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DEVELOPING HOMES AND CREATING OPPORTUNITIES FOR PEOPLE WITHIN WEST NORFOLK

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Freebridge Community Fund opens for grant applications

21/05/21

Freebridge Community Housing is pleased to announce that for the eleventh year running they are once again welcoming grant applications to their Community Fund from Tuesday 1st June.

The annual fund provides a total of £5000 each year which gives local groups the opportunity to apply for grants of up to £1000 each to support community and voluntary activities that meet the needs of the community within west Norfolk.

Applications are welcome from groups whose aims include:

  • Promoting health and wellbeing;
  • Tackling disadvantage;
  • Supporting local solutions to local needs;
  • Promoting community cohesion;
  • Developing sustainable and supportive communities, and
  • Improving the environment.

Freebridge Chief Executive Anita Jones said: “This past year has been a tough one for so many and we know that charities and community groups have really struggled with fundraising. These groups are needed more than ever before, and we want to make sure that the amazing people who support our tenants and the wider community in all sorts of different ways can continue making a massive difference in and around west Norfolk."

Some of the successful groups last year included:

  • Access – a King’s Lynn based charity that supports migrants across East Anglia used their funds to help them restart face-to-face appointments.
  • Docking Playing Fields Association – were able to replace much-missed playground equipment.
  • Barton Bendish Village Hall – topped up some already impressive fundraising efforts to provide Barton Bendish with a fully refurbished village hall.
  • The Pandora Project – covered the cost of additional employee training on domestic violence, substance misuse, and wellbeing.
  • King’s Lynn Winter Night Shelter – used their grant to help allow them to make their new building suitable for use last winter.
  • King’s Lynn Minster – who installed additional technology within the church to help people worship from home.

The allocation of the money available is decided by a panel made up of Freebridge employees and members from their Tenant Panel. Last year, to mark the tenth anniversary of the fund’s launch, Freebridge handed out £10k. One of the groups that were given support was the ESCAPE Project, based at The Discovery Centre in King’s Lynn, allowing them to continue to open for participants in line with Covid restrictions. They told us more details about how the funding has helped:

“The project has operated three to four days per week and welcomes adults experiencing a range of difficulties to come together to meet, socialise and support one another, learn new skills, improve their wellbeing, and participate in community-based activities. The focus of activities is the development and maintenance of the Discovery Centre garden, based on the principles of therapeutic horticulture.

“Throughout the last 12 months, participants have regularly reported that Escape has been their only social contact outside of the home and their only in-person support service. For many of our adults with learning difficulties, Escape was the only placement that remained open for them. Their isolation significantly increased as social restrictions were put in place, detrimentally affecting their wellbeing and physical and mental health.

“Referrals to our service have increased in number and from a greater number of external services. The need for one-to-one support has also increased as the impact of Covid restrictions on participants’ day-to-day lives has taken its toll.”

Norfolk Community Foundation manages the fund on Freebridge’s behalf. Any community or voluntary group wishing to apply or wanting to find out more about the Freebridge Community Fund can visit https://www.norfolkfoundation.com/funding-support/grants/groups/freebridge-community-housing-fund/, telephone 01603 623958 or email jennybevan@norfolkfoundation.com.

The closing date for applications is Monday 19th July 2021.

Pictured:

Pictured: Anita Jones, Chief Executive of Freebridge Community Housing.


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