Cash boost for 74 community groups across Norfolk

Young wheelchair users, canoeists and a community radio station will benefit from some of �260,000 worth of small grants awarded to 74 community groups and charities across Norfolk.

It is the second batch of funding distributed by the Norfolk Community Fund since it was founded last October, and aims to provide practical support for organisations to run new activities.

About 20 young wheelchair users will take part in two one-day training events run by Go Kids Go in Norwich and King's Lynn.

Training manager Roy Wild said the charity's approach is unique, with parents, siblings and friends also taking part, and using spare wheelchairs to understand difficulties getting through doors, up curbs and across rough ground.

He said: 'Once parents understand what we are trying to achieve they can carry the training on because they know what it feels like. It's very much like teaching someone to ride a bike – it's about finding your balance on two wheels.'

Emmaus Norwich, which helps previously homeless people support themselves, will use its �5,000 grant to complete fire security work that will let it expand its work at All Hallows Convent in Ditchingham.

Community leader Paul Bain said: 'It will allow us to move into Holy Cross House which will give us 15 further rooms and a better kitchen and dining room and sitting rooms. It means we will be able to utilise these rooms for people to sleep in and socialise in.'

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A �4,750 grant will help fund Voluntary Norfolk's Step Into project, which focuses on north Norfolk and Great Yarmouth and helps unemployed people with few qualifications explore job opportunities in the care sector.

Chief executive Brian Horner said: 'It's about dispelling myths about care work and allows people to find out more about it, see what training is available and how they can get jobs in the caring area, which is going to be a growing market.'

Park Radio, a two-year-old community station founded in 2010, is planning a third 28 day broadcast in the Diss area later this year, and founder John Cross said its �5,000 grant will buy new equipment.

He said: 'Getting the grant means we can expand our studio facilities so the programmes we do in the future will be better, and we can offer training as well.'

Other grants will fund new canoes for the Eagle club in Norwich and Wensum Osprey club in Fakenham, a skating area in Wells, and improvements to play areas in Alburgh, Brundall, Broome, Hickling and Upton.

Grants from the fund, created by the Norfolk County Strategic Partnership, are awarded quarterly, with a June 8 deadline for applications for the third round. See www.norfolkfoundation.com/norfolkcommunityfund.

Norfolk groups that will receive grants include:

1st Bradwell Scout Group, �3,700

1st Hunstanton Scouts and Guides, �5,000

35th Norwich Sea Scout Group, �5,000

Bridgham & Roundham Village Hall, �1,650

Cromer and Sheringham Arts and Literary Festival, �1,000

Fountain of Life Church, Ashill, �5,000

Friends of Broome Adventure Playground, �2,072

Griston Community Archive Group, �500

Iceni Partnership, Swaffham, �3,943

Little Owls Rudham Pre School, �1,000

Neatishead Community Gym, �2,000

Norfolk Deaf Association, �5,000

North Breckland Youth for Christ, �5,000

Riversdale Centre, Thetford, �4,000

Sheringham and Cromer Choral Society, �500

The Den Life Changes, Great Yarmouth, �4,989

The Poppy Centre Trust, Stalham, �5,000

Wells Maltings Trust, �1,200

Winterton Cricket Club, �1,000

Wymondham Judo Club, �2,500

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