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£3million National Lottery funding supports health and well-being in Northern Ireland

The National Lottery Community Fund has announced over £3million of funding to projects improving the health and well-being of local people.

Organisations awarded include those helping people living with a physical health condition or disability, support for families that are finding it difficult and those giving mental health a big boost, through connecting people and reducing loneliness. For a full list of grants awarded please see table attached below.

Brain Injury Matters (NI) is using a £199,894 grant to run their ‘Youth Matters Empowerment Programme,’ offering one-to-one services to young people aged 13-18, to achieve personal goals and independence following a brain injury. 

Bridget Smyth, Head of Children and Youth Services at Brain Injury Matters said: “We estimate that over 2,000 people get and live with a brain injury every year in Northern Ireland, it could happen to anyone and can be life changing, a hidden and ongoing disability. Teenage years can be difficult enough already with so many changes, development and pressure from social media, and those with a brain injury can find it devastating. This project will help them develop coping skills through one-to-one services, help support their family as a whole and strengthen relationships. It also gives them the skills and confidence to articulate their difficulties and get wider help at school and in the community, so they can have the best quality of life.

“This money couldn’t have come at a better time for us, when we are trying to support those who may have care reduced from other services and are more isolated than ever and we would like to thank The National Lottery Community Fund and National Lottery players for making our work possible, truly changing the outlook for people across the country.”

Courtney Rogers and family received support from Brain Injury Matters after their son, Cillian, then aged 4, was in a road traffic accident. She said: “Our lives changed drastically that day, we lost the Cillian we knew in that accident. Although not visible, he struggles with things like aggression, attention and knowing what is safe to do. We have received great support from Brain Injury Matters to help learn more about the impact and understand his brain injury and how we live with it and cope as a family. We want to raise awareness of living with a hidden disability, and Brain Injury Matters have really helped us - it is ok to tell people you have a disability and how that affects you, there shouldn’t be a stigma.

“I am delighted that they have received this additional National Lottery funding so they can help even more people, who find themselves in this life changing situation.”

A small amount of money can make a big difference to a community project and the latest grants range from £1,000 to R.A.T.H. Community Group in Rathcoole to run classes for children who lost out on education due to COVID-19, to a £500,000 grant to Armagh Rural Health Partnership to deliver a series of tailored physical, mental and emotional well-being programmes over five years that address issues around drugs and alcohol, promoting positive mental health.

The Cabbage Patchers, based in Warrenpoint, are using a £10,000 grant to develop a new community garden and create a cross community growing project that promotes a greener environment, healthier lifestyle and more inclusive community. 

Harry Hughes, Chairperson of Cabbage Patchers said: “This new space will provide an oasis of calm and friendship in the heart of the community that will reduce stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, improve mental health and help with the associated difficulties facing people. We are over the moon to get this funding and can’t wait to get growing. Thanks to National Lottery players for making it possible.”

Since March 2020, we have given over £14 million in National Lottery grants to 524 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 great to see such a wide range of projects being funded to help people stay connected and healthy in these unprecedented times. All of these groups are rising to the challenges of COVID-19, supporting well-being now 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.”

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 email

Table of grants awarded

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.

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