Norwich charity moves into new centre

A charity which helps children and adults with disabilities has moved into its new �1.3m centre.

For the past few years, the Hamlet Centre has been fundraising to transform the St Raphael Club in Johnson Place into a new base for its children's activities and services.

The main work on the building, off Vauxhall Street, has now been completed and the charity moved in at the weekend.

Its first scheme will start this Saturday with the early years groups starting next week.

Michael Rooney, chief executive of the Hamlet Centre, said: 'It's a culmination of a few years of really hard work. It gives us an increased profile in the city centre which is important, and the big benefit, of course, is a wonderful new building for the children's services.

'Ella Road is now getting a more modest makeover so it can be a service just for adults.

'We are incredibly grateful for the support we've received from the Norfolk and Norwich community.'

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Set up more than 40 years ago, the Hamlet Centre helps about 1,000 families across Norfolk, offering day care for people aged from four to 45-years-old. Up until now, services for both adults and children had been housed under one roof in Ella Road, Thorpe Hamlet.

Suffolk-based moving services firm Abels helped the Hamlet Centre to move its belongings to the new building, offering its services free of charge. Volunteers from RAF Marham also gave up their free time to help.

The new centre features a toy library and two play rooms, including a soft play room. It is also home to modern and extensive care facilities.

If enough funds are raised, a sensory garden will also be developed at the city centre site.

To donate to the Hamlet Centre, go to www.hamletcentre.org.uk

Do you have a charity story for us? Call Evening News reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email kate.scotter@archant.co.uk

Opinion – page 8.

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