Visually impaired reassured by NNAB acting chief Julie Lythgoe over decision to close their social centre in Great Yarmouth and move to a new hub

The NNAB hub in Great Yarmouth which is moving to The Acorn Centre in Regent Street. Photo: Archant

The NNAB hub in Great Yarmouth which is moving to The Acorn Centre in Regent Street. Photo: Archant - Credit: Archant

A decision to move a popular centre for the visually impaired to a town centre location in Great Yarmouth is causing upset.

Julie Lythgoe, acting chief executive at the Norfolk & Norwich Association for the Blind (NNAB) has

Julie Lythgoe, acting chief executive at the Norfolk & Norwich Association for the Blind (NNAB) has given reassurances over the decision. Photo: Newman Associates PR - Credit: Newman Associates PR

The NNAB (Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind) wants to relocate from Hall Quay to the Acorn Centre in Regent Street, where it says it can reach out to more people and benefit from shared services.

But Paul Capon, 80, whose wife Irene enjoys weekly weaving classes said some members were unhappy about the move.

Although it was just around the corner the Age Concern facility in the former Poundstretcher shop was too open and its function as a drop-in centre made it unsuitable for people who couldn't see, Mr Capon said.

Mr Capon has written to the Charity Commission outlining his concerns and said some members had vowed to quit if the move went ahead.


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The Hall Quay base is one of four equipment centres in the county and also provides a social centre for members and a hub for outreach services.

Simon Marshall who runs the four equipment centres said the Yarmouth branch saw more than 130 visitors a month.

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But the NNAB was keen to build on those numbers and reach out to more clients and volunteers from a more prominent base.

Julie Lythgoe, acting chief executive at the Norfolk an Norwich Association for the Blind (NNAB) said: 'I can confirm that our centre in Great Yarmouth will be relocating from its present position on Hall Quay, into the Acorn Centre, alongside Age Concern Great Yarmouth.

'The move will allow us to widen the services we offer to visually impaired people in the area, and bring facilities offered by both organisations under one roof.

'I want to reassure people that every service and facility which is currently available at Hall Quay will be available at the new location, including the equipment centre, and social meeting spaces for visually impaired people.

'We will be working with the CEO of the Acorn Centre to make adjustments which will give us the space needed, and to ensure our services are fully accessible.

'With the work we are planning at the Acorn Centre, by the time the move actually happens we will be in the final months of our lease at Hall Quay; so this move will secure the future of our centre in Great Yarmouth – and allow us to widen the range of services.'

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