Ballymena community groups urged to apply for Co-Ownership funds

Editorial Image.
Editorial Image.

Ballymena-based community groups with a social, educational or environmental focus are being encouraged to apply for a share of the 2018/19 Co-Ownership Social Fund.

The fund, which has a total budget of £10,000, is open to local organisations and partnerships to either support their continued community work or to finance a new or specific project.

Now in its second year, the fund is earmarked for groups and projects which help regenerate, rebuild, and revitalise neighbourhoods and communities, provide support to the elderly and disabled, and provide advice or educational services to promote financial capability, inclusion, energy efficiency or encourages biodiversity in the community.

Following a judging process, the fund may be awarded in full to one or more applicants.

In 2017/18 two organisations, Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum in Derry-Londonderry and Ligoniel Improvement Association in Belfast, were each awarded a share of the fund.

A project devised to improve the health and wellbeing of older and socially isolated people, Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum launched its ‘Garden in a Box’ programme providing people with the tools, resources and support to grow, harvest and cook their own vegetables.

Tommy Carlin who oversees the project said: “This project has been a great success and we are delighted that it has brought so much joy to so many older people. The funding from Co-ownership Housing has been crucial to the success of the project.

Co-Ownership’s Gillian Hughes, who oversees the application process and awarding of the Co-Ownership Social Fund, said: “As part of our commitment to responsible business we are delighted to be able to continue our Social Fund in 2018/19.

“We’ve been helping people into home ownership for 40 years and our customers are right across Northern Ireland. Through the social fund we hope to further increase our impact in the local communities where our customers live beyond the homebuying process.”

The social fund builds on Co-Ownership’s commitment to responsible business and working for social good. In 2016, Co-Ownership became the first not-for-profit organisation, and first housing association, to achieve the highest standard of Corporate Social Responsibility in Northern Ireland – CORE, accredited by Business in the Community (BITCNI).

The deadline for applications for the 2018/19 Social Fund is Friday, May 4, at 5pm. For more information on the Co-Ownership Social Fund and its terms and conditions, visit www.co-ownership.org.