Local business and community figures have shown their support at a special event for our local community hub in need of funding. ‘Meet Up’ in Thetford, is our Youth and Family Centre. Earlier this year, we launched a fundraising appeal ensure Meet Up can continue supporting its local community – now and into the future.

On Thursday 28th April key local figures and supporters attended an awareness event at Meet Up.  They included Thetford’s incumbent and incoming Mayors, representatives from the local constabulary and local business leaders.

Attendees met with staff and service users who rely on Meet Up as a place to connect, giving an insight into the vital work the service provides for the local community. The event was followed by a weekly lunch club attended by 15 older local residents.

Kirsty Pitcher, Chief Operating Officer at The Benjamin Foundation said: “It was wonderful to meet so many community leaders and supporters.  It was a great opportunity to showcase the achievements of the Meet Up Youth and Family Centre and to outline our plans for the future.”

Located on the Redcastle Furze Estate in an area of high need, Meet Up was established in 2010. The centre plays a vital role in tackling local wellbeing issues, inequalities, mental health and social problems, supporting parents and families via a range of groups and activities. It provides young people with youth clubs, reduces isolation for older people, and offers support to families, offering new opportunities to strengthen and develop skills, raise self-esteem and aspirations, helping to keep young people on the right path.

Our fundraising drive aims to fill a funding gap to ensure local children, young people and families each year can continue to access the services which they have described as their “lifeline.”

Funding from The National Lottery Community Fund for the last eleven years has enabled Meet Up to carry out vital youth and community work, having a huge impact on local lives. We are grateful for this support and, with funding drawing to a close, we would like to thank The National Lottery as we reach out to supporters and new funders in order to continue Meet Up’s fantastic work.

Mike Towndrow, Meet Up Manager says: “The National Lottery support for Meet Up has been amazing for the community. Meet Up means so much to so many. Ultimately, it is a lifeline in the heart of the community where little else exists. A place to share worries, get advice, support and guidance and take part in positive activities that enable young people and families to broaden their aspirations, confidence and self-worth.”

The Benjamin Foundation needs further support for Meet Up and with this event reached out to local people and businesses now to ensure local families continue to have a place to connect, a place to make friends, a place to feel safe and a place to be themselves.

Mike adds: “We support in the region of 400-500 local families a year. It would be fantastic to see local people and businesses back our fundraising campaign, knowing that money raised would go back into the community and help us to continue the important work we do.”

To support Meet Up, please visit https://benjaminfoundation.co.uk/donate/meet-up to make a donation.

Businesses are invited to take advantage of corporate sponsorship and corporate social responsibility opportunities. To pledge your support today contact [email protected] or speak to Mike Towndrow, Meet Up Manager on 01842 820871.

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