�50,000 Sport Relief boost for Norwich groups

Good causes across Norwich are celebrating a �50,000 windfall, thanks to the Evening News and Sport Relief.

From toddler groups to older people's lunch clubs, scout packs to nature projects – Sport Relief Community Cash will be making a difference in your community.

The �50,000 funding pot, distributed by the Evening News and the Norfolk Community Foundation, will support community organisations and charities working with people in Norwich.

A total of 63 groups have each been awarded grants of up to �1,000, after the Evening News' most popular Community Cash campaign to date.

They include everything from sports and youth activities, through to organisations that promote the integration of refugees, outings for people with disabilities and support for carers.

Evening News editor Tim Williams, part of the panel that decided who ought to receive the grants, said the impact of the cash would be felt throughout the city.

'Once again, we have been able to give a much-needed boost to more than 60 groups and charities which benefit people in Norwich,' he said.

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'This year's grants mean that, since 2010, we have helped distribute more than �160,000 to local organisations.

'Our journalists regularly write articles about the difference the groups can make to people's lives locally, so it is fantastic the Norwich Evening News can work with Comic Relief to offer this vital support in our community.'

One of those groups is Community Action Norwich, which will use its �1,000 grant to take on a former volunteer to set up a befriending scheme for isolated older people, one of the group's fastest-growing sectors.

Doreen Betts, chair of the trustees, said: 'The money is going to make a significant difference.

'We hope that by the end of year one we will have a group of 20 befrienders to help people who feel lonely or isolated.

'Each of them will be able to design a package of support with their befriender to help them meet people and become more involved, and we hope that they may then become befrienders themselves.'

Sue Wicks, UK grants manager for Comic Relief, praised the way that people in Norwich had given their support to the Sport Relief campaign – including the 2,400-strong turnout for the Sport Relief Mile in Norwich – which contributed to a national fundraising total of more than �52m.

She said: 'Sport Relief Community Cash has again proved to be a hugely successful way of getting money raised through Sport Relief into local communities across the UK.

'We were hugely impressed with the range of fantastic work being done by grassroots groups all over Norwich and are delighted we've been able to support so many to continue their efforts.'

Are you doing something to help your community? Call reporter Mark Shields on 01603 772423 or email mark.shields@archant.co.uk