Community workers are receiving training to better support people in east Belfast, thanks to a grant from Big Lottery Fund.East Belfast Football Club has received a £4,550 grant from Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All programme. It is part of a Big Lottery Fund grants roll out of £743,207 to 95 groups across Northern Ireland. (See full list of awards) including four groups in the east Belfast area sharing in a total of £26,255 from Awards for All.
East Belfast Football Club increases community activity and provides opportunities for people to build skills in east Belfast. They are using the £4,550 grant to run a number of community training programmes in partnership with other local community organisations. These include training in first aid, IT and media for young people, child protection, good relations, autism awareness and IFA coaching.
Paul Ellis is a children’s coach at the club. He started coaching recently after taking part in a series of training courses, funded by Awards for All.
“The training programmes are a great boost to the east Belfast community,” said Paul. “I have lived in east Belfast all my life so I have grown up knowing the good and the not-so-good times in my community. The plans the club has for the future and what they want to achieve for the people and the area of east Belfast got me interested.
“I have been around other clubs but the vision this club has – to try and regenerate the area and to build stronger relations within the community – appealed to me so I jumped at the chance to become a coach. Now, after three or four months of being a coach I want even more to help these young kids succeed as people as well as footballers. The club started offering a number of courses to enhance our ability to help the boys and girls within our club and that also give us the confidence to take these skills into the wider community.”
“We already have a couple of children at the club with autism. The autism awareness course gave us an insight on how to support with children with this condition and develop them to their full potential.
“The IT and media course is important in that it gives the community the skills to promote the club and the area in a way that young people can relate to. We want to get the message out that east Belfast is a safe, educational and most of all fun place to live.
“The values we teach at the football club will be taken with these kids into their adult life. We hope they will pass on this message and show respect to others regardless of race or religion. I know we are making a small difference to the community of east Belfast and further afield.”
Other East Belfast Organisations to receive Awards for All funding:
Nettlefield Primary School in east Belfast also received an Awards for All grant of £9,870 for a craft project in association with the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum to address the mental health and wellbeing issues of parents who receive or are in need of support from the school’s parent support worker. The project will teach the parents’ traditional craft based skills, develop volunteer roles for them at the museum and develop a support network outside of the school.
FunDays, an east Belfast self help group, works to support families with special needs children to enjoy activities as a family. They received a grant of £1,840 to provide a programme of social, educational and wellbeing activities and events throughout the year.
Mount Masonic Hall Co. Limited manages the Mount Masonic Hall in east Belfast. They received a grant of £9,995 to make improvements to the hall so it can be used for more community activities.