Lottery investment of £2m in local project over past year celebrated

(Left to right) Jenny Marshall (Liberty Consortium), Rachel Robathan (National Lottery Community Fund UK Board member),  and Jared McKenna and Oran Lindsey (Liberty Consortium) at Liberty Consortium's Tea in the Park social enterprise at The Playtrail.
(Left to right) Jenny Marshall (Liberty Consortium), Rachel Robathan (National Lottery Community Fund UK Board member), and Jared McKenna and Oran Lindsey (Liberty Consortium) at Liberty Consortium's Tea in the Park social enterprise at The Playtrail.

The UK Board of the National Lottery Community Fund visisted Derry this week to shine a light on some of the projects we have funded in the city.

In the past year, the National Lottery Community Fund has invested just over £2m of National Lottery cash in 64 projects in Derry City and Strabane.

These ranged from £922 to allow a playgroup to deliver creative activities to one of £500,000 to support young people to become health and wellbeing champions.

Members of the board visited organisations across the city and saw the difference that funding raised by National Lottery players is making.

Julie Harrison, The National Lottery Community Fund NI Chair, said: “It’s wonderful to see that so many groups are using National Lottery funding to help communities to thrive. Like all the projects we fund, the projects that our UK Board have visited today are making a real difference to the lives of many local people.

“It’s also great to see the legacy that we have created with more than 20 years of investment into organisations across the north west and to celebrate the impact and journey over that time.”

One of the projects the Board visited was Liberty Consortium where they saw how National Lottery cash is helping the group support young people with learning disabilities to become more independent. They visited the group’s Playtrail site, which offers play and outdoor learning, and its HUB, which provides day opportunities for young adults with learning disabilities.

Anne Marie Donnelly, transition manager at Liberty Consortium, said: “They got a chance to see our Playtrail site, including meeting young people gaining valuable work experience in our Social Enterprise Tea in the Park mobile coffee shop. They also met young people in our HUB and Fab Social and saw one of their disability awareness performances by Project Sparks. It’s amazing to see how far the young people have come and we want to say thanks to National Lottery players for making it possible.”

The UK Board also visited Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum, Kinship Care, Caw Nelson Drive Action Group and Gortilea Social Farm in Claudy.

As part of the visit, Julie Harrison announced the Fund was opening a consultation in the autumn to seek views on how Lottery funding should be delivered after 2021. She added that in response to feedback, the Fund was launching the Great Ideas programme to support projects that would put people in the lead in their communities. For more information on Great Ideas, see www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk