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Pop in a Pound Charity Appeal

Posted on October 17, 2019

Lord Lieutenant and High Sheriff Launch ‘Pop in a Pound’ Charity Appeal

A fund-raising appeal has been launched by Great Yarmouth charity Centre 81, with the first donations being made by Lady Dannatt, Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk, and Lady Agnew, High Sheriff of Norfolk.

They jointly launched Centre 81’s Pop in a Pound community appeal, which has been set up to raise £150,000 towards a £1.7million project to relocate the charity from its current Tar Works Road headquarters to a large site in Southtown Road.

Centre 81 has put in an offer to buy the premises of retailer Better Furniture, which recently announced that it would be closing down. The charity plans to sell its own site for residential development and has applied for grants from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and the National Lottery’s Community Fund.

Diana Staines, Centre 81’s chief executive, said: “The move is key to safeguarding the future of our charity and all those who use our skills and activities centre and community transport service. Our buildings here are old and very costly to maintain and we simply don’t have the space for modern facilities or to welcome lots of new members.”

Lady Dannatt, a patron of Centre 81, said: “We really need these new premises and it’s a pleasure to be able to help launch the appeal. Pop in Pound gives the chance for local people, including the many supporters of Centre 81, to contribute towards this exciting new phase in the charity’s long history.”

Lady Agnew said: “I have every confidence that the people of Great Yarmouth will give generously to this appeal. Centre 81 does fantastic work for some of the most marginalised people in the borough, and it’s held in such high esteem by the local community. I know how important this move is for the centre and its members, staff and volunteers.”

Donations can be made in made in collection boxes at the centre and in some town centre businesses, and securely online at: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charities/centre81.

Ms Staines said relocation to the 2,000sqm Southtown Road building would not only provide disabled people with the surroundings and facilities they need but would enable Centre 81 to support more people and ensure that the charity continues on a firm financial footing for many years to come.

“If you have a disability, look after someone who is disabled or have a friend or relative with a condition that severely affects their life, you will know all about the daily struggle disability can bring. This is our chance to make life so much better for many more disabled people and their carers for decades to come,” she added.

“For nearly 40 years Centre 81’s groundbreaking skills and activities centre has been a lifeline for disabled people and those who care for them. A fun place to meet and relax, somewhere stimulating to learn new things and a safe haven in which disabled people can be themselves.”

It supports more than 70 adults with physical, sensory and other disabilities, including many with complex health and social needs. Centre-based activities include arts, cooking, IT, music and drama, and services such as counselling and personal pampering. Members also enjoy being involved in activities in the wider community, including swimming, sailing, bowling, theatre visits, concerts and fun sports. They choose what activities they want to do and help to organise them. The emphasis is very much on having fun and getting the most out of life.

Centre 81 also runs a community transport service for more than 700 members in the wider community. Its 11-vehicle fleet of fully accessible minibuses is used by anyone in the borough who cannot access ordinary public transport, helping to keep them independent and involved in their local community.

Karl Jermyn, chairman of Centre 81’s trustees, said the new building would enable services to be extended to more disabled people and their carers, offer training and employment opportunities, help to meet the increasing demand for qualified care professionals and create a model for disability services that could be adopted around the country.

“Health and social care is the largest and fastest growing sector in the regional economy and the sort of investment we are proposing is absolutely essential if we are to train and recruit the staff required to support the growing needs of disabled people in one of the most deprived areas of the country,” said Mr Jermyn.

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