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Historic Norfolk buildings to be covered in butterflies in major charity art installation

PUBLISHED: 20:20 05 March 2019 | UPDATED: 20:56 05 March 2019

Abbie-Jayne Craske at the launch of the Benjamin Foundation's 25th anniversary campaign, Flight For Youth. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Abbie-Jayne Craske at the launch of the Benjamin Foundation's 25th anniversary campaign, Flight For Youth. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2019

The Benjamin Foundation was founded in 1994 by Richard Draper and his wife Vanessa, following the death of their son Ben, aged 17, in a motorcycle accident in August 1992.

Tony Ing, chief executive, speaks as he stands by one of the ceramic butterflies representing the Benjamin Foundation's 25th anniversary campaign, Flight For Youth. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYTony Ing, chief executive, speaks as he stands by one of the ceramic butterflies representing the Benjamin Foundation's 25th anniversary campaign, Flight For Youth. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Since then, the charity has played a crucial role in helping to tackle youth homelessness and helping families across Norfolk and Suffolk to build stronger relationships.

The charity has been providing positive activities for young people with limited opportunities in life and helping them to live independent and stable lives.

Charity chief executive Tony Ing said: “The work we do makes a real difference to the futures of children, young people and their families in so many ways, whether it is overcoming challenges, getting their lives back on track or helping them to realise their dreams and ambitions.”

In order to celebrate its silver anniversary, the charity plans to produce up to 25,000 glazed pottery butterflies glazed in one of the charity’s four distinct colours – pink, purple, orange and red.

One of the ceramic butterflies representing the Benjamin Foundation's 25th anniversary campaign, Flight For Youth. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYOne of the ceramic butterflies representing the Benjamin Foundation's 25th anniversary campaign, Flight For Youth. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The public are being invited to purchase a butterfly in support of the charity, but before taking them home the butterflies will be used in a dramatic art installation at the Assembly House in Norwich and Holkham Hall on the North Norfolk coast in July and August.

Schools, care homes and organisations can also purchase unglazed butterflies, which they can decorate themselves and submit to The Benjamin Foundation to be included in the installation.

Colin Lang, charity special projects and events manager, said: “We wanted the installations to be accessible both in Norwich and for those who prefer not to travel into the city, so we couldn’t be more delighted with the two venues who have so kindly agreed to host us.”

As well as the sale of the butterflies, the charity is appealing to companies in the region to get behind the Flight for Youth campaign, which aims to raise a significant sum in the next quarter century, through sponsorship.

The set of the ceramic butterflies representing the Benjamin Foundation's 25th anniversary campaign, Flight For Youth. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe set of the ceramic butterflies representing the Benjamin Foundation's 25th anniversary campaign, Flight For Youth. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

For more information, email Colin Lang on colin.lang@benjaminfoundation.co.uk or call 01603 886 933.

‘The charity got me out of homelessness’

Ever since she was a child, Abbie-Jayne Craske has had to endure a tumultuous life in and out of foster care, and her life took a turn for then worse when she was told she was no longer wanted at age 19.

She found herself homeless for almost nine months in 2018, sofa-surfing and staying with family in King’s Lynn and even sleeping rough on the streets on some occasions. 
“My family didn’t have the money or space to keep me,” she said. “I was in emergency beds and staying with friends.”

Tony Ing, left, chief executive, with from second left, Colin Lang, special projects manager; Richard Draper, founder; and Julian Wright, chairman; at the launch of the Benjamin Foundation's 25th anniversary campaign, Flight For Youth. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYTony Ing, left, chief executive, with from second left, Colin Lang, special projects manager; Richard Draper, founder; and Julian Wright, chairman; at the launch of the Benjamin Foundation's 25th anniversary campaign, Flight For Youth. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A support worker pointed her towards The Benjamin Foundation, and through the charity she was able to find somewhere to call home at its supported accommodation centre Winston Court in North Walsham in October 2018.

“The charity has helped me to gain independent skills to help me move on from here,” she said. “My support worker Sharon Reynolds and all of the staff here have made me feel welcome.”

Miss Craske remembered being taken out on day trips with the charity when she was a child after she was taken put into care aged three.

“I remember one time, we went away to this place where we had to work together with crates and help each other climb to the top,” she said.

Ella Gibbs at the launch of the Benjamin Foundation's 25th anniversary campaign, Flight For Youth. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYElla Gibbs at the launch of the Benjamin Foundation's 25th anniversary campaign, Flight For Youth. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“It was helpful to interact with other people the same age as me.”

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