Big Lottery Fund
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£500,000 to support young people in Northern Ireland

Young people across Northern Ireland are being supported to cope better with a parent or carer having cancer, thanks to over £500,000 of National Lottery funding.

Cancer Focus NI, which is based in Belfast, has been awarded £566,160 from Big Lottery Fund’s Empowering Young People programme.

The funding is being used to expand its support for families when a mum, dad, guardian or grandparent has cancer. The five year project, which is working across Northern Ireland, includes preparing children and young people for the loss of a parent or carer and post-bereavement support.

Activities include one on one and group support, residentials, therapeutic activities and help for families to talk to their children about cancer. As well as activities, they are also using the money for staffing costs, to support volunteers and offer information and training sessions for school pastoral care teams, healthcare and palliative care teams, and other groups such as Surestart.

Roisin Foster, chief executive of Cancer Focus NI, said: “We are delighted to receive this National Lottery grant. It will make the world of difference to the many local children we support when a parent or grandparent has cancer, particularly when the prognosis isn’t good.

“Our family support service is our most used care service but is currently extremely over-stretched. This new money means we will be able to employ more staff to help more children all over Northern Ireland at a very tough time in their lives. We are thrilled that we will now be able to develop and expand this service which throws a lifeline to some of the most vulnerable in our community.

“We want to thank all our supporters and the National Lottery players who have made this project possible.”

Julie Harrison, Big Lottery Fund NI Chair, said: “I am delighted to announce this grant under the Empowering Young People programme.

“We want to fund great projects that put young people in the lead in increasing their skills and confidence, and support them to have stronger relationships so they can cope better with the challenges they face and reach their potential. We are looking forward to seeing the positive impact this project will make for many young people across Northern Ireland.

“I want to say thanks to all the National Lottery players who have helped make this possible.”

More information about the Empowering Young People funding programme can be found on our website, Please ring our enquiries line on 028 90 551 455 if you have any questions.

For press enquiries call Lucy Gollogly or Rachel Skinner in Big Lottery Fund NI. 
Press Office: 02890 551 432 or 02890 551 450 
Out of hours media contact: 07580 811135 or 0774 7532 846 

Twitter: @BIGNIonline #BigLottery 

Notes to Editors:

  • The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. We are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery and invest over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitable purposes. 
  • Since June 2004 we have awarded over £6.5 billion to projects that make a difference to people and communities in need, from early years intervention to commemorative travel funding for World War Two veterans. 
  • Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £35 billion has been raised and more than 490,000 grants awarded. 


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