A welcome boost from the National Lottery for groups in Lisburn and Castlereagh

Christmas has come early for five community groups in the Lisburn and Castlereagh area.
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They have received funding as part of an announcement of £6.8million of funding from The National Lottery Community Fund to 139 groups across Northern Ireland.

The National Lottery funding is being used to bring isolated people together, making improvements to spaces to boost activities and to improve the wellbeing of vulnerable people.

One of the organisations receiving funding is Drumbeg Community Association. They are using a £4,222 grant to buy gazebos to create a sheltered area for outdoor events including the Drumbeg Annual Village Show, Christmas Tree Carol services and coffee mornings throughout the year. The project will help people to reconnect in a safe space and improve wellbeing.

An early Christmas present for local groups thanks to the National LotteryAn early Christmas present for local groups thanks to the National Lottery
An early Christmas present for local groups thanks to the National Lottery

Guide Dogs is using a £9,982 grant to bring children and young people with vision impairments together with their parents to gain support for preparing for transitions in school or training. The young people will take part in play activities at the High Rise Centre in Lisburn with support from RNIB and parents will be able to share experiences and gain support from Employers for Childcare.

Thanks to National Lottery players, more than £30 million a week is raised for good causes, including Aghalee Village Hall. They are using a £9,999 grant to deliver art classes and activities for the local community which will bring people together to reduce isolation and promote community spirit.

Live Life Social Enterprises Ltd in Lisburn has been awarded a £10,000 grant to buy a vehicle to transport young people with severe learning difficulties to activities which will improve their access to learning opportunities.

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Also receiving funding is The Conservatoire Belfast Limited. They are using a £10,000 grant to deliver choral singing sessions in prisons and young offenders' facilities, including Hydebank. The project will give them a sense of community, teamwork and pride, to improve their wellbeing and support rehabilitation.

Paul Sweeney, The National Lottery Community Fund’s NI Chair, said: “This winter is difficult for many but thanks to these projects, people are being supported to make connections and feel less isolated.”