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Feeding the 5000…or more. #A4ANI Funded!

September 22, 2016

Sustainable Northern Ireland/ Belfast Food Network recently received a £9,940 grant from Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All programme. They got the grant to fund a #Feedingthe5000 event for people in Belfast. It is part of a Big Lottery Fund grants announcement today of £635,016 to 78 groups across Northern Ireland. (Find out more about awards in your area)

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Well known chef Para and his team, cooked up biriyanis in two giant pots served up in compostable bowls with pakoras and poppadums. Three hundred people ate at a time at a communal table set out on Donegall Street. The point of the whole event was to highlight how much good usable produce is wasted because the vegetables are not the right size or shape, and to ask people to try to play a part in reducing food waste by changing buying habits. It was also to bring people together over a shared meal to discuss these issues and make connections.

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Kerry Melville, Coordinator of Belfast Food network/Sustainable NI said:

“The Belfast Food Network were delighted by the overwhelmingly positive response to Feed the 5000. Over 5,500 people were fed a delicious curry made with a tonne of surplus vegetables which was prepped by 100 volunteers.

The event highlighted the importance of supporting local producers, buying directly from markets, farm shops, bakeries and greengrocers where possible as well as encouraging people to reduce their food waste by using everything they buy.

The Awards for All grant enabled 25 farms, distributors, organisations and charities to work together to provide a communal meal that was enjoyed by all. We would like to extend a huge thank you to our partners, Culture Night, Friends of the Earth, Greenman Packaging and the Big Lunch who provided exceptional support.”

Northern Ireland groups awarded £635,016 from Awards for All

September 22, 2016

Young people, older people and community groups are among those celebrating today after receiving a Big Lottery Fund grant.

Lisnabreen and Clanmorris Community Association, based in Bangor, recently received a£10,000 grant from Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All programme to help transform their community. They are using the £10,000 to clean and spruce up the general area and create activities and events for the whole community.

litter-pickingIt is part of a Big Lottery Fund grants roll out today of £635,016 to 78 groups across Northern Ireland. (See what’s been funded in your area)

Paulina Andrews has lived in Lisnabreen her whole life but in more recent years she said the sense of community started to falter. “Thirty years ago, this was a completely different place. I remember flowerbeds everywhere, and the place was well kept and friendly. It went downhill slowly. People were tired of the problems but felt hopeless to change anything,” she said.

“I felt that we needed to voice our concerns and that we should have a right to be proud of our estate. Years of illegal dumping and antisocial behaviour have deprived us of those chances. We wanted to change that for our kids.”

So earlier this year, after speaking with other residents, Paulina called a public meeting to address these issues, and from this they formed Lisnabreen and Clanmorris Community Association.

The group applied to Awards for All earlier this year and was successful in securing £10,000 to put the group’s ideas into action. They were especially keen to involve young people in their plans.

“We sat down with the kids and talked about how they spend most of their time outside of school. They said they’re mostly on social media and the internet. So we thought about how they could help show our community in a different light through social media. They came up with the idea for a movie to share on social media and we ran a series of kids’ filmmaking workshops in the summer. The kids came up with the storyline for Made in Lisnabreen. They directed and produced it, decided on special effects and we let them run with their imaginations. It will be screened at the end of September,” she said.

They also used the money for a community clean-up. “There was an awful lot of rubbish needing picked up around the estate. We had a 15 hour clean-up one weekend involving the whole community from kids aged three to people in their 70s, then had the fun day afterwards as a thank you. The playpark and nature park have been cleaned up and we can be proud of them again,” she said.

Paulina said the activities funded by Big Lottery Fund have re-energised the community.

“With this Awards for All grant, we are getting our neighbourhood back to the way it was, and better. Our voices are being heard. Before, nobody thought about complaining because they thought there was no point – no one would listen. But look what we have achieved in just a few months. Who knows what we can achieve in the future?”

The Conservation Volunteers also received £10,000 in this funding rollout. The group, which promotes conservation through activities with local communities, are using the grant to provide a horticulture project for unemployed young people in Portadown and Craigavon.

Belfast FM, which runs a radio station aimed at people over 55 in the Greater Belfast area, has been awarded £5,100. The organisation is staffed by volunteers and they are using the grant to provide training for volunteers in location interviewing and studio editing techniques.

And Women’s Centre Derry Ltd received £9,525. The group provides learning and development opportunities for women in Derry/Londonderry. They are using the grant to provide 40 women from disadvantaged communities with activities to increase their skills, confidence and wellbeing.

 

Celebrations for north Belfast day centre

September 8, 2016

We recently announced the first grants from our Celebrate programme of £84,718 to 21 groups across Northern Ireland. One of the groups, Newington Day Centre, are planning a special event to celebrate the contribution the community makes to the centre next spring.

Pictured are Jolene McAllister, a volunteer at Newington Day Centre with Maisie Liddy, Newington Day Centre member.

Newington Day Centre was awarded a £5,000 grant for the event which will offer a feast of food and music to local people at a venue in north Belfast

Margaret McCrudden, centre manager, said: “Last year, our volunteers gave approximately 6,000 hours to the centre. They make such a difference because they are the people who can give the one-to-one time to sit with someone to support them in activities or to befriend someone while the staff are doing the more practical things.

Margaret said they also wanted to recognise the donations people have made. “Even in a time of people’s own finances are very much under pressure, the community here and throughout north Belfast are very supportive of the day centre.”

Members and volunteers have also spoken about how the centre has changed their lives for the better.

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Cecilia Begley (83) has been involved with the centre for more than 20 years. She was a carer to her mother and her husband when she joined the centre’s carers’ group. She began volunteering following the death of mother, and then four years later, her husband.

“I was 61 and full of energy because I’d worked all my life. I just wanted something to do. I would have been climbing the walls myself, being as active as I was,” she said.

Due to health problems, Cecilia now attends the centre as a member but still volunteers her help with fundraising activities. She said: “I’m 83 now so I’m older than some of the members that come. I’ve retired twice in here but I couldn’t stay at home, I just came back again. It’s a pleasure to come in here, the staff can’t do enough. I’m included in everything no matter what goes on.”

Centre member Maisie Liddy (87) has been coming to the centre twice a week for the past year. Until four years ago, she and her husband, Jimmy, were very active in their community. They each owned a shop in north Belfast and were also involved in fundraising for local charities.

However, Jimmy passed away suddenly and Maisie became seriously ill shortly afterwards. It was when she was in a respite care her that she agreed to her doctor’s suggestion that she try day care.

Maisie said: “I couldn’t get out during the day without help because I lost my confidence. I’m OK if I’m with someone, but I can’t stand too long on my own and I can’t walk all that far. It has saved my life, it really has. Nothing seems to be too much trouble to them.”

Jolene McAllister (34) has been volunteering at the centre for a year. She previously worked in the mental health field, and has not been in paid employment since having her daughter four years ago. Jolene has now gained NVQ stages I and II in Health and Social Care through her volunteering role. “It’s kept my training up to date for the paid work that I hope to get back into now that my daughter’s at school,” she said.

“I would be quite isolated if I didn’t have here because I don’t work and because I’m a single parent. This centre is invaluable to me, giving me experience and giving me something that I enjoy doing,” she said.

Find out more about Celebrate here. Organisations should submit their applications as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Applications are assessed on a first come first served basis until all funds are awarded.

Families in Derry/Londonderry are coming together this weekend to #Celebrate

September 8, 2016

Kinship Care NI recently received funding from our Celebrate programme to run ‘Family Fest’ this Saturday, 10th September 2016, to celebrate the importance of family.

Leona McMenamin, Kinship Care’s Service Manager tells us about the event:

The free event will be open to everyone and is a great opportunity for children and their families to spend special time together.

Family Fest starts with a ‘Break Fest’ from 10am to 12pm at St. Columbs Park House in Derry/Londonderry where local organisations will exhibit their work, give out information and meet families.

Organisations include Reading Rooms, Parenting NI, NewPin, Family Support Hubs, Counselling Services as well as free health checks and lots more. Families will also receive a special breakfast.

 

Family Fest will continue at Foyle Arena from 12.30pm to 3.30pm. Here children and their families will spend the afternoon having fun and getting involved in lots of activities, from magicians and a science show to carnival stalls, bouncy castles and obstacle courses as well as DJing, vlogging, football and a visit from local sensation ‘Izon How’.

We want to offer a day for families to have fun without any cost or worries where they can have a great day together. We hope Family Fest 2016 will be a day of great entertainment and celebration.

For more information contact Leona McMenamin on 028 71373731 or email: leona.kinshipcareni@gmail.com

Find out more about Celebrate here. Organisations should submit their applications as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Applications are assessed on a first come first served basis until all funds are awarded.

NI projects are celebrating today

September 7, 2016

Arts events, family fun days, and volunteer celebrations are amongst the first projects today sharing in £84,718 of funding from our Celebrate programme.

Across Northern Ireland 21 groups are using grants of £500 to £5,000 to run their own events or activities that allow people to celebrate what makes their local community special. (Find out where the funding has gone in your area)

Here are some of the groups which received funding:

Newington Day Centre are planning a special event to celebrate the contribution the community makes to the centre next spring. The event, funded with a £5,000 grant from our Celebrate programme, will offer a feast of food and music to local people at a venue in north Belfast.

Margaret McCrudden, centre manager, said: “Last year, our volunteers gave approximately 6,000 hours to the centre. They make such a difference because they are the people who can give the one-to-one time to sit with someone to support them in activities or to befriend someone while the staff are doing the more practical things.”

Jolene McAllister a volunteer at Newington Day Centre with Maisie Liddy, member of the centre

Jolene McAllister a volunteer at Newington Day Centre with Maisie Liddy, member of the centre

Toome Men’s Shed promotes a holistic and purposeful sense of wellbeing for its members. The group received £4,750 from our Celebrate programme. They will use the money for a daylong celebration of the contribution the men have made to the community over the years to take place later in the year.

Paul McFall from the group said: “We are delighted to receive this money – it will allow us to run an open day to show local people what we do and get more people involved. Our members are at the centre of this but it is for the whole community – we’ll have lots of things for kids to do including a bouncy castle.”

Loughmacrory Community Development Association, which is based in a small village near Omagh, is using a £5,000 grant to run a week of events in September. The whole community will join in activities together to celebrate the group’s 20th anniversary.

Arts Ekta in Belfast were also awarded a £4,900 grant to deliver an arts celebration event called Through the Forest as part of the Belfast Mela which took place in Botanic Gardens at the end of August.

Find out more about Celebrate here. Organisations should submit their applications as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Applications are assessed on a first come first served basis until all funds are awarded.