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Lottery gives Norfolk causes to celebrate

PUBLISHED: 08:16 13 May 2015 | UPDATED: 15:31 13 May 2015

Members of the Norfolk Young Carers Forum enjoying a sing song at their Big Day Out and Conference at the Norfolk Showground. With them are action crew member, Kimberley Moore, with the guitar, and Stewart Betts, front right, Children's Services lead for young carers. Picture: Denise Bradley

Members of the Norfolk Young Carers Forum enjoying a sing song at their Big Day Out and Conference at the Norfolk Showground. With them are action crew member, Kimberley Moore, with the guitar, and Stewart Betts, front right, Children's Services lead for young carers. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant 2012

Worthy causes in Norfolk are celebrating after being given more than £1m in the latest round of lottery funding.

The Norfolk Young Carers Forum, based in Attleborough, the Norwich Integration Partnership (NIP), Marshland St James and District Sports and Community Centre (MSDSCC), in Wisbech, and the Rocklands Community Shop, near Attleborough, will split a total of £1,123,852 from the Big Lottery Fund.

The figure is a slice of £4,440,727 earmarked for causes in the east of England, with others in Bury St Edmunds, Peteborough and Ipswich also benefitting.

The Norfolk Young Carers Forum, run by Crossroads Care East Anglia, will receive £499,866 over five years, money which will be spent on ensuring the young carers voices’ are heard around the county.

Jo Brown, lead forum participation worker, said: “This funding is crucial - it will be used to bring young cares together so that they can tell people in power what it is they need.

“So many services for young cares are based on what people think they need it’s about making sure we hear from them. This project transforms lives of young people who are willingly caring for someone they love.”

She added that the much-needed cash will also go towards events for cares, who she described as “astounding”, including the young carers festival in August.

Carer Daniel Leggett, 20, of Gorleston, said: “Five more years of funding is brilliant as it will mean others can have the opportunities the forum has given me. Being on the forum has boosted my confidence immensely and I’ve helped raise awareness of young carers throughout Norfolk and beyond.”

Just down the road in Rocklands, the village community shop will be given a boost to the tune of £128,20, which will ensure the community shop, cafe and post office keeps running.

The shop, which serves Rocklands and seven other Breckland villages, was set up in March 2014 by villagers who had spent months campaigning to keep a shop in the area.

Victoria McArthur, shop volunteer and vice-chairman of the committee, said that the money would be going towards staff - who are mainly volunteers - salaries and one new post.

“It’s just brilliant news,” she said. “We are just delighted because it is an endorsement of the massive amount of hard work gone in from the staff and volunteers. The community has been behind us the whole way and it is a really good feeling and gives us more security long-term.”

She added that the shop would not be where it is today without the “massive help” from the community and grants from various bodies.

Meanwhile, the NIP, provided by New Routes Integration, Bridge Plus+ and English+ in Norwich, supports asylum seekers and refugees and was given £474,183, while in Wisbech two buildings at the MSDSCC which are not fit for purpose will be demolished - the village hall and sports pavillion - and replaced with one multi-purpose facility.

Lyn Cole, Big Lottery Fund deputy director for England, said: “This funding will help people to unlock abilities and skills to improve the lives of local people and their communities.”

The Big Lottery Fund has awarded more than £6.5bn in funding since June 2004.

Do you have a story we should be writing about? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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