In 2009 it was identified that vulnerable young people and their families in the Norwich area (specifically the Lakenham and Tuckswood areas) needed additional support beyond that which was already available to them. To address this need The Central Norwich Foundation Trust, Parkside Special School Community Trust and Barnardo’s formed a joint partnership in May 2010 out of which The base was formed.
The Central Norwich Foundation Trust, who owned The Hewett School site, offered a rent free building so that The base could be independent from the school, The Hewett and Parkside Schools gave their expertise and Barnardo’s provided a Centre Manager for three years in order to assist with fully establishing the project in the community.
The initial aim was for The base to be a non-judgemental, open and welcoming environment where young people who were at risk of getting involved in crime, or who’s home life was unsettled, would feel comfortable coming in to talk and to access the services and projects on offer.
On 1st April 2011 The base was officially opened by Simon Wright MP and Ex-Norwich City Footballer Darren Huckerby with support from local companies and organisations in the area.
A year later (April 2012) The base become a Trust in its own right, establishing greater local links through the creation of a Trust Board and in December 2012 Barnardo’s involvement in The base ended.
January 2013 saw The base gain charitable status and at the same time it reviewed its objectives, strategies and long term goal of becoming self-sustaining. Out of this review a three year plan was drawn up which covered areas such as Marketing, Social Media and Corporate Fundraising. It also addressed The base’s relationship with other organisations and partnership working. This proved a great success with the ‘Year One’ targets being met before the year end (30th April 2014), forcing the Trustees to carry out another review taking into account the incredible growth that had been shown over the previous two years. This revised plan remains in place with minor adaptations made to reflect The base’s continued success.
In June 2015 Company Secretary Joanna Tuttle resigned her position and took up the role of Trustee with Robert Eagleton appointed CEO. Under Robert’s guidance The base continues to grow and to explore new avenues through which it can support young people.
Over the course of the years The base has changed significantly. Click on the arrows by the picture to see how it looked before becoming The base!
And here's how it all looks now (slightly better we think!)