The History of The Norwich Centre
The Norwich Centre was founded in 1979 and first occupied its present premises at 7 Earlham Road, Norwich in 1980.
Originally, the Centre took the form of a professional partnership formed by three counsellors operating in the University of East Anglia and three working in the city of Norwich - Prue Conradi, Faith Broadbent, Aude Gotto, Michael Da Costa, William Hallidie Smith and Brian Thorne.
From the outset the Centre was committed to the approach to counselling and psychotherapy developed by the distinguished American psychologist Dr Carl Rogers and was the first agency in the United Kingdom to do so. The "person centred" approach to therapy is an internationally recognised orientation and the Centre's commitment to the approach has done much to strengthen its presence in the British context.
The original partners from the University of East Anglia included Brian Thorne - who was subsequently appointed to a Chair of Counselling in the University and whose publications and international reputation have done much over the years to enhance the Centre's standing, and Michael da Costa. Dr Rogers himself visited the Centre in 1984 - three years before his death- and sat in every room : he pronounced the vibrations to be 'very good!'.
In 1992, with the departure of three of the original partners, the Centre became a registered charity with a Board of Trustees. At the same time a Limited Company was established (Norwich Centre Projects Ltd) which is mainly concerned with offering counselling services to organisations and other corporate bodies. Throughout its history, the Centre has been an organisational member of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy and has adhered to the Association's Ethical Framework. Brian Thorne was one of the first counsellors in the country to become a Fellow of the BACP and other members of the Centre have been actively involved in the Association's work and development.
In January 2007 we were given an award by the Norfolk Waste Partnership for making a priority of recycling despite being a charity with limited funds.
In September 2007 we completed building our Annexe. The annexe has been built in as environmentally friendly way as possible in line with the environmental policy of the Norwich Centre.
The use of a timber frame is more energy-efficient than a more conventional frame such as brick and block or steel. Also it serves to combat climate change by locking up carbon and being sustainably sourced encourages the management of sustainable forests.
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