Lowestoft family support centre to open

A CHARITY is getting ready to launch a new centre for struggling families in Lowestoft after experiencing high demand for an identical service in north Norfolk.

A CHARITY is getting ready to launch a new centre for struggling families in Lowestoft after experiencing high demand for an identical service in north Norfolk.

The Break charity, which helps vulnerable children and adults, is currently converting a building in Corton Road into a residential family assessment centre.

The new project, which will mirror an existing scheme operating in Sheringham, will be the charity's first centre outside Norfolk and is due to welcome its first residents in late September.

Families and young children will be referred to the assessment centre by Suffolk County Council and during placements of up to three months, the families will be taught parenting skills and given advice on bringing up children.


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Leigh Vallance, chief executive of Sheringham-based Break, said: “We became aware that many of our referrals were coming from the south eastern part of the county, and that the demand for placements was increasing.

“We also noted the lack of regional and national provision, and felt the time was right to extend our skills and services beyond Norfolk.

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“We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with new partners and to create a new project with over 20 jobs in a time of recession.”

The charity's successful family assessment centre in Sheringham has been open for 13 years and boasts high occupancy rates with families referred by both Norfolk County Council and the courts service.

The Lowestoft centre, which is being developed in partnership with Saffron Housing Trust, will host up to four families with young children and babies, staying for up to 12 weeks at a time.

Residents will often be single mothers who face having their babies taken away by social workers and are sent to the facility for assessment and support.

A large 1920s house in Corton Road, Lowestoft, is currently being converted to provide self-enclosed accommodation with kitchens and bathrooms for the families, with support staff on hand 24 hours a day.

The building has been bought by Saffron Housing Trust and will be leased on a long-term agreement by Break.

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