Blickling Proms announces support for The Benjamin Foundation

Chris Elliott, marketing and fundraising manager at The Benjamin Foundation, John Wootten of Revival

Chris Elliott, marketing and fundraising manager at The Benjamin Foundation, John Wootten of Revival Productions, James Stuart, support worker at Forward Court in Aylsham and resident Kyle Oakley celebrate the new partnership at Blickling. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Revellers at this summer's Blickling Proms weekend will not only soak up the music and atmosphere, but also help a home-grown charity which supports thousands of people across Norfolk.

Organisers of this year's two-day event, near Aylsham, are adopting The Benjamin Foundation as their partner charity.

The foundation was set up in north Norfolk in 1994 by Richard and Vanessa Draper, in memory of their teenage son Ben, and helps people deal with many of life's challenges.

Lisa Ward, of prom organisers Revival Productions, said: 'It was important for us to support a local organisation and The Benjamin Foundation is a well-established concern which does a fantastic job of supporting young people and their families in difficult times.

'As well as many other areas of assistance, they also offer stability for around 100 young homeless people and the latest accommodation centre they opened was actually very close-by in Aylsham.'

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The new Aylsham centre, at Forward Court, Station Road, offers a secure environment for seven young people in self-contained, one-bedroomed flats.

Chris Elliott, the foundation's marketing and fundraising manager said: 'We offer each person a place in one of our centres for up to two years, with a view to helping them to integrate back into society and our staff are on hand 24/7 to give help and advice.

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'The aim is to help them to support themselves, make positive life choices and go on to live fulfilled lives.'

Mr Elliott said an event like the proms weekend would be invaluable in raising money and the foundation's profile.

The Blickling Proms weekend launches on Friday August 12 with Classic Ibiza, when Blickling will play host to an open-air classical dance party.

The Urban Soul Orchestra (USO) together with internationally-renowned DJ, Goldierocks (aka Sam Hall) will entertain an anticipated 8,000-strong audience.

On Saturday August 13, Brit Award-winning trio, BLAKE will be the stars of the Last Night of the Blickling Proms.

In the first half, the music will include some of the most popular film scores of all time.

BLAKE will also perform some of their best-loved classics, including You Raise Me Up, Hallelujah and Fields of Gold. The second half will feature BLAKE singing more iconic tracks such as Bring Him Home and Nessun Dorma, as well Proms favourites like Rule Britannia, Land of Hope and Glory, and Jerusalem. Twins 'Classical Reflection,' who featured on the BBC's The Voice show last year, will sing E Piu Ti Penso from Once Upon a Time in America. The evening will end with a fireworks finale over the lake.

For more information visit or ring 01283 841601. Tickets are £35 in advance, £38 on the night. Group discounts are available.

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