Larne social enterprise and community care centre share £200k support funding

Almost £200,000 is to be invested in long-term community projects in Larne through the Dormant Accounts Fund NI.

Friday, 9th July 2021, 12:35 pm

Dormant accounts are UK bank and building society accounts that have been untouched for 15 or more years, where customers who own the accounts cannot be traced.

The fund, which is delivered by The National Lottery Community Fund in conjunction with the Department of Finance, is supporting the voluntary community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector to be more resilient and prepared for the future.

One of the groups receiving funding is Larne Community Care Centre. They are using a £99,952 grant to evaluate the organisation’s current position and develop a plan to implement changes to ensure the organisation’s long-term sustainability. Over three years, the group will adapt service delivery to reach new users and create a succession plan for each critical role within the management team.

Larne Community Care Centre team members: Diane Huston, community engagement manager, Maria Magill, deputy children’s projects manager, Rachel Lyons, children’s projects manager and Laura Rice, community engagement officer.

They will upgrade their IT system so they can work more effectively and collect data for learning and implement a digital marketing plan to reach their target audience. This includes developing a website, using social media and ensuring existing staff develop skills to maintain them.

Access Employment Limited has also been awarded £96,843 to diversify their business, by looking into opportunities to extend existing work or develop new businesses, income generation to become more sustainable. The organisation supports people with disabilities, health conditions or living in areas of social disadvantage into employment through their social enterprises.

Over two years they will develop and implement a marketing plan and explore options for diversifying their product line around the personalised gift market. They will also upgrade their IT systems to improve efficiency and will train and develop staff, so they can take advantage of opportunities as they arise in the market, supporting their long-term resilience.

Paul Sweeney, The National Lottery Community Fund’s NI chair, said: “We know many organisations are trying to plan for the long-term and thinking about the changes they need to make to become more resilient and sustainable. Those changes require leadership, strategic planning, new skills and strong governance. Those are things for which funding often isn’t available.

“The Dormant Accounts Fund is providing flexible, multi-year funding to allow a diverse range of organisations to plan for a more secure future.

Finance Minister Conor Murphy said: “These projects show the value of the Dormant Accounts Fund NI. The ability to provide multi-year funding is critical to helping community groups like this to become more sustainable. I would encourage other organisations that have plans to build their long-term resilience to consider applying to the programme.”

As part of this first phase of Dormant Accounts Fund NI support, organisations can apply for up to £100,000 as part of a flexible and responsive grant programme. For more information visit: www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/programmes/dormant-accounts-ni

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Click here to read: £25k support for Larne social enterprise after 12-week wait

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