The Lloyds Bank Foundation for Northern Ireland has distributed grants of more than £1.6m to help the work of more than 500 organisations that improve the lives of disadvantaged people.
Despite hard times with budget cuts across every sector, the Lloyds Bank Foundation for Northern Ireland is continuing its vital role in funding a range of organisations.
Representatives from many of these groups visited Parliament Buildings at Stormont on September 16 for a special awareness event to recognise and celebrate their work.
Through its eight grant programmes in 2013 the Foundation released funding of £1.635 million to 527 charities and community and voluntary groups from every corner of Northern Ireland.
Sandara Kelso-Robb, Executive Director of the Lloyds Bank Foundation for Northern Ireland, paid tribute to the incredible work carried out by all of the community-based organisations.
“The well-publicised cuts in public sector spending mean that our work is more important than ever. Through these grants programmes we provide significant support for the most vulnerable in society making a huge difference in communities throughout Northern Ireland. It is a privilege to work with many thousands of people in a large number of organisations who are at the forefront of delivering positive change,” she said.
She was speaking at a special reception in the Long Gallery in Parliament Buildings where MLAs and members of the Foundation and Lloyds Banking Group joined representatives from groups across Northern Ireland to recognise and celebrate their achievements.
The event was sponsored for the fourth year running by the Department for Social Development. Minister for Social Development, Nelson McCausland, said: “I would like to congratulate the Lloyds Bank Foundation for Northern Ireland for another year of outstanding support to grassroots charities across Northern Ireland.
“These charities champion some of the most worthy causes in our society and through the funding they receive from the Foundation they provide essential support to some of the most deprived in our communities. I am pleased to give my continued support to the Foundation and it is my hope that they continue their sterling work for the benefit of charitable organisations in Northern Ireland.”
Since it was formed in 1985, the formerly named Lloyds TSB Foundation for Northern Ireland has contributed more than £30 million to a vast range of projects aimed at supporting those who are disadvantaged or disabled within our communities. It has recently changed to an online application process, which is much more accessible and environmentally friendly.
The Lloyds Bank Foundation for Northern Ireland, which is independent from the Banking Group, now runs six different programmes: the Community Grants Programme, the Partnership Programme; The Special Initiatives Programme; Collaborative Programme, the Social Enterprise Programme and Matched Giving Programme.
Mrs Kelso-Robb added: “We have further developed the grant programmes in the past couple of years as we feel this is the most effective and appropriate way to help meet the needs of different groups in Northern Ireland.”
The Lloyds Banking Group Ambassador for Northern Ireland, Mr Jim McCooe said:
“We are truly inspired by the groups that the Foundation has supported this year. We are proud of our relationship with the Foundation and look forward to many more years of working with them to support charities across Northern Ireland.”