Joy at £200,000 memorial grant

ABSOLUTELY wonderful!That was the reaction today of thrilled parents Graham and Lorinda Hall after charity bosses gave a fantastic £210,000 grant towards a memorial for their murdered daughter Vicky.

ABSOLUTELY wonderful!

That was the reaction today of thrilled parents Graham and Lorinda Hall after charity bosses gave a fantastic £210,000 grant towards a memorial for their murdered daughter Vicky.

The money – much more than the trustees of the Evening Star-spearheaded appeal asked for – will be added to the staggering £100,000 raised in Suffolk for a project that will ensure the schoolgirl's name will never be forgotten.

It will create a soccer centre of excellence for Vicky's home village – a top-quality sports pavilion plus a training and coaching scheme for young footballers.

Seventeen-year-old Vicky loved children and the main aim of the memorial is to provide facilities for young people and a building for the whole community.

Delighted mum Lorinda Hall said: "This is fantastic news – absolutely wonderful.

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"I know it has taken a long time but it has been worth it because it has all come right. Now we just want to see a start on the building.

"It will be a fitting memorial to Victoria because it will be permanent and there for the whole village to use, especially the young people but people of all ages. It is something practical and which will serve the community she lived in."

Mr and Mrs Hall thanked the Football Foundation which provided the final grant, the Suffolk FA for its support, and everyone who had contributed to the appeal over the past three years.

Bob Race – chairman of Trimley Red Devils, which will manage the project –said: "We have been working hard for a long while to achieve our aim of having facilities that we can be proud of and that will enable us to develop football within the community, and now, thanks to the award we can realise our dreams.

"This is the start of a new and exciting era for football for the Trimley Red Devils football club."

Evening Star editor Nigel Pickover said: "The grant is fantastic news. So much hard work has done into this project over the past three years and it is a tribute to everyone involved, those who worked on the application and those who did fundraising and gave donations."

An application was made to the Football Foundation for £140,000. The Red Devils have been awarded £161,850 towards replacing run down portable buildings on Stennetts Memorial Playing Field with a new clubhouse housing four team changing rooms, officials' rooms together with community facilities.

The club has more than 150 players from under-eights boys teams to the under 16 team. The new facilities are expected to attract many new players, including girls' teams linked to the Suffolk Active Sports Programme, which received a £50,000 boost from the Foundation earlier in the month.

This money is separate from the building grant and will be used to deliver the football development plan for Trimley, in conjunction with the plan for Felixstowe and district.

Foundation chief executive Peter Lee said: "We are delighted to be able to fund, what I am sure, will be one of the best facilities in the area.

"The grass roots of football has been neglected for far too long but thanks to our funding partners, the FA, Premier League and government, the hard work and dedication of the county FA and everyone involved with the Trimley project we are now making a real difference to the sporting infrastructure in Suffolk."


n September 19, 1999 . . . Vicky Hall vanishes after walking home to Trimley from a night out in Felixstowe. Five days later her naked body is found in a ditch 25 miles away at Creeting St Peter.

n December 1999: Evening Star and Vicky's parents Graham and Lorinda launch an appeal to build a sports pavilion for young people in her memory.

n 2000: Planning permission granted for a pavilion to feature four changing rooms, showers, toilets, including facilities for people with a disability, first aid area, cleaner's room, kitchen, storage, and referee's changing areas.

n 2000: Grants agreed by Trimley St Mary Parish Council, Suffolk Coastal, and Suffolk Environmental Trust.

n 2001: Fantastic support from the community as everyone pulls together to organise a wide range of fundraising events with activities every month.

n Summer 2002: Celebrations as appeal hits £80,000 – the benchmark for making an application to the Football Foundation for major grant aid.

n December 2002: After months of work, the application to the Football Foundation is submitted, seeking up to £140,000 to complete the project.

n May 2003: Football Foundation agrees a grant of £161,850 for the new pavilion plus £50,000 for football development and coaching.

SUFFOLK'S soccer scene was today encouraged to pitch in with applications for Football Foundation funding.

The foundation – Britain's largest sports charity – has cash to give away and is desperate to help clubs from its £53 million a year budget.

Foundation spokesman Simon Taylor said: "Suffolk is not bad for football facilities on a national scale but it is still not good enough.

"We want to do more to help clubs and we have the money here ready and waiting to give them to get projects off the ground.

"All clubs have to do is come and talk to us, explain what they want to do and fill in the form. We can fund projects up to £1 million."

The Football Foundation is dedicated to revitalising the grass roots of the game, constructing modern football facilities, developing football as a force for social cohesion and as a vehicle for education in communities throughout the country.

It represents a unique partnership of the FA Premier League, Football Association, and Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

It aims to help provide facilities for football and other games and sports, particularly for those who have the needs because of youth, age infirmity or disablement, poverty or social and economic circumstances.

It also helps projects to educate children and young people by developing their physical, mental, social and moral capacities through participation in organised recreational activities.

This helps to promote good citizenship and assist them in growing to full maturity as individuals and members of society.

Projects supported so far include modern facilities in parks, local leagues and schools, and schemes to strengthen the links between football and the community to harness its potential as a force for good in society.


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