Norwich groups invited to bid for share of £37,500 Sport Relief Community Cash fund
- Credit: SIMON FINLAY
A £37,500 fund to support vital community groups across Norwich is announced today.
Sport Relief Community Cash grants have helped clubs across the Fine City in recent years, and fresh applications are invited in the run-up to this year's Sainsbury's Sport Relief Games.
Grants of £500 to £1,000 are available to small grassroots community organisations in Norwich that are doing great work to help local people living tough lives.
Applications are open now.
Norwich Community Foundation works with Comic Relief and Sport Relief in alternate years to get the cash to the groups that need it
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Victoria Southwell, UK grants manager for Comic Relief, said: 'Sport Relief is delighted to be working with the Norwich Evening News and offering Sport Relief Community Cash once again to local groups in Norwich.
'We have funded some truly fantastic work in the local area, and are looking forward to seeing some new groups applying.'
One group which benefited from a Community Cash grant last year was First Steps baby and toddler group, which meets at Magdalen Gates Primary School in Bull Close Road, Norwich.
Nicky Hudson, organiser and co-founder, said that the £821 grant helped pay for healthy food for youngsters to try - like melon, grapes and pitta bread.
Previous grants helped pay for a play den for children.
Costs are kept to £2 per session so it is accessible for all, and without grant money this would not be possible - taking into account the cost of hall hire.
'Without the grants we wouldn't be able to put as much into it and it would be very basic,' said Ms Hudson. 'It would probably just be bananas and water. I think for small groups like this that are trying to do something for the community this grant funding is brilliant.'
She added there had been some 'really good success stories'.
The group started 11 years ago, meets twice per week and is run by four volunteers.
It is aimed at families in north Norwich, with around 30 children per session aged under five.
Applications to apply for Sport Relief Community Cash grants close on Thursday, February 25.
Interested groups can apply at www.norfolkfoundation.com
People are encouraged to take part in the Sainsbury's Sport Relief Games which will take place from Friday, March 18 to Sunday, March 20.
One of the Flagship Games will take place at UEA in Norwich.
For details about First Steps, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Norwich Choi Kwang Do
It started as a way to help school children to focus.
Now the martial arts group Norwich Choi Kwang Do has swelled to a membership of around 100 people aged from five to over 60-years-old.
Caroline Roberts, assistant instructor, explained that the sport originated from Korea - the same as the better-known martial art Taekwondo.
The Norwich group was founded in 1996 by Georgina Tuvey, who at the time was headmistress of Ranworth First School, now known as Henderson Green Primary.
She had been learning the martial art and decided to introduce an after-school club which grew in popularity.
Her son Eric Tuvey is now the main organiser of the group which meets three times a week at venues including City Academy Norwich.
Ms Roberts said: 'We're not a traditional martial arts group.
'We're about self defence and building up self confidence.
'It's fun and we do make it enjoyable, though there are serious aspects to it.'
There is a yoga-based warm-up at the start of each session.
'It does help you focus,' added the 47-year-old, who joined the club with her 11-year-old son Kristopher. 'We've quite a few students with disabilities and it helps them to balance.'
The club aims to keep costs as low as possible for members so it remains accessible to anybody who wants to take part. A Community Cash grant of £1,000, awarded last year, has helped this to happen.
The money paid for kit including floor mats, shields and safety gloves
Ms Roberts said she was grateful to Comic Relief for the help.
For more details about the group, see www.nckd.co.uk/
Sprowston Day Centre
They look forward to it all week.
Meeting at St Cuthberts Church Hall in Wroxham Road, Sprowston Day Centre allows older people to socialise.
Maurice Sandell, 92, explained that the club was worth its weight in gold.
'The wife died five years ago and not long after I joined,' said Mr Sandell. 'I enjoy the social side, meeting people.
'There's so many people like myself here that are on their own and the worst part about being older is loneliness.
'You have a chance to break away from that.
'I come here once per week - you can hear the hubbub and it's always like that.'
Mr Sandell was a bomb aimer in the Second World War, flying in a Wellington bomber plane.
It crashed in Yugoslavia, and he survived as the landing was cushioned by a snow drift.
'It was a little colourful as you might say,' he said.
The group meets three times per week and Mr Sandell is the Wednesday representative, bringing any concerns of guests to the attention of organisers.
'There are very few complaints, but if there are I bring them up,' he smiled.
Emma Ward, 83, added: 'It means everything to me.
'It's company and it's somewhere to go as I live alone.
'I enjoy coming here as there's always something to do here.'
The group benefited from a £500 Community Cash grant last year which helped pay for entertainment, including musicians.
Margaret Wynn, 75, is chairman of Sprowston Day Centre, has volunteered there for around 30 years and has been made an MBE for her efforts.
She said the grant money helped offer a diverse programme of entertainment for guests, most of whom are older than 80-years-old.
'We try to keep things different,' she said. 'We feel we're a very important part of these people's lives.'
Jane Neville, acting vice-chairman and fundraising officer, said: 'Without the organisations that give us money, we couldn't run.'