‘This would keep us going for another couple of months’

(left to right) Sanam Bakhtiar (41), Nathan Wong (47), Jenny White (63), Pam Holdaway (62) and Dot White (87)''Picture: Malcolm Wells (13281-7902)
(left to right) Sanam Bakhtiar (41), Nathan Wong (47), Jenny White (63), Pam Holdaway (62) and Dot White (87)''Picture: Malcolm Wells (13281-7902)
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FOR Jenny White, winning a slice of our whopping £50,000 cash giveaway would guarantee her charity’s survival for another two months.

Mrs White is chairwoman of The Cornelius Centre, a place in Buckland, Portsmouth, where adults with learning difficulties go to learn and have some fun. She plans to apply for a grant of between £500 and £1,000 – which has been made available through Comic Relief’s Community Cash fund – which would pay for new art equipment, books and games for clients.

Money could also be used to help organise more disco and bingo nights for everyone.

‘I think this is a fantastic idea,’ Mrs White said.

‘We don’t get money from the council or government so we have to find other ways of staying alive.

‘This money would keep us going for another couple of months.’

The centre was in danger of closing last year because of a lack of funds – but odd grants from local businesses and freemason group Royal Sussex Lodge helped to keep things going.

Mrs White has been in her role since the centre became an independent charity in 1993.

Before that it was part of learning disability charity Mencap.

‘We have to be so frugal about what we get,’ Mrs White said.

‘We could keep this grant aside and use it for something really worthwhile.

‘Everything we make goes straight into improving what we do for our clients.

‘We are not just for the people of Buckland, we’re here for everyone all over Portsmouth.’

The centre, in New Road, is made up of 10 committee members and opens its doors three days a week.

Sam Bakhtiar, who suffers from learning difficulties, said she pops along to see her friends. Having a grant would mean a lot to us,’ she said.

‘I like meeting people and I have made a lot of friends by coming here. I enjoy the discos and the arts and crafts sessions.’

After some teething problems yesterday, the web link for grant applications is now up and running. Log on to hantscf.corg.uk/grants/available-grants/red-nose-day-community-cash.aspx

Entries must be made before Red Nose Day, March 15.