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New home for Lowestoft youth charity

PUBLISHED: 11:00 26 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:05 06 July 2010

Jump charity has gained a grant for £500,000 and has now moved in to new premises.

Jump charity has gained a grant for £500,000 and has now moved in to new premises.

Hayley Mace

A charity which helps young people get their lives back on track will soon be offering more services from its new base in Lowestoft town centre.

Volunteers at youth mentoring scheme Jump, which stands for Junior2adult Unbiased Mentoring Project, are busy putting the finishing touches in place at the charity's new headquarters in London Road North.

A charity which helps young people get their lives back on track will soon be offering more services from its new base in Lowestoft town centre.

Volunteers at youth mentoring scheme Jump, which stands for Junior2adult Unbiased Mentoring Project, are busy putting the finishing touches in place at the charity's new headquarters in London Road North.

The new premises, which have been secured thanks to a £487,000 Big Lottery grant, will enable the project to bring all its advice and mentoring services from its St John's Road offices under one roof and provide a drop-in centre for local young people.

Jump, which was launched in 2008, was conceived by project manager Louise Botwright to help teenagers who are having problems at home or at school get their lives back on track by training young people to mentor other youngsters.

She said: "Being able to offer a drop-in service is really important because we get so many young people referred to us that we can't get them all appointments straight away, so this way they can come in and get some informal help and advice.

"This is also a great building for us because it's right in the town centre and near the bus station."

As well as office space, the new premises have been turned into a drop-in centre with pool and table tennis tables, computers and televisions, a kitchen and a music room which will give people the chance to mix tracks and use drums and guitars to make music.

The charity now has 13 trained youth mentors, all of whom are young people who have been through difficult times.

Miss Botwright said: "The most important thing about the project is that it is youth-led, so we have a junior committee who tell us what they think we should be doing.

"Our mentors are all young people who have been through difficult times in their lives, including some who have experienced homelessness or domestic abuse or been involved in crime, which means they can really relate to the people coming in.

"It's absolutely brilliant to see negative experiences being turned around into something positive

and into a way of helping other people and we're really excited that we now have the space to offer more help to the young people who need it."

The new premises are being officially opened on Saturday and local youth organisations will be exhibiting in the town centre.

The drop-in centre, which is accessed from Gordon Road, next to the First Bet shop, will be open from noon-3pm and 4.30-7.30pm on Mondays and Thursdays.

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