December 6 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Vulnerable youngsters who run into trouble with public transport in Norwich now have a new place to turn to if they are unsure how to get home.
The Forum has joined the Titan (Travel Independence Training Across the Nation) scheme run by Norfolk County Council, which provides safe havens for children who get into trouble using public transport.
Peter Walsh, organiser of the Titan programme for the county council’s children’s services department, explained: “We are generally aimed at young people who find it difficult to access public transport and may be lacking in confidence.
“The vast majority are children with special needs but that doesn’t stop any other youngsters who are a bit nervy or want a bit of a confidence builder.”
Mr Walsh said the programme deals with between 300 and 500 youngsters every year.
With Marsh Insurance, near Norwich bus station, and the Marble Hall at Aviva’s Surrey Street offices already safe haven areas for the scheme, Mr Walsh described it as “the icing on the cake” to now have the Forum involved.
He said he hoped having a safe haven right in the middle of the
city centre could prove a big boost for more children using the programme.
Jayne Evans, marketing manager for the Forum Trust, said: “They gave us a call and suggested that we might like to be a part of the scheme and it made perfect sense to us because the Forum has got to be one of the most visible buildings in Norwich.
“The Millennium building is open from seven in the morning until midnight and is a welcoming and accessible place for youngsters who might be a bit worried wandering around the city who have been given a bit more freedom for the first time by their parents.”
Mr Walsh was invited to brief all of the Forum’s staff at a breakfast meeting recently so that all staff know how to help youngsters wearing a Titan wristband if they come in and need some help.
Ms Evans added: “We were more than happy to help with the scheme as it makes sense all round.”
For more information about Titan, go to the travel section of www.schools.norfolk.gov.uk