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Dereham youth group saved by grant

PUBLISHED: 08:00 06 April 2010 | UPDATED: 15:50 07 July 2010

Two youth groups for disabled teenagers have been saved from closure thanks to a massive grant, which will also allow new services to be started in the county.

Two youth groups for disabled teenagers have been saved from closure thanks to a massive grant, which will also allow new services to be started in the county.

The Norfolk-based charity BUILD (Bridges Unlimited for people with Learning Difficulties) has been awarded £43,000 by Children in Need, which means its threatened youth groups in Dereham and Norwich can now continue for at least three years.

As well as these groups, the money will be used to provide services for teenagers in north Norfolk and James Kearns, chief executive of Build, is working with other agencies there to decide which type of facility would most benefit the area.

He said: “Had we not got the grant, it was likely that we would have had to close the groups in Dereham and Norwich, but now we have got it we will be able to continue running them for at least three years and develop them further.

“It will provide us with three new members of staff and we will also use the money to develop some new services in north Norfolk.

“We are looking at a number of different models, as we recognise the young people are not concentrated in one area like in Norwich and Dereham.

“We are about to have discussions with partner organisations to find out what is already there and whether we can complement them, or whether we should use a model that moves around different centres in north Norfolk, so the services are more accessible to more people.

“We are not sure what the finished result will look like yet, but we will definitely be providing services in the north of the county whichever model we decide on.”

The charity, which also runs a befriending service and an adult social group for people with learning difficulties, has recently been awarded a £2,000 grant by Norfolk County Council to buy new equipment.

However, it relies on donations and grants from charitable trusts for its day-to-day running costs, and volunteers provide the majority of its services.

For more information about Build, including volunteering opportunities, visit www.buildnorwich.org.uk

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