December 11 2013 Latest news:
Kate Scotter and Doug Faulkner
Monday, September 9, 2013
The final countdown is under way for 22 community projects from around Norfolk, north Suffolk and east Cambridgeshire which are hoping to claim a share of £250,000 from the Big EDP Lottery Fund.
Voting coupons in the EDP have been allowing readers to decide which of the shortlisted organisations will get your backing, with the most popular being handed cash grants of between £10,000 and £30,000 to benefit people in their area.
The groups in contention come from all over the readership area of the Eastern Daily Press, 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.
The EDP is profiling the 22 different groups which were shortlisted from 71 projects to have successfully applied to the Big EDP Lottery Fund.
Two groups will be featured every day through to Saturday, ahead of the deadline for voting coupons to be received by next Monday.
ELSING MEMORIAL VILLAGE HALL (£24,369)
A parish near Dereham which was once dubbed as “the dying village of Elsing” is hoping to give children somewhere safe to play.
Elsing, which featured in an ITV documentary back in 1964, has lost its school, shop and bus service - but is said to have a community which is flourishing and growing.
In a bid to cater for the youngsters who are breathing new life into what was a quietly ageing community, the village hall team is hoping to provide a play and seating area.
Under the plans, there would be a fenced-off play area for children aged up to 11, seating for older villagers, picnic tables and french doors in the village hall to access the play and seating areas.
Treasurer Helen Higgins said: “We love our children and older folk equally and being awarded this grant would mean that we can at last give the kids somewhere safe and local to play and make friends.
“It will also enhance the lives of our more elderly residents by providing some comfy outside seating space where they can enjoy a cuppa with friends and neighbours in a beautiful and peaceful setting right next to, and with direct access from our much loved, well-used and now effectively ‘extended’ village hall.
“We’ve worked hard to create such a thriving, caring community and having the play and seating area will provide us with even more opportunity to all meet up and enjoy each other’s company whatever our age.”
THE FERRY PROJECT (£29,838.42)
The Ferry Project was formed back in 1998 to try and tackle homelessness in Wisbech.
Now the organisation is hoping to expand the services it offers and enable people to better look after themselves.
With the grant the charity would look to establish a catering college in Wisbech with the hope that it would both enable vulnerable people to live more healthily and be a pathway into work for members of the community.
Charity director Keith Smith said: “We have nearly 100 people using our service at any one time and many of these clients have poor cooking skills.
“We are trying to develop courses to try and help them to cook. Currently there is not a catering college anywhere in Fenland.
“Part of what we want to do is getting people to cook for themselves but the second part is that we are hoping to run courses that get people into commercial kitchens and get people into employment.” Mr Smith also hopes that the college could bring the community together and there are plans for a celebration meal to be cooked by the college’s pupils after a year.
The grant would help the charity cover the cost of equipment and tutors as well as to rent a building, all of which have already been identified.
The charities Octavia View social hub already includes a cafe and this could be used to give college those attending the college commercial kitchen experience.