07:00 Sunday 01 December 2013

Funding joy for East Cambs' Helping Hands team

Written byJORDAN DAY

Some of the Helping Hands team Some of the Helping Hands team

A charity project which supports elderly and vulnerable residents in East Cambridgeshire has secured a temporary lifeline.

The future of Helping Hands, a project run in the Ely area by Voluntary and Community Action East Cambs (VCAEC), has been hanging in the balance for some time due to a lack of available funding.

But the scheme, which sees volunteers helping elderly and vulnerable people to stay in their own homes by doing gardening and odd-jobs, has been awarded funding by the Lloyds Bank Community Fund.

VCAEC will receive £3,000, which Grenville Hawkes, its manager, says will ensure Helping Hands can keep operating until the spring.

Grenville said: “We’re delighted that we’re going to receive this funding.

“The Helping Hands project means so much to the so many people who benefit from it and we are constantly battling to secure funding to keep it running.

“The £3,000 means it will be able to continue running until the spring, which is super, and it gives me time to apply for further funding so that we can keep it going for as long as possible.

“Without the project, a lot of elderly and vulnerable residents would really struggle to live in their own homes.”

Three other organisations will be receiving grants from the Lloyds Bank Community Fund.

Red2Green will receive £3,000, East Cambs Dancing for Fun will scoop £300 and £300 is also being awarded to the Prospects Trust.

More than 2.3 million votes were cast by the public for the good cause they wanted to receive the funding.

A total of 1,332 charities and community groups were shortlisted in England and Wales in total.

Graham Lindsay, group director of Responsible Business at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “Lloyds Bank scaled up the Community Fund considerably in 2013 and in return we have had an incredible response from the public, which has resonated right across the country.

“We know that receiving a promotional boost and public support is as important as the financial investment and can have a sustained impact on groups’ engagement with their local community over time.

“Congratulations to every community group that took part, we look forward to hearing about the difference being involved in the programme has made.”

For more information about the fund and how your community group could benefit, visit www.lloydsbank.com/communityfund.

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