Wanted: 100 people to each give £1,000

The search is on for 100 people who believed that charity begins at home and were willing to give £1,000 each for three years to support grassroots causes in the community.

It was a chance to give something back - and last night Norfolk's business men and women did just that.

The search was on for 100 people who believed that charity begins at home and were willing to give £1,000 each for three years to support grassroots causes in the community.

Hosted by the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James, at the city's Great Hospital, the event was the chance for invited guests to learn more about the Norfolk Community Foundation and the newly-launched Norfolk 100.

Now in its third year, the foundation has already given £150,000 to groups including Fakenham Wensum Scout Group and the Omnibus Project, which operates a playbus in north Norfolk.

Bishop Graham, chairman of the foundation, said: "The community foundation is extremely important to support all sorts of small voluntary groups in Norfolk.

"There are more than 4,000 registered voluntary groups in Norfolk and one of the great qualities of county life is the community.

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"We are now looking for 100 people to support the foundation with a donation of £1,000 each for three years. Even before the event we already had 30 people signed up and we hope to encourage more."

From each donation of £1,000, £500 will be used immediately to

support local needs while another £500 will be invested in a permanent endowment.

One of those already signed up is Peter Colby, chairman of the Tops Group and a trustee of the foundation.

"There are many people out there who are very successful at what they do and if asked would support something worthwhile but they are often not asked," he said.

"I'm convinced that this is the right time to do this. There are a lot of people with great social responsibility who are wondering who to support. We are not asking for tens of thousands of pounds."

The foundation targets grants that make a genuine difference to the lives of Norfolk people.

Primary objectives include:

Building an endowment that will permanently increase the level of funds available to community and voluntary groups in Norfolk.

Develop and encourage new ways of giving to increase the pool of charitable funding available to meet local needs.

To make funding available to support small voluntary and community groups and ensure that modest grants are well directed to make a real difference to the effectiveness of these groups.

The maximum award is currently £2,000, but once funding is in place they will look to raise the threshold with the ability to fund over three years.

In February this year, the foundation gave a grant of almost £1,300 to Crossroads Wednesday Support group in Yarmouth.

The group provides respite and peer support to full-time carers of Alzheimer's sufferers.

Another group to benefit is Kickstart Norfolk, which provides low-cost motor scooter hire for people living in rural areas who need to travel for work or education.

For more information visit www.norfolkfoundation.com or email info@norfolkfoundation.com

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