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£150,000 of National Lottery funding up for grabs across Northern Ireland in the People's Projects

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Northern Ireland
The Peoples Projects
Release date:
16 3 2017

Five projects across Northern Ireland have been chosen to compete in a public vote for up to £50,000 of National Lottery funding to support their local communities.

The Big Lottery Fund, ITV and The National Lottery have teamed up to give the public the chance to decide how £150,000 of National Lottery funding can make a difference in their area.

The People’s Projects is an opportunity to celebrate some of the incredible projects the Big Lottery Fund has supported over the past year. With five shortlisted across Northern Ireland, the public can now decide which groups should win up to £50,000 to develop their project further.

The three projects with the most public votes will receive grants of up to £50,000. Voting opens at 9am on Monday 20 March at www.thepeoplesprojects.org.uk  

UTV Live will feature the projects at 6pm over five nights from Monday 20 March to Friday 24 March. The projects will also be showcased in the Daily Mirror and Belfast Live on the day they are featured on UTV.

Starting on Monday 20 March, the B.U.I.L.D project by The Coast Office in Portballintrae, Co Antrim, will be featured first. If successful, the community organisation will receive £50,000 to connect people including schoolchildren and older people with each other and their local coastal countryside. Activities include traditional boat building, a conservation award for young people, and maritime skills workshops.

On Tuesday it will be the turn of Connecting Care Homes by Linking Generations NI in Belfast. They hope to receive £50,000 for a project to connect older people with schools, youth clubs and sports clubs in their communities. They will work in Antrim, Holywood, Banbridge, Larne, and Crossmaglen. The intergenerational activities, including an art project, will bring the older and younger people together, and increase their confidence and skills.

On Wednesday it will be the turn of Down Right Brilliant Youth Club by Newry and Mourne Downs Syndrome Support Group in Newry. They are competing for £49,955 to set up a youth club for children and young adults with Down Syndrome and their siblings. The activities including dance, circus skills, football and outings, will reduce isolation, build friendships and give the young people a place to call their own where they can go and have fun.

Thursday’s programme will feature Food for the Soul by Via Wings in Dromore, Co Down, who hope to receive £48,900. If they win, the group will use the money to set up a year-long catering and hospitality and work placement and training programme for young people and adults facing issues including unemployment and learning disability. This will take place mainly in their social enterprise coffee shop, the Olive Branch in Dromore, Co Down. The people taking part will also distribute meals to vulnerable local people.

And Harmony Hubs by Everyday Harmony Music Therapy based in Belfast will be featured on Friday’s UTV Live at 6pm. If successful, they will receive £50,000 to bring music therapy to more people by setting up treatment sessions in rural hubs in Tyrone, Fermanagh and Antrim and buying instruments. The music therapy improves wellbeing for children and adults with learning and physical disabilities, mental health issues, acquired brain injuries or people who are receiving palliative care.

Terry Brennan, Head of News and Programmes, UTV said: “The People’s Projects is an exciting opportunity for you to make a real difference to your community. We are showcasing some fantastic shortlisted projects across Northern Ireland this week. All you have to do to get involved is tune in to UTV and vote for your favourite project.”

Julie Harrison, Big Lottery Fund NI Chair, said: “We are proud to support projects like these every year that use the knowledge and ideas of local people to strengthen communities. The People’s Projects is a chance for you to decide how National Lottery funding can benefit your local community, so make sure you have your say on who you think should win!”

Voting closes at noon on Monday 3 April 2017 and the results will be announced on Thursday 6 April 2017. People can vote once per region and will need an email address to vote*. To vote go to www.thepeoplesprojects.org.uk 

Since 2005, around £36 million has been awarded through the Big Lottery Fund, National Lottery and ITV partnership to 770 Good Causes across the UK.

Website:   www.biglotteryfund.org.uk  | www.thepeoplesprojects.org.uk  
Twitter:    @bignionline #peoplesprojects #BigLottery
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BigLotteryFundNI  

For press enquiries call Lucy Gollogly or Rachel Skinner in the Big Lottery Fund in Northern Ireland:
Press Office: 02890 551 432 or 02890 551 450
Out of hours media contact: 07580 811135 or 0774 7532 846

Notes to Editors:

*People without email addresses can vote by post by sending a postcard to ‘FREEPOST THE PEOPLE’S PROJECTS’. To be counted, the following details must be written on the postcard: name, address, telephone number and the name of the project voted for. Please send your postal vote by Wednesday 29 March 2017. Postal votes must be received by noon on Monday 3rd April 2017.

  • The National Lottery was created in 1994 with the ambition of changing lives across the nation. To date, over 4,400 new millionaires have been created and over £36 billion has been raised for Good Cause projects.
  • Every time you play The National Lottery, you are making a difference, by contributing towards the staggering £30 million raised every week, for good causes. Every part of the UK is reached, over 500,000 projects have been funded, averaging 160 projects per postcode. These projects help to build local communities, power sports teams, save the environment, unleash creative talent, empower the elderly, unlock young potential and help change our nation for the better.
  • The People’s Projects is a partnership between Big Lottery Fund, ITV and the National Lottery which gives the public the chance to have a say in how National Lottery funding is spent in their community.
  • The competition funds projects that improve the lives of people and communities across the UK.
  • This year 57 awards of up to £50,000 are up for grabs across the UK – three awards in each ITV region.
  • For more information on shortlisted groups and voting visit www.thepeoplesprojects.org.uk.
  • The Big Lottery Fund is the largest funder of community activity in the UK. We put people in the lead to improve their lives and communities, often through small, local projects.
  • We are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Every year we invest over £650 million and award around 12,000 grants across the UK for health, education, environment and charitable purposes.
  • Since June 2004 we have awarded over £8 billion to projects that change the lives of millions of people.