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25th May 2017
Christine Candlish and Maggie Wheeler at a Sing Your Heart Out taster session at North Walsham

Seven community groups across north Norfolk are celebrating a combined £19,000 windfall, following the latest round of grants from the Victory Housing Community Fund.

A talking newspaper, a community law service, a village play area and a charity which helps people build confidence through singing are among the organisations sharing grants ranging from £1,500 to £4,998 – bringing the total handed out by the Fund to £387,383 across 141 grants since it was established in 2008.

The latest round of grants were awarded by a panel of Victory residents, advised by the grants team at Norfolk Community Foundation, which administers the Victory Housing Community Fund.

The organisations receiving support were:

  • EP Youth, which received £4,998 to tackle rural isolation by providing a free inclusive project for young people aged between 11-18 serving Briston, Melton Constable and Hindolveston.
  • Merchants Place in Cromer, which received £3,000 to run ‘Yes We Can’, a new community learning and social support project designed to meet the needs of local adults with a range of additional needs
  • Sing Your Heart Out, which received £3,000 to establish a Sing Your Heart Out Group in North Norfolk and run 24 sessions and other activities
  • Mardler, the North Norfolk Talking Newspaper, which received £2,500 to purchase a laptop and listening devices for users of the service
  • Norfolk Community Law Service, which received £2,000 to provide a weekly Free Legal Advice Service at Cromer
  • Stiffkey Playing Field, which received £2,000 to improve the fencing around the play area
  • Lighthouse Charity Trust in Sheringham, which received £1,500 to resource the proposed Western Wing extension

“Once again we are delighted to be giving out grants to some of the most deserving and hard-working voluntary groups,” said Victory Housing Trust chief executive John Archibald.  “Our grants panel has allocated funds to a variety of organisations doing different things, but which all have in common the fact that they are contributing so much to our communities.”

Full details of the Victory Housing Community Fund can be found at www.norfolkfoundation.com.

Case Study: Sing Your Heart Out

Norfolk charity Sing Your Heart Out runs singing sessions aimed at past and present mental health service users, their family, friends, carers and support workers.  The aim is help people feel better about themselves, help reduce stress, and increase their confidence through singing.

Founded in 2005, the charity runs regular groups in Norwich, Great Yarmouth, King’s Lynn and south Norfolk.  The grant from the Victory Housing Community Fund is enabling a group to be set up in north Norfolk, and taster sessions are already taking place across the area.

“As well as being physically good for you, singing is proven to enhance your mental health,” said Maggie Wheeler, Sing Your Heart Out committee member and former chair of the county’s Mental Health Care Trust.

“There is a real sense of community at our singing sessions, people enjoy doing things together, and it is equally beneficial for those who have experienced or are experiencing mental health problems, and those who want to protect their own mental wellbeing.”

Rosalind Holden from Southrepps has been attending some of the north Norfolk taster sessions.  Unusually for the group she is a professional musician, but her confidence was considerably knocked after cancer treatment damaged her larynx leaving her – so she thought – unable to sing.

“Sing Your Heart Out has helped me get my voice back,” she said.  “Music is a great leveller, it’s a really friendly group, and I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t enjoy it.  Coming here makes me feel good – and it has given me back my voice, which I thought was lost.”

More details on the Sing Your Heart Out north Norfolk taster sessions can be found at www.syho.org/our-venues-dates/north-norfolk