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National backing for exhibition

PUBLISHED: 05:33 10 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:17 24 February 2010

A MAJOR exhibition planned for a Suffolk town has received national backing and could be the blueprint for spreading community involvement across the country.

A MAJOR exhibition planned for a Suffolk town has received national backing and could be the blueprint for spreading community involvement across the country.

The Active Community Unit of the Home Office will be monitoring the success of the venture, which will see more than 150 organisations put on displays.

Success for the venture could see Government funding becoming available elsewhere on a nation-wide basis.

The exhibiting groups come from the 270 local voluntary organisations identified as existing in Sudbury and Great Cornard, and the initiative involves the printing of 3,500 booklets giving details of every single organisation.

The Home Office is promoting its Giving Campaign to encourage people nationally to give time or money to community organisations.

It sees the Suffolk initiative as a potential way forward in which people can be brought on board to get involved in their local towns or villages, says Lord Phillips of Sudbury.

He has been working with a committee to put the Sudbury On Show exhibition on at the Town Hall and in nearby St Peter's church on Saturday.

The Liberal peer and leading figure nationally in charity law, has helped obtain a grant from the Lord Chancellor's Department, plus money from the Sudbury and Cornard Community Energy budget to meet the £4,000-plus cost of the initiative.

Lord Phillips said: "We hope such a project will let people who are possibly new to their communities and find it difficult to get involved to offer to come forward and engage. People complain about the breakdown in community, and this is a wonderful opportunity to turn the tide.

"Many communities have directories of local organisations, but they are not always up to date, and tend to breakdown sooner or later. This initiative is being created with paid support, and it could be a model that could become a national norm. If it does, it would be great."

Saturday's show runs from 9.30 am to 3.30 am, and will also visit local upper schools in Sudbury and Cornard on the two previous days.


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