Norfolk homeless charity celebrates 25 years of helping to house over 10,000 people
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018
A homeless charity in King's Lynn has celebrated 25 years of helping to house more than 10,000 people by opening a new building.
The Purfleet Trust, King's Lynn officially opened its new Pathway House centre on Tuesday, October 16, which boasts more space and improved facilities.
Chairman of the Purfleet Trust Reverend John Belfield said: 'For a while we've been teetering on the edge of whether we would stay open or not and to have the benefactors we now have means we can. Everyone working here today, bar the chef, have all been clients here, it's fantastic.'
The new premises, formerly the Red Cross Centre in Austin Fields, has been refurbished and fully equipped by W H Kerkham in partnership with the Flux family and was officially opened by the mayor of King's Lynn and West Norfolk, councillor Nick Daubney.
The spacious building has a computer suite which is vital for clients of the Purfleet Trust to learn skills to enable them to apply for work and organise their benefits. There are also training rooms and a purpose-built kitchen where people can learn to cook and this is linked to a large communal area for eating and daily activities.
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There is also a shower room, laundry facilities, treatment room and offices for staff and volunteers.
Opening the centre, Mr Daubney said: 'When I was elected as mayor I did remind my colleagues that homelessness is not exclusively a West Norfolk issue but, it is a West Norfolk issue and one we all have to address together.
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'We all know we face a huge challenge of homelessness and that's not going to be solved any time soon, but we know that those who made this service and facility available, who made it possible, who made it a reality and those who make it work day to day, now have the best in physical fabric and resources and can give those best to people we need to serve.
'Today is a very special day, it's a new chapter in the development of this great trust. Whatever your contribution role in that, thank you very much indeed.'
The trust was established in 1993 by Canon Arthur Hawes and Anita Barnard. The resulting organisation – the Purfleet Trust Resettlement Project – was accepted as a registered charity.