Paulina Oriola and Nikki Yau from The Migrant Centre NI in Lurgan which has been awarded a £46,139 grant to engage with ethnic minority communities across Northern Ireland.
Communities across Northern Ireland are benefitting from more than £5.8 million from The National Lottery Community Fund, including 10 projects in Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon.
One of the groups being funded is Aghagallon Community Centre outside Lurgan. They are using a £6,555 grant to deliver a programme of workshops which will bring the rural community safely together to enjoy a range of social activities to reduce loneliness and isolation resulting from the pandemic.
Also receiving funding in the area are Princeton Drive Cares Community Group, which is using a £9,900 grant to outdoor plants and equipment to create a welcoming space for the community. The project will bring the local community together, reducing social isolation and improving mental health.
A recent pilot programme aimed at ensuring National Lottery money is supporting people from ethnic minority communities in Northern Ireland, also awarded funding to the Migrant Centre NI, Armagh Roma Traveller Support and NI Hyatt.
Migrant Centre NI, based in Lurgan, is using their £46,139 grant to engage with ethnic minority communities across Northern Ireland to promote services, develop capacity and improve community relations.
Pamela Dooley, Chair of the Migrant Centre NI Board of Trustees, said: "We are delighted to receive this funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, which allows us to continue to build capacity for migrant and minority ethnic leaders in NI for them to have a seat at the table in all areas of public and civic life."
Armagh Roma Traveller Support is using a £49,425 grant to expand their services to meet the high demand for their support in Armagh and the surrounding areas. Over two years the project will support Roma and Traveller families to access public services, health care, education support and advocacy services. This will help families to reduce poverty, ill health, homelessness and increase uptake of education and employment opportunities. The project will also run activities to showcase and celebrate the diverse history, culture, traditions and languages of these communities to reduce prejudice and racism and help provide a sense of belonging in the wider community.
This latest round of funding comes as The National Lottery Community Fund reviews how it awards grants in Northern Ireland. Communities are facing fresh challenges and opportunities, and they want to involve all communities in conversations about funding to understand what these are and how they can support communities better. NI Hyatt is using a £50,000 grant to provide support to refugee and migrant communities that builds upon the work already being done locally. Working in the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon council area, Belfast and Newry, the two-year project will develop support sessions where people can access bilingual signposting clinics, English language classes, employability training, and wellbeing events.
Paul Sweeney, The National Lottery Community Fund’s NI Chair, said: “Congratulations to all those awarded grants today, it is inspiring to see the wide range of activity that organisations are carrying out to help local people.
“We are currently thinking about what our grant making will look like between now and 2030 and we want to ensure communities across Northern Ireland help shape the future of how we invest money. We intend to do this by listening, learning and responding to ideas and suggestions.
“Please get in touch and tell us your views. We really want to hear from everyone, not just those who have benefitted from National Lottery funding in the past.”
To give your views on what is important in your community to help shape the future of National Lottery funding, email YourViewsNI@tnlcommunityfund.org.uk or telephone 028 9055 1455 .
Thanks to National Lottery players more than £30 million a week is raised for good with the majority being awarded as small grants, supporting what matters to local people.