A major donation from local housebuilder Denbury Homes has secured the future for a young people’s wellbeing centre in Lowestoft.
The Junction, delivered by regional charity Access Community Trust, opened its doors six months ago and since then has seen demand for its services continue to grow. The Denbury Charitable Fund has supported with funding from the start and this latest donation will allow the centre to further expand provision to meet local needs – this includes extending the upper age limit and enhancing LGBTQi+ and neurodiversity support.
The centre is billed as being coproduced with young people meaning users help shape the delivery of the activities, support groups and outreach work that the centre offers. In its first six months, the centre has achieved over 120 positive outcomes for young people through 1:1, group, and walk-in sessions with youth workers. Support includes crisis and wellbeing assistance, help in seeking and applying for employment, group activities, discussions, school outreach and a hygiene bank.
Speaking of the funding, Emma Ratzer MBE, CEO of Access Community Trust said: “The lingering effects of COVID-19 lockdowns combined with the pressure from the cost-of-living crisis are having a profound effect on young people and their families. Demand for our mental health support services continues to grow. This latest donation from Denbury Homes will help us extend our activities and expand our support with the confidence that we can continue to provide these much-needed services.”
One recent significant success at the centre has been the launch of a pilot music program. Known as Strike a Chord, the scheme welcomes anyone with an interest in music. Regular sessions are held at The Junction, with attendees having access to instruments and production equipment to help them explore their musical ambitions.
Emma continues: “Strike a Chord has been a very popular initiative so far, with group leaders witnessing the skills and confidence of members growing each week.”
Joshua Hopkins of the Denbury Charitable Fund: “The work the team at The Junction is providing, alongside the young people who use the service is making an important and significant impact to so many lives, not just the young people but also their families and friends. I’m proud to be able to continue our support and look forward to watching the centre’s progress.”
The donation from Denbury Homes was facilitated by Suffolk Community Foundation and is one of several significant projects recently supported by the Denbury Charitable Fund. Since 2017 the fund has given out grants and donations of over £1 million in Suffolk alone, through a combination of small grants, campaigns, and donations to support major projects in the region.
Melanie Craig of Suffolk Community Foundation said: “It’s fantastic to work with Denbury Homes to facilitate this donation to The Junction. The demand for the wellbeing centre’s services and the positive outcomes they have delivered so far make the importance of their work clear and I’m delighted that the team will be able to expand their offering in the months ahead.” To find out more about The Junction, please visit https://accessct.org/young-people-services/enrichment-for-young-people/. More information about the grants available through the Denbury Charitable Fund is available here: https://www.denburyhomes.co.uk/charitable-fund/.