Fifteen local charities share £40,000 in grants for community programmes
Belfast Harbour has awarded £40,000 of funding to community groups and grassroots organisations across Northern Ireland as part of the first round of its Community Awards programme in 2023.
Grants of up to £5,000 have been awarded to 15 charities and community groups across Northern Ireland, the largest number of organisations to receive funding from the Community Awards in a single round since the initiative was launched in 2021.
The Community Awards, which sit alongside Belfast Harbour’s significant charity partnerships and responsible business initiatives, were created in 2021 to provide community groups, charities and not-for-profit organisations with an opportunity to apply for individual grants of up to £5,000. A total of £80,000 will be awarded in two rounds during 2023, bringing the total support for community groups since launch to more than £170,000.
The latest round of funding was distributed among a diverse group of organisations across the region, to support a wide range of activities such as mental health programmes, environmental and sustainability initiatives, skills development, arts schemes and refugee and inclusivity projects.
Allison Dowling, Corporate Affairs and Engagement Director at Belfast Harbour said: “Now in their third year, we are proud to have supported more than 65 grassroots organisations and charities through the Belfast Harbour Community Awards. It is inspiring to see the incredible work of the many passionate and dedicated organisations that are working to make a real difference in their local communities and to see the positive impact of the grassroots programmes and initiatives at firsthand.”
Norman Kelly, Programme Development Manager at Hanwood Trust, who received funding in this round of the Community Awards commented: “We are extremely grateful to Belfast Harbour for the funding we have received to deliver our Engage your Mind project which will target the older generation living within the Tullycarnet area.
“The last couple of years have been very challenging for this group and they have endured much isolation and stress as a result of the pandemic and the current cost of living crisis. Through the generous support of Belfast Harbour, the Engage your Mind project will aim to encourage older people to overcome their fears of isolation and improve their mental health and wellbeing through a series of social interaction activities and workshops.”
The Duncairn Centre for Arts and Culture in North Belfast also received a grant, to support the development of a new community garden. Creative Director Ray Giffen said: “The support from Belfast Harbour has enabled us to develop a new outdoor space which will increase biodiversity and create an urban oasis. The garden has the potential to transform the lives of people in our local community, offering a special place for them to relax and enjoy the benefits of nature.
“Through our partnership with the Probation Board, the project will also offer employment to local people in the area who have experience of the justice system, both in the short-term to complete the garden and in the long term through its maintenance. It will therefore have a hugely beneficial impact on the whole community in North Belfast and we are grateful to Belfast Harbour for supporting us in realising our ambitions.”
The next round of applications for the Belfast Harbour Community Awards will open in Autumn 2023.
To find out more about the Community Awards please go to https://www.belfast-harbour.co.uk/community/community-awards/ .