Great Yarmouth charity in search for new home

VOLUNTEERS from a long standing charity are becoming concerned their important work could be threatened if they cannot find a new base.

Grapevine - Great Yarmouth's branch of the national Talking Newspapers scheme - has been moved out of its home of more than 25 years and is now on the lookout for new premises.

The charity enables blind or partially sighted people to keep up to date with local news through weekly digests, which are recorded by the team of 80 Grapevine volunteers. They source stories from the Mercury and other publications and distribute their recordings to hundreds of listeners across the borough.

But the dedicated team are now becoming worried they may have to scale back their work - or put it on hold - if they cannot find a suitable base after they were moved out of their mobile building within the grounds of Northgate Hospital.

Barry Bradnum, Grapevine chairman, said health chiefs asked the group to move as part of the hospital's development. Since then they have been temporarily re-homed in another building on site but they are desperately seeking a permanent residence before their lease expires in 18 months time.

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'We have looked at one or two possibilities and we haven't found anything that was suitable or desirable,' he added. 'People are beginning to get a little bit anxious about the prospect of being homeless.

'It's a service we would like to continue and also develop so we're making more available to our listeners. The last thing we want to do after 30 years is to take backward steps.'

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Mr Bradnum admitted Grapevine's requirements were 'peculiar' as they were looking for a base with two rooms but one of which they would only use on Fridays. But he said they did not have to be housed as the group would happily site a new mobile building on an available piece of land.

? Anyone who can help Grapevine with a new premises or land should call 01493 858445 and leave a message.

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