Lottery grants for community groups

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Ballymoney and Moyle are set to share in a grants windfall from the Big Lottery Fund.

Causeway Coast and Glens Amateur Radio Club, Glebeside Community Association, Dunloy Union Defenders LOL 496 and Ballybogey Community Association were four groups awarded from Awards for All.

Glebeside, received £9,600 to help run activities to improve the health and social wellbeing of Glebe Estate residents. The project will fund a community fun day to bring people together and build community spirit.

Meanwhile £5,850 was also given to the Ballybogey group, which provides activities for people in the area. The money will help to run a summer scheme and fitness activities for young people and the wider community in the new community hall.

Dunloy Union Defenders LOL 496, which provides facilities for the community, will use the £8,100 grant to make improvements to the hall. This will allow it be used for a greater range of community activities.

Causeway Coast and Glens Amateur Radio Club, which is based in Portballintrae, received £7,912 to buy radio equipment and provide training to young people to increase their skills and prepare them for voluntary opportunities with the emergency services. The training in amateur radio allows members to get licensed to become part of RAYNET, the radio amateurs’ emergency network across the UK.

Samuel Hutton, Secretary of the club, said: “Once members are qualified they can volunteer their RAYNET services at sporting events like the North West 200. At events like this we provide help to the emergency services by setting up a radio network around the course to relay information about riders who have come off their bikes so that the emergency services can get to them quickly. We could also provide help if there was a bad storm that affected telephone masts. As a group of amateurs we can set up an emergency network to coordinate help.”

The club promotes amateur radio to young people in the area through schools and groups including scouts. Samuel added: “The young people can use the radios to contact people locally but they can also connect with people in other countries such as Australia. The young people find it fascinating.

The equipment we’ve been able to buy has made a big difference. Having advanced radios that work correctly attracts the young people to get involved. Amateur radio is a hobby but the young people are also learning about science, maths and engineering. Getting certified and taking part in RAYNET emergency services is also a great opportunity for them.”

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Joanne McDowell, Big Lottery Fund NI Director, said: “The Big Lottery Fund’s NI Awards for All programme funds health, education, environment and community projects that help people bring about positive change in their lives, improve health and well-being, develop skills and create safer communities. “The application process is simple and accessible and shall remain so, making it easy for applicants to successfully apply for small pots of funding that can have such a big impact on local communities and lives.”

Application forms and guidance notes are available to download at www.biglotteryfund.org.uk. For more details call us on 028 9055 1455, or e-mail us at enquiries.ni@biglotteryfund.org.uk