Coleraine's Ashes to Gold group celebrates after winning public vote for National Lottery funding
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Run by The National Lottery Community Fund and UTV, The People’s Projects gave the public a unique say in how National Lottery funding should be invested in their local area.
Ashes to Gold is one of three winners in Northern Ireland to be awarded vital funding after they campaigned for two weeks, raising awareness of their work, and winning the public over with their plans to make a life-changing difference in their local communities.
The group has received a £24,753 grant for their GROW project. They will use the National Lottery grant to develop an outdoor kitchen and run courses to teach the community to grow and cook their own food, save money and minimise food waste. Mindfulness walks will be included in the sessions to help people engage with nature.
Alison McCloskey, Funding Co-ordinator for Ashes to Gold said: “Our charity has been serving the local community for ten years this year and we saw The People’s Projects as the perfect opportunity to celebrate our achievements and raise our profile.
“We are so pleased to receive this funding and we would like to thank each and every person who voted for us. We love being a winner but the support from our community has meant more than anything.”
The other winning projects in Northern Ireland are Carers Matter by Brain Injury Matters in Belfast which won £69,250 and Social Bytes by Crisis Café in Newry which won £69,740.
In addition, The Empathy Tent by Parenting NI in Derry/Londonderry and The UP! Programme by Replay Theatre Company in Belfast were voted runners-up, walking away with £10,000 each for their projects thanks to National Lottery players.
Paul Sweeney, The National Lottery Community Fund’s NI Chair, said: “The People’s Projects highlights the incredible work of inspiring community groups across Northern Ireland. I want to take the opportunity to congratulate this year’s winners on behalf of everyone at The National Lottery Community Fund.”
The groups were among 95 worthwhile projects across the UK in the running to share over £4 million in National Lottery funding as part of this year’s The People’s Projects. Visit www.thepeoplesprojects.org.uk to see a full list of winning projects across the UK.