Groups celebrate Big Lottery Fund windfall

Glengormley High is celebrating the award of a community grant that will allow the school to expand its health and fitness facilities. Pictured are Conor Hogarth, Dean McAllister, Jamie Ramsey, David Bell ''and Neal Glassey, with Head PE Teacher Nigel Officer keeping time. INNT 09-426-RM
Glengormley High is celebrating the award of a community grant that will allow the school to expand its health and fitness facilities. Pictured are Conor Hogarth, Dean McAllister, Jamie Ramsey, David Bell ''and Neal Glassey, with Head PE Teacher Nigel Officer keeping time. INNT 09-426-RM

TWO Newtownabbey organisations celebrated a windfall from the Big Lottery Fund this week.

Glengormley High School and the Stepping Stones Playgroup were awarded almost £20,000 from the organisation’s Awards for All programme.

The high school was awarded £9,960 to provide equipment and pay a trainer to run a free health-related fitness class two evenings a week for members of the public.

The aim of the class is to offer local people the chance to get out of the house, socialise and improve their fitness.

Principal Lex Hayes said: “The classes will run initially for two nights a week and they will be free to everybody.

“This is exactly the role the school should be offering to the local community.

“This will be a facility right on the doorsteps for our neighbours and we are particularly keen to involve young people between the ages of 16 and 25. There are a lot of concerns about health and these sessions will offer people the opportunity to pick up a bit of fitness and improve on their health.”

He added: “We are currently looking to extend our facilities at the school with the redevelopment of our fitness suite.

“We are big into sport and have a high demand with our physical education subjects among the sixth form and of course these facilities will also benefit our staff as well as pupils and the local community.”

Classes will run on Monday and Wednesday evenings, for more information visit the school’s website.

Stepping Stones Playgroup is also receiving a £9,000 grant to upgrade the existing toilet facilities at its venue. It could not be reached for comment.

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.

Frank Hewitt, Big Lottery Fund NI chair, 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.awardsforall.org.uk.

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