Getting lost in corridors of power helps Norwich charity

A city MP has given a Norwich charity a �1,000 step in the right direction after winning a parliamentary walking challenge.

Getting lost in Westminster's many corridors and taking stairs instead of lifts helped Simon Wright to take the title as the Liberal Democrat who walked the furthest in a two-week period.

A total of 37 MPs from the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties signed up to take part in the Bupa competition to win �1,000 and wore a Fitbug 'intelligent pedometer', which monitors the amount of steps a person takes every day.

Mr Wright has now decided to donate the �1,000 he won to Norwich's Hamlet Centre, which helps children and adults with special needs.

Bursting at the seams in its current home in Ella Road, the Hamlet Centre has teamed up with the St Raphael Club to turn the venue into a dedicated children's activity centre, including sensory room and toy library.

The �1.3m revamp of the building, which is on the roundabout at the top of Grapes Hill, will allow the charity to expand the help, support and activities for children, while freeing up the Ella Road building to provide services for adults.

Mr Wright, who has represented the Norwich South seat since the general election in May, joked that 'generally getting lost around Westminster' was one way of increasing his mileage, while he had also made a concerted effort to walk instead of using public transport.

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He said: 'The Hamlet Centre is doing a fantastic job and they clearly have ambitious plans. I wanted to help them directly through their appeal and also help them by raising the profile of what they are doing.'

Michael Rooney, chief executive of the Hamlet Centre, said: 'We're delighted to receive Bupa's donation and would like to thank Simon for thinking of us at a time when we are looking to raise a significant amount of money for our new building to enable us to widen the scope and capacity of all our services.'

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