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#CelebrateNationalLottery25 Fund

A £2 million fund from The National Lottery set to bring people in Northern Ireland together and boost community spirit opens 

Communities throughout Northern Ireland can apply to a £2 million National Lottery fund called #CelebrateNationalLottery25 to celebrate the National Lottery’s 25th Birthday. Thousands of grants are available to anyone with a great idea to make a difference in their local community.

The fund is The National Lottery’s most inclusive and celebratory fund to date, offering anyone the chance to win £1,000 to make their idea a reality, showing that no idea is too small to make a big difference in their community. Applications are open from Saturday 23 November at 8am, until Friday 6 December at 2pm. To apply visit www.CelebrateNationalLottery25.com.

It is hoped that the fund will boost community spirit across Northern Ireland, and appeal to people who may not have considered applying for National Lottery funding before. Whether it’s a wheelchair lift for a minivan or a set of events at your local library, The National Lottery wants to hear your great ideas.

A National Lottery survey reveals that being part of a community makes people feel happier (84%), less lonely (81%) and mentally healthier (75%). The survey of 2,000 UK adults also showed that community spirit remains alive and well in our communities, with results showing that in Northern Ireland:

  • 55% of people said there was strong community spirit in their local area
  • 38% of people said they would like improvements to be made in their local area
  • 21% people believe they can make a difference to their local community themselves.

#CelebrateNationalLottery25 is being funded and delivered by The National lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK. The Fund marks the culmination of a major campaign by The National Lottery celebrating its impact over the past 25 years and thanking players for contributing £30 million to good causes every week.

Thanks to National Lottery players, lives of ordinary people have already been transformed in Northern Ireland with more than £1.2billion being given to 25,000 projects in the areas of arts, sport, heritage and community over the last 25 years. 

Kate Beggs, the National Lottery Community Fund Northern Ireland Director said: “For 25 years The National Lottery has been helping communities to thrive in every part of Northern Ireland – from cities to rural villages, and everywhere in between. We want to encourage communities, especially those who have never applied for funding before, to apply to the #CelebrateNationalLottery25 fund to help transform and boost community spirit in their area. On our landmark 25th birthday we want to empower anyone and everyone to make their idea for their community a reality.”

Academy Award winners Aardman, the creators of Wallace and Gromit, have teamed up with The National Lottery to release a film to celebrate the fund. Known for their unique animation techniques they have designed a range of diverse and inclusive characters representing people and communities that reflect the modern UK, with a surprise cameo from stand-up comedian James Acaster who voices one of the characters. The animation shows what four people would do if they had £1,000 to use in their community.

Everyone who submits an application will be entered into the lottery draw, which will take place after the deadline closes at 2pm on Friday 6 December 2019. Applications will go through a checking process to ensure that the idea being funded is eligible and that the money will be used as intended.

A further £5.5 million will be released to community groups next year through The National Lottery Community Fund’s popular Awards For All scheme.

For further information, case studies and images, please contact Eimhear McGurk at The National Lottery Community Fund press office on 028 9055 1450 or 077 4753 2846

Notes to Editors 

Pictures, interviews and case studies of people and projects who have benefitted from National Lottery funding are available on request.

About The National Lottery and its 25th Birthday celebration:

  • The National Lottery’s Birthday celebrations are running for an eight week period (from 14 Oct until 6 December). There are some incredible activities planned across the UK to celebrate the good causes that have been made possible thanks to National Lottery players over the last 25 years.
  • Since The National Lottery’s first draw took place on 19 November 1994, more than £40 billion has been raised for good causes in the areas of arts, sport, heritage and community across the UK.
  • The 25th birthday is a moment to celebrate the extraordinary impact The National Lottery has had on the UK, and to say thank you to National Lottery players for contributing around £30 million to good causes every week.
  • The National Lottery has made more than 5,500 millionaires but its primary purpose is giving to good causes – over 565,000 individual grants have been awarded across the UK, that’s the equivalent of 200 life-changing projects in every UK postcode district.
  • #CelebrateNationalLottery25 is proudly funded by The National Lottery Community Fund.
  • The majority (70 per cent) of National Lottery grants are for £10,000 or less, helping small projects make a big difference in their community.

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