Lottery funding boost for community organisations


Charities and community groups in the Newtownabbey area have been awarded funding from the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All programme.

The Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice is one of four locally-based organisations to benefit from the funding package, which totals £40,000.

Ballyrobert Recreation Club received £10,000 which will be used to refurbish its hall.

Glengormley Integrated Primary School PTA was another recipient of £10,000. The sum will be used to enhance existing outdoor facilities at the school.

Also in receipt of a £10,000 grant was Newtownabbey Hearing Hub. The group provides support for deaf children and their families across Newtownabbey, Belfast, Carrickfergus and Larne.

The latest funding distribution is part of a roll-out of £909,970 to 107 groups across Northern Ireland.

The small grants programme has also awarded £10,000 to the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice for its music therapy project.

Music therapist Jenny Kirkwood, from the Northern Ireland Music Therapy Trust, said: “The ability to respond to music is a natural human ability. It is unimpaired by any sort of disability, illness or injury. Using music as a therapeutic tool allows us to make a real connection with the children and communicate with them in a way that may otherwise not be possible.

“It is a medium for very powerful communication without the need for words. The child and their family can address certain emotions and feelings without having them to state it in words. It can also provide an experience that the family can take part in together.”

Grace Stewart, care services manager at the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice, said music therapy benefited children at every stage of their care.

“Music therapy is one of the things that we fight very hard to keep and this funding allows us to do that,” she added.