A socially distanced ceremony to install a time capsule has been undertaken as work progresses at our project in Norwich to convert a former British Legion Hall into a new YMCA Community Hub.

The commemorative time capsule was hidden behind a false wall by the charity's CEO Tim Sweeting. Items sealed in the capsule, for future generations to find, included a collection of YMCA memorabilia, stories, drawings, observations, poems and testimonies collected from YMCA clients and staff from their different locations across Norfolk. Our site team also donated a Cocksedge hard-hat which was included in the time capsule to mark the company's part in the proceedings.

Tim Sweeting commented,

"YMCA has been in Norfolk for over 165 years and has a long and varied history. We are excited to leave a time capsule that will commemorate this exciting moment in our history and act as an important piece of heritage. It will provide a snapshot of this unique time for future generations to explore. Through our ambitious Community Hub, we are making a long-term commitment to the local community that will enable us to serve and support families and youth in the area for many years to come."

Also present at the ceremony were sisters and local residents Amelie and Cora Bailey, who are excited about the new hub and it's facilities.

Amelie, age 9, said,

"I am looking forward to going to the soft play and cafe as a treat after school if I have been good."

Cora, age 5, said,

"I am excited because it is right next to my school and Nana can take me there when she picks me up from school."

Cocksedge's Commercial Manager, Darren Reeve, added,

"It's great to see a time-capsule being placed here at the new YMCA Hub as we reach a mid-point and now start to close-up areas of the refurbished building.

Keeping the project on track with new ways of working through the pandemic certainly has been a real team effort, and one of which will see the local community, especially young people, benefit from the services that will be on offer at the Hub.

The project itself has allowed us to provide oppurtunities for an apprentice to gain valuable carpentry experience, which aligns with the YMCA's goals in providing local young people with a focus for education, employment and positive well-being."

Once the conversion and refurbishment project is completed in early 2021, the Hub will feature a community cafe, a soft play centre, multi-use spaces for youth clubs and community groups, as well as an Ofsted registered nursery. YMCA Norfolk will also relocate into new office accommodation which is being created.

YMCA Norfolk have received generous support for the Hub in respone to fundraising efforts from trusts, foundations, generous individuals and Norfolk County Council. Public support has also helped to raise over £15,000, 60% of the public appeal target of £25,000.

Members of the public who would like to offer financial support are invited to visit the public appeal page on Just Giving: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/ymcanorfolkcommunityhub

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