Newry community organisation receives funding from local retailer’s grant initiative

Ivan Kotselov from SPAR Patrick Street presents Frank Dolaghan from The Brain Injury Foundation with £1,000 grant from SPAR NI.Ivan Kotselov from SPAR Patrick Street presents Frank Dolaghan from The Brain Injury Foundation with £1,000 grant from SPAR NI.
Ivan Kotselov from SPAR Patrick Street presents Frank Dolaghan from The Brain Injury Foundation with £1,000 grant from SPAR NI.
A local charitable organisation in Newry has received a £1,000 grant each from SPAR NI, as part of its Community Cashback Grant initiative.

A local charitable organisation in Newry has received a £1,000 grant each from SPAR NI, as part of its Community Cashback Grant initiative.

The Brain Injury Foundation was selected as one of 20 recipients from over 900 applications that came from grassroots organisations, registered charities and community groups from across Northern Ireland.

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Bronagh Luke from SPAR NI said it was a difficult task to whittle the final list down, with so many organisations in need in Northern Ireland.

Bronagh commented; “We received 934 applications for our grant this year after announcing even more organisations and community groups in need could benefit. Usually, we spread the £20,000 out between five organisations, but with so many in need we decided this year to give £1,000 each to 20 recipients.

“So many applicants told us about their funding being cut and how great a need there was for their services in many communities in Northern Ireland. While a lot of our grant recipients are based in certain areas, they still provide invaluable support across the whole of the country, allowing them to help even more people, which is what this initiative is all about.”

The Brain Injury Foundation supports survivors and carers across the Southern Trust area, and does not receive any support from government bodies, relying on their own fundraising events to fund their services.

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The Community Cashback Grant will go towards the Foundation’s 12 music therapy sessions, which will take place in Camlough and will help service users relax, explore their emotions and reduce anxiety, helping to reduce stress and improve quality of life.

Within their application, management of the Foundation told SPAR NI; “The Brain Injury Foundation is a lived experience, user-led organisation and exists because of a deficit of services available for brain injury survivors. We provide peer support to carers and survivors by carers and survivors, providing a safe and non-judgmental environment. Our aim is to empower brain injury survivors and carers to design, deliver and monitor a programme of activities and a range of services which enhance their quality of life, addressing their needs – in particular, social isolation.”

There are over 300 SPAR stores in Northern Ireland, each acting as community hubs and are dedicated to supporting local charities and community groups, from hospice centres to foodbanks, with store teams going beyond their roles in-store to engage and help their local communities thrive.

A recent survey from SPAR showed that Northern Ireland had the most community pride throughout the UK regions, with 83% of respondents either very or fairly proud of their local area, followed by London (75%) and Scotland (73%).

The survey also showed that those in Northern Ireland ‘feel like they are a part of their community’ the most, with over two thirds (61%) saying they strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement.

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