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A new home for AGCY

A charity for older people in the Great Yarmouth area has begun work on an ambitious new activity centre in a prime location. Age Concern Great Yarmouth (ACGY) has taken over the building which used to house Poundstretcher in Regent Street.

The charity, which is currently based at the Priory Centre next to Great Yarmouth Minster, is hoping that these new premises will make them more accessible as well as allowing them to expand the services they offer.

Jackie Tierney, AGYC services manager, said: “We’re making slow progress, but we are coming to a bit of a stop because we now need to raise around £110,000 to refurbish the building.

“We want to be in there as soon as possible, and we’ve got the curiosity factor because people are looking in and asking what it going on.

“It’s going to be a centre of excellence, which older people can call their own,” Jackie added.

“It’s all based on what we’ve learned these past few years.”

Once completed, the ground floor of the centre will be used for activities including a weekly drop in and a point for information and support for older people. There will be seated exercises, soft ball tennis, and a dance floor.

“We can hold afternoon teas, a men’s group, and we’ve already been asked about table tennis,” Jackie said. “We’re happy to hear from people about what they would like.”

The venue will be open five days a week with different activities in the morning and afternoon. But you will also be able to drop in just to take the weight off your feet before heading home too.

Upstairs will be Age Concern’s administration offices, along with meeting and training rooms which will also be available for rental to other organisations.

“We’ll also be able to offer desk space to like-minded organisations,” said Jackie. “That way we can make it a one-stop shop.”

Jackie is hoping that the centre will be up and running by the new year. She said: “At the moment, staff and volunteers are busy raising funds and we’re looking for further funding or sponsorship.

“This doesn’t necessarily need to be money either, there are lots of things people can do. For example we know that we need 800 carpet tiles, and 20 packs of wooden flooring – every little helps!”

People can donate their skills, time, materials or money by contacting the Age Concern office on 01493 743052 or email jackie.tierney@acgy.org.uk.

Steve Bowles