THE lucky winners of The News monster £50,000 Comic Relief giveaway have been celebrating after finding out they have won grants.
More than 40 groups were picked to receive up to £1,000 which will help them continue to work in the community.
Groups in Portsmouth applied for a share of £50,000 in the lead-up to this year’s Red Nose Day.
Applications came flooding in as good causes in the city applied for a slice of the cash and after a tough decision, the final groups were picked.
Representatives from Comic Relief, The News and Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation helped make the decision.
Debbie Charlton, the foundation’s grant manager, said: ‘It was a very difficult decision to choose between the huge number of local groups and worthwhile community-driven projects that applied for these awards.
‘Working with Comic Relief and The News has ensured that we have been able to reach a huge number of disadvantaged groups in our local community.
‘We were looking to support those small local groups working in disadvantaged areas that find it difficult to get funding to support their causes.
‘We were also looking to support organisations such as small sporting groups by helping to provide equipment and funds for events, helping them to promote fun and healthy living.’
Graeme Patfield, news editor at The News, said: ‘We had such a high calibre of entries that it was hard to know which groups to choose from.
‘We had a long and extensive meeting and finally, we made our decisions.’
Comic Relief set up the cash giveaway in 2010 to give small groups the chance to make a difference to their community.
Sue Wicks, UK grants manager at Comic Relief, said: ‘We’re delighted that so many groups applied for Red Nose Day Community Cash in Portsmouth.
‘Today’s announcement shows the diversity of local groups in the area and the variety of work they do.
‘Grassroots groups play a really important role so it’s great to see so many making a difference in their communities.’
The rest of the money not used in the £50,000 giveaway will be given back to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation and distributed to other community projects in Portsmouth.
Age Concern Cowplain
BRINGING older people together in the community, Age Concern Cowplain will use its £1,000 to make sure no-one is left isolated.
The group hosts a befriending service which allows volunteers to go to isolated people in the community and get them involved in activities they like.
The money will ensure this service can carry on and continue to help people.
Liz Wood, centre manager and befriending co-ordinator, said: ‘It is just fantastic that we received the money.
‘The fact that we are a 95 per cent self-funded centre means that any money we get is brilliant.
‘The befriending service is such a good cause that it’s great that we can continue to run it.
‘The money will also help with running costs of the centre which are constantly rising.’
The group also runs social events which include short mat bowls, basic computing skills and a keep fit class.
Liz added: ‘All the things we do here are to help the older community stay in touch and give them the chance to move with the times.
‘Just simple things like using a computer or being able to walk to the shops allow them to get out of the house and interact with people.’
‘We even had a wedding two years ago which was just really lovely.
‘Just knowing we have changed two people’s lives that much is wonderful.
‘The money will help us do this but in a variety of ways.’
Serenity Twirl Team
TWIRLING is a passion for members of the Serenity Twirling Team and their passion has won them £875 of the £50,000 Comic Relief Giveaway.
The club meets every Wednesday at Bucklands Community Centre and the girls were ecstatic when they found out they had won the money.
Charlie Foster, 19, who has been baton twirling for 13 years, said: ‘It’s brilliant.
‘Being awarded this money will help us a great deal.
‘It will not only benefit our long-term members who have been twirling for years, but also our new members.
‘This will enable us to get the equipment we need not only to compete in competitions but also to take part in events such as fairs and fetes in the area to help other charities raise money.’
The group competes in up to six competitions a year and belongs to two baton twirling associations.
Sally Foster, one of the corps directors for Serenity Twirl Team, said: ‘We saw in The News that groups like us could apply for some money through Comic Relief to assist us with running our team. After speaking with the three other corps directors we decided we would submit an application. After a fairly easy process, we were awarded the sum we had asked for, which is fantastic news.
‘I would recommend other groups to do the same in the future.’
Paulsgrove & Wymering Carnival Association
THE chairman of an annual carnival is looking forward to this year even more now the group behind it has received £1,000.
The Paulsgrove and Wymering Carnival Association has been going for 28 years and provides a fun day for people in the community.
Churches, schools and scout groups all get involved in the colourful event and this year, it should be better than ever with the addition of £1,000.
Chairman David Horne said: ‘The moment we found out we had been picked for the money was one of utter happiness.
‘There were so many different organisations in the area that are all worthy of the funds so it is exciting we have been chosen. It was wonderful news and I am glad that we decided to apply.
‘The money is something that will help with the costs of the carnival which is a great for the area.
‘It brings the community together and is a day where we can all come together to have a brilliant day.
‘In the build-up to it, there is a lot of help from local groups, church members and the schools who all contribute to the carnival.’
This year’s carnival is being held on June 22 and will have the usual colourful and musical procession through the streets.
But David is always preparing for the next one.
He said: ‘That is what it’s like being chairman; one thing ends and you plan the next.’
Landport Adventure Playground Parents Association
GIVING children the place to have fun and play, a group that looks after an adventure playground is over the moon about receiving a grant.
Landport Adventure Playground Parents Association runs the playground in Arundel Street, Landport, and has received £1,000.
Holly Foxwell, deputy site manager, said: ‘When we found out, it was amazing.
‘We‘re very excited about it.
‘It’s a really big opportunity for us and for the children.
‘The playground has been here for 37 years so it is great that it is still seen as a community place.’
The adventure playground gives older children a place to play with more exciting equipment and adult supervision means parents are safe to leave their children there.
It used to organise trips for the children but due to funding, this has stopped in recent years.
But Holly wants to give the children the chance to go on trips once more.
She added: ‘The money will give us the chance to take the children to an activity centre in the summer.’
1st Bedhampton Scout Group £905
Fareham Stroke Club £500
Working Age MS (WAMS) £910
Havant Good Neighbours £1,000
Portsmouth Voices £1,000
54th Portsmouth (Great Salterns) South Group £1,000
Serenity Twirl Team £875
Drayton & Farlington Action Group £1,000
Portchester Solid Wood Workshop £826
Paulsgrove & Wymering
Carnival Association £1,000
Chatterbox LGBT Club £500
Age Concern Cowplain £1,000
The Solent Diabetes Association £1,000
Fareham Good Neighbours £500
Southsea Greenhouse £1,000
Community Co-operative £1,000
Friday Carers £1,000
OPERA (Oak Park Estate Residents Association) £500
Portsmouth Woodcraft Folk, Butterfly Woodchips £500
5th Portsmouth Scout Group £960
Broadlaw Volunteers Group £500
PCC of St Philips Cosham £1,000
Bridgemary Carnival Association £595
St Matthew’s Parish Church £500
Take a Break Carers Group £1,000
Fareham Autistic Spectrum Support £1,000
2327 Havant Air Cadets £600
Angel Radio £1,000
Cockleshell Heroes Youth Group £500
Hayling Island Community Centre Association £875
Portsmouth Autism Support Network £1,000
Landport Adventure Playground Parents Association £1,000
Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association (Footprints) £976
Bivol Trust £960
Cedaroak Support Trust £960
Havant Multicultural Forum £1,000
Disability Awareness UK £690
South Rowner Residents Group £1,000
Leigh Park Festival Committee £1,000
Breathe Easy Portsmouth South £1,000
Stacey Amateur Boxing Club £1,000
Training Ship Tenacity Nautical Training Corps £1,000