Lottery windfall for Cloughmills Boys’ and Girls’ Football Club

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Three groups from the Ballymoney area are sharing in a grants windfall from the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All programme.

The small grants programme is awarding nearly £15,000 to the local groups as part of a grants roll-out of £321,665 to 36 projects across Northern Ireland.

Awards for All offers community, voluntary and statutory groups the chance to apply for small grants of between £500 and £10,000 that will have a big impact on local communities and the lives of people most in need.

Cloughmills Boys’ and Girls’ Football Club, which gives young people from the area the chance to get fit and take part in organised football training and matches, has been awarded £4,356 to help run its 10th anniversary celebrations.

“This is the club’s 10th anniversary and we’re planning to use the funding to hold a gala event on September 24th to help us and the wider community celebrate,” said Donna Marie Magill from the village whose children – Chloe (8) and Kelan (11) – are both keen players. “It will also help raise the club’s profile so more children can take part in future years.

“The club started off really as just a few youngsters kicking some footballs about and from that we’ve gone from strength to strength. It’s given local children something to do on their doorstep without parents having to arrange to get them to Ballymoney or Coleraine for activities.

“We’re based in Cloughmills Primary School which is really handy for everyone and we have about 60 members from P1 to P7 ages. The younger ones meet once a week and the older ones twice a week, so it’s quite a commitment from everyone involved.

“The club offers something for everyone. It helps to improve the children’s health and fitness, teaches them about playing as a team and gives them discipline they can use in other aspects of their life.”

She continued: “It’s had a big impact on the lives of young people in our community, and it also gives their parents the chance to get to know each other. We can’t wait to celebrate everything we have achieved together over the last 10 years.”

Frank Hewitt, Big Lottery Fund NI Chair, said: “The Big Lottery Fund’s NI Awards for All programme funds projects that help people bring about positive change in their lives, improve health and well-being, develop skills and create safer communities.”

“Groups across Northern Ireland can now apply for more funding from the programme. You can now apply for Lottery cash of up to £20,000 in a 12-month period to organise projects, but a group can only hold one award of up to £10,000 for a project at any one time, and the organisation must have spent the grant before applying for more funding.

“So groups will be able to run more projects during the year and they can continue to make a big difference to the lives of people most in need across Northern Ireland.”

Application forms and guidance notes are available to download at www.awardsforall.org.uk.

For more details call us on 028 9055 1455, or e-mail us at enquiriesni@biglotteryfund.org.uk

* Carnany Community Association also received £2,180. The group will use the grant to run a community fun day for people in the local area, bringing people together to enjoy a fun day out.

St Brigid’s Primary School also received £8,510. The school will use the grant to develop an outside play area where pupils can enjoy outdoor learning.