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Funding boost for Northern Ireland groups

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Northern Ireland
People and Communities
Release date:
28 3 2017

Community groups across Northern Ireland are celebrating today thanks to almost £2 million of National Lottery funding.

Garvagh Development Trust, near Coleraine, has just been awarded a grant of £369,765 for its five-year Garvagh Forest and its People project. It will boost mental and physical wellbeing in the community using Garvagh Forest by connecting people with each other and with their environment. The project is led by a partnership of 14 local organisations and Garvagh residents working with health providers, the Forest service and the council. They are creating Forest Schools for children and adults; offering outdoor therapy with vulnerable groups such as mindfulness walking; and running intergenerational community events.

This is part of today’s £1,766,128 boost from Big Lottery Fund to nine groups across Northern Ireland through the People and Communities programme.

TAG (The Active Group), which supports young adults in the Newry and Mourne area with mild/moderate learning disabilities, has also been awarded £73,625. The five-year Opening Doors for Adults with Learning Disabilities project is building on the group’s existing service to offer a range of member-led activities. Membership is open to adults aged 18 and over and once you become a member of the group you are a member for life, meaning that a lot of parents and carers help to manage the group or volunteer for activities and day trips. They are building the skills of their volunteers by running training and support. Members are deciding on activities including day trips, outdoor pursuits, arts and crafts, ballroom dancing, IT classes and safety in the community sessions. The project is improving the confidence of those taking part, helping to reduce social isolation, and increasing their independence.

The other projects receiving funding from Big Lottery Fund today are Moyraverty 50+ Group in Craigavon, GLOW in Belfast, Strabane Health Improvement Project, Strabane and Lifford Resource Development Group, North West Migrants Forum in Derry/Londonderry, Goodwill Gifts which works in Fermanagh and Omagh, and The Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens which is working across Northern Ireland.

See more information on these projects

Julie Harrison, Big Lottery Fund NI Chair, said: “I am delighted to announce these grants under the People and Communities programme and I want to say thanks to all the National Lottery players who have helped make this possible.

“We want to fund great projects that work with local people, build on a community’s strengths, and are well connected to other services and activities in the community. We are looking forward to seeing the positive impact these projects will make to people and communities across Northern Ireland.”

The People and Communities programme offers grants of between £30,000 and £500,000 for two to five year projects. More information can be found on our website

For press enquiries call Lucy Gollogly or Rachel Skinner
Press Office: 02890 551 432 or 02890 551 450
Out of hours media contact: 07580 811135 or 0774 7532 846
Website:   http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/northernireland
Twitter:   @BIGNIonline
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BigLotteryFundNI

Notes to Editors:

  • The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. We are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery and invest over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitable purposes.
  • Since June 2004 we have awarded over £6.5billion to projects that make a difference to people and communities in need, from early years intervention to commemorative travel funding for World War Two veterans.
  • Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £35 billion has been raised and more than 490,000 grants awarded.