Local charities to benefit from Halifax grants

East Antrim MLA John Stewart and Elley Martin of the Institute of Fundraising.
East Antrim MLA John Stewart and Elley Martin of the Institute of Fundraising.

Lisburn and Castlereagh-based charities will get the opportunity to ‘pitch’ for grants of £15,000 to help disabled and disadvantaged people.

‘Pitching 4 Pounds’, a new pilot project launched by the Halifax Foundation for Northern Ireland, will award £15,000 to two successful charities, whose ideas impress the judging panel.

Brenda McMullan, Halifax Foundation for Northern Ireland Manager, said: “We are very excited to be launching this latest programme and can’t wait to see charities come up with new ideas to help deprived communities in Northern Ireland.”

Jim McCooe, a Foundation Trustee and Lloyds Banking Group Ambassador for Northern Ireland added: “The work that the Foundation does makes a difference to thousands of people in need right across Northern Ireland, and it sits right at the heart of our ambition to help Northern Ireland prosper.”

The new programme was announced during an annual reception at Parliament Buildings celebrating the work of all of the charities that have received funding from the Foundation.

Among those attending the event were Keeva Watson from Redeeming Our Communities which does valuable work in Lisburn.

In its latest round of funding the Foundation supported 313 charities with grants of £972,353.

A grand total of £34.8m has been distributed to more than 9,000 projects during the Foundation’s 32 year history.

Leo O’Reilly, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Communities, who attended the event, spoke about the importance of the Foundation’s grant programmes community groups in Northern Ireland she said: “I am both humbled and impressed by the range of activities the Foundation has supported and the difference this is making to people’s lives and our communities”.

Sara McCracken, Chief Executive of Angel Eyes NI, which supports families with a visually impaired or blind child, spoke on behalf of the groups that have received funding over the years.

She said: “The support that we’ve had from Halifax Foundation has been a real boost to us and our work in Northern Ireland. They go the extra mile, offering additional help such as special training events and mentoring support.”