Boost for Stepping Stones

LISBURN based charity Stepping Stones NI has been awarded £4,000 through a special ‘Gifted’ programme.

The funding has been awarded through Diageo Northern Ireland’s Gifted Programme which is now in its third year. Chimney Corner Ladies Football Club and Newton Forest Football Club also received £4,000 each whilst Strabane Sigersons GAC received £800 in funding to support their activities.

The scheme runs on an annual basis and continues to grow from strength to strength, enabling Diageo employees who volunteer with local community and voluntary organisations to nominate these groups for a donation from the company.

The applicants had to provide details of how a donation would be put to good use by their respective group or charity. All of the nominations were then considered in detail by Diageo, with Business in the Community independently assessing the applications. Finally, a total of 18 groups were chosen receiving a total grant of £40,000.

Karen Laverty, Trade Investment Analyst for Diageo Northern Ireland and an active volunteer at Stepping Stones NI said, “The funding of £4,000 is a massive step towards helping improve the lives of people with learning disabilities and difficulties. With this award we can continue to provide much needed support in local areas and develop further opportunities for adults by opening up access to accredited training and employment. The funds will also be used to develop and launch an independent website for Pink Elephant cards where expert designers work with people who have learning disabilities to create bespoke handmade stationery and cards.”

Michael McCann, Country Director, Diageo Northern Ireland commented:

“There is a long tradition of volunteering within Diageo Northern Ireland and through the Gifted Programme we continue to recognise our employee’s commitment and real contribution to the communities in which they live and work.

“I am delighted to be able to support all four worthy local Northern Ireland organisations particularly in these tough economic times.”