'This is our chance to make life so much better' - Charity targets furniture store as new £1.7m hub
PUBLISHED: 16:42 16 October 2019 | UPDATED: 09:59 22 October 2019
A charity is hoping to relocate to a furniture store in Great Yarmouth which is closing down.
Better Furniture, in Southtown Road, announced it was selling off all its stock in a closing down sale last month.
Now Centre 81, a social and skills' hub for disabled people and their carers, has said it wants to buy the industrial unit and has launched an appeal to help pay for it.
Diana Staines, Centre 81's chief executive, said: "The move is key to safeguarding the future of our charity and all those who use our skills and activities centre and community transport service.
"Our buildings here are old and very costly to maintain and we simply don't have the space for modern facilities or to welcome lots of new members."
The charity plans to sell its own site in Tar Works Road for residential development and has applied for grants from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and the National Lottery's Community Fund.
Among the first to donate to the new Pop in a Pound appeal, which aims to raise £150,000 towards the £1.7m total project cost, were Lady Dannatt, Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk, and Lady Agnew, High Sheriff of Norfolk.
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Lady Dannatt, a patron of Centre 81, said: "We really need these new premises and it's a pleasure to be able to help launch the appeal.
"Pop in Pound gives the chance for local people, including the many supporters of Centre 81, to contribute towards this exciting new phase in the charity's long history."
Lady Agnew said: "I have every confidence that the people of Great Yarmouth will give generously to this appeal.
Ms Staines said relocation to the new building would enable Centre 81 to support more people and ensure the charity continued on a firm financial footing.
"If you have a disability, look after someone who is disabled, or have a friend or relative with a condition that severely affects their life, you will know all about the daily struggle disability can bring," she said.
"This is our chance to make life so much better for many more disabled people and their carers for decades to come."
Meanwhile the sale continues at Better Furniture and the company's Norwich store is unaffected.