City star Darren Huckerby opens new family centre at Norwich school

Footballer Darren Huckerby and local MP Simon Wright opened a new family centre at the Hewett School today.

The new centre, called The Base, is the result of a joint partnership between the school on Hall Road in Lakenham, Parkside School on College Road and the children's charity Barnado's. Working with other local service providers, the centre will be able to offer various types of help to local families as well as a range of services and leisure activities, including family and adult learning, mental health and well-being, sexual and physical health and parent support. Tom Samain, headteacher of the Hewett school, said: 'Some things are so fundamental that we neglect them. Families are an absolutely key thing in everything we do.

'Broken families produce broken people; loving families produce loving people and communities. There has never been a period where families have faced more of a challenge.'

It is hoped that the centre will eventually become a community-led initiative. As families become involved they will able to elect the committee who will control the direction of the centre.

The committee will also raise money for the centre which has so far been funded by donations and resources from the Hewett School, Barnado's and local businesses.

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Mr Wright, MP for Norwich South, said: 'The centre draws together the range of organisations and initiatives involved to become a one-stop-shop for families to access resources. The scheme is very exciting and I look forward to seeing the community working together.'

The centre has already run a variety of workshops for local children which have included activities such as DJ-ing and graffiti, as well as launching their Eureka scheme in which local people produce photographs of ways to well-being.

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Emma Parkinson, children's service manager at the centre, said: 'Families often struggle to access a centre like this providing many services all in one place in one place. I want the centre to become a thriving and energetic community-led centre where people come to enjoy themselves'.

Do you have an education story? Contact Steve Downes on 01263 513920 or email

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