Norwich Vineyard to launch drop-in centre in Thorpe 

Norwich Vineyard church, under the leadership of Geoff and Annie Lawton, has been based in the Thorpe community for over 15 years, more recently meeting at Thorpe High School on a Sunday morning. The opportunity has now arisen to create a drop-in centre to provide services to the local community in partnership with Thorpe Town Council as a non-profit making community service.

PlaceSale450The Place - as it will be known - will be based in former shop premises on the corner of Spinney and South Hill Roads and aims to provide a place where local people can drop-in to access services or meet up for a cup of coffee.
There are lots of ideas for the sorts of services that could be provided but input is invited from other community groups and individuals who would like to work in partnership with the Vineyard.  Current ideas include coffee mornings and events aimed at particular groups of people. For example, if the focus were on the elderly, The Place could provide a space for them to meet and make friends, gather information and advice or access the internet.
Parenting, reminiscence, literacy or similar groups, pampering and various other events could be offered. The idea is to build relationship with agencies and individuals who work in the community and to have space available to be used as a One Stop Shop, eg, Citizens Advice, Credit union.
There are members of the church who can offer advice and expertise in some areas, eg health or safety, debt, bereavement and other forms of counselling.
Norwich Vineyard plans to work with Thorpe St Andrew Town Council and already has the support of Broadland District Council, working with the Community Safety Manager and Community Resilience Team.
ThePlaceSketch400The main purpose of The Place is to serve and support the community, providing a safe and friendly environment.
Opening times would depend on available personnel and demand. Ideally The Place would be open weekdays from 9am until 4:30pm.
Refurbishment of the former shop premises is about to start, to make it as attractive and comfortable as possible for volunteers and visitors.
If you are able to help with this venture in any way or would like to talk about services that could be provided, please contact the team leader, Mike Hidden on 01603 435163 or 078 8400 5265.

Pictured top is a recent second-hand sale at Dussindale Community Centre which raised around £1000 to go towards The Place, an artist's impression of which is above.