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Trust to set up £500,000 community projects in Ballymena

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Chair of The Gallaher Trust, Ian Paisley MP (centre) with board members Mark Nodder OBE, Karen Reynolds, Jacqueline Williamson MBE, Anne Donaghy, Pat McCallion and James Perry MBE

Chair of The Gallaher Trust, Ian Paisley MP (centre) with board members Mark Nodder OBE, Karen Reynolds, Jacqueline Williamson MBE, Anne Donaghy, Pat McCallion and James Perry MBE

Chair of The Gallaher Trust, Ian Paisley MP (centre) with board members Mark Nodder OBE, Karen Reynolds, Jacqueline Williamson MBE, Anne Donaghy, Pat McCallion and James Perry MBE

The Gallaher Trust, a charity set up following the departure of tobacco company JTI from Ballymena, is seeking community projects which could benefit from a total £500,000 cash injection.

JTI, formerly known as Gallaher Limited, set up the trust by donating £5m to the Ballymena community following the closure of the factory in 2017 in recognition of its 75-year presence in the town.

Over the past three years, the charity has committed £1.1m supporting projects that are striving to create over 240 jobs, develop skills for over 700 adults and provide support for 975 disadvantaged adults by 2023.

To help inform the local community about the charity’s work and its newest project, the Gallaher Trust will host a webinar on Thursday, with speaker Sue Gray, the outgoing Permanent Secretary from the Department of Finance.

The event will invite businesses, public servants, councils and stakeholders to register.

Ian Paisley, chairman of the Gallaher Trust, said: “It goes without saying that 2020 was a particularly challenging year and we are delighted to be making great inroads and a positive impact in the wider Ballymena community with our numerous projects through our delivery partners.

“After a tumultuous 12 months, the need for an initiative such as ours is abundantly clear. We are striving to inject £500,000 into the local community this year and we are looking for suitable delivery partners with projects that may need our support.

“It could be said that the charity is still in its infancy, but since the Gallaher Trust’s inception, we have already committed £1.1m to Ballymena based projects which will go on to create hundreds of jobs and develop skills as well as support disadvantaged adults in the next three years. 

“Additionally, in the community and social sphere, the Gallaher Trust is also hoping to help, through delivery partners, victims of domestic violence, older people as well as those suffering from mental illness.”


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