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HRH The Duke of Gloucester opens St Martins House

A new second-stage hostel is the latest service to be opened by a Norwich-based homelessness charity in the city. St Martins House provides accommodation to 23 people who have experienced homelessness. The first resident moved in just before Christmas and three months on the hostel is now full.

The official opening was held on 13th March when His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester visited the service and unveiled a plaque to commemorate the occasion.

Chief Executive of St Martins Dr Jan Sheldon said: “We are delighted that HRH The Duke of Gloucester officially opened St Martins House. We are very proud of the new building and the high quality accommodation we offer here. It has been a joy over the past few months to see residents settling in and making St Martins House their home.

“The Duke’s visit was a fantastic opportunity for our residents and team members to meet him and tell him about their experiences.”

During the visit, The Duke toured the facilities at St Martins House, which also includes the charity’s head office on the ground floor. He met several residents and team members, viewed the ensuite bedrooms and shared kitchens and took time to listen to the accounts of people who had previously been sleeping on the streets in Norwich before receiving life-saving support from St Martins.

St Martins House is used as second stage accommodation which means that the people living in the property are generally more settled and further along their recovery journey than people living in emergency or stage one accommodation. The hostel is staffed 24/7 and team members are always there to offer support and guidance, which is tailored to each resident. Some people require help with budgeting skills, securing volunteering opportunities, accessing counselling or help to reconnect with family members.

St Martins House is just one service run by the charity and its purchase was possible thanks to the fundraising efforts of local people.

Photos by Andy Newman 

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