A new community house which aims to replicate a family home for nine young care leavers has been opened by YMCA Norfolk in Great Yarmouth.
The New Horizons project is based at St Paul’s Lodge on Salisbury Road in the town and provides rooms and communal spaces for young people with a range of needs.
YMCA Norfolk CEO, Tim Sweeting, said: “Our aim is to make the house as close to a family home as possible – staffing 24/7 for 365 days a year – eating meals together, planning, sharing chores and gaining independence.
“We have recruited a team that will help the young people gain the skills and receive the support they would have gained in a family home.
The official opening yesterday (September 25) was attended by the Mayor of Yarmouth, Cllr Mary Coleman, Yarmouth Team Rector Rev Simon Ward, members of the local community, staff and young people of YMCA Norfolk.
Cllr Coleman said she wanted to thank the YMCA for providing this project and all those that had helped make it happen.
YMCA Yarmouth resident Jaime Copping told guests that when he first joined the YMCA he would never have the courage to stand up in front of people but that the support the organisation has given him has helped him immensely, so much so that he wants to give something back by supporting other young people himself.
Tim said: “We want to support more young people like Jaime as they will be the ones to bring about positive change in Yarmouth. This project is part of our long-term commitment to the town.”
Tim also mentioned the strong links the building has had with St Paul’s Church over many years and how the YMCA look forward to partnering with them and the local community in the future.
Pictured top are guests at the official opening of St Paul’s Lodge and, below, Mayor Cllr Mary Coleman cutting the ribbon.