Fifty facts about children’s charity Break

The GoGoDragons! were a huge hit in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The GoGoDragons! were a huge hit in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

The GoGoHares! charity art trail for Norwich and Norfolk in 2018 is set to mark the 50th anniversary of children's charity Break. To celebrate this, Break's senior communications manager Liz Richards has shared 50 facts highlighting the Norfolk-based charity's vital work with young people and its fundraising efforts.

Launching GoGoHares! at the Forum the public enjoy a Mad Hatters Tea Party before the unveiling of t

Launching GoGoHares! at the Forum the public enjoy a Mad Hatters Tea Party before the unveiling of the new designs. Break's Martin Green(centre) with the actors.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

1. Break currently supports young people in care and moving on, children and young people with disabilities, families in need of support, and children at risk.

2. On November 15 1968, Judith and Geoffrey Davison and their friend the Rev Leslie Morley registered Break as a charity.

3. In 1971 the Davison Morley Trust became Break and the first permanent home was purchased from The Children's Society in Hunstanton. Named The Sandcastle, it welcomed 400 children with disabilities for holidays in its first year.

4. In 1973 Break acquired two Sheringham properties, which had been children's homes, opening one of them immediately as Rainbow which provided holidays for children with disabilities.

Break charity reveal two of the sculptures of hares which will be the next GoGotrail. The GoGoHares

Break charity reveal two of the sculptures of hares which will be the next GoGotrail. The GoGoHares by Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

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5. In 1974 the children's TV programme Magpie adopted Break for its Christmas Appeal, raising over £80,000 which went to refurbishing Break's second house, named Magpie

6. In 1975 Magpie opened and was set up as a children's home.

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7. In 1984 Daybreak opened on the same site as Rainbow and Magpie to provide day care for adults with learning disabilities living in north Norfolk.

8. In 1985 Rowntree Mackintosh, using their slogan 'Have a Break, Have a Kit Kat,' raised £300,000 for Break.

9. In 1995 the children living at Magpie moved to a new Break children's home in Sheringham and Magpie became a residential family assessment unit for up to three families.

10. In 2003 Break opened a six bed respite unit, Nelson Lodge, and a four bed medium stay facility, Trafalgar Lodge, for young people with autistic spectrum disorders or severe learning disabilities.

11. From 2007 to 2012 Break managed Ashcroft, a service for women with mental health problems.

12. In 2007 the Break mentoring service started supporting young people in care and leaving care.

13. Sports presenter Jake Humphrey became Break's patron in 2008.

14. In 2010 Break hosted the Royal Norfolk Show Ball at the Norfolk Showground.

15. A transition service started in 2009 and joined with the mentoring service to become the Moving On team in 2012.

16. Embrace, offering support to teenage parents and pregnant teenagers, was part of Break from 2010 until 2013.

17. Morley House, in King's Lynn, was purpose built to provide weekly boarding and short breaks to children with complex care needs and opened in 2010.

18. The Countess of Wessex visited Morley House in July 2010.

19. In 2012 Break expanded services to children and families in the community with Families' House which supports families with a wide range of difficulties in Norwich and Norfolk.

20. After 38 years of providing holidays and short breaks for people with disabilities, Rainbow closed in 2012.

21. A therapeutic fostering service was launched in 2012.

22. In 1969 Break opened its first charity shop in Southgate, London.

23. In 2013 Break organised the GoGoGorillas! sculpture trail around the streets of Norwich, raising £272,000 for Break at auction.

24. Over the 10 years of the Stody Cross Country fundraiser, participants have raised £49,000.

25. In 2015 the Unthank Family Centre joined Break.

26. Chris Hoddy retired in 2015 as Break's chief executive officer and was succeeded in the role by Hilary Richards.

27. In June 2015 the GoGoDragons! sculpture trail hit the streets of Norwich organised by Break and Wild in Art

28. Martin Green, Break's fundraising manager and who leads the GoGo projects, was a deputy manager at one of Break's children's homes before joining Break's fundraising team.

29. Break has more than 50 charity shops in East Anglia and the South West.

30. Break has 680 retail volunteers who collectively donate 3,200 hours per week.

31. In March 2016 Break took part in the Designer Show at Norwich Fashion Week.

32. Break supports two charities in the South West of the country - CHICKS and infoBuzz

33. The Grand Norwich Duck race is now in its sixth year

34. In 2015 Break was gifted The Mill House, in Wells, by Stephen Bournes to run as a self-catering enterprise until mid-February 2017.

35. Break's Stody and London Marathon runners have covered 9,437 miles - more than 10 times the distance by road from Land's End to John O'Groats (874 miles).

36. More than 500 large ducks and 6,000 baby ducklings have raced in The Grand Norwich Duck Race to raise funds for Break.

37. Rare first editions of C S Lewis books donated to Break's Stonehouse shop sold at auction for £2,600 in 2011.

38. In 2012 Break co-founder Geoffrey Davison was made an OBE.

39. Groups spent an average of 15 hours visiting the GoGoDragons! trail in Norwich in 2015 - equating to eight million visiting hours.

40. More than 70 dragons had their own twitter accounts.

41. Break charity shops only sell donated goods.

42. In February 2012, Break opened its first service in Cambridgeshire.

43. Break joined Twitter in 2010 and now has 6,730 followers.

44. Break used to have holiday chalets in Devon and a gite in France.

45. In 2014 Break organised the first Breaking Clays event on the Easton Estate and raised £30,000.

46. Break's Moving On Team is actively working with 58 young people and in touch with a further 79 young people providing much needed support.

47. Nineteen young people are being mentored by Break's volunteer mentors.

48. In the last year Break has welcomed 150 young people with disabilities for a short break.

49. Break has worked with more than 1,000 families in the last 12 months.

50. About 2,000 people have benefitted from Break training in the last year.

For more about Break, visit

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