People of all ages in the Ballymena area are coming together to create community connections and learn new skills, thanks to a grant from Big Lottery Fund.
Harryville Partnership Initiative has received £2,460 from the Awards for All programme to deliver a 15-week introductory art class to bring people together and improve their skills and confidence. It is part of a Big Lottery Fund grants windfall of £769,369 to 91 groups across Northern Ireland including £22,826 to four groups around the Ballymena area.
Harryville Partnership Initiative is a small, locally based community group that supports four sub projects for seniors, young people, a cross-community project and a men’s shed.
Kirsty Crawford from Harryville Partnership Initiative said the majority of the people now attending the art class have no previous experience of creating artworks.
“We have not been able to provide a purely creative activity before, but it is so important to the people who come here. We are now halfway through the course and people are offering to come in early, so they must be enjoying it. They are doing really well and the quality of work has been outstanding,” she said.
The 15 week course is taught in the evening by a professional artist and is open to all adults. Ms Crawford said it is helping to create new community connections.
“The class is proving the opportunity to meet new people and develop friendships while creating pieces of work they can be proud of. We are hoping it is a gateway that will open people up to trying new things and developing their skills further. It’s already increasing people’s self-confidence and self esteem,” she said.
Click below for a map of all Awards for All grants announced in September across Northern Ireland.