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New home for Yarmouth centre

PUBLISHED: 08:47 04 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:30 03 July 2010

A Yarmouth centre that uses art and music to help troubled youngsters get back to school will today celebrate the official opening of its new home.

Norfolk County Council's Compass Centre, which supports young people as they try to return to school, opened at Edward Worlledge Junior School, in Yarmouth, in September 2008.

A Yarmouth centre that uses art and music to help troubled youngsters get back to school will today celebrate the official opening of its new home.

Norfolk County Council's Compass Centre, which supports young people as they try to return to school, opened at Edward Worlledge Junior School, in Yarmouth, in September 2008.

It has now moved to the refurbished former Waveney First School, in Belton, where it will remain until at least 2011.

The centre is aimed at young people aged nine-14 with a history of poor attendance, behaviour difficulties and a lack of engagement in school.

Since it opened, it has supported three young people back into school and helped many others who otherwise may have had to be educated in pricey placements away from Norfolk.

The council spent £250,000 to refurbish buildings at the former school. It will be officially opened by Lisa Christensen, director of children's services, at 5pm today.

Parents and carers have been closely involved with the centre's work and have reported improvements in their children's attitude, behaviour and confidence.

The centre currently supports 15 young people.

One of the aspects of the therapy enables them to express their feelings and concerns via images and music, rather than words.

Gerry Cook, county councillor for Belton, said: “I know that schools in the area have worked very closely with the council and health services to make this centre a success and it is great to see this area of the county trailblazing such a resource. It is already proving of huge benefit to the young people it supports.”

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