December 11 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Worthy projects in Norfolk, north Suffolk and east Cambridgeshire have been shortlisted for a share of £250,000 through the Big EDP Lottery Fund – and you can vote for your favourite.
Voting coupon in the EDP are allowing you to decide which of the shortlisted organisations will get your backing, with the most popular being handed cash grants of up to £30,000 to benefit people in their area.
The groups in contention come from all over the Eastern Daily Press’s readership area, from Wisbech to Lowestoft and everywhere in between.
They work with people of all ages and backgrounds, helping to enrich their lives and provide vital support to their communities.
Starting today, two groups will be featured every day through until Saturday, September 14, ahead of the deadline for voting coupons to be received by Monday, September 16.
Access Community Trust (£28,120)
A Thetford project that uses sewing machines and knitting needles to boost vulnerable people’s skills and confidence wants your vote to help extend the scheme into the community.
For the last three months residents of the John Room House hostel in London Road have been taking part in the Sewing a Little Happiness programme.
The pilot project has seen about 20 residents make items such as cushion covers, bags and iPad covers, after they were shown how to use sewing machines and how to knit and crochet.
As well as giving a boost to residents, the items that have been made have been sold, raising about £200 for the hostel, which is a supported housing scheme providing medium to high support to homeless, vulnerable and socially-excluded adults run by Access Community Trust.
The trust, which has its headquarters in Lowestoft, has applied for a £28,120 grant to extend the project to outside groups and organisations, such as mental health services.
The money would be used to recruit a full-time member of staff to run the sewing and knitting sessions.
Alison Arnold, supported accommodation manager at John Room House, said: “The programme has provided an opportunity for the residents to develop their skills and it has given something back to the community as it has helped raise funds for the hostel. It has been very popular – the sewing machines are out all the time.”
John Room House comprises 10 bed-sits and a separate move-on accommodation unit, run in partnership with Stonham Homestay, with 12 self-contained flats.
Access Community Trust works in disadvantaged communities in Suffolk and Norfolk providing support with housing, health, wellbeing and education and employment.
Age UK Norwich (£10,000)
A vote for Age UK Norwich could help to bridge the gap between older and younger people across the city and county.
The charity has applied for a grant of £10,000 to help it roll out its new Food and Fun events – gatherings in venues such as pubs or schools where older people can enjoy food and companionship, and get to know other people in their communities.
Pilot clubs are already running in Norwich, allowing older people time to mix with people they might not otherwise see, and breaking down barriers between generations.
But the cash grant would allow more clubs to be set up – and more people of all ages to benefit.
Chief executive Phil Wells said the events addressed a fear shared by many older people – social isolation.
“As they lose mobility and family and friends, the opportunity to eat together and to mix with different generations is quite a big thing,” said Mr Wells.
“Inter-generational activities give older people greater confidence, reduce their level of fear and give them hope for the future.
“It really changes the dynamic, having young people around.”
The scheme could be rolled out to other parts of Norfolk if it continues to prove successful.
“We all have a vested interest in this, as I’ve never met a person who doesn’t plan on being an older person one day,” said Mr Wells. “We are all older people in waiting.
“If we can move society to a state where everyone is together rather than divided up, it will be to the benefit of all of us.”
Age UK Norwich is also appealing for pubs and schools to participate –contact the charity on 01603 496333.