Early Christmas presents for community groups

Young boxers, the Women's Institute and two community groups got an early Christmas present with the news that they are amongst 50 clubs and organisations to benefit from the £180,605 Big Lottery Fund Celebrate programme.

Banbridge Amateur Boxing Club which has a long history in amateur boxing having spawned many Irish Champions, received £900 which they will use to celebrate the achievements of 15 members of the club who have autism through a BBQ for families, friends and pupils from the local school.

Jerrettspass Women and Institute provides women with educational and skill building opportunities as well as campaigning on issues which matter to their communities.

They were awarded £930 to provide a 70th birthday celebration for the group.

Cloughskelt Rural and Cultural Association provides a community facility in a rural Orange hall near Castlewellan. They are using the £4,984 to provide a BBQ, treasure hunt and social event to celebrate the culture and heritage of the local area.

Diamond Rural Development Group provides a range of community activities in a rural Orange hall near Dromore. They were awarded £2,775 which they plan to use to provide four events for the local community to develop community interaction.

Dromara GAC will use their £1,000 celebration award to host a juvenile awards night and celebrate the achievements of the children at the club.

Joanne McDowell, Big Lottery Fund NI Director, said: “Today’s Big Lottery Fund grants celebrate what’s special about individual communities across Northern Ireland.

“From arts festivals to cultural activities and fun days, these events will bring people together to volunteer, have fun and meet more people in their area.

“I am delighted to see such a wide range of groups sharing in these awards, and I look forward to even more communities celebrating in the future.”

The Celebrate programme has now closed in applications. For more information on our funding, see www.biglotteryfund.org.uk.

The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. We are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery and invest over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitablepurposes.

Since June 2004 the Bog Lottery Fun have awarded over £6.5billion to projects that make a difference to people and communities in need, from early years intervention to commemorative travel funding for World War Two veterans.

Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £35 billion has been raised and more than 490,000 grants awarded.