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PLAY AND CARE FOCUS - Children's charity get lifeline from lottery funding

25th May 2011 | United Kingdom | Children's Play - Local Stories
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A VALUED West Somerset children’s charity has been given a vital life-line from the Big Lottery Fund.

CLOWNS has been awarded £189,000 to keep their flagship double-decker playbus running over the next five years.

The cash from the Reaching Communities Programme will allow CLOWNS to continue to support children and families across the district.

Kathy Morton, CLOWNS coordinator said she and the charity’s chairwoman, Jan Ross, shed tears of joy on hearing that the project had been successful.

Match funding of £5,000 has come from West Somerset Council and Kathy said that, without this support, the application could have floundered.

She said: “We were very worried when the council decided to cut grants to local voluntary groups in December, but were so relieved when they used additional government money to continue to support these groups.

“Just £5,000 has helped lever in all this grant of £189,000 over the next five years.”

The charity delivers six projects including the Playbus which winds its way to remote villages across Exmoor and West Somerset.

Kathy said the playbus provides opportunities for Early Years Education for children and is often the only chance they have to play and learn together giving them confidence and preparing them for school.

The grant can only be spent on the Playbus and CLOWNS still need to continue to raise funds for their other projects such as their holiday playschemes, Toy Library, Scrapstore and Fun Days.

Kathy added: “Local support has always been wonderful and we would be very grateful for donations to help these projects continue.”

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