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Norwich charity worker gets tattoo to show his support

PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 December 2010

Leon Smith

Leon Smith

He is extremely dedicated to helping adults with disabilities - and now Leon Smith has had a tattoo done to show the strength of his commitment to the charity he works for.

Mr Smith, 26, has been working as a carer and activities assistant at the Hamlet Centre Trust in Norwich since July, and to help raise funds for the organisation he had the charity’s logo tattooed on to his left leg on Saturday.

The palm-sized tattoo was done free of charge at the Jolly Roger Tattoo Studio in North Walsham.

Mr Smith, who lives in Coltishall, said: “They do amazing work at the Hamlet Centre, and you cannot help but fall in love with the place.

“I just love working with the students. I do not think my life would be the same without them. It is like just one big family.

“One day everyone was discussing parachute jumps to raise funds. There was no way I was going to jump out of a plane, but not to be outdone I thought I’d have a tattoo.”

Mr Smith described getting the tattoo as “painful but enjoyable” and said the pain was worth it because it was for “such a good cause”.

So far he has raised more than £300 for having the tattoo done, and Snellings in Blofield has also donated a large flat screen TV to the Hamlet Centre.

Mr Smith said all the money raised will be used to buy items on the adult services “wish list” which includes things like digital cameras and other items needed for activity sessions.

“At the moment there is a big fundraiser going on for a new building for the children helped by the centre which is great, but this is a little fundraiser for the adults that come to the centre.

“The students were so happy with the TV and I hope to raise as much money as possible so we can buy them more things from their wish list.”

The Hamlet Centre Trust, based in Ella Road, Norwich, provides services for both children and adults with disabilities and learning difficulties.

It runs a Monday to Friday day service for adults with disabilities and learning difficulties, offers an outreach service, and runs some trips and activities for the adults in the evenings and at weekends.

For children it has a toy library service, offers short break play schemes for children with complex health needs, and runs an under fives group, and a youth club. The toy library and under fives group are also open to mainstream children under five.

Currently the Hamlet Centre runs both its adult services from its base in Ella Road, Norwich, but the charity is working to move its children’s services to another building in Johnson Place, off Vauxhall Street, Norwich.

t To sponsor Mr Smith visit www.justgiving.com/leon413

t Are you doing something unsual for charity? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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