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Mid and East Antrim community groups benefit from National Lottery funding

The National Lottery Community Fund has announced £4,693,921 of funding benefiting 128 projects across Northern Ireland, including six community groups in the Mid and East Antrim area.

Carnlough Women’s Institute is using a £7,105 grant to provide a drop-in service at Ardclinis Parish Hall. This will provide support for older people, opportunities to learn new skills and give a sense of community belonging.

Ethel Simpson, President of Carnlough Women’s Institute said:

“We’re delighted to received this funding from The National Lottery Community Fund. This year we are planning to do some shopping in Belfast, Coleraine and Lisburn and having transport collecting us and returning us to our own village means everything to us. This includes planning to visit the theatre. If we travel by public transport, it means we don’t see the end of the show as the bus/train leaves at a certain time and we must be on it. We are also looking forward to learning a new craft each month, being taught by an experienced tutor, we just love doing crafts.”

6th Larne Brownie Unit is using a £5,400 grant to run a weekend residential. This project will help young girls develop their personal skills, make friendships and become more independent.

Carnlough Community Association is using a £10,000 grant to facilitate the delivery of activities to improve the wellbeing of the local community and reduce isolation for residents. This includes trips, events and clubs.

Carrickfergus Hub Improving Lives Locally (CHILL) is using a £10,000 grant to expand their wellbeing workshops and training to meet the increased demand from the community following the pandemic. The project will promote good mental health and improve wellbeing in the community.

Harbour Community Group in Larne is using a £9,360 grant to provide a monthly programme of activities for older people in the community who are feeling lonely and isolated following the pandemic. This will help them make connections, feel part of the community and build friendships.

The Mid and East Antrim Agewell Partnership (MEAAP) in Ballymena is using a £10,000 grant to run a befriending project for older people who are experiencing isolation and loneliness. The befrienders will support older people to adjust to life following the pandemic and make connections.

The Mae Murray Foundation, which is based in Larne, is using a £396,781 grant to enable people with physical, sensory or learning disabilities to access and take part in outdoor leisure activities across Northern Ireland. Over three years the project will empower people living with a disability of all ages and abilities to enjoy time outdoors with friends and family using specialised equipment and taking part in inclusive activity programmes which will improve their physical and mental health. Activities include surfing, paddle boarding, sea swimming, cycling, arts-based activities and inclusive outdoor festivals.


Thanks to National Lottery players, more than £30 million a week is raised for good causes with the majority awarded as small grants. Of the 128 grants awarded today, 116 are for under £10,000, going to every Council area across Northern Ireland, making a difference in communities. 


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

“Congratulations to all the groups announced today. I’m proud to see the impact our funded projects are having in people’s lives and across communities in Northern Ireland. 


“We continue to be here for organisations as they face challenges and will work to ensure that funding reaches those who need it as quickly as possible.”  


Communities across Northern Ireland can also apply for grants to support activity through a range of funding programmes. This includes The People’s Projects, a partnership with UTV which is open until Friday 7th October, where groups could win up to £70k. 

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