Norwich firms give charity a helping hand

Revamped charity HQ

Revamped charity HQ - Credit: Archant

The Norwich-based staff of two firms have come to the aid of a charity that had outgrown its premises in the city.

The Sue Lambert Trust, which provides support for survivors of sexual abuse, sent out a plea for help as demand for its services was putting an ever greater strain on its premises in Rouen Road, Norwich.

Professionals at LSI Architects and quantity surveyors AECOM rallied to the cause by providing the necessary expertise for a major redesign of the offices the charity took over in 2013.

Thanks to their efforts, provided free under the Norfolk ProHelp scheme through which professional firms support voluntary and community groups, the trust now has far more available space.

As well as the addition of new counselling rooms, the redesign has given it a large training room and extra facilities to support and train staff and volunteers.

Kirstin Aitken, project architect at LSI Architects, which has an office in Cattle Market Street, Norwich, said: 'The work has created the space that the trust needs to further the quality service they were already providing.

'The new counselling rooms created are each different in character and have given the trust a range of rooms, allowing different counsellors and clients to work in the space that best suits their needs.'

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Mette Ohrvik, CEO of Sue Lambert Trust, said: 'The support we received from everybody involved in the project has been invaluable.

'Kirstin was able to understand what was needed and was able to come up with plans which made the best possible use of the space to meet our needs.

'We are especially grateful to our staff, volunteers and clients for their hard work and patience, and also to project manager Simon Evans and builder, James Kimbley. We are absolutely thrilled with the results, and our clients are full of praise for what has been achieved.'

The project is one of a number of free community projects that LSI has completed through Norfolk ProHelp. The practice's commitment to the community has been recognised through an award for responsible business at the 2015 Business in the Community Awards.

It is currently the only business in the East of England to hold the Business in the Community CommunityMark accreditation.

Ben Goode, partner at LSI Architects, said: 'Norfolk ProHelp does an excellent job of connecting like-minded professionals with clients that can really benefit from their support.'

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