Financial crisis for Norfolk pregnancy centre

LucyVenn2009: A Thetford centre that has helped hundreds of women and young girls deal with pregnancy crisis, post-abortion stress and miscarriages, is now itself facing financial crisis.
 
Reflections - the long-held dream of its Christian founder who suffered an unplanned pregnancy as a teenager - is being strapped for cash for the first time since opening eight years ago.
 
The Centre is unique in providing informed choices and specialist counselling for families within a 20 mile radius of Thetford and Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk. It has turned the tables for women who have carried the emotional scars of abortion for decades and been a sounding board for those who have been distressed on learning they are pregnant. 
 
Says office manager Lucy Venn (pictured): “We are reaching out to needy people and helping them make headway. We don’t wear labels - we are not pro-life or pro-choice - but pro-woman.”  
 
Lucy joined the team at Reflections after completing a specialist in-house training that built on her existing counselling experience. It has helped change lives. One young woman had a medical termination because her unborn child was diagnosed with a birth defect explains Lucy. “When she arrived she was suicidal but when she left she was functioning normally again and expecting a healthy baby.”
 
Together with her colleagues, she is seeing many stories of hope. On completing their pregnancy, some teenagers confidently care for their babies while picking up the threads of their lives. Other clients are completing lengthy counselling sessions for sometimes multiple abortions and miscarriages to pursue education and career paths again.
 
The far-reaching and expanding work includes support for fathers and grandparents. Team members also visit churches, doctor’s surgeries and women’s groups in a bid to raise awareness and rally support. Visits to Suffolk and Norfolk schools - tailored for youngsters aged 10 to 18 - address self-esteem and - in the case of older students - relationships, pregnancy, miscarriage and abortion.
 
“We stress that each individual is valuable and important and how they can relate and respect one another to build good, lasting relationships,” says Lucy. 
 
Allied with Care Confidential, Reflections will see more scope for growth if the Government introduces its planned sex education in schools for five year-olds. It is also ready to call on interpreters if the work expands in this cross-cultural community that includes many Eastern Europeans.   
 
“In the current economic state of the country for the first time in eight years we find ourselves unable to pay our rent bill which is severely stretching our ‘faith muscles’ as we continue to ask the Lord to supply for our needs. We have also begun to see an increase in clients. We know that there are people in the area that need our services but we also need them to know we are here and able to help. As a team we are currently praying for two new clients a week,” says Lucy.
 
In line with increased client volume Reflections is also looking for prayer, counselling, administration and public relations support. There is an open invitation to visit the centre if people are interested. Contact: 01842 750075, 0800 028 2228 or email: office@reflections-norfolk.org.uk 

 


., 01/08/2009

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