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Windfall for Suffolk community

Community Action Suffolk has secured £600,000 from People’s Health Trust to support the three local communities in Suffolk.

Residents of the wards of Gainsborough (Ipswich), Haverhill South and Kirkley (Lowestoft) have each formed a “People’s Forum” to identify common concerns, strengths and opportunities within their neighbourhoods. They will be working with Community Action Suffolk to support their respective communities to access this funding and take local action.

The Trust, which works with HealthIntend society lottery to raise money through The Health Lottery, requires local organisations to support local people to take control of the design, development and delivery of the local initiatives.

The Chairs of all three People’s Forum have expressed their excitement at the announcement and are looking forward to leading the ‘Local Conversations’. They have also made a plea that when open, organisations get in touch to look at how the funding can help their local community.

Some ideas already suggested are across the three wards include community activities, play equipment and development of recreational spaces. All these suggestions have come directly from local people and local organisations.

Andrew Wilesmith, Senior Development Officer for Localities at Community Action Suffolk says, “The residents of Gainsborough have worked hard to bring this idea to fruition. They have come forward with ideas they believe will help to make Gainsborough an even better place to grow, live, work and age. We are very excited to be at this stage and to see things start to happen on the ground.”

John Hume, CEO of People’s Health Trust says, “The Local Conversations programme is a unique opportunity to ensure that local people are genuinely in control of their local initiatives. All too often we see project ideas being ‘passed down’ to local people with little sense of whether this is what local people want. The programme is about long-term engagement between local residents so that they can be in control. It’s what real grass-roots work should look like.”

The programme, which will last until at least December 2016, will now begin with the launch of the funding and further development work. For more information about the funding, contact Andrew Wilesmith at Community Action Suffolk on 01473 345400 or andrew.wilesmith@communityactionsuffolk.org.uk

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