It’s great to be able to help so many good causes

Clive Smith says he would not like to arm wrestle athlete Caster Semenya 		Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

CLIVE SMITH: English pigs? Don’t bite the hand that feeds you

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We’ve been feeling a bit like Father Christmas lately.

Working with representatives from Comic Relief and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation, we’ve had to decide which good causes deserved a share of a £50,000 cash giveaway.

It was tough picking out which organisations would benefit from the large number of applications we received for the Red Nose Day Community Cash.

But we’re delighted that the money is going to help a variety of grass roots groups who make such a difference in the areas in which they operate.

More than 40 groups out of all the applications were picked to receive up to £1,000 each. While this may not sound that much, to the groups concerned it can make an enormous difference to what they are able to do.

At Stacey Amateur Boxing Club in North End, Portsmouth, the cash means it can buy more boxing gloves, ropes and other basic equipment which it otherwise couldn’t afford. The more equipment, the more children it can keep off the streets.

For Landport Adventure Playground Parents’ Association in Portsmouth, money awarded to it will be used to help to take children to an activity centre in the summer.

Lack of funding means this has just not been possible – until now.

Then there’s £1,000 to help with the costs of staging the Paulsgrove and Wymering Carnival and £1,000 to enable Age Concern Cowplain to bring elderly people together by running a befriending service.

Meanwhile the passion of members of the Serenity Twirlers from Portsmouth has been rewarded with a grant of £875 for equipment for competitions and demonstrations.

These are all terrific examples of the many groups out there doing so much to enhance community life.

Of course, there will be disappointment among those applicants who weren’t successful. They should try again next year.

But to the ones picked out this time, we’re glad to have played a part in helping them to carry on their good work.