Almost £300,000 of Lottery cash pumped into district

Jane Witherspoon


Jane Witherspoon

Communities in the Ballymena area are improving their health and wellbeing thanks to almost £300,000 of National Lottery funding.

Bann Maine West Community Cluster has been awarded an £82,550 grant from Big Lottery Fund’s People and Communities programme.

The project is using the National Lottery funding to develop a range of services and information for people in rural areas of Mid and East Antrim.

They include lunch and learn sessions covering a range of topics from organisations such as Citizens Advice, Diabetes UK and Alzheimer’s Society. Other activities include learning trips, and an Annual Volunteer Celebration Event, which is an opportunity to acknowledge the support volunteers offer, share learning and plan future work.

The project is improving people’s mental and physical wellbeing and skills.

Joanne Brown Kerr, Project Co-ordinator for the group said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to deliver this project for older people living in rural, isolated areas.

“We are confident this project will make such a difference in our local area and are very grateful to the Big Lottery Fund, without which this project would not happen.”

Betty Loughlin from Cullybackey is happy to hear of more opportunities to attend: “I have really enjoyed previous Lunch & Learn events and am delighted to hear these events will be starting again soon.”

Loughgiel Community Association has also received £197,619 of National Lottery funding for their three-year Loughgiel Health and Wellbeing Project. This is offering people in Loughgiel and surrounding areas a range of activities to help improve health and wellbeing, learn new skills and bring people together. The activities are being held in the Millennium Centre in the village, and people are helping decide which type of activities they would like to take part in.”

Angela O’Hagan, Manager of Loughgiel Community Association, said: “We would like to thank National Lottery players for the generous support to the Loughgiel Health & Wellbeing project.

“This is a very exciting time for the area and we would like to thank everyone for their support in achieving this great milestone.”

Julie Harrison, Big Lottery Fund NI Chair, said: “I am delighted to announce these grants under the People and Communities programme and I want to say thanks to all the National Lottery players who have helped make this possible.

“We are looking forward to seeing the positive impact these projects will make to people and communities in Northern Ireland.”

The People and Communities programme offers grants of between £30,000 and £500,000 for two to five year projects. More information can be found on our website or ring our enquiries line on 028 90 551 455.

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