A FUNDING programme has helped 77 grassroots groups in its first year.

County Durham Housing Group’s group grant scheme distributed £34,070 of grants to groups across the county in 12 months.

Projects supported include foodbanks in Weardale, a boxing club in Durham, school projects in Bishop Auckland, new IT equipment to help job hunters in Seaham, Christmas decorations in Stanhope and a new play space for a school in Peterlee.

Funding officer Damian Pearson said: “Group grant was specifically designed to help smaller organisations improve their facilities or work with more people. The vast amount of good work that the voluntary and community sector does in County Durham can’t be overstated. Getting the chance to work with so many local people has really demonstrated how much our communities depend on them.”

Groups can apply for up to £500 each, for details visit countydurhamhousinggroup.co.uk/groupgrant, call 0191-3497777 or email groupgrant@cdhg.co.uk