Fakenham's outreach bus back on the road

EP youth bus outside 388 AR2012 : Over the past year, EP Youth in Fakenham has been busily involved in the full refurbishment of its flagship outreach, the ‘Big Red Bus’. This is now back on the road, and will be appearing at the Fakenham Fair on August 25 and “Glad about the Glaven” in Holt on October 7. Tony Rothe reports.

The bus is a Leyland National Greenway, rebuilt in 1994 from a standard Leyland National. It worked in the centre of London on the famous ‘Red Arrow’ inter-station routes, but retired in 2006, when it was purchased for EP Youth.

The ‘Big Red Bus’ is at the heart of the charity’s project work, enabling them to take activities out to villages, as well as to venues within Fakenham. Projects such as ‘Streetlife’ and ‘Streetlife Villages’ provide ‘drop-in’ and structured sessions that offer young people opportunities to learn about health and well-being in a safe environment.

The refurbishment was made possible by all the donations received, including a generous grant from the Clothworkers Foundation. There has also been a great deal of time and effort from volunteers involved in costings, ideas, designs, consultations, funding appeals etc.

Amanda Woodland, the project administrator said “Everyone at E P Youth is very pleased that all the internal works have been completed and we can announce that the bus looks amazing. With new cupboards, recovered seating, graphics of London and parts of the old bus route to the ceiling and general rescrubbed floorings etc, it is certainly a very pleasant place to be.

EP youth bus inside 360 ARThe bus also features a whole new range of interactive media including 2 screens, DVD, Playstations, i-pod dock, speakers and Wi-Fi internet access. So, as well as being a safe place to meet up with friends, the bus also provides a whole range of interesting and fun activities.

EP Youth is a Christian charity that aims to make a positive difference to the lives of young people by supporting, motivating and enabling them to achieve their highest potential. The young people are empowered to make informed choices and increase their participation and volunteering in their local community.

The organisation delivers drop-in services, informal healthy education, outreach programmes and creative workshops. The charity remains pro-active in responding to identified need, so that programmes can be modified or new projects started as required. It is able to carry out its work through the generous donations of trusts and funds from individuals and businesses as well as specific contracts from successful tenders.

The villages projects run for 8 weeks where need has been identified by Parish Councils or other bodies and individuals. Rural isolation in North Norfolk can be a problem for young people as they try to explore the world and their place in it. EP Youth tries to provide access to information in fun ways. The success of these projects is heightened where local communities actively encourage young people to visit the bus. Increased positive outcomes occur where young people are given opportunities to make a difference in their villages, for example by working alongside Parish Councils to begin youth activities and groups.

Volunteers are always welcome in the charity and undertake a variety of roles.

Visit the EP Youth website for more information at www.epyouth.co.uk

If you wish to find out more about volunteering or just need information about E P Youth’s services then please contact the office on 01328 851020 or by email to office@epyouth.co.uk

Network Norwich and Norfolk > Regional News > West Norfolk > Fakenham's outreach bus back on the road
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