Charities celebrate thanks to new grants

YOUNGSTERS with disabilities are today benefiting from grants from the Ipswich Rotary Club after it launched a search for worthy groups through The Evening Star.

YOUNGSTERS with disabilities are today benefiting from grants from the Ipswich Rotary Club after it launched a search for worthy groups through The Evening Star.

The Orwell Panthers' athletic club for youngsters with disabilities received a £1,000 grant from the club while the Suffolk Deaf Association's youth section and the Ipswich and District disabled swimming club each received £500.

The club contacted the Star to ask for applications for a grant in an attempt to unearth worthy causes it had previously been unaware of.

Club president Les Howard said: “We were aware that there were a number of organisations in the Ipswich area doing a very good job and who could benefit from our fund-raising work.

“But we didn't know them so we issued the appeal through the Star and we were delighted by the response we got from a range of organisations.

“After careful thought we decided on supporting these three organisations - but it is definitely an exercise we would consider repeating next year.”

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The Orwell Panthers, which meets at Northgate Sports Centre was set up in October 2004 following the success of an Ipswich disabled team in the youth games of 2003. Club founder Ann Negus said the grant should ensure it can operate throughout 2006.

She said: “We do charge a membership fee of £12.50 and £1 a week for the youngsters who come along here - but many are from families who operate on a very tight budget and we would not want to have to charge any more than that.

“So this grant is very welcome. We are still trying to get sponsorship from other businesses in the town to help us further.”

Emma Jane Whiting from the deaf association said the grant would allow the youth section to expand and introduce new activities.

It meets three Thursdays a month at the Suffolk Deaf Centre in Fonnereau Road in Ipswich.

Details about the club can be found by calling its helpline on 01473-251179 which has a fax and text service as well as a telephone.

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