- Northern Ireland
- Awards for All Northern Ireland
- Release date:
- 20 2 2013
A project to run suicide awareness sessions for Queen's University students is sharing in a major grants windfall from the Big Lottery Fund.
The Big Lottery Fund’s Awards For All small grants programme is awarding QUB Law Society a grant of £8,430 as part of a grants roll-out of £647,422 to 83 groups across Northern Ireland. (See separate attachment for full list of awards).
Awards for All offers community, voluntary and statutory groups the chance to apply for small grants of between £500 and £10,000 that will have a big impact on local communities and the lives of people most in need.
The Law Society will use the grant to run a PIPS suicide awareness course and make students aware of the support services that are available. Law Society President Sarah-Louise Baird said: “Every year the Law Society chooses a different charity to support, but this year our charity is very close to home. In the summer two students who were coming into the final year of their law degree took their own lives.
“We wanted to do something positive in their memory, so the training offered by the PIPS programme will raise awareness of warning signs and give our students a chance to look after their own personal health and that of their friends.”
Sarah-Louise said the grant would fund nine ‘Mind Your Mate’ accredited training sessions which would involve over 200 students in a number of faculties of the University. “After the deaths last summer we really did not know what to do or if we could have helped in some way,” said Sarah-Louise.
“We want to let students know that it is ok to feel down and that there is help out there. People sometimes underestimate the pressure young people at University are under, especially at exam time.”
SOS Bus, which provides medical care and support during the weekend nights in Belfast for people who have drunk too much, are dealing with injury or illness, or are vulnerable or distressed, has been awarded a grant of £9,600.
The charity will use the grant to extend its work by bringing its SOS Bus to secondary schools in west and north Belfast where they will run programmes educating young people aged 13-15 and their parents about the dangers of misusing alcohol.
“We have two bendy buses equipped with fully functioning medical centres and state-of-the-art audio visual equipment,” said chief executive Joe Hyland. “They are manned by a team of trained SOS volunteers and are on site from 9pm to 4am every weekend in Belfast’s Shaftesbury Square and at the Odyssey, offering support for people who might have had an accident during a night out or perhaps might not be capable of getting home.
“We have helped over 179,000 young people since we started. However, the work we do on the streets is not a fix. At the moment we are reacting to the issues that result from alcohol misuse, but we want to be proactive and change the attitudes of society to excessive drinking.
“That’s why we’ve developed this programme. We are going to educate young people about the dangers of alcohol misuse so that they have the knowledge and awareness to make better lifestyle choices when they get older. The bus will initially visit six schools and our team will give young people information so they can make better lifestyle choices.”
Frank Hewitt, Big Lottery Fund NI Chair, said: “The Big Lottery Fund’s NI Awards for All programme funds health, education, environment and community projects that help people bring about positive change in their lives, improve health and well-being, develop skills and create safer communities.
“The application process is simple and accessible and shall remain so, making it easy for applicants to successfully apply for small pots of funding that can have such a big impact on local communities and lives.”
A full list of Awards for All grants announced in Northern Ireland
Application forms and guidance notes are available to download at www.awardsforall.org.uk. For more details call us on 028 9055 1455, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information contact:
Andrew Kennedy Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 02890 551 426
Out of hours contact: 07788 640 791
Notes to Editors
• The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out half the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.
• BIG is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since June 2004. The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
• Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to good causes. As a result, over £25 billion has now been raised and more than 330,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.