THE Saturday Club in Omagh has received a £8,645 grant from the National Lottery, to provide an online programme of activities for young people, aged six to 18 who have learning disabilities, to provide social opportunities and personal development.
Eighty-one projects across the North have received grants from £1,000 to £500,000, helping isolated older people, children as they return to school, people living in poverty and those with living with
long-term health conditions or disability.
The Saturday Club in Omagh is one such group which is benefitting from this money getting a grant of £8,645.
Founding member, Margaret Wilkinson, who is also secretary and events organiser, cannot wait to start putting the money to good use for the club, a volunteer-driven project that gives local children with special needs a fun day on the last Saturday of each month.
She said, “We are absolutely delighted that we have been able to resume our face-to-face activities and trips which we have not been able to do since March 2019.
“Meeting in Omagh Youth Centre in June for the first time in 15 months was such an emotional experience for us all, we were so delighted and moved to see everybody again in person.
“Now we are looking forward to lots of trips and activities, thanks to The National Lottery Community Fund.
“The activities give our children such fun and companionship and also give their families a welcome break.”
The vast majority of grants awarded are for smaller amounts of under £10,000, going to the heart of communities to make a big difference.
Paul Sweeney, The National Lottery Community Fund’s NI Chair, said, “I’m delighted to be able to announce these grants today supporting such a diverse range of projects, who are meeting the needs in our local communities.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how these projects improve the lives of people from across Northern Ireland as we start to re-build and re-connect following our experiences of the pandemic over the last 18 months.
“National Lottery players can be proud to know that the money they raise is making such a difference to lives.”
BY THOMAS MAHER