2010: Pregnancy Choices Norfolk
has celebrated the opening of its new premises at 12 Princes Street, Norwich,
with a cake, a ribbon and an archbishop.
On Thursday December 2, past client, Reannon cut the ribbon and a celebration cake and later in the day, some of the charity’s workers and volunteers received a visit and words of support from The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, during his visit to Norwich.
The Christian-based charity provides support for women and their partners who have an unplanned pregnancy, or who have had a pregnancy loss. As well as this specialist counselling service, it has also delivered pregnancy choices lessons to 900m students in five high schools across the county in the last year.
In the last year the charity has been in contact with around 300 clients.
Reannon’s personal story of how she was helped following a late termination, was featured on the DVD “Reannon’s Journey” and can be viewed on “You Tube”.
Pregnancy Choices’ new premises have been extensively re-furbished to provide clients with a quiet, confidential environment in which they can talk to a member of the team of volunteer advisors. A reception, two counselling rooms and separate offices and a quiet room are all now available.
Some of the 35 volunteers from 20 different churches and three part-time workers, met with the Bishop of Norwich, the charity’s patron, and the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, who offered words and prayers of support for the vital work the team undertake.
The Archbishop told Reannon she was very brave to do the DVD and that she was in his prayers. He went on to pray that the volunteers would be surrounded by God’s spiritual generosity and that the message that goes out from the work is that God loves the world and gave his Son for them: “Surround the work with your angels that they might protect all who work and come into this place. May those who come and go find your peace and may your Holy Spirit led, guide and direct your servants who work here,” prayed Dr Sentamu.
Project director, Biddy Collyer, said: “For those facing an unplanned pregnancy and who have not made their mind up over what to do, we offer them the time and space to talk through the options in a safe place. We have a model which we take them through which helps them to talk through what they really think about the difficult situation in which they find themselves and also take into consideration their underlying beliefs and value system.
“We are really grateful for the support of people in terms of prayer, gifts of baby clothes and equipment, finance and maybe considering becoming a volunteer. We have volunteers right across the county and try to have someone available within ten miles of anyone who wants to use our support. We also have a drop-in centre in King’s Lynn.”
Some 40% of clients find the charity through referrals from health professionals and also via self-referral and through advertising the helpline number, said Biddy.
Most of the redecoration was carried out by friends, volunteers and supporters of the charity, including a team of Congolese refugees, young people doing community service, people in recovery from drug and alcohol abuse as well as past clients. The work of organising the redecorating was overseen by Lorie Lain-Rogers, who also worked extensively to re-order the inside of the building.
As well moving to new premises, the name has recently changed from Pregnancy Crisis Norfolk to better reflect the fact that women are supported in whatever choice they make. Community based appointments are available across Norfolk, as well as at the new centre in Norwich.