£10 million for Northern Ireland communities

On June 19, we announced almost £10 million of money raised by National Lottery players for groups who are bringing people together to help their communities thrive 

A total of 31 groups across Northern Ireland were awarded £9,420,282, with young people and people with learning disabilities among those benefiting from the fundingIn case you missed it, here’s a look at some of the incredible groups being funded through our Empowering Young People and People and Communities programmes. 

CAN in Ballymoney are supporting people with learning disabilities to make friends

CAN, based in Ballymoney, are using a £361,297 grant to run their five-year Community LINX Project. The project supports local adults with learning disabilities and autism aged over 18 to take part in different activities, make friends, and build relationships.  

As part of a buddying scheme, some people will be paired with able-bodied buddies to spend time with and do social activities like going shopping or going to the cinemaThere will also be a regular social club for people to meet up and make friends, and support and advice on communication skills and keeping healthy friendships. 

Linda McKendry, director of services for CAN, said: “This is an amazing opportunity for our guys to come together with people in their own communities for social and leisure opportunities and expand their networks. The friendship is two-way and as one of our young Peer Buddies said, ‘I never had a friend until I had a buddy’. 

Family Care Adoption Services project Launch
Family Adoption Services are helping young people learn about their life stories

Family Care Adoption Services is working with young people in the Antrim area. They’re using a0 £500,000 grant over five years for their Life Story Project, working with young people who have been separated from their birth families and don’t have information about their past. 

Project staff will gather information on the young person’s life and work with them to create a Life Story in a medium chosen by the young person. The story includes the young person’s thoughts, memories, artwork, and key events and anecdotes about the young person.  

Maggie McSorley, CEO, Family Care Adoption Services said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded this grant from the National Lottery Community Fund. This project is a unique service which will work with young people across Northern Ireland who are fostered, adopted or have been in care, and are struggling to make sense of their earlier lives. The project will help them to uncover and understand their past in a personal and meaningful way, and gain a greater sense of their identity and their unique value in the process. 

Easilink 1
Easlink are connecting isolated people in rural areas

Easilink Community Transport helped people in rural parts of Strabane, Derry/Londonderry and Omagh get out and about, including older people, people with disabilities, and low-income families. Thanks to National Lottery players, they’re using £452,207 to provide transport to hospitals across the Western Health and Social Care Trust area and services outside the local area. They are also developing a Volunteer Car Schemerunning trips, and training volunteer drivers who will use their own cars and accompany people who need support at different appointments or events. 

Paddy McEldowney, Chief Executive of Easilink Community Transport said: “This is a great opportunity for us to extend our existing local rural transport service to include affordable transport provision for rural people to attend Hospital Appointments across the Western Trust area. We’re keen to recruit additional volunteers to our Volunteer Car Scheme to help us provide this much needed service – working in partnership with Omagh Volunteer Centre and North West Volunteer Centre.” 

Thanks to National Lottery players, these fantastic groups are able to continue working with their communities to bring people together and put the people they help front and centre in their work. 

To read about all 31 grants announced last week, click here. 

Application forms and guidance notes are available to download at www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk. If you have any questions or would like to chat to us about a funding idea, call us on 028 9055 1455, or e-mail us at enquiries.ni@tnlcommunityfund.org.uk. 

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