Northern Ireland’s leading charity foundation, which contributed more than £1.2m to the most vulnerable in society this year, has pledged to increase its funding even further to local charities.
Halifax Foundation for Northern Ireland, during a special ceremony in Parliament Buildings, released details of its most recent spending round, handing out 568 grants totalling £1,238,340 to 353 charities.
This is £150,000 more than the previous year’s support with the figure set to be increased next year as it announced a major overhaul to its grants procedures.
Brenda McMullan, Executive Director of Halifax Foundation for Northern Ireland, said that the new grants strategy would simplify the process and make it more flexible so that more community organisations can directly help those in the most need.
“We will be offering short term grants of up to £2,500 with a simplified application process. We will also offer medium term grants of up to £10,000 and three year, long term grants which will total £50,000 for larger projects,” she said.
The celebration event at Stormont recognised the dedication of hundreds of grassroots voluntary organisations working every day to improve the lives of deprived communities. Areas supported include early years, health, education and training, services for the elderly and disability support.
Jim McCooe, a Foundation Trustee and Lloyds Banking Group Ambassador for Northern Ireland, said that the Voluntary and Community sector was continuing to experience budget cuts and difficult challenges.
“Halifax Foundation has a track record of supporting charities in Northern Ireland that stretches back 34 years. In that time they have supported over 10,500 grants to the tune of £37.5m. At a time when the sector is finding challenges in sourcing funding, it is critical that organisations such as the Halifax Foundation continue to play a leading role in this field.
Tracy Meharg, Permanent Secretary of the Department for Communities said: “The range of activities the Halifax Foundation has supported is truly making a difference to people’s lives and our communities. This support complements the programmes and funding streams offered by the Department for Communities and a number of other government departments.”
Dozens of representatives from charities receiving grant aid were present at the event in the Long Gallery at Parliament Buildings, along with political representatives.
Halifax Foundation for Northern Ireland is a grant making Foundation, whose income is derived from Lloyds Banking Group. It supports registered charities, helping people who are disadvantaged and disabled play a fuller role in their communities. For the past 34 years the Foundation has distributed £37.5m to an estimated 10,500 different projects improving the lives of disadvantaged people.
Applications for funding can be made online at www.halifaxfoundationni.org