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More than £100,000 up for grabs for region’s deserving groups

PUBLISHED: 06:54 24 March 2017 | UPDATED: 09:58 24 March 2017

Norfolk SEN Network. Left to right, Annie Neri, Paul Coleman, Clare Chaplin, Pat Brickley (chairman) and Raffaella Ouchai.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norfolk SEN Network. Left to right, Annie Neri, Paul Coleman, Clare Chaplin, Pat Brickley (chairman) and Raffaella Ouchai. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2017

A £105,000 fund to support community groups across Norfolk and Suffolk has been announced today.

Mile Cross playscheme has recieved a grant from Comic Relief.

PHOTO: Nick Butcher Mile Cross playscheme has recieved a grant from Comic Relief. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

And the Eastern Daily Press has again teamed up with Comic Relief and the Norfolk and Suffolk Community Foundations, to give deserving groups across the region a chance to get involved and bid for a share of the pot.

Community Cash grants of between £500 and £1,000 have helped with everything from purchasing new equipment to facilitating fun days out in the last few years,

Distributed by Comic Relief - with help from this newspaper - they have been the lifeblood of many groups which would struggle without this help.

Now, as the Red Nose Day fundraising frenzy sweeps the nation and donations for Comic Relief pour in, applications for local groups to benefit in 2017 have opened.

Helping ensure they safety of people in the city centre at night, staff and volunteers from Safe Haven City Response that has received funding from Comic Relief. Photo : Steve Adams Helping ensure they safety of people in the city centre at night, staff and volunteers from Safe Haven City Response that has received funding from Comic Relief. Photo : Steve Adams

Groups which benefitted last time round included Norfolk SEN Network, the Mile Cross Playscheme and Time Norfolk.

MORE: Six-year-old Amber Guymer from Dereham finds an ultra rare Comic Relief ‘nose’ going for up to £100 on eBay

Gilly Green, head of UK grants said: “The Comic Relief Community Cash initiative is extremely important and enables us to help more than a thousand smaller projects all across the UK.

“The grants can be used for a wide variety of needs, from equipment for disability sports clubs, to activities bringing communities together, to specialist training for volunteers providing essential support. We encourage any community group or project who are in need of some extra funding to apply for the grant through their local community foundation.”

Kathryn Habershon, director of 4Cs Counselling Service, with the laptop they bought with Comic Relief money. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Kathryn Habershon, director of 4Cs Counselling Service, with the laptop they bought with Comic Relief money. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

MORE: Gyms in Norwich unite to raise money for Comic Relief

For groups in Norfolk, a total of £60,000 is up for grabs. Graham Tuttle, from Norfolk Community Foundation, said: “These small grants really do transform the fortunes of the local organisations they benefit. There are so many groups in Norfolk 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.”

MORE: Sprowston High School launch their fundraising bid for Red Nose Day 2017

In Suffolk, there is £45,000 on offer, and Stephen Singleton from Suffolk Community Foundation also urged groups to apply.

St Augustines Afternoon Club which benefits from funds from Comic Relief for a couple of outings a year. Organiser Shirley Banester, front right, with member Lynda Lewis, front left, who has written some poems thanking the club. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY St Augustines Afternoon Club which benefits from funds from Comic Relief for a couple of outings a year. Organiser Shirley Banester, front right, with member Lynda Lewis, front left, who has written some poems thanking the club. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Over the past few weeks, this newspaper has featured projects which have gained funding in the past:

Charity grant means low-cost 4Cs counselling group can expand their service

Money raised for Comic Relief is having an impact on Norwich’s nightlife

‘A divorce would be easier to go through, and probably cheaper!’ - Charity’s 30 years of helping parents of children with special educational needs

The Sing Your Heart Out volunteer-run group who have benefitted from Comic Relief, in full voice. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY The Sing Your Heart Out volunteer-run group who have benefitted from Comic Relief, in full voice. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Charity grant helped group to continue to raise a song and a smile

A little money goes a long way for Norwich social group

‘It’s all about getting people out of those four walls’ at Norwich music project

‘It was the first time anyone actually listened to what I had to say’ - women praise Norfolk charity which helped them cope with pregnancy loss

EDP Community Cash logo 2017. Credit: Archant Graphics Unit/Comic Relief EDP Community Cash logo 2017. Credit: Archant Graphics Unit/Comic Relief

Mile Cross children’s group helped by charity grant

Mental health art group can continue exhibitions thanks to charity grant

• For full details, examples of what grants can fund, and to apply click here for Norfolk, or for Suffolk, click here. The deadline is 5pm, May 5.

Black Dog Music Project

One group which benefitted from Community Cash funding last year was the Black Dog Music Project, in Norwich.

The group has rocked its way to more members than ever, using music to help improve mental health.

For one member, 31-year-old Gareth Hopkins, it was not just about the music. He said: “It’s a really good project, they do help people and it gives you a sense of purpose - if I wasn’t here I’d probably just be in my room.”

MORE: Norwich City chairman Ed Balls will reprise his Gangnam Style dance routine from Strictly Come Dancing for one last time on Red Nose Day

Another service user, John Jolley, said he had started coming along for his own wellbeing, but ended up as a volunteer.

Chairman Colin Bain, 77, said Community Cash had allowed them to set up a website, raising much-needed awareness.

He added: “A lot of the music I can’t stand. But my payment is seeing the smiles on their faces.”

As well as learning to play and jamming, members also get the chance to perform live.

Time Norfolk

A £1,000 Community Cash grant meant charity Time Norfolk could continue to support people coping with pregnancy loss across the county.

It meant women like Valerie Waterfield, 38, could access help after she suffered four miscarriages over the space of 10 years.

MORE: Norwich City players show their support for Red Nose Day 2017

“They saved my life,” Mrs Waterfield said. “I tried to take my own life because I felt there was no other way out.”

Mrs Waterfield now volunteers for the charity, which provides free, confidential support to those who have experienced pregnancy loss through miscarriage, termination or still birth.

Ruth Kettle, fundraising and events co-ordinator, said: “We can say that paid for around 25 face-to-face counselling sessions. On average, people take around eight to 10 sessions so that paid for two or three clients to complete their journey.

“Having money from Comic Relief coming in is a massive thing for us.”

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