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‘It breaks our hearts’: Final day for Norwich charity Open

PUBLISHED: 19:57 30 April 2020 | UPDATED: 19:58 30 April 2020

Open Youth Trust closed in April. It had battled financial challenges for years. Photo: Archant

Open Youth Trust closed in April. It had battled financial challenges for years. Photo: Archant

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2009

OPEN Norwich has shut its doors for the final time and described the closure as “heartbreaking”.

The venue helped thousands of young people and also had a climbing wall. Photo: Open Youth TrustThe venue helped thousands of young people and also had a climbing wall. Photo: Open Youth Trust

The charity, based in Bank Plain, announced earlier this month that after 15 years it had gone into liquidation.

It came after an unsuccessful fight to secure the funding it needed to survive as chief executive Laura Rycroft had earlier warned the service was at risk as its lottery funding was due to run out at the end of April.

Today OPEN announced on Facebook the service had officially shut this evening.

In an emotional post, OPEN staff said the situation broke their hearts.

The Open Youth Trust was set up in 2004 and opened the Bank Plain venue in 2009/10. Photo: PicasaThe Open Youth Trust was set up in 2004 and opened the Bank Plain venue in 2009/10. Photo: Picasa

The post read: “And so, our final day has come to a close. Thank you so much everyone that joined us and came to say goodbye today.

“It breaks our hearts that the situation has ended like this but there is always a silver lining, sometimes you just have to look extra hard for it.

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“We wish all of our young people and staff the best of luck for the future, the memories we have together will live on through the years and will be treasured forever. Stay safe, stay well but most importantly, be kind.Over and out.”

The venue provided a wide-range of services and classes to some of the most deprived youngsters in and around Norwich. The many events it held helped towards paying for those.

It is understood youngsters who rely on them will be sign-posted to similar services in the city.


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