Two groups have received grants under our People and Communities programme today for projects that are bringing local people together to make changes in their communities.
(From left, Geraldine McCoy (TIDAL volunteer) and Una Johnstone from the group)
Enagh Youth Forum in Strathfoyle, just outside Derry/Londonderry, have been awarded a £82,850 grant for their two year Strathfoyle Community Empowerment Project – Unlocking Potential.
The group is working with Strathfoyle Women’s Activity Group, Strathfoyle Community Association, Tiny Tots Community Playgroup, Strathfoyle Library and Strathfoyle Youth Centre. Led by local people who will have their say on local issues, the groups are bringing people together to improve community safety, health and well-being, and quality of life and opportunities for residents.
A community empowerment project co-ordinator is running workshops on community safety, campaigning and lobbying, to build on residents’ skills and improve confidence. The project is also organising ‘Have Your Say’ days with local elected representatives, council officers and statutory bodies to help people to express their views and contribute to the regeneration of their community.
TIDAL in Toomebridge, Co Antrim, also received a £177,950 grant for their two year Connect 4 Health project. They are developing a community-run enterprise that will bring people together, improve health and well-being, and revitalise the community.
It will be located in existing TIDAL facilities and in a disused Lock Keepers Cottage and Quay area which is being renovated with funding from Waterways Ireland and Lough Neagh Partnership, supported by Heritage Lottery Fund.
The Big Lottery Fund grant will be used to run activities including cooking classes in a community kitchen/café, which will also provide lunches and meals on wheels for older people; gardening training so local people can maintain the garden allotments; and craft classes so they can produce items to sell in the retail area at the cottage. The new facilities will also showcase local history and bring local people together as well as attracting tourists.
Una Johnston, company secretary for TIDAL, said: “I believe this project will be life changing for the people in the area. One of the things I’m excited about is local people being able to grow their own food, make it into a meal in our new kitchens, and sell it in our café – and they will be learning every step of the way and making new friends.
“We have a big catchment area here so we have a lot of people who can benefit and be educated and improve their health and well-being. We have a number of people who have already benefited from our facilities and have improved their health and social issues, but we’ve only started and the money will help us change more lives.”
For more information on our People and Communities programme see http://bit.ly/1PCCD5P