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North Norfolk community groups receive £160,000 boost

22nd Sep 2014
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Ten voluntary groups in north Norfolk have received a £160,000 boost with the announcement of the first grants made from Victory Housing Trust’s new Strategic Grant Fund – created earlier this year to help tackle three key community issues in the area.

Organisations supporting older people, tackling rural isolation, and helping build employment and life skills were invited to apply for grants of up to £25,000 from the new fund, which was offered by Victory after its Board identified these three issues as being central to creating more sustainable communities in north Norfolk.

A wide range of projects have been supported in the first round of grants, ranging from a peer mentoring programme for young people to the development of dementia-friendly communities.

Chairman of Victory Housing Trust Clare Barter said, “The Victory Board felt that we wanted to become more actively engaged in the delivery of grant funding to community groups in a way which would support more substantial projects, to complement our existing Community Fund, which offers smaller-scale grants to charities and community groups.

“With help from the Norfolk Community Foundation, we were able to identify some really excellent projects, and I am delighted that we have been able to allocate such a large sum to support them.”

The ten grants were as follows:

  • Age UK Norfolk received £15,000 to facilitate the development of Dementia Friendly Communities in the North Norfolk CCG area, as part of a wider two year project
  • Age UK North Norfolk received £14,019 to contribute towards the costs of the Help4U project supporting older people, or anyone with a disability, to remain in their own homes by preventing accidents, reducing risks and maintaining independence
  • CSV-RSVP Norfolk received £11,415 to support and extend the reach of the Knitters and Stitchers project in North Norfolk
  • Kickstart Norfolk received £15,265 to assist Victory Housing Trust residents to overcome transport issues in accessing education, training and employment
  • Learning 4 Everyone received £24,300 to plan and promote a programme of accessible courses and workshops to help develop the employability and life skills of Victory residents across North Norfolk
  • Leeway Women’s Aid received £18,475 to run an outreach service for women experiencing domestic abuse in the North Norfolk area
  • North Norfolk Community Transport received £20,240 to contribute towards the costs of running and developing the Medi Ride scheme
  • The Royal Voluntary Service received £12,000 funding for the 'North Norfolk Food and Friendship Project', which will help older people have access to healthy meals and social interaction through a range of volunteer-led services including 1-2-1 and group support
  • The Norfolk Hospice received £15,000 to provide pre-bereavement and bereavement counselling to both patients and their families once the patient has been diagnosed with a terminal illness
  • Your Own Place CIC received £14,833 towards a peer mentoring programme that aims to make 15 matches between existing young tenants and new young Victory tenants to provide transitional support

The Victory Strategic Grant Fund is open to charities, community groups, parish and town councils, and community interest companies and other social enterprises working in the north of Norfolk, and is aimed at tackling three key areas:

Older People – activities, services or facilities that help older people to:

  • Live healthier, more active or less isolated lives
  • Combat the effects of poverty
  • Maintain their independence
  • Cope with the effects of mental health conditions

Rural Isolation – services for people of all ages who:

  • Have difficulty using conventional public transport because of a disability or age
  • Are isolated and have difficulty accessing services and facilities, such as healthcare
  • Have difficulty accessing work, training or education opportunities

Employment and life skills – projects that assist people to improve their life chances by:

  • Providing training, work or volunteering opportunities that assist young people or the long-term unemployed to gain employment
  • Assisting people to better manage their finances
  • Providing opportunities for volunteers to gain skills, knowledge and personal development that are transferable to work situations

The Fund is administered by the Norfolk Community Foundation, with grant decisions taken by a panel of Victory Board members, advised by NCF’s grants experts.

Victory also operates a Community Fund, which makes smaller grants of up to £5,000 to charities and community groups, twice a year.  Its next grants announcement will be made in late October.

Following the success of the first grants round, Victory chief executive John Archibald announced that the Fund would be topped up in April 2015 to enable a second round of grants next year.