Over £550K National Lottery investment in Causeway Coast and Glens

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The National Lottery Community Fund has awarded funding to organisations in the Causeway Coast and Glens area. This is part of wider announcement of over £10.5 million across Northern Ireland, including grass roots community organisations delivering vital activities to local people to reduce isolation and build connections.

One of the organisations receiving funding is Ashes to Gold in Coleraine. They are using a £20,000 grant over one year to run a programme of practical classes for local women, including DIY, self-defense, gardening, car mechanics, and cookery. The project will bring women from different backgrounds together to learn new skills and support each other.

Alison McCloskey, Funding Coordinator, Ashes to Gold, said: “We are really looking forward to our activities and events supported by The National Lottery Community Fund. We spent many months asking local women what they want to see happening in their community and now with this funding we can deliver classes such as DIY, sewing, kickboxing, gardening and so much more. Exciting times ahead for our Blossom group for women.”

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Age Concern Causeway was also awarded funding and is using a £498,709 grant to provide support for people with dementia and their carers, to help them remain living at home for longer. Over three years the project will run support groups in Ballycastle, Ballymoney, Coleraine, Limavady and Portrush for people with early onset dementia to socialise with each other in a safe space, share memories, rebuild skills, and keep active mentally and physically.

Lesa, Nicola, Barbara Ann, Janice and Liz from Ashes to Gold's Blossom GroupLesa, Nicola, Barbara Ann, Janice and Liz from Ashes to Gold's Blossom Group
Lesa, Nicola, Barbara Ann, Janice and Liz from Ashes to Gold's Blossom Group

For people with more complex needs the project will provide one-to-one support and activities through home visits. The project will also improve wellbeing and provide respite for carers so they can attend appointments knowing their loved one is safe.

Thanks to National Lottery players, £30 million a week is raised for good causes like these across the UK, including Portrush Sea Cadets which received a £19,704 grant over two years to deliver training activities for young people to learn new skills and gain qualifications. The project includes marine engineering, cooking, navigation, first aid and sailing.

Other organisations being funded include Balnamore Community Association, Cloughmills Cultural & Historical Society and Portrush Women’s Institute.

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Kate Beggs, Northern Ireland Director of The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “It’s incredible to see this £10.5 million of funding going to the charities, community organisations and voluntary groups which are doing vital work every day to support people in their community.

“We’re proud to invest money raised by people who play the National Lottery back into communities, to strengthen them and improve lives. As part of our new strategy ‘It starts with community’, we’re developing a new large grant programme to continue to reach people most in need which will open in the Autumn.”

For more information on National Lottery funding visit  www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/northern-ireland.