Cast your vote for Open in Norwich and help youngsters across the county

PUBLISHED: 17:01 21 May 2015 | UPDATED: 17:01 21 May 2015

Young people taking part in a climbing sessions on OPEN's Climbing Wall

Young people taking part in a climbing sessions on OPEN's Climbing Wall


The Open Youth Trust (OPEN) is calling on the public to cast their vote so it can continue its life changing work with young people across Norfolk.

The charity, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, has applied to Aviva’s Community Fund for a grant of up to £25,000 that will help establish its Your Life programme.

The programme has developed from Open’s youth scheme which has helped scores of youngsters get into work, college and further training, by providing them with a safe environment where they can gain help and support.

Your Life will provide children and young people with a range of activities to help build their self-esteem, raise their aspirations, boost their employability and teach them life skills.

Kay Stallard, 16, who has been coming to drop-in sessions at Open as well as contemporary dance and singing classes, said: “There isn’t anywhere else like Open that I could go to that has on offer all the things it does.

“Open has helped me gain so much self confidence, plus I’ve made lots of new friends and when I come here I feel like I can just be myself.”

And the charity, based in Bank Plain, Norwich now needs the public to show their support for the programme by voting for it online.

If enough votes are secured, Open will then go through to the next stage of the community fund where the bid will be scrutinised by a judging panel.

Charlene Ledgard, youth support worker, said: “We have helped so many young people to realise, and achieve, their potential and we want to be able to carry on providing this support.

“That’s why we’re so keen for people to vote for us in the Aviva Community Fund so we can secure this much-needed funding to help us continue our important work, and reach even more young people from across Norfolk.”

“Your Life” will provide climbing wall sessions, dance and performing arts classes, music sessions ­ where youngsters can learn music production, recording and video production ­ volunteering and employability workshops and healthy eating and cooking classes.

The programme will particularly look to help children and young people from challenging circumstances, including those who are rurally isolated, from low income families, from deprived and disadvantaged areas, are homeless, suffer from mental health issues, have a disability or are not in education, employment or training.

Voting is open until May 30. To support Your Life visit

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