A total of £3,313,174 of grants has been awarded, benefiting 93 community projects across Northern Ireland, including 13 projects in the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon area.
The biggest winner locally is the 1825 Project, which works in Brownlow and the wider Craigavon area.
It has received a £386,624 grant to upskill young people to contribute to community development and activities and help them become future community leaders and make improvements to the local community.
Over five years the project will run activities focusing on the issues young people face such as mental health problems, climate change, anti-social behaviour and poverty. Young people will help recruit new cohorts to take part in the project and will act as young leaders, trainers and peer mentors.
Some £200,000 has also been awarded to the Community Intercultural Programme (CIP) which will use the money to support young people in the Craigavon and Portadown area, the majority of whom will be from minority ethnic backgrounds, to learn new skills, build strong relationships and play a greater role in their community.
Over three years the project will run activities to improve wellbeing, reduce isolation, improve engagement with education and help to create a more inclusive community.
Happy Hours Club, Banbridge is using a £4,055 grant to provide winter packs for members with arthritis who are still isolating. The pack will contain some essential items and activities to improve their mental wellbeing and reduce loneliness.
Laurencetown, Lenaderg & Tullylish Community Association, based near Banbridge, also received a £9,140 grant to provide support and activities for their older members to build their confidence and reduce anxiety around the pandemic.
As restrictions ease they will organise Spring/Summer trips to places of interest in Northern Ireland.
1st Armagh and Explorer Scout Unit are using a £10,000 grant to buy equipment and training for volunteers so they can provide more outdoor activities including orienteering, paddle boarding, abseiling, archery and camping. This will improve the scouts’ team building skills and physical and mental wellbeing.
Banbridge and District Model Car Club is using a £6,500 grant to build a disabled access ramp in their premises so that disabled members can fully join in activities.
Drumadonald Rural Development Association is using a £10,000 grant to carry out improvements to the Moneyslane Orange Hall near Katesbridge.
This includes installing an outdoor BBQ area, LED lighting, interior walls and a lowered ceiling to provide a warmer environment, reduce heating costs and provide a safe and secure space for community activities.
Garrymore Residents Association, which is based in Moyraverty, Craigavon, is using an £8,820 grant to buy equipment to run activities to bring people together and improve the health and wellbeing of residents.
Grace Community Church, based in Richhill, are using a £10,000 grant to make improvements to a room in their building and to their outdoor area. This will create a safe, supervised space for young people to socialise and reduce anti-social behaviour.
Milltown Rural Development Association is using a £9,875 grant to install accessible toilets within Lawrencetown Orange Hall, near Gilford, to make the hall more inclusive for all members of the community and encourage more use for community activities.
Quilly Rural Development Group near Dromore are using a £9,980 grant to make improvements to their hall to enable them to deliver fitness classes for the local community which will bring people together and improve health and wellbeing.
Waringstown Community Development Association are using a £10,000 grant to set up a Men’s Shed to help address isolation and improve health and wellbeing for men in the village and surrounding areas.
Loughbrickland Women’s Institute are using a grant of £8,037 to deliver a series of events including a Community Village event, a Christmas party, day trips and a 65th Anniversary Dinner. The project will help to bring the group’s members together and strengthen friendships following the pandemic.
Meanwhile, in Newry, Mourne and Down, Centred Soul in Newry is using a £196,928 grant to expand their support for women and their families who have experienced or are experiencing peri-natal mental health issues and/or birth trauma.
Over three years the project will increase their online and in-person services, improve their online retail presence and develop their social enterprise activities in their new premises which will help them to become more sustainable.
Autism Families Community Support Group in Newry is using a £10,000 grant to run activities and Christmas events for young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their siblings. This will provide opportunities for the young people to develop skills and improve wellbeing, and a chance for caregivers to build relationships and support one another.
Burren Men’s Shed is using a £9,960 grant to install a metal shed on their site which will be used for a workshop to craft and create items. This will reduce isolation and improve their wellbeing.
Drumgath Ladies Group in Rathfriland is using a £10,000 grant to develop a community garden. The project will bring the whole community together and provide activities including yoga, crafts, cookery demonstrations and a day trip.
Field Studies Ireland are using a £9,600 grant to buy equipment and create a digital video series, that will be available online, to help the community connect with their outdoor spaces and local biodiversity in Mournes.
Glassdrumman Hiberian Social Club, based outside Annalong, is using a £9,950 grant to refurbish their toilet facilities to make them more suitable for families with babies and young children, more accessible for people with disabilities and more eco-friendly. The improvements will make the community space more accessible for community groups to use.
Lislea Community Association is using a £5,500 grant to carry out a feasibility study of their building and address issues with accessibility, circulation and toilet facilities.
Meadow Armagh Road Community Association in Newry is using a £10,000 grant to run activities and events for the community to help them re-connect. Activities will include sports, arts and crafts, cookery, genealogy, IT training and day trips.
Rostrevor Community Book Corner is using a £9,800 grant to create a space for social meetings, to organise readings, art displays, literary festivals and classes for the local community.
Projects being funded are supporting those in need over the festive season and enabling communities to have a better 2022 through activities to improve mental health, support children with disabilities and help people new to Northern Ireland to integrate.
Paul Sweeney, The National Lottery Community Fund’s NI Chair, said: “It’s inspiring to see such a diverse range of projects being funded as we continue to rise to the challenges of COVID-19, helping people stay connected and supporting wellbeing.
“Thanks to the money raised by people who play The National Lottery, these grants will make a big difference to people across Northern Ireland in 2022 and beyond.”
For more information on National Lottery funding visit our website www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/northern-ireland or social media.