Alex grew up moving between Liverpool and Middlesborough and then came to Norwich for university. He made the decision to settle in Norwich to raise his two kids somewhere safe, green, and friendly. He works for the HM Prison and Probation Service, commuting just a few minutes’ walk from his home in Riverside.
The place to raise a family
I studied Film and Moving Image Production at Norwich University of the Arts (NUA)and graduated in 2012. After uni, I moved back and forth between London and Liverpool for work, but I decided to move here permanently to raise my kids about eight years ago.
Norwich is a much better environment to raise a family than the areas I grew up. It’s not got high crimes rate and there’s a community feel. It’s quite a small city in comparison to other places, so it’s relaxed. It’s very green and picturesque – you don’t have to travel too far to get to a nice park. I like taking my son to the park to play football and my daughter wants to start playing as well.
One of the things I’m grateful for is my walk home after work. Any way I choose is picturesque. I live in Riverside, so I can walk by the river, past Cow Tower, especially if the weather is nice. Or walking up King Street – it’s a nicer feeling. That’s something you couldn’t get living in a bigger city.
It’s so easy to get around the city. I use Beryl scooters. My daughter’s mum lives on the other side of the city, so when I go there, I take the scooters. There’s a bay right in front of my work, so I can easily drop her off on my way to or from work.
Disclaimer: The e-scooter images in this case study were shot on a recognised highway and cycle route on a government-approved trial e-scooter scheme.
That Friday feeling
I work for the Probation Service, and I’ve been doing that for three years now. It’s good. I’ve done a few different jobs. I was a chef for a bit, I’ve worked in retail, and I’ve done delivery jobs. I have an office centrally in the city, just near Tombland, so it’s a short commute. When I’m finished on a Friday, I’m close to the bars and nightlife on Prince of Wales Road. In that way, it reminds me of working in London: it’s a very short distance to everything you need.
A change of perspective
I know a lot of people who’ve come from London, Liverpool, and Manchester to Norwich and now the NR3 area is looking a bit like Shoreditch – the businesses and the atmosphere. I get my hair cut there, and there are food stores like Spiceland. When I first moved here, it was a bit of a culture shock – where were the fried chicken shops?! – but then I saw new things like the castle in the middle of the city, and now that’s normal to me.