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Gaywood Cubs given grant from Freebridge


A cub group in King’s Lynn have been given a financial boost thanks to the Freebridge Community Fund.

5th Gaywood Churches Cub pack applied for the funding as their accounts took a hit during the spring and summer when their weekly meetings went online. Like many similar groups across the area they stopped charging parents the regular subscription payments.

Phil Jordan is the cub leader: “We felt that parents have got a lot of other things on their minds apart from paying subs for youngsters. But also there’s the issue of collecting it, we collect cash or cheques normally and we couldn’t do that on a Zoom meeting!”

They’ve still had expenses such as hall rent and insurance and as meetings slowly resume they’ve had additional costs such as craft supplies. They used to share one big stationary cupboard between the beavers, cubs and scouts but now they have to all have their own supplies.

Most of the activities they do throughout the year are paid for thanks to additional fundraising but most of that fundraising was planned for the summer and had to be cancelled. Phil explains more: “We’d normally have bingo twice a year, and we planned car washes for June at the church fair, but all our fundraising that we hoped to do has stopped.”

As they meet at Gaywood Church Rooms and don’t have their own hall (meaning they don’t pay business rates) they haven’t been eligible for any government support. A few groups in the area do have their own headquarters and have been able to apply for the £10k grants via the borough council.

They have slowly started returning to face to face meetings and have split the 30 strong group in half so 15 meet each week. But that hasn’t helped with finances much as Phil tells us: “We’ve started charging subs again but as we only have them every other week we only really have them six nights a term rather than 12 or 13.”

Phil is pleased that they can all meet together, even if it is slightly different and he says the kids have clearly missed it: “It’s so different to school and we try and give them discipline but have a laugh with them. Some might have it tough at home and we try to be someone for them to look up to. Some of them have missed it big time – especially meeting up with friends as most of them go to different schools so wouldn’t see each other often.”

They have managed to do quite a few virtual activities during lockdown and over the summer, including a virtual camp which cub Harry told us about: “We made a camp somewhere in our house or garden. I made a den in my bedroom out of pillows and blankets and slept in it for a few nights. The camp was about Indians and cowboys so we did some crafts and activities. We made pretend dynamite, cowboy hats, Indian headdresses and loads of things!”

The funding from Freebridge’s Community Fund is part of a number of grants provided to West Norfolk charities and community groups by the housing association. Thirteen projects across the area have benefitted this year, with each being awarded amounts up to £1000. This year Freebridge raised the amount available to the fund to £10,000, double the £5000 that is normally offered, to mark the fact that they've been providing this money to groups for a decade.