Building Better Opportunities aims to tackle the poverty and social exclusion faced by the most disadvantaged people in England. The Suffolk Building Better Opportunities project for young people (aged 16 to 24), ‘Minding the Gap’, provides targeted and intensive support for young people in Suffolk who are unemployed or economically inactive, who face significant challenges/barriers to accessing employment and are currently/or at risk of social isolation, to gain and sustain employment and education.

Community Action Suffolk is the lead partner of a partnership with eight other organisations across Suffolk who will jointly deliver the ‘project, working together to ensure disadvantaged young people in Suffolk have the best opportunities for progression available to them. These are:
Access Community Trust
Lapwing Education
Realise Futures
Green Light Trust
Red Rose Chain
Phoenix Rising
Great Yarmouth & Waveney MIND
Involve Active Ltd.

The project has been supported through the Building Better Opportunities programme, which is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and European Social Fund.

The project will take place between February 2017 and September 2019 and will include provision throughout urban, rural and coastal communities. Individualised programmes will be delivered according to needs of the young people on the project with a focus on personal development as well as education and employment.

For more information on Building Better Opportunities please see the Big Lottery Fund website.

Bridge View

Bridge View offers help and support in a range of different areas. By providing advice and information in a safe and friendly environment, the centre aims to strengthen our local community by helping those in need and by supporting people in our community to fulfil their potential. We provide help and advice on a range of different issues such as housing, benefits, money management, mental health and substance misuse issues to information and personalised career guidance for training and education needs.

More Information

Housing & Benefits

Gateway to Homechoice applications, referrals to supported accommodation services, homelessness advice, landlord advice and negotiation and Outreach support.

Welfare Benefits
Housing Benefit, Employment & Support Allowance (ESA), Job Seekers' Allowance (JSA), Universal Credit, benefit sanctions and writing appeal letters.

Budgeting & Money Management
Repayment schemes, debt assistance, income and expenditure budgeting.

Welfare Support
We are a Gateway organisation for local welfare assistance in Suffolk, providing emergency support and help for essential items and resources.

Dual Diagnosis Team
Through drop-in clinics and a programme of appointments, you can access support for issues connected with mental health difficulties and substance misuse concerns. For more information, contact 01502 527225, or e-mail:

Personal Development

By offering a range of learning opportunities and training workshops, our community programmes and courses have enabled people to gain the skills to reshape their future and find employment.

The Personal Development Workers at Bridge View are here to help individuals improve skills and build confidence. This is achieved through activities such as arts and crafts sessions, confidence building workshops and trips to places of interest; recent outings include a visit to The Tate Modern, a beach walk to Southwold, a trip to Banham Zoo and fishing in Lowestoft.

Our weekly Job Club offers help with pre-employment skills (CV writing, interview techniques and support in searching for jobs and making applications). IT courses for 'very beginners' and advice on educational and training courses are also available.

For those interested in volunteering, information sessions are offered and support provided to help individuals find opportunities to suit them and their development needs.

Since July 2011, cookery workshops have been offered using the centre's training kitchen. The sessions allow individuals to learn either by themselves or together as a group in a relaxed, supportive setting. By helping learners to develop cookery skills and knowledge through simple, affordable recipes, we aim to inspire them to get in their kitchens at home and cook a meal for themselves and their families.

As part of the sessions, basic food hygiene, budgeting and nutrition are covered ensuring that knowledge and skills gained will enable learners to become confident in the kitchen. Popular sessions so far include 'Paella Night', a Caribbean-themed session, cake baking and 'Decorate a Cake Day', as well as healthy eating quizzes and taste tests.

We also run a number of community themed projects and activities, with our community choir 'the Waveney Warbler's' meeting hitting a high note on a on a regular basis, our football team 'the Dirty Dozen' training each Thursday afternoon, our allotment scheme supports our gardeners to discover their green fingers, our fishing club regularly inspires our group to land the ‘Catch of the Day’ and our Arts and Crafts group creating and crafting on a Thursday evening.

We also run City and Guilds accredited courses from Bridge View in topics such as cookery, customer service, hospitality and developing personal confidence courses.

Sessions are open to all. For more information, contact Steve or Gary on 01502 513974.

Bridge View Opening Hours

Monday 8:30am - 4:00pm
Tuesday 8:30am - 5:00pm
Wednesday 8:30am - 6:00pm
Thursday 9:00am - 6:00pm
Friday 8:30am - 5:00pm
Saturday 9:00am - 12:00pm
Sunday 9:00am - 12:00pm

Access the Globe

Our Youth Provision; Access The Globe is kindly funded by BBC Children In Need as we support the personal and social development of young people by offering them alternative education, activities, community dining and just as importantly, a safe, grown up environment where they can meet with their friends and make new ones too.

Held at Sams Café on Bevan Street East, our space is relaxed, modern and inclusive to all of those that are aged eight to eighteen.

We are open on a Tuesday and Wednesday between the hours of 1630 – 1930 as well as each Thursday when we’re open at the later time of 1800 – 2100.

Whilst our set days are subject to change, we do try our best to adhere to the following weekly programme:

Tuesday’s: Informal Education

Wednesday’s: Come Dine With Us (eat for free and get involved with cooking if you like)

Thursday’s: Our place (your youth club – simply come in, chill out and have some fun)

So if you’re bored, have nowhere to hang out, and fancy a free hot chocolate, pop along, meet the staff and see what opportunities could be available to you.

For further information please contact Rob Fawcett (Youth Services Coordinator) on 07817872405 or at

Park Run

Amongst all of the great things that we deliver within access community trust, we are also the very proud organisers of parkrun Lowestoft, a free, weekly, timed, non-competitive, five kilometre run along Lowestoft Seafront, aimed at increasing exercise participation regardless of age or ability. From Olympians to beginners, we welcome everyone.
Remember parkrun is completely FREE, all we ask is that you register ONCE and print off your designated barcode and bring it along to each event, including those that go on across the world.

Please use the following link to complete this task. It should take less than two minutes:

In addition to this, you can follow our event progress and statistics by scrolling to the very bottom of the page which is included in the next link:

And finally... If you would like to get involved in a voluntary aspect, please email:

Safer Suffolk

Through our existing work with young people we have identified a growing need for intensive, tailored support to reduce the risk of them becoming NEET and engaging in anti-social behaviour. We now have a dedicated ‘Safety Net’ Worker who works closely with schools, colleges, CYP services, police and related organisations to engage young people in a range of activities and interventions that will prevent social exclusion and reduce the risks of negative behaviour patterns.

This involves support both within and beyond school hours and includes outdoor education and forest schools, gardening and growing on our allotment, volunteering opportunities, cookery sessions, 3 evenings a week of varied activities at our youth club The Globe (i.e. music production, circus skills, pool, art) emotional well-being support and workshops, sports and fitness activities and 1-1 mentoring.

The provision is open to any young person aged 13-18 living in the Lowestoft and Waveney area, and who has been identified as engaging in, or at risk of engaging in, anti-social behaviour, or is at risk of or NEET. We are now accepting referrals from organisations/services who are working with young people who they feel would benefit from the support we are offering.

Please contact Gary Pembroke on 07789586912 or at for further information.
This is a ‘Safer Suffolk’ initiative funded by the PCC, delivered by Access Community Trust

Allotment Project

Access Community Trust are the proud guardians of a wonderful allotment, where we work with young people to either individually or within a group without the pressure or confines of an office or classroom environment. The projects supports progression in many areas such as physical exercise, fresh air and vitamin D that may be otherwise lacking in their daily lives.

The allotment is a learning environment, promoting introduction to new vegetables, growing cycles, nutrients, crop rotation, fauna, flora and animal habitats and we teach young people how to eat a healthier diet at a much reduced cost while getting beneficial exercise.

Working within a group or team with a common goal and camaraderie gives young people the opportunity to have fun in a low pressure environment in an environment and surroundings rich with nature. Coupled with the associated exercise this activity and environment is often prescribed to improve wellbeing.

Please contact Gary Pembroke on 07789586912 or at for further information.

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Our vision is to promote social inclusion for the community benefit by preventing people from becoming socially excluded, relieving the needs of those who are socially excluded and assisting them to integrate into society.