Community groups in Portadown are celebrating after being awarded National Lottery funding.
National Lottery are the largest community funder in the UK – awarding money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Sound Friends supports deaf children and their families in the Lurgan, Craigavon and Portadown areas.
They are amongst the 85 groups across Northern Ireland who are sharing £748,809 from The National Lottery Community Fund’s Awards for All programme.
They are using a £10,000 grant to run sign language classes for parents, family members, and professionals.
Also receiving funding are The Birches Cosy Club.
The community organisation, based near Portadown, is using a grant of £9,619 to run a range of activities for older people including arts and crafts and a trip to the pantomime.
They are also buying three new sewing machines for the group to use.
Mavemacullen Accordian Band also benefitted to the tun of £6,741.
The group, based outside Tandragee, is using their grant to buy catering equipment, tables, an outdoor marquee and heaters to support the work they do bringing people in the local community together.
Kate Beggs, The National Lottery Community Fund Northern Ireland Director, said: “I am delighted to announce these grants under our new name, which we hope will help players to better understand the difference they make when they buy a ticket.
“It’s lovely to see National Lottery money being used by people who are taking the lead in developing great ideas to help their communities thrive.
“Small pots of funding from National Lottery Awards for All are bringing people together to make good things happen.
“I want to say thanks to all the National Lottery players who have helped make this possible.”
Since June 2004, the National Lottery has made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people.
A Lottery Awards for All spokesman said: “We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives.
“At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive.
“Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.”
Application forms and guidance notes are available to download at www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk. For more details call 028 9055 1455, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org