The team behind a partnership set up more than a decade ago to improve Lowestoft has vowed its work will continue after it was announced that the service is to close.

Established in 2013 with the aim of making a coastal town a better place for everyone, organisers from Lowestoft Rising said key areas of work would now be handed over to other local partnership groups.

Since being set up to improve the way the public and voluntary sectors operate in the town, the partnership has worked to improve people's mental and physical wellbeing, developed a positive mental health manifesto for Lowestoft, supported the most vulnerable residents and increased aspirations in local youngsters.

With Lowestoft Rising a partnership between East Suffolk Council, Suffolk County Council, Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board, Suffolk Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner, key voluntary and community organisations - including Access Community Trust and Community Action Suffolk - were also involved.

Having worked with voluntary groups and schools, introduced mental health ambassadors, developed the Walk and Talk scheme and organised the first mental health conference in Suffolk, it has also been praised for supporting Lowestoft Community Church to retain a food bank and introduced the Lowestoft Food Network.

Lowestoft Rising has helped to establish social prescribing, worked with street drinkers and rough sleepers through the Thin Ice project, formed the Lowestoft Cultural Education Partnership and established a school uniform bank.

East Suffolk Council said it had played an important role across the town, with a physical health and wellbeing network created as they worked closely with the Lowestoft and northern parishes Community Partnership.

The council said through Lowestoft Rising the Lowestoft Collaboration Academy was also developed with 80 people trained in collaborative working.


With the Change Manager at Lowestoft Rising, Phil Aves - who has overseen the entire project - set to retire this summer, he said: ''With some of the partners no longer able to fund Lowestoft Rising going forward, it has come to a natural end.

"It has been a real privilege to serve Lowestoft in this role and help those people who were most in need of help.

"From school children to homeless people, from health matters to pride-related matters, Lowestoft Rising has delivered across the system to help the town improve."

Nicole Rickard, head of communities and leisure at East Suffolk Council, said: "Lowestoft Rising has been instrumental in supporting and delivering a huge range of projects over the past decade, all of which have improved the lives of local people in a myriad of ways.

"The project introduced new services where gaps were identified and laid the foundations for many of the services supporting local residents in Lowestoft today."

Services provided by Lowestoft Rising are now being allocated to other organisations including the Lowestoft Place Board, the Community Partnership, East Suffolk’s Communities Team and the Cultural Education Partnership.