Coronavirus Northern Ireland: Financial grants extended for COVID-19 community

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Tuesday, April 28th, 2020

Local charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, in partnership with ten local councils, Northern Ireland Housing Executive and McDonald’s UK has extended its application criteria for this year’s Live Here Love Here’s Small Grants Scheme to include support for communities struggling during the pandemic.

Communities across Northern Ireland can benefit from up to £5,000 of funding to support actions that help care for those in need as a result of COVID-19 with a focus on practical environmental action as well as supporting those who are trying to make steps to improve their local areas.



Applications are now open, closing on 18 May 2020.

The Small Grants Scheme, which is now in its seventh year, is part of the successful Live Here Love Here programme that has been supported from the start by the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, helping make it Northern Ireland’s largest community and civic pride campaign – inspiring and motivating community volunteers to create real change for a cleaner, greener, healthier and more sustainable Northern Ireland. 



Due to Covid-19 additional criteria have been added, encouraging groups to send in their ideas on how they feel the money could support their local community – by reaching out to those affected most by the crisis. 

Nicola Fitzsimons, Community Development Officer told Newry Times, “The Small Grants Scheme provides crucial funding directly to local communities that are striving to make change for the better amongst their neighbourhoods.



“This year is obviously different as we find ourselves in the middle of a global pandemic, so we’re opening up the application process to include support for groups who are striving to relieve some of the pressures on vulnerable people who are suffering from reduced contact with society.

“We know groups are currently active in their local communities supporting those who are isolating and we want to show them our support.

“It may be some small steps such as providing grow-your-own garden kits or encouraging people to spend time outdoors to help relieve anxieties and keep active but we want to hear all suggestions and we’ll support as many groups as we can with the funding available.

She added, “Inspiring community efforts at a local level will be vital to national resilience during this challenging time and fits with the ethos and spirit of the Live Here Love Here programme.”

Over £180k of funding is available with grants from £500 to £5,000 open to volunteer and community groups, all school and third-level education organisations, youth groups and sports clubs undertaking community-based environmental projects.

Last year, 191 groups were allocated funding with an average grant of £1,200. 

Successful applicants will aim to improve the health and wellbeing of communities whilst helping to improve or maintain public spaces.  



Examples of previous successful applicants included funding for community gardens including orchard planting, river canoes for on-water litter picks, biodiversity and environmental projects including the planting of native wildflowers to encourage the return of insects, creative litter campaigns and grow your own vegetable patches. 

Community is key, 77% of people stated that one of the main reasons for getting involved in their project was for the ‘opportunity to get involved in the community’. 

Even more important is health, with 91% of respondents stating that being part of their project had improved their mental and/or physical wellbeing. 



For ideas on how to help your community and to apply online, visit

Applications are now open – closing date is Monday 18 May, for any questions email or call 07912178384.


Keep up to date with all the latest Northern Ireland Coronavirus / Covid-19 news HERE


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