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Norwich charity staff took pay cut to ensure service survived

PUBLISHED: 06:30 12 October 2011

Staff at a charity which provides vital help for disadvantaged and vulnerable young people in Norfolk took a pay cut to ensure the organisation did not lose staff, its chairman has revealed.

The Mancroft Advice Project (MAP) offers free and independent advice, counselling youth work and education for young people across the county.

The charity’s work was praised by its patron Richard Jewson, the Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, at an event at Norwich Cathedral last night. And Sue Gale, chairman of the board of trustees, revealed the sacrifice the staff at the charity, which has bases in Norwich, Great Yarmouth, King’s Lynn, Attleborough and North Walsham, had made.

She said: “The whole of MAP’s staff deserve an immense vote of thanks for the way they work. They are so dedicated to the young people that they serve and have a real togetherness as a team. “Recently, when we had a funding crisis, they voluntarily took a major pay cut rather than have redundancies. Luckily we got past that as it would have been a great shame if we’d lost people. “These are qualified people, who are qualified in their areas and bring years of expertise. That’s what makes them so efficient.

“We always have to find money to run these services. I sometimes think there’s a misapprehension at government level that the voluntary sector is free, but it’s not free if you want expert people to run those services.”

Patron Mr Jewson said he had been inspired by the work done by the charity to help young people get their lives moving in the right direction.

He said: “MAP is deservedly held in high regard as somewhere Norfolk’s most socially excluded young people will turn to for advice and support.

“I have been inspired by seeing how MAP staff work with distressed you people to turn their lives around.”

Clare Franklin, development co-ordinator at MAP said: “MAP relies on the support we receive from local charitable trusts and individuals.

“This event was about showing our appreciation of the contributions our supporters have made and helping them engage with the stories and experiences of local young people.”

The charity, set up almost two decades ago, offers young people help with finances, benefits, CVs and jobs. It also provides counselling and assistance issues relating to mental and sexual health, including free pregnancy tests.

In Norwich it is based at The Risebrow Centre in Chantry Road, with free information and advice available at drop-in sessions from 1.30pm until 5.30pm Monday to Friday.

Further details on the charity are available at www.map.uk.net or by calling 01603 766994.

• Do you work for a charity which has a story to tell? Call Evening News reporter Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

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