Children in Need: Grants given to help Norfolk children

More than £1.3m is currently being spent improving children's lives across Norfolk, latest figures from BBC charity Children in Need show.

Twenty-nine organisations in the county are benefiting from grants.

One of those - SeaChange Arts in Great Yarmouth - is currently being given £74,850 to help young people with behavioural difficulties.

Children in Need said it has previously given more than £2.1m of grants to young people in Norfolk.

Other organisations to currently benefit from large grants include Norfolk and Norwich Scope Association, which is being handed £96,563 to help disabled children under the age of 10 settle into schools and social situations.

Asperger East Anglia, who put on activities for five to 13-year-olds with the syndrome, has been awarded £85,152.

Yesu, which provides support to disadvantaged young people along the north Norfolk coast, is also receiving money, being given £49,933.

"BBC Children in Need makes a real difference to disadvantaged children and young people in Norfolk, who have not had the same opportunities many of us take for granted," said Jessica Light, regional officer for Children in Need in the East.

SeaChange Arts, which runs the Out There International Festival of Street Arts and Circus in Great Yarmouth, is involved in a three-year programme with Children in Need, getting young people involved in music, theatre, circus skills, free-running, film and animation.

'Good place'

One of those to benefit from its work is Yarmouth teenager Dan, who developed a passion for the performing art of parkour.

Developed in France, parkour teaches participants to move efficiently through their environment by vaulting, rolling, running, climbing and jumping.

Being homeless at the age of 16 for three months and resorting to petty crime, he said the pursuit changed his life around.

He recently landed his first job in two years at a nightclub on the town's seafront.

"Parkour has helped me develop," said Dan.

"It's given me a lot of confidence. I've got a lot of discipline - it teaches you how to control your temper."

SeaChange Arts said it would continue to support its parkour sessions, with help from the Mancroft Advice Project, by running regular workshops throughout the winter.

"My life's in a good place now because I've met a lot of friends through parkour. I'm a different man," said Dan.

'Pockets of deprivation'

Another charity Yesu, based in Sheringham, supports children and teenagers from low income families, who are often in poverty or suffering from deprivation.

Children in Need helps pay for staff wages at the organisation so it can run a coffee shop, activity bus and centres that advise people on drug and alcohol issues, housing support and pregnancy choices.

"We bring access to services which otherwise wouldn't be available," said Sadie Houghton, senior youth worker at Yesu.

"People say [the coffee shop] is like a second home for them. They can just drop in and put their feet up.

"It's just somewhere to go where there's friendly faces."

With help from Children in Need, Ms Houghton said Yesu would look to branch out their bus project into other towns and villages along the coast in the next year.

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