Bringing our Norwich buildings back to community use
The Area Meeting Trustees who were able to make it physically to the last meeting, the first in-person meeting for two years, went through this door and up the stairs to what will hopefully be the Conference Room in No 26 Pottergate. Martin Lacey, Norwich Meeting House Manager, has worked incredibly hard to prepare the rooms ready for use since the building work finished and gave us a thorough tour of the all new rooms across the three floors.
We also visited the West wall of the Norwich Goat Lane Meeting House, where vital repair work is reaching completion.
This has been a complex task in terms of developing an engineering solution to the structural problems that have developed over the long life of the Meeting House and providing safe access for the work to be carried out.
Providing space for community use in No. 26
The Norwich Credit Union are already in situ on the ground floor. This is their head office alongside their two other offices in the city. https://www.norwichcreditunion.org.uk
First floor will give a city base for Ormiston Families and their work with mothers needing specialist support https://www.ormiston.org
Second floor - Norwich International Youth Project, a charity supporting young asylum seekers and refugees in Norfolk, between the ages of 11 and 25. https://niyp.org.uk
A small office on the second floor set aside for Area Meeting use. Eventually, it's hoped it will become a base for the Area Meeting office & administrator, when recruited.
Next door at 28 (the former Quaker Mission Hall)
The Salvation Army Pottergate ARC (Advice & Refreshment Centre)
The ARC have been based in this building for many years and it's hoped this arrangement will continue. https://www.salvationarmy.org.uk/pottergate-arc
It is a drop-in for people who are homeless or vulnerably housed. The ARC is a safe haven for people to be able to go, be cared for and feel that they belong. It’s not just about practical support, but also helping people to feel human again; a place where they can be themselves, be accepted and not judged.
Throughout the pandemic the ARC Team maintained services to the homeless, albeit in a more restricted way.
Wardens' Cottage & 24 Pottergate
The final stages of the redevelopment of the former wardens' cottage complex into move-on flats for care leavers are coming to fruition. Although the opening is now delayed until September to allow the final details for the future of the building’s use to be agreed with the tenant, a housing association, and a charity providing a range of services to young people, the conversion and fitting out looks excellent. The journey to this has taken many years and many dedicated people have been committed to making it happen.