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Press Release - 25 July 2022
Hundreds of local community heroes and groups across Northern Ireland have now benefited from more than £70,000 in funding thanks to Radius Housing’s Community Chest. Since it was launched by the housing association four years ago, more than 14,000 people have been involved in the successful projects which celebrate community spirit, inclusivity and sustainability.
The Community Chest is an initiative which provides funding for Radius tenants, service users, clients and small groups and organisations working within Radius communities. The fund provides grants of between £250 and £1000 for projects which support community development, encourages sustainability or environmental work, help to improve digital or financial inclusion, provide education, learning and volunteering opportunities, or target health and wellbeing among vulnerable groups.
Launched by Radius Housing in 2019, the aim has been to empower local communities and give funding support which allows them to undertake projects of different sizes.
This year Community Chest has funded almost £20,000 to 34 Radius schemes and groups. Among the groups awarded funding in 2022 is Donard Fold in Newcastle, who received £500 to help target health and wellbeing outcomes for their residents. Centred around a fun afternoon tea party while planting in the garden, their project is an example of how tenants come together to reduce social isolation by participating in a shared activity.
Speaking from the celebratory event in Newcastle, Ashleigh Mulgrave, Tenant Engagement Officer at Radius Housing said: “The Community Chest is an effective way to support tenants and communities who want to undertake projects that will help to improve people’s lives and enhance the local area. In the four years we have been supporting groups through the fund, we have seen so many amazing projects which are making a real difference. No matter how small they seem, tenants and the wider community are reaping the benefits as these projects grow and flourish.”
Andrea Harrison, Scheme Co-ordinator at Donard Fold, added: “When our tenants started this project they wanted to do something that would bring as many people together as possible, but they also wanted to make sure that it was long lasting. Turning their hands to planting and tidying up the gardens means they have been able to work together to create a space they all can enjoy, as well as hosting a party to celebrate it. After the difficulties we have all faced through the pandemic, this is the perfect way to get everyone back together again.”