The Keystone project promises a new community for Thetford
A new community group for children and adolescents arrives in Thetford after the efforts of a father whose daughter has been assaulted.
Provisionally named the Keystone Project, the community group aims to provide Thetford’s youth with a safe space to relax with friends away from the streets after school.
The creation of the project was spearheaded by Ben Lacey after his daughter Talia was attacked on August 29.
A video of a group of young people attacking her 12-year-old daughter was posted on social media.
Mr Lacey said: “In Thetford there are community centers for different areas which I think promote separation between groups of children.
“I wanted to create a central hub where everyone is welcome to help prevent this, a place where people can come together as a community.
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“It will be a safe place for children, where they can access support if needed and come together to break down barriers.”
Today, the 36-year-old has partnered with The Keystone Development Trust, a community-building charity in Thetford, to open the space at the Keystone Innovation Center on Croxton Road.
Mr Lacey continued, “The idea is that the group will be led by the kids to give them a sense of responsibility on something of their own.
“We don’t want to be adults preaching to them and telling them how to spend their time, the kids will be the first.
“It’s a space for them so they should be responsible for it.”
The hub is currently scheduled to open on Wednesday November 3 and will be open every Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. thereafter.
Opening times are subject to change, depending on whether children want the hub to be open more often.
Alongside the project, a pop-up second-hand clothing store named 11-Teen Boutique is opening its doors to provide school clothes and uniforms to people aged 11 to 19 who need them.
Parents can come with their children to browse the ephemeral boutique stay and have tea or coffee. Donations appreciated.
The project and the store are both seeking support and donations of clothing, phone chargers, furniture and game consoles.
Anyone wishing to help should contact [email protected]