£520,000 Lottery funding for suicide support charity set up in memory of Co Tyrone girl
A charity that supports those affected by suicide and self-harm has been awarded £520,000 in funding that will help keep a key project running for five years.
The Niamh Louise Foundation was formed following the death of Tyrone girl Niamh McKee in 2005 at the age of just 15.
Niamh's mum Catherine McBennett, stepfather James, and Anne Donaghy, now chief executive of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, co-founded the foundation on February 2, 2006 on what would have been Niamh's 16th birthday. Catherine said she was delighted with the financial boost from the National Lottery's Big Lottery Fund.
It will further enhance Niamh's legacy by helping to deliver the charity's Empowering Young Minds project, a tailored care package that helps support young people aged eight to 25 years in emotional distress.
Catherine said: "We would like to thank Big Lottery Fund for believing in the foundation's Empowering Young Minds project.
"After monitoring the success of our pilot project over a three-year period, Big Lottery Fund saw the value of such a project, even if it changed or saved one person's life.
"We do not receive Government funding, so this money will keep this project running for the next five years. It is also down to the generosity of the local community in rural Northern Ireland that keeps the other vital work of the charity running for families and individuals under the age of 25 at risk of suicide or bereaved by suicide."
The project aims to assist young people with thoughts of suicide and/or self-harm, or who have been bereaved by suicide, while helping to build self-esteem and resilience.