May 18 2013 Latest news:
By sophie wyllie
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Children and adults with learning disabilities will be able to learn work skills after a storeroom was transformed into a kitchen.
The new space for the About With Friends charity, based on Holt Road, Cromer, was officially opened by North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb.
About With Friends was started 11 years ago by Helen Dalton-Hare and it allows children and adults with learning disabilities from across Norfolk to develop skills including cooking, gardening, horse riding, communication and computer technology.
A smaller kitchen, especially for young people, was opened by Dean Steele-Smith, 17, from Suffield Park in Cromer.
Dean has Down’s Syndrome and traits of autism and cannot speak because of his condition.
His mother Julie Steele-Smith, 49, said: “The new kitchen is fabulous. Cooking has given Dean a purpose. He loves it here.
“His confidence has grown so much. He is a lot more tolerant about being with other people.”
Dean started going to About With Friends in April last year and now attends sessions 14 hours a week, with one-to-one support.
The kitchen cost £60,000 and was funded by Norfolk County Council.
Ms Dalton-Hare, chief executive of the charity, said: “We can offer many more young people and adults the opportunity to get experience in our kitchen to learn real life skills for work.”
About With Friends has 60 volunteers, 24 staff and supports 160 people aged nine and upwards.
The new kitchen will be shared with the charity’s commercial operation that provides a catering service for lunch clubs and North Norfolk District Council.
It is part of the charity’s work skills programme.
For more information about the charity ring 01263 515230 or email email@example.com. uk
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