Local projects benefit from Big Lottery Fund

February 24, 2014

Several community groups and projects throughout Newry and Mourne have been awarded funding from the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All programme as part of a grants roll-out of £670,000 to 80 groups across Northern Ireland.

Awards for All offers community, voluntary and statutory groups the chance to apply for small grants of between £500 and £10,000 that will have a big impact on local communities and the lives of people most in need.

St Patrick’s Primary School in Crossmaglen received a £10,000 grant to provide a ‘trim trail’ in the school grounds for pupils and the wider community, while Newry and Mourne ME/ Fibromyalgia Support Group received £2,968 which was used by the organisation to allow members to attend an event at Stormont, which raised awareness and delivered information on ME and Fibromyalgia.

The Newry and Mourne Co-Operative Limited also benefited from a grant of £7,441 which will be used to fit out an informal space to be used by local young people who are at risk of becoming involved in anti-social or criminal activities.

Bessbrook community group, Friends of the Arc, set up by Adults with a Learning Disability, received vital funding of £9,000 to provide training for their members to help promote their health and well-being.

Local charity, Carers Matter, which provides support, advice and information for carers living in the Southern Trust area will use a windfall of £10,000 to help the organisation continue to develop and provide services to local carers.

Silverbridge mother-of-three Majella McKenna welcomed the £10,000 award Action Cancer is to receive that will be used to take its Big Bus cancer screening service to six areas across NI not normally covered.

The south Armagh woman had her cancer detected on board the Big Bus in late 2011 and, because her type of cancer could not be found by self-checking, she credits the Action Bus with saving her life.

“The cancer had been detected at an early stage and was therefore treatable. For this reason I am very grateful to Action Cancer, the Big Bus really did save my life,” she said.

“My journey has been a difficult one, but I am still here and my kids still have a mum. I can’t thank Action Cancer enough.”

Joanne McDowell, Big Lottery Fund NI Director, said: “The Big Lottery Fund’s NI Awards for All programme funds health, education, environment and community projects that help people bring about positive change in their lives, improve health and well-being, develop skills and create safer communities.

“The application process is simple and accessible and shall remain so, making it easy for applicants to successfully apply for small pots of funding that can have such a big impact on local communities and lives.”