By Lucy Gollogly
Today we are giving away £100,000 in Lottery funding to groups that have changed people’s lives or transformed communities. The cash give-away of 10 grants of £10,000 celebrates all the great things that people have done with Big Lottery Fund support in the past decade.
When we asked you in the summer to nominate groups that had made a big impact on you we were bowled over by the response.
A total of 301 people from across Northern Ireland nominated 71 groups between them, sharing some incredible stories about how the groups helped them.
We want to say thank you to everyone who nominated a group – it was great reading what a difference our funding has made to people and communities across Northern Ireland. Our selection panel had some tough decisions to make but we are delighted to announce the 10 groups that will receive £10,000 each to carry on their good work.
Assistance Dogs NI: The group expertly train assistance dogs to help support people with disabilities and children with autism across Northern Ireland. They will use the grant to train ten assistance dogs and place them with families who need support.
Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum: The group supports people in Derry/Londonderry and will use the money to offer health and well-being programmes to people with serious illnesses or disabilities. The programme will include fitness and healthy eating classes.
Cancer Fund for Children: The group support children and young people who have been diagnosed with cancer across Northern Ireland. They will use the money for an outdoor activities residential programme for young people aged eight to 24 who have cancer at Shimna Valley Complex in Newcastle.
Carrickfergus Women’s Forum: The group promotes good mental health to women in the Carrickfergus area. They will use the money to run classes and activities including creative writing, film making and African drumming. The women will produce a book of the creative writing and a DVD.
Foyle Down Syndrome Trust: The group supports children and young people with Down Syndrome in Derry/Londonderry. They will use the money to support twenty young adults aged 16 to 30. They will learn essential life skills including travelling, money management and health and fitness.
Kinship Care: The organisation supports young people being cared for by people other than their parents across Northern Ireland. It will use the grant to allow 18 children to help design a storybook for other children in kinship care aged two to12.
National Deaf Children’s Society: They support children who are deaf and their families across Northern Ireland. They will use the money for training and activities and to bring their Listening Bus, which offers workshops and training, to six sites across Northern Ireland.
North Belfast Partnership: The group support people in north Belfast. They will use the grant to run sessions in activities like wood carving and mosaic work for schools, men’s groups and residential homes. They will also set up a community service to help local people with practical projects.
Northern Ireland Association for Mental Health: The group support people with mental health issues. They will use the funding to improve their Beacon Garden in Cookstown. The group will also buy seeds, gardening equipment, and a shelter as well as training people in horticulture.
Northern Ireland Hospice: The group provide care and support to people with life limiting illnesses. They will use the money for a new overhead hoisting system to use in the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice in Newtownabbey. This will be used to move young patients safely and help them to feel more independent.