National Lottery funding boost for local groups

Groups from Ballymena and Broughshane are among eight organisations in the Mid and East Antrim area which have been awarded grants from The National Lottery Community Fund to improve health and wellbeing and reconnect with their local community.

Across all council areas, 81 projects are receiving £2,651,839 with grants from £1,000 to half a million pounds helping isolated older people, children as they return to school, those living with poverty or challenges around long term health conditions or disability.

One of the groups funded - Ballykeel 1 Moving Forward Community Group in Ballymena received a £61,338 grant to allow them to continue to run activities for the local community to improve their health and wellbeing and reduce isolation. Over four years the project is running a breakfast club for people to access a low-cost hot meal and make new friends, an annual Christmas dinner for older people, a knitting and crocheting group for older women, a support group for people living with Fibromyalgia, and seasonal fun days for families and the wider community. Activities will be run by volunteers and committee members.

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Others include - The Carson Project in Ballymena which is using a £10,000 grant to create a multi-purpose space in their building for community

Ballykeel 1 Moving Forward Community Group in Ballymena received a £61,338 grant from the National Lottery Community Fund

activities. The space will also be used by people who need to access to computer equipment and for online learning.

Jamiesons True Blues in Broughshane is using a £10,000 grant to carry out repairs to their building so it can continue to be used for community activities. This includes fixing the roof and replacing the flooring.

Taylorstown Ulster Scots Association based in Grange is using a £10,000 grant to renovate part of Taylorstown Orange Hall. This will provide a safer and more comfortable space for community activities. And, Sensory Kids is using a £9,551 grant to provide sensory packs forfamilies in Broughshane and surrounding areas to use at home. These will help children who have multiple complex disability needs to cope during isolation.

Paul Sweeney, National Lottery Community Fund’s NI Chair, said: “I’m looking forward to seeing how these projects improve the lives of people from across Northern Ireland as we start to re-build and re-connect following our experiences of the pandemic over the last 18 months.

For how to apply for funding visit www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/northern-ireland.