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Transformation at popular Topcats centre in Lowestoft thrills young people

PUBLISHED: 07:00 16 December 2017

Youngsters dancing at Topcats with the new interactive projector. Pictures: Mick Howes

Youngsters dancing at Topcats with the new interactive projector. Pictures: Mick Howes

Archant

Thrilled youngsters were celebrating after a new sensory room was unveiled.

HSBC staff with the branch manager Chris Bird and the cheque. Pictures: Mick HowesHSBC staff with the branch manager Chris Bird and the cheque. Pictures: Mick Howes

Topcats – a charity dedicated to supporting children and young adults with additional needs by offering them opportunities and activities - has been given a boost with a £30,000 donation from HSBC UK.

And bank employees from HSBC UK gave up some of their free time to help to decorate the new sensory room - before seeing the results of their work atan official opening.

The Topcats centre, which is based in Morton Road, Pakefield, had the chance to seek help from the HSBC bank through its Supporting Our Community scheme and after an inspection they were granted £30,000, as well as having bank employees involved in the work.

Lewis and Linda Rushmere cut the ribbon to open the new sensory room. Pictures: Mick HowesLewis and Linda Rushmere cut the ribbon to open the new sensory room. Pictures: Mick Howes

HSBC staff from Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth, Ipswich and Diss gave up their weekends and redecorated and refurbished the whole of the inside of the building. This included fitting new lighting and tables for the visually impaired, installing shutters and an interactive projector, as well as filling the newly decorated rooms with sofas and beans bags.

Earlier this month the new sensory room was officially opened in front of sponsors and donors. It has been equipped with top of the range facilities including a ladder lamp that lights up in response to speech, infinity tunnels, bubble lamps, a dance mat and a large mobile projector that projects onto a white vinyl interactive mat.

The new sensory room will provide the charity’s young people with opportunities to grow and develop their skills. Anne-Marie Battrick, joint service manager and head of children services at Topcats, said: “The children are thrilled with the transformation and we cannot wait to make use of our new sensory room which will play an important role in helping the development of our young children. The work carried out by HSBC has been immense and has brought a very tired building to life.”

Lewis Rushmere enjoying the bubble lamps. Pictures: Mick HowesLewis Rushmere enjoying the bubble lamps. Pictures: Mick Howes

Stewart Battrick, chairman of the board of trustees, said: “We are open from Monday to Saturday and have between 80 to 120 service-users whose ages range from birth to 30.”

Linda Rushmere, from the HSBC Lowestoft branch, said: “Topcats is a charity very close to my heart as my son is currently benefiting from the services it provides. It’s been a great team effort and we’re all delighted with the transformation of the building.”

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