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Leeway Celebrates 50th Anniversary!

15 May 2024

images of Leeway celebrating 50th anniversary

As you may know, 2024 is a very special year for Leeway as we mark our 50th anniversary! To celebrate this, we recently held a garden party to bring together some of the people that have supported us on this incredible journey over the past couple of decades.

It was a fabulous event to officially mark our 50th anniversary and is just one of the exciting events we have planned for this year!

Garden Party

The event, which was hosted at the Oaklands Hotel in Norwich, was attended by dignitaries including the Deputy Lieutenant, The Right Worshipful the Lord Mayor of Norwich, Councillor James Wright, The Worshipful the Sheriff of Norwich, Dr Jan Sheldon and the Sheriff’s Consort.

Some of Leeway’s founding members were also in attendance, including Liz Edwards, who gave a speech about her role in the charity’s founding and the subsequent growth of the organisation over the next few decades.

There were also speeches from current Leeway Patron and ITV Arts Editor, Nina Nannar, and the Domestic Abuse Commissioner for England and Wales, Nicole Jacobs.

Attendees included organisations and commissioners that have supported Leeway over the past 50 years, helping us to provide some of our vital services for those experiencing domestic abuse in Norfolk and Suffolk.

images of Leeway celebrating 50th anniversary

Our History

Leeway was officially founded in 1974 with the help of a £200 start-up grant from Norwich City Council, which helped to set-up our first refuge – at the time, only the third of its kind across the country.

Founder members had met a year earlier to discuss the need for a refuge in Norwich, meeting at the Red Lion Bishopgate, and Adam and Eve pubs to formulate plans to set up an organisation.

The name “Leeway” was decided as founder members of the organisation wanted to give survivors the leeway to make their own decisions to take back control of their life. As demand for services has steadily grown over the decades, we have expanded and now have nine refuges and safehouses across Norfolk’s districts.

The charity also provides a range of services across both Norfolk and Suffolk, supporting over 15,000 people every year and has a team of over 100 staff members.

Thank You

We would like to thank everyone for their continued support of Leeway and for their support over the past 50 years, no matter how big or small! It makes a huge difference and helps us to provide the best possible support to those experiencing domestic abuse.

Thank you to everyone that supported the event including:

  • Matt Hodges Jazz Trio, who entertained our guests with some fabulous music.
  • Easton College Floristry, who supplied the beautiful table decorations.
  • Winnibees Bakery, for the wonderful cupcakes.
  • Epic Events Norwich, for the light-up 50 sign.
  • Glenn Hands, the photographer who captured the event with some excellent photographs.