How Norwich’s GoGoDragons! are helping young people move on with their lives
- Credit: SIMON FINLAY
As well as brightening up our fine city, the GoGo art trails through Norwich are also about raising funds to support the important work of children's charity Break. In the week plans for a new GoGoHares! project for 2018 were announced, arts correspondent Emma Knights looks at how the money raised from last year's GoGoDragons! is helping young people in need.
Norwich's clan of GoGoDragons! may have flown off from the city, but their lasting legacy is helping young people leaving care go on to enjoy independent lives.
After their summer on display across Norwich the GoGoDragons! sculptures raised £369,500 at auction for children's charity Break. Much of this money is now being used to fund the organisation's Moving On Team which offers mentoring support and gives young people who have grown up in care the vital help they need when moving out to their own homes – something those of us who have grown up with a family around us take for granted.
In December, Break opened a special Moving On House in King's Lynn and is now looking for a second property in Norwich.
These Moving On Houses are for young people aged 16 to 22 and designed to provide a less-supported environment than a children's home, helping the young adults prepare for their future.
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Hilary Richards, Break's chief executive officer, said: 'It is because of the generosity of the people of Norfolk and beyond through sponsorship, fundraising, donations made during the trail and buying the dragons at auction, Break has been able to embark on this new project providing one Moving On House with a second one in the pipeline.
'Thank you from everyone at Break.'
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Jordan Andrews is one of the first people to benefit from Break's Moving On House in King's Lynn.
The 18-year-old lived in one of Break's children's homes in King's Lynn for four years before moving to his new home last December.
With the help of his transition worker, Shelly Whitby, he is adapting to a more independent way of living by learning to cook, budget his money, use the washing machine and do other essential household chores.
Jordan, who describes Break as his family and hopes to go to university to study performing arts, said: 'I feel that living in the Moving On House has made such a difference to me being more independent as when I lived in the residential home they did more for me.
'I do still miss them but I know I'm welcome back any time... I feel lucky living in the house with the Moving On team around me. I know they will be there if I don't understand something and will support me until I don't need them any more.'
Break is set to celebrate 50 years of helping children, young people and families in 2018.
See www.edp24.co.uk and www.eveningnews24.co.uk for 50 facts about the charity's work and its fundraising. For more, visit www.break-charity.org