Hadley & Ottaway were shocked to understand that currently demand for Samaritans service out strips its capacity and nationally it is thought we need an extra 15,000 volunteers to cope with the high demand. Norwich Samaritans needed to increase capacity so that locally we can take on more volunteers to help the national efforts to meet this demand.
The first challenge was for Norwich Samaritans to address the needs of its existing centre that had been in disrepair for some time. The downstairs floor needs digging up and relaying due to considerable damp and subsidence, the roof has structural issues, and the building does not have adequate lighting or ventilation.
This was the opportunity to renovate the centre, whilst creating the right environment and capacity for the branch to grow.
Hadley & Ottaway were keen to support this £750,000 project which will see the branch, rebuilt in time for our 60th anniversary in May 2024 and renamed Varah House, in honour of Chad Varah, who founded Samaritans in 1953.
David Galer Hadley & Ottaway MD commented “We wanted to help in both practical and financial ways. We were delighted to be able to provide our expertise in moving the Norwich Samaritans branch from its home for the last 58 years to its temporary home, whilst the renovations were carried out. Alongside this support we proposed Norwich Samaritans as our charity of the year and over the next 12 months were delighted to be able to raise over £9,000 to support this ambitious project”.
Thanks to the generosity of local businesses and trusts Norwich Samaritans were able to raise the £750,000 and the project ran smoothly being completed on budget and to the expected timescales.
James Ellis, Branch Director said: "We would like to thank all those involved in making the renovation of our branch possible - from the many Trusts and doners, to the architects’ main contractors. Thanks to the support of Hadley & Ottaway and others we now have a branch that will see us able to continue support and allow us to expand so that we can support even more for many more years to come".
As you can see from the photos below the branch is now looking so much more inviting and provides a warm, light and friendly hub for our volunteers to work from.
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