Building Better Futures Loan Fund enables Healthy Kidz to invest in growth
Healthy Kidz CIC is an innovative fitness initiative aiming to give physical literacy the same level of importance as academic literacy on the School curriculum. Initially spearheaded by Tannaghmore Primary School, Lurgan, the project was aimed at promoting pupils to take part in regular physical activity. Interest in the project has grown rapidly since its foundation with 86 schools throughout Northern Ireland and 10,000 pupils already participating weekly.
To meet this growing demand the organisation has accessed support from the Building Better Futures Fund to provide working capital to assist with initial running costs, allowing the organisation to invest in growth and increase revenue generation.
Community and voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises can access loans through the Building Better Futures scheme which has been created and funded through a partnership between three leading local charities - Building Change Trust, Belfast Charitable Society and Ulster Community Investment Trust (UCIT).
Building Change Trust was established in 2008 by the Big Lottery Fund with an endowment of £10million as an investment for community capacity building and promotion of the voluntary and community sector in Northern Ireland. Belfast Charitable Society was established in 1752 to tackle disadvantage and poverty and in doing so it built the Poor House and Belfast’s first Infirmary, which remains as Clifton House.
The £1 Million fund which is being managed by UCIT provides small unsecured loans of £1,000 - £25,000 which cannot currently be raised from traditional sources.
Kevin Creery of Healthy Kidz explained that the programme has become so successful they now employ nine full time coaches as well as 16 part time coaches. The aim is to get local firms on board and more investment as the company expands across Ireland. The initiative comes at a time in Northern Ireland when our young people's interest and engagement in physical activity is the lowest in the UK and the worst in history while levels of obesity and diabetes continue to rise.
Children have various strands of fitness goals including access to an App which allows them to follow their progress.
Building Better Futures loans can be used for a wide range of purposes, including buildings and repairs, equipment purchase, making facilities more energy efficient or funding shortfalls in larger grant assisted projects. Further information about the scheme is available by contacting Ulster Community Investment Trust (UCIT) on 028 9031 5003.