Comic Relief/Red Nose Day Community Cash Fund: Ipswich Opportunity Group urges community groups to apply

Staff at Ipswich Opportunity Group at the Ipswich Salvation Army Rachel Hill, Lisa Margetson, Cheryl

Staff at Ipswich Opportunity Group at the Ipswich Salvation Army Rachel Hill, Lisa Margetson, Cheryl King, Rachel Hunt and Judy Clark joined by user Alfie Revell, 3, and his mum Clare Phillips, far right, provide support for families who have pre-school aged children with additional needs. - Credit: Su Anderson

An Ipswich charity which supports and provides activities for pre-school children has urged other community groups to come forward and apply for Comic Relief funding.

TV presenters Tess Daly and Vernon Kay prove how easy it is to 'make your face funny for money' as T

TV presenters Tess Daly and Vernon Kay prove how easy it is to 'make your face funny for money' as Tess allowed her husband free rein of her make-up bag for Comic Relief. Picture: Kelvin Murray. - Credit: Kelvin Murray

A total of £75,000 is up for grabs for local organisations and good causes in the region as part of the Red Nose Day Community Cash fund.

Under the scheme, community groups can apply for sums worth between £500 and £1,000.

Ipswich Opportunity Group was granted £1,000 from the scheme last year, which helped towards their running costs.

The group, based at the Salvation Army in Woodbridge Road, provides play appropriate for children aged up to five who have learning difficulties, hearing or visual impairments, communication disorders, or diagnoses such as autism and cerebral palsy. Information and advice is also offered to parents and carers, who benefit greatly from meeting and talking to others in a similar situation

Cheryl King, co-ordinator at Ipswich Opportunity Group, said: “The funding was vital to cover running costs and ultimately enable the group to continue.

“We get a small amount of money from Suffolk County Council, but we rely a lot on fundraising, and I would urge other groups to come forward and apply for the funding this year.”

Some children at Ipswich Opportunity Group are so dependent on their carer that they struggle to be separated from them.

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The group works on this issue, providing a space where parents and carers remain in the same building as their children but are in a separate room.

This gradually eases the problems surrounding separation, and helps both carer and child feel confident about the child attending school.

The group holds three sessions a week – two on a Monday and one on a Friday.

Despite closing for school holidays, Ipswich Opportunity Group only closes for two weeks in the summer to provide as much year-round support as possible.

To apply for Red Nose Day Community Cash go to Suffolk Community Foundation’s website, www.suffolkcf.org.uk/grants.

There you will find the criteria you have to meet before applying. Then just complete the online application form.

Alternatively you can call Suffolk Community Foundation on 01473 602602.

For more about Comic Relief, click here.

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