This includes rewarding groups that address local issues, such as helping communities connect and learn new skills, improve mental health, and conduct activities to reduce isolation and loneliness.
One of the funded groups is LoveHope & Faith based in Ballymena. The group is using a £10,000 grant to run a retreat program for families with a child with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus. The program will offer short breaks in a fully equipped cabin in Bushmills where they can enjoy the comfort of the cabin, the scenery and quality time as a family.
Substance User Support Group Ballymena has received an £8,130 grant to provide long-term support to adults in various stages of addiction recovery. Support includes weekly meetings, one-on-one counseling, support from local pharmacists, and a guest lecturer program aimed at improving the mental and physical health of people recovering from addiction.
Braid Development Group is using a £9,360 grant to pilot a dining and transport club for older people in rural Karnalban who have little or no access to services and are therefore at risk of loneliness and isolation. They also use the money to help strategically plan their future work.
Glenarm LOL 1121, The Ulster Grenadiers Flute Band, Cairncastle LOL 692 and the Carrickfergus and Larne Children’s Contact Center also receive funding in the area.
In the neighboring area of Antrim and Newtownabbey, six projects received funding. One funded group is the East Antrim Association of the Royal Irish Regiment, which is using a £9,800 grant to bring isolated veterans together and host events and travel to help veterans suffering from chronic isolation exacerbated by COVID-19.
St. Comgall Youth Club, based in Antrim, is using a £9,680 grant to support the mental health and well-being of 100 young people aged 8 to 18. The area also receives funding from the Randalstown Ulster Scots Cultural Society, Drumraymond AOH Community Project and Ballyrobert, Recreation Club and Dalaradia Cultural Historical Society.
Thanks to the players of the National Lottery, more than £30 million a week is raised for such good causes across the UK. The vast majority of grants are awarded in smaller amounts, up to £10,000, which go to the heart of communities.
Paul Sweeney, Chairman of the NI National Lottery Community Foundation, said: “I am proud to see the impact our funded projects have on communities in Northern Ireland every day. These new grants support a wide range of projects that meet people’s needs, helping them recover and thrive.” Learn more at www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/northern-ireland or on social media.