Foodbanks and Youth Clubs Among Worthy Recipients of £20,000 Community Fund
The second cycle of a Community Fund project by a local funeral business, James Brown and Sons, has selected eight organisations which will benefit from a £20,000 pot of grant money.
The funding project was created specifically for programmes that benefit local communities in the heart of Belfast and the surrounding areas.
This is the second cycle of the grant awards and this group of winners all represent communities within a three-mile radius of James Brown and Sons sites on Belfast's Knockbreda Road, Lisburn Road and Newtownards Road as well as Dundonald, Dunmurry, Newtownabbey and Whiteabbey.
They were announced as the business launches the third cycle of the community fund awards process, with a closing date of November 17.
Ardcarn, a project in East Belfast that offers older and socially deprived adults short breaks, is one of the eight successful applicants to win a stake of the funding. It said the money will be used towards coach trips to Newcastle and Portrush as well as suggested itineraries.
Meanwhile Colin Glen Christian Fellowship in Dunmurry, which is part of the South West Belfast foodbank, will use the money to boost its food packages. Each package equates to £50 of food/essentials (using the Trussell Trust conversion rate). Most of these packages go to families, with 48% of all those helped being children.
In the same area, the Dunmurry Community Association, which creates events for low-income families, was successful with its application. It will use its share of the funding to support the operations of its youth club which caters to 30 children within the 5-14 age group, as well as helping deliver Hallowe’en events and Christmas festivities.
And an organisation in Poleglass in West Belfast will put its funding towards its ‘Social Supermarket’. Footprints Women’s Centre redistributes surplus produce from the food industry to families experiencing food poverty for a nominal fee. Its service offers long-term support, usually six months, whereby families can carry out a weekly shop for food which is 50% or more below retail prices, allowing them to spend savings made on other essential items and activities.
A project in Newtownabbey that provides basic food hygiene courses, cooking classes and free or low-cost cooked meals says it will use the funding to contribute towards fitting a kitchen instead of hiring spaces to carry out its programme. Mens Shed said having a functional kitchen will allow it to educate service users about healthy eating at a more affordable cost.
And the New Colin programme, made up of 25 volunteers that offer company to those living with feelings of loneliness and isolation, will use the money to fund on and off-site activities, as well as the supply of food hampers, delivered to its 100 most vulnerable users this Christmas.
In East Belfast, The Gathering, runs a space where young people and young adults can meet and interact, including those from minority communities. With the money granted, the organisation will be able to offer more activities and bring in outside experts to equip and empower its users.
And a gardening community in Finaghy, South Belfast, will use its funding to buy new equipment for its members enabling more people to join its service. Aspen Garden is a community wellbeing centre that provides support to up to 100 people who have enduring mental health conditions.
Speaking about the second cycle of funding and the successful applicants who have received a grant, James Brown said: “It has been a humbling experience for us to serve the people of greater Belfast for almost 120 years during which we have made countless charitable donations and now we are able to recognise and support the good causes in our area with much needed financial support through the James Brown & Sons Community Fund initiative.
“The goal of this initiative is to ensure funding goes directly to those who need it at a specific time and we do this via an application process that allows us to accommodate those who will benefit from it the most.
“Our eight successful projects this time represent some really admirable work in the community and it is an honour for us to support them. We wish them all the best with their continued efforts and contribution to the local people.”
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