Bid launched to improve the lives of Norfolk’s women and girls

Dr Wendy Thomson CBE, Norfolk County Council, The Very Revd Jane Hedges, Patron of the Norfolk Women

Dr Wendy Thomson CBE, Norfolk County Council, The Very Revd Jane Hedges, Patron of the Norfolk Women and Girls Fund, The Rt Hon The Baroness Shephard, Cath Dovey, Chair of ROSA and Claire Cullens, CEO of Norfolk Community Foundation. Photo: Jodie Cole, Naked Marketing - Credit: Jodie Cole, Naked Marketing

An ambitious bid to improve the lives of Norfolk's women and girls has been launched.

Norfolk Community Foundation has rallied more than 200 women to launch the new movement, called the Norfolk Women and Girls programme, to raise funds and enable action for change.

The idea is to take positive steps towards empowerment and opportunity and it comes in year which marks 100 years since the first women were granted the right to vote.

But organisers say for many women, life remains challenging.

Claire Cullens, chief executive of Norfolk Community Foundation, said the organisations they worked with were ready with projects which would help improve the lives of women and girls in the county, but that funding needed to be found, which i where she stepped in.

She said: 'There are, for example, increasing social barriers that are holding young women and girls back in Norfolk. And we thought we've got to raise awareness of that and have a set of projects.'

There were seven areas of focus identified, including leadership and victims of violence.

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Ms Cullens said: 'They are really broad areas but those are the issues as we see them. We've got a group of women together and assembled the women who can make a difference.'

The foundation has received some government funding, but had a short term aim to reach half a million pounds.

Ms Cullens said: 'Sadly, there is a clear shortage of funds for addressing the areas of greatest need, particularly at a time when many vital public services have been reduced as a result of budget cuts. It's time for a movement in Norfolk to take action – we can only do it with your help. We are involving businesses and individuals who care and want to make a difference.'

Norfolk Community Foundation is calling for support from individuals and companies and others who share the same commitment to donate, or offer their time to help bring about change for women and girls in the county.

• To find out more contact the Foundation team on 01603 623958.

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