Community organisations across in Co Antrim encouraged to apply to digital community fund
Full fibre broadband provider Fibrus is delighted to announce the next tranche of funding it plans to distribute across Northern Ireland through the Community Foundation NI.
By the end of this year, Fibrus will have offered a total contribution of £120,000 to the fund, offering a lifeline to communities in need across the country.
Community organisations across the wider Ballymena and mid Antrim area – those in postcodes BT42-BT44 – are encouraged to apply.
The fund, with the aim of helping address digital poverty in rural areas, has a particular focus on grassroots organisations that support older people and young people (aged 18 and under). Having already provided funding of just under £60,000 since September 2021, nearly 5,000 people from across Northern Ireland have already benefitted from the fund to date.
Two further rounds of funding, totalling £60,000, will be distributed by the Fibrus Community Fund in 2023, helping to bridge the digital divide in Northern Ireland.
Some examples of the projects supported so far include the provision of devices to Sensory Kids in Broughshane which has helped children with special needs communicate in a way more comfortable for them, and iPads for St Joseph’s Primary School in Cookstown as additional learning tools for pupils.
The next round of funding opens on Monday 23rd January and will close on 20th February, with an additional round opening in August, the date of which will be confirmed nearer the time.
Speaking as one of the recipients in the last round, Nicolette Campbell of St Joseph’s Primary School Fundraising Group, said:
“We were amazed when we were awarded funding from the Fibrus Community Fund to purchase new iPads as learning tools for both in school or at home. We were also able to purchase the application to link these devices straight to the overhead white boards in the school.
“This project allowed us to make IT more accessible to both the young people and their families as we plan to do a school community loan service, along with allowing the young people within the school to use these devices and create digital workshops, increasing confidence and on-line awareness.”
Linda McMillan, Chief People Officer atFibrus, said:
“Fibrusis committed to supporting the communities in which we operate and this is shown by doubling our contribution to date to the Fibrus Community Fund. By working in partnership with the Community Foundation NI, we are able to provide transformational help to organisations doing wonderful work across thriving towns andvillages in Northern Ireland.
“It is important to us to support projects that are specifically aimed at young people who have a need for increased access to technology or connectivity, as well as initiatives that combat digital exclusion amongst the elderly or those most vulnerable in our society. We are delighted to have helped so many people through the fund and look forward to seeing how the fund will enhance the lives and work of others over the next year.”
Dawn Weir, Grants Manager at Community Foundation NI, said:
“The extension of the Fibrus Community Fund, and the doubling their impact this year, will make a real difference to so many grassroots, rural community organisations and we are delighted to once again be partnering with Fibrus on the roll out of this funding.
“The current cost of living crisis is making a huge impact across our society and rural community groups are being hit very hard. When other priorities result in funding being diverted towards additional heating, staff costs or simply keeping their doors open, the Fibrus Community Fund is a lifeline to ensuring that groups can stay connected digitally and provide much needed services to the local community.”
To learn more about how to apply to the Fibrus Community Fund, visit www.communityfoundationni.org.