Bright idea wins funding in Acle

TWO thousand children in the Acle area are to be given high visibility tabards so they can be seen and be safe on the roads.

They were just one of the winners when more than 100 people voted at a public meeting on which of 10 projects aimed at improving community safety in the area, should win funding from a �12,000 grants pot made available through the Broadland Community Safety Partnership.

The partnership had invited community groups throughout the NR13 postcode area – Acle and 16 surrounding villages – to bid for the cash. Each finalist made a short presentation in front of an audience of residents at Acle High School.

Children at 13 primary schools will be kitted out with the bright yellow reflective jackets after their application for �2500 was successful, as part of an initiative to encourage more youngsters to walk or cycle to school.

The 13 schools covered by the scheme are: Freethorpe Community Primary, Lingwood Junior, Lingwood First and Nursery, Blofield Primary, Fairhaven Primary, Hemblington Primary, Brundall Primary, Acle St Edmunds Primary, Little Plumstead Primary, Cantley Primary, Salhouse Primary, Rackheath Primary and Reedham Primary.

The other successful bids were:

l Brundall Youth Club, which clinched �1,175 to provide recreational facilities, including space to discuss issues such as drugs, sexual health and stress

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l Freethorpe Pre School Canopy Fund – �2,000 for a retractable canopy to maximise outdoor space in all weathers

l Blofield Court House – �2,450 for a ramp to give older people easier access to community facilities

l Wickhampton Play Area – �1,815 to create a safe place for young people to play

l Heathlands Youth Club, Blofield Heath – �1,100 to buy crash mats

l 1st Great Little Plumstead Scouts – �1,400 to extend the group’s headquarters.

Sgt Julia Sandell, from the Acle safer neighbourhood team, said: “Schools generally have seen a decline in the number of children walking, with more parents dropping them off by car.

“By encouraging them to walk or cycle in hi-vis tabards, we are trying to target a number of different issues – keeping them safe and visible on the roads, improving their fitness levels and cutting down congestion at the school gate.”

Five projects which applied for less than �500 have already been allocated funding. They are:

l �340 for a once-a-week caf�/drop-in centre for young people in Rackheath

l �477 for the Lingwood-based East Norfolk Slot Car Association for new equipment

l �400 for the Matthew Project to promote alcohol awareness in the Acle area through weekly sessions

l �500 to 1st Freethorpe Brownies for new technology equipment to teach young girls about safety

l �290 to 1st Salhouse Guides to provide indoor and outdoor activity equipment.