of the annual Great Yarmouth Christmas Fayre and the opening of the real ice rink in the town centre. The entertainment takes place on The Beach Soundstage which has been moved this year along with the Christmas Tree to the market place on the north side of the covered market as its normal location in the market square is occupied by the real ice rink. There will be live singing and dancing from local theatre and dance schools ‘Centre Stage’ and ‘Iceni’ plus some upbeat Christmas tunes from top local pop artists Penny Hannant and Gaby Starbuck to warm up the crowd ahead of the countdown shortly before 7pm. Making the introductions and keeping an eye on the time will be The Beach, Radio Norwich and North Norfolk Radio presenters Rob Chandler and Paul Carter. Rob makes a welcome return to the Christmas Lights event having presented it for a number of years with former radio colleague Chrissie Jackson. Her Worship the Mayor and special guests will take to the stage to join in the countdown which will take place at 7.00pm with the switch on of the Christmas Lights immediately followed by a fantastic pyrotechnic display from the roof of Market Gates shopping centre. The live music will continue after the fireworks with a performance from the Invidia Voices Choir whilst town centre shops and Christmas Fayre stalls in the Minster and on the market place will be open until 8pm.   Free parking is available in all Borough Council town centre car parks from 4.00pm (except the Market Place) and the ice rink will be open for last admissions until 9pm.
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