Norwich groups get vital funding thanks to Red Nose Day Community Cash

Norwich community groups can build for the future thanks to �50,000 from Red Nose Day Community Cash.

The scheme, backed by the Evening News and Comic Relief, gave grants to 52 groups to help them continue their vital work.

Youth groups, sports clubs and initiatives supporting elderly and vulnerable people have all benefited from a cash boost of �500 to �1,000.

Community Cash organisers said they were shocked by the number of Norwich groups which are dedicated to enriching their communities.

One group which has secured a cash grant is the Mile Cross Community Association.

The organisation, run by Kevin Wyer, received �1,000 to help with the running costs of the Mile Cross Community Festival.

Funds were needed to rent portable toilets and security for the event held on Saturday, July 2, from 12pm to 4pm at Sloughbottom Park, Mile Cross.

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The show looks set to offer a fun-filled line-up of stalls, games and activities, including a classic car show where motoring enthusiasts can showcase their prize automobiles and motorbikes.

Mr Wyer hopes to see a repeat performance of last year's festival, when a crowd of 3,000 people descended on the event.

He said: 'We are very pleased we got the grant, mainly because it's paying for the only things we really needed to fund.

'The public toilets and the security is the biggest cost we have at the festival. It's getting bigger and bigger every year now, so to receive a grant is really helpful.'

Elsewhere in Norwich, a single parents group has spoken of how the grant they received is going to give their children new experiences.

Single Parents in Norfolk (SPIN) want to take dozens of children on a trip to Bewilderwood after receiving �1,000.

The money will also fund an advertising campaign for the group, their insurance, criminal record checks for new committee members, as well as subsidising rates for members who struggle financially.

Justine Davenport, 40, who is the secretary for the organisation based in Hellesdon, said: 'As a single parent, money is quite tight, so we are going to use �500 to subsidise trips for parents and children, which is fantastic news. It's especially nice for the children who can go back to school and tell their friends about the great things they have done over the summer. It will be great for their self esteem.'

Meanwhile, a Norwich community centre has taken its first steps to giving its interior a new look thanks to cash provided by Red Nose Day Community Cash.

The Belvedere Community Centre was awarded �1,000 to lay a new carpet in its lounge area.

Eventually the centre wants to buy new sofas to provide a relaxing area for everyone to use.

The community centre is a charity run by 14 volunteers whose aim is to provide a host of social events that anyone can take part in.

Currently, it offers activities such as line dancing, Slimming World and live band nights, as well as renting out the rooms to organisations like St John Ambulance and the Green Party.

Secretary at the centre, Julie Cox, said: 'We wanted to give the lounge a facelift in order to make it more welcoming, as it is our main meeting area as a group.

'We are very pleased to receive a grant. It is the second time we have been awarded money on behalf of the Community Cash campaign.

'We are coming up to our third year at the centre now and the changes that have already been made are amazing.'

Grants were available to groups run by local people, with an income of less than �50,000 in the past year, who fall in the Norwich City Council local authority area, and are working within a disadvantaged or deprived community.

Last year, more than 70 groups throughout Norwich claimed grants, with sports clubs, children's groups, history groups, community associations, churches, girl guides and theatre companies all benefiting.

Graham Tuttle, the director of Norfolk Community Foundation, helped award the money.

He said: 'We are delighted by the number and diversity of applications received for Red Nose Day Community Cash – the response has been fantastic and we would like to extend our thanks to everyone who applied.

'The grants panel faced a real challenge choosing which projects to fund. The grants awarded represent a great spread of community activity which will benefit some of the most disadvantaged people in the Norwich area and give a much-needed cash boost to grassroots community groups.'

Comic Relief was launched on Christmas Day in 1985 to help address a devastating famine in Ethiopia and was followed by the first ever Red Nose Day event in 1988, which raised �15m.

Since then, 12 successive Red Nose Days have raised �500m, which has been used to support vulnerable people and communities in the UK and Africa. Sue Wicks is the head of UK grants at Comic Relief. She said: 'The Red Nose Day Community Cash grants scheme has highlighted just what local groups can achieve with a grant of between �500 and �1,000.

'We at Comic Relief have been so impressed by the work the successful applicants are doing and the breadth of community activity taking place across Norwich. These grants will support a range of people and we look forward to hearing about the progress of all the projects in the coming months and seeing what a positive impact they have.'

Are you a community group with a story for the Evening News? Contact reporter Ben Woods on 01603 772439, or email