On Sunday 27th October The Forum in Norwich played host to our 25th anniversary celebrations.

The free-to-attend event took the form of a fabulous family fun day and saw staff, supporters and families enjoy a host of fantastic activities for all the family, including interactive stands created by our team, as well as local companies who support our charity. In addition, traditional fete games such as a Teddy Tombola, Pick A Fish and Splat The Rat encouraged visitors to take part and there were masses of craft activities including the opportunity to paint your own ceramic butterfly and get creative with Sequin Art, who very generously donated £180 on the day. In addition, there was live music from Violinist Alison Sparrow and visitors could enjoy having their face painted or watch the creation of a visual record of the day by Illustrator Rebecca Osborne.

Colin Lang MBE, Special Projects Manager said:

“We wanted the day to be as inclusive and interactive as possible. It was important that visitors could get a flavour of the work we do and learn more about some of the valuable services we deliver across Norfolk and Suffolk, but most importantly it was about celebration. 25 years is a significant milestone and we wanted to make sure we did something special to mark such an achievement.”

During the day, some of our sponsors and supporters during our very special 25th year, such as Kingsley Healthcare and Solo Housing, joined in the fun with their own interactive stands. As well as running a photo booth, Kingsley Healthcare was also able to present a cheque for £434, which they have been raising throughout the summer with a series of fetes at their properties, including Hadleigh Nursing Home, Brooke House, Lilac Lodge in Oulton Broad, and Lynfield, a learning disability care home near Bungay.

Stephen Pullinger Head of Public Relations said:

“Our homes were delighted to raise money for such a worthy cause throughout their summer events. We look forward to continuing to support The Benjamin Foundation in the future.”

The family fun day was the culmination of a year of activities to mark this very special milestone in our charity’s history, including two high-profile art installations called Flight for Youth which were hosted by The Assembly House and in the Walled Garden at Holkham Hall and featured pottery butterflies glazed in our four distinct colours – pink, purple, orange or red. We also celebrated by popping up at many of the county’s best loved events throughout the year, including the Reepham Food & Drink Festival, Norfolk Show, Holkham Country Fair and Aylsham Show. In addition, Norfolk’s bus provider Go East Anglia has lent their support by creating four unique commemorative buses which are each named after the four cornerstones of the work the charity does; Hope, Opportunity, Stability and Independence, and local farm suppliers Ben Burgess, have branded one of their working tractors with the charity’s butterfly symbol.

Sharon Matthews Director of Operations said:

“It’s so wonderful to see the whole charity coming together in one place to celebrate our milestone birthday.”

Colin Lang explains:

“It has been wonderful to welcome so many staff, supporters and the general public, who all helped to make this a truly special event celebrating 25 years of the charity.

We would like to extend a huge thanks to all the businesses and individuals who have supported the charity not just at our family fun day or during this anniversary year, but throughout the last quarter century. Without them we would not have made it this far.  We now look forward to another 25 years of helping people in our community.”

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