A new mental health hub for young people has opened its doors at the site of a prestigious former retail store.

The Junction in Lowestoft has provided vital mental health and wellbeing support to dozens of local youngsters since opening.

With the service delivered by regional charity Access Community Trust, officials said it is “the first of its kind in this area”.

Based on Bevan Street East in Lowestoft, The Junction is staffed by a trained team of youth yractitioners.

The free to access service provides a range of holistic assistance, guidance and group workshops for 11 to 25-year-olds across the week.

With the new facilities unveiled after the charity received a grant from the Denbury Charitable Foundation, an Access Community Trust spokesman said,

“Following an extensive refurbishment, the interior of the building has been divided into a range of zones to accommodate differing young peoples’ needs and features quiet safe spaces, a traditional and digital gaming area, sensory zone and arts/crafting corner.”

The Junction has transformed the former Clapham Arms pub and family retail store Coes of Lowestoft, which shut its doors in the town in May 2019 after 50 years of trading.

The Junction will host a range of afternoon (1pm to 6pm) engagement events over the Easter half term with fun activities and drinks/snacks provided.

Lauren Randall, youth mental health lead for The Junction, said,

“The team aims to assist as many young people as possible, whether they are seeking general wellbeing advice, in need of a safe space to open up or are in crisis. Our friendly non-judgemental team are here to listen, hear your voice and assist with positive steps to support you”.

The service is already working alongside the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Terrence Higgins Trust and other organisations.