Ballymena and Antrim Residents Use National Lottery Money to Support Older People during Covid-19
03 August 2020
A grant by The National Lottery Community Fund is being used by people living at Clanmil Housing schemes in the Ballymena and Antrim areas to support their neighbours during the coronavirus pandemic.
Clanmil Tenants Margaret Millar, Sylvia Bell, Anne Mark, Maureen Pearce and Mark Walton Housing Officer at Clanmil.
The £4,200 funding was originally awarded to the group to support a project to boost the mental and physical health of older people through activities and trips. When this project was no longer possible due to the ongoing restrictions, the group, which has been running since July 2018, approached the National Lottery for permission to use the funding to help address the urgent need for community support during the pandemic.
With the help of Clanmil staff, the group has provided more than 1000 meals over the past 12 weeks to neighbours living in sheltered accommodation. The group would like to thank Delightful Bites and MacMahon butchers for their help in supplying these meals.
Clanmil Tenants Jillian Tullis, Margaret Millar and Sylvia Bell, Anne Mark and Maureen Pearce celebrate the 1000th Meal at Gloonan House.
Sylvia Bell, who has lived in Gloonan House for over 20 years, said:
"We were delighted to have been awarded this money and had been looking forward to our planned trips and activities. However, life is full of surprises and we agreed that the funding would be better used at this time to make sure that everyone stays healthy and has access to the support they need to get them through this difficult time.
"Working together as a group is helping us achieve more than we could alone. It's important when you get older that you don't feel alone, especially in times like this."
Clare McCarty, Group Chief Executive at Clanmil, said
"At Clanmil we encourage people to continue to lead active lives as they grow older and we are delighted that people in the Ballymena and Antrim area are taking the initiative and supporting each other. In a time of need, they are showing themselves to be a truly resilient community, redirecting this funding to provide regular meals and support to those who need it. This shows great strength and unity in their partnership.
"Thank you to the National Lottery. This money is helping people living in our Ballymena and Antrim schemes stay safe and get through this time together, whilst being safely apart".