Doors at new Age Concern premises in Yarmouth to open in April

The former Poundstretcher store on Regent Street, Yarmouth.

The former Poundstretcher store on Regent Street, Yarmouth. - Credit: Nick Butcher

In October last year, Age Concern Great Yarmouth needed to bridge a funding shortfall of £110,000 before it could opening its doors.

Now, just five months down the track, that’s very close to happening.

Major support from the Great Yarmouth community and business sector has meant the organisation may open to the as early as the first week of April.

That’s music to the ears of Age Concern Great Yarmouth’s services manager, Jackie Tierney, who said: “The Clothworkers Foundation came in with £20,000 recently which has made a huge dent.”

“We’re actually at the stage now that we’re able now to open downstairs, which is the first stage of the project.”

An initial donation of £15,950 from Morrisons kick started the project, before Acorns and Table Tennis England both chipped in £2,500, and more recently a cheque fpr £1,000 from the Fuller Endowment Fund arrived in the mail.

While the centre will not be completely finished by April, just getting stage one open will be a massive milestone for the organisation.

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“Our shortfall for getting phase two up and running is around £40,000 now and we’ll continue to raise funds to get upstairs up and running,” Ms Tierney said.

“There’s so much we can do now which is absolutely great for the elderly.”

Through activities such as dancing, IT support and table tennis, Age Concern aims to provide help to the elderly in terms of their health and everyday life skills.

Local resident Gordon Cope read of Age Concern’s fundraising efforts and wanted to help.

“I saw an article in the Great Yarmouth Mercury and we’ve had a table tennis table for two to three years which is surplus to our requirements,” he said.

“The thing’s been lying dormant for sometime and after that article I thought, ‘it’d be good for charity, so hopefully they’ll find some use for it’.”

When told of Mr Cope’s offer, Ms Tierney was quick to grab it with both hands

“Yes please!” she said.

“Part of what we’re doing is getting people active and we’ve wanted to introduce table tennis because it helps with dementia and early memory problems. So that’s just brilliant.”