Norwich-based charity Opening Doors celebrates 20th anniversary helping people in Norfolk

Norwich based charity Opening Doors that is celebrating 20th anniversary.Senior advisor Ian Duckman

Norwich based charity Opening Doors that is celebrating 20th anniversary.Senior advisor Ian Duckmanton with user and treasurer Dan Barrett. Photo: Steve Adams - Credit: Archant

A Norwich-based charity is today marking two decades helping disabled people around Norfolk and will be celebrating its birthday with the opening of a new room in memory of a former member.

Norwich based charity Opening Doors that is celebrating 20th anniversary. Photo: Steve Adams

Norwich based charity Opening Doors that is celebrating 20th anniversary. Photo: Steve Adams - Credit: Archant

Opening Doors, based on Bull Close, in the north of the city, is a user led organisation run by people with learning difficulties for people with learning difficulties.

What started in 1994 and grew in a terrace house in Lawson Road, off Sprowston Road, has expanded over the years to help hundreds of people - and now, to celebrate its achievements, the charity will be officially opening the Joan Scott Room today on its new premises.

Ms Scott died in January this year and as well as being a founding member of Opening Doors she was also a powerful advocate for people with learning difficulties, especially parents.

Her nephew Dan Barrett is currently treasurer of the charity and suffers from cerebral palsy. He said it would be a proud moment to see the new room opened.


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'She also suffered from a learning difficulty herself and she was wheelchair bound,' he said. 'I feel proud about the room being named after her and it will be emotional for me.'

The charity helps individuals to live independently through access to practical support in areas such as confidence building, health and well being, team work, rights, keeping safe, life skills, leadership and work-related skills.

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Activities are also put on around the county including in towns such as Cromer, Attleborough, Dereham, Fakenham, King's Lynn, Norwich and Great Yarmouth.

Mr Barrett added: 'We used to be called 'People First of Norfolk' but we remain a self advocacy organisation for people to speak up for themselves and make decisions for themselves. It's like if someone offers someone a cup of tea, you would let them decide whether they want sugar or not, not make the decision for them.'

As well as the opening of the Joan Scott Room, staff and members old and new will also attend a get-together to mark the charity's hard work over the last 20 years.

• Are you part of a charity doing something special? Email reporter donna-louise.bishop@archant.co.uk or ring 01603 693892.

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