COMMUNITY groups in Antrim, Newtownabbey, Ballymena, Ballyclare and Larne are celebrating after being awarded grants from the National Lottery Community Fund just in time for Christmas.
The Ballymena Club for the Hard of Hearing is among those groups in Northern Ireland sharing more than £2.8million.
They are using a £2,170 grant to deliver lip reading classes for people with hearing impairments.
These activities will increase confidence and allow them to integrate better with the hearing community.
Roberta Boyd, Secretary of Ballymena Club for the Hard of Hearing, said: “Our Club appreciate and are very encouraged by the funding we have received from The National Lottery Community Fund Northern Ireland.
“Lip Reading skills gained from these classes by our members will greatly improve their confidence and ability to integrate better with the wider community, thus improving health and well-being, making a positive difference to their lives.
“The club would like to thank everyone who plays the National Lottery that have enabled us to provide this service in our area.”
Whitehead Glasgow Rangers Over 50s Club is using a £9,230 grant to provide social activities for older people in the area. Activities will include an annual programme of trips as well as a Christmas dinner with entertainment.
The Mae Murray Foundation, based in Larne, is using a grant of £9,984 to fund trips, events and activities for people excluded by disability, age or a medical condition.
These activities build self-esteem and improve physical and mental well-being. The grant will also allow participants to go surfing and attend a music festival, sporting events and the theatre.
Good Morning Ballymena is a telephone support service for vulnerable and isolated adults aged 60+ in the area.
The group are using a £8,995 grant to deliver outreach services including home visits, dining clubs and day trips to those in the Ballymena area.
South Antrim Community Transport, based in Ballyclare, are using a grant of £8,073 to provide community transport for socially isolated people living in rural areas of south Antrim who are unable to access public transport.
This is helping bring people together, build new relationships and improve their mental well-being.
Angel Eyes NI, based in Newtownabbey, provides emotional and practical support to children and young people with a visual impairment.
They are using a £9,550 grant to provide Saturday clubs in both Jordanstown and Magherafelt until June 2020, which will include art-based activities, music and dance, mindfulness and relaxation.
The group are also educating parents about visual impairments and promoting positive mental well-being.
Kate Beggs, The National Lottery Community Fund Northern Ireland Director, said: “I am delighted to announce these grants. It is great to see the amazing and diverse work being done through projects funded by National Lottery money. When people take the lead and develop their own great ideas, communities really do thrive.
“Whether it’s small pots of funding or larger grants, people are being brought together to make good things happen and change lives. I want to say thanks to all the National Lottery players who have helped make this possible.”