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Get into the festive spirit and help us raise money for Norwich disability centre this Christmas

PUBLISHED: 06:30 05 December 2018 | UPDATED: 09:34 05 December 2018

The Hamlet is a Norwich-based charity, which enriches the lives of children and young adults with disabilities and complex health needs. Photo: Jamie Honeywood

The Hamlet is a Norwich-based charity, which enriches the lives of children and young adults with disabilities and complex health needs. Photo: Jamie Honeywood

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Christmas is a time of giving and receiving presents.

Today, we announce a festive campaign that will help you to give a gift that keeps on giving.

The Norwich Evening News is backing city-based charity The Hamlet as its Christmas campaign throughout December.

The organisation supports children and young adults who have disabilities and complex health needs, along with their families.

David Powles, editor of the Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News, said: “The Hamlet is a tremendous Norwich charity that has been a lifeline to children and parents for almost 50 years.

The Hamlet is a Norwich-based charity, which enriches the lives of children and young adults with disabilities and complex health needs. Photo: Jamie HoneywoodThe Hamlet is a Norwich-based charity, which enriches the lives of children and young adults with disabilities and complex health needs. Photo: Jamie Honeywood

“It is a pleasure to reveal it as our Christmas charity. Please give what you can.”

Matthew Garlinge, marketing and communications manager at The Hamlet, said: “The Hamlet acts as a first port of call for a lot of people who have suddenly discovered their child, who they thought would be going down a certain path, now won’t be.

“It can be really scary for families, but our doors are open when they are ready and we will provide help when they need it.”

The charity was founded in 1972 by Jack and Margaret Wymer, who had disabilities themselves.

The Hamlet is a Norwich-based charity, which enriches the lives of children and young adults with disabilities and complex health needs. Photo: Jamie HoneywoodThe Hamlet is a Norwich-based charity, which enriches the lives of children and young adults with disabilities and complex health needs. Photo: Jamie Honeywood

Since then, The Hamlet has evolved from a small toy library into a charity offering a wide range of services for children and adults from birth.

Recreational, educational and social opportunities are available for the children and adults, all promoting integration and inclusion by breaking down barriers that often exist for people with disabilities.

Mr Garlinge said: “We are not just here for the children or young people with disabilities either, we are there for their parents, grandparents and siblings too.

“Whoever that family is we are here to support them as well and I think that is what makes us so unique as a charity.”

The Hamlet is a Norwich-based charity, which enriches the lives of children and young adults with disabilities and complex health needs. Photo: Jamie HoneywoodThe Hamlet is a Norwich-based charity, which enriches the lives of children and young adults with disabilities and complex health needs. Photo: Jamie Honeywood

Today, The Hamlet offer a wide range of high quality services to support over 500 families each year from across Norfolk and North Suffolk.

Mr Garlinge continued: “My plea is for people to get behind and support their local charity that is on their doorstep and embrace them as part of their community.”

■ To find out more about The Hamlet Centre visit their website.

■ To donate to The Hamlet Charity, visit www.totalgiving.co.uk/donate/the-hamlet-centre-trust quoting ‘Evening News’

The Hamlet is a Norwich-based charity, which enriches the lives of children and young adults with disabilities and complex health needs. Photo: Jamie HoneywoodThe Hamlet is a Norwich-based charity, which enriches the lives of children and young adults with disabilities and complex health needs. Photo: Jamie Honeywood

‘It’s a lifeline’: Ella thrives at The Hamlet

Ella Kett, 14, has a rare genetic condition called Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS).

The Hamlet is a Norwich-based charity, which enriches the lives of children and young adults with disabilities and complex health needs. Photo: Jamie HoneywoodThe Hamlet is a Norwich-based charity, which enriches the lives of children and young adults with disabilities and complex health needs. Photo: Jamie Honeywood

CdLS is a developmental disorder that affects many parts of the body and likely affects one in 10,000 to 30,000 newborns.

Ella, of Capps Road, Norwich, started attending The Hamlet Charity nine years ago and has been thriving in its atmosphere ever since.

Faye Kett, 43, mother of Ella, said: “Ella was a child that was not meant to walk, talk or live really. She’s now thriving at the Hamlet.

“We have had a bad couple of years and they have been here every step of the way making sure we are both doing okay.

The Hamlet is a Norwich-based charity, which enriches the lives of children and young adults with disabilities and complex health needs. Photo: Jamie HoneywoodThe Hamlet is a Norwich-based charity, which enriches the lives of children and young adults with disabilities and complex health needs. Photo: Jamie Honeywood

“It’s a lifeline. The fact that I can leave my very vulnerable and ill child with these people and trust them, that takes a lot.

“Just knowing that there is somebody on the other end of the phone that cares and knows what I’m going through is invaluable.”

What could your money buy?

The Hamlet is a Norwich-based charity, which enriches the lives of children and young adults with disabilities and complex health needs. Photo: Jamie HoneywoodThe Hamlet is a Norwich-based charity, which enriches the lives of children and young adults with disabilities and complex health needs. Photo: Jamie Honeywood

Donations are vital to keep The Hamlet’s three buildings maintained and help it create more opportunities for families, children and young adults with disabilities.

The Hamlet Charity has three premises in Norwich - a children’s centre on Johnson Place, an adult centre on Ella Road and its head office on St Leonards Road.

Money donated could pay for the following for The Hamlet Charity:

The Hamlet is a Norwich-based charity, which enriches the lives of children and young adults with disabilities and complex health needs. Photo: Jamie HoneywoodThe Hamlet is a Norwich-based charity, which enriches the lives of children and young adults with disabilities and complex health needs. Photo: Jamie Honeywood

• £10 - half an hour one-to-one family support with a specialist practitioner

• £75 - two play-and-stay sensory sessions for parents and under fives

• £100 - a BIGmack ‘switch’ to enable children with disabilities to play with a wide variety of toys

• £500 - specialist Eye Gaze software to enable children and adults to communicate using the technology.

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