New charity to help young people is launched

Geoff Sadler and Lady Philippa Dannatt at the launch of the Jim Agnew Memorial Charity.

Geoff Sadler and Lady Philippa Dannatt at the launch of the Jim Agnew Memorial Charity - Credit: Supplied

A new source of help is at hand for young people who are struggling to find their feet in life.

A charity has been launched in the name of Jim Agnew, who died in November 2020.

Mr Agnew was a magistrate who worked with children who came into contact with the Youth Justice System.

Stately car boot sale at Houghton Hall, on April 30, 2011.; Judy Agnew, Jim Agnew.; For EDP Norfolk;

Jim Agnew, the former magistrate whose name will live on in a charity for young people, pictured with Judy Agnew at Houghton Hall in 2010. - Credit: Archant

Around 35 people were at Aylsham Town Hall for the launch of the Jim Agnew Memorial Charity, and Norfolk's Lord Lieutenant, Lady Philippa Dannatt, became its patron. 

The idea for the charity came about after Mr Agnew's death, when his many relatives and friends gave generously to the Aylsham Rotary Club in his memory. 

The club worked with Mr Agnew's memory on developing the idea for charity, so the donated money could be used for a cause close to his heart. 

The charity will act as a resource for young people who are struggling and will primarily offer small grants for essential items and activities that will help them to remain in their chosen education, training or work setting.

Geoff Sadler, chair of the charity's board of trustees, said: "When we were thinking about setting up a separate charity we did some research and spoke to the youth offending team at Norfolk County Council and the Benjamin Foundation and they were clear that there is a gap in their provision.

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"There are various things they can do, but other things they can't because they don't have the funding or it doesn't fit with their charitable status."

Mr Sadler said people had been "extremely generous" and the charity had around £30,000 in donations in its coffers, and would fundraise for more. 

Representatives of the Norfolk magistrates, the youth offending team, the Benjamin Foundation, the Agnew family and Rotary were at the launch.

Lady Dannatt gave a speech, telling those gathered how she had known Mr Agnew since they were children. 

A scene from the launch of the Jim Agnew Memorial Charity.

A scene from the launch of the Jim Agnew Memorial Charity - Credit: Supplied

Lady Philippa Dannatt at the launch of the Jim Agnew Memorial Charity.

Lady Philippa Dannatt at the launch of the Jim Agnew Memorial Charity - Credit: Supplied

Young people up to the age of 21 living and studying in Broadland and the North Norfolk council districts, who can demonstrate a need, can apply for support grants. There is no lower age limit.

For more information or to apply, visit jimagnewcharity.org.