Big Lottery Fund
Printable version

£2.7m National Lottery funding helps tackle the big issues in communities

The National Lottery Community Fund is today announcing £2.7 million of grants to over fifty projects that are helping tackle the big issues affecting communities, such as supporting victims of domestic violence, mental health support for families living with health conditions and reducing isolation. For a full list of grants awarded, please see table attached below.

Mid-Ulster Women's Aid (MUWA) has received £475,204 to run their ‘Starfish’ project over the next four years, to help women who have suffered domestic violence and are exiting their services.

Martina Watson, on behalf of MUWA explained:

“As a result of the trauma they’ve experienced the women we support have low self-esteem and lack confidence and self-worth. In many cases they will have been cut off from friends and family. They are not able to move on in their lives and without help they might return to be dependent, stuck in a cycle of abuse.

“Thanks to the National Lottery money, our staff will act as professional friends, offering practical one-to-one support so they can live their lives without the ever-present anxiety and loneliness, until they become more confident and have their own support networks. They will have a chance to take part in activities, complete qualifications or get help with things they always wanted to do, such as learning to drive – something they may never have been allowed to do before.

“Their trauma is likely to stay with them forever, but this project will help them find a healthy way to cope and make plans for a better future. We are so delighted to be able to give this essential support, thanks to this National Lottery funding, as the need is so great.”

Facial Palsy UK is using a £2,220 grant to deliver virtual support groups for sufferers and their families to improve mental health.

Janet Robb, who suffers from a facial palsy and helps lead the project said:

“One in 60 people will have facial palsy (paralysis) at some time in their lives, yet it is a condition that is not understood. It’s not just cosmetic, it can absolutely devastate lives, causing people to not only have severe pain but also have major issues with being able to sleep, eat or wash, as well as the effects on their confidence and self-esteem. Some of our members describe it as getting retraumatised every time they look in the mirror, so these groups are the much needed first step and lifeline for getting the help that is so desperately needed.

“After my own battle over the last nine years, in conjunction with the Facial Palsy UK charity, I set up a Facebook group and over 100 people have been supporting each other, as dedicated health care clinics for facial palsy in NI do not exist. This National Lottery funding means for the first time in NI, we can be led, get help and support in a group from a facial palsy expert. Through this, people have the opportunity to develop friendships and realise they are not the only ones in this situation, helping improve mental well-being. Thank you to National Lottery players for making this funding possible.”

Cancer Fund for Children is using a £9,986 grant to deliver their Care Free Choir virtually, so people living with or affected by cancer can take part while at home due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Neil Symington, Cancer Fund for Children’s Community Services Manager said:

“We are thrilled that Cancer Fund for Children’s Care Free Choir have been awarded an ‘Awards for All’ grant from the National Lottery Community Fund. It is well documented that singing can have a hugely positive impact on physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Our Care Free Choir is one way we help young people and their families manage the unpredictability of a cancer diagnosis, whilst also providing an opportunity to build meaningful peer support networks.

“During lockdown, this connection has been vital. The Care Free Choir is a supportive community for young people, parents, volunteers, and our staff to come together to sing their hearts outs and support one another, whether it is helping to keep each other’s spirits high during treatment, celebrating someone finishing their treatment or comforting one another on some really difficult days. Thanks to funding from The National Lottery we are able to create this safe space during these challenging times.”

The National Lottery Community Fund is here to help. Since March, we have given over £11.2 million in grants to 469 new projects to support communities in Northern Ireland, as well as supporting current grant holders with additional funding.

Kate Beggs, Northern Ireland Director of The National Lottery Community Fund said:

“It’s inspiring to see all these projects rising to the challenges of COVID-19 and looking to the future, supporting people in need. The wide range of projects funded demonstrates the strength of their members and the importance of staying connected with each other in these unprecedented times.

"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.”

If you would like to talk about an idea you have or applying for funding, please phone The National Lottery Community Fund on 028 4378 0003 or visit

Grants awarded 23.09.20

Notes to Editors

  • The National Lottery Community Fund is the largest community funder in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people.
  • We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.


Channel website:

Original article link:

Share this article

Latest News from
Big Lottery Fund

Webinar: Multi-Agency Collaboration in UK Government