Groups eager to sign up for share of cash

IN BLOOM Patricia Brain from the Flower Arranging Club held at Drayton United Church Hall, Drayton with her floral arrangement. Picture: Allan Hutchings (131339-329)

IN BLOOM Patricia Brain from the Flower Arranging Club held at Drayton United Church Hall, Drayton with her floral arrangement. Picture: Allan Hutchings (131339-329)

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COMMUNITY groups have been praising our lottery cash giveaway, which gives clubs the chance to get a share of £250,000.

The News has joined up with the Big Lottery Fund to launch The News Cash for Communities.

Clubs and community groups throughout Portsmouth and the surrounding area can win up to £30,000.

Patricia Brain, chairman of the Flower Arranging Club which meets in Drayton, thinks this is a great new project.

The 70-year-old, from Colville Road, Cosham, said: ‘It’s incredible that this amount of money could be offer for any groups.

‘Even a couple of thousand would make a different to us as we are quite small.

‘We could expand to invite more people and even set up a children’s section of the club.

‘It is hard to keep groups like ours going as we have to pay for the hall and for demonstrators to come in so to get a share of £250,000 would offer us stability.

‘This is definitely something I will be looking into and I’d recommend other groups do the same.’

The Cash for Communities was launched yesterday and will continue for the next few weeks.

It is aimed at encouraging communities to think about how funding could benefit their area and bring real improvements to the lives of local people.

Whether groups are looking to run classes to get people more physically active, turn a derelict site into a community garden or set up after-school cooking clubs, this funding can make the difference.

For Lucy Barlow, who runs Post Natal Yoga – Mama and Baby in Southsea, the money would allow her to get a permanent premises for a new group of hers.

She said: ‘One of my groups, which helps mums who are having their first-borns, doesn’t have a regular place to meet.

‘The money would enable us to find somewhere and make it our own.

‘I will definitely be looking into applying because you have nothing to lose.’

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

TO APPLY for a grant you will need to be a community group, a not-for-profit group or a parish or town council.

Health bodies and schools can also be nominated.

Groups do not have to be a registered charity to apply.

One of the requirements is having a bank account that requires at least two people to sign each cheque or withdrawal.

You must also be in a position to use the grant within one year.

So, what are you waiting for?

Applications will be accepted until August 4.

A shortlist will then be made on September 16 with readers of The News being able to vote for their favourites.

There will also be the chance for readers to see exactly what the money will be spent on for two weeks after September 16.

The groups with the highest votes will be announced on October 7.

Applications and more information on the grants and the necessary requirements are available from hantscf.org.uk

They are also available by calling 01256 776109.

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