As the nation limbers up for the return of Comic Relief’s Sport Relief this spring, the Belfast Telegraph has teamed up with the fundraiser to give local organisations the chance to apply for their share of a £1m fund raised through Sport Relief.
The Community Cash initiative will distribute £62,500 worth of grants to communities across Greater Belfast. Grants of £500 — £1,000 are available to small organisations in the council districts of Belfast, Castlereagh, Newtownabbey and Lisburn.
Groups eligible to apply for Community Cash grants are those that are working in a disadvantaged or deprived area within the local authority and small local groups with an income of less that £50,000 run by local people.
Application forms can be accessed below and through the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland ( www.communityfoundationni.org).
Allocation of the grants will be decided and administered by a panel of three from the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland. Details of who will be awarded the grants will be announced on the week commencing April 12.
Cormac McAleer, panel member and programmes manager for the Community Foundation NI, said: “We have found that small grants like this can make a tremendous difference in local neighbourhoods. The creativity and ideas and involvement that the local groups generate makes a real impact in their local area.
“We encourage as many people as possible to put together their ideas and apply for the grants. Proposals should be clear, with exactly how you are planning on spending the money, how it will be managed, who it will benefit from it and will it have a sustainable impact on the community.”
Sport Relief will see a range of activities and events take place throughout Northern Ireland in preparation for the Sport Relief weekend, which takes place from Friday 19 to Sunday March 21, culminating in the Sport Relief Mile in Belfast on Sunday.
Participants have the choice of running one, three or six miles, kicking off at Albert Clock, with the route taking Milers through the iconic city centre landscape, running down the High Street, past City Hall and onto Donegal Square North, before crossing the finish line in Custom House Square.
The cash raised will help transform the lives of poor and vulnerable people both in Northern Ireland and across the world’s poorest countries.
Local celebrities Zoe Salmon and David Healy are launching the Sport Relief 2010 campaign in Northern Ireland today and will be visiting Belfast Activity Centre, which is funded by Comic Relief.
Sport Relief is being backed by familiar faces, including Victoria and David Beckham, who with their three sons have designed T-shirts to raise funds.
Helen Skelton, from Blue Peter, will take to the Amazon, rugby ace Lawrence Dallaglio will cycle around the Six Nations and One Show presenter Christine Bleakley will take on a water skiing challenge across the English Channel.