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New group bowled over by funding success

Posted by on 30 October 2019 | Comments

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Following a successful funding application to East Suffolk Council, a new carpet bowls group has been officially launched in Lowestoft.

East Suffolk ward councillor for Oulton Broad, Cllr Keith Robinson, has donated £972 from his Enabling Communities Budget to enable the Lowestoft U3A Carpet Bowls Group to purchase a second set of equipment. This has allowed the group, who meet twice each month at Colville House on School Road, to expand and allow more members to participate.

Cllr Robinson said: “I am delighted to show my support for this new group, which is just one activity provided by the Lowestoft U3A especially for retired and semi-retired members of the community. Local groups such as these are vital for bringing people together, reducing loneliness and improving the health and wellbeing of our residents.”

Peter Riches, Treasurer for the Lowestoft U3A, said: “We are extremely grateful to Councillor Keith Robinson and East Suffolk Council for this generous grant. Lowestoft U3A provides many opportunities for activities to those not in full time employment. We are a self-help organisation offering a variety of activities for learning and physical activity, to those in later life. We are an inclusive organisation and welcome those of all abilities.

“Some activities require expensive equipment such as carpet bowls and our limited resources restricted us to just one set of equipment which limited the number who could participate to about 8-10, however, with this grant, we are now able to accommodate approximate 20 persons per session. Currently, led by Group Leader William Rouse, meetings are held twice monthly on the first and third Wednesday mornings of each month. Additionally, there is the potential for expansion, either increased frequency or additional groups, subject to demand.”

East Suffolk Council’s Enabling Communities Budgets support activities delivered by community, voluntary and social enterprise organisations. A total of £412,500 has been allocated for 2019/20 from the New Homes Bonus, funding generated through new houses built in the district.

Distributed equally amongst each of the Council’s 55 members, each ward councillor has a £7,500 Enabling Community Budget to spend on community projects or to develop new projects which tackle community needs in their area.

Previous projects which have benefitted from Enabling Community Budget funding include play areas, village hall refurbishments and equipment, community events, projects supporting people with disabilities and the purchase of defibrillators.

Community groups wishing to apply for Enabling Community Budget funding should contact their district councillor or visit www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/enabling-communities-budgets

An official opening ceremony for the Lowestoft U3A Carpet Bowls Group took place on 16 October. They meet on the first and third Wednesday of each month and new members are always welcome. For more information regarding this activity or any of our other activities, please go to https://u3asites.org.uk/lowestoft/home

For other U3A groups in the district, please visit www.u3a.org.uk