£1 million of funding was awarded to 25 organisations in the second year of Norfolk County Council’s Social Infrastructure Fund.
The grants ranged in amount from £3,400 to £250,000 and have already made an impact in supporting communities both through and beyond the pandemic.
How the organisations used our funding
Making spaces more accessible
- Stoke Ferry Community Enterprise created a new community meeting room and an all-weather outside space. They also added an accessible approach for people with mobility issues. Volunteers working on these projects have gained skills and self-confidence. They feel more connected to their community and enjoy better health and wellbeing. The Enterprise is now in a much better position to deliver services and develop new ones.
- Harvest Centre added a new accessible path and parking bays. This has made it easier for people to access the foodbank and other community services and activities at the centre.
- The Nurture Project have developed their barn into an accessible space. They use the space to deliver a nature-based therapeutic service, which new and existing clients have been able to enjoy. They’re also in regular contact with their local village network to see how they can support village-led events.
- The Rocklands Community Shop has been refurbished and opening hours have been increased. The counter, post office and café are now accessible for disabled people. The new layout also makes it easier for staff and volunteers to work together, and for volunteers to feel better supported.
- Ashill Parish Council created a new access driveway to the community centre. People can now access the centre safely. This is encouraging the local community to come together and helping combat loneliness.
Upgrading places to play
- Carlton Rode Jubilee Hall replaced their uneven and dangerous hard court football pitch. The new state-of-the-art 3G pitch can be used for a range of community sports. New all-weather floodlights allow play even in the darker months. The committee have created a programme of new and inclusive sports everyone can try. This is helping to reconnect the community, and over 150 local people use the pitch each week.
- Bircham Cricket Club completed work on their new pavilion in January 2022. The new facilities are already in demand, with bookings for parties and increased interest from non-members.
- Heathlands Community Centre are replacing their under 5s playground equipment. They worked closely with Blofield Parish Council to raise all the funding needed, and the equipment is all on order.
- Eastern Rivers Community Gym replaced and upgraded their gym equipment, and it’s being well used by their members.
- Gorleston Football and Social Club are using the funding to build a clubhouse at their new ground.
- Reepham and Salle Cricket Club bought a pitch roller and a new container for their equipment. Work is underway to promote the club and its facilities to the local community.
Creating space for learning
- Eve’s Hill Veg Company used our funding to develop their site. They have added a classroom, tool storage, a teaching area, a compost toilet and rainwater harvesting system. Their site is now fully operational for teaching, volunteer, and training programmes. Their programmes are helping participants to get into work and improve their mental health and wellbeing.
- Wells-next-the-Sea Men’s Shed used our funding to buy materials to build an outdoor workspace. Their members worked together to build the structure themselves. They’re using the space to teach woodworking, and have had positive feedback from the local community.
- The St Edmunds Society are using the funding to refurbish their training centre. They have created a new training area and completed some roofing repairs. More repairs are scheduled for later in the year. The refurbishment has already allowed them to increase the number of young people they can train.
- Poringland and District Men’s Shed are building a new workshop, refurbishing their office and creating accessible toilets. The community are excited about the projects and the benefits it will bring.
Offering more support to more people
- Norfolk Community Law Service used our funding to refurbish their new office. The new office provides a safe space for staff, volunteers and clients. It’s enabled them to help more clients, especially those who do not have access to the internet or need face-to-face advice for other reasons.
- Centre 81 are converting their new premises into a thriving skills and activities centre. Our grant funding will help them create four bubble zones in the warehouse space. This will give the centre’s members the flexibility to work in smaller, dedicated groups.
- Norfolk Community Foundation are using their grant to buy a new cabin to house their Shrublands Food Club. Gorleston residents can join the club to access to significant savings on their household and food budgets. There are 93 member households so far, which means 279 Gorleston residents are currently benefiting from this service.
- NANSA are using the funding to refurbish the roof of their Adult’s Centre in Norwich. They use the building to offer services and opportunities to adults with special educational needs. This essential work will ensure the building remains fit for purpose.
Encouraging communities to get together
- South Create War Memorial Pavilion added acoustic panels to improve sound in the hall. This is thanks for our grant funding and excellent local fundraising. The hall has rebounded after covid and is attracting a range of classes and groups. Quiz nights, bingo and coffee mornings are encouraging residents to come together and feel less isolated.
- Old School Hall in Fulmondeston bought new chairs and curtains for the Main Hall. The community there is looking forward to enjoying the new, comfortable furniture and welcoming atmosphere.
- St Mary Magdalene installed a new kitchen and accessibility toilets. Community groups and other organisations are making great use of the improved space.
- Quidenham Village Society added running water and a compost toilet to the village Reading Room. It’s already made a big difference to the local community, with monthly activities now planned.
- All Saints North Runcton are installing mains water access, an accessible toilet, and a kitchenette. They are exploring how the church can become a place of creative learning through the Inspired Classroom initiative.
- The Iceni Partnership have upgraded their community space in Swaffham. They’ve installed a new PA system, screen, and blinds. They will also be adding a hearing loop. The new equipment is already proving very popular, and is being used in lots of creative ways.