Newry charity one of the first to receive support from new charitable Foundation

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Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019

Gary Lightbody, lead singer with the popular indie rock band Snow Patrol, has announced the launch of The Lightbody Foundation in partnership with the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland.

The newly established foundation will make funding available to charitable organisations and community groups across Northern Ireland over the next twelve months in areas that include special educational needs, mental health issues and mentoring for young people – all matters very close to the musician’s heart. 

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One of the first charities to benefit from the Lightbody Foundation is Drake Music NI, an assistive music creative charity based in Newry with another two music studios in Belfast and Derry.

The announcement was made at a low-key event held recently in Belfast.

SOS Bus, Everyday Harmony, Youth Action NI, Alzheimer’s Society NI and Youthlife who will also benefit, only learned who was behind the Foundation at the Belfast event where they were thrilled to meet Gary Lightbody and several trustees of the Lightbody Foundation.  

Speaking at the launch, Gary Lightbody explained how the Lightbody Foundation would support the voluntary and community sector. “We will be making donations to five or six charities twice a year. 



“Because of both a looming Brexit and having 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.

“We have partnered with the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, who have been a massive help in connecting us with charities across the country. Thank you to them for their help and support,” he added.

Dr Michelle McCormack, CEO of Drake music NI who will use the funding to assist musicians with physical disabilities and those with acquired brain injuries to independently compose and perform their own music said, “The musicians of the Drake Music project NI are delighted to be some of the first recipients of the Lightbody Foundation and having our work and the talents of our musicians recognised and supported by a fellow musician as talented as Gary Lightbody is very special. 



“To have the opportunity to extend our reach to more musicians who will benefit from assistive technology to express their creativity as a result of this funding will means that many more people will have the change to be enabled and be equal to their peers in their music making and contribution to the cultural scene across NI. 

She added, “We are very grateful to the Lightbody Foundation for their support and recognition of our work.”

Commenting on the launch of the Lightbody Foundation, Andrew McCracken, CEO of the Community Foundation, said, “This is immensely generous of Gary Lightbody, he really wanted to make a difference here, even handpicking the first recipients to benefit from his Foundation’s support.

He added, “The launch of the Lightbody Foundation reflects his focus on making a real difference to communities and families and so many people will benefit from his generosity. It is truly inspiring and I’ve no doubt that his leadership will encourage others.”



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