Big EDP Lottery Fund: Community Action Suffolk and Norfolk Knitters hope for slice of £250,000

Norfolk knitters red white & blue summer event. RSVP stands for Retired & Senior Volunteer Programme

Norfolk knitters red white & blue summer event. RSVP stands for Retired & Senior Volunteer Programme. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Archant © 2012

Community projects from around Norfolk, north Suffolk and east Cambridgeshire are currently competing for a share of £250,000 from the Big EDP Lottery Fund.

John Ellerby who hopes to teach IT and cooking

John Ellerby who hopes to teach IT and cooking - Credit: Archant

Voting coupons in the EDP are 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.

Big EDP Lottery Fund logo.

Big EDP Lottery Fund logo. - Credit: Submitted - June 2013

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 until Saturday, September 14, ahead of the deadline for voting coupons to be received by Monday, September 16.

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The newly formed Community Action Suffolk wants to secure a grant so it can deliver an IT project, a healthy living cookery project and community outreach for older people in south Lowestoft.

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If successful with its bid, the group, which works to strengthen the voluntary and community sector, will run computer lessons and healthy eating sessions.

As well as the IT sessions at the Kirkley Centre, Community Action Suffolk hopes to buy laptop computers so it can then take them to elderly people's homes to show how easy it is to use 21st technology.

And the healthy eating sessions will see local chefs cooking up food which elderly people may be more familiar with, such as pigs' trotters, and they will be given bags of vegetables to take away.

The grant will also find an outreach service which would see what elderly residents may like to do, such as forming a knitting group.

Claire Taylor Crisp, based at the Kirkley Centre, said: 'We have identified that older people in south Lowestoft want to know more about healthy eating and find out more about using computers.

'We want to show them how easy it is to eat healthily and use computers.'

The £26,415 would pay for two staff to carry out the IT, healthy and community outreach scheme.

Community Action Suffolk was formed by a merger of the Lowestoft Volunteer Centre, The Community Forum (Waveney),Babergh Communities Together, Framlingham Volunteer Centre, Haverhill Association of Voluntary Organisations, Haverhill Volunteer Centre, Ipswich Council for Voluntary Service, Suffolk ACRE, Suffolk Association of Voluntary Organisations and Young Suffolk.


RSVP, the retired and senior volunteer programme, hopes to develop new 'knit and knatter' groups in other areas of Norfolk, and extend the activities of the groups it already has established.

There are already 1,200 people in Norfolk who knit for charity, with groups set up in Norwich, Fakenham, Hunstanton, Great Yarmouth, North Walsham and many other areas.

Linda Brown from the Norfolk Knitters explained: 'We knit anything that can be used to help those in need, including premature babies in local hospitals, Arthritis UK, Hedgehog Rescue and individual local campaigns.

'We have 34 Knit and Natter groups around the county and are regularly asked to help start more. Our welcome pack and volunteer support network provide people with the confidence to start groups, which provide the opportunity for members to socialise and gives them a real sense of purpose.

'They are a lifeline for many elderly people who suffer from isolation, bereavement or ill health. We know there is a need for groups in care homes and sheltered housing and we want to expand our work in this area.

'With this expansion we need to refit our resources room in Norwich and open two new rooms in west and south Norfolk to cover demand and reduce travel for knitters.

'To help publicise our work and show the array of skills and talent knitters have, we will hold an exhibition of knitting where all groups across the county will come together.'

- Click here for more information about the Big EDP Lottery Fund.

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