Fifteen Norfolk organisations share in £69,360 windfall

North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb (front centre) and Victory Housing Trust director of housing Christine

North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb (front centre) and Victory Housing Trust director of housing Christine Candlish (front right) present 10,000 cheques to Joy Bishop (front left) and Marian Pearson (front, second left) of SleepEast and Simon Wright (front, second right) of Nelsons Journey, watched by representatives from all 15 grant-receiving organisation. Picture: Andy Newman - Credit: Archant

Fifteen organisations shared a £69,360 windfall as north Norfolk's largest social landlord announced its biggest ever grants round.

To mark the 10th anniversary of the Victory Housing Community Fund, two £10,000 (the usual upper limit is £5,000) gifts were handed out.

They went to bereavement charity Nelson's Journey to support the costs of a child bereavement support worker covering North Norfolk, and to SleepEast to provide an integrated sleep support service for families in North Walsham, Fakenham and Holt.

The latest round of grant-giving means the fund has given out 172 grants worth just under half a million pounds since 2008.

Christine Candlish, the trust's director of housing, said: 'When we set up the fund, our aim was to provide support for those grassroots groups which are at the heart of our communities.

'I don't think we dared dream just what an impact the fund would have over the subsequent decade, nor that we would be celebrating having given out just shy of half a million pounds of grants in that time.

'We are particularly pleased to have been able to donate the two £10,000 super-grants to mark the anniversary, to two organisations which have made such a difference to the lives of people in north Norfolk.'

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The grants were announced at the trust's North Walsham headquarters by North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb, who said: 'These awards make a massive difference to our community organisations. It is so worthwhile to provide support to people in their villages and towns, and it makes a real difference. These groups are what make our communities tick.'

Simon Wright, chief executive of Nelson's Journey, said, 'We are seeing a massive increase in referrals from north Norfolk, and without these additional resources, we would be unable to fulfil that demand.'

Joy Bishop, chief executive of SleepEast, added, 'This grant is tremendous news for us. It will enable us to double the amount of work we do in north Norfolk, and will help us support around 380 people, ranging from parent support workshops and drop-in session in libraries right through to intensive one-to-one help for families.'