Gorleston Community Room

Completed: 2022
Location: Great Yarmouth
Region: East of England
Other local partners: Dulux, Orbit Housing, Travis Perkins Great Yarmouth

About the project

The Gorleston Community Room was a disused community hub, a place where Orbit Housing envision a variety of groups/tenants meeting from the community where they live in Orbit housing in Great Yarmouth, the most deprived area in Norfolk and one of the most deprived towns in the UK. Orbit wanted to increase the functionality of this building, to increase the promotion of healthy living/wellbeing and deliver more quality experiences for the community to host from coffee/parent & child mornings, to physical activity groups like yoga and local services like voting.

The project:

To bring this vision to life, with some design input from MUF Architects, the project has seen the garden boundary extended, new doors being fitted to lead into the new garden, the construction of a large decking area with a section being covered by a pergola, a complete internal refit including new flooring, a new kitchen and larger, accessible toilet as well as external decoration and storage.

The young people: 19 local young volunteers recruited from the local Orbit housing community, YMCA Norfolk, Catch-22 Great Yarmouth and Dial Great Yarmouth, who support vulnerable young people and those with disabilities

The impact:

  • 14 Entry Level 3 City & Guilds accreditations gained in Carpentry and Health & Safety
  • Transformation of community hub including new kitchen and accessible toilet, new flooring and blinds for groups to use the space
  • A new storage shed, pergola, seating and decking area ready to use for outdoor physical activity
  • The building now has a larger footprint and more storage meaning it can host varied activities more flexibly.
  • The newly refurbished interior also means it’s a more attractive space for private hire and general community events
  • 2 young volunteers promoted to paid Peer Mentors with VIY during this project – supporting other VIY volunteers to learn trade skills on two further VIY projects in Norfolk
  • 4 other young volunteers progressed into further education/training/employment following this project, with 2 more supported by VIY to find future opportunities
  • The space was officially reopened to the community in October 2023

Match-funded by Sport England.

See this project in action here


They have carefully listened to our specification for the hub and the community's clear views and opinions regarding their wants and aspirations for its use. The hub has been refurbished to a high spec and we are extremely happy with the finished product. The young people have worked extremely hard to create a new vibrant, fresh and functional community room for our communities and partners to enjoy to its full potential." Fiona Butcher, Place Area Lead, Orbit Group