Last chance for good causes to claim a share of £50,000 giveaway

Daily Echo: Olympic athlete Iwan Thomas at Park Gate. Olympic athlete Iwan Thomas at Park Gate.

TODAY is your last chance to claim a share of £50,000 from the Daily Echo.

As revealed in January we have joined forces with Sport Relief’s Community Cash scheme to give away grants of between £500 and £1,000 to good causes across Hampshire.

But charities have just hours left to apply via the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation website before the deadline passes at midnight.

The Southampton Sport Relief mile has previously attracted thousands of runners, including former Ground Force presenter Charlie Dimmock.

Meanwhile Southampton’s own gold medallist runner Iwan Thomas has been out and about in the city as a Sport Relief ambassador.

Funds raised locally through the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games on March 21-23 will be distributed by the Daily Echo to help a variety of groups, such as victims of domestic abuse.

It comes as calls have been made for healthcare professionals to have training to recognise the signs of domestic abuse.

In Hampshire there are 50 different services that are brought together by the Hampshire Domestic Abuse Forum, including Southampton Youth Support for those affected by Domestic Abuse (SYSDA).

The group works with teenagers and young adults who have been subjected to sexual, emotional , social or financial abuse and a spokesman said charitable donations were vital to its future.

The spokesman said: “The funding is massively important for us.

“We work very specifically in domestic abuse and are experts in that area, without us there wouldn’t be work like this happening in the area.”

As part of its education programme, SYSDA visits local schools and spoke to more than 1,100 pupils last year.

Funding from Comic Relief and Sport Relief covers support worker wages, leaflet production, group work and classes.

SYSDA is part of wider charity Southampton Women’s Aid, which is also funded by Comic Relief.

Health watchdog the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has reported that 1.2 million women and 784,000 men experience domestic violence across England and Wales each year.

But experts believe that the true figure is even larger as many cases go unreported to the police or social services.

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