4.6 million boost for VCSE sector from Dormant Accounts Fund NI

From: Big Lottery Fund
Published: Wed Nov 29 2023

Organisations from the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector in Northern Ireland are benefitting from £4,596,260 from the Dormant Accounts Fund NI, which closed to applications in March of this year.

This is the final grant announcement under the first phase of the programme, which is delivered by The National Lottery Community Fund with the Department of Finance. The funding, which has been raised from dormant UK bank and building society accounts, is supporting the sector to be more resilient and prepared for the long-term future.

The last 59 grants awarded through this phase were yesterday announced. For full details of these download the grants table.

Since the Dormant Accounts Fund NI opened in January 2021, 249 grants totalling £21,070,721 have been awarded. The funding will continue to strengthen the sector through the next phase of the programme, which will be open to umbrella and membership organisations in 2024.

One of the organisations receiving share of yesterday's funding is Children's Heartbeat Trust, which supports children and young people with congenital heart disease across Northern Ireland. They are using a £99,200 grant to improve their financial sustainability.

Liz Carton, Family Support Worker at Children's Heartbeat Trust, with Cillian, whose family is supported by the charity

Joanne McCallister, CEO, Children's Heartbeat Trust, said:

“Each year around 200 babies in NI are born with some form of congenital heart disease. The families caring for these children need a range of support, such as counselling, peer support groups for parents and financial assistance when children have extended hospital stays or need to travel for surgery.

“We mainly rely on community fundraising to provide these services, but with economic challenges over the last few years, we knew we needed to diversify our income streams to ensure we can continue to provide this support into the future.

“The sector has been hit by the impact of the pandemic, cost-of-living crisis and cuts to funding sources, so it has been very important to have the funds from Dormant Accounts available to improve our charity's financial resilience, and many others in the VCSE sector.

“This grant was just what we needed to invest in the infrastructure of the organisation. The money will allow us to develop our digital communications and technology, generate more income, build our capacity to influence policies affecting these children, and provide training for staff to ensure they have the right skills to drive the organisation forward.

“Ultimately, this two-year project will strengthen our organisation, resulting in better, more secure services for families of children and young people with congenital heart disease in NI.”

Click here for the full press release

Company: Big Lottery Fund

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