The National Lottery Community Fund has today announced more than £2.2 million of funding to 141 community projects from across Northern Ireland. This includes organisations responding to the current Covid-19 crisis, supporting mental health, reducing isolation and helping people build much needed connections in their community. For a full list of grants awarded in each area please see the attached table.
ARC Healthy Living Centre in Irvinestown has been awarded £499,280 to develop their ‘Rethink’ project across the Tyrone, Fermanagh and Derry/Londonderry areas with their partners Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum and Business in the Community. This project is helping people aged over 25 to adapt and build resilience, many of whom have social anxiety, mental health issues or addiction by delivering courses and support while maintaining social distancing through social media and making over 150 telephone calls per week.
Aidan Ormsby, Manager of the Rethink project said: “Now more than ever people are needing to adapt to big changes in their lives and this is exactly what our project helps them to do. Now we can offer more support and to those from aged 25 due to this money. The unique thing about what we are doing is that we bring help right into the area where people live, in as many small villages we can reach, from Drumquin to Belcoo to Limavady and everywhere in between.
“People can decide to come themselves or get referred from the health service, but they all have something in common, they need support. People meet others from their area which they may have never dreamed of were feeling the same way as them – lifelong friendships are made. People are self-isolating at the minute and are really finding our phonecalls so helpful to give them encouragement and keep them connected. They said that they are the highlight of their week.
“We can’t wait to get up and running physically again in communities across the West once this pandemic has passed, but until then, we will work with ways we can support people and know that our services will be invaluable to those dealing with mental health issues and bereavement as a result of this pandemic. Thank you to all The National Lottery players for making our work possible.”
The Pink Ladies Cancer Support Group is using a £10,000 grant to meet the needs of those living in Derry/Londonderry, Strabane and Limavady both during and after a cancer diagnosis. The project improves the mental, physical and emotional health of cancer sufferers and their families/carers. As part of their work they have created ‘Immune Boosting’ packs to help local people with a cancer diagnosis fight against the Covid-19 virus and they have been delivering them to their most at risk members.
Maureen Collins, Project Manager at The Pink Ladies Cancer Support Group said: “A lot of our members are coping with a range of gruelling treatments such as chemotherapy which weakens the immune system or had treatment stopped which leaves them very vulnerable during this scary time. We have moved our National Lottery funded support programme online which includes, counselling, carer activities, education and health and well-being activities to we are still fully supporting those in need. Our Immune Boosting packs help feed the body with good foods to support keeping the immune system strong. We know that a lot of families can’t afford to be buying organic products, so it’s important for us through our National Lottery funding to provide them with the best food to help build up that immunity.
“At The Pink Ladies Cancer Support Group we believe in celebrating life, we are one big family here and want people to feel safe and cared for in their own homes. When you are diagnosed with cancer that’s enough to be getting on with never mind the added worry of Covid-19, so we’re doing our bit to help lessen these burdens. We want to thank National Lottery players for this new grant which will help us continue our much needed work”
The Craic Theatre, based in Coalisland, is using a £8,110 grant to launch an interactive online drama programme to support young people and the wider community during the Covid-19 pandemic. The project is focusing on fun and creative ways to keep the community entertained during lockdown and reduce the feeling of isolation through the medium of drama and dance, all while exploring topics such as visualisation – picturing the world on the other side of the pandemic in a positive way and how the community can come out the other side fitter and stronger in both body and mind.
Joanne McDonald from The Craic Theatre said: “We have over 150 children from primary and secondary school age who normally come to our classes every week and it is a lifeline for them, building friendships and sharing a passion. This National Lottery funding will help us continue our work supporting our pupils talents and mental health online during this pandemic. This is a distraction from home schooling whilst allowing kids to engage, learn and share worries and concerns, in a safe online environment supporting their well-being during this critical time.”
Kate Beggs, Northern Ireland Director of The National Lottery Community Fund said: “In this time of uncertainty, we are here to give support when we can. All funding decisions we make over the coming months will prioritise getting grants to groups best placed to support their communities at this time. We appreciate that many of the organisations awarded funding today may need to delay or modify the delivery of their project, but we will work with them and be flexible to ensure that they can do this. Our funded projects can also apply for additional support to help them through the pandemic.
“We have heard of brilliant efforts being made across the sector, of our funded projects helping those in isolation or looking to the aftermath of this pandemic and the need for support for those affected in the longer-term. We know that as a small community in Northern Ireland we will work together, making a big difference and help each other, until we can physically bring communities together again.
“Thank you to those who play the National Lottery for providing our funding so projects like these can continue to do their amazing work and help those that need it.”
All National Lottery funded projects can contact their Funding Officer if they need advice or have any questions about their grant. Full updates from the organisation regarding our response to Covid-19, information on applying for grants and general contact details can be found on our website www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk.
Local projects within Causeway Coast & Glens
25th Derry (Limavady) Scouting Ireland – £10,000 – The scouts group, based in Limavady, is using a £10,000 grant to refurbish their hall, in the grounds of Termoncanice Primary School, to make it more welcoming and help increase membership. Improvements include toilets, kitchen, storage and roof upgrades. They are also using the money to purchase new equipment for activities so they can extend the programmes offered at the group.
3 C’s Snooker Club – £9,820 – The 3 C’s Snooker Club, based in Limavady, is using a £9,820 grant to improve their community space so it is accessible for all users. The funding is being used to install a disabled toilet and boiler, to buy new chairs, folding tables, kitchen units and a water geyser. The upgrades create an opportunity for a range of programmes to be delivered at the currently underused space.
Agivey LOL 361 – £10,000 – Agivey LOL, based between Coleraine and Ballymoney, is using a £10,000 grant to build a boundary wall around their Orange Hall and to tarmac the area, so it is more accessible to all users. The improvements promote wider community engagement, making the hall more useable by the wider public for events and meetings.
Ballinlea Community Group – £2,150 – Ballinlea Community Group, based between Bushmills and Ballycastle, is using a £2,150 grant to purchase a defibrillator to be installed outside their hall. The funding is also being used to provide members of the group with defibrillator training, so they can use the lifesaving equipment when necessary in the rural area.
Bovalley Community Association – £9,950 – Bovalley Community Association, based in Limavady, is using a £9,950 grant to provide a variety of projects for the local community including cooking on a budget classes, arts and crafts for children, activities for their ladies group as well as a team building trip for their volunteers. The project brings local people together to learn new skills and build friendships.
Bushmills District Lodge 21 – £5,150 Bushmills District Lodge is using a £5,130 grant to organise a community festival to bring local people together and build strong relationships. The money is being used towards children’s entertainment, amusements, arts and crafts, musicians and free healthy eating catering for all attending.
Cloughmills Community Action Team – £2,780 – Cloughmills Community Action Team is using a £2,780 grant to provide meals, which local volunteers are batch cooking for collection or delivery, to vulnerable people in the community during the Covid-19 crisis. The money is also being used to create ‘take and make’ bags that contain ingredients and recipes for people to cook at home as well as running a window art project to address growing stress.
Dalriada Training Services C.I.C. – £4,800 – Dalriada Training Servicesis using a £4,800 grant to provide essential items such as food and toiletries to people in the Bushmills area who are vulnerable or living isolated, in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Garvagh and District Diamond Club – £7,505 – Garvagh and District Diamond Club is using a £7,505 grant to deliver a twice monthly club for its members to include a range of programmes including guest speakers who address topics which educate and inform, a Christmas event as well as hosting regular tea dances for older people in the area, to get them more active and engaged with their health. The project brings older people together, many of whom are living isolated, to socialise with others.
Glebeside Community Association Limited – £2,700 – Glebeside Community Association, based in Ballymoney, is using a £2,700 grant to support the most vulnerable members of their community who are isolated due to the developing Covid-19 crisis. The project focuses on three housing estates, Glebeside, Carnany and Castle Street which experience high levels of deprivation. The group are delivering urgent supplies and shopping, providing dog walking services and phone call check ins. They are working alongside other services in the area to ensure they are reacting to local needs.
Greysteel Community Enterprises – £6,000 – Greysteel Community Enterprises is using a £6,000 grant to respond to the impact of Covid-19 in the local community by providing weekly food packages to vulnerable households, activity packages for children, and virtual classes which include yoga, circuits, home workouts and crafts for kids. The project helps keep the community active and improves health and well-being.
Home-Start Causeway – £10,000 – Home-Start Causeway, based in Coleraine, is using a £10,000 grant to deliver Family Social Sessions to those families experiencing additional levels of stress and isolation through health, disability, and mental well-being issues. The sessions are currently being delivered remotely, encouraging parent and child play and craft sessions. The group are also using the funding to provide a parents’ social media site to share ideas and encouragement, one to one parenting support and signposting to specialised support. The project supports the emotional well-being of parents and children, helping to reduce isolation through online support.
Killowen Community Association – £10,000 – Killowen Community Association, based in Coleraine, is using a £10,000 grant to deliver community activities including horticultural workshops, a garden party, arts and crafts, dance and drama, healthy eating sessions and trips for those of all ages. The project is bringing people in the local community together to build skills and friendships.
Killowen LOL 930 – £2,250 – Killowen Orange Lodge, based in Coleraine, is using a £2,250 grant to provide hot running water in their toilet and kitchen areas. They are replacing the present stand-alone boiler and installing a new heating system that delivers hot water to all facilities. The Orange Hall is used by a range of community groups and the upgrades ensure proper washing facilities are accessible for everyone in both the toilet blocks and kitchen area.
Limavady Volunteer Centre – £3,000 – Limavady Volunteer Centre is using a £3,000 grant over the next month to design a new service in reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic. The project brings volunteers from Limavady town and surrounding rural areas together to help deliver meals, shopping, care packages and prescriptions, while also helping with dog walking.
Millburn Community Association – £8,680 – Millburn Community Association, based in Coleraine, is using a £8,680 grant to provide activities for local children aged 5-11 years old. Activities include a weekly youth club, a monthly disco and a summer camp, bringing local children together to improve relationships and physical and mental well-being. The programme also supports families on low incomes who struggle with holiday hunger by providing free lunches for children at the summer camp.
Rasharkin Community Playgroup – £5,575 – Rasharkin Community Playgroup is using a £5,575 grant to provide weekly fitness sessions for children alongside their parents and grandparents. The sessions focus on developing balance and co-ordination, gross motor skills, and fundamental movement skills. The fitness project brings families together to improve fitness levels, health and well-being.
St Patrick’s Camogie Club Dungiven – £2,800, St Patricks Camogie Club, based in Dungiven, is using a £2,700 grant to provide well-being sessions to young girls and women as part of their overall sporting experience in the club. The sessions provide information on increasing resilience, managing emotion and nutrition.
Stendhal Festival Ltd – £9,710 – Stendhal Festival, based in Limavady, is using a £9,710 grant to deliver training to volunteers prior to the festival, providing them with employability and life skills that can be used for the festival and in other areas of their life. Workshops include team building, upskilling in cookery, gardening, carpentry, crochet and willow weaving.
The Dry Arch Children’s Centres Ltd – £10,000 – Dry Arch Children’s Centre, based in Limavady, is using a £10,000 grant to tarmac an area of their car park to ensure those with a disability or poor mobility can access the centre without difficulty. They are also using the money to provide Theraplay training to staff and volunteers to support young children aged 3-12 years old. The sessions encourage positive social interaction, teach self-control and address cognitive, social and emotional development.
The Open Door Ballymoney – £1,000 – The Open Door Ballymoney is using a £1,000 grant to provide a hot soup delivery service for older and vulnerable people living in the area during the Covid-19 pandemic. The project provides a nutritious meal to those who are self-isolating, living alone or unable to make something hot for themselves.
Triangle Judo Club CIC – £4212 – Triangle Judo Club (CIC), based in Coleraine, is using a £4,212 grant to create a warm and inviting social space for activities and to host courses such as First Aid, mental health awareness and nutrition training, for the benefit of local residents. The new area provides a safe place for young people to get together and can also be used for homework and games.
Vineyard Compassion – £10,000 – Vineyard Compassion, based in Coleraine, is using a £10,000 grant to purchase a container and fridge to store a greater amount of food for its foodbank and social supermarket, to address the additional needs arising as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Funding is also being used to support the provision of additional food and household essentials for people experiencing financial hardship in Coleraine.