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13 November 2014

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You are in: Norfolk > Red Nose Day > Where does your money go in Norfolk?

Christmas can be a lonely time for many people

St Edmunds Society offers hope

Where does your money go in Norfolk?

Although 60 per cent of the money raised by Comic Relief is used on projects in Africa, there's still a huge amount of money left to be spent here.

For Ed's Basement in Norwich, the £60,000 received from Comic Relief has helped provide a lifeline for young homeless men in the county.

Damien's story is typical. He ended up living in his car after being released from prison. He first tried a bed and breakfast in Great Yarmouth, but says it was full of drug takers.

The Youth Offenders' team managed to find him a place at Ed's Basement in Norwich, and he’s getting back on his feet.

"There are lots of friendly people," he said. "All the people who live here have been in the same situation as me. Everyone gets on. It's safe."

Ed's Basement is a drop-in centre on Earlham Road. Upstairs is a hostel for 12, but the basement provides somewhere to meet, get the washing done, learn a new skill such as wood working and get some advice.

It's open to young men from 16 to 30 years old and is run by the St Edmunds Society.

"It gives them a stable environment, a safe environment, somewhere they can go. It's warm and there's free tea and coffee," said Zita Hipperson, day centre manager.

"Some come straight from prison, others have never been through the criminal justice system and just happen to find themselves homeless. Some have drug and alcohol dependencies and some don't - it really is a mixed bag."

Zita feels if she had one wish, it would be that no-one should be homeless.

"I was homeless myself at 17 and I have some empathy for those who are homeless. It just feels that it's everyone's right to have accommodation," said Zita.

last updated: 30/01/2009 at 11:03
created: 16/03/2007

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