Christmas has come early in south Lowestoft after £61,000 was handed out to good causes.

At a gathering at the Hotel Victoria cheques to the value of £61,000 were handed out to 16 groups and organisations – which will go on to benefit hundreds of individuals within the district of Kirkley.

They were handed out by the Kirkley Poor's Land Estate.

It is a charitable trust that has been in existence for almost 200 years, but it was not until 1967 when people were given the right to buy their houses that the trust began to have funds to award grants.

Michael Cook, chairman of the trustees for Kirkley Poor’s Land Estate, said: "As well as handing over the money the main purpose of the gathering was to let people know what the Kirkley Poor’s Land Estate is all about and what they can offer.

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"We are in the wonderful position of having a sum of money to hand out to people and groups who are within our boundary and who meet the criteria of the trust.

"Our boundary is the ancient ecclesiastical parish of Kirkley, which doesn’t exactly match up with Kirkley today." 

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Those sharing the £61,000 cheques were: - Lowestoft Talking Newspaper - Sound East, Disability Advice North East Suffolk, Fishermen’s Mission, Lowestoft Shopmobility, bursaries for Kirkley students at Lowestoft Sixth Form College and East Coast College – Lowestoft Campus, Bungay Area Community Transport in Lowestoft, Lowestoft Foodbank, Kirkley St Peter and St John Pantry, The Liberty Project, The Leaving Care Team, Ashby House Children’s Home, Suffolk Sight, Britten as a Boy Statue Campaign, Leaving Care Team and Catalyst Counselling.

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Applications are also available now for a £35 grocery voucher for anyone receiving a state pension and living within the ancient ecclesiastical boundary of Kirkley.

The voucher application forms are available from Windsor Art Gallery shop in London Road South.

For further information, including student grants, visit