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

Yesterday, 14:26

A parish council in Norfolk is hoping to pay tribute to those who served in the First World War with a new memorial shelter.

Yesterday, 12:59

Center Parcs has pulled its advertising with the Daily Mail after a promotion appeared alongside a column criticising the diver Tom Daley and his husband Dustin Lance Black, who are expecting a child.

Yesterday, 12:47

Norfolk County Council are urging drivers to take extra care on the roads tonight.

Yesterday, 12:04

Serious flooding like the 2013 storm surge which devastated Norfolk’s coastline are set to become more frequent, scientists warn.

Most Read

Yesterday, 14:26

A parish council in Norfolk is hoping to pay tribute to those who served in the First World War with a new memorial shelter.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:00

Here is a collection of some of your finest photographs from some of Norfolk’s best-loved towns and villages.

Read more
Fakenham
Thu, 19:22

Tesco has launched an investigation into the conduct of two members of staff after a video of them engaging in a sex act in a Norfolk store went viral.

Read more
Tesco
Yesterday, 09:40

The clocks traditionally go forward an hour at 1am on the last Sunday in March.

Read more
Friday, February 9, 2018

One of Fakenham’s best known companies has agreed to sponsor a GoGoHare as part of a county-wide sculpture trail.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 6°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

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

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter