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Community projects aimed at young people, the homeless and former offenders gets £55,000 funding

PUBLISHED: 06:30 07 February 2019

Breckland Council has approved funding for three community projects including The Horticulture Industry Scheme at Thetford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Breckland Council has approved funding for three community projects including The Horticulture Industry Scheme at Thetford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

Three community projects aimed at young people, the homeless and former offenders will benefit from more than £55,000 of funding.

Breckland Council’s cabinet committee members agreed to match funding for the Toftwood play area, Access Community Trust (ACT) cafe in Thetford and the Horticulture Industry Scheme at the Charles Burrell Centre.

At the cabinet meeting on Tuesday, February 5, councillor Paul Claussen said: “They are all very diverse and worthy projects.”

Some £20,000 was sought by Dereham Town Council to expand a play area in Toftwood, which will include swings, roundabouts, balancing and climbing equipment, a sensory trail and a playhouse.

There will also be a number of equipment suitable for children with additional needs, in an area with limited provision for kids of all ages.

Councillor Mark Robinson said: “I’m really pleased to see the play area in Toftwood, it’s quite a creative application and not just your standard play area equipment, they are looking to provide a more rounded experience in that area.”

Access Community Trust also applied for £20,000 to go towards a new community cafe in Thetford to be built in an empty shop under its Tanner Street base.

The cafe will act as an access point for those seeking support from ACT with homelessness, mental health, drug, alcohol, employment and education issues.

It will become a centre of local volunteering opportunities for those who need help towards employment or people who are socially isolated.

The final project to be granted funding is the Horticulture Industry Scheme at Thetford’s Charles Burrell Centre, which was given £15,953 towards rehabilitation work with former offenders and some serving prisoners.

Participants of the scheme grow salad leaves and edible flowers which are then sold to restaurants and undertake garden maintenance for customers and organisations.

The scheme works with 15 people a year work for up to four months and helps them to find work after their placements end.

Mr Robinson praised both the ACT and horticulture schemes, stating they would help rehabilitate people into society.

He added: “There’s a wider benefit to the community as a whole.”

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