£100k of Comic Re­lief funds up for grabs

Oldham Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE -

COM­MU­NITY groups can ap­ply to Comic Re­lief for a share of a £100,000 cash pot.

Projects can win be­tween £500 to £1,000 from the char­ity to help their cause.

The fund is open to a wide range of ap­pli­cants from sports groups and lunch clubs to carer support or­gan­i­sa­tions and ad­vice ser­vice.

Among those to have al­ready ben­e­fited from the fund is the anti-gang group Fa­thers Against Vi­o­lence.

It was set up by James Gre­gory after his son Giuseppe was gunned down in Stret­ford aged just 16 in 2009.

It used the money to set up the ‘ Can U Kick It?’ foot­ball project, which runs free weekly ses­sions for boys, aged six to 16.

James says the grant al­lowed him to take pos­i­tive ac­tion to support teens liv­ing in de­prived ar­eas of Manch­ester and help them stay clear of crime.

The cash has helped keep the ses­sions run­ning and cov­ers the ex­penses of the vol­un­teer coaches, who also act as men­tors to the boys and pre­vent them fall­ing in with gangs.

Around 75 young­sters take part in the ses­sions which are held four times a week.

His son Giuseppe was shot dead out­side the Robin Hood pub in Stret­ford – Greater Manch­ester’s last fa­tal gang-re­lated shoot­ing.

James said: “Our mis- sion is to put an end to the tragic loss of young lives by in­spir­ing our youth to be­lieve in them­selves and have the am­bi­tion to pur­sue a life out­side gangs.”

Groups have un­til Fe­bru­ary 23 to ap­ply for funds – log on to forever­manch­ester.com.

This year, Comic Re­lief or­gan­is­ers are ask­ing the pub­lic to make their faces ‘funny for money’ on Red Nose Day on Fri­day, March 13.

Peo­ple across Greater Manch­ester are be­ing urged to paint their faces, wear a Red Nose or even grow a spon­sored com­bover to raise life-chang­ing cash for vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple in the UK and Africa.

●● James Gre­gory used Comic Re­lief fund­ing to help set up the ‘Can U Kick It?’ foot­ball project

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