Arts groups celebrate lottery windfall

AN ARTS group and recreation ground committee in Suffolk have benefited from two sizeable lottery grants.Hadleigh Arts Trust received £2,040 to go towards organising an arts festival while Charsfield Recreation Ground Committee have been given £6,426 to install a sports wall and purchase equipment for local children to use.

AN ARTS group and recreation ground committee in Suffolk have benefited from two sizeable lottery grants.

Hadleigh Arts Trust received £2,040 to go towards organising an arts festival while Charsfield Recreation Ground Committee have been given £6,426 to install a sports wall and purchase equipment for local children to use.

The grants come from the lottery's latest Awards for All programme, which sees a total of £468,171 distributed to 73 groups across the East of England.

The small grants scheme is administered by the Big Lottery Fund and gives out awards of between £300 and £10,000 to grass-roots community groups and voluntary organisations.

Hadleigh Arts Fest will be aimed at all age groups, with the emphasis on bringing old and young people together. The trust was set up to develop a link between all the organisations in Hadleigh with an interest in the arts.

Hilary Ferry, acting secretary at the trust, said: “We didn't think in a million years we would get the grant but we're so relieved. Everything was already in place for the festival but we really wanted to make it a free event and now we can.”

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Anyone visiting the festival on today will get the chance to take part in drama, writing and cartooning workshops during the day and there will be a free performance of two brand new dramas in the evening.

Tomorrow Hadleigh will be hosting a street festival which again will be free of charge and open to everyone.

Meanwhile Charsfield Recreation Ground Committee will be able to install their sports wall and buy more sports equipment. The facility and equipment will allow coaching courses to be held in a range of sporting activities to help improve participation rates and encourage more children to engage in healthy activities.

Jan Pedgrift, Secretary of the committee, said: “The money will provide equipment for sports coaching classes and a storage shed. We just have to wait for other work on the field to be finished off then all the young people in the Debach and Charsfield area will have another place to go outside school hours.”

Sara Betsworth, Head of the East of England region lottery fund, said: “How wonderful to have the chance to support such a vast array of projects in the East of England this month. The groups embody the sheer variety of projects awarded close to half a million pounds this time round. It's fantastic to see such a mix of initiatives set to benefit so many people across the East.”

Other grants made in this round of awards include Mpower, which will receive £2,600 to offer free self-defence classes for women in mid-Suffolk.

Have you received a lottery boost? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk