Funding boost for community groups in Lowestoft

Revd Geoff Wilson at St Margarets Church Centre. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Revd Geoff Wilson at St Margarets Church Centre. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Two community initiatives in Lowestoft have benefitted from cash boosts as part of a regional lottery grant.

Lowestoft Unity Centre has also recieved a funding boost. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Lowestoft Unity Centre has also recieved a funding boost. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

The Unity Centre, run by Lowestoft and District Mencap Society, has been awarded £9,980 for their 'Crash & Bang' sessions.

The charity will purchase percussion equipment and host movement and music activities for people with learning difficulties.

Over at the St Margaret's Church Centre, on Hollingsworth Road, community groups will benefit from new kitchen crockery, cutlery, glasses and chairs after a £10,000 grant was confirmed.

This will enable the group to replace old, damaged and unsafe chairs with hygienic and easy to move furniture, as well as the opportunity to provide appropriate crockery and cutlery for events, activities and for daily use.

The announcement of funding for the two Lowestoft projects comes as 55 initiatives in the East of England benefitted from the Big Lottery Fund – which donated more than £1m to improve local communities and people most in need.

The Unity Centre, based on Milton Road East, provides a meeting place for people with mild or moderate learning difficulties in the Lowestoft area.

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The new equipment, consisting of drums, tambourines and shakers, will enable the group to provide additional therapeutic and recreational activities using music to improve co-ordination, team working skills and wellbeing – as well as reducing isolation.

Last year, the charity won a £49,956 Big Lottery Fund grant which was used to install new windows, flooring, computers, CCTV and alarm systems and fund members of staff.

Reacting to news of the latest funding, Jac Guyton, chairperson, said: 'I couldn't believe we had got it, I was like 'oh my goodness'.

'We are buying a load of drums and percussion instruments including tambourines and shakers.

'We are also getting an apple laptop and two iPads where members can record their music.

'The sessions will allow them to express themselves and have a laugh. We also want to incorporate some dance moves in as well.'

A number of community initiatives that use the St Margaret's Church Centre will benefit from the new crockery and chairs.

Dance groups regularly use the facility to practice, along with mother and toddler groups, the Brownies, U3A music appreciation group and the Lowestoft Flower Club.

Rev'd Geoff Wilson said: 'This grant will benefit a lot of people.

'Many different groups who use the church centre, make use of the chairs and crockery and this will also help us for the foreseeable future.

'It is important that we make the church centre a more usable facility for the community.'

Previously, the centre was awarded a grant to help improve their kitchen, with a new cooker and dishwasher purchased.

Over at Metfield Village Hall near Harleston, a huge sum of £271,082 was received to improve and expand the hall to better support the local community.

An extension will be built alongside alterations to the existing space.

This will give the hall

better kitchen facilities and extra meeting space so it can offer more activities,

including supper and pub nights, and networking opportunities for the large proportion of people who work from home in the local area.

For further details about the funding, visit: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/funding

? Is your group benefitting from a grant in Lowestoft? Email joe.randlesome@archant.co.uk