Seal of approval for Norfolk charities which work with young people

Dame Rachel de Souza was given a tour of Open Road West Norfolk’s base in King’s Lynn and spoke to students and staff about how they have benefitted from the facility during a visit to the town.

“It was a real pleasure to visit and to meet with the young people who have benefitted from access to vocational training and education,” said Dame Rachel, a former head of the Inspiration Trust, a Norwich-based chain of 14 schools that King Edward VII (KES) Academy joined last year.

My ambition is for a cradle-to-career approach to education that also includes a stronger focus on vocational options and better careers education, as well as access to apprenticeships and vocational career routes”.

North West Norfolk MP James Wild was also present during the visit to Open Road’s Rollesby Road premises.

“Open Road plays a vital role in giving young people in West Norfolk alternative opportunities to learn and develop practical mechanic and construction skills,” he said.

“It is making a real difference and it was impressive to hear directly from the young people about how they were motivated and enjoyed attending and about their plans for the future.”

James Bagge, chair of the Swan Project and patron of both organisations, added: “Dame Rachel’s welcome visit enables us to shine a light on two beacons of hope for those young people in West Norfolk who are in need of additional support.

“The critical work Open Road and the Swan Youth Project undertake was wholeheartedly recognised by Dame Rachel who promised us support in our endeavours going forward.”