'Norfolk's longest village' has just gained a new feather in its cap.

Shipdham, south of Dereham, has become the latest place in Norfolk to be given 'mindful' accreditation. 

In order to gain the title, villagers trained to become 'mental health champions' through the Breckland Council's mindful towns and villages programme.

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Councillor Tristan Ashby, Breckland's executive member for health and communities, said: "I am delighted to see Shipdham has been presented with the Mindful Village accreditation.

"Vulnerable residents now have the chance to speak to local volunteers, who can help signpost, provide support, and intervention before somebody’s situation worsens.”

Breckland Council and Shipdham Parish Council ward members, Spitfire Scouts, local clergy, medical centre staff and employees from Falcon Cranes were among those who undertook the training.

Lynda Turner and Paul Hewett are both ward members for Shipdham at Breckland. 

In a shared statement, they said: "Our new mental health champions, supported by the great work from the Breckland Mobile Food Store, will ensure residents have access to advice and support when needed most.

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"I hope our accreditation inspires other villages in the area to take up the training and support being offered."



Dereham Times: Paul Hewett, Breckland Council Shipdham Ward MembersPaul Hewett, Breckland Council Shipdham Ward Members (Image: Breckland Counci)

Many of Shipdham's roughly 900 homes are strung out over a 1.6m stretch of road linking the A1075 and Bradenham Road, lending it the reputation as 'Norfolk's longest village'.  

Dereham Times: Cllr Lynda Turner, Breckland Council Shipdham Ward MemberCllr Lynda Turner, Breckland Council Shipdham Ward Member (Image: copyright keith mindham photography)

Breckland launched its mindful programme in 2021 in partnership with Norfolk and Waveney Mind and Wellbeing Norfolk and Waveney.

More than 300 community champions have since been trained as part of the programme.