£0.6m National Lottery funding boost for Larne projects

Four Larne community groups are to share almost £0.6m on projects to improve wellbeing and bring people together.
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The grants are part of an announcement of £7.2million from the National Lottery Community Fund to 153 organisations across Northern Ireland.

Carnlough Community Association (CCA) is using a £276,727 grant to run community activities to connect residents from Carnlough, Cushendall, Glenarm and Ballygally. Activities are designed to reduce isolation in these rural areas, improve wellbeing and provide opportunities to volunteer and learn new skills.

Over three years the project will run a luncheon club for older people, a bowling club, day trips, a summer scheme and a youth club. It will also seek to improve the environmental knowledge and skills of the community through work with schools, in the community allotments, and improving green areas in the village.

Patricia McConnell (centre), chairperson of Carnlough Community Association, with committee and bowling club membersPatricia McConnell (centre), chairperson of Carnlough Community Association, with committee and bowling club members
Patricia McConnell (centre), chairperson of Carnlough Community Association, with committee and bowling club members

Keith Cruttenden, treasurer of CCA and member of the bowling club, said: “I am thrilled that we have received this funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, so we can continue to deliver activities like our very popular bowling club all year round. Taking part in these activities allows me, and many others, to keep active, socialise and form friendships.”

Larne YMCA has been awarded a £281,365 grant to expand its programme of activities for children and young people who are on the autistic spectrum or waiting on a diagnosis. Over three years the project will run a tailored youth club, parent support groups and emotional regulation workshops, to improve skills, increase confidence and provide opportunities to make friends and have fun.

Youth Activities

Activities include team games, cookery, sensory activities, day trips and information sessions. When the young people are ready to take part in mainstream youth activities, they are encouraged to join other YMCA youth clubs.

They can also become peer leaders for the autism social group, to break down barriers and help others coping with similar issues.

Meanwhile , White Ribbon NI in Larne is using a £9,990 grant to help organisations across Northern Ireland to achieve accreditation which promotes their pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women. They will be supported to adapt their policies and make an action plan.

Receiving funding too is the Prom Friendship Group in Larne. It is using a £5,700 grant to run a support group for people living with dementia and their carers. The initiative will include sing-a-longs, craft, dance evenings and storytelling.

The funding round for the Mid and East Antrim area also includes £10,000 for Ferniskey LOL 115 in Kells to install a new kitchen to provide meals and refreshments at events hosted by local community groups. A similar sum is being used by Bann Maine to cover the rent for its community hub in Cullybackey.

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Paul Sweeney, the National Lottery Community Fund’s NI chair, said: “Our staff are happy to talk with groups about their ideas for funding to help communities. We are also supporting current funded projects to deal with the rising costs that are challenging their services and working flexibly, to ensure that National Lottery money continues to reach people in need.”