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Ann McGeeney Trust Fund making a difference in communities

February 20, 2017

Peace building across communities, support for women and support for minority groups are just some of the types of projects which the Ann McGeeney Trust Fund will assist as it opens to applications via the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland this week.

Ann McGeeney who passed away in 2014 was a lifelong community worker and peace activist from south Armagh who began her working life in Crossmaglen as manager of the Regeneration of South Armagh community organisation.

In her memory, a Trust Fund was set up by Ann’s family and friends in 2015 with the intention of continuing her work with marginalized people and disadvantaged communities.

The work supported by the Fund includes the types of projects that were close to her heart; building peace across and within communities, helping minority groups both indigenous and newly arrived, and assisting women’s groups seeking to make a positive difference to women’s lives.

As husband Jimmy explains, “Ann’s life was dedicated to working with communities experiencing deprivation as well as supporting peace-building across Ireland, and in particular working with women to inspire them and build their confidence.”

Although the last few years have been difficult for family and friends coping with Ann’s loss, Jimmy says the Fund and the overwhelming generosity of so many people who have made the Fund possible has meant that her family and friends can continue the good work which Ann carried out in her life.

“Small things do make a difference as Ann always said and these grants small though they may be in value will make important differences to the projects they are supporting,” added Jimmy.

Previous projects receiving grants from the Fund include; a community healthy eating initiative aimed at young mothers, single parents and non-nationals; a gardening project which sees older people and ex-offenders come together to improve local community green space; funding towards an initiative which provides a safe space for separated parents to meet with their young children; and funding for a project working with vulnerable asylum seekers and refugees including victims of torture.

Harry Hughes, Chairman of Cabbage Patchers, a charity which has benefitted from the Fund explains what the grant meant to them: “We first met Ann McGeeney back in 2011 at a workshop she was hosting.  Through Ann’s guidance, we grew in confidence and went on to build a charitable organisation that, had she been with us today, she would undoubtedly be proud of.”

“Six years later and Ann’s spirit of generosity revisits us through a most generous donation from her trust, a trust set up not only to honour the memory of Ann’s unique qualities, but to allow those who in her words “either lead from the front or push from behind” continue in their work to support, help and respect each other,”  added Harry.

Andrew McCracken Chief Executive of the Community Foundation said,

“Having seen the positive impact on groups receiving grants from the first round of funding, we know this Trust Fund can truly make a massive difference through giving small grants which will make a difference to the causes Ann was passionate about.”

To find out more about setting up a fund with the Community Foundation, please contact Siofra Healy, Director of Philanthropy shealy@communityfoundationni.org or 02890 245927

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