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Lottery grant will help scheme

PUBLISHED: 09:45 27 January 2010 | UPDATED: 09:10 01 August 2010

A LOWESTOFT charity that provides a "vital resource" for adults with learning disabilities will benefit from a slice of a £410,000 grant.

The Suffolk Befriending Scheme (SBS) has been awarded the grant by the Big Lottery Fund to help create and support friendships between adults with learning disabilities and volunteers.

A LOWESTOFT charity that provides a “vital resource” for adults with learning disabilities will benefit from a slice of a £410,000 grant.

The Suffolk Befriending Scheme (SBS) has been awarded the grant by the Big Lottery Fund to help create and support friendships between adults with learning disabilities and volunteers.

One of the drop-in centres to benefit is the Lowestoft A Place to Talk (APT) Group, based at the Salvation Army Hall, Battery Green Road.

The money will go towards extending APT groups in Suffolk and supporting friendships over the next three years.

Those who might volunteer to become a “befriender” include retired people, parents with children at school or young people looking for work experience.

Volunteers who might need additional support are also welcomed and provided with a plan to suit their individual needs.

Each APT centre offers activities, workshops and learning opportun-ities in a safe, social environment. The grant will also provide an improved help service for volunteers and opportunities to work with other volunteer groups.

Debbie Cole, manager of Suffolk County Council community support service, said: “SBS has become established as a valuable community-based service which offers truly meaningful activities and social opportunities.”

The SBS charity was set up in 1989. A cheque presentation will be made at the Salvation Army Hall on Friday at midday.

To volunteer, call SBS on 01787 371333 or email info@ suffolkbefriendingscheme.org.uk.

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