To celebrate 10 years of the Big Lottery Fund, we held a competition to give away £100,000 in Lottery funding to groups that have changed people’s lives or transformed communities in Northern Ireland.
In the summer we asked you to nominate groups funded by us, and tell us how they made a big impact on you. We were bowled over by the response - 301 people from across Northern Ireland nominated 71 groups between them, sharing some incredible stories about how the groups helped them.
Our selection panel had some tough choices to make, but we are delighted to announce the 10 winners. The groups are being awarded grants of £10,000 each to carry on their good work.
We want to say thank you to everyone who nominated a group and shared their story – we loved hearing about how groups we fund are changing people’s lives for the better right across Northern Ireland.
The winners are:
Assistance Dogs NI expertly trains assistance dogs to help support people with disabilities and children with autism. It will use the £10,000 grant to train ten assistance dogs and place them with families who need support.
Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum supports people in Derry and will use the money to offer health and well-being programmes to people with serious illnesses or disabilities.
Carrickfergus Women’s Forum promotes good mental health to women in the Carrickfergus area. It will use the grant to run classes and activities for women including creative writing, film making and African drumming. The women will produce a book of the creative writing and a DVD.
National Deaf Children’s Society supports children who are deaf and their families across Northern Ireland. It will use the money for activities and to bring its Listening Bus, which offers workshops and training, to six sites across Northern Ireland.
Foyle Down Syndrome Trust supports children and young people with Down’s Syndrome in Derry/Londonderry. It will use the money to support twenty young adults aged 16 to 30 who will learn essential life skills including travelling, money management and health and fitness.
Kinship Care supports young people being cared for by people other than their parents across Northern Ireland. It will use the grant to allow 18 children to help design a storybook for other children in kinship care aged two to 12.
North Belfast Partnership works to support people in north Belfast. It will use the money to run sessions in activities like wood carving, mosaic work and copper work for schools, men’s groups and residential homes. It will also set up a community service to help local people with practical projects.
Cancer Fund for Children supports children and young people who have been diagnosed with cancer. It will use the money for an outdoor activities residential programme for young people aged eight to 24 who have cancer at Shimna Valley Complex in Newcastle.
The Northern Ireland Hospice provides care and support to people with life limiting illnesses. It will use the money for a new overhead hoisting system for the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice in Newtownabbey. This will be used to move young patients safely and help them to feel more independent.
The Northern Ireland Association for Mental Health supports people with mental health issues. It will use the money to improve the Beacon Garden in Cookstown. The group will also buy seeds, gardening equipment and a shelter as well as providing horticulture training.