Government cash for Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 10:21 19 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:20 03 July 2010

Older people in Norfolk are among the beneficiaries of thousands of pounds of government grants awarded to voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises in our region.

Older people in Norfolk are among the beneficiaries of thousands of pounds of government grants awarded to voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises in our region.

The Norwich-based charity, Age Concern Norfolk, received £54,300 from the government's hardship fund, which will enable it to continue offering one-to-one services to people in the county.

Among the other beneficiaries is St John's Housing Trust, which has been providing shelter for homeless people in Lowestoft for more than 30 years, and was awarded £123,255 to help fund the setting up of a new drop-in centre in the town.

And the Norfolk Hospice, at Tapping House, in Snettisham, which helps patients, carers and families living with cancer, received more than £125,000.

The £16.7m hardship fund was set up this year to help cash-strapped groups deliver vital services in health and social care, housing support, education and training, and information, advice and guidance.

Linda Gill, Age Concern Norfolk's information and advice manager, said: “We are absolutely delighted to get this money. It's a real boost to us as it will allow us to keep offering a one-to one service to older people in Norfolk.

“It will go towards our advocacy service whereby we help older people to solve problems that are too big for them to solve on their own. This could include problems with healthcare, social care, or it could be a consumer issue or a neighbourhood problem.”

Meanwhile, John O'Sullivan, St John's Housing Trust's chief executive, said its grant would be used for the Bridge View project, which is a community drop-in centre with links to advice and employment agencies.

He said: “Now we've got the project set up in Commercial Road, this will allow us to support it and move it forwards.

“This is an important time for us as we have been inundated with demand for our services over recent months through all our projects. That demand is expected to rise further as the outcomes of the recession begin to bite in the near future.

“The fall-out of unemployment and the increasing number of mortgage repossessions will make our services even more valuable.”

Janet Doyle, chief executive of Norfolk Hospice, said the grant was a vote of confidence in their work.

She said: “We are absolutely delighted to be one of the first to benefit from these awards. This money will be spent on patients' services and will allow us to continue and build on the work we do.”

Nationwide, 74 voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises received hardship fund grants.

The fund is still open for applications from third sector organisations delivering front-line services who are suffering a reduction in income, impacting on their ability to deliver those services.

To apply, organisations must have an income of £200,000 a year or more. Information about how to apply can be found on the Community Development Foundation (CDF) website

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