Entries flooding in for Christmas Cheer 2009

Susanna Wilkey APPLICATIONS have been flooding in for this year's Christmas Cheer grants which will provide local charitable groups with some vital festive cash. The Ham&High has teamed up with Barclays for this special giveaway which will see a total of

Susanna Wilkey

APPLICATIONS have been flooding in for this year's Christmas Cheer grants which will provide local charitable groups with some vital festive cash.

The Ham&High has teamed up with Barclays for this special giveaway which will see a total of �5,500 dished out to worthy groups and organisations in Camden, Haringey and Westminster.

We are currently inviting groups to apply for one of the cash awards, explaining the reasons why they are worthy. Deserving groups will share a slice of the �5,500 Christmas Cheer cash fund. Up for grabs are three �1,000 cash prizes, three �500 prizes and four worth �250.


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The Gospel Oak School Association, which raises money to provide educational opportunities such as equipment and trips for Gospel Oak Primary School pupils, was last year's biggest winner with a grant of �1,250.

They have used the cash to build an "oak hedge" at the front of the school which is made up of metal leaves, each leaf being inscribed with a pupil's name.

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Chairwoman Anna Wright said: "It was just fantastic for us to win, absolutely amazing. We were able to finish the leaf project to decorate the horrible old fence at the front of the school which we had had terrible trouble fundraising for.

"I would definitely encourage other groups to apply, it is a wonderfully well-focused grant which is not daunting to apply for and great for small scale groups."

One group nominated for this year's awards, which will be judged in December, is Open Door, a Crouch-End based charity which works with troubled young people.

The charity provides confidential counselling and psychotherapy to young people aged between 12 and 24 in Haringey and a separate counselling service for parents of teenagers.

Mental health problems are on the rise and charities are struggling to fundraise in this difficult economic climate.

Susan Fisher, who nominated the charity, said: "Christmas is an ordeal for some people and Open Door is there to help, not only in the Christmas season, but all year round.

"The impact of therapy is constantly being measured, and statistics gathered by the organisation, demonstrates the positive effect on its clients, which are all drawn from the local community.

"A grant from the Ham&High would really make a difference."

If it won a grant the charity would spend the money on reducing the amount of paper it uses and moving towards a greener office by investing in better computer programmes and equipment. This would allow them to keep in touch with young people via texting.

Anyone can enter whether you help out with a registered charity, organise a scout group or just know a local organisation that needs some help. To apply for a grant fill out the coupon on this page and then tell us on a separate piece of paper why you think your organisation deserves one of the Christmas Cheer awards.

The deadline for entries is November 27 and winners will be contacted later that week and invited to attend a special awards ceremony at a local branch of Barclays.

To be eligible your group must be a UK registered charity or a recognised not-for-profit community group.

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