Suffolk charities' Big Lottery Fund boost

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A charity for people with learning difficulties in Suffolk has received a Big Lottery Fund grant of £155,146.

The Suffolk Befriending Scheme for People with Learning Difficulties will use the money to continue to provide community advice and support at seven centres across the county.

Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality was awarded £294,839.

It will set up workshops for those who have experienced discrimination and to educate employers.

Staff and volunteer law students will also provide advice at outreach clinics in north east and north west Suffolk.

'Survive and grow'

The Suffolk Befriending Scheme for People with Learning Difficulties was set up nearly 25 years ago and now has centres in Sudbury, Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich, Felixstowe, Stowmarket, Lowestoft and Haverhill.

Shirley Moore, its founder and chief executive officer, said she was absolutely delighted with the grant.

"This means that our centres can still continue to survive and grow and we can continue to provide those vital services for all vulnerable people in Suffolk," she added.

"While we continue to work with people with learning disabilities, we're also providing innovative new services - such as the Suffolk Switched On project, a coaching and mentoring scheme for people in fuel poverty."

The Big Lottery's Jonathan Clarke said: "All the projects receiving Lottery money today have worked hard to apply for vital funds which will make a big difference to people in their communities."

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