GROUPS across County Antrim are celebrating after receiving over £220,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund to support local projects.
This funding is part of a roll-out of more than £2million across Northern Ireland today.
Greenisland Men’s Shed is among four groups in Antrim sharing £224,068.
They are using a £9,891 grant to buy new premises and tools for the shed, this allows them to operate seven days a week and have somewhere to store their equipment.
The group are also buying wood working machinery and tools to expand the activities they provide. The shed keeps the men socially connected and offers opportunities to address issues they may be facing.
P.J. O’Halloran a member of Greenisland Men’s Shed said; “After six months from the formation of our group it became apparent that if the Shed was to progress, we would need to secure our own ‘Shed’.
“There were no suitable premises available in Greenisland and realistically we were restricted by our budget on what we could afford for rent.
“The involvement from Awards for All has resolved our setbacks. It has enabled us to secure our own premises. This may not mean much to the outsider but to Greenisland Men’s Shed it is the encouragement and motivation to plan for the future and to work on all the projects that we have put on ‘the back burner’.
“We are confident that having our own premises will result in an increased attendance and the ‘Shed’ will become an important element of the community.”
Antrim Enterprise Agency is using a £8,757 grant to provide equipment for the HerShed Project including a cutting machine, embroidery machine, haberdashery items, a storage unit and furniture. This project gives women the opportunity to learn new skills, build confidence and reduce isolation.
Ballyclare Rugby Football Club is using a £9,900 grant to refurbish Cloughan Hall in Ballyclare.
The money is being used to replace the existing floor in the hall, as well as adding a partition wall to create additional space and installing an indoor speaker and mic system, making it more accessible to community groups who use it to hold dance and exercise classes.
Streetwise Community Circus C.I.C is using a £195,520 grant to run their ‘Age-ility Circus Northern Ireland’ project over the next four years.
The project will deliver an annual programme of circus workshops for older people across Mid and East Antrim, Newry and Mourne, Fermanagh and Omagh, Ards and North Down.
Workshops include a full range of circus skills such as juggling, hat manipulation, diabolo, plate spinning to improve physical skills and co-ordination as well as increasing social interaction and self-esteem.
Also receiving funding is CLIC Sargent Cancer Care for Children, Multiple Sclerosis Society Northern Ireland, Community Places, SOFT UK, Special Educational Needs Advice Centre and The Association for Real Change.
Kate Beggs, The National Lottery Community Fund Northern Ireland Director, said: “Our experience of working with communities is that when you listen, people have amazing ideas to make things better and to change people’s lives in their own area. It is great to see the diverse work being done through projects funded by National Lottery money.
“Whether it’s small pots of funding or larger grants, people are being brought together to make good things happen and change lives. When people take the lead and develop their own great ideas, communities really do thrive. I want to say thanks to all The National Lottery players who have helped make this possible.”
For a full list of grants awarded across Northern Ireland visit: https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/news/press-releases/2020-02-27/2million-national-lottery-boost-to-community-groups-in-northern-ireland
For more information on applying for National Lottery funding, please visit www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk. If you have an idea you would like to discuss or need guidance please call The National Lottery Community Fund on 028 9055 1455 or email email@example.com.