Countryfile presenter backs Norwich charity’s open day

TV presenter Joe Crowley with OPEN'’s Young Volunteers at the venue'’s open day in Norwich on Saturd

TV presenter Joe Crowley with OPEN'’s Young Volunteers at the venue'’s open day in Norwich on Saturday. - Credit: Archant

TV presenter lends support to city charity at open day

A television presenter returned to his roots in Norwich to launch a city charity's open day.

The OPEN Youth Trust was giving the local community the chance to find out all the different facilities it has on offer for children, young people, families and the business community.

The event, on Saturday, was officially launched by Joe Crowley, from The One Show and Countryfile, who grew up in the city and was a pupil at the Hewett School.

He also gave a motivational talk about working in television as a presenter and broadcast journalist.

A dozen of the charity's Young Volunteers were on hand to welcome visitors to the venue in Bank Plain, to talk about the work of the charity and how it has made a positive difference to their lives.

Guests were encouraged to take part in a self-discovery trail to explore the multi-purpose venue and find out what the charity has on offer.

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Clues were placed around the venue, leading visitors to discover the indoor climbing wall and recording studio, as well as hear live music performed by local band Perfect Mistakes.

Guided heritage tours took people around the whole venue including the former bank vaults in the basement, now a secure storage facility, the former bank managers' offices, now conference and fine-dining rooms, and up to the dance studio at the top of the venue.

Mr Crowley explained why he was supporting the venue: 'Growing up in Norwich I was lucky to have many opportunities. At school I became involved in a fantastic range of music and sport, first at the Avenues and then at the Hewett School. And out of school I enjoyed the local 'am dram' scene, treading the boards wherever and whenever possible.

'I think it's really important for young people in Norwich to have similar opportunities which is why I'm so keen to support the work of OPEN. For some young people, OPEN may just be a place they can hang out after school, somewhere their parents know they'll be safe. But many others will take up the opportunities offered, from classes in cooking and life skills to dance and music sessions.

'And crucially for those who are less fortunate or don't have an easy time of things at home, the experienced staff - ably assisted by many young volunteers - are on hand to help and support.'

Hayley Gerrard, Marketing Manager at OPEN said: 'It was great to be able to show off our venue to so many people at the weekend.'

?To find out more about what is on offer at OPEN for the whole community go to

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