Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has announced the allocation of £18.06 million to projects being delivered under “People and Place – a Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal” in the 2021/22 financial year.
The funded projects seek to improve key outcomes in areas such as health and wellbeing, community development, education, skills and employability.
Welcoming the investment, Minister Hargey said: “These projects provide services that are designed and delivered within local communities. They complement and enhance existing education, health, community safety and other initiatives, to tackle the specific impact that poverty has had on those communities. They also provide support for the community and statutory partnership that is at the heart of the People and Place Strategy and Neighbourhood Renewal.
“I want to thank those involved in delivering these vital projects to those most in need, and look forward to seeing even more projects providing much needed services in the time ahead.
“The investment provides funding for staff costs, overheads and programme costs in over 300 projects, being delivered by community and statutory bodies in 65 of the most disadvantaged areas and communities.”
Examples of funded projects:
- The Koram Centre has received DfC Neighbourhood Renewal funding since 2013 to ensure a counselling service is delivered in the Strabane Neighbourhood Renewal Area (NRA). The current funding is for £70,903.68 in respect of salaries for a manager and a part-time administrator with counselling duties, overheads and programme costs. This funding allows the Koram Centre to deliver a range of services including counselling and psychotherapy for adults and young people; complementary therapies, including healthy lifestyle interventions; workshops; and the provision of a community allotment. The project also supports a number of suicide prevention initiatives, including a support service for individuals who may be in crisis and need immediate support, a support group for individuals bereaved by suicide and an awareness raising event in partnership with other community groups.
- Good Morning North Belfast provides a vital telephone contact, reminder and support service to its members every day of the week, providing a listening ear and personal contact for those who need it most, especially during the Covid‑19 pandemic. Making around 60,000 phone calls a year to help support some the most vulnerable people in the community. Although it was necessary to suspend routine home visits because of Covid restrictions, Good Morning North Belfast continues with emergency visits – supporting clients in poor health. It also provides a home delivery service to ensure that its clients are receiving necessities such as groceries and prescriptions and is working in collaboration with NI Alternatives and Sunningdale Community Centre to deliver food parcels within the community. During the pandemic, Good Morning North Belfast has increased the number of people it works with and has enhanced the service it offers, taking referrals from a range of sources including social workers, Age UK and community day centres. DfC continues to support this vital service and has provided grant funding of £64,271.37 for 2021/22 to enable the continued employment of befrienders and service managers.
- The Department has provided the Southern Health and Social Care Trust with funding of £72,956.43 to deliver the Craigavon Health Improvement Project. This project provides health improvement programmes for the residents in the Craigavon’s Neighbourhood Renewal Areas areas of Brownlow, Lurgan and North West Portadown. Funding supports a Promoting Well-Being Support Worker and programme costs. Neighbourhood Renewal funding will allow the project to provide health education and awareness initiatives and treatment services; working with local communities to tackle health inequalities in a way that allows individuals to take responsibility for their personal health and wellbeing, and ensuring that the activity will be maintained beyond the life of this project.