Geoffrey Watling Charity hands out £5m in Norfolk and Waveney in a decade


A charity founded by the man known as 'Mr Norwich City' has now handed out a staggering £5m in grants in 10 years to help scores of Norfolk and Waveney good causes.

Trustees of the Geoffrey Watling Charity recently met to approve £113,400 of grants to 30 local charities, bringing the total of grants offered to more than £5m since Mr Watling's death in 2004.

The former Norwich City Football Call president and chairman wanted to create a lasting legacy to help the people of Norfolk and Waveney, and he set up his charity in 1993 following the death of his only daughter Caroline in 1992.

Following his death in November 2004, aged 91, the residue of his estate was transferred to The Geoffrey Watling Charity.

Since then it has supported a host of causes, from small community projects to larger appeals by theatres, Norfolk hospices, wildlife trusts and historic churches.

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The most recent awards included £10,000 to the Wherry Yacht Charter Trust towards the restoration of the pleasure wherry Hathor, £10,000 to the Poppy Centre Trust at Stalham towards the completion of building work, £5,000 to the Mancroft Advice Project to help establish a new support centre in Great Yarmouth, £6,000 to Livability for the upgrade of private bathrooms at John Grooms Court in Norwich and £5,000 to St Catherine's Parish Church Fritton towards work to repair plasterwork and conserve wall paintings.

Mr Watling was born in April, 1913, and his nephew Alan Watling, chairman of the trustees, said it was a fitting tribute for the milestone of £5m to be reached in the year that his uncle would have been celebrating his 100th birthday.

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He said: 'It is fitting that the trustees have now awarded over £5m since Geoffrey's death and I am sure that he would have been very pleased that this sum has been achieved in his centenary year.'

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