Your bid wanted for town cash
CASH is overflowing from a community treasure chest which officials are keen to give away.The Community Chest held by People at the Centre of Ipswich is brimful of £100,000 to be spent on good ideas.
By Tracey Sparling
CASH is overflowing from a community treasure chest which officials are keen to give away.
The Community Chest held by People at the Centre of Ipswich is brimful of £100,000 to be spent on good ideas.
The two-year project has loads-a-money to be spent on helping the community do things together – for people to enjoy themselves, organise events, have a political voice, or improve their neighbourhood for example.
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Projects might include people getting together to play football, start a creche, persuade their GP surgery to change its opening hours, organise a shopping co-op, plant flowers in the street, or campaign to make the council listen to their argument.
Grants of about £500 to £2,500 are available to support training, events or activities.
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The other condition is that the money must benefit residents in central Ipswich – three areas including Alexandra Ward, part of Bridge Ward and parts of all wards adjoining Alexandra Ward.
People at the Centre of Ipswich (PCI), which was set up at a base in Bramford Road to offer free information, training and support, is in charge of the chest.
It has three neighbourhood centres in which were visited by 380 people in July.
PCI team leader Rosemary Sturgiss said: "It's about trying to build people's skills, training, building their capacity to do things themselves within their neighbourhood."
She said the fund had already spent £75,219 and approved 39 applications, and helped set up many projects including a Sunday swimming group for Bangladeshi women, theatre productions, and charity football league with a base at Portman Road.
She said: "We aim to support where can, and usually only turn people down if their idea is unrealistic or not targeting the right group."
The news comes as PCI prepares for a fun day at the Jubilee Play Area off Victoria Street on Friday .
A circus workshop, face painting and children's activities will be running from 2pm to 7pm.
But there is also a serious side to the event entitled Community Pride, being staged in association with the Jubilee Park Community Group.
Nine Grunberg, community development worker for PCI, said: "The day will also aim to consult and advise residents about community services."
There will be information about services like waste management and community safety, with a free draw to win £100 shopping vouchers.
She added: "We are working in partnership with the council and voluntary groups to show residents
How to access community services, and for us to find out the needs of people residing in the area.
"We just want people to come along at any time and enjoy themselves.
"Residents will be able to answer a simple questionnaire, giving them a chance to sin a £100 food voucher."
To find out more about grants, call into a PCI neighbourhood centre at 59 Austin Street (01473 406074), 3 Bramford Road (01473 406072), or 32-34 Grimwade Street 901473 406038).