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Sheringham-based health and wellbeing charity appeals for public support for £35,000 Lottery bid

PUBLISHED: 11:02 18 April 2018 | UPDATED: 11:27 18 April 2018

Excel 2000  founder Penny Bevan Jones (2nd left) with members of one of her Life Balance exercise classes. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Excel 2000 founder Penny Bevan Jones (2nd left) with members of one of her Life Balance exercise classes. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

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A north Norfolk-based health and wellbeing charity is appealing for public support to help it win a National Lottery grant of £35,000.

Excel 2000  founder Penny Bevan Jones (2nd left) with members of one of her Life Balance exercise classes. Photo: KAREN BETHELLExcel 2000 founder Penny Bevan Jones (2nd left) with members of one of her Life Balance exercise classes. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Excel 2000, which was set up more than 25 years ago by former nurse Penny Bevan Jones, runs fitness classes and courses for older people from all over East Anglia.

The charity also hosts training courses for care providers and, in a project entitled Making a Difference, recently teamed up with Sheringham leisure centre Splash to run pool-based activities with music for children with disabilities and their carers.

A Life Balance exercise class run by Excel 2000, which is appealing for public support for its £35,000 National Lottery bid. Photo: KAREN BETHELLA Life Balance exercise class run by Excel 2000, which is appealing for public support for its £35,000 National Lottery bid. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

A year-long, lottery-funded project aimed at encouraging older people to stay physically well and become more socially active was launched in 2016 in partnership with community development company First Local and, in a bid to build on its success, Mrs Bevan Jones applied to be shortlisted for a People’s Projects grant.

Run by the National Lottery, the Big Lottery Fund, ITV and STV, the scheme, which, since 2005, has awarded £39 million to 865 UK good causes, gives the public the chance to vote on how lottery funding is spent in their area.

Mrs Bevan Jones said that if successful, Excel 2000, which is up against charities from Ipswich, Colchester, Bury St-Edmunds and Kings Lynn, would extend its Life Balance programme to reach more people with physical and emotional challenges in the north Norfolk area.

As well as running water-based and dry-side fitness sessions for people with problems ranging from mental ill-health, to poor mobility, the scheme aims to provide opportunities for those taking part to socialise and form new friendships.

Excel 2000 has also teamed up with Sheringham Dementia Friendly Community to make classes accessible to people with memory problems, and is hoping to reach up to 400 people.

“We have already helped a lot of people get their lives back physically, emotionally and socially, and what we want to do now is to help more people to enjoy life to the full,” Mrs Bevan Jones said.

To vote in the People’s Projects awards, visit www.thepeoplesproject.org.uk voting closes on April 30. The three projects from each region with the highest number of votes will receive the grant they applied for, with the remaining two receiving a cash award of up to £5,000.

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