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Charity shop providing support for the deaf set to close

PUBLISHED: 14:52 26 February 2020 | UPDATED: 15:13 26 February 2020

West Norfolk Deaf Association Retail on the High Street in Downham Market will close. Picture: Sarah Hussain

West Norfolk Deaf Association Retail on the High Street in Downham Market will close. Picture: Sarah Hussain

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A charity shop providing services for people that are deaf is set to close this month.

Sarah Cox, WNDA retails manager with service user Keith Young. Picture: Sarah CoxSarah Cox, WNDA retails manager with service user Keith Young. Picture: Sarah Cox

The West Norfolk Deaf Association (WNDA) retail shop on High Street in Downham Market will close on Saturday, February 29.

The charity has decided to shut the clothes store after a break in their lease, but intend to focus their efforts on their sister bookshop across the road.

WNDA, which was set up in 1998, helps people that are deaf and provides support and advice to people with hearing aids.

The organisation supports more than 2,500 hard of hearing clients, hundreds of them in Norfolk.

Amanda Kenny, former WNDA manager (centre) and WNDA retail manager Sarah Cox (right) outside the West Norfolk Deaf Association retail shop.  Picture: Sarah CoxAmanda Kenny, former WNDA manager (centre) and WNDA retail manager Sarah Cox (right) outside the West Norfolk Deaf Association retail shop. Picture: Sarah Cox

Their retail shop opened on the High Street in May 2015 and has been used as a space to provide hearing support services in the area.

Sarah Cox, retail manager at WNDA retail, said the decision to close was made at a meeting last month.

She said: "It's really sad to see the shop close, it was a real challenge for a small charity to set up a retail outlet.

"But we're now going to focus our efforts on the bookshop rather than have two shops.

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"It's sad, but positive also.

"Retail on the high street is hard and we of course face the same struggles that many closing their doors do.

"Please be assured that the bookshop will remain and go from strength to strength."

The service also aims to help combat isolation and supports more than 250 clients a month at the shop.

Mrs Cox, who has worked in charity for nine years, said: "Living in rural west Norfolk, it can be challenging to reach the people we need to and we strive to make this as easy for our clients as possible.

"We're a bit of community hub for people with hearing loss and we're not going anywhere.

"We are really pleased that the majority of our clothes shop volunteers will continue to support and volunteer with us in various other ways at WNDA.

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that have supported, shopped and donated to our clothes shop over the years.

"For those of you that haven't yet visited our fun and quirky bookshop please visit us soon."

No8 The Old Bookshop is open Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 4pm.

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