Co-Ownership, the shared-ownership provider for Northern Ireland, has announced the recipients of this year’s community fund. The fund exists to support projects which make a positive social impact in the lives of local people, neighbourhoods and communities.
Mark Graham, Chief Executive at Co-Ownership, commented: “Our community fund builds on Co-Ownership’s commitment to responsible business and working for social good. The fund aims to revitalise communities and support people. It is for projects that provide advice and services for promoting financial capability or inclusion, energy efficiency or biodiversity.”
With so many worthwhile causes four charities were chosen as recipients of the £10,000 fund.
Age NI help thousands of people every year, providing companionship, advice and support for older people who need it most and the funding received will support their ‘Check in and Chat’ service. Rosalind Cole from Age NI was delighted to hear the news and commented: “Before COVID-19 started affecting our daily lives, there was already an epidemic of loneliness amongst older people living in Northern Ireland. The pandemic has made this a stark reality for our older generation. In April 2020, Age NI set up a new Check in and Chat Service, and since then has provided over 30,000 befriending calls offering direct support to people in need. We know there are still many more who need our support, and these funds will help us make that a reality.”
Versus Arthritis work with volunteers, healthcare professionals and researchers to do everything they can to push back against arthritis. With partners, they continue to promote the development of breakthrough treatments and campaign relentlessly for arthritis to be a priority. Sara Graham, Northern Ireland Director at Versus Arthritis said: “Versus Arthritis exists to support people with arthritis at every stage of their life, and this generous donation from Co-Ownership will allow us to hold workshops specifically for young people to tackle topics that are important to them. We know young people struggle with issues such as telling their friends about their condition, or fear of going to university. Running these events online gives us a new opportunity to bring together young people to share their experiences, learn from peers, and build a community who understand what they are going through.”
Bolster Community is a charity and social enterprise that works alongside individuals, families, and communities to improve health and wellbeing. They support ordinary people facing extraordinary challenges from early years right through to later years. Jacinta Linden, Chief Executive at Bolster Community said: “This money was used to ensure local families impacted by material poverty would have some gifts and food for Christmas as well as oil and electricity vouchers to keep the cold at bay in the New Year. With so many families impacted by poverty in NI, and 1 in every 4 children directly impacted by poverty, we want to prioritise heat and provide stability in homes.”
Simon Community NI, Northern Ireland’s leading homeless charity works without prejudice to support people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Brian Shanks, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Simon Community NI said: “A safe place to call home has never been more important and each night throughout December, Simon Community provided 388 safe, warm beds to those facing homelessness across Northern Ireland. The generous donation from the Co-Ownership Community Fund helped us supply this vital shelter and support by contributing to our hygiene packs for residents, ensuring they had the necessary additional personal and domestic hygiene items required to help stop the spread of coronavirus. We know this has been a difficult year for many businesses, so we are even more grateful of the support during this challenging time.”
To find out more about the Co-Ownership Community Fund, visit www.co-ownership.org/about/social-responsibility/community-fund