Boost for Mid Ulster community groups

Nine local groups are to benefit from the first round of funding awards announced by The Community Foundation for Northern Ireland and its new partner, full fibre broadband provider, Fibrus Networks Ltd.

Nine groups to receive funding.

Maghera Cross Community Link will receive £1,807.96 to fund the purchase of hard drives and lap tops to prevent disadvantaged young people from falling further behind in their studies.

Enabling rural communities to stay connected online, the Fibrus Community Fund awards grants of up to £1,000 to support local groups and organisations, to provide access to digital technology for the most vulnerable. Particularly focusing on supporting grassroots organisations that support older people and young people aged 18 and under.

Roisin Wood, CEO Community Foundation for Northern Ireland commented: “We are delighted to be rolling out funding supporting rural areas to stay connected. Coronavirus has highlighted the need for communities to remain connected and many groups and charities working with those most vulnerable in our communities are telling us that a strong and sustainable broadband connection in rural communities is vital.

“This funding enables local organisations to provide access to digital technology for the most vulnerable, especially those individuals in rural areas and begin to address the digital divide.”

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons said: “The pandemic has changed the lives of us all and for many this has included how we work, live and socialise.

“There is now more than ever a great reliance on digital connectivity and ensuring everyone has access to fast and reliable broadband.”

Fibrus Managing Director David Armstrong commented: “Fibrus is committed to supporting and investing in the communities in which we operate.”

Other groups to benefit: £1,000 - Castledawson Village Community Association; £1,000 - Me You And Them; £998 - Gran Tots Playgroup; £1,000 - Donaghey Parents Association; £1,000 - Friends of St Brigids PS Association; £1,000 - Sheepbridge Heritage and Cultural Society; £920 - St Patrick’s PS Parents Assoc.