VCSE sector receives £1.3m from Dormant Accounts Fund NI to improve sustainability
An organisation using sport to bring people together and a rural mental health support group are among 15 projects receiving grants totalling £1,303,790 to secure their long-term future.
The Dormant Accounts Fund NI, delivered by The National Lottery Community Fund in conjunction with the Department of Finance, is supporting the Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector to be more resilient and prepared for the future.
PeacePlayers International NI has been awarded £99,941 to build capacity by restructuring the organisation and developing a long-term income strategy.
Over three years the project will develop a central hub in Belfast with regional hubs in each council area. Staff will be able to work more strategically including financial planning, training and development, programme planning, data collection and evaluation, policy reviews, and income generation.
Gareth Harper, Managing Director of PeacePlayers International NI said: “Thanks to this funding we will be able to future proof PeacePlayers to make it fit for purpose and able to continue to run community relations through sport programmes in an efficient and effective way.
“As an organisation we want to develop our capacity and give staff the opportunity to develop their skills and experiences to help take the organisation forward and provide the best service we can.
“Northern Ireland has continuing issues and organisations like PeacePlayers – who are using sport as a tool for peacebuilding - are still needed, now and in the future. We want to ensure that we have the skills and structure to ensure our programmes are reaching their full potential and can contribute to making Northern Ireland more peaceful.”
Since the programme opened in January 2021, the Dormant Accounts Fund for Northern Ireland has awarded £6,883,194 to 73 organisations including arts, sports, charities and community-based organisations with the money being used to help build long-term sustainability.
Niamh Louise Foundation in Dungannon, who provide care for anyone in crisis with thoughts of suicide and or self-harm, also received £86,256 to implement their strategic plan to future proof the organisation and become more financially resilient.
Over two years the project will take on creative planning, a governance review, capacity building training for staff and committee, and develop collaborations across various funding sectors.
Catherine McBennett, Operational Director of Niamh Lousie Foundation said: “This project will be lifesaving for us to help us sustain the foundation for the future. When this funding ends, we’ll be in a better position to keep our vital mental health support services going.
“Since 2020 we’ve seen the level of referrals increase due to the impact of COVID-19 leading to poor mental health and suicidal thoughts, especially in children and young people. As people try to get back to normality, we are seeing increasing anxiety, and this will continue to increase as we move through the pandemic and back to school and work.
“It is really important that the foundation is still here in years to come, that we are more financially resilient and that we can provide these services so people can recover from the challenges they are facing and enjoy life again.”
Paul Sweeney, The National Lottery Community Fund’s NI Chair, said: “The Dormant Accounts Fund NI has been open for applications for one year now, and we continue to be impressed by the range of organisations applying for funding, looking beyond their day-to-day operational role to plan their long-term future and sustainability.
“Dormant Accounts money continues to make a significant difference in building resilience in non-for-profit organisations addressing social and economic need in our local communities.”
Dormant accounts are UK bank and building society accounts that have been untouched for 15 or more years, where customers who own the accounts cannot be traced. As part of this first phase of Dormant Accounts Fund NI support, organisations can apply for up to £100,000 as part of a flexible and responsive grant programme.
For more information on Dormant Accounts Fund NI visit: www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/programmes/dormant-accounts-ni.
Table of all 15 Dormant Accounts Fund grants awarded in January 2022
- Date published
- Northern Ireland