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Charity in Fakenham faces funding crisis closure risk




A charity based in Fakenham are facing an uncertain time as their five year National Lottery funding has come to an end.

The Information and Advice centre based in Oak Street has enough to keep going until this Christmas after a grant has helped to save them having to close at the end of October.

As a drop in centre a range of services are provided for anyone stepping off the street needing help.

Clarissa Belson, First Focus project manager (bottom right) with First Focus service users outside their centre on Oak Streek in Fakenham. - Credit: First Focus (51497189)
Clarissa Belson, First Focus project manager (bottom right) with First Focus service users outside their centre on Oak Streek in Fakenham. - Credit: First Focus (51497189)

Clarissa Belson, project manager said: "If someone walks through the door who needs help we can provide guidance with things such as blue badges and access to the internet. It is a social centre and I am a trained counsellor so we offer mental health support aswell.

"We refer to other services who can help someone where needed. It would be a massive loss to Fakenham if the centre closed. There are people from Lynn who use our service and it is a unique charity. People have moved from Dersingham, who live alone, to Fakenham to be nearer.

"It is a difficult time and January and February is a bad time for people and mental health. There isn't anywhere else as the CAB have not reopened since the pandemic and only offer advice online. If you live alone the centre is a lifeline.

Clarissa Belson, project manager at First Focus, Oak Street, Fakenham
Clarissa Belson, project manager at First Focus, Oak Street, Fakenham

"People are fundraising and making donations but it will take a lot of money to be okay and to create sustainability."

The centre provides a community fridge with stocks donated by local supermarkets that would other wise be out of date along with guidance from experts about claiming benefits, filing out forms and writing a CV.

To donate to the fundraising efforts to keep the centre's continuing support visit here

First Focus charity based in Fakenham are fundraising to prevent closure of their Oak Street centre (51502416)
First Focus charity based in Fakenham are fundraising to prevent closure of their Oak Street centre (51502416)


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