A Suffolk community is the next good cause to receive a Health Lottery grant. Local media outlets were delighted to announce that the local community centre in Chalkstone, Haverhill would receive £50,000 to improve the community centre. Part of the upgrades will include a coffee shop and provisions for a Parent & Toddler group organised by CHEX – Chalkstone Exchange. The manager of the Community Centre project Sharon Gower expressed her desire for the coffee shop to open two days a week, the family group one day a week and a health meet up group one day per week.
The organisers are full of ideas. Self-esteem classes for women and girls are planned for various half terms over the coming year. The health clinic will not be for medical treatment, but a support group for people with illnesses and their families. It can be lonely living with a debilitating illness or with somebody else who has one. Support groups like this are vital for providing lifelines to the local community. Conditions such as Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia and chronic pain are invisible and a number of identified sufferers in the area have welcomed the proposals.
It is just one of many causes to receive Health Lottery grant funding for this year. Although it doesn’t generate as many players and has a much lower jackpot (£250,000) many people prefer to play the Health Lottery as proportionally more money goes to good causes. Plus, the fact that the National Lottery is now harder to win than ever before is pushing people further towards locally organised charity lotteries. The Health Lottery grant is a dream come true for the organisers of CHEX. Sharon Gower said that she first came up with the idea of a community coffee shop 17 years ago.