Projects in Flordon and Old Buckenham boosted by businessman’s gift

Community projects in two villages are among 23 charities benefitting from the generosity of a philanthropic Norfolk businessman.

For the second year, Almary Green, of which Carl Lamb is managing director, has given away �10,000 to good causes across Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.

Almary Green, based in Norwich, set up a charitable trust last year to distribute �10,000 as a way of marking its 10th anniversary.

Flordon has been without a community meeting hall for seven years. Part of the parish church is now being converted and equipped to give villagers somewhere to meet.

Trust chairman, the Rev Jess Stubenbord, said the �500 would be put towards the installation of a kitchenette.

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'As a small community we have been struggling to get funding, so this grant is extremely helpful,' he said.

The Old Buckenham Luncheon Club, which provides a home-cooked meal in the village hall for 30-40 residents living on their own in Banham, New Buckenham, Quidenham, Eccles and Wilby, as well as Old Buckenham, has been given �150 for a microwave oven.

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This year, 59 good causes responded to Almary Green's invitation to apply for grants.

'There are so many deserving groups working so hard within Norfolk,' said Mr Lamb. 'All fill a unique need in the community and the hardest thing is to pick and choose. When you read their submissions you want to help them all – but that's just not possible.'

Cheques were presented at an awards ceremony at The Hostry at Norwich Cathedral and at Hotel Felix in Cambridge.

Other groups making successful applications this year included the Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind (�1,000) Break (�500), Norfolk Millennium Trust for Carers (�900), Norfolk Family Mediation Service (�400), Norfolk Community Law Service (�300), Crossroads Care East Anglia (�500), Norfolk PACT (�300) and the Lymphoma Association (�250).

Mr Lamb added: 'Business is not all about making money. We are a well-established firm with a strong client base and have had a successful year. I believe that means we have a responsibility to reinvest in the community; a duty to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves.'

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