Three community groups in Hitchin were awarded grants totalling £3,544 at a meeting of North Herts Council's Hitchin Committee on December 8.

North Herts African and Caribbean Community Group was awarded £1,424 to help fund a year of free and subsidised events and activities for the community to learn about African and Caribbean history and culture.

The award will also help empower those of African and Afro-Caribbean heritage to have a voice within local decision-making.

The Comet: North Herts African and Caribbean Community at a Together We Stand Against Racism gathering, with the Diversity and Culture GroupNorth Herts African and Caribbean Community at a Together We Stand Against Racism gathering, with the Diversity and Culture Group (Image: North Herts Council)

Kava Johnson, managing director of North Herts African and Caribbean Community, said: “We are so grateful and very happy to be awarded this grant.

"Sharing our culture and heritage is at the heart of everything we do.

"We are looking forward to delivering the project to the community."

Samaritans of North Herts and Stevenage was awarded £1,200 towards facilitating the Samaritans National Walk, which the branch will host in Hitchin in 2023.

The walk will raise funds for Samaritans and increase awareness locally.

Ilsa Hawtin, branch director, said: “Our branch is self-funded, with our own volunteers raising funds to keep our branch in operation.

"We are very grateful for this grant to help us in hosting the national walk next year, which also marks the 70th anniversary of Samaritans."

National Childbirth Trust (NCT) North Herts was granted £920 towards their free breastfeeding and postnatal support group ‘Hitchin Bumps and Babies’, which meets twice a month at Christchurch on Bedford Road.

Hannah Lane at NCT North Herts said that the grant "means we can continue to run the groups for the local community for the next year at least.

"The groups might help someone breastfeed for longer than they may have hoped, or just prevent a new parent feeling isolated at a difficult time.”

Councillor Ian Albert, chair of the Hitchin Committee, said: “We are very pleased to support these groups, all helping a range of people in our community.

"From our local branch of the Samaritans, which is oversubscribed but there for people who really need it, and NCT North Herts which provides vital support for new parents, to North Herts African and Caribbean Community which supports and empowers local black people.”