Forward is a local registered charity and company limited by guarantee supporting approximately 120 people (members) with learning disabilities.
Forward Day Centre has a new day centre and shop in the Vancouver Quarter this summer, in the unit next to Burger King and opposite the Job Centre.
The charity supports people with learning disabilities and autism (Members), and are expanding to an additional space in the heart of King’s Lynn’s town centre, which they will run alongside their current locations on Millfleet next to the library and Ezone on the North Lynn industrial estate.
They are hoping to use the front of No 33 to sell items made by Members in their other locations whilst using the space behind it for more traditional day service activities including their media, photography, environmental and printing groups.
Forward’s Members make many items including jewellery, cards, candles, and printed t-shirts along with wooden planters and bird boxes, which all make excellent gifts
The shop will be staffed by Members who will gain new skills and valuable work experience whilst developing their confidence and self-esteem. Members will be involved with the design, production and sales of the stock that will regularly change to reflect the handmade nature of the products.
Around 16 to 20 members a day will be using No.33, and the team at No.33 are also keen to give something back to the community, so will be taking over the care of large planters within the Vancouver Quarter.
Steve Fuller, Forward’s CEO said: “Members are very excited about this new project and the advantages of its location. We hope to raise the profile of our Members and promote their skills and creativity. Having this new base will involve Members working with customers, engaging with local businesses, and supporting the local community. They will also be involved with all the decorating, making benches, and planning the interior.”
He continued: “By moving some of our operations to Broad street, it will free up space at Millfleet where Forward can provide, calmer, quieter environments for Members who have more complex needs; Millfleet offers sensory rooms with specialised equipment, craft areas, workshop, kitchens, and a courtyard garden.”