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£150,000 of National Lottery Funding has been won in Northern Ireland

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Northern Ireland
The Peoples Projects
Release date:
6 4 2017

Three projects across Northern Ireland have each won up to £50,000 of National Lottery funding to support their local communities.

The Coast Office, Newry & Mourne Downs Syndrome Support Group and Via Wings have won the most public votes in The People’s Projects, which saw five projects across the Northern Ireland compete for grants to develop their work further.

The People’s Projects is a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund, UTV and The National Lottery which gives the public the chance to decide how £150,000 of National Lottery funding could make a difference in their local area.

As well as campaigning for public votes over a two week period, the five shortlisted projects were also featured on UTV Live, The Daily Mirror NI and Belfast Live from Monday 20 March to Friday 24 March.

The three projects that received the most public votes in Northern Ireland are:

The Coast Office’s B.U.I.L.D. project in Portballintrae, Co Antrim which received £50,000 to connect people including schoolchildren and older people with each other and their local coastal countryside. Activities include traditional boat building, a conservation award for young people, and maritime skills workshops.

John Bustard, chairman of The Coast Office, said: “We’re excited and honoured to be voted for by the public. The support throughout the campaign has given us a real sense of hope for our project. We’re looking forward to engaging all ages of people in the community and helping them to explore more of our coastal heritage and environment in a fun and inspiring way.”

Down Right Brilliant Youth Club by Newry and Mourne Down Syndrome Support group in Newry, which got a grant of £49,955 to set up a youth club for children and young adults with Down Syndrome and their siblings. The activities including dance, circus skills, football and outings, will reduce isolation, build friendships and give the young people a place to call their own where they can go and have fun.

Mairead Robb, chairperson of Newry & Mourne Down Syndrome Support Group said: “We’re absolutely delighted — this means so much to our children and young people. The youth club will be a great social outlet for them, and we’ll be able to do other activities as well like run a summer scheme. We want to thank Big Lottery Fund, UTV and the National Lottery but we also want to say a big thanks to our family, friends and the public who came out and voted for us. We are overwhelmed with the support we received.”

Food for the Soul by Via Wings in Dromore, Co Down, which was awarded £48,900 to set up a year-long catering and hospitality and work placement and training programme for young people and adults facing issues including unemployment and learning disability. This will take place mainly in their social enterprise coffee shop, the Olive Branch in Dromore, Co Down. The people taking part will also distribute meals to vulnerable local people.

Gail Redmond, founder of Via Wings, said: “As a faith based organisation we can’t put into words the difference this will make to the people involved, their families and the wider community. This support will help people develop their skills, give them hope for the future and live up to their full potential. The heart of what we do is community so we want to thank everyone who voted, campaigned and supported us in any way.”

The two runners up — Linking Generations NI’s Connecting Care Homes project and Everyday Harmony Music Therapy’s Harmony Hubs project — will each be offered £5,000 by Big Lottery Fund for smaller projects.

Julie Harrison, Big Lottery Fund Chair, said: “We are proud to be supporting this year’s winners in The People’s Projects. They are using National Lottery funding to bring people together and give them the opportunity to build their skills, make new friends and learn from one another. We want to congratulate these great projects and look forward to seeing the positive difference they make to local communities.”

Films and more information on each of the projects are available at www.thepeoplesprojects.org.uk

Since 2005, around £39 million has been awarded through the Big Lottery Fund, The National Lottery and ITV/STV partnership to 865 Good Causes across the UK.

For press enquiries call Rachel Skinner in the Big Lottery Fund in Northern Ireland: Press Office: 02890 551 450
Out of hours media contact: 0774 7532 846

Website:   www.biglotteryfund.org.uk | www.thepeoplesprojects.org.uk
Twitter:   @bignionline #peoplesprojects #BigLottery
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BigLotteryFundNI

Notes to Editors:

  • The National Lottery was created in 1994 with the ambition of changing lives across the nation. To date, over 4,400 new millionaires have been created and over £36 billion has been raised for Good Cause projects.
  • Every time you play The National Lottery, you are making a difference, by contributing towards the staggering £30 million raised every week for good causes. Every part of the UK is reached, and over 500,000 projects have been funded, averaging 160 projects per postcode. These projects help to build local communities, power sports teams, save the environment, unleash creative talent, empower the elderly, unlock young potential and help change our nation for the better.
  • The People’s Projects is a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund, ITV and the National Lottery which gives the public the chance to have a say in how National Lottery funding is spent in their community.
  • The competition funds projects that improve the lives of people and communities across the UK.
  • This year 57 awards of up to £50,000 are up for grabs across the UK – three awards in each ITV region.
  • For more information on shortlisted groups and voting visit www.thepeoplesprojects.org.uk.
  • The Big Lottery Fund is the largest funder of community activity in the UK. We put people in the lead to improve their lives and communities, often through small, local projects.
  • We are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Every year we invest over £650 million and award around 12,000 grants across the UK for health, education, environment and charitable purposes.
  • Since June 2004 we have awarded over £8 billion to projects that change the lives of millions of people.