Centre 81 charity gets major cash boost from Garfield Weston Foundation

Centre 81 has been awarded a £10 grant from a charitable foundation.

Centre 81 has been awarded a £10 grant from a charitable foundation. - Credit: Centre 81

A £10,000 grant has given a major boost to a charity helping enrich the lives of people living with disabilities.

Diana Staines of Centre 81, Great Yarmouth

Diana Staines of Centre 81, Great Yarmouth - Credit: Centre 81

Centre 81 at Great Yarmouth hosts activities and skills sessions for 70 members with a range of disabilities resulting from illness or accident. It also runs a fleet of fully-accessible minibuses providing door-to-door transport for 500 passengers across the borough.

And its chief executive Diana Staines says grants, donations and public fundraising are vital to fuel the Centre’s work.

“Our skills and activities centre costs more than £400,000 a year to run, and the community transport service another £250,000. We get income from fees and fares, but also need charity and public support to keep us going as government cuts have an impact,” she explained.

The £10,000 grant – towards core funding - is from the Garfield Weston Foundation, a family-founded grant-making trust which has awarded £960m to community good causes since it was established in 1958.

Trustees are descendants of Willard Garfield Weston, who created Associated British Foods, which embraces household names such as Twinings, Ovaltine, Silver Spoon sugar, Ryvita, Kingsmill, and Primark fashion.

Ms Staines said charity grants for Centre 81 had ranged from Garfield Weston’s £10,000, the biggest single sum in her 10 years at the charity, to a couple of hundred pounds.

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“They are all valuable and appreciated,” she added.

Ms Staines said the value of Centre’s work was summed up through the testimony of a member who said: “Centre 81 for me is a sanctuary from the real world because here you can be yourself and not ‘a disability’. No-one, apart from my family, treated me like I am real person until I came to Centre 81. People with disabilities are either ignored or treated with kid gloves. At Centre 81 we are all accepted as just ordinary people.”

To support Centre 81 visit www.centre81.co.uk or call 01493 852573.