FENLANDER: Time running out to apply for funding in this year’s Community Grants scheme

A SMALL grant can make a big difference, as Sylvia Mansfield of Breathe Easy Fenland will happily testify.

Last year the March-based group, which supports people suffering from lung disease, was awarded �500 from the Community Grants scheme run by Fenland District Council. The money helped pay for its newsletter – and that, in turn, was instrumental in the group being named by the British Lung Foundation this month as the “outstanding new group” in the whole country.

Now other organisations are being urged not to delay in applying for this year’s grants. The deadline for all applications is Friday October 8 – just three weeks away.

Mrs Mansfield said: “That �500 was really useful. Producing and distributing our newsletter costs a lot but it is absolutely vital for our work. Without the grant we’d have had to do even more fundraising ourselves and we already do a lot.”

Rookies Netball in Wisbech is another group for whom last year’s �330 grant has proved a godsend. Andrea Eggleton, its chairman, said: “It helped us get lots of new equipment and also meant we could continue our coaching over the summer holidays, which we’ve never been able to do before. That resulted in 10 new members joining.”

She said the grant had also part-funded some friendly matches for the younger players and helped the group continue its successful coaching centre, which is open every Monday evening from 6.30-8pm, at Thomas Clarkson Community College.

A total of �100,000 is available to be shared out from the Community Grants scheme, which is also supported by Roddons Housing Association. Groups can apply for up to �5,000.

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Councillor Chris Seaton, FDC’s portfolio holder responsible for community development, said: “Last year’s grants proved invaluable to all sorts of groups throughout Fenland and they can do the same again. It would be a shame if people lost out by missing the October 8 deadline. So if you have a special project in mind or need a bit of help with your regular costs, get in touch straightaway.”

More details and application form are available from Steve Drew, FDC’s business and community development support officer. Call him on 01354 654321 or e-mail sdrew@fenland.gov.uk

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