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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

National Lottery funding, a welcome Christmas present for community groups in County Antrim

The National Lottery Community Fund has announced £3,313,174 of grants benefiting 93 community projects, supporting people across Northern Ireland, including four projects in the Mid and East Antrim area.

Projects being funded are supporting those in needover the festive seasonandenabling communitiesto have a better 2022 through activities to improve mental health, support children with disabilities and help people new to Northern Ireland to integrate.

One of the groups funded is Good Morning Carrickfergus. They are using an £8,000 grant to buy IT equipment, fund winter gift packs and Christmas treats, and to provide a bi-monthly hot meal for older people and/or vulnerable adults from across the Carrickfergus, Whitehead and Greenisland areas. The project will improve mental wellbeing and reduce isolation.

Ballymena RUC Association has been awarded a £10,000 grant to buy equipment to produce a newsletter, organise respite social events and supply each member with a care package. The project will help to reduce social isolation, build self-confidence and self-esteem among members and keep them informed about relevant issues.

Ballymena Rugby Football Club is using a £10,000 grant to refurbish and make improvements to part of their community hall which is used by local groups for activities to benefit the community.

Fenagh Orange Lodge No 674, based near Cullybackey, also received a £10,000 grant to repair the roof of their building so it can be used for activities which benefit the community.

A number of projects in the Antrim area also received funding.

Creavery Tots and Co, which is based on the grounds of CreaveryPrimary School in Antrim, is using a £10,000 grant to build a large outdoor wooden cabin so they can hold more people and have space to store equipment.

Friends of Antrim Castle Gardens is using a £10,000 grant to set up a small social economy which involves selling planted baskets and planters and making and selling crafts through the council-run shop on the grounds. The project will provide meaningful activities for their members and improve their wellbeing.

Randalstown Arches Association is using a £10,000 grant tobuy equipment and refurbish the Arches Community Hub to make it more inviting and comfortable for community activities to take place there.

The Bridge Association in Antrim is using a £10,000 grant toprovidetheir trainees, who have learning disabilities, with accredited training through a healthy body and mind programme to improve their wellbeing. The project will also provide social opportunities to reduce isolation and a celebration event organised by the trainees to demonstrate their strengths, skills, and knowledge.

Thanks to National Lottery players more than £30 million a week is raised for good causes across the UK like these. The vast majority of grants awarded are for smaller amounts of under £10,000, going to the heart of communities to make a big difference.

Paul Sweeney, The National Lottery Community Fund’s NI Chair, said:

“It’s inspiring to see such a diverse range of projects being funded as we continue to rise to the challenges of COVID-19,helping people stay connected and supporting wellbeing.

“Thanks to the money raised by people who play The National Lottery, these grants will make a big difference to people across Northern Ireland in 2022 and beyond.”


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