Charities welcome �450k fund boost

Community groups welcomed the launch of a new fund which will give them the chance to bid for a slice of �449,000.

The Norfolk Community Fund aims to help charities, parish councils and social enterprises support their communities.

Grants of between �500 to �5,000 are available.

Derrick Murphy, leader of Norfolk County Council, and the Right Rev Graham James, Bishop of Norwich, launched the new fund at Bishop's House in Norwich yesterday.

Matt Wilson, head of fundraising at drug and alcohol addiction charity NORCAS, said: 'It is certainly something we would be interested in. We are looking at having more community involvement.

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'We would love to increase our volunteer base to help others with drug, alcohol or gambling issues.'

Director of Norwich charity Families' House, Suzanne Bryant, said: 'The Norfolk Community Foundation has always been very generous to us and we will be wanting to make a bid for some of this money.

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'We are wanting to support families who are parenting apart and bringing up children in single homes.'

And Jill Gaul, director of Norwich Door-to-Door Transport, which helps the elderly and disabled get out, said: 'Any new money has got to be good. It would be great for us to have a new bus for our 20th anniversary next year.

'We are losing funding from March 31 and we are just about holding our own at the moment.'

The aim of the fund is to give support to grassroots organisations who can help support their communities.

The funding will support a wide-range of groups including older people, those with disabilities, young people, church groups, extra-curricular school activities and parish and town councils.

The grants will be administered quarterly by Norfolk Community Foundation.

Mr Murphy said: 'This fund is about supporting community activity and vibrancy with small sums that could make a genuine big difference.

'We want to see established groups develop new projects.'

Bishop Graham said: 'I'm delighted that the Norfolk County Strategic Partnership has chosen to use Norfolk Community Foundation to channel such a significant charitable fund to our local communities.

'It's an imaginative way of making the best possible use of these monies for the benefit of the county we love.

'It's also a vote of confidence in the way Norfolk Community Foundation has done its work since its inception just six years ago.'

For more information contact Norfolk Community Foundation on 01603 623958 or email

The closing date for the first round of applications is Friday, November 25.

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