Norwich’s Hamlet Centre passes �800,000 fundraising mark

A charity for children and adults with disablities is on track to complete the first phase of building a new �1.3m centre after reaching the �800,000 fundraising mark.

Norwich's Hamlet Centre Trust teamed up with the St Raphael Club in Johnson Place to turn the venue into a new base for its children's activities and services. Work started last year on a major transformation of the building, and the first phase is on track to be finished and opened by June or July.

Chief executive Michael Rooney said: 'Services will hopefully start to be delivered from the summer and then the next phase will be getting the toy library down there as well as a new entrance. We have still got a lot to raise, and are so thankful to everyone who has helped us so far.

'But we are nearing the magic million mark and need to carry on so that we can finish the project completely.'

The first phase of the building work will create an external play area, a dining room, a quiet room, some offices, a play room, care rooms, a craft room and IT room.

Mr Rooney said: 'It will enable us to offer services like short-break play schemes and our youth club as well.'

The second phase of work will involve creating a new entrance and frontage and moving the charity's popular toy library, which can be accessed by any families, to the new centre.

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The final phase of work is to create a sensory room and store rooms.

The Hamlet Centre's existing cramped base in Ella Road, Thorpe Hamlet, will become a dedicated site for its adult services and volunteers are also hoping to raise some money to be able to redecorate the building.

To donate, standing order forms are available from the Hamlet Centre, Ella Road, Norwich NR1 4BP, or can be downloaded at

For a sponsored event, to find out about payroll giving, and any other means of donating, contact the centre by calling 01603 616094 or email You can also make a donation at, or text 'HAMLET' to 70007, which costs �3 plus one message at your standard network rate, with a minimum of �2.40 going to the Hamlet Centre Trust.

Do you have a charity story for us? Contact Kim Briscoe on 01603 772419 or email