Paisley Welcomes Big Lottery Funding for Local Initiatives

March 5, 2015

Ian Paisley MP has this week welcomed the news that a significant number of local projects have benefited from the Big Lottery Funds’ ‘Awards for All’ programme.
There were in fact eight different groups across Ballymena, Ballymoney and Ballybogey who were successful in their applications to the scheme.
In Ballymena the North Ballymena Community Cluster received £6527. The Community Cluster represents and supports a number of voluntary and community groups in the north Ballymena area. They are using the grant to run a series of activities that will bring older people together such as lunches, gardening, arts, crafts and away trips.
The Ballymena Substance Users Support Group were awarded £8511. The group supports people affected by drug and alcohol misuse in the town. The grant is being used for training that will increase the support they can provide to the group’s members, equipment and activities such as cookery classes.
Mr Paisley commented “Substance abuse is something that we do everything we can to eliminate from the area and we have a responsibility to protect users and help them to overcome their addictions. The Support Group are an exceptionally worthy recipient of Big Lottery funding.”
The Ballymena Inter-Ethnic Forum were also awarded over £8000 to help them with the services they offer to the ethnic minorities in Ballymena. The project will provide bi-lingual interpreters to signpost members to support and information services, as well as supporting the group’s users to integrate into the local community.
Rasharkin Community Association received £3596 to help them provide a range of social activities for local residents. They are using the grant for a programme of events, which will include hip hop dancing, floral art and table tennis, which will be promoted at an open evening to mark the community centre’s re-opening.
Ballymena Academy also received £8000 to go towards purchasing new outdoor gym equipment that will be accessible to pupils, parents and the wider community.
Two grants were also awarded to Ballymoney organisations and one in Ballybogey.
Fuse FM is a community radio station in Ballymoney who were awarded £10,000. The grant is to be used to bring local people together through two fun days, one in winter and one in summer as well as a Scottish ceilidh.
The town’s Bowling Club also received £10000 to go towards improvements to the club building to allow wider community use, while the Ballybogey over 50’s Club received £9318 to provide classes and social outings for older people in the community. The grant will specifically cater for trips, craft and community classes as well as a monthly luncheon club.
Ian Paisley added “I cannot stress enough how important a role the Big Lottery Fund play in allowing these wonderful programs to function. The services that these grants afford the people of North Antrim are truly priceless and once again my gratitude goes out to both the lottery and the group co-ordinators who display such invaluable dedication to their local communities through these various initiatives.”

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