National Lottery hands charities £1.3m in dormant accounts funding

A total of 15 charity projects in Northern Ireland have been handed a share of £1.3m in funding through the Dormant Accounts Funds NI.

The funding is being delivered by the National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) with the Department of Finance in the region.

Among recipients is PeacePlayers NI, which uses sport to bridge divides among Catholic and Protestant young people.

It has been handed £99,941 to help restructuring and develop a long-term income strategy. This includes helping staff work more strategically and supporting training, data collection, evaluation and producing policy reviews.

“Thanks to this funding we will be able to future proof PeacePlayers to make it fit for purpose and able to continue to run community relations through sport programmes in an efficient and effective way,” said PeacePlayers International NI Gareth Harper.

Another to benefit is the Niamh Louise Foundation in Dungannon, which provides care for those in crisis and at risk of suicide or self-harm. It has received £86,256 to help the charity become more financially resilient.

“This project will be lifesaving for us to help us sustain the foundation for the future,” saud the Foundation’s operational director Catherine McBennett.

“When this funding ends, we’ll be in a better position to keep our vital mental health support services going.

“Since 2020 we’ve seen the level of referrals increase due to the impact of COVID-19 leading to poor mental health and suicidal thoughts, especially in children and young people. As people try to get back to normality, we are seeing increasing anxiety, and this will continue to increase as we move through the pandemic and back to school and work.”

The Dormant Accounts fund uses bank and building society accounts that have been untouched for 15 years or more and where customers who own the accounts cannot be traced.

Paul Sweeney, NLCF NI chair, added: “The Dormant Accounts Fund NI has been open for applications for one year now, and we continue to be impressed by the range of organisations applying for funding, looking beyond their day-to-day operational role to plan their long-term future and sustainability.

“Dormant Accounts money continues to make a significant difference in building resilience in non-for-profit organisations addressing social and economic need in our local communities.”

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