Awards for All Increases Size of Grants available in Northern Ireland
ORGANISATIONS and community groups across
Northern Ireland are getting the chance to apply for more lottery cash to
improve the lives of local people.
Since Awards for All started almost five years
ago almost £14 million has been awarded to nearly 4,000 organisations in
Northern Ireland including small community groups, schools and charities, as
well as sports clubs, arts projects and heritage schemes.
Until today, the maximum grant available under
the National Lottery small grants scheme was £5,000, but that figure will now
rise to £10,000.
Awards for All Programme Manager Punam
McGookin said: “Lottery distributors are aware of the
importance of responding to the changing needs of groups looking to access funds
for projects and the rising costs that are incurred in the delivery of
“We are also aware of the changes in the local
funding environment which makes applying for funding increasingly competitive.
So we are increasing the upper ceiling on grant size from £5,000 to a maximum of
£10,000 in any 12 month period. We have also increased the amount of money that
will be available for distribution so larger grants will not necessarily result
in less awards being made.”
Ms McGookin added: “The current success rate for
applications is 75 per cent, which is the highest it has ever been in Northern
Ireland. It is clear there is a real need for such funding and that smaller
projects can bring positive changes to the lives of local people.”
Friends of Woodvale Park in Belfast
is one of the thousands of groups to benefit from Awards from All funding in the
past. The group is using its grant of £4,916 to organise a series of seasonally
themed events in the park.
Jennifer Cornell, a member of the management
committee, said: “The park is a large public
space which has problems with anti-social behaviour and general degradation. It
has pleasant features but is in great need of preservation and development.
Woodvale Park wants to reclaim the park by providing social activities aimed at
the community including young families and older people. We want to bring people
back into the park and have a positive presence in it.”
Lisburn Downs Syndrome Support Group
used a £4,998 grant to organise a holiday in Scotland for children with Downs
Syndrome and their families.
“As a parent of
children with Downs Syndrome you can feel quite isolated, and we found it a help
getting away together on holidays as a group,” said chairperson Mildred
going away as a group is good for the whole family. “The holiday benefits the
siblings too because they get to meet other children in the same situation and
realise that they are not the only ones with a brother or sister with Downs
Syndrome,” Mildred said
Newcastle Amateur Boxing Club
used its grant of £4,100 to renovate a rundown building, bringing it up to the
standard needed for clubrooms.
Club chairman and head coach Noel Magee
said the club was established last May. “We got a run down building and have
gutted and renovated it. We have now got our first boxing champion so the club
really is going from strength to strength,” he said.
Middletown Friendly Club
in Armagh also received a grant of £3,602 to organise activities and outings for
older people. Treasurer Mary Grimley
said: “It is not easy for older people to get out and about and to meet with
other people, especially in the border counties. Without the Awards for All
grant we would not have been able to organise all the activities and outings we
Derry Youth Dance
used its grant of £3,200 to tutor students in contemporary and creative dance,
leading to a summer performance at the Millennium Forum in Derry City.
Tutor Kerry Houston said: “This is a unique
opportunity for the girls to put the work they have done onto the public stage.
Without this grant we may not have been able to put on a public performance
because the venue and lighting are expensive. The children would have been very
disappointed. It is unusual for students to get the opportunity to perform on
stage and this summer production will be a bit different from just having
parents come into the studio to watch.”
Tullylish Historical Society
used the £4,100 grant to produce a book and video based on the life of life of
local man Albert Uprichard, now aged 87. Chairperson Anne Murphy
said: “Albert Uprichard had a great life in boxing and hunting. He was born in a
castle outside Gilford and still lives by himself. I wanted the community to
know more about his life.”
for All Northern Ireland is a joint Lottery grants programme supported by the Arts
Council Northern Ireland, Big Lottery Fund*, Heritage Lottery Fund and Sports
Council of Northern Ireland.
Lottery Fund is the joint operating name of the New Opportunities Fund and the
National Lottery Charities Board (which made grants under the name of the
Application Packs are available to download from the website on
by telephoning the Awards for All hotline on: 0845
Minicom number 0845 755 6656.
- The Awards
for All office can be contacted on 028 9055 9090.
For general information log on to