Five West Norfolk charities have received over £5,000 in donations to put towards vital equipment and running services for community groups thanks to a philanthropic Norwich businessman.
The new Tapping House Hospice, Age UK Norfolk’s planned King’s Lynn drop-in advice facility and the Purfleet Trust for the homeless are among the services set to benefit from the generosity of a trust fund set up by Almary Green.
Managing director Carl Lamb said: “Almary Green is in the position we are in today because we have been supported by local people and local businesses. I believe it’s right to share some of our good fortune with the community.
“Almary Green wants to encourage groups who are volunteering so much of their own time and resources to make a difference to the lives of people who have been less fortunate.”
In April, charities were invited to apply for money from this year’s fund to pay for specific projects. As a result, Mr Lamb has handed over cheques totalling £10,628.14 to 16 needy support groups.
The largest individual award of £1,699 goes to Age UK Norfolk to equip an advice drop-in service within its newly-opened charity shop in King’s Lynn.
Information and advice manager Lin Mathews said Lynn desperately needed private facilities where local people could get information and advice face-to-face rather than over the telephone.
She said: “We are so very grateful for this help from Almary Green. It means we can buy a computer and furniture to get the private area up and running.”
The Norfolk Hospice was awarded £964 to help with the fit-out of its new multi-million pound Tapping House facility in Hillington, which the builders are currently finishing off.
Sue Lane, lottery and trust fund manager, said the award will purchase four quality, purpose-made mattresses to support terminally ill patients and provide them with as much comfort and dignity as possible in the last days of their life.
She said: “Donations are hugely important to us at the moment; we couldn’t do without them. We rely so heavily on the generosity of local businesses, individuals and trusts. Almary Green’s kindness will help us provide something we have never had before in our 30-year history – in-patient beds. We are grateful to Almary Green for such a generous contribution.”
Lynn-based Purfleet Trust, which supports the homeless, received £575 for a computer for its Learn2Earn education course.
In Swaffham, Family Action has been awarded £928 for watering equipment at its community orchard, which targets help at socially isolated people affected by mental health problems or learning disability.
Project manager Katy Fullilove said: “Watering is very labour intensive. A rainwater harvesting and irrigation system will free up valuable time in which to teach and learn other skills to help make the project self-sustaining. It is something we wouldn’t be able to afford it without the money from Almary Green, so the award is really good news. We really appreciate it.”
The project participants grow fruit and vegetables. Some of the produce is sold to local cafes and restaurants and some of it is eaten by the participants themselves.
The Swaffham-based Francis Foundation, which helps pay the funeral cost for families which have suffered the death of a child, received £1,000 to buy a computer.
Founder Andrew Francis said: “We are massively grateful to Almary Green. To have a local firm help us in this way is quite an eye-opener. Without this contribution we wouldn’t be able to do what we want to do.”
After 20 years in the funeral profession, Mr Francis is well-versed in the hardship of child bereavement. The foundation helps 10-15 families throughout the Breckland district with child funeral costs a year.
“Losing a child is hard enough time without having to worry about a bill at the end of it,” said Mr Francis.
Link-Up, Breckland’s Talking Newspaper for the Blind receives £975 for USB memory sticks and boom boxes.
Mr Lamb said: “Through the awards scheme I’m privileged to meet so many groups that are already contributing so much. here are so many caring people and caring organisations in East Anglia and it is immensely pleasing to be able to help and encourage some of them by giving them enough to make a difference.”