Lord Mayor visits Norwich charity showcase

People involved with a Norfolk charity which offers opportunities for adults and young people with learning difficulties gathered in The Forum in Norwich today.

Groups, volunteers and associates of BUILD put on displays as they showcased the range of services they offer as part of National Learning Disability Week.

The BUILDing Opportunities Event gave people with learning difficulties, their friends and families the opportunity to see what help was available to them, with the aim of allowing them to make informed choices about an active community life.

It was the second time the event has taken place and charity chief executive James Kearns said they had a waiting list of groups to be involved.

Among the displays was information about employment advice, social activities, learning and skills opportunities as well as advice on healthcare and personal safety.

There was also information about BUILD's services, which include befriending, weekly social activities, leisure and learning, a very successful Wednesday evening club, holidays, days out, short breaks and research and training services.

Mr Kearns said: 'It has been really positive. Someone came in and looked at the pictures and said, 'the great thing about those pictures is that they don't show disabled people' - which we don't have. We have people who happen to have a disability.'

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He said that the charity does not concentrate on negativity and looks at enabling and giving opportunities to those with learning difficulties.

He added that the charity is also led by a peer elected trustee board formed mostly of adults with learning difficulties and other disabilities.

One of the guests at the day was the Lord Mayor of Norwich Jenny Lay. She said: 'BUILD do so much to give encouragement to people who have to struggle that more than we do. To give those people that have that hard life success in what they aim to do. To give them a positive place in our community.'

•For more information about BUILD visit www.buildnorwich.org.uk