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Ikea's £2,500 makeover for Norwich charity centre

John Ford, Andrew Good, Nic Acaster and Roger Cooper in the reception area of the Charing Cross Centre, Norwich.
Picture: Nick Butcher

John Ford, Andrew Good, Nic Acaster and Roger Cooper in the reception area of the Charing Cross Centre, Norwich. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

Caretakers are often grateful enough when those who book a hall or meeting room leave the place clean and tidy.

The reception area of the Charing Cross Centre, Norwich which has had a £2500 makeover from IKEA.
Picture: Nick ButcherThe reception area of the Charing Cross Centre, Norwich which has had a £2500 makeover from IKEA. Picture: Nick Butcher

But one national furniture retailer went a step further – by redecorating facilities at one Norwich charity centre to the tune of more than £2,500.

Workers at Swedish chain Ikea visited The Charing Cross Centre, which offers affordable accommodation to a range of charities such as Inspire Norfolk, Break Even, Alzheimer’s UK and Asperger’s East Anglia – as well as rooms for counselling – for a meeting.

They were so impressed by the work at the centre in St John Maddermarket that they offered to redecorate the reception area and some meeting rooms, which have now been turned into counselling rooms.

The company also agreed to kit those areas out with £2,500 worth of new furniture.

Nic Acaster from Ikea with the Charing Cross Centre chair of trustees David Ford in one of the rooms that has had a makeover by Ikea.
Picture: Nick ButcherNic Acaster from Ikea with the Charing Cross Centre chair of trustees David Ford in one of the rooms that has had a makeover by Ikea. Picture: Nick Butcher

Andrew Good, manager of The Charing Cross Centre, said the 10-day makeover had “transformed” parts of the historic building, which dates back to the 1500s.

“The reception area was looking extremely tired,” he said.

“It now looks much more fit for purpose. People walk in and feel much more at ease. It looks much better.”

Mr Good is now keen to refurbish the exterior of the centre, which started as a meeting place for young people in the 1960s and was a later a home for the Norwich Rockers before becoming a base for charities.

Nic Acaster from Ikea with the Charing Cross Centre chair of trustees David Ford in one of the rooms that has had a makeover by Ikea.
Picture: Nick ButcherNic Acaster from Ikea with the Charing Cross Centre chair of trustees David Ford in one of the rooms that has had a makeover by Ikea. Picture: Nick Butcher

As people often visit for counselling and for other services at a time of need, he is keen to make the premises as welcoming as possible – but will need funds to carry out any improvements.

Mr Good is also hoping to reconfigure some downstairs rooms to create more space,

“Our general emphasis is towards people aged under the age of 25,” he said.

“People tend to come here for a specific purpose and the fact it’s in the city centre is important, as it means people who use the centre can get here easily.

The reception area of the Charing Cross Centre, Norwich which has had a £2500 makeover from IKEA.
Picture: Nick ButcherThe reception area of the Charing Cross Centre, Norwich which has had a £2500 makeover from IKEA. Picture: Nick Butcher

“We’re a very well-used centre. If anyone wishes to make a donation to the centre, they can do so by sending cheques to the Charing Cross Centre.”

The postal address is 17-19 St John Maddermarket, Norwich NR2 1DN.

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