Snow Patrol's Gary launches Lightbody Foundation to help Northern Ireland charities
Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody has launched his own foundation to give to Northern Ireland charities.
The Lightbody Foundation is a "family organisation" consisting of Gary, his sister Sarah, best friend Davy Matchett, Third Bar colleague Candice Cathers and Oh Yeah Music Centre co-founder John D’Arcy.
All "either my actual family or my adopted family", said Gary in a statement introducing the foundation.
The foundation has committed to making donations to five or six charities twice a year. For now, they will all be charities in Northern Ireland.
"In time I hope we can widen our net to the whole of Ireland and the UK," said Gary.
"But because of both looming Brexit and no government in Northern Ireland for two years, charities (especially smaller ones) are being marginalised and underfunded. We want to try and help some of those NI charities that struggle in these tough times."
He added: "There is no remit. We’ll give to causes across the board. Mental health, education, music, dementia, sport, cancer and disease research and many other things… I don’t want to narrow our focus. The focus is Northern Ireland, countrywide. Across communities and divides. As a great man once said, There is no them, there’s only us'".
The foundation's first donations will be made to Drake Music Project NI, Youthlife, Youth Action NI, SOS Bus NI, Every Day Harmony and Alzheimer's Society, who will all receive £10,000 each.
"The money will come from me," said Lightbody. "We will not be asking for public donations ever (the people of NI give a lot to charity already) but we will at some point in the future be asking businesses that have done well in NI to match our donations".
The Bangor man said the reason he named his new venture the 'Lightbody Foundation' was because he hated his name when he was young.
"People always laughed at it. It made me embarrassed. Now I love it. I’m proud of it. It’s strange and wonderful and it was passed down to me by my dear dad. I’m proud to use it for something I have put my heart into."
Belfast Telegraph Digital