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'To help the most vulnerable' - Town's new fighting fund decides where support is needed most

PUBLISHED: 15:49 11 November 2019 | UPDATED: 16:44 12 November 2019

Claire Cullens, chief executive of Norfolk Community Foundation, speaks at the launch of 'Thetford Shines Brighter', a project by Norfolk Community Foundation and the EDP to put funding into Thetford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Claire Cullens, chief executive of Norfolk Community Foundation, speaks at the launch of 'Thetford Shines Brighter', a project by Norfolk Community Foundation and the EDP to put funding into Thetford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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As a community project to help the most vulnerable starts to build momentum, focus has been turned to where funds will make the most difference.

Members of local and community businesses and charities, and guests, at the launch of 'Thetford Shines Brighter', a project by Norfolk Community Foundation and the EDP to put funding into Thetford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMembers of local and community businesses and charities, and guests, at the launch of 'Thetford Shines Brighter', a project by Norfolk Community Foundation and the EDP to put funding into Thetford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

More than three weeks after the launch of Thetford Shines Brighter, the Norfolk Community Foundation (NCF) say they have been overwhelmed with support from the community.

At the launch on October 17, the fund, to which anyone can contribute or apply to use, already stood at a staggering £50,000, and they have since gained more funding from businesses and individuals who wish to help.

Now the project has set up a front line team of professionals from police, education, health and housing, to identify where funding will make the most difference in Thetford.

Claire Cullens, chief executive of NCF, said: "This project is about tackling the problems, building on opportunities and identifying where it will bring long term change. It is completely community led, all we are doing is facilitating it.

Local business and charity members, and guests, at the launch of 'Thetford Shines Brighter', a project by Norfolk Community Foundation and the EDP to put funding into Thetford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYLocal business and charity members, and guests, at the launch of 'Thetford Shines Brighter', a project by Norfolk Community Foundation and the EDP to put funding into Thetford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

"Thetford Shines Brighter will build on the strengths of what is working well in the town, giving us a strong base from which to take action."

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With support from the Eastern Daily Press and Thetford and Brandon Times, the project hopes to create "a Thetford fund for Thetford people" by supporting organisations that matter most to the people in the town.

Discussions at the launch, attended by key figures from within the town, helped to identify Thetford's most pressing issues and it was concluded that 'fulfilling potential' was amongst the most important.

This was described as "building skills and improving access to opportunities that inspire young people, improving access to learning, employment and enrichment opportunities for all local people".

Other areas where it was decided more support is needed included, poverty and disadvantage, building capacity and growing local services, mental health and wellbeing and building stronger communities.

Ms Cullens added: "We have been overwhelmed by the support and there is a real desire amongst local people to come together and help the most vulnerable in the community.

"If we can work together and match this energy with more solid funding, Thetford will shine brighter, today and tomorrow."

To donate to the Thetford Shines Brighter fund, cheques payable to the Norfolk Community Foundation can be sent to St James Mill Whitefriars, NR3 1TN and mark cheques Thetford. To pay by standing order or bank transfer email accounts@norfolkfoundation.com.

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