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National Lottery money helps us love our local community

This Valentine’s Day, over 90 groups across Northern Ireland are celebrating being given the chance to ‘love’ their community by getting up to £1,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund to bring their idea to life in 2020.

This includes funding a gala dinner to thank volunteers, a local mum tapestry exhibition, a community clean up, a group to support parents of twins and triplets and a youth club for children diagnosed with autism.

No idea or project is too small to make a difference and bring people together in their community. 700 groups applied for this #CelebrateNationalLottery25 fund in Northern Ireland when it was open in December 2019, many who had never applied for National Lottery funding before. #CelebrateNationalLottery25 helped mark the 25th Birthday of The National Lottery and celebrate the £1.2 billion that has been given to over 25,000 good causes in Northern Ireland over this time.

ALLY Foyle (Active Living in Later Years), based in Derry/Londonderry is one of the successful groups receiving £980 from #CelebrateNationalLottery25. Angelina Cooper, Project Coordinator said: “We are absolutely over the moon to be selected for funding.

“We are organising an accessible ramble of the city in March with Bridge Transport, which is open to wheelchair users and others across the community. A safe route of the city has been mapped out, taking into account dropped kerbs and points of local interest, and will wind its way through the city centre and waterside, finishing in the stunning surroundings of St Columb’s park.

“Ally Foyle has been working tirelessly over the past 15 years to enable people aged 50 to well into their nineties from Derry/Londonderry, to share skills and stories, improve their health and wellbeing and to gain the confidence to get out and enjoy the beautiful local environment.

“Nearly £1,000 is a lot of money to us, and it will pay for a lovely community lunch after the ramble and also promotional material for our services to older people.

“The skills and knowledge of those we work with are key to every single project and event we do. Seeing older people from all areas getting together, making friends, planning days and activities, swapping their expertise is truly life-affirming.

“The ramble will not only open up the city to them, it will broaden their horizons. Thanks to The National Lottery money, we can make our resources stretch to really benefit many older residents in Derry, promoting independence and boosting confidence.”

Clonmore Regeneration Group in Mid Ulster received £1,000 from #CelebrateNationalLottery25 to run an Abba themed fancy-dress night for Valentine’s Day, to bring different groups from the community together.

James McBennett from the group said: “We held a community event last Friday to bring people from the local area together in one place to help break down barriers, all while having some craic and a bit of a boogie. There were people at it that would normally never get a chance to meet or socialise, everyone had a great night and loved the Abba Tribute Band. This money meant we could try something different to give our community a boost. Thank you.”

Across the UK, over £2 million in grants are being given as part of #CelebrateNationalLottery25.

Kate Beggs, Northern Ireland Director at The National Lottery Community Fund said: “It’s fantastic to see people’s love for their communities inspiring them to use National Lottery funding to make great things happen throughout 2020.

#CelebrateNationalLottery25 is supporting a wide variety of projects across the country, all bringing people together to show the huge impact that can come from small ideas. Well done to all involved and thank you to National Lottery players for making all this great work possible.”

For more information on applying for National Lottery funding, please visit our website If you have an idea you would like to discuss or need guidance please call us on 028 9055 1455 or email

Notes to Editors

  • We are 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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