Sports stars back Norwich community groups' cash initiative

Kate ScotterTwo of the city's top sporting stars have given their backing to an amazing opportunity for Norwich community groups to land a cash boost of up to �1,000.Kate Scotter

Two of the city's top sporting stars have given their backing to an amazing opportunity for Norwich community groups to land a cash boost of up to �1,000.

Your Evening News yesterday launched an initiative offering small organisations in the city the chance to apply for a slice of �62,500.

The money has been made available through a Community Cash fund raised through Sport Relief, a fundraising initiative of Comic Relief, and will be distributed by Norfolk Community Foundation.

A wide range of organisations from parent and toddler groups to sports clubs will be able to stake their claim for a cash injection, which will mean so much to the people they help.

Yesterday, Norwich's own running man Jackson Williams and Canaries' legend Darren Huckerby urged community groups to take the opportunity and apply for one of the grants available.

The duo's backing came as, together with paralympian Danny Crates, they helped launch the Sainsbury's flagship Sport Relief Mile, which will be held in the city centre on Sunday, March 21.

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Mr Huckerby, who retired from football last year after injury forced him out of the game, said: 'It's a great idea and with the money spread across more than 60 community groups, it will be a massive boost to the local area.

'A little money can help people go a long way and it's not just about sport, but this money will help all kinds of groups, from toddler groups to the elderly. It's definitely a good cause.'

Former boxer turned ultra-distance runner Mr Williams, who will run from Norwich to London bare foot for Sport Relief in March, said: 'It's a fantastic idea. Grants like this will help the very people at the heart of communities. I grew up in Heartsease and, as a college teacher, I know there's so little for the youth today so everything like this helps.

'I would urge community groups to go to the Evening News website and apply now.'

Grants of between �500 and �1,000 are available to groups, from within the Norwich City Council local authority area, which are run by local people, work in a disadvantaged area of the city and have an income of less than �50,000.

Groups which would be eligible to apply include parent and toddler groups, youth and older people's groups and sports clubs.

Steve Morphew, leader of the city council, said: 'It's a great idea and those sorts of sums of money are just what a lot of organisations need to make a difference.

'Sometimes we think in terms of very large sums of money but more manageable amounts can go a long way.'

Peter Argall, UK grants learning and development manager for Comic Relief, said: 'We're delighted to be making a �62,500 Community Cash fund raised through Sport Relief available to small organisations in Norwich that are doing great work to help local people living tough lives.

'We hope that by making the Community Cash fund available, we will encourage some of the wonderful small organisations in the local area to apply for grants to support work that helps people of all ages feel more included in their community.'

Graham Tuttle, director of Norfolk Community Foundation, said: 'Norfolk Community Foundation is extremely happy to be working with Sport Relief to deliver the �62,500 of Community Cash funding.

'This is a high profile initiative and we know from experience that the recession is making it a tough time to be fundraising and there are many excellent organisations in Norwich who will benefit greatly from this opportunity.'

Read this story online to download an application form at

Forms can be obtained by writing to Sport Relief Grants, Evening News, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE.

Application forms can also be picked up from the Evening News office at Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich.

The deadline for applications is March 5.