Did your group get a share of £105,000 pot for deserving projects?
PUBLISHED: 00:00 09 July 2017 | UPDATED: 11:38 09 July 2017
More than 100 community groups have been awarded a share of more than £100,000 thanks to a partnership between this newspaper, Comic Relief and the Norfolk and Suffolk Community Foundations.
Grants from Comic Relief’s Community Cash fund totalling £101,171.22 were presented to 104 different organisations to support the work they do for local people living tough lives.
From play schemes for disadvantaged children to drumming groups to help those suffering with mental health issues, each group has an inspiring story about how the money helps them to help others.
2017 is the eighth year of the Community Cash scheme, which supports local community projects with grants of between £500 and £1,000.
The cash has been used for everything from taking children on once-in-a-lifetime trips, to purchasing new equipment, or undertaking building repairs.
But the key is that the groups are all vital community resources, which add real value to their area.
Graham Tuttle from Norfolk Community Foundation added: “Comic Relief Community Cash offers a fantastic funding opportunity for local groups throughout the region and the grants awarded today will allow them to get on and do what they do best - helping people in local communities.
“There are so many groups which are a vital resource for the community and do a massive amount on very little money.
“These new Comic Relief Community Cash grants will provide a welcome boost and will soon be making a difference right across the region.”
Steven Singelton, chief executive of Suffolk Community Foundation, added: “We are so pleased to be involved with the Community Cash programme for another year. This fund really does reach grassroots charities who do so much positive work in our communities.”
This year grants were opened up to the whole of Norfolk for the first time, when previously they had been restricted to Norwich.
This meant a whole host of new applicants were seen and could take advantage of the cashpot.
Gilly Green, Comic Relief’s head of UK grants, added: “The Comic Relief Community Cash initiative enables us to help more than a thousand small projects all across the UK.“
Norwich Family Contact Centre
The Norwich Family Contact Centre has been given £1,000 towards helping children to see both parents after divorce or separation.
Many children who use the centre are subject to a court-imposed child arrangement order.
The grant will pay for room hire, training, refreshment costs and the purchase of new toys.
Trustee June Thoburn said it was particularly important for the volunteer-run service: “Without [the centre], children would simply stop seeing their other parent.
“It’s as simple as that. It’s a vital service, and it’s amazing to me actually that it is totally run by volunteers.”
She added: “The impact of separation is well researched and evidenced; not seeing a parent can damage a young person’s life chances, particularly their education, and increase the potential of developing mental health problems and participating in risky behaviour.”
Gunton Woodland Community Project
A group set up to transform a derelict and overgrown piece of woodland more than 20 years ago has been awarded £500 in the latest round of Community Cash grants.
Gunton Woodland Community Project (GWCP) was established in 1996 and the area, near Gunton Church, was given Nature Reserve Status in 2002. The group now sends out more than 200 newsletters and has about 400 members.
The money will go towards surfacing a 400m stretch of path through the wood.
David Briggs, GWCP chairman, said: “This is great news because we’ve got quite a big project coming up which is going to cost around £6,000 to build a path from the end of Gunton Woods down to Gunton Hall.
“Over the winter and in the summer walkers can get very muddy.”
He said funding for the path had also come from Suffolk Community Foundations and local councillors, among other sources.