The National Lottery has cemented its popularity in Armagh with a spate of grants to local community groups, marking the first financial awards by the body since it rebranded from the Big Lottery Fund at the end of January.
Its new name and reimagined identity have helped to more closely signify the link between playing the National Lottery and the community projects that are financed as a result.
116 groups awarded grants
It’s little surprise that the National Lottery is so popular among Northern Irish residents. Helping to not only fund local projects but also provide life-changing opportunities to those who play, it attracts huge community participation.
It’s not just the game itself that can prove lucrative. Though the chances of winning are slim, many stake their hopes on the online gambling industry that has sprung up around it, with sites like Lottoland allowing you to check the live Lotto results as they come in, so you can always stay up to date with how you’ve done.
One group who must have felt like all of their numbers had come up at once is the organisations who have recently benefitted from the National Lottery Awards, which uses money earned from ticket sales to fund local projects.
A whopping 116 groups number among its latest benefactors, with Banbridge Senior Citizens Club among them. Taking a slice of the £959,115 raised by the initiative, the organisation plans to use its £5,964 share to fund its 60th-anniversary celebrations.
Celebrating in style
According to the club, the main event will be an overnight stay in Londonderry, with places of interest likely to feature on the itinerary. The hope is that this will allow the lucky attendees to build relationships, all whilst enjoying the sights and sounds of Derry, and tucking into a special evening meal with accompanying musical entertainments.
Brownlow Festival Association, based in Craigavon, will benefit as well, with its £9,242 grant being used to run the annual community festival. This will give local people the opportunity to enjoy a whole host of activities, from dragon boat racing to archery, with street entertainers present to make sure attendees are enjoying themselves at all times.
Home-start Banbridge will receive grant money too. With an additional £9,904 to spend, it will be recruiting and training new volunteers to help in its mission to support families who are experiencing difficulties.
Triple A is another worthy benefactor, with £5,642 awarded to the organisation, which intends to give adults with autism and associated learning disabilities somewhere to come together and socialise in the Armagh area. Its funds will be used to host skills classes that will teach vital life lessons such as cooking, and a new laptop will be purchased for administrative purposes.
Additional benefactors include St Joseph’s Primary School in Madden.
Kate Beggs, the recently appointed director of The National Lottery Community Fund Northern Ireland, said in a statement: “It’s lovely to see National Lottery money being used by people who are taking the lead in developing great ideas to help their communities thrive.”
We couldn’t agree more!