Year in Review: 2023

Let’s celebrate another year of helping Norfolk #ShineBrighter

Over the past year, our community in Norfolk has come together to achieve incredible things. Our collective efforts have allowed us to fund charities and community groups in the region, making a significant difference in the lives of those in need. As we reflect on the past 12 months, it’s clear that we have a lot to be proud of. We’ve accomplished so much, and it’s all thanks to the dedication and generosity of everyone involved. Let’s take a moment to celebrate our successes and the positive impact we’ve made on our community.

2023 in numbers

£ 0 million+
invested in Norfolk communities
invested in Norfolk communities
0 +
people accessing a Nourishing Norfolk food hub
people accessing a Nourishing Norfolk food hub
groups involved in community research
groups involved in community research
£ 0
for grassroots groups through Love Norfolk
for grassroots groups through Love Norfolk

Investing in comunities, improve lives

This year, we distributed over £5million in grants to groups all over Norfolk.

We brought together the generosity of local people, local and national funding opportunities, and our strategic funds to help Norfolk shine brighter in 2023.

Through our Love Norfolk programme alone, we helped over 100 local grassroots groups do amazing things in their community, from providing community lunches and helping older people find friendship to helping parents deal with bereavement and supporting people affected by domestic abuse. Around 50,000 people in Norfolk will benefit from this funding. Love Norfolk is possible thanks to our Norfolk 100 members.

Four women stand in a row in front of a counter at The Feed Social Supermarket Cafe. Left to right: Andrea, Lizzie, Laura, Izzy.
Andrea, Lizzie, Laura and Izzy at The Feed Community Café’s Community Hot-Spot in January

Surviving Winter: Community Hot-Spots

This winter, we once again were able to provide warm welcomes to communities across Norfolk thanks to our Community Hot-Spots programme. Our evaluation showed just how much of a difference these spaces could, especially for the most isolated in our county. With support from Norfolk County Council, the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, Breckland Council and Equitix, we able to help 100 organisations offer warm and welcoming spaces in both urban and rural areas of our county this winter.

hey girls visit the The Pantry, Kenninghall

Together for Women + Girls

On International Women’s Day, we launched a Norfolk-wide survey alongside funding for focus groups to learn more about what it is like for women and girls in Norfolk today. The results are now in and available in a new report.

We discovered what the big challenges women face were, such as childcare, employment and safety. For example, we found that almost 50% of women did not feel safe in their local area after dark. We listened to what women had to say about health, services and the communities they live in, and will be using this learning to ensure that our grant programmes effectively meet the needs of all women in Norfolk going forward.

This winter, we have funded Community Hot-Spots that specifically address the needs of women in local Norfolk communities, and we have also recently partnered with hey girls to distribute free period products through our Nourishing Norfolk food hubs.

A group of people sit at a table. They have coffee and pastries.
One of our Felton Fundraising Breakfasts

Norfolk ProHelp

Norfolk ProHelp, the scheme that links charities to local businesses for greater impact, has grown even more this year. We’ve supported almost double the number of local charities through the scheme, engaging the 60-strong ProHelp membership with projects ranging from designing new buildings and conducting structural surveys to creating engaging websites and checking legal paperwork.

Thanks to the Empowering Communities partnership, we have also been able to provide critical tailored support in the fields of fundraising with local expert Richard Felton from Felton Fundraising and give 1-2-1 marketing support thanks to Nikki and Michelle from Creativity Unbound.

Nourishing Norfolk

This year, our Nourishing Norfolk programme has expanded beyond our expectations. We opened our first food hub in Thetford 3 years ago in 2020, allowing people to find nutritious food at a price they could afford. This year, we opened 7 new food hubs in Norfolk, bringing the total to 23. This included hubs in King’s Lynn, Holt, Watton and Norwich. Across the network, we are now supporting almost 25,000 people with affordable food and the support they need to escape food insecurity for good.

We also launched our partnership with Norse Group, which has helped transform the programme by offering crucial warehouse space and food delivery for the network. Without their support, we would not have been able to save Norfolk households over £500,000 on their shopping bills this year. We have been able to offer 70 product lines, meaning food hubs can reliably get the food they need at low prices they can pass on to customers. 82% of Nourishing Norfolk food hubs are ordering weekly through the central warehouse, and over 45 tonnes of food have been distributed this year.

The Sir Norman Lamb Coalition for Young People

Supporting Young People

The Sir Norman Lamb Coalition for Young People has been supporting local organisations for three years, providing resources, promoting best practices, raising awareness, and fostering connections with larger networks. The Coalition empowers these groups to respond more effectively to the challenges facing young people. Those who have given through The Sir Norman Lamb Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund have also enabled financial support to be delivered to frontline groups delivering services that support young people.

We also worked with the Police Crime Commissioner to deliver the Supporting Positive Activity and Community Engagement (SPACE) Youth Fund. The Fund has awarded grants to 6 organizations that will increase the number of 13-15-year-olds engaged in positive activities across Norfolk, with the aim of reducing anti-social behaviour. The fund was shaped in consultation with members of the Sir Norman Lamb Coalition for Young People who have experience in delivering successful outreach projects to young people. We also tapped into local generosity, boosting the amount we could offer to the groups for greater impact over a longer period of time. The grants will be paid in yearly instalments over a two-year period.

Overall, £500,000 of grants delivered to programmes specifically supporting young people’s wellbeing.

Corrie from the Norfolk Community Foundation visiting a funded project

Community Research

Over the past year, we’ve been working with partners across Norfolk to build our collective capacity to carry out ‘community research’. This year we’ve conducted over 10 pieces research working alongside communities.

By community research we mean any activities that gather knowledge, insights and experiences within communities to help build understanding and lead to positive change. This includes ‘peer research’ where people with lived experience of the issues being studied are involved in designing and carrying out the research.

Our aim is to ensure that the knowledge and experiences of the community are heard and understood, and that they have the power and agency to shape what happens in their lives and neighbourhoods.

In 2024, we will be exploring how community insights can start to shape how local funding is allocated and how services and programmes are designed and delivered.

We would like to take a moment to express our heartfelt gratitude to all those who have helped us to support Norfolk’s grassroots charities and community groups over the past year. We are incredibly grateful for your generosity and kindness in donating your time, money and professional services to help us make a difference in our community.

Thanks to your support, we have been able to make a real impact on the lives of many people in Norfolk, from providing essential services to those in need, to supporting local community projects and initiatives.

Looking ahead to 2024, we are excited to continue our work and build on the success of the past year. We know that with your continued support, we can achieve even more and make an even greater difference in the lives of those who need it most.

[Published 18/12/23]