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Boost Drinks unveils first recipients of £10k community fund

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Paul Doherty and Orlagh Craig from Foodstock receive funding from Boost Drinks.

Paul Doherty and Orlagh Craig from Foodstock receive funding from Boost Drinks.

Paul Doherty and Orlagh Craig from Foodstock receive funding from Boost Drinks.

Foodstock in west Belfast, Dramability in Downpatrick and Ballykelly Men’s Shed are the first community groups to receive a share of Boost Drinks’ £10,000 Choose Now, Change Lives fund.

The initiative was launched by Northern Ireland’s best-selling soft drink within the local independent convenience channel* to help drive change and positively impact lives in local communities, with two further rounds of recipients yet to be announced in 2021.

Groundwork NI, a specialist charity working locally and nationally to transform lives in the UK’s most disadvantaged communities, is supporting Boost by administering grants to successful applicants.

“We are firm believers in supporting activity at a local level,” said Adrian Hipkiss, marketing and international business director at Boost. “Community groups are the life and soul of the areas we all live in - something that’s more important now than ever and will continue to be in the future. This also includes our support of local retailers over the last 18 years, who are the beating hearts of their communities.

“The incredible work done by Foodstock in west Belfast, Dramability in Downpatrick and Ballykelly Men’s Shed, is immeasurable and we’re very proud to be rewarding them and helping to shine a light on their excellent community service.

“The cash we have donated will ensure the vital services these groups provide to their communities will continue and we hope that the people who use them will flourish in their lives.”

Paul Doherty from Foodstock, said: “We are absolutely delighted with Boost providing us with a grant of £2,000 to support our ongoing work to help people in need throughout West Belfast. “Foodstock is very much a community-led organisation who rely on the hard work and dedication of volunteers who very generously give up their time for others.

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"This money will assist in funding our distribution and transport of supplies throughout communities, allowing us now to reach even more people who need our support. We are very grateful.”

Cara Cash-Marley, chief executive, Groundwork Northern Ireland, said: “We recognise the importance of these three deserving local causes which have been awarded funding through the Choose Now, Change Lives campaign.

“Our aim at Groundwork NI is to change lives and that is precisely what these projects are doing every day. It is without doubt that these groups offer a lifeline to many.

“Whether this is by providing metal health and wellbeing support, easing food insecurity and poverty, or creating inclusive arts spaces, their dedication to vital community action should not go unrecognized and we are proud to be able to support them.”

The second round of the grant awards is currently underway, and the third burst will take place later this year, allowing six more incredible community groups in Northern Ireland to receive a donation from the Boost Drinks Choose Now, Change Lives fund.

There’s still time to nominate a group or project that needs some help: please fill out a nomination form at www.boostdrinks.com/changelivesni

* Source: IRI Marketplace Data, Symbols & Independents, Unit Sales w/e 27.12.20


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