Search

Under-threat Fakenham charity secures lottery funding

PUBLISHED: 08:39 16 September 2015 | UPDATED: 08:39 16 September 2015

First Focus managing co-ordinator April Simnor celebrates with volunteers of charity celebrating £285,000 lottery grant. Picture: Matthew Usher.

First Focus managing co-ordinator April Simnor celebrates with volunteers of charity celebrating £285,000 lottery grant. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2015

A Fakenham charity which was on the brink of closure last year is today celebrating after receiving more than a quarter of a million pounds from the Big Lottery Fund.

First Focus, which has helped thousands of people in the Fakenham area over the last 13 years, has been awarded a £285,352 grant from the Big Lottery Reaching Communities Fund.

It means that the charity is looking to expand its services to other areas, including Dereham, increase the amount of activities it runs and move to a new premises, in Fakenham, where it will open for four days a week. It is currently open twice a week.

April Simnor, managing coordinator at First Focus, said she was “shocked” and delighted by the news.

She said: “With all the hard work that went into the bid we were hopeful it would be successful but I am a bit shocked.

“First Focus would like to thank the Big Lottery and is overwhelmed by the support of the volunteers, members and other organisations that all work alongside First Focus in supporting individuals in need.

“We are humbled and thank the Big Lottery in supporting First Focus.”

First Focus helps a wide range of people by hosting clubs and support groups and providing a social meeting place at its current home at Cattle Market Street.

It provides an outreach service to support people in isolated rural areas.

Last year, the charity announced that it could close within weeks if new funding had not been found.

But support, including a £3,000 grant raised by the EDP and Fakenham and Wells Times’ joint Let’s Fight for Fakenham campaign, ensured that it survived.

The charity is now planning for the next five years and wants to move to a new premises in the town and open four days a week as soon as possible.

First Focus is looking for new volunteers to help with this expansion.

For more information, telephone 01328 855083, e mail info@firstfocus.org.uk or visit the website http://www.firstfocus.org.uk/

Does you run a charity in need of support? E mail adam.lazzari@archant.co.uk

Other news

16 minutes ago

Two of the most iconic cars from 1980s TV and film are set to face off in Norfolk.

A soldier from Fakenham who died during the First World War has been honoured in a special ceremony in France.

Yesterday, 17:09

The leader of a Norfolk council has spoken about a lack of mental health services in the area and said he “can’t imagine” what families who have lost sons to suicide are feeling.

Yesterday, 15:50

The A47 has reopened between Easton and Honingham after being closed for around seven hours due to a lorry carrying 600 turkeys overturning.

Most Read

A soldier from Fakenham who died during the First World War has been honoured in a special ceremony in France.

Read more
Royal British Legion
Yesterday, 15:50

The A47 has reopened between Easton and Honingham after being closed for around seven hours due to a lorry carrying 600 turkeys overturning.

Read more
England Ambulance Service

Thousands of people across mid and north Norfolk paid their respects to those who fought for peace - as the region fell silent to mark the centenary of Armistice Day.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:21

The Archbishop of Cantebury, Justin Welby, was given a warm welcome on his return to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Read more
Norwich
Yesterday, 17:09

The leader of a Norfolk council has spoken about a lack of mental health services in the area and said he “can’t imagine” what families who have lost sons to suicide are feeling.

Read more
John Lee

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 9°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Fakenham and Wells Times e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Fakenham and Wells Times weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy