Mr Norwich City’s legacy gives welcome Christmas cash boost to charities

Geoffrey Watling.

Geoffrey Watling.

Almost 30 charities across Norfolk and Suffolk received an early Christmas present thanks to a hand-out from a trust set up by former businessman and ex-Norwich City chairman and president Geoffrey Watling.

The legacy of the entrepreneur – who died in 2004 and was known as Mr Norwich City – will help to make a huge difference to a wide variety of organisations serving countless communities in Norfolk and Waveney.

The latest series of grants – totalling £132,000 – were awarded by the trustees of the Geoffrey Watling Charity to 28 different charities following a recent meeting.

Grants made included:

£12,000 to the National Trust at Blickling towards the restoration of the Bothy – former accommodation for gardeners – in the walled garden in order to provide facilities for volunteers;

£10,000 to Norfolk and Norwich Community Arts to extend the programme of participation in music to teenagers attending secondary school;

Another £10,000 to Norwich Eagle Canoe Club towards the replacement of its existing facilities in Helford Street, Norwich, with a new training centre, changing and storage;

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Seasonal donations of £5,000 each to DIAL Great Yarmouth and St Martins Housing Trust in Norwich.

Mr Watling set up the charitable trust in 1993, following the death of his daughter Carol, with the appointment of four trustees.

With his death, in November 2004, the majority of his estate was bequeathed to the charity to continues the good work he started.

His nephew, Alan Watling, chairman of the trustees, said: 'The trustees have been pleased to distribute almost £5.9m since Geoffrey's death in 2004 and look forward to helping other local good causes in the months and years to come.'

Do you have a story about a local charity which has been handed a boost? Email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk