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Workwise Scoops Big Lottery Grant
25 Aug 2006

A provider of education and training to people with mental health problems has been given the green light to open a shop in Bury St Edmunds thanks to a Lottery grant of almost 200,000.

Workwise (Suffolk), which also celebrates its 21st birthday this autumn, manufactures woodwork and crafts products and furniture at its Moreton Hall unit, at the same time teaching valuable skills.

Now, the Lottery money 193,000 over three years will fund the rent on its unit as well as enable it to open the store in Whiting Street.

General manager Valerie Beresford said: "It is a huge amount of money and really demonstrates the faith that people have in Workwise.

"We are very appreciative, because getting this grant was pretty much make-or break for us.

"We have already been able to employ two people with mental health problems at the going rate, which is a huge boost to the confidence and self-esteem of these people, who often feel marginalised by society in a lot of ways."

The project is part of the Suffolk Realise scheme, which helps people with disabilities into work and is the only Realise project in the county working with people with mental health problems.

It is hoped that contracts will be exchanged for the lease of the Whiting Street premises soon.

The grant will also pay for the salary of a full-time business development officer, who will take responsibility for marketing and growing the company.

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