Sport Relief Community Cash: £50,000 handed out to good causes across Norwich

Chermond gymnastics club has been given £988 to buy new springboards. The money comes from Sport Rel

Chermond gymnastics club has been given £988 to buy new springboards. The money comes from Sport Relief community cash fund and has been distributed through the Evening News. Club members Alex Potter, left, and Darcey Reil with the old springboards. Photo: Bill Smith

Community groups across Norwich have been given a vital boost with £50,000 of Sport Relief Community Cash.

The jackpot, distributed by the Norwich Evening News in association with the Norfolk Community Foundation and Sport Relief, will see a total of 53 groups receive grants of between £500 and £1,000.

That will allow them to continue their great work for people of all ages in every part of the city - and takes the total handed out to good causes in the past five years to £260,000.

Those who will benefit range from Brownie units to disability sports clubs, and conservation groups to community festival.

Groups working with elderly people, mums and toddlers, international communities and carers have also won a share of the cash, along with events to promote women's rights, community togetherness and mental health awareness.

The money will also help five packs of Rainbows and Brownies to take part in the organisation's Big Brownie Birthday celebrations this year, partly fund the Mile Cross Festival and pay for support for Norwich's young carers.

Graham Tuttle, chief executive of the Norfolk Community Foundation, said the judging panel had enjoyed the challenge of allocating the grants this year, and particularly welcomed new applicants to the fund.

Most Read

'Community Cash is a great opportunity to get funding out into the communities in Norwich that need it most – it's a real boost to grass-roots groups where a small grant can make a big difference.

'While the funding can help existing groups to develop and grow, it can also help new projects to get off the ground which helps to meet changing local needs.'

Tim Williams, managing editor of Archant Norfolk, said: 'I am thrilled to see so many community groups in Norwich benefiting from this year's Sport Relief Community Cash campaign.

'These grants will make real difference to people in the city and will go a long way to securing the work the groups do in the future.

'At a time when funding is hard to come by, this money will allow them to continue providing the activities which add so much to life in our city.'

Gilly Green, Comic Relief's head of UK grants, praised the quality of the applicants.

'We are really pleased to be in the fifth year of running this scheme and awarding grants to community groups in Norwich,' she said.

'Once again we have seen some fantastic work that makes a real difference to local communities.'

Grants totalling £46,038 were handed out to groups, with the remainder being held to fund applications which are still being developed.

Case study - Connects & Co

Young carers in Norwich are looking forward to some summer festival fun thanks to £1,000 from Sport Relief Community Cash.

The charity Connects and Co supports youngsters who look after their loved ones, giving them a chance to relax with people their own age and escape their worries for a few precious hours a month.

The money will pay for members to go to a young carers festival organised by the Children's Society and the YMCA.

Sallie Boyd set up the charity in 2000 because her own children – themselves young carers – had nowhere to enjoy themselves away from their responsibilities.

She said: 'It's an absolutely amazing event, and it's the highlight of the year for us.'

The festival is a chance for young carers to meet others like them from across the country, and enjoy activities like canoeing, abseiling and climbing on what, for many, is their only holiday of the year.

But the event is also attended by politicians, meaning the children have a chance to share their personal stories with those in power.

'The children can speak directly to Members of Parliament and help to shape things for young carers in Norfolk,' said Mrs Boyd.

'The friendships they form with other carers are fabulous. It means so much to know that there are others out there in the same situation as them.'

In its 14 years, Connects & Co, which is based at Catton Grove Community Centre, has helped more than 500 families and transformed the lives of thousands. Every week, it runs groups in Norwich and Dereham for young carers aged five to 25.

Case study - Chermond school of Gymnastics

Artistic gymnasts at a north Norwich club are hoping to leap to new heights after receiving £988 in Sport Relief Community Cash.

The money will be used by the Chermond School of Gymnastics to buy new springboards – replacing apparatus 'which belongs in a museum', according to the club' co-founder.

Cherie Alcock, who still runs it with her husband Ray, said: 'They are so old. This will enable the artistic gymnasts, both boys and girls, to compete at a much higher level. They'll now be able to up their vaults – they'll get far more impact and far more spring.'

The club runs gymnastics classes for children as young as five, and has been a popular with generations of children since it was set up in 1980. Since it moved to its Delta Close base, it has grown from 40 members to more than 160.

Without the grant from Sport Relief Community Cash, the club would have had to rely on its fundraising committee to reach the total itself, which would have meant the club's other projects would have had to go without.

'The use they are going to get out of the springboards is immeasurable, and it will allow them to compete on an even footing with other clubs,' added Mrs Alcock.

Is your community group or charity doing great work in Norwich? Email reporter Mark Shields on