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Princess Royal supports Norwich home for disabled people

PUBLISHED: 09:00 15 May 2010 | UPDATED: 16:30 01 July 2010

John Grooms Court in Norwich has won the seal of approval from the Princess Royal.

John Grooms Court in Norwich has won the seal of approval from the Princess Royal.

David Bale

A Norwich home for disabled adults that is fundraising to improve living conditions has won the seal of approval from the Princess Royal.

A Norwich home for disabled adults that is fundraising to improve living conditions has won the seal of approval from the Princess Royal.

The accolade from Princess Anne came as it was revealed only £80,000 is needed before work can start on the first phase of redevelopment.

John Groom's Court, in Sprowston Road, has provided care and support in the community for more than 20 years and is home to 20 disabled men and women.

Run by national disability charity Livability, it is fundraising for a new and larger second lift, enhanced communal space and five new en-suite bedrooms with assistive technology.

The campaign received backing from the Princess at a royal reception at Sandringham House on Wednesday.

Princess Anne, who is Livability's patron, met one of the residents at John Groom's Court, Denny, who suffers from cerebral palsy and has lived there for three years.

The reception was told that £315,000 has already been raised towards the redevelopment and campaigner Michael Brunson, a Norfolk resident and former ITN political editor, said: “We are now very close to the target funds needed to start the works in the autumn.

“Her Royal Highness was insistent that the money which is needed before work to improve John Groom's Court can begin, simply must be found.”

Mr Brunson said that thanks to John Groom's Court, Denny makes regular visits to games at Carrow Road and, remarkably, works as a volunteer once a week at Norfolk First, an organisation campaigning to raise awareness of the needs of disabled people in Norfolk.

Mike Flavell, manager of John Groom's Court, said: “We're delighted and honoured that Her Royal Highness was present at this event. John Groom's Court is a very special place and we are very excited about the planned developments at the centre.”

The Princess spoke about the importance not just of technology, which can make such a difference in the lives of disabled people, but also of the dedication and hard work of care staff in ensuring disabled people can have real choice in the way they lead their lives.

The Evening News revealed last December that the home's only lift broke down leading to fears that residents could be trapped in their homes.

For more information about John Groom's Court and to donate go to www.livability.org.uk/case.asp?id-1575.

Are you fundraising for a good cause? Ring David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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