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£1million awarded to community groups across Norfolk

08 October 2021

Community and voluntary organisations across Norfolk are set for a major cash boost as the recipients of the Norfolk Social Infrastructure Fund are announced.

Norfolk County Council has handed out £1.02 million to 25 different organisations, with grants ranging £3,400 all the way up to £250,000.

Andrew Proctor, Leader of Norfolk County Council, said:

“Our county’s voluntary and community groups are an essential part of Norfolk’s infrastructure and that has been demonstrated by the excellent work they have done and continue to do in the pandemic. The funding through the Social Infrastructure Fund will support some of Norfolk's most vulnerable people and communities and enable them to safely come together again to enjoy a range of activities in improved facilities.”

“The number and quality of the applications we received this year proved that Norfolk is full of great initiatives that will really benefit our residents. My thanks to everyone who submitted a bid for the work done to support your communities. The £1m we have awarded will provide a real boost to the successful projects and allow them get new ideas off the ground or accelerate what they’re already doing.”

In total, the fund saw 64 applications with funding requests that totalled almost £5million. This was more than double the number of applications received last year.

The Norfolk Social Infrastructure Fund was established to award £1million to community groups and voluntary organisations for new initiatives or improvements to existing offers or facilities. This year the grant was widened to make more money available smaller projects, with 25% or £250,000 offered for grants of between £5,000 and £50,000.

Applicants were able to apply for capital grants that support the Council’s plan ‘Together, for Norfolk’, and that help the county recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

A full list of the grant recipients can be found at the end of the release.

Case Studies

Centre 81 - Great Yarmouth

The recipient of the largest grant was Centre 81 in Great Yarmouth who work with adults with a range of disabilities. They were awarded £250,000 which will help to convert their new premises into a thriving skills and activities centre for service users and other groups in the community.

Diana Staines, Chief Executive at Centre 81 said:

“On reading that Centre 81 had been awarded £250,000 my initial reaction was a mixture of surprise, disbelief, and tears.”

“The grant is another major steppingstone in our ambition to provide our members with the space, accommodation, and specialist equipment to cater to their needs. “

“The announcement of this huge grant will send a clear message to our supporters as opening the doors of our new premises will coincide with celebrating 40 years of service provision and securing the long-term future of Centre 81.”

The Nurture Project – Fakenham

The Nurture Project is a social enterprise in Fakenham which delivers a year-round nature based therapeutic service to adults living with mild to moderate mental ill health.

They were awarded £34,944 which will allow them to install a new floor and door for their Barn building, creating an indoor facility which will allow them to provide services during the colder months and in adverse weather. The changes will also make facility more accessible to people who struggle with their mobility.

Carlyn Kilpatrick, founder of the Nuture project, said:

“We are absolutely thrilled that Norfolk County Council are going to be supporting us through the ‘Together, for Norfolk’ programme. The grant from the Norfolk Social Infrastructure Fund is a real gamechanger and will help to improve the lives of our services users and others in the local community.

“Our project is specifically designed to support people living with mental ill health during the colder and darker winter months and the improvements to our site will make a tangible positive difference.”

Poringland and District Men’s Shed- South Norfolk

Formed in late 2014 the Poringland and District Men’s Shed is a place for men to meet and share the tools they need to work on projects of their own. The project aims to support men’s wellbeing as they are often less likely to have the friendship support network to get through difficult times such as redundancy, or retirement, or a bereavement.

They have been awarded £90,000 to build a new Men’s Shed and refurbish office with the addition of accessible toilets.

Henry Gowman, Chair of Poringland and District Men’s Shed, said:

“We are beyond delighted to be the recipient of such a generous and important grant which will enable us to build our own Shed thereby securing our future.”

“We formed our Shed workshop almost exactly seven years ago and have had to move three times. Having the money to build a permanent home for our project will enable us to extend our activities and welcome even more men to our Shed, which is important as we can provide a base for recovery from the social isolation caused by Covid-19.”

“Having a modern purpose built Shed will enable us to extend our repair service whereby we fix household goods, prolonging their usefulness, and preventing them going to landfill.”

“We will also be building allotments and engaging with our village primary school on an intergenerational project in sowing seeds, maintaining the plots, harvesting and eating the produce, most of which will be going to our village food bank.”

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