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Over £155,000 shared by ABC borough groups to tackle isolation and mental health at Christmas

City of Armagh Cricket Club, ABC Seniors Network and Clann Eireann Youth Club are among the National Lottery award recipients

Dialogue for Diversity intends to use its grant to provide Christmas dinners and activity/support packs to families in need and isolated older people on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day,

A Portadown group which works with foreign national has received a National Lottery grant to help people cope with isolation and other issues over the Christmas period.

Dialogue for Diversity will receive a £7,268 grant as part of an overall £155,455 National Lottery windfall across the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon borough.

The money is to help tackle local issues, including challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and improving health and well-being over the Christmas period.

Dialogue for Diversity intends to use its grant to provide Christmas dinners and activity/support packs to families in need and isolated older people on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. This is aimed at improving isolation and health and wellbeing of vulnerable people in the area.

Clann Eireann Youth Club, based in Lurgan, also received a £9,090 grant to support local people and families over the winter who need extra help due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The project will improve health and wellbeing, especially over the Christmas period by providing food hampers, fuel, blankets and bed linen.

Chrysalis Women’s Centre, based in the Brownlow area of Craigavon, is using a £9,100 grant to improve their garden area and buy a polytunnel so they can provide more activities and increase accessibility. The project will reduce isolation, improve mental health, increase learning opportunities and provide extra support for people who are recovering from COVID-19.

Other groups in the area awarded a Christmas funding boost are: Richmount Rural Community Association, ABC Community Network, The Right Key, City of Armagh Cricket Club, Clonmore Regeneration Group Limited, Bleary Busy Bees Pre-School, Annahinchago Rural Development Association, The Goal Line Youth Trust, Grace Community Church Ltd, The 1825 Project Limited, Armagh Banbridge & Craigavon Senior Network, NI Hyatt Ltd, and Killtown LOL 113.

Richmount Rural Community Association, based in Scotch Street outside Portadown, is using a £10,000 grant to run activities to support older people living in the village and surrounding areas. The project will create a community magazine, run virtual lunches and provide hot meals to help older people stay connected and reduce loneliness. Working with the local youth club they will create Zoom ambassadors to support older people who need help to take part.

ABC Community Network, based in Portadown, is using a £9,799 grant to provide activities and support to the local community to reduce isolation, develop skills and improve mental health. Activities include digital advice, an accredited ICT course, walking and talking groups, singing, an art class, and meditation.

The Right Key, based in Loughbrickland, is using a £9,600 grant to extend the number of counselling hours available from 10 hours to 20 hours per week. The project is supporting people who have experience of addiction, mental health issues or the criminal justice system. These people are also experiencing more stress, anxiety, depression and isolation due to COVID-19 which is raising demand for their vital

City of Armagh Cricket Club is using a £7,919 grant to renovate their kitchen so they can provide food and refreshment services for the local community to promote connections and encourage support in local activities.

Clonmore Regeneration Group Limited, based outside Dungannon, is using a £9,979 grant to buy a marquee and deliver activities to reduce loneliness which has increased due to COVID-19. They are running a mentoring programme, befriending scheme and socially distanced events for isolated people, particularly older men in the area.

Bleary Busy Bees Pre-School is using a £10,000 grant to relocate to the local church hall to provide a larger space and improve learning opportunities for their children. They will refurbish the hall, buy indoor and outdoor storage, new equipment and create an outdoor play area. In the future, when it is safe to do so, they will also be able to make the space available to the community on a Saturday and run parent workshops.

Annahinchago Rural Development Association, which is based between Castlewellan and Rathfriland, is using a £9,960 grant to extend and upgrade the kitchen facilities of Annahinchago Orange Hall. The project will allow them to provide hot meals for isolated older people to improve their health and well-being, and provide catering facilities for community events when restrictions are lifted.

The Goal Line Youth Trust in Portadown is using a £10,000 grant to help refurbish their toilet block to ensure COVID-19 hygiene advice can be followed. They will lower sinks and install automatic soap dispensers so children and wheelchair users can safely take part in activities to improve their health and well-being.

Grace Community Church Ltd, based in Richhill, is using a £3,400 grant to run two community drive-in cinema events for local young people, isolated older people and their families. The project will reduce the boredom and loneliness experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic and will bring people together in a safe, socially distanced way.

The 1825 Project Limited, based in Craigavon, is using a £10,000 grant to provide physical and well-being activity sessions for young people aged 18-23. The sessions will run online and in small groups following guidelines to improve fitness, reduce isolation and increase personal development for young people who have been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.

Armagh Travellers Support Group is using a £9,600 grant to fund a Traveller Community Worker to work with Travellers in the area to improve their well-being and access support. The staff member will provide information and support to engage with community and statutory services, heling people through challenges which have increased due to COVID-19.

Armagh Banbridge & Craigavon Senior Network is using a £9,740 grant to support older people in the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area who have been isolated due to COVID-19. They will provide activity packs, information and treats which will improve their health and well-being.

NI Hyatt Ltd, a social enterprise based in Craigavon, is using a £10,000 grant to support the local refugee and migrant community to settle and integrate. The project includes delivering signposting clinics online and face to face, information sessions on topics of common interest such as universal credit, integration and well-being clinics, intergenerational workshops and fitness sessions.

Killtown LOL 113, based in Killtown Hall near Dromore, is using a £10,000 grant to have an electricity supply installed in their building and to carry out electrical wiring works. This will ensure the hall will be able to be used for more community activities and improve their energy efficiency.

National Lottery players raise around £30 million every week across the UK for good causes like these. Although the vast majority of grants awarded are for smaller amounts of under £10,000, National Lottery money continues to fund longer term projects also, helping key groups in society and underpinning our health services.

Kate Beggs, Northern Ireland Director of The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “It’s great to see such a diverse range of projects being funded to help people stay connected and healthy. We know that even a small amount of money can really make a big difference. All of these groups are rising to the challenges of COVID-19, supporting well-being now, over the festive period and in the future.

“People know best what is needed in their area and we want to talk to anyone who has an idea or wants more information on funding to support their community.

“National Lottery players can be proud to know that the money they raise is making such a difference across Northern Ireland.”

The National Lottery Community Fund would like to talk to anyone in the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon area about their ideas for funding and give advice.

Contact The National Lottery Community Fund on 028 4378 0003, or visit

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