Early Christmas gift for three charities

Ballynure and District Friendship Club was one of the charities to benefit.
Ballynure and District Friendship Club was one of the charities to benefit.

Christmas came early for three East Antrim charities this week when the Co-Op handed over a £4,700 festive funding boost.

The money will be shared by Spinal Injury Northern Ireland (SpINI), Ballygally, Larne Community Care Centre, at Linn Road and Ballynure and District Friendship Club which are making a real difference to communities throughout the region.

This is the latest round of pay-outs from the fund generated by Co-Op members. It means overall the Co-Op has invested over £10,000 in nine groups in the Larne area since the membership scheme launched in September 2016.

Co-Op members, who receive a five per cent reward for themselves with a further one per cent going to local causes when they buy own-brand products, have a say in how the money is allocated, and are encouraged to select the organisations they wish to support online.

Rebecca Birkbeck, director of community engagement at the Co-Op, said: “Since the launch of the local community fund our members have helped 12,000 organisations to make a positive difference in their neighbourhoods, and in the last 12 months alone we have invested £19m in local causes.

“The fund is now supporting a wide variety of local organisations, from village halls and support groups to education providers and neighbourhood watch schemes, all of which are helping to make Larne a better, happier, and healthier place to live.”

Spinal Injury Northern Ireland specialises in rehabilitation. The charity’s aim is to provide individuals with support in social care and use of equipment for people with spinal injuries in their own area. It provides and delivers hoists and ramps and other disabled equipment.

Ballynure and District Friendship Club meets at Ballynure Presbyterian Church Minor Hall. Participants can take part in outings. The club aims to provide opportunities for older people in this rural community to meet.