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Fakenham charity, First Focus, are very pleased to announce that, they have recently learned that they have been successful in obtaining a much-needed grant from the Big Lottery Fund, of £285,352. This is a grant that will be used by First Focus over the next five years to do a good deal to sustain, enhance develop and expand the vital services it already provides for the town and the surrounding areas.
The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. We are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery for good causes and invest over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitable purposes. Since June 2004 we have awarded over £8 billion to projects that make a difference to people and communities in need, from early years intervention to commemorative travel funding for World War Two veterans. Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £33 billion has been raised and more than 450,000 grants awarded.
We were extremely fortunate in gaining funding from the Big Lottery Fund in 2010. Some of this grant will go towards our core costs and it has enabled us to employ a Project Manager who will be able to take First Focus forward. The funding will also go toward our outreach programme and enable us to help people who live in rural isolated areas surrounding Fakenham.
Although the Lloyds TSB funding has now ended we are extremely grateful for the funding they gave us towards our core costs.
The Lloyds TSB grant guaranteed Co-ordinator time to enable them to spend more time liaising with other organisations who could offer our users the specific support they needed. We were able to access training opportunities during and outside of First Focus hours, which previously would not have been possible.
First Focus would like to say a big Thank You to Lloyds TSB
We received £3300 from the Nottingham Building Society!!
No-one can deny the many benefits of having a full working life, not just in terms of material gain but how it can be such a positive thing for a person’s health and happiness, self -esteem and quality of life in general. Since one of the main aims of Fakenham charity First Focus is the promotion of the health and wellbeing of individuals in the community, it is bringing together many of its resources and staff and volunteers relevant skills and abilities, to launch a new ‘Jobs Club’.
First Focus has received a grant of £3 300 from the Nottinghamshire Community Foundation’s ‘Doing Together Grant’, which has been set up to encourage charities and organisations within 10 miles of its branch network, to start offering training and skills development to help individuals with their employability. From 11.30 to 12.30, starting on Thursday 16th August and continuing every Monday and Thursday thereafter, free ‘Employability Workshops’ will be offered to enable visitors to improve on their jobs prospects. Ideal for young people about to start searching for their first jobs, or those returning to work after an absence, the course will include workshops on personal skills for the workplace, such as setting goals, improving self-confidence, and developing motivational, customer service and supervisory skills.
There will also be workshops concentrating on the more practical things needed for securing a job, such as writing CV’s and covering letters, interview techniques, completing applications and developing IT skills in areas such as using job seekers’ web sites and accessing information on training opportunities in areas such as the Virtual College. In its position as one of the county’s most respected voluntary organisations, First Focus will also offer valuable work experience opportunites in the charity itself.
This very varied course will operate on a one-to-one and group basis and the eight sessions every month will be on offer for one year, alongside all the help, support and activities First Focus already provides. To find out any more details and register an interest, please contact April or Clarissa by phoning 01328 855083, or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
First Focus could not exist without the generosity of these funders. These funders are the Life Line of our organisation and our Community.
Adult Social Services have given First Focus a grant to enhance the services our Stroke Support Group can offer. It enables the Group to hire the services of Val Barnes to deliver a gentle exercise routine. This encourages our members who have survived strokes to become more agile.
This is another stream of funding that has now run its course!
We run various support groups within First Focus and Norfolk Community Foundation has made many things possible for these groups.
With the funding The Tabletop Gardening Club were able to organise a trip on the Broads, a speaker on Hedgehogs who visited us twice and materials for their various themes and arrangements.
Our Stroke Support Group organised trips to the Sainsbury Centre and a much needed shopping excursion. They also organised a speech therapist for 10 sessions and a gentle exercise tutor.
The Art Club organised a trip to Pensthorpe Reserve this enabled keen photographers in the group to capture wild life in its ‘natural’ habitats. The funding also enabled the purchase of paints and pastels for the members to use whilst at First Focus.
The Diabetic Support Group preferred to spend the grant on specialist speakers who could advise on nutrition.
We were able to start a Coeliac Support Group and the funding purchased a two ring cooker which enabled cookery demonstrations at First Focus.
Although there was much interest shown in establishing Arthritis Support Group we were unable to finalise the arrangements for this before the termination of the grant timescale. This is something we are still keen to develop.
Clients of First Focus benefited enormously from the increased range of activities and outings we were able to offer as a direct result of the funding from the Norfolk Community Foundation.
Thank you to NCFT on behalf of all those beneficiaries.