Centre that helps the young and homeless celebrates 21st anniversary
PUBLISHED: 11:21 11 December 2018 | UPDATED: 11:22 11 December 2018
It has helped hundreds of young people who have faced personal challenges, family problems and homelessness turn things around and get on the path to a brighter future.
And now Winston Court in North Walsham, which is run by the Benjamin Foundation charity, has celebrated its 21st anniversary.
Former service users and staff joined trustees and supporters at the centre on Monday for a party to mark the milestone.
Wayne Miles, centre manager, said: “We call our unit ‘supported accommodation’, because we do a lot more here than just providing accommodation.
“When young people are with us they get a lot of support around issues that they may have - that can be for job search, training, life skills and social skills.
“Some of our young people have had quite traumatic pasts, and we help them get the right support and guidance through that.”
Winston Court has nine single rooms for accommodation and six semi-independent ‘move-on’ flats, as well as communal areas including a kitchen, lounge and games room.
They also provide activities for residents including off-road cycling and games tournaments.
Those gathered at the party shared nibbles and a cake that was especially made for the occasion, and chatted to friends and colleagues both old and new.
Mr Miles said he was delighted wit the number of people the centre had been able to help over the years.
He said: “Whatever the young person needs we help with, or if not we work with other agencies to make sure they get help and support.”
Mr Miles said that although social care had faced budget cuts over the past years, the future for Winston Court seemed secure.
He said: “The future is OK. There’s always funding cuts being talked about but we’ve been very fortunately recently.
“We just hope that the government accept the value of the work that we’re doing and that we’re able to continue, and that goes not just for the Benjamin Foundation but all the organisations out there that are working very hard, especially to end youth homelessness.
“There are some vital pieces of work that are being done.”
For more information about the Benjamin Foundation and the services it offers, visit benjaminfoundation.co.uk