THREE groups in the Coleraine area are today sharing in a grants windfall from the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All programme.
Millburn Community Association has been awarded a grant of £10,000 to run a project that is aiming to bring together young and older people living in the Millburn estate area.
The group received Awards for All funding last year to set up a youth club for young people in the local area which is open three nights a week, while there are also activities run for people over 50.
The grant will allow them to buy computers so they can run a homework club for young people, who will in turn be encouraged to pass their IT knowledge on to older people living in the area.
“We are trying to break down barriers,” explained Association Secretary Ian Ellis.
“There is a problem with anti-social behaviour on the estate. A group of about 40 older kids come along to our club on a Thursday, but otherwise just hang about the streets. Older people are often afraid to come out of their homes because they feel threatened.
“Over 50s are not too good on computers yet the kids are brilliant. We want to get some of the young people who come to the club to teach the older people computer skills. It will open up a whole new world for them, and will give them confidence in the kids again.”
Ian said the new homework club will be staffed by parent volunteers. “A lot of the kids are under-achievers and don’t get the help they need because they don’t have computers in their homes. A little bit of help will also give them more confidence at school,” he said.
Loughanreagh Sports and Recreational Club, which runs a range of social, cultural and physical activities for local people, has received £10,000 to carry out improvements to its hall.
Lislea Orange Hall Trustees has also been awarded £9,973 to carry out improvements to its hall and purchase new equipment.
Frank Hewitt, Big Lottery Fund NI Chair, said: “The Big Lottery Fund’s NI Awards for All programme funds health, education, environment and community projects that help people bring about positive change in their lives, improve health and well-being, develop skills and create safer communities.
“The application process is simple and accessible and shall remain so, making it easy for applicants to successfully apply for small pots of funding that can have such a big impact on local communities and lives.”
Application forms and guidance notes are available to download at www.awardsforall.org.uk