Belfast Telegraph

Community cash up for grabs as Belfast Telegraph helps Comic Relief distribute grants worth £50,000

By Amanda Ferguson

The Belfast Telegraph has teamed up with Comic Relief to help distribute a £50,000 fund for community groups across Northern Ireland - so get your applications in.

Ahead of Red Nose Day on March 13, hard-working grass-roots organisations are being encouraged to apply for Community Cash, a project supporting a range of groups here through grants of between £500 and £1,000.

Among the worthwhile causes to previously benefit is Dervock Parent & Toddler Group, which supports parents, grandparents and carers in the Co Antrim village.

Rhonda Bleakly from the project, which was set up in 2012 when the Dervock Reformed Presbyterian Church built a new church hall, said: "We set the group up to allow families in the local area to get to know one another, and to provide a much-needed service within our community.

"The Community Cash grant Dervock Parent and Toddler received has funded some fantastic activities throughout the year, including two health and fitness nights and a paediatric first aid training course. The group also plans to run a food safety and hygiene course in 2015."

Rhonda added: "The Community Cash grant has enabled us to run activities and courses which would never normally have taken place. These activities have passed on truly practical skills to families - proving that a small amount of money can make a big difference.

"We run activities every Friday morning from September through to May and also organise a fun outing and a social for parents throughout the year."

Meanwhile, pop mogul Simon Cowell, actor and comedian David Walliams, TV presenter Tess Daly and singer Rochelle Humes are among the celebrities to help launch this year's Red Nose Day campaign today.

On the last Red Nose Day the people of Northern Ireland raised and donated more than £500,000 for good causes in Africa and across the UK.

Money raised has also funded more than 190 projects in Northern Ireland, like Peaceplayers International, which uses sport to unite and educate young people from Protestant and Catholic communities.

The public is again being encouraged to raise as much as possible for the campaign which will culminate in a live TV broadcast on March 13. Irish TV presenter Laura Whitmore said: "Absolutely any one can get involved in this year's Red Nose Day; whether at work, at school, with your friends or your family, you can make a huge difference to people's lives."

How to apply

Red Nose Day Community Cash grants of £500-£1,000 are available to small organisations in Northern Ireland that are doing great work to help local people living tough lives. Applications are open now, with the Community Foundation Northern Ireland working with Comic Relief to get the cash to the groups that need it most. Interested groups can apply by clicking here

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