Gallery: Comic Relief and the EADT team up to provide £75,000 of community cash for organisations and good causes

Simon and David take their bromance to another level as Simon makes David's face funny for money to

Simon and David take their bromance to another level as Simon makes David's face funny for money to mark the launch of this year's Red Nose Day campaign. Picture: Tom Dymond - Credit: Tom Dymond

Community groups in Suffolk and north-east Essex are in line for vital cash boosts – thanks to Comic Relief and the East Anglian Daily Times.

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.

The scheme launches today and community groups can apply for sums worth between £500 and £1,000.

Organisations such as centres providing educational activities in safe environments for vulnerable young children, support groups for victims of domestic violence and a horse riding centre for disabled people received funding boosts as part of last year’s inaugural launch.

Victoria Southwell, UK grants manager at Comic Relief, said: “Comic Relief is delighted to be working with the East Anglian Daily Times and offering Red Nose Day Community Cash once again to groups in Suffolk and Essex.

“We have funded some truly fantastic work and are looking forward to seeing some new groups applying.

“Thanks to the hard work of these groups, money raised through Red Nose Day can get right to the heart of the local community and make a real difference where it is most needed.

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“I urge as many groups as possible to get their applications in now for their chance to get a grant from the £75,000 on offer.”

Applications will be handled by the Suffolk and Essex Community Foundations, which already offer similar funding to community and charitable groups.

Mandy Abdel Aziz, operations director at Suffolk Community Foundation, said: “We are thrilled to announce the launch of this year’s Red Nose Day Community Cash, a fantastic programme that provides funding of up to £1,000 to local charities and community groups.

“It is aimed at supporting the cornerstones of our communities, ensuring that all charitable groups that are striving to improve their communities can.

“We want to help as many of these groups as possible, and with £75,000 available we are hoping to help a wide range of groups including lunch clubs, training projects and youth clubs.

“If you think your charitable organisation could benefit from a grant then please contact us today.”

Terry Hunt, EADT editor, said: “We are delighted that Comic Relief has chosen us as partners and we look forward to being able to help dozens of very deserving local groups in the coming months.”

People are also urged to ‘make your face funny for money’ during Red Nose Day on Friday, March 13. Fundraising efforts can include painting your face, growing a sponsored comb-over or simply wearing a red nose.

A number of celebrities are backing the appeal again this year, including Simon Cowell, who showcased his face-painting skills on David Walliams, his judging partner on Britain’s Got Talent.

David said: “I feel absolutely beautiful. Simon’s been hard at it all evening and he’s even chosen colours that complement my eyes – I suspect this isn’t the first time Simon has picked up a make-up brush.”

Essex pop star Olly Murs is also supporting the campaign, saying: “I’ll be making my face funny for money and would love you to join in the fun too.

“Come on, let’s raise some serious cash for charity and have a laugh while we do it.”

Presenter Tess Daly and The Saturdays singer Rochelle Humes also let their husbands – Vernon Kay and Marvin Humes – paint their faces.

To apply for Red Nose Day Community Cash go to Suffolk Community Foundation’s website,

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.

Meanwhile, Suffolk’s only wheelchair football club has urged other charitable groups to apply for funding after receiving £1,000 last year.

Simon O’Brien-Ellington, chairman and coach of Ipswich Charioteers Wheelchair Football Club, said the funding boost enabled the club to keep going last year.

Established in 2007, the club is now based at Inspire Suffolk in Lindbergh Road, Ipswich, and provides two-hour sessions for around a dozen wheelchair-bound members and their carers.

They are held on Saturdays when Ipswich Town are not playing at home.

Mr O’Brien-Ellington said: “The Comic Relief funding helped us to keep going and we would like to thank them.

“It costs £100 a month to hire the hall and so it kept us going last year.

“Our existence is based on donations – we go on collection days around town – and I would definitely advise all other groups to go for the funding.

“Don’t be shy, if you don’t put it in, you will never get it. In the past we thought when we looked at the paperwork ‘we won’t get anything from them’ but we have, so it is definitely worthwhile applying.”

The club was formed when Mr O’Brien-Ellington’s wife, Claire, suffered an accident while she was training with the Suffolk Special Constabulary. She had to start using a wheelchair after developing spinal arthritis.

Currently, 12 people with electric-powered wheelchairs turn up to the fun football sessions. Mr O’Brien-Ellington, 45, said each participant gains a range of skills and improves their confidence by taking part.

He said: “They all really enjoy it and it really helps them a lot. It helps them with their communication because it is a team sport and you have to communicate. It helps them with their concentration and it is an ‘active’ sport for them, depending of course on what type of physical disability they have.

“One of the members was really shy but playing helped him come out of his shell.”

For more about the club, visit, email or call 07786 062656.

And a therapeutic horse riding centre near Hadleigh, which helps people living with disabilities, was granted £500 from the Comic Relief and the East Anglian Daily Times community cash fund last year.

Jan Derbyshire, chairman of The Shelley Centre for Therapeutic Riding, said the windfall enabled 18 instructors to attend a new compulsory safeguarding course.

The purpose-built centre, in Layham Road, Shelley, provides riding as a therapy for about 100 disabled children and adults every week.

It is open five days a week during term-time and 90 volunteers help people living with conditions such as autism, Parkinson’s disease and cystic fibrosis.

Mrs Derbyshire said: “The centre now costs about £65,000 a year to run which puts an enormous pressure on our fundraising committee as we have to find this money ourselves.

“The grant funded 18 instructors to attend a compulsory safeguarding course. New rules mean without this certificate we cannot instruct.

“As it is quite an expensive course to attend and all our instructors are volunteers – it would normally come out of the centre’s finances – it was felt we should try and apply for a grant.

“The grant also covered rosettes and prizes, which we give to the winners at our annual Show and Sponsored Ride.”

For more about the centre, call 01473 824172.