Fenland community groups handed �300k boost by Roddons Housing Association

COMMUNITY groups in Fenland have been handed a massive boost after Roddons Housing Association awarded �300,000 to a host of voluntary organisations.

Around 20 organisations have secured a share of the community funding pot, which was set aside when the housing stock was transferred to Roddons from Fenland District Council in November 2007.

More than 70 voluntary organisations, charities and statutory bodies applied for funding, with applications assessed by residents and members of staff during meetings, site visits and presentations.

Projects aimed at tackling unemployment and raising skills in Fenland were given the biggest boost - with March Skills Centre, Fenland CAB, Murrow and Parson Drove Action for Youth and Young People March among those to benefit.

The Norfolk and Waveney Enterprise Trust will offer advice, help and workshops aimed at enabling people to set up their own businesses and run two ‘Dragon’s Den’ events particularly geared at Roddons residents.

Other projects which have received funding include a ‘Care in the Home’ project for vulnerable people run by the Red Cross and a Drinksense outreach scheme to work with 16-24-year-olds.

More than 400 pupils at local primary schools in the Wisbech area will benefit from a schools jobs fair organised by the Wisbech Schools Partnership and a small village book caf� will be able to purchase new computer equipment and run IT courses.

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Pam Clark, Wisbech Schools co-ordinator and former head teacher, said: “The Wisbech Schools are very pleased to receive funding for the Primary Schools’ Careers Convention.

“More than 400 children are due to attend the event and, for at least some of them, the opportunities realised and information given on the day could ‘open a window’ to the rest of their lives - raising their aspirations and spurring them to achieve and develop their ideas for their future.”

Smaller projects which have benefited include equipment for March Air Training Corps and plans to develop multisport play sessions for young people with disabilities.

Christopher Smith, managing director of Roddons, said: “This year we invited applications from organisations which would fit our criteria to build better communities and tackling unemployment was key to that.

“We are delighted to be funding some fantastic projects throughout Fenland which we hope will have a great impact for the wider community in the long-term.”

Full list of successful applicants:

• Fenland District Council, �70,100 (over two years) for staffing Community House, Wisbech.

• Fenland CAB, �42,000 (over two years) for programme of financial inclusion advice and workshops.

• Murrow and Parson Drove Action for Youth, �33,900 (over two years) to keep open two youth clubs and run a residential course.

• Drinksense, �45,000 (over two years) for outreach projects working with 16-24 year-olds.

• Norfolk and Waveney Enterprise Trust, �38,000 (over two years) for programme to encourage self-employment.

• March Skills Centre, �45,000 (over two years) to provide a tutor.

• Age UK, �19,800 to extend Lifechangers service.

• Fenland Scrapstore, �20,100 for two apprentices.

• British Red Cross, �45,000 (over two years) for ‘Care in the Home’ project.

• Young People March, �13,900 (over two years) to employ a fundraiser.

• Murrow Book Caf�, �5,000 for computer equipment and IT course.

• Volunteer Centre Fenland, �17,000 (over two years) to run volunteering programme in March East.

• Fenland District Council, �25,000 for Neighbourhood Forum’s small grants pot.

• Wisbech Schools Partnership, �5,000 to run jobs fair for primary schools.

• Whittlesey Youth & Community Centre, �12,350 (over two years) to keep two youth clubs open.

• NHS Traveller Health Team, �8,000 for one-to-one tuition to raise skills for travellers.

• Fendis, �6,500 to expand multisport provision for young people with disabilities.

• March ATC, �4,200 to purchase new equipment.

• Wisbech St John Ambulance, �1,500 to purchase laptop and projector.

• Commotion Youth Group, Whittlesey, �1,000 for animal welfare course.

• Idox, �6,000 for ‘Open 4 Funding’ website programme.

• 12th Wisbech Scouts, �250 for two new parade flags.

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