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The Right Reverend Graham James, Bishop of Norwich, a long-term supporter of The Benjamin Foundation at the Aspire centre exactly one month before The Benjamin Foundation’s 18th Birthday on 25 October. Pictured with Richard Draper, founder and chief executive of The Benjamin Foundation and two residents Chris and Dan. Picture: James Bass
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
The Bishop of Norwich aimed to inspire homeless young people as he visited two “remarkable” safe havens today.
The Right Reverend Graham James met and listened to youngsters at The Boat House children’s home in Norwich, which cares for eight 11- to 16-year-olds.
Then he visited residents at Aspire supported accommodation scheme in Great Yarmouth.
Aspire, which opened in 2009, provides a home for 17 young people aged 16 to 25 with each living in a self-contained bedsit to encourage independent living. Both homes are run by the Benjamin Foundation, and Bishop Graham said the charity touches the lives of thousands of people in Norfolk every year.
“Its services are so varied that it’s hard to sum the charity up in one sentence, but everything that it does is entirely driven by need,” he said.
“Visiting The Boat House and Aspire really underlined the very real difference that the charity makes to people, in this case young people’s, lives.
“Aspire is a remarkable place that provides homeless teenagers with a safe place to live and support to help them get their lives back on track.
“The Boat House is not just about providing accommodation for children, but providing the supportive foundations on which to nurture the potential of each individual child. Visiting both services was very poignant.”
Richard Draper, founder and chief executive of The Benjamin Foundation, said the visit meant a lot to young people and staff. “The Bishop of Norwich’s visit certainly succeeded in fostering a very real sense of hope with the young people and staff in both areas that he visited,” he added.
For details on the charity, see www.benjaminfoundation.co.uk