Video: Watch new Lowestoft centre for disabled youngsters and theatre group be lowered into position
09:41 05 February 2014
We are feeling sky high about our plans for Lowestoft.
That was the message from the people behind a new centre that will help disabled children and young people and give a home to a popular performing group.
On Monday the first stage of building a facility for five to 25-year-olds with assisted and additional needs took place at Harrod Way.
A crane could be seen lifting the first cabins into the place for the centre, which will be run by the not-for-profit organisation Involve to offer activities, training courses and a place to socialise for young people who need help or assistance.
The new centre, which does not yet have a name and is due to be opened in Easter, will also have a theatre space that will become a permanent rehearsal home for Cantors Theatre School.
Bev Patnell, who founded Involve two years ago, said: “The centre will offer life training skills, such as cooking, and other courses which we hope to be accredited by the Open College Network.
“We can help young people prepare for job interviews and prepare them for the world of work.
“There will be daytime activities, a café where parents and carers can socialise over a cup of coffee and there will be a dance studio for performing arts.
“I see it as community engagement project. East Coast Mobility and Sense have said they would like to organise events here and other groups can get involved.
“There is a need in the area for something like this for children and young people with assisted needs.”
Kenny Cantor and Caron Cantor, the founders of Cantors Theatre School, looked on as the crane went about its lifting business.
The Cantors will also be working with the children and young people who will use the centre and its theatre space.
Mr Cantor said: “We have a son who has Down’s Syndrome so we know how important this centre will be. Lowestoft needs something like this.
“It is an exciting time for us, we have been waiting a long time for this.”
The funding for the new centre is coming from Scope’s Activities Unlimited in Suffolk scheme, which works with local authorities to identify a range of local opportunities and support for disabled children and young people with complex support needs