Northern Ireland charities share £5m in National Lottery funding

More than 100 charitable projects in Northern Ireland are sharing £5m in National Lottery Community Fund grants.

This includes funding projects to use technology to support communities as well as helping tackle mental health issues.

Grants include just under £500,000 for Davina’s Ark addiction centre to run recovery programmes over the next four years to prevent relapses and break the cycle of family addiction.

Another of the larger grant awards is £254,000 for the Belfast Interface Project charity partnership to use augmented technology to support people in Belfast and Derry/Londonderry to redevelop their local areas.

“The toolkit lets them visually look at how their area is now and design what it could be like to benefit them, with things like green spaces, changes to roads and access, new facilities and community buildings.” Said Belfast Interface Project director Joe O’Donnell.

“Everyone can take part from their phone or tablet and can make suggestions and vote on what they want. It links areas and people, giving them an opportunity to have a say, without physical or social barriers.”

Of the 117 grant awards announced, 105 are for under £10,000. Among those to receive small grants is Lilac Cancer Support, which is using its £8,800 grant to develop the Coalisland and Loughshore Men’s Shed project to support mental health.

The project’s facilitator Stephen McCleary said: “Thanks to this money we will be able to run craft and woodwork activities which will reduce anxiety and isolation especially for older people.

“We will offer new projects to our local community, including schools and nursing homes, empowering members and breathing new life into the whole area.”

NLCF Northern Ireland chair Paul Sweeney added: “These new grants are supporting a diverse range of projects, who are meeting the needs of people, helping them to rebuild and thrive.”

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